The National Federation for Just Communities of Western New York recognized more than 30-individuals and organizations Wednesday.
Each year the organization honors individuals how have made outstanding contributions in the area of sisterhood and brotherhood in the community.
Let's Talk Native host John Kane was this year's winner in the media category. Kane's radio show draws attention to the issues of Native Americans.
"I'm trying to educate people and trying to get people to understand that although there may be diversity when you look at the Native population, compared to the rest of the population, it doesn't have to be shrouded in mystery or certainly not racism," said Kane.
The Federation's mission is to overcome racism, bias and discrimination.
Kane's local radio program is now going national. First Voices Indigenous Radio on WBAI in New York City will carry his show that will be distributed to 45-other stations.
"I just got named to be the host of First Voices Indigenous Radio in New York City," noted Kane. "WBAI is kind of legendary station for civil rights and human rights."
The following are the entire list of honorees from Wednesday's National Federation for Just Communities of Western New York leader awards held in the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center:
Arts/culture: Javier R. Bustillos, founder and producing artistic director of Buffalo United Artists, and James J. Cooper III, educator and artist.
Community organization: Central City Café, an outreach ministry of the Durham Memorial AME Zion Church for 20 years, and Partnership for the Public Good, dedicated to supporting the revitalization of Buffalo Niagara.
Community service/volunteerism: Sister Beth Brosmer, O.S.F., executive director of Heart, Love & Soul, an organization that aids the poor and hungry in Niagara County; Janique S. Curry, compliance coordinator for the Erie County Medical Center, where she works to ensure equitable opportunities for minority and women owned businesses; and Thomas D. Lunt Sr., retired stockbroker and Benedictine monk.
Corporate: Robert Holliday, vice president and general manager of upstate AT&T.
Education: Richard T. Jurasek, president and CEO of Medaille College, and Judith H. Katz, president of the board of the Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies.
Government: Assemblywoman Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes of the 141st District.
Health care: Dr. Thomas A. Lombardo Jr., orthopedic surgeon and president of the Erie County Medical Society, and Barbara A. Malinowski, coordinator of the Parish Nurse Program at Mount St. Mary’s Hospital.
Interfaith: Bishop Michael A. Badger, senior pastor of Bethesda World Harvest International Church, and Turkish Cultural Center of Buffalo.
Law enforcement: Senior Detective James Hatch of the Erie County Sheriff’s Office and Dennis J. Richards, chief of detectives for the Buffalo Police Department.
Legal: Gayle L. Eagan, partner at Fleischmann & Mugel, and William D. Schulz, retired partner from Duke, Holzman, Photiadis & Gresens.
Media: John K. Kane, host of the radio show “Let’s Talk Native.”
Philanthropy: Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo.
Public relations: Renata Robinson Toney of Burchfield Penney Art Center.
Social services: Nancy Blaschak, regional chief executive for the American Red Cross, and Jenny Laney, director of family support at the Mental Health Association of Erie County.
Special award: Catholic Health System.
Sports: Maurice V. “Modie” Cox, executive director of Buffalo’s Police Athletic League.
Youth: Hiba Al-Naji of Buffalo Seminary, Surelys Barias of Riverside High School, Labis Eyoto of Western New York Maritime Charter School, Teagan Faran of Williamsville East High School, Taylor Gartland of Kenmore West High School, ShaMara Mackey-Holmes of Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart, Monica Annette Manney of Nichols School, Julia Paulk of Buffalo Seminary, Katie Raymond of Kenmore West High School and Christopher Smith of Niagara Falls High School.
The Elizabeth A. Hickey Award was presented to Leann Roland of Western New York Maritime Charter School.
The Dr. Manch Scholarship Award was given to Thomas Luis Ezquerro of Canisius High School.