The Stuart Center for Mission, Educational Leadership and Technology, a ministry of the Society of the Sacred Heart, on Saturday, May 9, presented the second annual Kit Collins, RSCJ, Micah Awards to two individuals and an organization. This year’s Micah Award recipients are:
- Mary Bourdon, RJM, head of school at the Washington School for Girls;
- Don Bosco Workers, Inc., a grassroots community-organizing group in Port Chester, New York
- Lauren Dumas, a graduating senior at the Academy of the Sacred Heart, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan;
The Stuart Center created this award in 2014 as a way to honor Sister Catherine (Kit) Collins, the founder and director of the Center for Educational Design and Communication, one of the offices within the Stuart Center. The Micah Award is presented to an individual or group demonstrating some of Sister Collins’ signature characteristics. The honor is called the Micah Award to call to mind one of Sisters Collins' favorite scripture quotes from the Prophet Micah (8:6):
“…and what does the LORD require of you
but to do justice, to love tenderly,
and to walk humbly with your God?”
Award recipients are recognized for demonstrating the following characteristics:
- consistent and firm dedication to the quest for social justice;
- creative and entrepreneurial approach to the work at hand;
- courage in blazing new trails;
- vision to see the potential in a person, group or situation;
- persistence in the face of obstacles in working toward a more just world and the realization of human dignity and potential.
”Each recipient represents a partner in mission; all working locally and collaboratively, but with large scale impact, said Imma De Stefanis, RSCJ, executive director of the Stuart Center. "The Stuart Center is committed to taking an educational stance to the work of justice in collaboration with others. We believe that alone we go faster, but together we go further! Each one honored is the embodiment of the love of the heart of Christ, a heart that already knows the dignity of each person and the further to call to act with justice. Each one has worked toward the self-empowerment of others through educational opportunity in a caring environment; through the work of educating an entire community to participate in just wages; and in the power of the written word through literacy.”
Sr. Mary Bourdon
A member of the Congregation of the Religious of Jesus and Mary, Sr. Mary Bourdon has a background in secondary education and family therapy and believes in the philosophy of “educate a girl; change the world.” Recognizing that society needs girls to grow up to be well-educated leaders and productive members of their communities, she founded the Washington School for Girls in Southeast Washington, DC, on the principles of faith, courage, and perseverance.
Don Bosco Workers
The Don Bosco Workers is a faith-based nonprofit organization, composed primarily of immigrant day laborers and other low-income workers in Port Chester, New York. They promote employment and worker’s rights through education and leadership development projects. They collaborate with other local and national organizations to further the discussion of the dignity of the worker.
Lauren Dumas recently graduated from the Academy of the Sacred Heart in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, as the valedictorian of her class. She began the Sacred Heart Publishing Center during her freshman year, creating hard copies of books written by the younger members of the school community. In the intervening years, she has also begun translating the stories into Spanish. What began as a project for young children in her own school has now spread to children of the Peruvian Amazon, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic and the nearby Beaumont Children's Hospital. Her goal has now expanded to include a virtual Global Publishing Center connecting Sacred Heart students around the world.
Full profiles of the 2015 Micah Award recipients can be found at www.stuartcenter.org/micah2015.
As part of this award, the Stuart Center has made a contribution in the winners' names:
- Sr. Mary: to Lekòl Jezi Mary, a Catholic elementary parish school in Fon Ibo village, outside of Gros Morne, Haiti;
- Lauren: to Focus: Hope, a non-profit organization in Detroit, Michigan, dedicated to eradicating poverty, racism, and injustice;
- Don Bosco Workers: to the Westchester Labor Alliance (La Alianza Laboral de Westchester) Program of the Empire Justice Center.
The Stuart Center for Mission and Ministry, located in Washington, DC supports and furthers the educational mission of the Society of the Sacred Heart by responding to the educational and justice needs of our country and world, with a focus on meeting the technology needs of nonprofits. The Center also provides nonprofits with conference and meeting space. The Stuart Center houses the following provincial offices: Ministry; Justice, Peace & the Integrity of Creation; Educational Initiatives & Leadership; Center for Educational Design and Communication (CEDC, web and graphic design).