Diversity Appreciation Award: Assembly Speaker Hon. Sheila Oliver
Education Award: Asm. Patrick J. Diegnan, District 18
Community Service Award: Prosecutor Robert A. Bianchi, Morris County
Media Award: Michael Aron, Chief Political Correspondent of NJTV
Peace and understanding Award: Wahy-ud Deen Shareef, Senior Advisor to the Mayor of Newark
Business Award: James R. Coyle, President of Gateway Regional Chamber of Commerce
Asm. Gordon Johnson (District 34) hosted the event.
Peace Islands Executive Director Levent Koch welcomed the guests. He said, "The reason we are gathering here tonight is simple but noble; we have come together to honor some remarkable and inspiring individuals who have committed themselves to making this world a better place for us all. We are profoundly honored to present them with awards they so justly and completely deserved."
He continued saying his appreciation, "We value their dedication, we salute their courage, and we pay tribute to their continuous commitment. Let their devotion and courage be an inspiration to us all and may others follow in their footsteps".
Diversity Appreciation Award recipient Hon. Sheila Oliver made a speech after she received her award: "There's no doubt that there's a common thread amongst all of us and I guess that is what has connected each honoree this evening to Peace Islands Institute is the Interfaith Dialogue.
I am so proud of the work that Levent and his colleagues have done with PII. It is tremendous. And someone had made a reference to how this organization has established itself, grown and expanded. It is phenomenal to see an organization (PII) has so many leaders from the corporate sector, government, non profit sector, education community of this state - all connecting up with an organization, which has as its objective: ‘elevating our consciousness and our diversity’.
|Hon. Sheila Oliver|
"I think that work that what you're (PII) doing will go a long way. I commend you for engaging young people. Sensitizing young people to an issue of poverty & social justice, means we are inculcating a value in young people."
Education award recipient Asm. Patrick J. Diegnan said "The philosophy of the PII is what I try to follow everyday, all of us should strive to address these challenges each and everyday. I hope mission statement of the PII becomes a common theme around the world."
|Michael Aron, |
Chief Political Correspondent of NJTV
PII was presented resolutions/letters by the following elected officials:
Governor Chris Christie, US Senator Robert Menendez, US Senator Frank Lautenberg, Congressman William Pascrell, Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen, Congressman Scott Garrett, Congressman Leonard Lance, Congressman Steve Rothman, NJ Senate Resolution by Sen. President Sen. Stephen Sweeney, NJ Assembly & Senate Joint Resolution by Sen. Loretta Weinberg and Asm. Gordon Johnson, Bergen County Executive Kathleen Donovan.
More pictures and quotes from the speeches will be published on Peace Islands' web site soon: www.peaceislands.org
Published on NJ.com, 04 June 2012, Monday