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City of Seattle
Ed Murray, Mayor

SUBJECT: Local Activists Receive Human Rights Awards

1/17/2007  2:50:00 PM
Roberto Bonaccorso  (206) 684-5282

Local Activists Receive Human Rights Awards

Magdaleno Rose-Avila, the Trans Jail Policy Group and Washington State Veterans for Peace Chapters received the 2006 Distinguished Citizen Awards for Human Rights on December 7 at the 11th annual Seattle Human Rights Day celebration. The Distinguished Citizen Awards, which have been presented since 1996, honor local individuals and organizations that have contributed to the advancement of human rights in the Seattle area.

Magdaleno "Leno" Rose-Avila is an outspoken voice in the fight for immigrant rights and human rights. Leno has been the director of Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) since 2003, and serves on numerous boards and advisory committees. Hardly a progressive event in Seattle takes place without Leno’s and/or NWIRP's participation.

After years of witnessing inhumane jail policies relating to the treatment of transgender and transsexual people in King County facilities, the Trans Jail Policy Group succeeded in setting standards for proper treatment of transgender, transsexual, intersex and gender variant people who are incarcerated in King County Detention Centers. Working with King County staff, the group developed policies and protocols that were added to the King County Jail General Policy Manual.

Starting with 12 people in 2002, the Washington State Veterans for Peace Chapters has grown to 300 members statewide. Veterans for Peace works to increase public awareness of the costs of war, abolish war as an instrument of national policy, and seek justice for veterans and victims of war. In 2006, the group organized and hosted the national convention for Veterans for Peace in Seattle.

As part of this year's celebration, award-winning journalist Maria Hinojosa gave the keynote address on "Human Rights: Crossing All Borders." Hinojosa is host of "Latino USA" on National Public Radio and senior correspondent for the PBS newsmagazine program NOW. To view a video of Maria Hinojosa's speech at Town Hall Seattle the evening of December 7, 2006, visit

The annual Seattle Human Rights Day event commemorates the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted December 10, 1948. It was produced by the Seattle Office for Civil Rights, Seattle Human Rights Commission and United Nations Association of Seattle. Co-sponsors included King County Civil Rights Commission, Washington State Human Rights Commission, Seattle Commission for Sexual Minorities, Seattle Women’s Commission, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, Youth for Human Rights, American Red Cross serving King and Kitsap Counties, Hate Free Zone, the Philippine- U.S. Solidarity Organization, UW Multicultural Alumni Partnership, Church Council of Greater Seattle, Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle, American Civil Liberties Union of WA State, Amnesty International of Puget Sound, United Indians of All Tribes, WA Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, WA Physicians for Social Responsibility, Japanese American Citizen's League - Seattle Chapter, NAACP - Seattle Chapter, Anti-Defamation League - Pacific NW Region, El Centro de la Raza Minority Executive Director's Coalition, Korean Women's Association, Bustos Media of Seattle, LLC, the Washington State Commission on Hispanic Affairs, American Friends Service Committee, and Minority Executive Directors Coalition.

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Seattle Office for Civil Rights

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