Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition


Press Release

December 14, 2006

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:                        
Meghan Ferris or Barry Williams at 202-387-8030 


The awardees are:

John Thayer, Thomas Baker, Frank Binns, Martin R. Blanchet, Edward J. Hill, Richard Leonard, Charles Morris, Christian Raley, Scott Smith, and Timothy Taylor, The Tunnel Crew of the United States Capitol Complex. In recognition of their courageous and resolute advocacy for a healthy, safe and fair workplace; their generous willingness, despite the personal risks, to repair and maintain miles of utility lines under the United States Capitol Complex; and, their gutsy search for medical analyses and their rights in the legal arena.

Maria Gunnoe, a relentless crusader who has fought to stop the destruction of her Appalachian homeland by the coal barons. She has the clarity to see that at stake are homes, families and livelihoods, a sustainable environment, ancestral lands, and a way of life. Her firm stand for justice, risking personal safety in the face of retaliations; her leadership in organizing mountain people to use non-violent strategies; and, while staving off peoples despair, her resilient tenacity in restoring hope one small victory at a time.

Edward (Ed) Wiley, is a grandfather who has fought to persuade public officials to build a new school away from a hazardous coal mining operation. He has demonstrated a keen ability to focus the media on the daily dangers posed by the coal preparation plant and coal slurry impoundment that holds 2.8 billion gallons of toxic sludge, 225 feet above the existing school and has attracted volunteer college students and others with his honesty, devotion to his cause and plain talk.

      The awards will be presented on Thursday, December 14, 2006 at 5:00 p.m. at the Carnegie Institution Building, 1530 P Street NW, Washington, D.C.  Following each award the recipients will speak briefly about their work.

      The Shafeek Nader Trust for the Community Interest administers the Joe A. Callaway Award, established by Mr. Callaway to recognize individuals in any area of endeavor who, with integrity and at some personal risk, take a public stand to advance truth and justice, and who challenge unsatisfactory conditions in pursuit of the common good. Toward this end, Mr. Callaway endowed the Trust with a special fund for an annual award honoring citizens for their civic courage.

      The Shafeek Nader Trust for the Community Interest was created to extend the civic values of the late Shafeek Nader, community advocate and founder of the Northwestern Connecticut Community College. A tax-exempt organization, the Trust has the task of advancing the ability of citizens to participate and shape the quality of democracy in their community.

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