WNYC to Award Inaugural Lehrer Prize for Community Well-Being
Award recognizes an idea, individual, or organization that has improved the quality of life for residents of New York City and tri-state region
Winner to be announced at a virtual event featuring WNYC’s Brian Lehrer in conversation with Chef José Andrés and Lehrer Prize honorees about their work for social good,
with a special performance by violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins
Emceed by WQXR’s Terrance McKnight
Wednesday, December 9 at 7pm
Event is free and open to all; RSVP required at NYPublicRadio.org/benefit
(New York, NY — November 23, 2020) — On Wednesday, December 9 at 7pm, WNYC will announce the winner of the inaugural Lehrer Prize for Community Well-Being at a special virtual event.
The Lehrer Prize recognizes a standout idea, individual, or organization that has contributed meaningfully to improving the quality of life in New York City and the surrounding region. Community well-being is a phrase drawn from the public health arena that takes into account the combination of social, economic, environmental, cultural, and political conditions that affect people in a particular community.
The award is named after WNYC’s Peabody Award-winning host Brian Lehrer, whose daily call-in show aims to build community by bringing listeners together with elected officials, community leaders, policy-makers, journalists, and each other to convene conversations about the issues affecting our city, our nation, and our lives. It was first announced at New York Public Radio’s 2019 Gala, which celebrated Lehrer’s 30th anniversary on WNYC.
The nominees this year are:
- H.E.A.L.T.H. 4 Youths who work to combat juvenile delinquency through programs and workshops on education, health care, and life-skills training throughout New York City.
- Girls; Live, Love, Laugh, Inc., helping girls ages 6-16 in Newark, New Jersey overcome obstacles through workshops on leadership, career development, education, bully prevention, civic engagement, and health and wellness.
- La Jornada, an organization that prepares and distributes meals for day laborers throughout Queens, and provides information on free health care, food pantries, and ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) classes.
The winner of the Lehrer Prize will be announced at a virtual event on Wednesday, December 9 at 7pm, that is open to all. The evening will feature Brian Lehrer in conversation with Chef José Andrés, whose non-profit World Central Kitchen uses the power of food to heal communities and strengthen economies in times of crisis and beyond. It will showcase the Lehrer Award honorees, with representatives of each of the nominated organizations discussing their work and commitment to their communities. Violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins will give a special performance, and WQXR’s Terrance McKnight will serve as emcee.
The virtual event is free and open to the public; RSVP is required and can be made at nypublicradio.org/benefit.
All of the honorees will appear on The Brian Lehrer Show, and each will be granted a modest monetary prize.
“As someone with a background in public health and who covers the community well-being of our city and region everyday, I’m excited to bring greater attention to the countless individuals and small organizations that strive to make New York City and our listening region a more equitable, healthy, and livable place,” said Brian Lehrer. “The COVID-19 pandemic has made abundantly clear the way individual lives are impacted by larger social forces, which so often feel out of our control or reach. The honorees for the inaugural Lehrer Prize are all working to help their community members navigate these forces and live fulfilling lives.”
“At New York Public Radio, we strive to build community well-being by providing trusted journalism, civil dialogue, and joyful classical music that is free and accessible to all, and The Brian Lehrer Show is one of the finest examples of our mission,” said Goli Sheikholeslami, President and CEO, New York Public Radio. “I can think of no award more worthy of bearing the Lehrer name than one that honors the work of individuals and organizations in our listening region who dedicate themselves — especially in this moment of uncertainty and difficulty — to improving the quality of life for the most vulnerable among us.”
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