WNYC Awards Second Annual Lehrer Prize for Community Well-Being
This year’s awards to recognize vaccine heroes
Winners announced during a special evening edition of “The Brian Lehrer Show” on Wednesday, March 16 at 8 PM ET on WNYC 93.9 FM and streaming at wnyc.org
Hosted by Brian Lehrer and featuring journalist Mitra Kalita, founder of Epicenter-NYC
(March 16, 2022) — This evening, WNYC announced the honorees of the second annual Lehrer Prize for Community Well-Being during a special live broadcast – listen here.
The 2022 Lehrer Prize for Community Well-Being is being awarded to Vaccine Heroes, recognizing organizations who have gone above and beyond to advocate for vaccination in their communities. Each honoree will receive a cash award of $2,500 in appreciation of their exemplary efforts and commitment to their community.
The Lehrer Prize for Community Well-Being was founded to recognize a standout idea, individual, or organization that has contributed meaningfully to improving the quality of life in New York City and the surrounding region. The award is named after WNYC’s Peabody Award-winning host Brian Lehrer, whose daily call-in program The Brian Lehrer 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. “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.
This year’s honorees are as follows:
An online community and mutual aid network based in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, Bed-Stuy Strong’s members have built a series of community initiatives—from food and PPE provisions, to voting and vaccine access programs, to political education reading groups and support for incarcerated neighbors.
With a mandate to serve all South Asian seniors, regardless of income, faith or country of origin, India Home is helping immigrant elders deal with one of the toughest problems of growing old in America—social isolation and loneliness. It balances addressing the day to day needs of the community with advocacy at the city and state level, so that seniors have a say in the issues that directly impact their lives.
Guided by service, compassion and fairness, United Community Corporation’s mission is to assist low-income, disadvantaged, and at-risk individuals and families—including seniors and young people—to become self-sufficient and self-supporting, while enhancing their quality of life and standard of living. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, UCC worked to educate their community on the access and safety of vaccines. Working with other Newark based organizations, UCC organizes a weekly vaccine schedule and offers free rides to each site.
“We’ve always tried to be more than a public affairs program,” said Brian Lehrer. “It’s our goal to create a community, and give back to the city we all share. Throughout the last year, the push to get as many people as possible vaccinated against COVID-19—and to share trustworthy, reliable information about the vaccine—has been one of the most important efforts in New York. We’re excited to be able to show our appreciation to the people and organizations in our community dedicating themselves to this task.”
The winner of the first annual prize was H.E.A.L.T.H. 4 Youths, an organization working to combat community deterioration through programs and workshops on education, health care, and life-skills training throughout New York City. The organization’s founder, Heather Butts, said that the Prize allowed the organization to create the Lehrer Prize for Community Well-Being Public Health Incubator, which works with students to create public health programming to enrich their communities. “We congratulate the new honorees for their hard work and dedication and thank Brian Lehrer and WNYC for making a difference in the lives of youth in New York City,” Butts said.
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