Thursday May 10, 2018
The Peace and Justice Center (PJC) presented the 2018 Ed Everts Social Justice Activist Award to 2017 South Burlington High School (SBHS) graduate Isaiah Hines and the ensemble Muslim Girls Making Change (MGMC), which includes current SBHS seniors Kiran Waqar and Lena Ginawi this spring at the ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain in Burlington. While at SBHS, Hines was a student representative to the South Burlington School Board and helped create the Student Diversity Union. He was active in efforts which led to the 2017 retirement of the Rebel name as the moniker for SBHS sports teams. In 2017, Hines was named Vermonter of the Year by the Burlington Free Press and received the David Goldberg Child and Youth Advocacy Award from Voices for Vermont’s Children for his efforts in combating racism. Hines is currently in his first year at Columbia University. Waqar and Ginawi received their award along with fellow MGMC ensemble members Burlington High School seniors Hawa Adam and Balkisa Abdikadir. The slam poetry group uses their performances to bring about discussions on racism, sexism, and Islamophobia. MGMC were included in Huffington Post’s list of 17 Muslim American Women Who Made America Great in 2016 as well as being honored by Rights and Democracy Vermont with humanitarian awards for their work fighting for social justice.