LGBT Youth Advocate Wins 2014 SF Peacemaker Award

Anayvette Martinez of LYRIC to be honored at Community Boards Luncheon on June 6

Anayvette Martinez, Founder of the School-Based Initiative for Lavender Youth Recreation and Information Center (LYRIC), has been named as the 2014 winner of the Raymond Shonholtz Visionary Peacemaker Award, given to an outstanding individual who has made or is making significant contributions to peacemaking, community building and/or anti-violence work in her or his respective San Francisco neighborhood and community. She will be recognized by Community Boards, San Francisco’s non-profit conflict resolution center, during the fourth annual San Francisco Peacemaker Awards luncheon on Friday, June 6.

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“Martinez exemplifies the Raymond Shonholtz Visionary Peacemaker Award by turning a problem for LGBT students into an opportunity for all students to make peace and build community in San Francisco schools,” says Community Boards Executive Director Darlene Weide. “We are thrilled to recognize her contribution to making San Francisco a more peaceful and better place to live.”

Martinez will be honored alongside two other winners of the 2014 SF Peacemaker Awards. Lincoln High School Senior Sasha Rodriguez, peer mediator and peer counselor, will receive the Gail Sadalla Rising Peacemaker Award, which is awarded to a youth peacemaker (ages 12-24) who is making a difference in his or her school or community, setting an example for other youth in anti-violence and peacemaking activities. Bayview Hunters Point Foundation for Community Improvement will be presented with the Community Boards Leadership Peacemaker Award, presented each year to an organization that is making a meaningful track record in contributing to community building and peacemaking in San Francisco. Bios of all the winners are included below.

The 2014 Peacemaker Awards luncheon is slated for Friday, June 6, from 11 am to 1 pm, at the City Club of San Francisco, located at 155 Sansome Street. Tickets are available online for $175 for individuals, with discounts available for additional guests and for Community Boards members. Table sponsorships are also available, starting at $1000 and including 10 tickets to both the awards luncheon and the morning workshop with continental breakfast.

The Honorable Judge Cruz Reynoso, first Chicano Justice of the California Supreme Court, will present the keynote address, focusing on Restorative Justice. Claudia Viera, Esq., will teach the morning workshop at 9 am, focusing on implicit bias in the mediation process and in court.

About Community Boards

The mission of Community Boards is to empower the communities and individuals of San Francisco with the strength, skills and resources needed to express and resolve conflicts peacefully and appropriately for their culture and environment. Mediation, training and facilitation services are offered in English, Spanish, Mandarin and Cantonese to all San Francisco residents. Community Boards serves over 2,000 residents, nonprofits and businesses a year with its pool of 300+ volunteer mediators. Since 1976, Community Boards has assisted 46,000 San Francisco residents and trained more than 16,000 community members to be skilled mediators. More information is available at www.CommunityBoards.org.

About the Peacemakers  Anayvette Martinez: The Raymond Shonholtz Visionary Peacemaker Award

Anayvette Martinez believes every student deserves a safe learning environment, including the 3,000+ lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQQ) youth in the San Francisco United School District. That’s why she joined Lavender Youth Recreation and Information Center (LYRIC), and it’s why she founded the organization’s innovative School-Based Initiative.

According to Martinez, “To create LGBTQ and gender-inclusive schools, we need a holistic strategy. School community transformation doesn’t happen with once a year workshops; we need to envelop these conversations in school norms, curriculum, monthly activities, and bring everyone to the table.”

So, three years ago, she launched and took the helm of LYRIC’s School-Based Initiative. Based on a Restorative Justice approach, the program promotes allyship over tolerance, while giving participants practical tools to address harassment, bullying, and other violence against LGBTQQ youth. Under her leadership, the initiative is making public schools in San Francisco safer for LGBTQQ students by providing a year-long gender/sexuality-emphasized social justice course for students, a professional development training track for teachers and school staff, and discussion circles and support groups for families. Not only has her work made a substantial and immediate impact at Everett Middle School, Balboa High School, Buena Vista Horace Mann K-8, and Mission High School, it serves as a model for schools throughout California and across the nation.

Sasha Rodriguez: The Gail Sadalla Rising Peacemaker Award

“I like feeling like I am actually helping; it brings me satisfaction. I am helping make a difference by helping people make a difference in themselves. When I help other people it actually helps me figure out ways to solve problems in my own life,” she explains.

As a Peer Mediator and Peer Counselor, the Lincoln High School senior helps her fellow students by offering a safe venue and expert mediation skills to resolve conflict between students and with teachers. As one of only two student members of the Restorative Practices Leadership Team, she is working with teachers and staff to introduce and promote Restorative Practices at her school. As a Peer Mentor, she has taken a Freshman under her wing, working one-on-one with her in a support role. And as a Peer Educator, she teaches other young people – at Lincoln High and city-wide – to know their rights with law enforcement.

Teachers and peers describe Rodriguez as a bridge-builder, bridging the often-wide gulf between adults and youth. She actively and consistently amplifies the youth voice at Lincoln High, where she is seen as a role model for collaborative problem solving, effective communication and peacemaking in a diverse environment.

After graduation, she plans to attend Skyline College and work part-time, eventually transferring to a University to study and pursue a career in Marine Biology.

 

Bayview Hunters Point Foundation for Community Improvement:  Community Boards Leadership Peacemaker Award

Residents of Bayview Hunters Point are far too familiar with violence and crime in the neighborhood. And one organization has been working for more than 40 years to ensure they’re just as familiar with resources and opportunities to create an empowered, clean, safe and healthy community. Established by Bayview citizens in 1971 to serve the needs of residents of the community, Bayview Hunters Point Foundation for Community Improvement tackles youth gang violence and other crime head-on by connecting community members with – and fostering collaboration between – existing neighborhood services. Their Community Response Network (CRN) provides counseling at crime scenes as well as continuing support at the hospital, in the home, and in the neighborhood, connecting crime victims, their families, and witnesses with trauma recovery and mental health services, job training and placement, alternative education, health services, and recreation opportunities.

Their Youth Services program provides a safe space for 11-18 year olds to congregate and connects them with counseling and treatment, community beautification projects, and positive educational and recreational opportunities. The ROSIE Project provides hands-on, ongoing support to help 14-25 year old women meet court obligations and follow up with positive life choices in school and the community. The programs are all modeled on a vision of youth advocacy which honors the individual needs of participants, and supports and enhances individual, peer, and family life.

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