It’s Red Bandana nominations and award time again!
We all know people who work tirelessly, selflessly for others with little regard for themselves. They donate their time, give up bigger salaries (or work for free), and work to make a difference in the community around them. Well, it’s time they were recognized for all that they do for everyone but themselves.
The Red Bandana Fund is seeking nominations from the community to recognize both unsung organizations, and individuals, that embody the spirit and work of Richard Walton and for the commitment they have shown to making the world a better place. Nominations are now being accepted for anyone you feel worthy of recognition. To nominate someone, fill out a form here or simply email RedBandanaAward@gmail.com to receive the a printable nomination form via email. The deadline is April 15th at 11:59pm.
People who nominate someone should provide a 1 page description of why they deserve the award. Keep in mind that the committee members may have never heard of the person you nominate so the description you give will be crucial in determining whether they win the award or not.
The Nominee who wins this year’s award, will receive a cash gift and will be honored at the 4th annual Red Bandana Celebration on June 3rd at the Providence Firefighters Hall.
The Red Bandana Fund was created to honor the memory of long-time activist Richard Walton, who passed away on December 27, 2012 after a long illness, leaving a huge hole in the hearts of the Rhode Island progressive community. Richard was the epitome of activism in Rhode Island for decades. Every year, Richard held a picnic/fundraiser for Amos House by the cove in Pawtuxet Village. This quickly became an annual, not-to-be-missed event. When Richard passed, his friends decided that that wonderful tradition should be kept going in some form. Thus, the Red Bandana Fund was born.
Last year, awards were presented to Omar Bah and Phil Edmonds, both for their superlative work in the community. Omar is well known for his advocacy and assistance on immigration issues and Phil is so locked into the community that it is wonder he wasn’t nominated before. You can read all about them here.
There is a remembrance post about Richard, published in two parts by RIFuture, here and here. On June 2, 2012, the First Annual Red Bandana Fund Concert was held to raise money for the fund and to give the First Award by the Fund to Amos House, an organization Richard was deeply involved in. In 2014, awards were given, to Henry Shelton, the long-time advocate for the poor in Rhode Island and to The Providence Student Union, for their inspiring energy and activism on education issues.
In 2015, the award was presented to the workers organizing at the Providence Renaissance Hotel and Providence College professor Eric Hirsch, an outspoken advocate for the homeless. Of receiving the award, Hirsch said, “Receiving the Red Bandana Award was one of the greatest honors I’ve ever received. Richard Walton was one of the most committed activists in state history on social justice and peace issues. It is the only award I have displayed on my office walls.”
Artemis Moonhawk, also known as Mama Dreads, founded and runs Mama Dreads Mission of Love, grassroots operation to help the homeless. Amanda Smith, a friend and fellow advocate says, “Artemis
sees the invisible people, feeds them nourishing meals and gives hope and hugs to those who have little or
none.” Colleen Polak, a teacher and friend, says that Artemis “does what we’re all supposed to do; but she
does it reflexively so that while the rest of us are still thinking about it, she has already done it.” Artemis Manie Butti Moonhawk https://www.facebook.com/Mama-Dreads-Mission-of-Love…/
Sarath Suong is Co‐Founder and Executive Director of the Providence Youth Student Movement (PrYSM).
Both he and PrYSM are being honored for their work to mobilize the Southeast Asian communities and
the youth of Providence to stand up for their right to live free from injustices. Most recently, the
organization launched the Community Defense Project to provide free and low‐cost legal help and
counseling for victims of police brutality. Sarath Suong https://www.facebook.com/PrYSMProvidence/
Of course, this is just a small token in payment to all the work these folks do. But we are going to keep doing it because people deserve it for their tireless efforts on behalf of all us. And it’s what Richard did his whole life. How can we stop now?
Who will we honor this year? That’s up to you. Enter your nominations here RedBandanaAward@gmail.com
See you on June 3rd!
RedBandanafund@gmail.com for questions