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Human rights group to present 5 awards

Three residents and two groups have won Moorhead's 2004 Human Rights Awards for significant contributions to human rights in the community. Winners in the five categories are Phyllis May-Machunda, workplace; Steven Grineski, education; Mary Davie...

Three residents and two groups have won Moorhead's 2004 Human Rights Awards for significant contributions to human rights in the community.

Winners in the five categories are Phyllis May-Machunda, workplace; Steven Grineski, education; Mary Davies, civic/community; The Social Connextion, nonprofit; and the Young Latina Education Leadership Staff, youth.

This marks the eighth year that the Moorhead Human Rights Commission has presented the awards in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Recipients will be presented with the awards at the Moorhead City Council meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Hjemkomst Center. A reception for winners will be at 6 p.m. near the Hjemkomst ship.

May-Machunda, a professor of multicultural studies and the humanities at Minnesota State University Moorhead since 1989, is a founding member of the Training Our Campuses Against Racism collaborative, an instrumental worker in the Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity program, and a planner for the Building Inclusive Communities conference.

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Grineski, an education professor at MSUM for the last 20 years, has helped create a mentoring program for children in the Romkey, Bennett and Arrowhead neighborhoods. He volunteers for many groups, including the Red River Alternative Learning Center and the West Regional Juvenile Detention Center.

Davies, a former member of the Human Rights Commission, has helped develop Moorhead's human rights ordinance. She also was instrumental in the re-establishment of the Moorhead League of Women Voters, and in its merge with Fargo's league.

The Social Connextion supports people with mental and emotional illnesses who are learning to live independently. The nonprofit helps members expand their boundaries while staying in a safe place.

The Young Latina Education Leadership Staff includes members Hilda Acevedo, Belinda Rendon, Desi Gonzales, Amy Cerna and Bianca Mendez.

The five young women have worked up to five years with Mujeres Unidas to help other girls improve their academic performance. They also have provided leadership for Mas Que Suenos, the Quinceanera Club and Young Latina Education Fiesta Workshop Day.

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