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Maryann Hartman Awards - 2008 Award Winners

Catherine Beller-McKenna
As music director of Women in Harmony, Catherine “Kitty” Beller-McKenna is strongly committed to the belief that both music and language effect social change. A powerful musical conductor, teacher, and scholar, she is known for her innovative programming, her vast musical knowledge, and her promotion of feminist values. Under women’s leadership, the chorus builds bridges among women through singing and strives for social justice for all women. Kitty was active in the Maine Won’t Discriminate and Get Out the Vote campaigns and has partnered with community organizations, including the local chapter of the NAACP, Maine Alzheimer’s Association, Peace Action Maine, and the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network of Southern Maine.

Ilze Petersons
A strong woman who dedicates her life to working for peace, Petersons continually calls for social justice for all. For the last 15 years, Ilze has been the coordinator of the Peace and Justice Center of Eastern Maine where she works to build a peace community. Her work includes writing editorials, organizing demonstrations and vigils against the war in Iraq, and facilitating discussion among Maine citizens. Prior to this job, Ilze worked as the local coordinator of the Displaced Homemakers Project (now the Maine Centers for Women, Work and Community); there she created a safe and encouraging space for women to become empowered through education and employment opportunities. Throughout her life Ilze has shown how one individual dedicated to peace and justice for all can truly make a difference to many, in Maine and beyond.

Kirsten Walter
With a patient commitment to being part of fundamental change that enables communities to move toward health and inclusiveness, Kirsten is an integral part of her Lewiston community. Eight years ago, as a Bates College student, she created the Lots to Gardens program. A that time it consisted a a few small communal gardens located at a low-income housing project to help provide food security for residents and connect them to the land. Building on this success, Lots to Gardens has grown to include 16 gardens at 7 sites, several downtown park projects, and a variety of community programs. Kirsten is directly involved with a variety of other community-based initiatives and projects involved in sustainable agriculture and food security, including work with the Maine Nutrition Network, University of Maine Cooperative Extension, Lewiston Farmers’ Market, and the Rooted in Community Advisory Council.

Winner of the Young Women’s Social Justice Award

Codi Booher
During her years at Biddeford High School Booher demonstrated her passion for community involvement and environmental awareness through multiple endeavors. She organized and ran Green Life, a club that focuses on environmental and vegetarian issues and then advocated for an elective course with the same ideals. In addition, Booher was part of her school’s civil rights team, Amnesty International, and mock trial. A first-year student at the University of Maine, she is now majoring in Environmental Management & Policy.

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