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Maryann Hartman Awards - 2010 Award Winners

Candace Austin
Candace Austin has committed her adult life to the issue of improving adult literacy. A Maine native, she has worked at the grassroots level to improve adult literacy throughout the state of Maine and has traveled internationally to promote improvements in adult and family literacy. She established Mano en Mano, a community center in Washington County whose mission is to create a strong and diverse community by building bridges of understanding. She is also active with the Literacy Volunteers of Bangor and is the Project Coordinator of the Reading in the Family Program in Old Town, ME. The personal tagline Candace uses at the end of every email she sends states, “To be literate is to be present and active in the struggle to reclaim one’s voice and history and to move into the future confidently.”

Shenna Bellows
Shenna Bellows is the current Executive Director of the Maine Civil Liberties Union (MCLU). In her nominator’s words, “Bellows’ leadership has turned an effective but not terribly exciting 40-year-old nonprofit organization into a vibrant, stunningly successful change agent that is respected by allies and adversaries alike.” Just a few of the important issues on which her leadership has been highly visible and successful include these: passing of the Civil Marriage Act by the Maine Legislature and Governor, protecting the free speech rights of Maine citizens, partnering with other organizations to vigilantly protect women’s freedom of choice, and building an effective issue advocacy network across Maine.

Francine Garland Stark
For 23 years, Francine Garland Stark worked tirelessly for Spruce Run as Administrative Coordinator and then later as Training Coordinator. Francine’s skills as a trainer have not only benefited the people fortunate enough to attend one of her presentations but also many advocates across the state that she has mentored in the movement to end domestic abuse. In 2009 she accepted the position of Executive Director of the Hope and Justice Project, formerly the Battered Women’s Project. The project serves Aroostook County where Francine grew up. She is described as a person who lives what she believes everyday of her life She is committed to promoting peace through justice and to building communities that foster safe, healthy, joyful relationships.

Winners of the Young Women’s Social Justice Award

Daniella Runyambo
One of the first impacts Daniella made on her community shortly after she arrived in this country was to organize a youth group at her church. Determined to help the younger refugees from the Congo, Rwanda, and Biyani remember their culture in a positive way, she taught them native dance steps and songs.

Heather Sawyer
In addition to working tirelessly on the NO on One campaign last fall, Heather also worked to promote change and social justice at her school. She created a bulletin board that highlighted the legal discrimination facing the LGBT community, and she actively participated in a successful campaign against a local Hallmark store that was selling a “joke” product called “Gay Away”.

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