Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Giving Back

Howard Barlow, Nonprofit Resource Specialist at Bremer Bank was one of those honored by the Fargo Human Relations committee at the Martin Luther King Day event Monday, Jan. 16, at the Fargo Theatre. Mayor Dennis Walaker (pictured on the left, next to Barlow) presented the city’s Human Relations Award to an advocate for the homeless, two North High students, and an organization that provides transportation to new Americans and people with disabilities.

Barlow received the individual Fargo Human Relations Award for his work with the housing and homeless issues and his work to ensure equal treatment of all people. He helped found the Fargo-Moorhead Coalition for Homeless Persons and develop the city’s 10-year plan to end homelessness. Barlow served on the first board of the Coalition and remains active in the organization. He has also been active in housing issues. Additionally, Barlow is active in several peace and justice issues and is a member of the North Dakota Human Rights Coalition.

“As a young father during the 70’s I saw and continue to remember the leaders of those struggling for equal rights for all - Martin Luther King and the Kennedys,” said Barlow. “My church upbringing and those leaders helped to shape my beliefs. I’m honored and very humbled to receive this award.”

North High School student Kayla Smith accepted the youth Human Relations Award given to herself and fellow student Abby Roche. The two joined the “Spread the Word to End the Word” campaign to end the derogatory use of the word “retarded.” The girls and their schoolmates created brochures and made presentations to elementary schools.

The organization Human Relations Award was presented to Handi-Wheels and manager Julie Burnett. Handi-Wheels have been giving rides to those with disabilities since 1975, when a group of New Horizon residents bought the first van through a fundraising drive.

Burnett was flanked by longtime volunteers and drivers Monday night.

“I am so very proud of each and every one of you,” she said.

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