The King Center’s Coretta Scott King A.N.G.E.L. (Advancing Nonviolence through Generations of Exceptional Leadership) Award is given in honor of and in keeping with the spirit of Coretta Scott King. It recognizes a youth or young adult (ages 12-25) and a youth organization/initiative which exemplifies exceptional leadership in the areas of peace, social justice and nonviolent social change. The 2017 recipient is Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE).
Executive Director, Carleen Wray and SAVE Board Member and Alumni, Gabrielle Allen-Destroismaisons attended the Salute to Greatness Awards Gala to accept this prestigious award on January 14, 2017. Ms. Wray shared, “SAVE dedicates this award to youth who have worked hard to fulfill their dreams of a more peaceful world through Students Against Violence Everywhere. One young peacemaker’s death, Alex Orange, was not in vain because his friends decided they were part of the solution to help prevent youth violence over 27 years ago. They believe in the principles of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and of Coretta Scott King. These young people have embraced and put into motion Coretta’s belief that “It doesn’t matter how strong your opinions are. If you don’t use your power for positive change, you are, indeed, part of the problem.”
Thanks to those that believe in our youth, SAVE has been able to empower, educate, encourage and engage youth in preventing violence. These youth ARE PROVING EACH AND EVERY DAY THAT THEY have the power to continue the dreams of Dr. King.”
Gabrielle is an example of just one youth that is making those dreams become reality. Gabby shared “Almost five years ago I joined my high school’s chapter of Students Against Violence Everywhere. At the time I had no idea just how much that decision would affect my life. I had always wanted to volunteer and speak out about issues in my community but I was not sure how to start. Students Against Violence Everywhere gave me that starting point and so much more. I learned about ways to prevent youth violence and other issues that are important to my generation. I can now speak out and empower other youth on bullying, mental health, dating violence, suicide prevention, and managing conflicts peacefully. Through my continued involvement I was able to find my voice in an increasingly more interconnected and public world. I have watched my peers find their voices as well and it continues to astound me that there is so much untapped potential in our schools. Students Against Violence Everywhere taps into that potential in schools and communities every day by providing a platform for young change makers to come together and bring their ideas to fruition.”
Thank you King Center for recognizing the National Association of Student’s Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE) for Advancing Nonviolence through Generations of Exceptional Leadership.