North Star Fund Announces 2017 North Star and Frederick Douglass Awardees

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

North Star Fund Announces 2017 North Star and Frederick Douglass Awardees

Today, North Star Fund announced the individuals and organizations it will honor with its esteemed annual awards for outstanding contributions to creating a more just and equitable New York. The 2017 North Star Award will honor Hugh Hogan, Rashad Robinson, and Maggie Williams. The 2017 Frederick Douglass Award will honor grassroots community organizations African Communities Together (ACT) and New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE). North Star Fund will present the honorees with the awards next Tuesday, April 18, 2017 at its annual 2017 Community Gala at Pier 60, Chelsea Piers.

“We salute these remarkable individuals and organizations for their fierce commitment to the justice and safety of all New Yorkers,” said Jennifer Ching, North Star Fund executive director. “The honorees of the North Star Award and Frederick Douglass Award are shifting the balance of power so that even our city’s most marginalized communities can have a seat at the table. We are grateful and inspired by their collective work and vision.”

“The trauma of discrimination is real, and for a person who has experienced that trauma to find allies, resources, and trust to stand up and fight is absolutely essential, especially in times like these,” said Hugh Hogan, former North Star Fund executive director and current executive director of the van Ameringen Foundation, speaking of the importance of the award and North Star Fund.

Rashad Robinson, executive director of Color Of Change, the nation's largest online racial justice organization, is being recognized for his leadership and influence in racial justice philanthropy: “We can’t expect society to invest in protecting Black lives if our movement is not ready to invest in Black leadership.”

“As a queer woman, politicized around race, class, and privilege, North Star Fund aligns with my personal values,” said Maggie Williams, co-founder of Advocacy Institute and member of the North Star Fund board of directors, speaking to the importance of funding social justice work. “As a donor and activist, I can bring all the pieces of myself to the table and recognize that people who experience more oppression than I do should be leading the movement.”

North Star Fund, which has granted over $49 million to 2,000 community organizations since its founding in 1979, recognizes two grantee organizations each year with the Frederick Douglass Award. This year’s award will honor ACT and NICE for their work with New York’s immigrant communities.

ACT fights for civil rights, opportunities, and better quality of life for over 200,000 African immigrants living in New York City. Said ACT founder Amaha Kassa, “Now more than ever, African immigrants in New York City should be recognized for our cultures, diversity, and power.”

NICE advances the rights of primarily Latina/o immigrant workers in Queens, New York through community organizing, grassroots advocacy, and services. “NICE will continue to fight for low-wage and immigrant workers to fill the urgent needs of their daily lives,” said Manuel Castro, NICE executive director.

The North Star Fund 2017 Community Gala will be held on Tuesday, April 18, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. at Pier Sixty, Chelsea Piers at 23rd Street and West Side Highway. Tickets or ads can be purchased at

For 38 years, North Star Fund has helped make democracy happen in New York City through a diverse network of donor activists to support grassroots community organizing for solutions to the greatest problems facing our city. By putting resources into the hands of those directly impacted by injustice and providing long-term support, North Star Fund helps causes to become social movements from the roots up. Visit and follow @northstarfund.

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