Civic Media Center SpringBoard and 2012 Penrod Awards

Joe Courter presents Katie Walters with one of the two Jack A. Penrod "Brigadas" Award for Peace and Justice. Photo by Jessica Newman.

Every spring, the Civic Media Center holds what it calls its “SpringBoard” fundraiser. From its early beginnings, it was a house party at Board member Paula Stahmer’s until it outgrew the house and neighborhood, and a new home was found at the beautiful Matheson Museum.

This year’s SpringBoard was on March 30, and it was a rousing success, with abundant food, very popular raffle items and a solid silent auction. The CMC gave awards to six productive CMC volunteers and a surprise award to soon-to-be-stepping-down co-coordinator James Schmidt. Gaby Gross, Emily Sparr (who will be stepping into the co-coordinator position), Adrian Pijoan, Sasha Ciupalo, and Ben Barthelme aka “Zoo” were the recognized volunteers, and they were all given a flex pass to the Acrosstown Repertory Theatre’s current play “Aunts.”

The featured speaker this year was Rob Lorei, the news director at Tampa’s fine community radio station WMNF. Lorei addressed the issue of the new forces at hand in our media, and the need for citizens to be active in helping document and spread information through the Internet and social media. He also spoke about how, even though many of us are frustrated with the middle of the road migration of NPR and PBS, they still need to be supported, even while being pressured to do better.

Kimberly Hunter is presented with one of the two Jack A. Penrod "Brigadas" Award for Peace and Justice. Photo by Jessica Newman.

As of last year, the Jack Penrod Committee joined the event with its own award presentation as part of the SpringBoard, honoring a local, young activist with the John A. Penrod “Brigadas” Award for Peace and Justice. The Penrod Committee grew out of the inspiration of Gainesville Veterans for Peace, the Alachua County Labor Party and United Faculty of Florida to honor the life of John “Jack” A. Penrod. Jack worked with the Congress of Industrial Organizations and helped organize the first faculty union at UF, United Faculty of Florida. He was a member of Veterans for Peace and a vocal opponent of the Iraq War; he helped found the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, worked closely with the National Organization for Women and Gainesville Women’s Liberation, and also dedicated time to the Alachua County Labor Party.

This year’s two awardees both had CMC ties, Kimberly Hunter and Katie Walters, and each received a $1,000 check along with a plaque honoring their work for social justice.

Katie, 26, first became involved in social justice work as a student through the UF Campus National Organization for Women and Gainesville Women’s Liberation. She formerly worked as a coordinator at the CMC and currently is a committed organizer with the International Socialist Organization.

Kimberly, 25, is a dedicated organizer for national health care with the Alachua County Labor Party and a former volunteer with the CMC. As the co-founder of the Interfaith Alliance for Immigrant Justice, Hunter educates and connects local congregations with national immigrants’ rights movements, like the Coalition of Immokalee Workers.

The Civic Media Center would like to thanks the Matheson Museum for co-sponsoring and hosting the SpringBoard event March 30, and the Jack Penrod Committee organizations for helping turn out a great crowd. The people and businesses listed below all contributed food or raffle and auction items, for which the CMC is very grateful. And thanks to all who came out and supported this annual event.

*East End Eatery/Elegant Events/Sandra Carlisi
*Rosie’s Organic Farms
*Mother’s Pub
*Gyro Plus
*Wine & Cheese Gallery
*Sweet Water Coffee
*Cafe C
*Ward’s Supermarket
*Food Not Bombs
*Abby Goldsmith
*Danny Zabowski
*Sweet Dreams
*John Moran
*Arnold Mesches
**Wild Iris
*Alternative’s Global Market
*Citizen’s Co-Op
*The Midnight
*Cafe Colette
*Cognito Farms
*The Floridian
*The Bunnery
*Frank Morejohn
*Tasty Buddha
*Dragonfly Sushi & Sake Co.
*Flash Backs Cafe
*Harvest Thyme
*Tim’s Thai
*Bella Donna’s
*Wild Birds Unlimited
*Stetson Kennedy Foundation
*Earth Pets
*Woody Blue
*Sylvia Arnold
*Acrosstown Repertory Theater
*Emily Sparr
*Illegal Jam Company
*Dick Beardsley
*Karen Eberly
*Possum Hollow Farms
*Amanda Adams
*Emiliano’s Cafe
*Hector’s Frameshop
*The Tempeh Shop
*Gaby Gross
*Kimberly Hunter
*Jack Price
*Sequential Artists Workshop
*The Illegal Jam Company

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