People who help the community deserves a thank you.
Nominations for community members that exhibit outreach to those in need are now being accepted by the City of Moscow Human Rights Commission for the Ismat Ara and Abdul Mannan Sheikh Community Unity Award.
Beginning in 2000, the city wanted to recognize community members that went above and beyond their civic duty, said Police Chief David Duke.
The award is in honor of two community members that first won the award — Ismat Ara Sheikh and Abdul Mannan Sheikh — who reached out especially during the holidays and provided meals, an open hand and an open door to those in need. The pair hosted a communal Thanksgiving meal that was open to anyone
in the community.
In 2003, when the Human Rights Commission was established, it was decided that the honor was going to become a biannual civic award, meaning it is given every two years, Duke said.
“They were seeking to recognize, because even though most of these community members don’t want recognition, it was just some way of saying thank you,” he said.
The award is given to a Moscow community member or group who has a history of significant effort to promote diversity, inclusion and human rights in Moscow. They also must have outstanding commitment to community service throughout Moscow.
“Someone that has a heart for caring for this community, that is active and that would be in the forefront of what we would see as outreach assistance and support,” Duke said. “They would also be an advocate for those that need some kind of assistance.”
Those who wish to nominate a person or group need to write a one page synopsis of why this person or group deserves the award, Duke said.
The nomination should be sent or delivered to Karen Potter no later than 5 p.m. Oct. 11 at the Moscow Police Department.
The nominations will then be forwarded to the Moscow Human Rights Commission. The commission will look over the nominations and narrow the selection. Once finalists are selected, the commission will send them to Mayor Nancy Chaney for the final decision.
Chaney will announce the winner during a formal ceremony at 7 p.m. Nov. 7 at the 1912 Center. Presentations will be made by the mayor and other speakers to talk about the award and to speak to the family of the Sheikh’s, Duke said. One of the sons of the Sheikh’s will be attending.
The winner will be announced and awarded a plaque. The winner will also have their name engraved on a continuation plaque in City Hall and on a commemorative stone in East City Park, he said.
“We are hoping to get many (nominations) because we do have a very diverse community that supports itself and there are many individuals out there that are giving their time and talents to make this an inclusive community,” Duke said. “(Moscow) is recognized by the state as being inclusive and that is due to the outreach of our community members and the culture they exhibit to be welcoming and to be fair.”
Emily Aizawa can be reached at email@example.com