Family and friends gathered at the Mayor’s office in the Metro Courthouse for the kickoff of the Gail Kerr HRCules Award ceremony on July 21.
The goal of the HRCules Award is to “highlight what people are doing ‘right’ in the Nashville community in the hope that others will follow their lead,” stated the human relations commission in recognition of Gail Kerr for whom the honor was founded. The Metro Human Relations Commission’s (MHRC) Gail Kerr HRCules Awards are given to community members who are heroes in human relations. The award was named in Kerr’s honor because she was a champion for those whose voices needed to be heard.
By offering these awards, it is believed that the honorees “will embody Gail’s passion and spirit for Nashville and all of its residents,” according to MHRC representatives.
Recipients were awarded in accordance to the months ranging from March through July.
Les Kerr was recognized for March 2014 for a lifetime of humanitarian efforts.
It is said that Gail’s impact will be forever potent and the MHRC will strive to keep her legacy alive through this award and its mission.
Michael-Spalding was recognized for April for helping to ensure all people have access to an affordable education. Dr. Spalding founded Equal Chance for Education, a nonprofit that devotes money to academically gifted students without access to state financial aid.
Rashed Fakhruddin was recognized for May for promoting multicultural awareness. He was honored for his interfaith work in Nashville as well as his efforts to educate members of the Muslim community on domestic violence.
Neal Darby was recognized for June for a lifetime dedicated to the promotion and preservation of civil rights. As a part of his preservation, he plays a prominent role in Nashville’s civil rights movement as the first executive director, then president of the Nashville NAACP. His earlier participation included marching with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Abby Rubenfeld was the representative for July for being an unwavering advocate for equality and justice.
“She has worked tirelessly to end sure theta everyone is treated with equality according to the law,” noted the MHRC. She continues to make great strides in “stamping out injustice in Tennessee.”
Each award was presented by Mayor Karl Dean, followed by the recipients making brief remarks in acceptance.
The program was brief and ‘short and sweet’ with a powerful message about the type of citizens making a difference in Nashville.