City of Lincoln
2006 Media Releases
Mayor Coleen J. Seng will present the 2006 Gerald Henderson Human Rights Award to Florine Joseph during a ceremony at 4 p.m. Tuesday, November 21 in the Mayor’s Conference Room. Joseph is a former employee of the Lincoln Action Program (LAP). She was nominated by Lincoln Board of Education member Barbara Baier.
Joseph was a human rights advocate for almost 40 years as part of LAP before retiring this past spring. As part of her work with those in poverty, she developed the Coalition of Landlords and Tenants program. In cooperation with the Legal Aid Society, she also helped create a handbook on landlord and tenant laws and provided legal forms to help with such issues as evictions, illegal confiscation of personal property and lack of redress regarding health and safety issues.
Joseph played a critical role in bringing family planning services to Lincoln in 1968 and was active in the African Congress of Negro People during the 1970s. She was an organizer for Lincoln Education Outreach and recruited hundreds of college students to provide tutoring, mentoring and other services to young people.
“She is forever dedicated to quietly righting injustice in whatever form she sees,” Baier wrote in her nomination. “She has promoted inter-cultural understanding by engaging herself in the difficult work of dialoguing one-on-one, changing one heart and one mind at a time.”
The Lincoln Commission on Human Rights (LCHR) established an annual Human Rights Award in 2000 to recognize outstanding achievements in furthering human relations in the City. In 2003, the award was named for the late Gerald Henderson, who was the first director of LCHR and a longtime civil rights activist. Nominees are judged on their achievements in improving human rights based on activities implemented, services performed, or programs operated in the City. Previous winners are Dan Williams; Cecilia Olivarez Huerta; José Soto and the Division of Affirmative Action, Equity and Diversity of Southeast Community College; Milo Mumgaard and the Nebraska Appleseed Center for Law in the Public Interest, Inc.; and Judi M. gaiashkibos.
LCHR is the primary City agency responsible for the remediation of discrimination complaints brought by individuals. The Commission also provides community education and technical assistance to help people know and understand their rights and responsibilities under law.