For Immediate Release                                                                                   
Contact: Kristin Tutino, (585) 258-0253

WXXI TO PRESENT SIX COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS WITH
LOVE & FORGIVENESS AWARDS

Awards Ceremony to be held May 5 at WXXI’s Studios

(Rochester, New York) April 29, 2010 – WXXI will host an awards ceremony at WXXI Studios, 280 State Street in Rochester on Wednesday, May 5 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. to honor The Center for Youth, The Community Place of Greater Rochester, The Downtown Community Forum, The Gay Alliance of Genesee Valley, Grace United Methodist Church and the New York Chapter of the National Coalition Building Institute, Inc. for their commitment to advancing the power of love, forgiveness, and compassion to transform our lives. Each organization honored will be awarded a monetary gift to help sustain its work. This special event and the awards are part of WXXI’s Campaign for Love & Forgiveness, funded by the Fetzer Institute.

WXXI’s multi-year Campaign for Love & Forgiveness explored how love and forgiveness can effect positive change in individuals and communities. Using various activities, the campaign encouraged community conversations throughout the Greater Rochester area, inviting everyone to connect on the topics of love and forgiveness. WXXI was one of six PBS stations across the country chosen to participate in the campaign.

The local organizations being honored by WXXI on May 5, 2010 will be recognized for their following efforts:

The Center for Youth used the Campaign’s conversation model to provide a series of intense staff training and create more opportunities to engage youth in conversation in a variety of settings, including their emergency shelter, workforce programs, suspension program and other in-school opportunities in an effort to get the message directly to the youth they work with.

The Community Place of Greater Rochester utilized youth-produced mini documentaries to spark four conversation forums on the topic of an unforgivable moment.

The Downtown Community Forum hosted a screening of the PBS film We Shall Remain, followed by a group discussion facilitated by the Upstate Chapter of the National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI). The film was about the Wampanoag of New England and their negotiation with a group of English colonists. The goal of the event was to talk about creating a model for living in communities where all identities are valued. NCBI was a key partner is planning and meeting facilitation, mentoring of partners and facilitation of community activities beyond the conversations.

Grace United Methodist Church hosted conversation events as part of its Women in Bloom Series. The events brought in a men’s group, a co-ed community group and a Native American group for conversations of love and forgiveness.

The Gay Alliance of Genesee Valley (GAGV) hosted and facilitated a four-part conversation on love and the mystery of love. Participating in the conversations were members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. The GAGV also hosted and facilitated a second four-part conversation on forgiveness, which looked at the role forgiveness can play in helping people in the LGBT community build resilience to discrimination and victimization. 

The Fetzer Institute honors these organizations alongside Archbishop Desmond Tutu and His Holiness the Dalai Lama, recipients of the Fetzer Prize for Love and Forgiveness, for their efforts to advance love, forgiveness, and compassion in their communities. A private operating foundation based in Kalamazoo, Michigan, the Fetzer Institute engages with people and projects around the world to help bring the power of love, forgiveness, and compassion to the center of individual and community life. Founded by broadcast pioneer John E. Fetzer, the Institute’s work rests on a deep conviction that each of us has power to transform the world by strengthening the connection between the inner life of mind and spirit with the outer life of service and action. While the Fetzer Institute is not a religious organization, it honors and learns from a variety of spiritual traditions.

To learn more about WXXI’s Campaign for Love and Forgiveness, visit wxxi.org/forgiveness/.

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