Monday, January 04, 2010

Protecting the Powerless Award of 2009



Larry James
Though it has been a long process, Larry has fought over the last few years to ensure homeless citizens have a place to lay their head at night. He battled different community groups who have no desire to be around the “untouchables” of our society. His efforts to convince people to see the good in people, some who are mentally ill, past criminals, or just down on their luck, were oftentimes fruitless…and even resulted in him being banned from some community group’s meetings. The comments on newspaper articles and blog posts demonstrate how vile people can be toward certain groups of people. Yet, Larry continues to fight.

After many months…and even years…of fighting, his dedication is paying off. The Central Dallas 511 Akard building is now moving in people. Fifty of the 200 apartments will be dedicated to formerly homeless residents, much to the chagrin of many.

I admire Larry’s persistence. I admire his determination to ensure people who don’t seem to get a voice in our highly political city are being heard. I admire his deep love for people and the fact that he can always find what’s good in someone…and that he uses every ounce of his “power” for that individual…and that individual…and that individual. He sees each person as an individual, not as a group. I like that. Not only for the people who are homeless, poor, and underserved, but I like that he treats me as an individual, finds the good in me, and demonstrates his love and caring for me as his employee over the last 14 years.

It is through Larry’s love, dedication, and commitment, he not only advances the cause of human rights, but inspires others to do the same.
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