Ella Baker Center Honors Three Heroes and Innovators for Annual Gala

Oakland, CA- The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights will host the 2012 Ella Awards on Thursday, September 13, 2012. 6:00 - 9:00 PM, at the Scottish Rite Center (1547 Lakeside Drive, Oakland.) The event features food, music, and high-profile special guests from throughout the state of California.

The 2012 gala also features an intimate discussion with Ella Baker Center Co-founder and celebrated human rights activist Van Jones for a special private reception prior to the awards ceremony.

“This year, the 2012 Ellas honor social change leaders whose inspiring and ground-breaking achievements build community strength and promote interconnection between our movements.” said Ella Baker Center Executive Director Jakada Imani, “We also come together annually to celebrate all that we’ve done together and all that we are committed to do in the year to come.”

The famed social justice institution will honor three world renowned innovators:

  • Father Greg Boyle, Founder of Homeboy Industries, Inc.. Fr. Greg has been an advocate for at-risk and gang-involved youth in Los Angeles, and around the world, for over 25 years.
  • Rinku Sen, President and Executive Director of Applied Research Center. A leading figure in the racial justice movement, Rinku has combined journalism and activism to make social change.
  • Mujeres Unidas y Activas. Since 1989, MUA has helped hundreds of women get out of domestic violence, become strong leaders and take an active role in the movement for immigrant’s rights and social and economic justice.

The 2012 Ellas also include the presentation of the Van Jones Scholarship Award to a young community member who demonstrates an unrelenting commitment to social justice with plans to continue their education. This year’s recipient is Dion Campbell.

To purchase tickets online visit http://ellabakercenter.org/ellas.


The Ella Baker Center is named for an unsung hero of the civil rights movement who inspired and guided emerging leaders. We build on her legacy by giving people opportunities and skills to work together to strengthen our communities so that all of us can thrive.

For interviews with the awardees, Ella Baker Center staff, or gala hosts, and to RSVP as media at the event please contact: Abel Habtegeorgis abel@ellabakercenter.org, 510-285-8232.