2004 Waxler Memorial Prize For Social Justice

DARTMOUTH, MASSACHUSETTS  The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth announced today that Ms. Brenna Kraus has been selected to receive the 2004 Jonathan Blake Waxler Memorial Prize for Social Justice. The award was established in 1996 by the University to keep alive Jonathan Waxler's own idealism and vision. Ms. Kraus will receive the $500 award that recognizes her efforts to personify a similar principled commitment to political activism.

DARTMOUTH, MASSACHUSETTS – The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth announced today that Ms. Brenna Kraus has been selected to receive the 2004 Jonathan Blake Waxler Memorial Prize for Social Justice. The award was established in 1996 by the University to keep alive Jonathan Waxler's own idealism and vision. Ms. Kraus will receive the $500 award that recognizes her efforts to personify a similar principled commitment to political activism. 

“Jonathan wrote articles campaigning for educational and social issues, helped organize community groups, and worked with labor unions,” according to UMass Dartmouth professor Dr. Robert Waxler, Jonathan’s father. “He taught a course at UMass Amherst on labor history, and in general sought tirelessly to make the world a better place,” he added. 

As Jonathan himself once wrote, "It is this commitment to workers’ rights and the creation of a truly democratic society that has drawn me into the labor movement." His parents, Robert and Linda Waxler, have movingly recounted Jonathan’s hard-fought battle with heroin addiction in their recently published book, Losing Jonathan. 

A graduating English/Journalism major, Brenna Kraus has been an outspoken advocate for environmental awareness both on-campus and off. She has used her writing skills to produce a remarkable series of articles about threats to the environment in the UMD student newspaper Torch and in several local newspapers, calling attention to the adverse effects of technological advances and advocating alternatives, especially in farming and home construction. 

Kraus has also worked on environmental projects for the Boston Aquarium, participated in UMass Dartmouth Solar Decathlon team, and lobbied to introduce data about environmental hazards into courses at the University. She is currently completing her practice teaching in the Dartmouth Public Schools while maintaining a 3.8 grade point average. 

“In short, Brenna shares Jonathan's belief in the importance of political activism to bring about change in society,” said Dr. Waxler. 


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