Brian Pastori awarded Jonathan Blake Waxler Memorial Prize for Social Justice

This year's winner of the Jonathan Blake Waxler Memorial Prize for Social Justice at the University of Massachusetts is Brian Pastori of Medford, a senior sociology major, who embodies the vision of justice that Jonathan so deeply believed in.

This year's winner of the Jonathan Blake Waxler Memorial Prize for Social Justice at the University of Massachusetts is Brian Pastori of Medford, a senior sociology major, who embodies the vision of justice that Jonathan so deeply believed in. 

Jonathan was the son of Robert Waxler, an English professor at UMass Dartmouth and Linda Waxler, a math teacher at Dartmouth High School. 

The Waxler Memorial Prize was established to keep alive Jonathan's idealism, and this $500 award recognizes Brian for a similar principled commitment to social activism. 

“Our son helped organize community groups, worked with labor unions, campaigned for educational and social issues, taught a course at UMass Amherst on labor history, and in general sought tirelessly to improve the lives of people less fortunate than himself,’’ Robert Waxler said. “In these various ways, like Jonathan, Brian has demonstrated a faith in the democratic process and the virtue of working with others to achieve the goals of a democratic community.” 

As president of the UMass Dartmouth Progressive Alliance, Mr. Pastori has played a key role in the group's revival through the "Tearing Down Walls" conference, which linked UMass Dartmouth with progressive organizations in New Bedford such as United Brothers and Sisters, Youthbuild, and the Community Economic Development Center. 

On campus, Mr. Pastori organized events to protest the war in Iraq and manned tables to gain signatures in support of the part-time lecturers. He has also been an outspoken advocate for free speech issues on campus through editorials in student and local newspapers. 


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