NOCCJ Announces 60th Annual Weiss Awards’ Recipients

NEW ORLEANS – The city’s oldest human relations organization, The New Orleans Council for Community and Justice (NOCCJ) founded as The National Conference of Christian and Jews, announced the recipients of the 60th Annual Weiss Awards.

         Chosen for their exceptional civic and humanitarian contributions to the Greater New Orleans community, the honorees are Mary Jane W. and John D’Arcy Becker; Karen DeBlieux, U.S. Corporate Banking/ Southeast Louisiana Market president; Ellis Marsalis, Jr.; and William L. Mimeles, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of LCMC Health, New Orleans, and Bridge House-Grace House.   

         The event is scheduled to take place on Thursday, Oct. 26, at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans, 601 Loyola Ave.

         The event co-chairs are Lt. Governor William H. “Billy” Nungesser and William Karl E. Hoefer, executive vice president and Louisiana regional president.

         “Funds raised from the event will support local, innovative programs for the community, including The Anytown Institute, The Great Health Race and NOLA United,” said Harry Rosenberg, presiding co-chair of NOCCJ. 

         The Anytown Institute, which began in 1957, is a unique, weeklong, summer institute for high-school students that brings teenagers of various racial and ethnic backgrounds together, reps said. Based upon the premise that respect is gained by the opportunity to meet and interact with one another, Anytown offers young people the chance to not only discover and appreciate the similarities of people regardless of race, religion, or culture, but also to learn a great deal about themselves.

         In addition, the Great Health Race Initiative is an innovative and diverse health education program designed to provide a holistic, scholastic, and intrinsically motivated approach to wellness. The Great Health Race will educate, develop, empower and equip the youth of the Greater New Orleans area to be agents of change and leaders in their communities, capable of meeting and exceeding our region’s greatest challenges, reps said. These change agents will, in turn, strengthen their own homes, schools and communities for generations to come.

         Further, NOLA United, an initiative created by NOCCJ, is a citywide invitation to further peace, wellness, policy and culture in the City of New Orleans. Utilizing cutting-edge technologies, the organization works to bridge relationships throughout the community by bringing people together around positive action that leads to measurable outcomes, reps said. Under this banner of unity, NOCCJ hopes to affect the future of our city and continue its work in New Orleans.

         “The Annual Weiss Awards Event is the major fundraising effort of NOCCJ,” said Rosenberg. “Monies raised are essential to the continued success of their outreach programs which have a direct impact on the entire community. These programs change lives, and the financial assistance they receive through this event can make a tremendous difference.”

         The event presents an opportunity for all persons who subscribe to the goals and ideals of NOCCJ to lend their support to this worthwhile organization, reps said. 

         “While these individuals have received many awards for their outstanding work in the community, we believe that the Weiss Awards uniquely recognizes their devotion and programs that promote respect for self and others – the cornerstone to achieving changed in our community and in the world,” said Rosenberg.

         NOCCJ is a human relations organization dedicated to fighting bias, bigotry and racism in the Greater New Orleans area. NOCCJ promotes understanding and respect among all races, religions and cultures through advocacy, conflict resolution and education.

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