NYAPRS Honors Extraordinary 2018 Award Winners

NYAPRS Note: The NYAPRS Board of Directors is very pleased to recognize and honor the truly extraordinary character and efforts of this year’s Award Winners, whose work in advancing the recovery and rights of people with mental health conditions has had a groundbreaking impact across New York and the world.

Please join us in a very special award ceremony at NYAPRS’ upcoming Annual Conference in Ellenville, New York on Thursday September 13 from 10:30-11:30 am.

Come hear our awardees share with us their own personal sense of the journey they have taken to make the extraordinary contributions they have afforded us.

We also want to encourage you to join us in honoring them and their achievements in our Conference Journal by going to https://tinyurl.com/y753uvp6.  

2018 NYAPRS AWARD WINNER

BRENDAN NUGENT LEADERSHIP AWARD: Dwayne Mayes

The Brendan Nugent Leadership Award is presented to an inspiring peer leader for their exemplary efforts to promote and advocate for the empowerment of people with psychiatric disabilities or diagnoses in New York State. 

Dwayne Mayes has exemplified dignity, compassion and excellence in his long career of service to our community, including leadership roles as director of the Howie The Harp Center at Community Access and currently as Director of the Recovery Network and Peer Training at the Mental Health Association of Westchester.

QUINCY BOYKIN MEMORIAL AWARD: Bert Coffman

The Quincy Boykin award is presented to an individual in heartfelt recognition of their inspiring contributions to the recovery, empowerment and integration for the full diversity of all New Yorkers with psychiatric disabilities or diagnoses.

Bert Coffman has been a longtime and devoted pioneer in championing the rights and recovery of LGBTQI individuals in New York and nationally, as an Executive Committee members and Past Vice-President of the Stonewall Rebellion Veterans' Association and as Zappalorti G.L.B.T. Society Founder and President in NYC.

FRANCES OLIVERO ADVOCACY AWARD: New York Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement   Victor Pate and Doug van Zandt

The Frances Olivero Advocacy Award is presented to an individual or organization that has demonstrated inspiring community leadership and advocacy around a particular issue on behalf of New Yorkers with psychiatric disabilities or diagnoses.

We honor the Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement for its steadfast and courageous efforts to end the torture of prolonged isolation in New York's prisons and jails. Among its leadership include survivor of solitary confinement Victor Pate and Doug van Zandt whose son perished in solitary confinement in a New York State prison.

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS: Moe Armstrong, Sam Cochran, Pat Deegan

The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to an individual who has a long record of exemplary contributions to the recovery, rehabilitation and/or rights of people with psychiatric disabilities or diagnoses.

  • Moe Armstrong who, as a decorated Vietnam veteran, founded and advanced the Vet to Vet model of peer support and has advocated for veterans with mental health conditions over the past 35 years.
  • Major Sam Cochran (ret.) introduced the first Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) in Memphis in 1988 and has helped communities across the nation to advance an approach that has saved countless lives and helped to avoid an incalculable number of arrests and entries into criminal justice systems.
  • Since the 1990’s, Pat Deegan’s words and works have helped lead us forward…from the ‘conspiracy of hope’….to ‘there’s a person in here’….to the ‘dignity of risk’….to the application of ‘personal medicine’ and to finding ‘common ground’ between person and practitioner and, in doing so, have offered us all a way out of ‘handicaptivity’ to wholeness and humanity.

MARTY SMITH MEMORIAL AWARD: Mental Health Empowerment Project, Amy Colesante

The Marty Smith Memorial Award is presented to a uniquely inspired and dedicated provider who has demonstrated exemplary contributions to the advancement of best practices in service to New Yorkers with psychiatric disabilities or diagnoses.

Amy Colesante has been a steadfast leader for ‘true’ peer services in New York and nationally who has a long history of working as a systems change agent and whose passion has been “to introduce people to community organizing strategies that help them to find their voice, connect to their personal power and help them to move into their rightful place as equal citizens.’ Under her leadership, the Mental Health Empowerment has brought hope and healing to thousands of New Yorkers.

PUBLIC POLICY LEADERSHIP AWARD: Clarence Sundram

The Public Policy Leadership Award is presented to a legislator who has demonstrated outstanding public leadership on behalf of New Yorkers with psychiatric disabilities or diagnoses.

For over 4 decades, Clarence Sundram has served as an internationally recognized expert and powerful advocate for the advancement of the rights and quality services for people with mental health conditions in New York and across the world, including as founder of New York’s Commission on Quality of Care in 1978.

MURIEL SHEPERD PARTNERS WITH FAMILIES AWARD: Glenn Liebman

The Partners with Families Award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated inspiring leadership in the advancement of the alliance of families and consumers in promoting the recovery, rehabilitation and rights of people with psychiatric disabilities or diagnoses.

Glenn Liebman has a long history of tireless heart-centered devotion to advancing policies and program that promote recovery and rights here in New York via leadership roles with the National Alliance on Mental Illness, several New York State agencies and as CEO of the Mental Health Association of NYS. His devotion to our community is surpassed only by his commitment and love for his own family.

FAITH & FELLOWSHIP AWARD: Brenda Fields

The Jason Brody Award is presented to an individual who has been an extraordinary source of kindness, caring and devotion to people within their mental health community. 

For over a decade, Brendan Field’s great service and smile brought light, kindness and devotion to our NYAPRS community, extending from her work as dedicated community organizer in New York City to her role as a long time mainstay at our NYAPRS Annual Conference.

PUBLIC EDUCATION/MEDIA AWARD: Cindy Rodriguez, WNYC

The Public Education/Media Award is presented to an individual inside or outside of the media who has demonstrated extraordinary public education efforts that advance the needs of and/or that highlight the accomplishments of New Yorkers with psychiatric disabilities or diagnoses.

As an award winning Urban Policy reporter for New York Public Radio, Cindy Rodriguez has led the way in shining a public light on issues ranging from homelessness to neighborhood violence to regular coverage of issues and events of central importance to our mental health community