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Help Us Honor the Tenth Annual Community Partnership Celebration Award Winners

Please join Families as Allies for our Community Partnership Celebration on Monday, January 29, from 5:00 – 8:00 p.mat Bravo Italian Restaurant. Tickets and sponsorships are still available.

During the celebration, we will honor and recognize the outstanding people and organizations that exemplify our four core values: Every Child and Family, Excellence, Partnership and Accountability. We explain each of our core values on our office walls as a daily reminder of their importance. We are delighted to share this year’s honorees with you.

Valuing Every Child and Family states: “We will not judge or blame you, and we will stand with you if you feel judged or blamed by others.” We give this award in Helen Reddy Johnson’s memory, an exceptional woman in our organization. She was a much-beloved board member who advocated with families for their children and to make things better for all children.

This year, we honor Helen’s twin sister, Ellen Reddy, interim Executive Director of the Nollie Jenkins Family Center, Inc., with the Helen Reddy Johnson “Valuing Every Child and Family” Award for her efforts to convene families and other partners to end corporal punishment in Mississippi schools.

Excellence states: “We hold ourselves to the highest standards in what we do. We expect the systems that serve our children to do the same.” The award honors the memory of Rusty Turner, an employment attorney who exemplified Families as Allies’ vision that all children can reach their potential and be successful. He donated many hours of legal work to Families as Allies to help our policies and procedures support the organization in the best way possible. He was very devoted to high standards and excellence.

This year, the Rusty Turner Excellence Award goes to UnitedHealthcare Foundation and Taproot Consulting for providing Families as Allies pro bono consultation to efficiently track our budgets to ensure they are accurate in real time and consistently reflect our mission.

Partnership states: “We will work in partnership with you and whoever you tell us is important to your family.” We named this award in memory of Jo Turlington. Jo was a licensed clinical social worker and a dearly loved friend and colleague to many. This award honors the kind and selfless life she lived and the many partnerships she forged throughout her life, especially with families.

This year, we honor Dr. Jacqueline Loggins, Director of Field Education/Clinical Assistant Professor School of Social Work at Jackson State University, with the Jo Turlington Partnership Award for working diligently to place interns at Families as Allies and support them in learning family-driven practice.

Accountability states: “We will be open and honest with you about our organization and help you get information from the systems that serve your child.” This award honors the memory of our much-beloved founder, Tessie Schweitzer. Tessie was fearless in holding systems accountable and a tireless advocate at the Capitol.

We honor The Mississippi Psychiatric Association with the Tessie Schweitzer Accountability Award for its ongoing legislative advocacy, particularly its work on House Bill 1222 in the 2023 legislative session. We especially appreciate MPA keeping Families as Allies and other grassroots groups up to date from when a group of legislators introduced HB 1222 until they voted it into law and the governor signed it. (We suspect Tessie may have been championing HB 1222—and possibly shaking her finger at people—from above.)

Again, the date is Monday, January 29, for our 10th Annual Community Partnership Celebration at 5:00 p.m. Please help us celebrate these remarkable award recipients and all we can accomplish as we work together for our children.

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