Tuesday April 8, 2014
Annual event honors city’s international leaders
Five Louisville citizens representing the arts, medicine, research, non-profit and business communities — and each of whom are natives of another country — were honored today as Mosaic Award winners by Mayor Greg Fischer and Dr. Alex Gerassimides.
The winners were announced during a ceremony in the Mayor’s Gallery at Metro Hall.
Mayor Fischer and his wife are honorary co-chairs of the award, which is presented annually at a dinner that is the signature fundraising event for Jewish Family & Career Services. This year’s event will be held May 22nd at the Downtown Marriott. It is the only event in the region that recognizes immigrants and refugees who have made significant contributions in their professional fields.
“It is always inspiring to learn the stories of these talented award winners,” said Dr. Gerassimides, whose parents came to the United States from Greece. “All of these award winners make our community a richer and more interesting city, creating a mosaic of many colors and perspectives, driving our population growth and contributing to our community in many ways.”
Those being honored this year are:
Bruce Simpson of Scotland – Under his artistic leadership, the Louisville Ballet, one of America’s oldest professional dance companies, now employs dancers from around the world, is celebrated for its rich history, enjoys a stellar reputation in the global world of dance, and is looking forward to many more years of excellence in performance, outreach and education. The Louisville Ballet is at the peak of Louisville’s and the Commonwealth’s performing arts community and adds real weight to Louisville’s reputation as a city with a great quality of life.
Dr. Johanna van Wijk Bos – The Netherlands. An exceptional scholar, teacher, feminist activist and advocate of social justice in the Louisville community and around the world, she is the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary’s Dora Pierce Professor of Bible and Professor of Old Testament, a specialist in Biblical and Feminist Studies, and the former Director and now Faculty Liaison of the Seminary’s Women's Center, where she seeks equal rights for people whose orientation and identity do not conform to the hetero-normative standards constructed by society and church.
Joseph Twagilimana of Rawanda. Joseph and his family came to the United States as refugees after fleeing the genocide in their native country. He earned a PhD in applied and industrial mathematics and was the first graduate of the U of L Mathematics Department PhD program. He currently is a Data Mining Analyst with Wellpoint, Inc. As a volunteer, he has helped design programs that will effectively address the needs of the African refugee community, as well as assisting with linking refugees to services and working with staff to provide linguistically and culturally appropriate services. He received the Genevieve Boone Award from the office of Multicultural Ministry of the Archdiocese of Louisville.
Dr. Muhammad Babar of Pakistan Dr. Babar is an internist specializing in treating senior citizens. He is a past president of medical staff at Jewish Hospital and St. Mary’s Healthcare, and the current medical director of Oaklawn Nursing Home and Jefferson Place Nursing Home. He is the president of the Association of Pakistani Physicians of Kentucky and Indiana and is a board member of the Interfaith Paths to Peace, The Fund for the Arts, the Center for Interfaith Relations, and the Jewish Community Relations Council.
Marta Miranda of Cuba. Marta is the President and CEO of the Center for Women & Families and has been a dedicated activist and community organizer on social and economic justice issues for more than three decades. She represented Kentucky’s Latino immigrant population at the first Hispanic Summit in Washington, DC, because of her work on humane immigration reform in Kentucky. She was a key organizer for the Kentucky Fairness Alliance in rural Kentucky, assisting in passing Fairness Ordinances in the state. She was named Daughter of Greatness by the Muhammad Ali Center.