The five finalists for the Sixth Annual Maria Leavey Tribute Award have been announced, honoring the person in the progressive movement whose behind-the-scenes work and selfless service has made an invaluable contribution to social justice. The public is invited to vote for their favorite, and the winner will be announced at the June 18-20 Take Back the American Dream conference — click here to register. We’ll be introducing you to the five finalists on the blog over the course of the next several days, but you can read about them all, and vote, by clicking here. Balloting closes on May 15, 2012 at 11:59 PM ET!
Lee has worked in health care for over 30 years and now lives in Atlanta. She has been organizing since she was in high school. She has two broken legs from a 2009 accident, but that has not stopped her from doing the things she feels are important to bring positive change to her community.
In 2007 and 2008 she was a neighborhood captain for the Obama campaign and drove low-income people of color to the polls. She has organized marches, rallies and many events for reproductive rights. She fought tirelessly during the health care debate for universal coverage.
Lee has stood up to defend women’s health clinics from the harassment from the religious right. She has hosted house parties for “Rebuild the Dream”; more recently she hosted Emory University students to explain what crashed our economy and why their student loan debt is integral to what happened. Last year she organized a “Move your Money” campaign and 73 families switched from large banks to local credit unions.
Lee is currently organizing a March for Women’s Health at the Capitol. Recently Lee started a very creative campaign in which Georgia women sent an aspirin to Rick Santorum after his benefactor commented that birth control was an aspirin between the knees.
She is the Energizer bunny of organizers. Whether she is in a wheelchair following surgery, on a walker, on crutches, or walking with a cane, Lee shows up and gets the job done.