The Courage is Contagious Award is awarded annually at the Justice For Women Lecture to an outstanding woman leader who:
- Demonstrates a commitment to the mission of the Justice For Women Lecture Series to raise awareness in Maine about the injustices women and girls face globally and locally.
- Has achieved the highest level of professional excellence and is dedicated to empowering women to realize their full leadership potential.
- Has created lasting impact in our community through her work, time, talent, and/or resources.
- Reinforces and models policies, practices, attitudes, and/or actions that are intended to produce equitable outcomes for all.
- Has fostered connections with Maine’s diverse communities to empower their collective voices.
2020 Courage is Contagious Award
The 2020 Courage is Contagious Award recipient was Blanca Santiago, a licensed clinical social worker who has spent three decades developing visibility, safe spaces, and resources for the Latinx and immigrant communities in Maine.
Ms. Santiago currently serves as a Family Resource Specialist in Portland Public Schools, working to support vulnerable families and individuals in direct service capacities. She serves on the board of ILAP, Cross Cultural Communications Services, and Presente!Maine. The latter being the newest women led Latinix organization serving the social justice, basic and aspirational needs of her beloved community.
- 2019: Lucky Hollander, Hopeful Links
- 2018: Dr. Joyce Taylor Gibson, Dean, University of Southern Maine’s Lewiston-Auburn College
- 2017: Janine L. Roberts, Westbrook Chief of Police (pictured above with Zainah Anwar)
- 2016: Catherine Lee, Lee International