Despite being held in the midst of a nor’easter, a crowd of 100 gathered Nov. 7 for Rhode Island Community and Justice’s celebration of 60 years of progressive social change.
During the organization’s Diamond Jubilee, the 2012 Community and Justice Award was presented to Charlotte I. Penn, an activist and community volunteer.
From 1973 to 1993, Penn served as executive director of the Rhode Island and Southeast New England chapter of the National Conference for Christians and Jews. During her more than 20- year tenure, she worked to strengthen intergroup understanding by creating interfaith coalitions, programs and conferences for adults and youth. Penn also worked within the community, helping others to take a stand against bigotry and hate.
RIJC also invited past members of the award on stage to be recognized.
In addition to the awards presentation, guests dined on a variety of cuisines ranging from Ethiopian and Indian to kosher Jewish selections, steak, tacos and more, all donated by restaurants in support of the organization’s mission.
The event was chaired by three executive directors who together served the organization more than 40 years, including Penn, Tony Maione and current director Toby Ayers.