The Ethical Humanist Society of Long Island is honoring three Long Islanders for their commitment to the betterment of the world—activist David Sprintzen, journalist Bob Keeler and legislator Michelle Schimel. On Thursday, May 14, the three will receive the Ethical Society’s Social Justice Leadership Award at a dinner to be held at the Nassau County Bar Association, 15th and West Streets, Mineola at 6 p.m.
The Social Justice Leadership Award was created by the Ethical Society, located in Garden City, to honor individuals who have dedicated their lives to the betterment of humankind, recognizing people who have made significant contributions in the areas of peace, justice, human rights or humanitarian causes. Their work reflects the values that Ethical Humanists cherish, including the fervent desire for peace among nations, the recognition
of the dignity and worth of each individual, and the obligation of each of us to work for societal change.
About the honorees:
David Sprintzen is both an activist and scholar. He is the founder and served as the cochair of the Long Island Progressive Coalition, an organization that for 35 years has advocated for affordable housing and health care, decent and well-paying jobs, a clean environment, respect for individual differences and a clean, safe and attractive community. Sprintzen is professor emeritus of philosophy at Long Island University. He is the author of four books, including Critique of Western Philosophy and Social Theory. Sprintzen is a longtime member of the Ethical Humanist Society of Long Island. He lives in Syosset.
Bob Keeler is a consultant to the Hagedorn Foundation, which focuses on issues such as children and families, immigration, voting rights and civic engagement. Before that he worked for Newsday for nearly 42 years, including more than 11 years on the editorial board, specializing in editorials about politics and government in Suffolk County, the environment, immigration, religion and regional transportation. The stories that won him the Pulitzer Prize was a series focusing on the life of a Catholic parish, which appeared in 1995 and was later published as a book. In 2013, Newsday’s editorials on the recovery from Hurricane Sandy—including his work—were among the finalists for an editorial-writing Pulitzer. Today Keeler resides in Stony Brook.
Michelle Schimel is now serving her fifth term in the New York State Assembly for the 16th Assembly District. A full-time legislator, she is recognized in her community for her passion on the issues that affect New York, particularly the prevention of gun violence and protecting the environment. For two decades, she served on the Board of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence (NYAGV), the largest citizens’ group in New York State dedicated to reducing gun-related violence. The Environmental Advocates of New York has recognized Schimel as a leader on the environment. She has also been outspoken in her opposition to hydrofracking. She lives in Great Neck.
For information, visit www.ehsli.org or call 516-741-7304.