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Champions for Justice: Evening Filled with Emotion & Pride

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Visible emotions of joy, awe and amazement permeated throughout a room filled audience assembled together to give praise and to salute the Champions for Justice recipients recently at the Riverside Convention Center. Three of the nine recipients were the sole Holocaust survivor of their families who had been subjected to living in various concentration camps before coming to America.

Six of the other recipients demonstrated personal efforts to bring about fair play and social justice -- even to the point of denying self to make this a better world for the less fortunate faced with difficulties beyond their control, such as physical disabilities communities intolerance and earthquakes.

The Champions for Justice Awards Banquet is scheduled to coincide with the Annual Observance of National Fair Housing celebration during the month of April. The event is give recognition to the enactment of the 1968 Federal Fair Housing Act which prohibits discrimination in housing because of race, religion, color, national origin and sex. The Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 expands coverage of Title VIII to prohibit discriminatory housing practices based on disability and familial status.

Rose Mayes, Executive Director states that the mission of the Fair Housing Council “is to provide comprehensive services which affirmatively address and promote fair housing (anti-discrimination) rights and further other housing opportunities for all persons without regard to race, color, national origin.” The Fair Housing Council has provided housing services to residents of Riverside County for the past 24 years. Our community outreach services have been a staple of the Council’s commitment to serving our residents with justice and fairness to all who need our services.

Holocaust survivor, Earl Grief, was only seventeen years of age when his Polish family was gripped and destroyed by the 1943 holocaust.

His mother and baby sister were marched from the ghetto and murdered. Earl, his younger, and father miraculously hid in an oven and were overlooked.

Earl has spent his retirement years telling his story and offering his service to speak to high school students.

His opening statement is, “I was just your age when I faced a miserable death.” He fundraised to construct a Holocaust Memorial in Rancho Mirage and has helped found the “Tolerance Education Center.”

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