May 25, 2018
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Four community leaders to receive social justice awards in Hermon

Sharon Barker, founder of the Women's Resource Center at the University of Maine.
By Dawn Gagnon, BDN Staff

HERMON, Maine — Four community leaders will be recognized next week for renewing the spirit of democracy during an awards ceremony at Morgan Hill Event Center expected to draw people from around the state.

Maine Initiatives, a grant-making foundation that funds social justice work statewide, is holding its annual Watering Can Awards celebration in Hermon this year to honor outstanding grass-roots leadership in the Bangor area.

The ceremony is set for 5-8:30 p.m. Thursday, June 14.

“I live in Bangor and I know that the region is rich in social justice organizations,” Sharon Barker, a Maine Initiatives board member, said in a news release.

“Maine Initiatives funds and recognizes the very important grassroots work that often carries on uncelebrated,” she said. “It’s wonderful to have the awards night here so we can honor local activists and network with people from all over our state.”

Maine Initiatives’ motto is “Water to the roots, and plenty of it!” Its Watering Can Awards are presented to people and groups watering the roots of change.

This year’s recipients are:

• Bangor resident Margaret Baillie for service to her college’s Liberal Association, the United Labor Committee, the International Ladies Garment Workers Union in Boston, a women’s shelter in Worcester, Mass., Bangor’s PICA and the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter.

• The Mabel Wadsworth Women’s Health Center in Bangor, Maine’s only nonprofit, independent feminist health center. As an organization that does not rely on government funding, the center plays a key role in state and national politics.

• Janet May of Bangor, a leader for peace and justice and an advocate for gay and lesbian rights, the rights of people with disabilities, women’s equality and economic equality for all.

• The Penobscot Indian Nation, one of the world’s oldest governments.

The awards ceremony is open to the public. The celebration begins at 5 p.m. with hors d’oeuvres and acoustic music by UpRiver Reel. The suggested donation is $24, depending on ability to pay.

The Morgan Hill Event Center is wheelchair-accessible. An interpreter for the deaf will be on hand.

For information or to make reservations, visit or call 622-6294.

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