NEW YORK -- On Oct. 6, the Ford Foundation announced the 2005 winners of the Leadership for a Changing World awards , are individuals and leadership teams tackling some of the nation's most entrenched social, economic and environmental challenges. A national selection committee chose the 17 awardees from a pool of nearly 1,000 nominations
"These leaders are a welcome reminder that people can make a difference," said Susan V. Berresford, president of the Ford Foundation. "They have brought not only concrete gains to their communities but a determination to stand for justice that builds hope and inspires others. It's never been more important to listen to them."
With a deep belief in the Hopi concept of 'Itam naap yani' (doing the work ourselves), Barbara Poley and Loris Ann Taylor merge Hopi ways with community activism to create non-traditional approaches to community needs. Their commitment to Hopi cultural values and their untiring work, has helped the Hopi Foundation they created become a successful vehicle for the Hopi to determine their own destiny.
The foundation's endowed assets approach $1 million and it is complemented by a separate $10 million Hopi Education Endowment Fund. Poley and Taylor's economic initiatives include Native Sun, which brings low-cost solar energy to reservation homes, and Gentle Rain Designs, where fleece clothing from recycled plastic is produced using Hopi designs. The local public-radio station they founded, KUYI, connects the community by broadcasting Hopi news and Hopi language programming.
Through the Natwani project, community people focus on problems such as combating diabetes. The Foundation also rehabilitates ritual gathering places and trains young Hopi people as stonemasons qualified to preserve ancient Hopi ruins.
Each awardee will receive $100,000 to advance their work and an additional $15,000 for educational opportunities to strengthen their individual or organizational effectiveness over the course of two years.