CHAMPAIGN — One person and three local groups will be honored this week at the Champaign-Urbana International Humanitarian awards.
The annual awards ceremony will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the iHotel, 1900 S. First St., C, and preceded by a 5:45 p.m. reception. The awards ceremony began in 2003 as an effort to recognize local residents and groups "whose work has contributed significantly to international understanding, cooperation, friendship and development" and to highlight the "richness of Champaign County's international contributions."
Alejandra Coronel will be one of the honorees this year. According to a press release, Coronel works with local law enforcement agencies to help develop working relationships between the police and Latino community.
"She works tirelessly to provide immigrants with advocacy services and to see that their rights are not violated," according to a press release.
The CU Immigration Forum, Urbana sister cities program and Bump, a nonprofit design studio, will also receive awards.
Bump is "a team of engineers and industrial designers who create simple, innovative products to be distributed through a network of nonprofits, clinics, and aid organizations around the world."
It designed OpenSocket, an easy-to-fit prosthetic arm for patients with below-elbow amputations, and to date, Bump has fitted 70 patients in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama, Sierra Leone, and India.
According to the press release, the project began in 2008 when a group of University of Illinois engineering students learned that 98 percent of amputees in developing countries cannot afford or access a prosthetic device.
The CU Immigration Forum is a group of immigrants, students, clergy, service providers, labor union representatives and others who meet regularly to discuss immigration-related issues and events in Champaign County, according to the release. It works to advocate for the rights of immigrants and "organize for policies that lead to just and humane treatment to all immigrants (who) are part of our community."
The Urbana sister cities program was established by a group of volunteers in 2009. The committee worked with locals in Zomba, Malawi, to build new toilet structures at three primary schools and an ablution block at the Zomba hospital.
Mike Haile, the general manager for WDWS, WHMS and WKIO radio stations and host of "Mike in the Morning," will serve as the emcee. The event is open to the public, but tickets must be purchased for $25 in advance from the city of Champaign community relations office at 102 N. Neil St. or by calling 217-403-8830.