Veteran Advocate Launches Social Activist Website: A Tough Mind & Tender Heart
by Renee M. Shelby
ATLANTA, December 10, 2013 – Sandra Barnhill, the Founder and National President of the twenty-six year old Foreverfamily, Inc., is thrilled to announce the launch of toughmindtenderheart.com, a website providing a platform where social activists and those who support justice and social change can share their work, gain strength, and garner insight for their work. The website goes live December 15th.
Barnhill, who has interviewed over 30 activists for an upcoming book on social justice leadership models, asserts that we should expand the notion of social justice leadership to include more people of color, young people, and those directly affected by the social problems they seek to address, in order to develop stronger social movements.
Every five weeks, the website will profile one of the activists she has interviewed for the book. Barnhill says, “We need to know about these frontline justice workers who often go unrecognized. Their strategies and approaches to dealing with complex issues can be beneficial to others who are working on the same, similar or even different issues. “
Once the activists Barnhill interviewed have been profiled, the site will also feature other frontline activists. Visitors to the site are welcome to nominate activists in their communities.
Barnhill, an attorney, has been recognized nationally for her pioneering work around children of the incarcerated. In 2011, she was selected as the inaugural fellow for Kalamazoo College’s Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership, whose mission is to support the pursuit of human rights and social justice by developing emerging leaders and sustaining existing leaders in the field of human rights and social justice. As a visiting activist scholar, Barnhill began her research for the book and team taught a co-curricular class on social justice fundamentals. She was a 2004 recipient of the Ford Foundation’s Leadership for a Changing World Award which recognized leaders tackling tough issues and getting results. In 1997, Barnhill participated in the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Children’s and Family Fellowship which strives to increase the pool of leaders with vision and ability to frame and sustain reforms and community capacity-building initiatives that benefit large numbers of children and families.
For over two decades she been working on the frontlines focusing her efforts on some of the most marginalized children in our society—those with an incarcerated parent or parents—and supporting them as they, their parents, caregivers and extended families work to remain a family.
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