Jewell Ryan-White Cultural Diversity
The Jewell Ryan-White Cultural Diversity Award:
The Jewell Ryan-White Award for Cultural Diversity is given annually to those persons who show an outstanding contribution to a process that encourages, facilitates, or creates culturally diverse and/or non-mainstream community involvement in the field of community media.
Bepsie Perry (Connecticut) was awarded the 2016 Jewell Ryan-White Award for Cultural Diversity. Perry is the force behind the Hello! West Hartford, Connecting Our Community Through Language project which has used media to bring people together. The purpose of Hello! West Hartford is to bring people together and to celebrate the diverse community make-up by building unity by saying “Hello” and “Welcome” to each other in one of the more than 70+ languages spoken by West Hartford residents. The idea was to create opportunities for connections within new circles beyond community members’ daily interaction at schools, faith communities and neighborhoods. Perry partnered with West Hartford Community Television and the Be the Media project to produce videos featuring people who live in West Hartford and speak the language of the month. As student teams created the videos Perry began to envision a year in review event in which all of the videos would be shown, and a cultural celebration was born. The Annual Cultural Celebration is free and features musical presentations, ethnic food and is held in the West Hartford Town Hall each April. Perry continually promotes and advocates the principles of community media, encouraging new media experiences.