May 22, 2013NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.The American Conference on Diversity Central Jersey Chapter is proud to announce the 2013 Humanitarian Award recipients. Our annual awards recognize outstanding individuals and organizations that are committed to improving inter-group relations and understanding, and improving the quality of life for citizens regardless of race, color, creed, gender, ethnicity, cultural differences, or national origin.
The 2013 Central Jersey Humanitarian Award honorees are…
Humanitarian Award ~ Robin Vitale, Senior Director of Government Relations at the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association
Robin Vitale’s tenure with the American Heart Association /American Stroke Association has yielded many notable public health measures being implemented as law. They include New Jersey’s Smoke Free Air Act, New York’s highest cigarette excise tax in the nation, and well-funded Tobacco Control Programs in New York and Vermont. In addition, Vitale successfully advocated for the requirement that all New Jersey physicians be trained in cultural competency as a condition of their licensure, addressed food deserts by lobbying for New York City’s Green Carts policy and F.R.E.S.H. (Food Retail Expansion Supporting Health) initiative, and is currently focused on the disparities that exist within New York City schools and their physical education programs.
Corporate Citizen Award ~ Woodbridge Center
This 1.9 million-square-foot shopping center offers a broad selection of merchandise that’s appealing to the region’s diverse population.  Woodbridge Center is a generous community member and donates annually to support the food pantries in Woodbridge Township. In addition, the local chapter of the Jewish women’s organization Hadassah has been raising funds at Woodbridge Center for more than 20 years by providing Holiday Gift Wrap for various occasions. Woodbridge Center is also a longtime supporter of the township’s Tooling Around the Town program, which organizes teams of community volunteers to fix up the residences of senior citizens and people with disabilities who are unable to afford home repairs.
Community Service Award ~ Rotary District 7510
District Governor Dwight Leeper will be accepting the award for Rotary District 7510. The organization provides service to Central New Jersey communities and to communities in need in other parts of the world. The District works with youth to promote their involvement in service to others and promotes ethics in members’ vocations. The District’s 43 club members grant literacy scholarships and distribute dictionaries to 4th grade students in New Jersey. These Basic Literacy & Education scholarships total more than $200,000 annually and are awarded based on need and scholastic achievement.
Diversity Champions ~ Avril Carter and Lola Kamp
Avril Carter, Senior Personnel Clerk for Woodbridge Township municipal government, is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in the township’s hiring process and personnel programs. A former investigator assistant with the EEOC in Newark, NJ, Carter is currently responsible for equal opportunity employee selection; assists in the coordination of anti-harassment training; and oversees an internship program consisting of diverse students, including students with disabilities. Thanks to her ideas, she has made a significant difference in reaching within the community to serve minority, senior citizen, and other groups.
Lola Kamp is a dedicated community leader. Her numerous contributions to Highland Park and beyond have improved the quality of life for the underserved. A few of her accomplishments include serving as a Scout Troop Leader for Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts; fighting for civil rights and human rights of undocumented citizens seeking asylum in the United States; tutoring young children; and helping to feed and shelter the homeless. She sits on the board of the Reformed Church of Highland Park Low-Income Housing Corp., a nonprofit that provides housing for the homeless, veterans, young women who have aged out of foster care, and children with disabilities.
In addition, the following schools are to be recognized for participating in our Lead for Diversity 2012-2013 program: Franklin High School, Gill St. Bernard’s School, Piscataway High School and Spotswood High School. To celebrate our 65th anniversary of valuing diversity, educating leaders, and promoting respect throughout New Jersey, there will also be a special middle-school poster art exhibit  titled “Defining Moments in Diversity” on display at this year’s event.
When: Thursday, May 23, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Where: Renaissance Woodbridge Hotel, 515 Route One South, Iselin, NJ
Special dignitaries who are expected to attend include Senator Joe Vitale, Assemblyman Craig Coughlin, Highland Park Council President Gayle Mittler, and Highland Park Councilwoman Susan Welkovitz.
Each year, the American Conference on Diversity Chapter’s Humanitarian Award events help provide educational opportunities for more than 3,000 NJ students. A special thanks to this year’s awards reception co-chairs – Bruce S. Morgan of the New Brunswick Area Branch NAACP and Irene Conte of Investors Bank – for their tireless efforts.
About the American Conference on Diversity
The programs, services, and initiatives of the American Conference on Diversity are among the most important work focused on creating a more inclusive society. It is the unfinished business of living in a highly diverse nation: educating and empowering our next generation of leaders; enhancing our workplaces; and helping to create inclusive communities. The American Conference on Diversity, which has been serving schools, organizations, workplaces, and communities in New Jersey since 1948, builds on a historic mission and creates programs and activities relevant and vital to 21st Century life. It is a journey we can all take together. The American Conference on Diversity operates eight chapters to help us to educate and empower leaders and bring our messages of inclusion and respect to communities throughout New Jersey: Atlantic County Chapter, Bayonne Chapter, Central Jersey Chapter, Essex County Chapter, Greater Bergen Chapter, Hudson County Chapter, Jersey Shore Chapter, and Mercer County Chapter. Visit to learn more.
Gail Zoppo
Media Relations Consultant
109 Church Street New Brunswick, NJ 08901