The final piece of the first season of This Brave Nation, the Brave Nation Young Activist Award was designed to celebrate a next generation of progressive activism.
A collaboration between The Nation and Brave New Films, This Brave Nation comprises five episodes featuring intergenerational conversations between historic figures discussing the issues and movements that have inspired and informed their work.
Participants include Pete Seeger, Majora Carter, Dolores Huerta, Tom Hayden, Naomi Klein, Bonnie Raitt, Van Jones, Carl Pope, Ava Lowery and Anthony Romero, who all share their ideas, lessons and experiences so as to inform, enlighten and inspire a new generation to seize the moment.
The Brave Nation Award was designed in recognition of that new generation. We asked people to nominate local heroes making a difference in communities coast to coast. Five remarkable finalists were eventually chosen from among more than 350 nominees and the eventual winner–Cristina Lara of Fair Lawn, New Jersey–was selected in an online vote conducted on the Brave Nation site.
Lara started her own organization, Society of Young Leading Women, which is currently awaiting non profit status. She started and edits an underground newspaper in her high school, called Uncensored, while also writing for her local newspaper. On top of that, Cristina joined the Fair Lawn High School’s football team. She lifted weights with the rest of the all-male players, while having to endure the awful stares and criticism. While her coaches tried to undermine her abilities, Cristina made it clear that she is tough by showing up to every practice, and every game.
She’s a feminist, a football player, a writer and a straight-A student and this video shows her receiving the first Brave Nation Activist award from Robert Greenwald and Tom Hayden. The ceremony took place at the Brave New Films studio in West LA this past Sunday, July 13.
We hope to create more original conversations as well as making those episodes we’ve already produced widely available to students in the fall. If you want to help make this possible, please click here to donate $15 and in return we’ll send you TWO DVDs containing the entire first series, all five episodes, of This Brave Nation — one for you to watch and one for you to pass on to friends, family or public institutions.