Terry Messman is the founding editor of Street Spirit Newspaper, one of the outstanding examples of street newspapers and progressive journalism in the country. Terry has dedicated over 20 years to organizing with homeless people in various ways, from occupying and winning housing for shelter to the brilliant advocacy journalism he has practiced in Street Spirit for over a decade. In addition to providing a free speech venue for poverty rights, peace and social justice views that are censored by the mainstream, the paper provides income for scores of homeless people who act as vendors earning honorable income selling papers on the street.
Ellen Danchik is currently disabled as a result of a brain tumor and consequent surgery. She was the legal coordinator for Nuremberg Action Group in the late 1980s, and helped organize the legal defense for hundreds of protesters arrested for civil disobedience at the Concord Naval Weapons Station. For the past 14 years, Ellen has worked as a dedicated advocate for homeless people with disabilities in Contra Costa County, first as a patients rights advocate, then, for the past 8 years, as the Housing Coordinator for the County Mental Health Department, where she helped find housing and supportive services for many of the poorest and most disabled people in Contra Costa County.
When she received the Award, Virginia Blairwas in her mid eighties and a stalwart member of the Tenderloin Women Writers Workshop for many years. She has written and published poems about the Tenderloin, racism, TREC people's library, and more recently about her career as a stage and film dancer.
Melissa McNeill was seventy years old and had been attending writing workshops at TREC for several past year. She is currently writing a series of children's stories focusing on a magical raven.
June Strohlin was a twenty-one year old poet with an ethnic background that includes Caucasian, Native American, Filipino, Hawaiian and Portuguese. She plans to publish a book of poetry using strictly street slang.
Sandra Abena Songbird, is a songwriter, singer, poet, and member of the Missisquoi Abenaki tribe of Vermont. She works with the Upper Room and performs with her band, The Songbird and the Moor. Their newest CD is entitled They're Calling Us Home
The Tenderloin Older Writers Network (TOWN) began as a writing workshop and is presently collecting poetry and prose for an anthology from its members, coordinated by Kali Grosberg.
Native Alaskan writer Mary Lockwood, an Inupiaq Malamute from Unalakleet, published with Mary TallMountain in Raven Tells Stories (Greenfield Review Press). Currently working on Prowling Song.
Marsha Campbell singer, painter and poet. Her publications include The Real Fuseli, Reply of Our Lady Teresa and About My Impotence or Sainthood. She has an MA in creative writing from San Francisco State University.
Poet Jerry Miley, homeless for many years, published two collections of his work, Standing in Line and Night Is Colder than Autumn (Manic D Press) and ran TREC's People's Library 1991-96.