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What does it mean for an unsung hero of the progressive movement to be recognized for his or her behind-the-scenes work with the annual Maria Leavey Tribute Award? In interviews with me and senior writer Bill Scher, the 2007 honoree, Ari Lipman of the Industrial Areas Foundation and lead get-out-the-vote organizer for the Faith Vote Columbus project, speaks of the inspiration that has kept him going. Also, last year's recipient, Jim Gilliam, then of Brave New Films,discusses how the honor helped him to better appreciate his contribution to the movement and inspired him as he launched his latest the participatory democracy effort, White House 2.
The annual award will be presented at America's Future Now! (the progressive conference formerly known as Take Back America), convening June 1-3. Who do you know that toiled quietly away from the limelight to bring about progressive change in the past year? For details on how you can nominate an unsung progressive hero to be the next Maria Leavey Award winner, go to our Maria Leavey page .
ALSO: Read Bill Scher's blog post  on the Gilliam and Lipman interviews.