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Jazmin Jones and Nicholas Parker - SuAnne Big Crow Memorial Award

Two California Teenagers to be Presented with NEA Human and Civil Rights Award


WASHINGTON - July 02, 2008 -

Jazmin Jones and Nicholas Parker, California filmmakers, will receive the National Education Association's SuAnne Big Crow Memorial Award as part of the Association's 42nd annual Human and Civil Rights Awards Dinner on July 2, 2008, in Washington, D.C.

NEA's SuAnne Big Crow Memorial Award is presented to one or more K-12 students under the age of 20 whose achievements in school have helped enhance students' sense of worth and dignity.

In the fall of 2006, Jones and Parker co-directed The Apollos, a six-minute documentary that pays tribute to the Oakland Technical High School students who fought for a state holiday in California to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The class of '81 worked tirelessly and fearlessly over two years to convince the California legislature to pass a bill establishing a holiday. The class fought heavy opposition and smear tactics, but they prevailed in the end. California observed the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday two years before the U.S. Congress passed the law that made it a national holiday.

"Jazmin Jones and Nicholas Parker have wisdom beyond their years," says NEA President Reg Weaver. "They are talented filmmakers committed to treating social issues seriously in order to influence their generation. We are so pleased to honor them with an NEA Human and Civil Rights Award."

Jones has produced several short films and documentaries. In addition, she filmed and edited a promotional DVD for a rock group, has been a teaching assistant in an afterschool video production program, and served as a panelist leading discussions about the role of young adults in creating media.  She recently completed her senior year at John F. Kennedy High School in Fremont, Calif. 

Parker believes in the power of film to educate and motivate young people. He made his first film at age 12. He has made two videos with YouthLink and has most recently worked on a project about his neighborhood as part of an international media exchange with the Reuters Digital Vision Fellowship Program at Stanford University. He recently finished his freshman year at Santa Monica Community College.

SuAnne Big Crow (1974-1992) was an American Indian student from Pine Ridge, S.D. An outstanding athlete, student leader and role model, she spent her school years working to give her peers on the reservation a greater sense of self-worth and dignity. She died in a car accident at the age of 17. 

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing 3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

Contact: Samantha Kappalman  (202) 822-7823