Juneau therapist Dixie Hood has been named citizen activist of the year by the Alaska Civil Liberties Union Foundation.
Juneau attorney Paul Grant presented the Liberty Award to Hood during a ceremony last week at the Sheraton Anchorage Hotel. The award cited Hood's tireless efforts, her "passionate advocacy for equal rights for all Alaskans, her vigorous opposition to discrimination and violence ... and her constant willingness to speak up in the face of injustice."
"It was really thrilling, a great honor" to receive this award, Hood, 67, said Tuesday. "Fighting against injustice and discrimination has been something that has been so much a part of my life that I think that there isn't any kind of recognition that would have meant more to me than this."
Hood has lived in Juneau for 26 years. In 1985 she was appointed by the city to the ad hoc violence prevention committee, which investigated discrimination and violence based on race, ethnicity and sexual orientation.
"I think that was my first involvement in that way in Juneau," she said.
About six years ago, Hood was one of the founding members of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays in Juneau.
"PFLAG is an education advocacy and support organization for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered persons," she said.
A PFLAG effort coordinated by Hood organized a scholarship for the graduating Juneau-Douglas High School senior who most supported civil rights. She also conducted training for teachers and administrators who wanted details on dealing with sexual orientation in a non-judgmental way.
Hood is a licensed marriage and family therapist who sits on the state licensing board for such therapists. She also serves on the Juneau Empire's citizens advisory board.
Other Liberty Awards given last week by the Alaska Civil Liberties Union Foundation included a Spirit Award to Siberian Yup'ik ivory carver and activist Susie Silook of Anchorage; Civil Libertarian of the Year to Dr. Colleen Murphy of Anchorage; Champion of Equal Rights to Willie Kasayulie of Akiachak; and the Humanitarian Award to the organization Alaskans Against the Death Penalty.
Ann Chandonnet can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.