Tag Archives: Hero of the Year Award 2011

Number 1 Hero of the Year Award 2011: Elizabeth Warren

31 Dec

Number 1 Hero of 2011

What a pleasure to present 2011’s Number 1 Hero of the Year. One of the rare people who has won multiple Hero of the Week Awards, Elizabeth Warren has been a model of the principles of TSM. Stymied by obstructionist Republicans (who clearly feared she would actually do her job) when she was nominated by President Obama as head of the new Consumer Protection Bureau, she has breezed past this setback. As an outspoken advocate for the 99%, she consistently demonstrates her understanding of good governance and meaningful social policy.

In September, she spoke out eloquently about the social contract:

I hear all this, you know, “Well, this is class warfare, this is whatever.”—No! There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody…Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea—God bless. Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.

More recently, she demonstrated her clear understanding of the intersections of oppression, specifically as they relate to marriage equality:

 No one – no one – should be discriminated against because of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or religion…As other states grapple with whether to support marriage equality, I’m ready to move to the next step: End the two-tiered system created by the Defense of Marriage Act.

A rare public figure of principles who is determined and articulate, Elizabeth Warren sets a standard that every liberal in America should strive toward. It will be a delight to see her crush Scott Brown (a BWA winner!) in the Massachusetts Senate race next year. Who knows where she may go from there?  My sincere hope is that the United States will be fortunate enough to see Warren as POTUS.

Flashback to 2010: Our Hero of the Year was another strong woman, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.


Number 3 Hero of the Year Award 2011: Lady Gaga

30 Dec

Number 3 Hero of 2011

In light of the shenanigans that so many people get up to when they get the least bit famous, it is a delight to be able to honor a celebrity who uses her voice, money, and spotlight to make the world a better place. Stephani Germanotta, better known to the world as Lady Gaga, has been a tireless force for good in 2011, bringing her in at #3 on this year’s Hero list.

Already known as a staunch ally of the LGBT community for her opposition to Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, Lady Gaga hit the ground running in 2011 with her amazing album and single Born This Way. She stuck to her principles commercially (a rare trait indeed) and broke an exclusive distribution contract with Target when the retail giant refused to stop its funding of anti-gay politicians. A vocal supporter of anti-bullying programs, she’s been a one-woman It Gets Better campaign. Following the tragic suicide of Jamey Rodemeyer, she not only dedicated a concert to him and to all the victims of bullying, but she lobbied the White House for national anti-bullying programs. She’s also raised funds and awareness to fight AIDS.

It looks like she’ll be continuing the momentum in 2012, as her new Born This Way Foundation — dedicated to youth empowerment, bravery, and kindness — launches. Using her power for good pays off, too, as Forbes named her the most powerful celebrity of the year (beating out Oprah) and DoSomething.org put her at the top of their annual list of “Celebs Gone Good.”  Let’s hope more youth hear her message of personal value and more celebrities take her model of using fame for good to heart.

Flashback to 2010: Fittingly, last year’s #3 hero was Dan Savage and the It Gets Better campaign.

Number 5 Hero of the Year Award 2011: J.K. Rowling

28 Dec

Number 5 Hero of 2011

As 2011 comes to a close it is nice to look back at our top five heroes and celebrate each of them for helping to make the world a better place.  J.K. Rowling earns the number 5 spot for Hero of 2011.  Her Harry Potter Series helped a generation of young adults to look at the world through a lens of right and wrong and integrity.  Rowling also got her readers to open their minds and welcome into their hearts a gay Head of School, Albus Dumbledore.

Having recently re-read and watched Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, one almost wonders if Rowling was exposing the abuse of power and the horrific bigotry of the United States under the Bush W administration.  I thank Rowling for making us look at issues of social justice and for inspiring millions of us to read and to be engaged in the world we live in — to inspire us to leave the world a better place than how we found it.

Flashback to 2010: The Number 5 Hero of the Year Award for 2010 was Daphne’s Mom.

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