Mary Dwelley Voice for Life Award
2016: Nora Sample & Family
2015: Toi Clawson
2014: Kenneth Maher
Ken is a man who truly sees every human being as having infinite value. He is unwaveringly consistent in his work to protect all life and is a true consensus builder and peacemaker.
Ken is a founding member of the Seamless Garment Network (now the Consistent Life Ethic), was instrumental in founding Common Ground of Western New York, and has been with Feminists for Nonviolent Choices since our beginning in 1990. He is always there with thoughtful, solid advice, with a helping hand, a comforting presence, and as one of our biggest cheerleaders.
It was an honor to even briefly acknowledge his many years and many energies of diligence to human dignity. We cannot thank him enough.
2013 : Michele Sterlace-Accorsi
Feminists Choosing Life (former name) was proud to present the 2013 Mary Dwelley Voice for Life Award to Michele Sterlace-Accorsi for her immense contribution to the defeat of the abortion component of the Women's Equality Act, for her ongoing commitment as FCL's Buffalo liaison, and for years of dedication to women and their children.
As spokesperson for Feminists Choosing Life Action, Michele was instrumental in leading the charge against the passage of the abortion component of Governor Cuomo's Women's Equality Act. Through editorials, interviews with NY newspaper reporters, radio appearances, and personal visits to NY legislators, Michele was able to articulate how the abortion component was detrimental to women's health and how it would increase the already outrageously high abortion rates in our state.
Prior to her position as FCLA spokesperson, Michele served the Children's Legal Center of Buffalo as trial attorney and advocate for minors in Erie County Integrated Domestic Violence Court, the NYS Supreme Court and Erie County Family Court. Michele graduated cum laude from University of Buffalo School of Law, served as the President of the Western New York Association of Women Attorneys, and is the mother of 5 grown children.
2012 : Kathleen Scanlon
Feminists Choosing Life (former name) was supremely fortunate to have Kathleen Scanlon as our representing attorney in our lawsuit against the Empire State Stem Cell Board. She worked tirelessly and devoted many hours into the night to research our case and write eloquent and detailed briefs and arguments.
2011 : Jean Baric-Parker
Jean Baric-Parker is a former board member, a current advisory board member, and a real friend to Feminists Choosing Life (former name). She was the driving force behind the legal action against the Empire State Stem Cell Board and has studied the ethical and medical issues surrounding egg donations extensively.
Jean is an advocate of the Unborn Victims of Violence legislation, works with youth, and organizes food and supply drives for those in need. She is also active in environmental issues.
2010 : William Baaki
Bill Baaki is employed at the Phillipps Lytle law firm in Buffalo and has complete over 450 pro-bono hours on projects for the Care Net Pregnancy Centers, Allied Defense Fund, and innumerabl other prolife causes in just the last two years. A cum laude graduate of Ave Maria School of Law, he received the St. Raymond Penyafort Award for Excellency in Writing.
Bill was instrumental in our lawsuit against the NYS Stem Cell Board in 2009, organizing a team of well-credentialed lawyers to fight for women in New York.
2009 : Kevin Yost
Kevin Yost has been an active member of Feminists Choosing Life (former name) since 2001. He has participated in many FCL activities including parking cars for our annual Clothesline Arts Festival in Rochester and attendance at FCL annual meetings and lecture events.
Kevin's commitment to women and the preborn is not only demonstrated by his work with FCL but is central to his life. An active member of the Knights of Columbus, he supports both the Women's Sports Foundation and the National Association of Women and Girls in Sports. He works to introduce the prolife, prowoman philosophy to any athletes who become mothers during their careers.
2007 : Eileen Verdino
Eileen Verdino volunteers and fundraises for several Rochester area organizations including Children Awaiting Parents, Mercy Community Services, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Catholic Family Center and St. John the Evangelist Church of Greece.Eileen is also a board member for Birthright and an advisory board member and bookkeeper for The Adult Stem Cell Initiative.
Mary Dwelley was the acting president of FFNVC in the early 2000s. A long-time educator in the public schools, she had a life involvement in advocating peaceful solutions to conflict, training and mentoring peer mediators in schools and adult training for the Center for Dispute Settlement for years.
Committed to anti-war, anti-poverty, anti-abortion and anti-racism efforts, Mary helped launch a drop-in center for women at risk of HIV/AIDs. For her various whole-life efforts, she was recognized with both the VITA and the Susan B. Anthony Awards.
Mary Dwelley passed away in 2006, leaving behind a powerful legacy.
The recipient of the Mary Dwelley Award is someone who, like the namesake Mary Dwelley, works to advance the mission of prolife feminism, honors human dignity in all and seeks to advance justice and equality for every person, particularly those who may be marginalized or threatened by society.