Niagara Peace & Dialog Awards Ceremony – 2015


Each fall, the Niagara Foundation recognizes individuals and organizations in the Greater St. Louis area that have demonstrated strong commitment to serving their community while maintaining a global mindset.

The Peace & Dialogue Awards seek to encourage leaders in the St Louis community to continue to be forces for positive change, inspire thoughtful dialogue about contemporary issues, and to bring together the best and the brightest in the region to work towards a more peaceful future.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Vue 17 – University Tower (across from Galleria)
1034 S. Brentwood Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63117

7:30am – 9:15am
Reception, Breakfast & Awards Ceremony
Awards Presentations Fee: $35 (Individual Ticket)


Bob Fox
Board Chair - Casa de Salud, CEO/Owner NewSpace, Inc.

Bob founded NewSpace Closet Interiors in 1984, the first of its kind in the St. Louis region. Today NewSpace, Inc. is also a full-service contract furniture dealer and provides fixtures to the retail trade.

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Becky James Hatter
President and CEO, Big Brothers Big Sisters

Becky has served for the past 21 years as the President and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri (BBBSEMO). Under her leadership, the agency has grown from serving 300 children annually in 1994 to serving approximately 2,500 children today, an 800% increase.

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Spirit Of St. Louis Women’s Fund

In 2006 a handful of St. Louis women had a big idea: A women’s group that would pool members’ equal contributions and, using a one woman-one vote process, make focused, high-impact grants to nonprofits dedicated to improving life in our community.

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Frankie Freeman
Human Rights Activist

Frankie Muse Freeman served as a practicing attorney in state and federal courts for 60 years until she retired in 2009. She was staff attorney for the St. Louis Land Clearance and Housing Authorities from 1956 until 1970, first as Associate General Counsel and later as General Counsel of the St. Louis Housing Authority.

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M. Fethullah Gulen
Honorary President, Niagara Foundation

M. Fethullah Gulen was born in the small village of Korucuk, in Erzurum Province, Eastern Turkey, in November 1938. Known by his simple and austere life style, Mr. Gulen has been from his earliest years a gifted Islamic scholar and thinker, and a creative writer and poet. His father taught him Arabic, and initiated in him his profound love of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and his Companions. Later he continued his studies under the guidance of some of the most prominent Islamic scholars in Eastern Turkey. He received further training in the religious sciences.

Mr. Gulen, so distinguished himself that he was asked to begin teaching when he was only fifteen. He did so while continuing his studies in the religious sciences. Blessed with extraordinary oratory skills, even at young age, Gulen was recognized as one of the more accomplished Islamic preachers in the early 1950s, mentioned in the same breath with some of the more learned scholars, many years his senior, in Eastern Anatolia.
Gulen devoted his life trying to solve society’s ills and spiritual sufferings, and inspired the establishment of many charitable organizations to serve the welfare of the underprivileged. He published a number of well-known books, most of which remain on the best seller list in Turkey, and have also been translated into English. These include The Infinite Light, Questions, Towards the Lost Paradise, and Truth through Colors.
At a time when humanity is in a desperate need of leaders and role models, we find a true innovator and an inspirational leader as well as a deeply good man in M. Fethullah Gulen.
When he retired from formal teaching studies in 1980 he had inspired a whole generation of young students, many of whom are leaders in their communities today and of course, Niagara Foundation itself, especially they are the purpose of this evening, all based upon the work of this man.

Russ Carnahan
Christine Chadwick
Leann Chilton
Anne Marie Clarke
Anna Crosslin
Rita Days
David Greenhaw
Gerald Greiman
Debra Hollingsworth
Joseph Keaveny
Tracy King
Mike Leara
Frances Levine
Beth Louis
Kimberly Norwood
Mark Stacye
Dr. Donald Suggs
David Winton
Anne Zerr

The views and opinions expressed on The Falls are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Niagara Foundation, its staff, other authors, members, partners, or sponsors.