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Bloomington's 2015 Human Rights Award Winner Announced
Updated February 16, 2015 4:45 PM
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(BLOOMINGTON) - The Bloomington Human Rights Commission (BHRC) has announced the recipient of its 14th Annual Human Rights Award.

The BHRC chose to honor the Rev. Bill Breeden as its 2015 award winner. BHRC Chair Byron Bangert will present the award to Breeden at the Bloomington Common Council meeting on Wednesday, March 4, at 7:30 p.m. in Council Chambers of City Hall, 401 N. Morton St. The public is invited to attend.

Breeden's lifelong advocacy for peace and human rights includes organizing and participating in countless anti-war protests during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, as well as during the Vietnam era. He was a key organizer of Bloomington's Interfaith Winter Shelter and has spent many nights there, supervising operations. He preached a gospel of activism at his church, galvanizing his congregation to install solar panels on the church roof, and care for elders and those recently released from jail, among many other activities. His prison ministry includes years of visits to inmates on death row. He also helped transport aid to the people of Nicaragua, which led to frightening run-ins with Latin American police.

Breeden was nominated by Guy Loftman, who noted in his nomination that Breeden, "Retired [last year] as the wildly popular co-minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church. His commitment to human rights is legendary."

Each year, the BHRC awards an individual or group in the community who has made specific, significant contributions to improving civil rights, human relations or civility. Their contributions prove successful in the areas of housing, employment, leadership and advocacy, education and/or accessibility. The Bloomington Human Rights Commission is designed to enforce Bloomington's Human Rights Ordinance in a fair and timely manner, educate community members about their rights and responsibilities under various civil rights laws and raise awareness on all human rights issues, among other duties.

For more information, please contact Liaison to the Commission Barbara E. McKinney at 812.349.3429 or

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