.- Jamila Spencer, a Denver resident and champion of human rights for immigrants, received the 2006 Cardinal Bernardin New Leadership Award yesterday. The national award honors young Catholics for leadership in fighting poverty and injustice.
Spencer, 26, coordinated the Colorado bishops’ local initiative on immigration reform, which was largely modeled after the national initiative Justice for Immigrants: The Catholic Campaign for Immigration Reform.
“Jamila has been able to influence both the language and dynamic of this important issue…she has guided community leaders to look to the social teachings of the Catholic Church as a vital resource for understanding the many challenges facing our world today,” he added.
The Cardinal Bernardin New Leadership Award is presented each year by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. It pays tribute to Cardinal Joseph Bernardin (1928-1996), former archbishop of Chicago and a leading voice on behalf of the poor.