Winners Announced for 2008 Campus Progress Awards in Student Activism, Advocacy, and Journalism
Hooman Hedayati is a senior at the University of Texas in Austin and a member of the Campus Progress Student Advisory Board, but, more importantly, he is an activist rock star. Hooman has been organizing against the death penalty since he was in high school, and helped found a statewide student organization – Texas Students Against the Death Penalty. He has used new media and video in smart and innovative ways, and has organized countless events and activities to educate the public about the death penalty and put pressure on decision-makers to ban it.Hooman persuaded Campus Progress to organize alternative spring breaks on two additional issues this year, climate change and Iraq, in addition to the one against the death penalty. Chrissy Elles, the person who organized the climate change alternative spring break also received an award today for "Best Student Organizing of an Event, Climate Change Alternative Spring Break, UCSB"
Hooman helped organize Alternative Spring Break against the Death Penalty in Austin for several years in a row. This event has been a great success – students from around the country have come to Austin to learn about the issue, get trained on skills and strategies to stop capital punishment, and organize vigils, marches, and press rallies to draw attention to the issue. The spring break has been featured on MTV, The Nation, Texas Public Radio, the Daily Texan, Houston Press, and countless other publications.
Hooman has inspired us with his passion, creativity, and depth of knowledge of student organizing. I am honored to present Hooman with the Campus Progress MVP award.