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Award Nomination Form
The Alternatives Conference offers life-changing opportunities to those in the mental health peer-recovery movement. It helps peers make valuable connections, develop leadership skills, provide and receive peer support, and share expertise and resources. We honor those who have paved the way, provided leadership in promoting recovery, and kept the Alternatives Conference alive for more than three decades. We welcome emerging leaders and those who are new to the peer movement to this conference. To nominate a peer in any of these categories, please send their bio and a description of how you think they have made a difference.

Below are descriptions of each award. Please submit your nominations by May 3, 2019.

Cookie Gant and Bill Compton LGBTQIA+ Leadership Award
The Cookie Gant and Bill Compton LGBTQIA+ Leadership Award is rooted in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender participants caucusing at Alternatives conferences since 1985. It was first given at Alternatives 2007 in St. Louis, in memory of Bill Compton of California and Cookie Gant of Michigan, who led by example when it wasn’t safe to be “out.” The award recognizes leadership in a journey to make it safe to be out, proud, and diverse. It recognizes a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer peer who has contributed to LGBTQIA+ inclusion within the mental health consumer and survivor community.
Youth and Young Adult Peer Leadership Award
With this award, Alternatives honors an emerging leader: a youth or young adult who has excelled in providing leadership to engage their peers, and who is working on changing the system to be person-centered and focused on recovery, health, and wellness..
Esperanza Isaac Hope Award
Esperanza Isaac-Perez was a nationally and internationally recognized Latina leader. She is credited with starting Casa La Esperanza, the first clubhouse for Latinx peers in New York City. In the spirit of Esperanza’s leadership and perseverance in advancing cultural diversity for people of color, this award is presented to a peer who has done exceptional work in the creation and expansion of diverse, culturally responsive communities.
Howie the Harp Arts Award
Howie the Harp (1953-1995) was a leader of the peer community who created peace with his music, expertly playing his harmonica wherever he went. Aside from his many other achievements, he was a longtime advocate for the arts in the peer community, a founder of Altered States of the Arts—a national network of artists, writers, and performers—and the emcee at Alternatives Conference talent shows. In Howie’s memory, we honor an artist who has made a contribution in any of a variety of art forms—e.g., the visual arts, performance, written word, dance, or others—that are personally transforming and/or that lead to political or social change.
Lifetime Achievement Award
The Lifetime Achievement Award is given to a peer advocate who has made outstanding contributions to the movement for social justice throughout their career.
Judi Chamberlin Joy in Advocacy Award
The Judi Chamberlin Joy in Advocacy Award is given in memory of Judi Chamberlin (1944-2010), a co-founder of the National Empowerment Center and author of the groundbreaking book On Our Own. Judi was a tireless advocate for mental health systems change and fought to make “Nothing About Us Without Us!” a reality. This award is joyfully dedicated to recognizing an individual who has made enormous achievements in bringing hope into the lives of persons with lived experience and advancing the field of disability rights advocacy.
Email of nominee:
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Phone number of nominee:
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Which award are you nominating them for?
How you think this person has made a difference and is deserving of this award
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Short bio of the nominee (related to the award)
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Nominating person's name:
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Email of nominating person:
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Phone number of nominating person:
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