I’m very honoured to present the first Danielle Carroll Social Justice Campaigner Award.
All around us we don’t see injustice. We are conditioned not to see injustice. Injustice is ‘normalized’ A mother walking the streets waiting for a hotel to agree to give her a roof over her child’s head for a night is ‘NORMAL’. Children with special needs denied an education is NORMAL. Direct provision is normal.
We wear injustice blocking glasses, we walk past injustice, we step over injustice, we dismiss addressing the needs of those suffering from injustice as ‘Wanting something for nothing’.
Very few have the courage to take off those injustice blocking glasses. The world is a much more comfortable place with them on. Social Justice Campaigners strive to see the world, this country, as it really is, with all its inequalities in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within our society. They strive to see it as it is and to change it, through activism, into something better.
Social Justice Campaigners are not in it for profit, they’re in it for JUSTICE, for Equality, simply because they care. They have a window on what this country, this world, has the potential to be.
Dara Quigley was a Social Justice Campaigner. Dara Quigley was an activist. Dara Quigley was an accomplished writer. Dara Quigley was a thinker, an organizer, and a doer. Through her campaigning and her writing, Dara ripped glasses off faces and forced people to look, to really look, at the injustice around them.
The last time I spoke with Dara, she was looking for a new venue where she could bring women from working class areas together, to provide help and support for each other and to organize campaigns against the injustices foisted upon them by a society willing blind to its own failings.
It was a privilege to have known Dara, to have had a laugh or two, to read her brilliance. It was a privilege to see her where she absolutely belonged, at the heart of thousands all seeking social justice together, many voices as one.
Dara Quigley, Social Justice Campaigner, Activist, and Writer, is an outstanding recipient for the inaugural presentation of this prestigious award. Dara Quigley was a natural diamond, forged in the crucible of activism and campaigns, tough enough to withstand extreme forces and sharp enough to cut glass. This award is a thank you to Dara for all that she gave, of herself, to us, and a poignant reminder of all that we could have had, but never will.
You’re going to be a hard act to follow Dara, keep on rocking girl.
Shine on Natural Diamond