Our 2024 Upstander Awards Finalists

Share on Social Media

The Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center is proud to announce the finalists of the 2024 Upstander Awards, which recognize individuals in the region who use their character strengths to stand up for themselves and others — pursuing justice, both great and small, and inspiring others to do the same.

Out of hundreds of nominees, the finalists were selected for their outstanding contributions to the community. From among these finalists, the winners will be selected and announced at this year’s Upstander Awards Gala on June 2, at 6 p.m., in historic Union Terminal’s breath-taking rotunda — home of the Center’s award-winning museum, and the very place where local survivors of Nazi Germany arrived by train from war-torn Europe to rebuild their lives. The event will be headlined by  Debra Messing – an Emmy Award-winning actress, producer, and human rights advocate. Read more about her work and advocacy here. Tickets are going fast and can be purchased by visiting www.cincyupstander.org.

Meet our 2024 Upstander Awards Finalists!

Tori Morrison

Tori Morrison created the Ben Morrison Fund after her wonderful son Ben lost his battle with mental health. To erase the stigma of pain and struggles with mental health, Tori created the nonprofit to fight for and support others who are going through similar battles.  

Rosemary Oglesby-Henry

Rosemary Oglesby-Henry started her adult life as a teen parent but used her struggle, strong faith in God, social support, and self-motivation to heal and help others to do the same.  She founded Rosemary’s Babies Co., which provides teen parents and family support online and in person throughout Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana.  

Toilynn Turner

Toilynn Turner is a steadfast advocate for African American artists in the region. As the founder of the Robert ONeal Multicultural Center (ROMAC), Toilynn is creating a ” home for Cincinnati Creatives of Color” while simultaneously renovating the Historic Regal Theater located in the West End.   

Connor Cannady

Connor Cannady has become a leader at Indian Hill High School by focusing on inclusion and belonging for all. In addition to being involved with the Special Olympics Ohio organization, Connor leads the charge in making sure that all students feel welcome and able to participate in athletic competitions, dances, and pep rallies.  

Lamont Ragan

Lamont Ragan is a true foot soldier in supporting the most vulnerable children in the West End. Teaching them core values, he brings them to tutoring at the library, and even works with LaSoupe to ensure every child has access to healthy foods on the weekends.  

Galadriel Stamm

Galadriel Stamm is an LGBTQ advocate who is willing to take public action on a question of justice and equality – standing up for issues ranging from human rights to immigration. She is the youngest board member of Community Response Coalition of Kentucky Inc., which provides “relief to individuals and families impacted by immigration issues through assistance and referral to other agencies to address the need for housing, food, transportation, information and other goods and services.”  

Beth Silvers and Sarah Stewart

Beth Silvers and Sarah Stewart Holland are two Kentucky women who co-host the Pantsuit Politics podcast. Paducah. Together, they have regularly brought thoughtful perspective, analysis, and nuanced conversation to every imaginable topic in the news. Beth and Sarah value leaning in with curiosity, engaging people in a way that prioritizes everyone’s humanity.  

Carter Pittman

Carter Pittman is not only a military veteran who serves as Assistant Fire Chief for Woodlawn Fire Department, but he also champions a variety of community causes including cancer advocacy and mental health awareness for first responders.  

Tyra Patterson

On December 25, 2017, Tyra Patterson walked out of prison after serving 23 years for crimes she did not commit. Now, through her work at the Ohio Justice & Policy Center and as a motivational speaker, mentor, and paralegal, Tyra advocates for all individuals, especially marginalized black women affected by mass incarceration.  

Emily and Mark Kendall

Emily and Mark Kendall, recognizing the lack of housing options for over 70,000 adults with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities — a number comparable to a sold-out PayCor Stadium — co-founded Empower Me Living. This real estate company aims to develop a network of diverse housing solutions that offer engagement, social opportunities, and transportation for this underserved population. 

Martha Stephens

Martha Stephens was the primary whistleblower who exposed the inhumane and unethical full-body radiation experiments funded by the Department of Defense at Cincinnati General Hospital from 1960-1972, which subjected over 90 low-income Cincinnatians to harmful treatments leading to severe health consequences or death. Her actions drew significant media attention, including coverage by the Washington Post, which ultimately led to the cessation of these experiments. 

Cedric Cox

Cedric Cox, a nationally recognized visual artist and dedicated Upstander, integrates his commitment to community upliftment through interactive projects and educational engagements that spread joy and bolster self-worth among children and adults alike. His extensive involvement in diverse neighborhoods and with various organizations, including Children’s Hospital and the Cincinnati Zoo, highlights his deep care for marginalized communities, employing art to empower and involve local residents in meaningful public works. 

Barth Johnson and Robert Singleton

Barth Johnson and Robert Singleton, known as Boo, are dedicated environmental champions in Pendleton County, Kentucky, where they devote their days to removing trash and recyclables from local roads and the Licking River, organizing group clean-ups that have significantly reduced river pollution. Beyond their clean-up efforts, they maintain several public trails, repair local infrastructure, and are active in community service through the Butler Lions Club, with Johnson continuing this impactful work despite his battle with cancer. 

Evangeline DeVol

Evangeline DeVol founded NEST CLC, a non-profit that addresses educational and nutritional needs among low-income students through mobile classrooms in RVs, providing tutoring, meals, and activities. Beyond her work with NEST CLC, she serves on the board of the Varner Foundation for Kids, supports foster and kinship care families with necessary resources, and is actively involved in initiatives to tackle sex trafficking.  

Kimberly Huckleby

Kimberly Huckleby moved to Cincinnati in 1999 for a fresh start at the University of Cincinnati, overcoming low self-esteem and the challenges of being a teen parent. By 2007, she discovered her calling in Mount Healthy — founding Ladies of Leadership, a nonprofit that has since empowered over 4,500 young women through comprehensive mentoring programs in personal, professional, and educational development. 

Terrisenia Denham

Terrisenia Denham exhibited extraordinary bravery by rescuing three people from a burning vehicle after it exploded outside her home, including a man and his two grandsons, aged 6 months and 6 years. Despite having seven children and eight grandchildren of her own, Terrisenia did not hesitate to enter the flaming car to save the children, staying by their side throughout the ordeal, demonstrating profound courage and selflessness. 

Gabriel Fletcher

Gabriel Fletcher made significant contributions as an Equal Justice Works “Crime Victims Justice Corps” Fellow at the Ohio Justice & Policy Center, where he aided survivors of sex trafficking in expunging criminal records linked to their victimization. Following his fellowship, Gabriel continued his advocacy as a staff attorney in the Second Chance Project at OJPC, focusing on helping individuals with criminal records overcome legal obstacles.  

Mary Beth Knight

Mary Beth Knight has dedicated her life to combating food deserts in underserved areas of Cincinnati, including the West End and Price Hill, by ensuring access to fresh, healthy food. She has established a non-profit called MyWhy, initiated school garden programs, organized numerous Farmers Markets, and is working to open a permanent store to further aid communities.  

Emelia Luce

Emelia Luce, originally from a Ukrainian orphanage marked by familial loss, overcame her challenging past to graduate high school with honors and earn a scholarship to Xavier University. Now, she leads at-risk teens at BLOC Sport Performance, demonstrating resiliency and an outstanding commitment to giving back and supporting others in difficult circumstances. 

Karen Gibbs

After her husband Jack’s sudden death in 2013, Karen Gibbs decided to honor his memory and his love for children by using funds from his estate to establish Jack’s Closet, a resource providing free clothing, diapers, and accessories to kinship and foster parents.  

Elise Carter and Trinity Walsh

Amidst the social upheavals of 2020, Elise Carter, the sole Black educator in her district, and her colleague Trinity Walsh started a groundbreaking initiative to address societal issues through education. Despite facing community backlash and legislative challenges, they founded Northern Kentucky Inclusive Students in Education (NISE), a nonprofit that conducts inclusive and critical thinking education for students and adults across Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, promoting understanding and empathy.  

David Morse

David Morse, a professional dancer, educator, choreographer, and pianist, has been nominated for his creation of “Our Story,” a one-act ballet themed around the Holocaust. This piece, which premiered with the Cincinnati Ballet, serves as a living memorial to the victims of Nazi brutality, combining artistic expression with historical depth to evoke empathy and reflection on human cruelty and resilience. 

Steven Anderson

Steven Anderson is a dedicated advocate for the Holocaust & Humanity Center, actively engaging with the public to distribute educational materials and encourage others to stand against injustices like those of the Holocaust. Steven passionately educates others to ensure such atrocities are never repeated, exemplifying a commitment to making a positive impact. 

Kevin Schweiger

Finally, Kevin Schweiger, a former local minister, founded Luke 5 Adventures, a nonprofit that opens the outdoors to the disabled community, organizing over 1,000 hikes, camps, and expeditions to places like the Grand Canyon and Israel through a nationwide network of chapters. His dedication and compassion have fostered a culture of engagement, ensuring each adventure offers a unique and enriching experience for both participants and volunteers. 

Generously supported by the Cohen Family, the month of events at Union Terminal includes:

  • June 2, 2024, at 6 p.m.: Upstander Awards Gala
  • June 18, 2024, at 6 p.m.: Museum Mindfulness Yoga: Tapping into the Science of Well-Being
  • June 30, 2024, 8:30 a.m.: Upstander 5K Run & Walk
  • June 30, 2024: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Upstander Family Museum Day at Union Terminal

The Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center was created to carry on the stories and lessons of one of the darkest chapters in human history. Rooted in this educational mission is a vision to create an entire community of upstanders — high-minded, everyday heroes who act because they refuse to be bystanders.

The Cohen Family Cincinnati Upstander Month is presented by Duke Energy, the Mayerson Family Foundation, and Procter & Gamble. For more information and to purchase tickets to events, visit www.cincyupstander.org.

# # #


The Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center exists to ensure the lessons of the Holocaust inspire action today. Located at Cincinnati’s historic Union Terminal, HHC impacts more than 2.5 million people every year through digital and in-person events, museum tours, educational experiences, social media, and virtual content. From Australia to India, individuals from more than 25 countries and 30 states engage with our mission. For more information, visit www.holocaustandhumanity.org.