Edina Human Rights Award opens application for Edina citizens

Art Boettge, staff writer

While Tom Oye may not be a household name, here in Edina he is the namesake of a prestigious award given to those who have advanced human relations and human rights in our community. Oye was an original member of the City of Edina Human Rights and Relations Commission who was honored by the Immortal Chaplains Foundation with the Prize for Humanity in 2003. The Immortal Chaplains Foundation was formed to honor four chaplains who gave up their lives to save others during World War II. Oye was a Japanese American who served in the United States Infantry in WWII. According to the Densho Encyclopedia, which collects stories of the Japanese American Internment during WWII, many Japanese Americans served in the US armed forces despite widespread prejudice after Pearl Harbor.

To be considered for the Tom Oye award, people or groups of people must live, study, or work in Edina. According to the City of Edina website, “Nominees are evaluated based on their efforts to foster respect and dignity for others, model courage and/or compassion in the advancement of human rights, and demonstrate leadership by example for improving human relations and/or advancing human rights.”

In 2017, Edina High School alumna, Saumya Mangalick, was the recipient of the Tom Oye award for creating the Edina branch of the United Nations campaign, Girl Up. Girl Up is a program designed to further equal rights all around the world.

Applications for this award must be submitted to the city of Edina by October 17, 2018, the recipient will be awarded on Tuesday, December 4th, 2018 at the Edina City Council meeting.