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Zena Ozier receives Emerging Leader Award for work with Arab Americans

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                          Contact: Nadia Tonova


Dec. 5, 2013

Zena Ozier receives Emerging Leader Award for work with Arab Americans

DEARBORN, Mich. — The National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC), a project of ACCESS, proudly announced today that Zena Ozier of Dearborn received the organization’s Emerging Leader Award in recognition for her work on behalf of the Arab American community. She received the award during the recent Quwa 2013: Strengthening Nonprofit Leadership conference.

The award is presented annually to a young person who demonstrates community leadership through advocating for the interests of Arab Americans, and serves as a role model for younger generations.

Ozier, 22, graduated from Boston University with high honors in May 2013, majoring in International Relations. As an undergraduate student, Ozier served as president of the group, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), and engaged the student body in a variety of cultural programs and freedom protests. Ozier also helped organize events to celebrate cultural diversity through international cooking and dance programs.

Her passion for human rights led her to become an international volunteer at the Aida refugee camp in Palestine, where she spent three weeks working with youth in the camp. As president of SJP, Ozier organized Boston University’s first Right of Return conference, which is used as a model for various college campuses across the United States.

Ozier currently works as an intern for Badil, a nonprofit organization that assists in building awareness for Palestinian residency and refugee rights. She lives in Boston, and is interested in working for an Arab American nonprofit organization, as well as applying to law school. She hopes to continue her work in international relations as a human rights advocate.

Jeanette Mansour of Flint received NNAAC’s Spirit of Service Award in recognition of her philanthropic work on behalf of the Arab American community. The award is presented annually to an individual nominated by NNAAC members who exemplifies a dedication to volunteerism and service to others.

Mansour has a long career in philanthropy, working for more than 30 years with the C.S. Mott Foundation as a program officer, consultant and director of Program Planning. She also managed special grants and projects for the foundation’s senior management team. Most recently, she was a loaned executive from Mott to ACCESS in Dearborn, providing technical assistance for the creation and development of the Center for Arab American Philanthropy (CAAP), a project of ACCESS.

“It is not an exaggeration to say that without Jeanette’s constant engagement, feedback, guidance, and hard work, CAAP would not be where it is today as an institution. She is an outstanding example of how community members can apply their professional skills and passion to help build the community,” said Maha Freij, founder of CAAP, and deputy executive director and chief financial officer of ACCESS.

In addition to her work with CAAP, Mansour has served on the board of the Arab American Heritage Council, and is currently the board president. She also works with many CAAP grantees, providing guidance for nonprofit organizational development.

NNAAC supports the development of community-based nonprofit organizations that meet the needs and represent the concerns of Arab Americans at the local level and collectively address these issues on the national level. Its vision is to foster economic, cultural, social and political empowerment of Arab Americans.


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