Each year, OneJax hosts a Humanitarian Awards Dinner to honor outstanding humanitarians and raise funds to support our programs. This notable event includes a formal ceremony to recognize a new group of honorees each year.
OneJax Humanitarian Awards began in 1970 and has honored individuals who have made a significant humanitarian contribution to their communities.
View our Circle of Honorees.
2020 Humanitarian Awards Dinner
Thursday, May 7, 2020
Prime F. Osborn III Convention Center
1000 Water Street
Jacksonville, FL 32204
OneJax Humanitarian Awards Dinner sponsors gain exposure in a large group of community leaders while enjoying an elegant dinner at the Prime F. Osborn III Convention Center along with inspirational words from our Honorees. As a dinner sponsor, your leadership sends a powerful message in support of the mission of OneJax and of the honorees' good works in support of our city. The impact of your sponsorship is equally powerful - enabling OneJax to create opportunities for diverse groups of individuals to learn about themselves and one another thereby reducing stereotypes and bias, and developing community awareness and understanding about critical social issues facing our city.
2019 Silver Medallions
The Silver Medallion is awarded each year to men and women in recognition of the individual's outstanding dedication and community service. Recipients of this award have exhibited an extensive record of involvement in civic, charitable, volunteer and professional organizations; dedication to the improvement of human relations among diverse groups in our city; impeccable personal and professional integrity; sustained commitment to humanitarian ideals; history of placing humanitarian concerns above self-interest; and realistic humility about his/her importance in the world.
Myron Flagler: Executive Director, Jewish Community Alliance (JCA)
Myron Flagler retired as the Executive Director of the Jewish Community Alliance (JCA) at the end of December where he had served for the past 20 years. Coming to Jacksonville from the Massachusetts Jewish Community Center, a former elementary school teacher and principal, he entered the nonprofit field as a Jewish Community Center day camp director. He participated in the inaugural Jewish Community Center Association Executive Fellows program, led an Executive/Leadership Seminar and has been a regular presenter at national and professional conferences for his innovative programs and leadership practices. Under his stewardship, the JCA of Jacksonville has been at the forefront of innovative programs that have been replicated in the National Jewish Community Center movement. When Myron joined the JCA in 1998, it was a struggling organization with about 1000 members. The majority of which were of the Jewish Faith. Today, 20 years later. The JCA has more than 2500 members, with only 50% of the families Jewish, making it a real community center. Myron has served as a coach and mentor to other members of the nonprofit sector who look to him for guidance. He's fond of saying the nonprofits "are in the relationship business,” and demonstrates that every day.
Patrick "Pat" Geraghty: Chief Executive Officer, GuideWell Mutual Holding Corporation, Florida Blue and GuideWell Group, Inc.
Pat Geraghty serves as Chief Executive Officer, GuideWell Mutual Holding Corporation, Florida Blue and GuideWell Group, Inc. He chairs the Florida Council of 100, a private, nonprofit, non-partisan organization of Florida business leaders who advise the governor on improving the state's economic growth and wellbeing of its residents. He also serves as a member of the board of the National Institute of Health Care Management (NIHCM), a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the efficiency and quality of America's health care system and other industry organizations. In addition to serving as an expert source to leading news media such as NBC's "Meet the Press,” "Fox Business News,” CNBC's "Closing Bell,” The Wall Street Journal's "Money Beat” and "PBS Nightly Business Report” among others, Pat is frequently sought after for his insights on important health care policy matters in Washington, D.C. and Tallahassee, Fla. In 2016 Pat became a member of the Health Governors Community of the World Economic Forum, the international organization for public private cooperation, and a trustee for its Global Challenge Initiative on The Future of Health. Pat instills in his employees a resolve to be active participants in the communities they serve. Team members are given eight hours of paid volunteer time off each year and collectively give back 60,000 hours of volunteer time annually. Florida Blue is regularly recognized as United Way of Northeast Florida's most philanthropic company, raising more than $2 million in Northeast Florida for the past four campaigns. He leads by example when it comes to being committed to the local community. Among the many Jacksonville organizations that he has touched are City Year Jacksonville, PACE Center for Girls, Sulzbacher Center, the American Heart Association, Volunteers in Medicine, Generation W, Wolfson Pediatric Behavioral Center and the First Coast YMCA. Pat is a true Jacksonville asset, committed to the health of every one of the city's residents. Through the work of his company, he strives to ensure that everyone receives the care they need. And through his personal convictions, he's making sure young, future leaders are positioned to take Jacksonville's greatness even further and carry on its legacy.
Janet Owens: Executive Director, Jacksonville Office of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC Jacksonville)
Janet Owens is the Executive Director of the Jacksonville office of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC Jacksonville), the nation's largest nonprofit community development organization that is dedicated to helping underserved neighborhoods become strong, healthy communities of choice-good places to live, do business, work and raise families. Since opening in 1999, LISC Jacksonville has invested more than $326 million in residential, commercial and educational development projects in Jacksonville. Janet is known for her commitment to enabling lower income communities to become involved in finding solutions for the multiple challenges that confront them. Currently she is working with New Town's leadership and that of the new administration of Edward Waters College to develop a relationship that sustains the New Town Success Zone into the long-term future.
Before joining LISC in 2010, Janet was Vice President of Marketing and Communications at United Way of Northeast Florida and held previous leadership roles at Girl Scouts of Gateway Council and Volunteer Jacksonville and with the city governments of Washington, D.C, Adrian, Michigan, and Greenville South Carolina. She was recently recognized by Leadership Jacksonville as an outstanding community trustee at its 2018 Leadership Celebration. Janet serves on the boards of several nonprofit programs and has a lifelong commitment to helping vulnerable families, children and communities thrive.
Julia W. Taylor: Community Trustee
Julia Taylor has a strong business, education and community background having served as the Director, Boutique and Agenda, Stein Mart, Inc., Assistant Vice President, Institutional Advancement at the University of North Florida and State Director of Development for PACE, Inc. A long-time community trustee, Julia's devotion to women and children is evident in her many endeavors. She was a founding member of the Women's Giving Alliance (WGA) serving as president of the 330+ member organization in 2013 and 2014. Under her focused leadership, she grew WGA in both size and scope, but most importantly, she accelerated the resources that could be deployed in the community for mental health services for women and girls. She set new general membership and legacy endowment records; secured signature partner funding for the 2014 grants cycle that resulted in an additional 25% increase in grantmaking ability for the year; and designed and secured funding for a breakthrough initiative to increase membership diversity, paving the way for the next generation of women to be civic leaders. The issues of poverty and the working poor touch her heart and she served as Chair of the Board for the I.M. Sulzbacher Center for the Homeless, and in fact the single women's wing in the new Sulzbacher Village facility is named for her. In 2015-2016, she chaired the Board of Directors for Barnabas Center, Inc. in Fernandina Beach-Barnabas is the only comprehensive service center to assist Nassau County's citizens in crisis. Julia just completed Barnabas' Campaign for Sustainability - an enormous and successful effort to raise $1.5 million for an endowment to ensure the organization's future. Julia has served in leadership positions on numerous boards. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Community Foundation for Northeast Florida; on the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center Leadership Council; as Co-Chair of the Jacksonville Women's Leadership Coalition; and is a member of the Jacksonville Women's Network. Julia is a graduate of both Leadership Jacksonville, Inc. and Leadership Florida, Inc., and was named a "Woman of Distinction” by the Girl Scouts of Gateway Council- Northeast Florida. She received the EVE Award for Community Service and the Junior League's Tillie K. Fowler Award for Community Service, among other honors.
2019 Acosta-Rua Young Professional Award
This award is given periodically to young professionals, under the age of 40, already making a significant impact in their community for promoting understanding and awareness, furthering the cause of social justice issues and for providing leadership that encourages responsible action by others throughout the community.
Basma Alawee: Immigration Activist and Teacher
Basma Alawee arrived in the United States in 2010 as a refugee from Iraq at age 23 with her husband and oldest daughter because her husband had been working with the American military as an interpreter and it was no longer safe for them to live in Iraq. When she arrived in the United States, Basma quickly realized that she arrived with the advantages of fluency in English and a college education. Moved to action, she began to volunteer for World Relief and Lutheran Social Services, two of the three local resettlement agencies, helping other refugees with translation and with navigating the complex bureaucratic and cultural process of starting a new life in Jacksonville. This turned into serious advocacy and Basma was selected as a delegate of Florida at the UNHCR Refugee Congress in December of 2013. Not content with local and national advocacy, she volunteered to create Arabic-language citizenship and GED classes for a website resource for newly-arrived refugees nation-wide, was selected to be a board member and then in 2017 was elected to be the chair of the board of the Refugee Center Online. Basma's credentials as an engineer were not recognized in the U.S, so she got a job teaching at the Foundation Academy and became the lead teacher for math, science and social studies. As a teacher, she used her bicultural experience to teach her students about other cultures and created some amazing experiential learning activities helping children from all backgrounds to understand what it means to be an American citizen. She also volunteered to run the Jacksonville Science Festival for three years.
In her "spare time,” Basma is working on a handbook: Learning from Within: Stories in the New World, to empower and educate women through storytelling. It includes the stories of brave female refugees and immigrants whose survival and leadership can be an inspiration to many other women all over the world. Their narratives of everyday struggles and survival and a list of useful resources are put together by different themes that the readers will find helpful in their own experiences in the new country. She is also working on a Facebook and YouTube channel to help young Iraqis overseas prepare for life in the United States. Basma embodies the ideal of improving relations between diverse communities in her everyday choice of cultural events to support as well as in her work and her volunteering.
We Appreciate Our 2019 Sponsors
OneJax is immensely grateful to our 2019 Humanitarian Awards Dinner sponsors. Your sponsorship affords us the tools we need to make our vision of being the catalyst that creates an inclusive community where difference is welcomed and celebrated a reality in Jacksonville.
THANK YOU for your generous support!
View our full list of supporters