Citizen activists, former ACLU head honored at First Amendment Event

Two citizen activists who spoke out for open government and the former head of the American Civil Liberties Union in New Hampshire were honored at the 2016 Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications First Amendment Event.

Timberlane Regional School Board member Donna Green of Sandown and the late David Pearl of Hooksett received the Nackey S. Loeb First Amendment Award on Nov. 17 at the Palace Theatre. Claire Ebel, retired head of the NHCLU, received the 2016 Quill & Ink Award.

Pearl was an outspoken advocate for the Right to Know Law and open government in his town and in neighboring Pembroke. He also worked tirelessly to shine light on local government, being instrumental in updating Hooksett's online system to stream public meetings and creating an online group for residents to post their own articles about town happenings. Pearl died in June.

Green has been has been involved in several First Amendment and open government issues, including pushing back against School Board Rules that members had to publicly support board decisions. This year, the New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled in Greens favor in a case in which she challenged her own school district for refusing to release documents in electronic or digital form, when available. She is a member of Right to Know New Hampshire and continues to advocate for more robust Right to Know laws and a mechanism outside of court for their enforcement.

Ebel led the NHCLU for three decades. When she retired in 2013, she called herself a "First Amendment nutcase."

At this years program, five New Hampshire media and religious leaders and citizen activists brought the Five Freedoms of the First Amendment to life with personal stories.

- Freedom of Religion - Rev. Jerome Day, former journalist, now pastor of St. Raphael Parish and instructor at St. Anselm College.

- Freedom of Speech - Jack Heath, talk show host, WGIR and iHeart radio.

- Freedom of Press - Joseph McQuaid, publisher, New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News- Freedom of Peaceful Assembly - Arnie Alpert, director American Friends Service Committee and organizer of many non-violent demonstrations and public education events.

- Freedom of Peaceful Assembly - Arnie Alpert, director American Friends Service Committee and organizer of many non-violent demonstrations and public education events.

- Freedom to Petition the Government - AnnMarie Morse, who persuaded the state and Congress to enact Michelle's Law, which permits college students to take medical leaves of absence without losing health insurance coverage. To maintain her insurance, Mrs. Morses daughter, Michelle, had to continue as a full-time college student while battling cancer that took her life.

The event is the main fundraiser for the nonprofit school, which was founded in 1999 by Nackey S. Loeb, the late president and publisher of the Union Leader and Sunday News. Its free classes and low-cost workshops attract students from middle-schoolers to retirees. Instructors from media outlets and businesses around the state teach topics such as the First Amendment, journalism, photography, broadcasting, audio and video production, social media and public speaking.

Past recipients of the First Amendment Award are: former state Attorney General Philip McLaughlin, former Keene Sentinel Executive Editor Thomas F. Kearney, The Laconia Citizen, former legislator Daniel Hughes, former Dover City Councilor David Scott, Londonderry High School Journalism Adviser Mary Lukas, First Amendment attorney William Chapman, ConVal School Board member Gail Pierson Cromwell, The Portsmouth Herald, David Lang and the Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire, The Telegraph of Nashua, slain journalist James Foley and former Portsmouth Police Officer John Connors.

Past Quill & Ink recipients have been Circuit Court Judge James Carroll; Debi Clark Valentine of the YMCAs Youth & Government Program; the late Robert Foster, publisher of Fosters Daily Democrat; and Mike Pride, retired editor of The Concord Monitor.

Led by Presenting Sponsor People's United Bank, 2016 First Amendment Event sponsors and supporters include: EverSource Energy; Amoskeag Beverages; AutoFair; U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management; TD Charitable Foundation; AT&T; McLane Middleton; The Common Man Family of Restaurants; Catholic Medical Center; Eastern Bank; Joseph and Signe McQuaid; Silvertech; BAE Systems; Cafe Services, Lincoln Financial Group and Citizens Count NH.

Other sponsors are: Citizens Bank; Dartmouth-Hitchcock; Elliot Health System; Fidelity Investments; Daniel and Carol Hughes; IPG Benefits; Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences University; Sean and Kirsten Mahoney; NH Healthy Families; Union Leader Corp.; Stebbins Commercial Properties, Inc.; Cross Insurance, St. Mary's Bank, AARP; Anagnost Investments, Business and Industry Association; Douglas, Leonard and Harvey; Howe, Riley & Howe; Keystone Press; Hon. Stephen Merrill and Morgan Lewis Consulting; NH College and University Council; and Sheehan Phinney Bass + Green

Media partners are the New Hampshire Union Leader, WMUR-TV and WGIR.


We are grateful to our 2016 First Amendment Sponsors.

Presenting Sponsor: People's United Bank

Liberty Reception Sponsor: EverSource Energy

Free Press Reception Sponsor: Amoskeag Beverages

First Amendment Award: AutoFair

"Our School" Sponsor: U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management

Award Video Supporter: TD Charitable Foundation

Name Tag Sponsor: AT&T

Hospitality Sponsor : The Common Man Family of Restaurants

Program Sponsor: McLane Middleton

Quill & Ink Sponsors:
Catholic Medical Center
Eastern Bank
Joseph and Signe McQuaid
Silvertech

Followers of the School:
BAE Systems
Cafe Services
Lincoln Financial Group
Citizens Count NH

Patriot Sponsors:
Citizens Bank
Dartmouth-Hitchcock
Elliot Health System
Fidelity Investments
Daniel and Carol Hughes
IPG Benefits
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences University
NH Healthy Families
Stebbins Commercial Properties

Five Freedoms:
Cross Insurance
Sean and Kirsten Mahoney
St. Mary's Bank


Friends of the School:
AARP
Anagnost
Investments
BIA
Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, P.C
Howe, Riley + Howe
Keystone Press
Hon. Stephen Merrill and Morgan Lewis Consulting
NH College and University Council
Union Leader Corp.
Sheehan Phinney Bass & Green


Media Partners
The New Hampshire Union Leader

WGIR
WMUR-TV


2016 First Amendment Award Pictures

Union Leader: Loeb School honors 2016 First Amendment Award Recipients

Concord Monitor: David Pearl found relentlessly to protect the First Amendment

First Amendment Event 2016 - Award Recipients Video

First Amendment Event 2016 Five Freedoms Video

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Looking Back 2015

A big thank you to all who made our 13th Annual Nackey S. Loeb First Amendment Awards Event such a success.

Special thanks to Chris Matthews of MSNBC's "Hardball" program, who donated his time as guest speaker.

And congratulations, again, to the 2015 award recipients:
First Amendment Recipient: Former Portsmouth Police Officer John Connors.

Quill & Ink Recipient: Laconia Circuit Court Judge James Carroll.

Thanks to our First Amendment Award sponsors and supporters:

Presenting Sponsor: People's United Bank

Liberty Reception Sponsor: EverSource Energy

Free Press Reception Sponsor: Amoskeag Beverages

Legacy Sponsor: Eastern Bank

First Amendment Award: AutoFair

Speaker Sponsor: U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management

Award Video Supporter: TD Charitable Foundation

Name Tag Sponsor: Holloway Automotive Group

Ticket Sponsor: AT&T

Hospitality Sponsor: The Common Man Family of Restaurants

Quill & Ink Sponsor:
Catholic Medical Center
Fallon Health
Kinder Morgan
Charles Schwab
Joseph and Signe McQuaid
Silvertech

First in the Nation Sponsor:

Jeb! 2016
Kasich for America
Live Free or Die Alliance
Marco Rubio for President
Donald J. Trump for President

Followers of the School:
BAE Systems
Lincoln Financial
McLane Middleton

Patriot Sponsor:
Cafe Services
Citizens Bank
Elliot Health System
Fidelity Investments
Daniel and Carol Hughes
IPG Benefits
Kelly PAC
Sean and Kirsten Mahoney
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences University

St. Mary's Bank

Friends of the School:
AARP
Anagnost Investments
BIA
Cross Insurance
Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, P.C.
Howe, Riley + Howe
Hon. Stephen Merrill
Mosse & Mosse Associates
New Hampshire College and University Council
Single Digits
SNHU
Union Leader Corp.

2015 First Amendment Award Pictures

Union Leader - Award Event Article

The Concord Monitor - Award Recipients

Laconia Daily Sun - Judge James Carroll honored

Seacoastonline - John Connors honored