2024 Torch Awards Ceremony

Last night, the World Affairs Council of Harrisburg took over Harrisburg University with the 2024 Torch Awards Ceremony. This annual event honors remarkable individuals and organizations in our region who embody the highest ideals of tolerance, appreciation of diverse cultures, and global understanding. Held with a spirit of unity and celebration, the evening was a testament to the extraordinary efforts made to advance civil rights and combat intolerance and bigotry.

The prestigious list of awardees included:

  • PA Secretary of the Commonwealth Al Schmidt, recognized for his dedication to upholding democratic processes and civil rights especially during the 2020 election cycle.
  • Black Pastors United for Education (BPUE), honored for their tireless advocacy in educational equity and support for the African American community.
  • Bridget Whitley, Dauphin County Clerk of Courts, acknowledged for her leadership and commitment to justice and fairness in the face of bureaucratic roadblocks.
  • Capital Area Music Association, celebrated for using the power of music to bridge cultural divides and enrich the community.
  • Dr. Mireille Rebeiz, a professor at Dickinson College, commended for her work in promoting a peaceful world for everyone and her writings on the conficts in the Middle East.
  • Catherine Hershey Schools for Early Learning, recognized for their outstanding efforts in providing quality education and support to young learners and their families.
  • Gary Blumenthal of InVision Human Services, celebrated for his advocacy and service to individuals with disabilities.
  • MidPenn Legal Services, honored for their unwavering commitment to providing legal aid to underserved populations.
  • Pennsylvania Prison Society, acknowledged for their advocacy in prison reform and support for inmates’ rights.
  • Tika Ram Dhungana, President of Shree Vaishnav Parishad Harrisburg, recognized for his leadership in the Buhtanese Community as well as his work in refugee resettlement.
  • Wednesday Club, celebrated for their 143 year contributions to arts and culture in the Harrisburg area.
  • Samuel Pimental, our Youth Awardee, whose enthusiasm and leadership among his peers is an inspiration.

The Torch Awards Ceremony is more than just an event; it is a beacon of hope and a reminder of the power of community and collective effort. Each honoree’s story is a powerful narrative of overcoming obstacles and making a tangible difference in the world around them. Their achievements not only inspire but also challenge us to continue striving for a more inclusive and just society.

Watch the Ceremony

Photo Gallery