The Marin County Human Rights Commission named Rocio Hernandez, a doctoral-degree student at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis, the recipient of one of four 2012 Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Awards. The commission honors area elected representatives, leaders and youth at this annual event for their dedication and excellence to humanity and community. The Humanitarian Award recipients are those whose community work exemplifies activism for human rights.
Hernandez works as a licensed mental health practitioner and faculty member at Dominican University in San Rafael, Calif., and advocates for those suffering injustices through family violence, adolescent sexual assault, education inequities, poverty and racism.
Hernandez served on numerous coalitions, including the Binational Health Week Regional Coalition, Marin Immigrant Rights Advocates, Community Health Action Now for Growth and Equity, Grassroots Leadership Network, Bay Area Health Inequities, and San Geronimo Valley Healthy Community coalition. In addition she served as a commissioner for First 5 Marin, Children and Families Commission, is a leadership committee member at MarinKids and serves on the board of Movin' on Up.
According to the commission, Hernandez "demonstrated her dedication to health and wellness in Marin County."
The Marin Human Rights Commission, established in 1966 by the Marin County Board of Supervisors, seeks to eliminate prejudice, intolerance and discrimination based on race, religion, national origin, gender, age, cultural background, sexual orientation and/or disability.
Special certificates were presented to each award winner from U.S. Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey, California State Senator Mark Leno and California State Assemblyman Jared Huffman. In addition to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Award, the Marin Community Foundation provides a monetary stipend, which is divided among the adult recipients and donated, in their name, to a non-profit agency of their choice. A scholarship for post-secondary education is given to the youth recipients.
For 100 years, UC Davis has engaged in teaching, research and public service that matters to California and to transform the world. The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis was established in March 2009, UC Davis' first major initiative to address society's most pressing health-care problems in its second century of service. The school was launched through a $100 million commitment from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the nation's largest grant for nursing education. The vision of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing is to transform health care through nursing education and research. Through nursing leadership, the school will discover knowledge to advance health, improve quality of care and health outcomes, and inform health policy. The school's first programs, a doctoral and a master's degree program, opened in fall 2010. Additional students and programs will be phased in over the next decade. The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing is part of the UC Davis Health System, an integrated, academic health system encompassing UC Davis School of Medicine, the 645-bed-acute-care hospital and clinical services of UC Davis Medical Center and the 800-member physician group known as the UC Davis Medical Group. For more information, visit nursing.ucdavis.edu.