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March 13, 2018 > Fremont youth receives Love Award

Fremont youth receives Love Award

Submitted By Allysson McDonald

Mission Peak Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Fremont honored Arnav Gupta, writer for Youth Radio, with a Courageous Love Award during the regular Sunday service on March 4. This award is given annually in conjunction with the national Side with Love campaign, which promotes equality for marginalized communities. The Fremont based congregation uses the award to single out an individual or organization that has exhibited courageous love and touched hearts in the past year.

Mission Peak UUÕs 2018 recipient is a Fremont resident and a senior at College Prep High School in Oakland. Over the past three years, Gupta has worked with the Berkeley-based non-profit media production company, Youth Radio, as a contributing writer. While there he has researched and sent radio-based stories to various media outlets. Recently he wrote a piece that was accepted by KQED Perspectives, about anonymous hate that takes place in high schools. That piece was heard by a member of the congregation who nominated Gupta for the award. About the piece Gupta says, ÒI felt I needed to voice my thoughts about anonymity and how it can unearth deep biases.Ó In it he expresses the distrust he felt when discovering hidden racism.

Side with Love is an interfaith public advocacy campaign promoting respect for the inherent worth and dignity of every person. The campaign confronts issues of exclusion, oppression, and violence based on identity. With the goal of creating beloved community, it pursues social change through advocacy, public witness, and speaking out in solidarity with those whose lives are publicly demeaned. The core issues of focus include, but are not limited to: LGBTQ equity, immigrant justice, racial justice, and intersectional movement building. More information is on the website

Mission Peak minister, Rev. J.D. Benson, said, ÒI am honored to be the Minister of a Congregation that wishes to recognize this young manÕs courage to shine a light into our shadowy spaces.Ó Congregants at the morning service donated $700 to the morning offering, to be split between Youth Radio and Gupta, to recognize the important role they have in our community.

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