Advocate publisher John Georges, nine others to receive Weiss Awards for civic contributions

The New Orleans Council for Community and Justice, the city’s oldest human-relations organization, will present its 56th annual Weiss Awards on Tuesday to 10 individuals and organizations that have made exceptional civic and humanitarian contributions to Louisiana.

Awards will be presented to eight community leaders and two organizations that have been influential in promoting the advancement of social understanding and fighting for change in their communities.

This year’s honorees are: Carol G. Asher, a community activist; George J. Fowler III, founding partner of Fowler Rodriguez; Steve Gleason, a former Saints player and community activist; John D. Georges, CEO of Georges Enterprises and publisher of The Advocate; Barbara Crain Major, a community organizer; James Meza Jr., superintendent of Jefferson Parish public schools; Alvin L. Richard Jr., CEO of Richard’s Disposal Inc.; William Henry Shane Jr., president of Favrot & Shane Companies Inc.; Citizens for 1 Greater New Orleans, a community activist group; and Women of the Storm, a civic activist group.

They will be recognized at a dinner at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans. A reception will begin at 6 p.m.

Funds from the event will support local, innovative programs for the community, including Anytown Institute, the Great Health Race and the Youth Renewal Initiative.

The Anytown Institute, begun in 1957, is a weeklong summer institute for high school students that brings teenagers of various racial and ethnic backgrounds together.

The Great Health Race Initiative is a health education program designed to equip young people to be agents of change and leaders in their communities.

The Youth Renewal Initiative seeks to provide young people who lack adult supervision with critical services and goods.

The chairman for the evening is José Suquet, chairman and president of Pan American Life Insurance Group.

“While these individuals have received many awards for their outstanding work in the community, we believe that the Weiss Awards uniquely recognize their devotion and programs that promote respect for self and others — the cornerstone to achieving change in our community and in the world,” Suquet said.

The NOCCJ, originally known as the National Conference of Christians and Jews, is a nonprofit human-relations organization dedicated to promoting understanding and respect among all races, religions and cultures through advocacy, conflict resolution and education.