When Richard Lemire stood at the podium as one of this year’s Champions for Justice his tearfully punctuated and humble remarks reflect the sincerity and joy he exhibits daily in his employment with Community Action Partnership of Riverside County and his volunteer service with several organizations, including his social justice advocacy work with The Arc of Riverside County. Arc is committed to educating the developmentally disabled residents of Riverside County.
Social Justice advocates believe everyone deserves equal economic, political, and social rights and opportunities. They promote tolerance, freedom, and equality for all people regardless of race, sex, orientation, national origin, and physical ability. Richard and his fellow honorees work to assure the protection of equal access to liberties, rights, and opportunities by taking care of the least advantaged members of our society.
Richard joined other Champions for Justice: public defender Steve Harmon, the Detectives who worked the Lareanz Simmons murder investigation; Carrie Harmon, a homeless programs administrator; Jerry Trussell, an LGBT activist; and Luz Gallegos, an immigrant rights’ activist at the evening event held last week. The Champions for Justice program, now in its 13th year, is coordinated by the Fair Housing Council of Riverside County, and celebrates the work of community leaders who fight daily for social justice in our community.
Events like these will not make the evening news. They will not go viral on social media (although they should). They will not be attended by the community at large. But they do remind me that there is good in the world. And more people, regular people, who have committed to fighting for equal access for all.