January 2019


The Board of Outreach Ministries of First Congregational Church of Westfield, is currently seeking nominations for the 2019 Marc Wesley Hardy Human Rights Award.  Candidates must be young people between the ages of 16-22, living in Westfield or the greater Union County area, who have distinguished themselves in the area of human rights.  It will be offered to a person who has shown:

  • Openness and friendliness to people of all races, creeds and nationalities; involvement and leadership in organizations and activities committed to improving human relations; unusual personal dignity; the willingness to risk for what he or she believes is right; unqualified acceptance of others; respect for diversity; personal integrity; caring and willingness to listen; and the ability to lead by example.

The recipient will receive both a Certificate and a monetary award.  Nominations must be received no later than March 22, 2019.  The winner can expect to be notified in early April.  

The award is named in honor of Marc Hardy, a member of our church, who was killed in a car accident in 1990 shortly before his graduation from Westfield High School. He was a National Merit Scholar, a gifted singer and actor, and very passionate about human rights.

Eligibility criteria and requirements for this award are listed below and online at http://www.fccofwestfield.org/marc-hardy-human-rights-award/. Scroll down on page to Marc Hardy Human Rights Award.  

Eligibility and Requirements

Nominees for the award may be either self-nominated, or nominated by a teacher, other school official, or another individual not in the nominee’s immediate family who is familiar with the nominee’s background and qualities that exemplify Marc Hardy’s commitment to human rights.  To nominate an individual for the award, originals of the following items must be submitted:

1.    A letter of nomination (self-nominated or non-family member).

2.     The nominee’s biography. Please make sure to include course work, employment, club activities, and other experiences relevant to the award.

3.     One letter of support documenting the nominee’s contributions to human rights from a non-family member.

  1. The name and contact of up to two references.

Nominations should include detailed descriptions of the organizations and activities the candidate has been involved in as well as concrete examples and stories that illustrate the criteria listed above.

The Award Committee will also accept any other information or material that would reflect the nominee’s values and personal commitment to human rights.

Award Criteria

In considering applicants for the Marc Wesley Hardy Human Rights Award, the Award Committee will look at a variety of factors, including:

  1. Demonstrated dedication and commitment to advocating and protecting civil and human rights.

    1. Leadership in efforts to fight discrimination and prejudice, and/or the effects of past discrimination, school bullying, or violence.

    2. A commitment to fostering positive communication and actively promoted inter-group relations among people of different races, ages, ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientations, religious backgrounds, or physical and mental abilities.

    3. A demonstrated sustained commitment to raising the level of awareness and concern for the values and importance of human rights.

    4. Creating or working on programs to educate and inform members of the community of their civil and human rights.

This list is by no means intended to be exhaustive.  Overall, nominations should reflect civil and human rights achievements by the nominee through specific work with other individuals or groups, or through a specific project or activity that has a visible, tangible, or measurable impact on the perception of, attitude toward, respect for, and treatment of other people.

Nomination Submission

Nominations must be received no later than March 22, 2019.  Mail/email nominations to: 

First Congregational Church of Westfield
125 Elmer Street
Westfield, NJ 07090


Please direct any questions to the church office at 908-233-2494, or to Charlene Young at 908-447-1533.