Chambers and Calk receive UU Church social action awards
Tuesday, July 9, 2019 - 3:12 pm

CANTON – Two St. Lawrence County women have received social action awards from the Unitarian Universalist Church.

Holly Chambers of Potsdam is the recipient if this year's Rachel Somers Grant Social Action Award.

And Alex Calk, a junior at Little River School, has received the first-ever Rachel Grant Youth Social Action Award.

Chambers is being recognized for the leadership she has provided to Cinema 10 for 33 years. Cinema 10 has had a significant impact, each year bringing 20 important independent and foreign films to the North Country. She and the Cinema 10 board have worked to ensure that the films are socially relevant, politically provocative and expressive of the diversity of our larger world community, the award announcement notes. Often she has organized discussions following the films, with community representatives and sometimes with the filmmakers, reflecting on connections between issues raised in the films and the North Country. She has also provided leadership to such organizations as Seedcorn, Potsdam Food Coop, and the United University Professions, as well as many other groups.

In Alex Calk’s first year at Little River School, she has become an important activist and spokesperson around environmental issues, notably climate change, the award announcement says. In November 2018, she spoke at a rally for Our Children's Trust in the Canton Village Park. This year she organized the Green Club at Little River School and helped facilitate and publicize the Monthly Climate Vigil in that Park. She speaks at the vigils, provides interviews to the media, and recently was a featured guest on “North Country Matters.” She has also made presentations to the Canton High School Green Club, Commons College (SLU), Resist SLU, Environmental Action Organization (SLU). Alex arrived in Canton in 2018 with a personal background in social justice work. She has participated in a 10-day mission trip to South Africa, working in an orphanage in Kwa Zulu Natal, in an urban summer program for disadvantaged students, and in a service project providing meals for New York City children.

The Rachel Somers Grant Social Action Award for over two decades has recognized the contributions of outstanding individuals who have helped make the North Country a more human and progressive community. The award is organized annually by the Social Action Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Canton.

The church has presented the youth award for the first time to recognize important activist work of young people;

The presentations were made Sunday, June 30, at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 3½ E. Main St. across from the park in Canton . They host Sunday services and religious education classes that begin at 10:30 a.m. For directions and to learn more visit www.uucantonny.org.