2022/2023 UNA-USA Leadership Summit Awardees
Arnold Goodman Lifetime Achievement Award: Judith Harris
For setting a standard of excellence and commitment to the work of UNA-USA and a lifetime of supporting the United Nations.
Judith Harris is a renowned human activist and the proud recipient of the prestigious UN Lifetime Achievement Award. With an unwavering commitment to social justice and passion for empowering communities, Judith has dedicated her life to advocating for equality, inclusivity, peace and human rights.
Born and raised in Monrovia, California, Judith developed a deep sense of empathy and compassion from an early age. Her formative experiences witnessing systemic inequalities and struggles faced by marginalized individuals ignited a fire to affect meaningful change. Determined to make a difference, Judith Harris embarked on a lifelong journey of activism.
Throughout her career, Judith has championed a wide range of causes, working tirelessly to challenge discrimination, poverty and injustice. From advocating for access to blind children’s education to fighting for peace resulting in a vigorous force for positive change. Judith has tackled issues such as environmental sustainability, economic empowerment and inequality, leaving and indelibly leaving a significant mark in society.
Judith Harris is a dedicated advocate for the United Nations and has made significant contributions to the United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA). She is a Lifetime member of the organization and currently serves as Vice President of the Pasadena Chapter. In addition, she holds the position of Vice President of the Southern California Division Membership and Chapter Development Committee.
Harris’s involvement with the UNA-USA began in 2002 when she joined the UNA Pasadena Chapter. Since then, she has actively participated in the chapter’s activities and has held various roles as a Board member and officer, including serving as President three times. Judith has been part of a long-standing partnership with the UNA Pasadena and Mayor’s office of the City of Pasadena and several local non-profits in celebrating Human Rights Day for over 15 years, highlighting the importance of human rights issues.
From 2012 to 2016, she further extended her leadership within the UNA by serving as President of the UNA Southern California Division.
Her commitment to the UNA-USA extends beyond the local level. Harris served on the UNA National Council from 2014 to 2020, dedicating the last four years as Secretary. Throughout her involvement, Judith has been actively engaged in a wide variety of events and conferences organized by the UNA, including UNA Global Engagement Summits and Global Leadership Summits. Judith has also had the opportunity to meet with elected officials both locally in Southern California and in Washington, DC, further advocating for the UN and its mission.
As a charismatic and influential speaker, Judith has addressed countless audiences, from local community gatherings on school campuses, to Model UN Conferences, and UNA Chapter and Division events. Her engagement with educational institutions such as Pasadena City College, Occidental College, California State University Fullerton, USC, and California State University Los Angeles has allowed her to inspire and educate the younger generation about the UN’s work.
Beyond her involvement with the UNA-USA, Harris has also contributed her time and efforts to various community non-profit organizations.
Before her deep involvement with the UNA-USA and UN-related activities, Judith Harris dedicated 29 years of her professional career to working with children who are partially sighted, blind, and deaf-blind with additional needs. She served with the Foundation for the Junior Blind and Partners for Pediatric Vision, bringing her expertise and compassion to support and improve the lives of these children.
Judith Harris’s commitment to the United Nations, her tireless efforts to engage students, her active involvement in UNA-USA chapters and divisions, and her work with non-profit organizations all reflect her deep dedication to promoting the values and goals of the United Nations.
Young Leader of the Year Award: Raina Kadavil
For demonstrating incredible commitment to supporting the U.S.-UN partnership
Raina Kadavil is a Senior Analyst in Mastercard’s Center for Inclusive Growth, focused on volunteer engagement, disaster response and STEM education for girls. She recently graduated from Johns Hopkins’ Carey Business School with her MBA and holds an undergraduate degree in International Relations from Boston University, where she started a campus chapter of UNA-USA. She serves as Communications Director and Young Professionals Co-Chair on the Board of the United Nations Association of Westchester. Raina’s background includes four years as Chief Executive Officer of Urban Refuge, three years as Philanthropy Co-Chair of Mastercard’s Women’s Leadership Network and Young Professionals organizations, thirteen years of Model United Nations experience, and work all over the world from London to Beijing to Istanbul to the United Nations itself. Raina has been recognized for her work by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, Zonta International, the Walt Disney Company, Claes Nobel, and more. With the rest of her time, Raina’s favorite things to do are travel and read: she has traveled to 45 countries over the last six years, and you can usually find her lost in a new book or on a hiking trail.
Advocate of the Year Award: London Bell
For demonstrating commitment and excellence in advocating for the United Nations
London J. Bell is a native Detroiter, a lawyer, community organizer, activist, and humanitarian with specific educational training in international human rights law and policy and international business and trade law.
London is a 2020 African Descent Fellow for the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), a highly competitive fellowship program within the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024). She is also a Founding Member and the current President of the Global Black Collective Institute, an organization comprised of the 2020 OHCHR Fellows of African Descent dedicated to the realization of equity and human rights for People of African Descent around the world.
She is the Founder and President of Bell Global Justice Institute, a non-governmental organization (NGO) in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) focused on promoting gender equity and advancing and protecting the human rights of women and girls.
London is also a 2019 graduate of the FBI Detroit Field Office’s Citizens Academy and currently serves as a member of the FBI Detroit Field Office’s Community Engagement Council.
London is a member of the United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA) and is the Immediate Past National Council Secretary and Co-Chair for UNA Women, an affinity group for UNA-USA. London has served as a UNA-USA Delegate for the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women and the United Nations High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.
London also represents UNA-USA as a member of the U.S. Civil Society Working Group on Women, Peace, and Security (U.S. CSWG) and the Gender-Based Violence Coalition.
London earned her B.A. Degree in English at the University of Michigan. She went on to earn her Juris Doctor and Master of Laws (LL.M.) in International Law at DePaul University College of Law. She focused her Master of Law studies in International Human Rights Law & Policy & Criminal Justice.
UNA-USA Community Chapter of Excellence Award: UNA-USA San Fernando Valley Chapter
For its commitment in the area s of service, education, and leadership to support a strong U.S.-UN relationship
As America’s first chapter UNA-USA San Fernando Valley has been dedicated to advocacy and service since our very beginnings. Our dear friend and a past Chapter President Lyn Harris Hicks was just a child when she joined her mother who was American’s 1st female delegate to the UN at its’ founding session. Lyn & her best friend, also a Past-President, Dorothy Boberg, have led our advocacy for years. Lyn recently passed, along with past-president Actress Marsha Hunt who advocated for Refugee Resettlement for decades and is the subject of the Hollywood Documentary Sweet Adversity. In the same tradition our current board has stood strong as leaders and friends, and this year focused on Women’s Rights in Iran with a program of brave women speakers on their human rights, planned by our Vice President Dr. Soraya Fellah. We presented a top Voice of America Journalist (VOA) Sirwan Kajjo, author of Nothing But Soot , who covered the earthquakes in Syria and Turkey and its impact on women and children. He also spoke about many relief organizations including Red Cross Heyvasor, the Kurdish Red Cross & the UN and our partners helping to meet the needs of refugees and asylees. We educated on the work of UN Agencies and NGOs like Red Cross on the ground in Ukraine after Russia’s aggression. Our Young Professionals leader Richard Nitze led our program on Animal Rights are Human Rights and as 2022-2023 Chapter President, I led and moderated our nationwide webinar on COVID-19 Explained covering presentations by Bill Gates, Dr. Fauci and others and attended by chapters across the country and members of the National Council. We partnered with Habit 4 Humanity to educate on their role in National and International Disaster Relief. Our Vice President Ginny Hatfield, former Chair of the UNA-USA So. Cal. Regional Council of Organizations led our advocacy with the U.S. House of Reps and U.S. Senate. Ginny also produced our program on Food Insecurity: Are We Meeting The Challenge for United Nations Day. What has kept us strong is our passion to educate and inspire our community to support the vital work of the UN, to advocate and be more than leaders but mentors proud of our past, dedicated today, and ready for the future that looks bright thanks to all we do as part of the UNA-USA.
UNA-USA Campus Chapter of Excellence Award: The Ohio State University Chapter
For its commitment in the areas of service, education, and leadership to support a strong U.S.-UN relationship
The UNA chapter at the Ohio State University is filled with dedicated members looking to make a difference not only in their local communities but also around the world. This year they have discussed issues related to inequalities that women face throughout the world and health inequalities. Each week they reviewed a sustainable development goal form the UN and addressed how it affects the issues around them. This year they have had many accomplishments and exciting events from; hosting a bake sale fundraiser where they raised money for the women’s fund of central Ohio, they made a blanket for the Ronald McDonald house of charities, hosted a panel of local health officials from Columbus Ohio to discuss health issues in the community, they attended the UNA global engagement summit in New York where they got the chance to hear from world class speakers and connect with fellow UNA members from across the nation, they helped out in a terrestrial bioblitz at their campus where they identified local plants and animals in support of SDG 15, heard from UN official Brenden Varma about working for the UN and they finished their year strong with hosting a gala featuring guest speaker Lady Tee Thompson where they raised 434 dollars for the UN crisis relief fund to help those affected by the Turkey-Syria earthquake.