Strobel Finalists 2023: Social Justice Impact

Congratulations to these three finalists in the Social Justice Impact category of the 37th Annual Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards! Vote for your favorite story of service until April 15 at the button below!

Emily Jenkins
Volunteers with Williamson County Court Appointed Special Advocates

Local attorney Emily Jenkins uses her law degree to provide pro bono labor at the national, state and county levels. Since 2017, Emily has volunteered for Williamson County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), an organization that advocates for the best interests of abused and neglected children, where she represents children in the juvenile court system. Aside from representation, she also serves on the Tennessee State CASA board, creates training resources and speaks as an advocate for the organization. Most recently, she served on the Williamson County DCS Task Force to establish solutions that will improve the outcomes for youth – solutions with the goal of achieving short- and long-term impacts. 

Emily has reunited children with their families, ensured that people will be able to remain in their Section 8 housing, and provided comfort and resources to families who risk deportation. She is an activist in the community, as well as within all her organizations. 

“Emily is passionate about this cause, and it is evident in everything she does,” says her nominator. “As an attorney and a mother of adopted children and an extremely experienced CASA advocate, she is uniquely equipped to be a social justice warrior in this space on behalf of these children.” 

Mary Randle 
Volunteers with Nashville Inner City Ministry

Mary Randle has devoted over 32 years volunteering her time to Nashville Inner City Ministry. Beginning during her time at Lipscomb University, Mary spends her time during the holidays feeding the homeless and elderly. She provides over 5,000 meals each year, and coordinates drivers for the elderly and sick populations – all without expectation of recognition.  

Mary has not only helped with providing meals and transportation, but she has also helped find housing for members of the homeless community, led those suffering from addiction to treatment and increased faith within her community. A vital part of the Nashville Inner City Ministry, Mary has devoted her life to transforming this organization and, in doing so, transforming the lives of the people it serves.  

“[Mary] strives to be an example of a virtuous woman and show other youth that they can make it no matter the struggle they go through,” says her daughter. 

Ray Emanuel 
Volunteers with the Native American Indian Association of Tennessee

Ray Emanuel is an integral part of the Native American Indian Association of Tennessee (NAIA). A founding member and executive director, he has spent the past 41 years volunteering for the organization. He has devoted his time to NAIA – leading educational sessions to teach Tennesseans about Native American culture – as well as resources, providing rent, food and medical bill assistance. 

Ray has also devoted himself to tireless fundraising on behalf of NAIA, obtaining countless donations to support the needs of Native Americans. The Annual Pow Wow, which is NAIA’s marquee event, brings a lot of business to Tennessee. In spearheading this event, Ray has been able to bring in millions of dollars in state and federal grants for the betterment of the organization and people it serves. In all he does for NAIA, Ray has shown himself to be a diligent leader with a servant heart.  

Ray’s nominator says, “He has spent his life dedicated to serving and supporting Native Americans and educating Tennesseans about our First Peoples. He is incredibly deserving of this potential award for his lifetime of volunteerism.” 

To see a full list of the nominees for the 37th Annual Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards, click here.

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