Announcing the 2021 Good Apple Award Honorees!

Join us throughout the month of October as we celebrate the honorees of its 2021 Good Apple Awards, Appleseed’s annual fundraiser celebrating community advocates who are building a more just, vibrant, and inclusive Nebraska. 

Given uncertainties around COVID-19 and the delta variant, we won’t hold our traditional in-person event. Instead, Appleseed will uplift and profile our honorees through social media, blogs, and videos all month long.

This year, our Board and Staff are excited to celebrate community leaders, policymakers, and lawyers who have dedicated their time and talents to fighting discrimination, ensuring access to health care, food, and work, engaging people in exercising their right to vote, and improving conditions for people in prison.

The 2021 awardees represent what’s possible when Nebraskans step forward to tackle our toughest problems in the spirit of building community, working collaboratively, and persistently pursuing justice and positive change.


Roots of Justice Award: Danelle Smith

This award recognizes grassroots advocates who have made outstanding contributions to justice and opportunity for all while building a stronger community. Danelle’s grassroot efforts in promoting community voter engagement with the Winnebago Tribe and leading coordinated COVID response driving high vaccination rates in Thurston County shows her grassroots approach and commitment to her community by leading efforts of opportunity and making sure their voices are heard.

Seeds of Justice Award: DLA Piper and Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfield LLP

Both law firms have a deep history in pro bono efforts and exemplify the award through outstanding legal contributions advancing the public interest through public policy reform challenging significant overcrowding in Nebraska’s prison system, lack of adequate healthcare options to inmates, and appropriate accommodations for prisoners with disabilities. 

Jim Wolf Equal Justice Award: Senator John McCollister

The award recognizes a Nebraskan who has made significant contributions to justice for all by stepping outside of the comfort of their day-to-day lives and, without thought for their own economic or political gain, devoted themselves to public service to benefit the common good. Senator John McCollister has used his independent voice in the Nebraska Legislature representing District 20 since 2015 to pass drivers and professional licenses for people with DACA status, expand SNAP’s gross income limit, and champion Medicaid expansion.

Milo Mumgaard Emerging Leader Award: Senator Terrell McKinney

Named after Appleseed’s founding executive director, this award recognizes young, emerging leaders who have a vision for the best of what Nebraska can be and, through initiative, hard work, and dedication, are pushing to make their vision a reality. Senator Terrell McKinney has been a strong advocate for equity, economic justice, and raising Nebraska’s minimum wage through living out his “all power to the people” motto. 

Make a contribution to Nebraska Appleseed in honor of this year’s Good Apple Award honorees!

Celebrate with us on Facebook live and through our blog throughout October to learn more about the mission and momentum behind each honoree’s work.

To learn more about the 2021 Good Apple Awards and how you can support Nebraska Appleseed, visit

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