Good Apple Awards


Good Apple Awards 2021

The 2021 Good Apple Awards will continue to uplift and celebrate the contributions of inspiring community partners in a safe and digital space. Due to continued COVID-19 fluctuation in the community, we are not holding our traditional in-person event, but will echo our efforts from last year’s pivot.

The Good Apple Awards is an opportunity to recognize amazing work in Nebraska and those who are dedicated to advancing justice and opportunity for all. This year, our Board and Staff are excited to celebrate community leaders, policy makers, 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.” – Becky Gould, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director

Throughout the month of October, we’ll be sharing the stories and experiences of the honorees of our traditional Good Apple Award categories, while amplifying the missions and momentum behind their work.

Here are the honorees of the 2021 Good Apple Awards!

Danelle Smith - Roots of Justice Award

This award recognizes grassroots advocates who have made outstanding contributions to justice and opportunity for all while building a stronger community. Danelle Smith is CEO of the Winnebago Comprehensive Healthcare System (WCHS), a subdivision of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska. The WCHS manages all of the Tribe’s health programs, including the Twelve Clans Unity Hospital and the Winnebago Public Health Department. Danelle is a founding partner with Big Fire Law & Policy Group, LLP while also serving as advisor and board member of many state organizations. Danelle’s grassroots 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.

WATCH – Roots of Justice Award presentation video.

READ – Special spotlight about honoree Danelle Smith on our Appleseed Blog.

Additional information on Danelle Smith

DLA Piper and Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld LLP

Both law firms have a deep history in pro bono efforts and exemplify the Seeds of Justice Award through outstanding legal contributions advancing the public interest through public policy reform. While providing practical and innovative legal solutions nationally and globally, both private law firms devoted resources to the prison litigation that Appleseed worked on with a coalition challenging significant overcrowding in Nebraska’s prison system, lack of adequate healthcare options to inmates and appropriate accommodations for prisoners with disabilities.

WATCH – Seeds of Justice Award presentation video.

READ – Special spotlight about honorees DLA Piper & Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld on our Appleseed Blog.

Additional information on DLA Piper & Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld LLP

Senator John McCollister - Jim Wolf Equal Justice Award

The award recognizes a Nebraskan who has made significant contributions to justice for all throughout their lives 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. Senator McCollister has given a lifetime of public service through previous appointments like Metropolitan Utilities District Board of Director, Executive Director of Platte Institute of Economic Research, and 35 year career with McCollister & Co., a three generation family business.

WATCH – Jim Wolf Equal Justice Award presentation video.

READ – Special spotlight about honoree Senator John McCollister on our Appleseed Blog.

Connect with Senator John McCollister on Facebook and Twitter.

Additional information on Senator John McCollister

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. Since being elected to the Nebraska Legislature to represent District 11, 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. Currently he is also studying law at Creighton University School of Law, coaching young people in wrestling, co-hosting a weekly podcast, while continually connecting in community engagement to make positive change for the North Omaha community and state of Nebraska.

WATCH – Milo Mumgaard Emerging Leader Award presentation video.

READ – Special spotlight about honoree Senator Terrell McKinney on our Appleseed Blog.

Connect with Senator Terrell McKinney on Facebook and Twitter.

Additional information on Senator Terrell McKinney

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