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Page last updated on November 17, 2022 at 10:18 am

Thank you to all the members of the Commission on the Status of Children and Youth. The Commission’s purpose is to promote connections in our community which empower, enhance and nurture children and youth. This is vital and noble work. We frequently ask children to try their hardest and do their best and it is only right that we try our hardest and do our best by them. I would like to thank the young folks gathered here for their patience and trust as we adults strive to do our best by them. I would also like to thank Beverly Calender-Anderson, Shatoyia Moss, and the staff of the Community and Family Resources Department for everything you do on behalf of our Bloomington families.  


First, an acknowledgement as we commence: We recognize that the city of Bloomington sits on Native land. The city as well as City administrative buildings are on the traditional homelands of the Miami, Delaware, Potawatomi, and Shawnee people, and we acknowledge they are past, present, and future caretakers of this land. We also acknowledge that much of the economic progress and development in  Bloomington and Indiana resulted from the unpaid labor and forced servitude of People of Color - specifically enslaved African labor. We acknowledge that this land remains home to and a site of gathering and healing for many indigenous and other people of color and commit to the work necessary to create and promote a more equitable and just Bloomington. Thank you.


We are here to honor the nominees and winners of the Students Who Act Generously, Grow and Earn Respect or S.W.A.G.G.E.R. awards. These young people look around them and realize that something can be better. They take action, commit themselves to a cause, or otherwise work for our community in a way that improves lives. Bloomington is a dynamic community that welcomes positive change. The cliche that children are the future is certainly true and I commend these young people that have decided to use their actions and voices to shape that future. 


Before we move on to the awards, I want to recognize the parents and caregivers here. You are to be commended for the daily work of supporting, nurturing, loving, and guiding these outstanding young people of integrity. On behalf of all of us, thank you for raising the leaders of tomorrow.  


I also want to mention what a treat it is for me to be here. As mayor, I get to speak with and to many people, but there is no greater privilege than getting to pay tribute to the young people of our community, for work you are doing that goes beyond yourself and your own needs -- work that shows generosity, growth, and respect. Putting ideas and beliefs into action is something not everyone has the courage to do. Bloomington, some say, is an ambitious community driven by possibility. You exemplify ambition, community, and seeing possibility. You exemplify hope, progress, and positive change. You exemplify service and commitment and these qualities distinguish you as exceptional community members, which is why you are receiving these awards. You are not content with what is, but push for what could be, what should be, and what will be.


Congratulations to all of our nominees. You are radiant and we are basking in your glow!   With no further ado, I would like to present the 2022 SWAGGER Awards.  


Starting with the Kindergarten to 2nd-grade category...