Lora was honored for his work with the Sandy Springs Mission, where he serves as director. The nonprofit provides support, tutoring and after-school programs to 140 children each week.
“One-hundred percent of the children at High Point Elementary who attend the program passed the CRCT this year,” said Tamara Carrera, who introduced Lora. Carrera is the executive director of the Community Assistance Center in Sandy Springs and the recipient of last year’s Humanitarian Award.
She said humanitarians must, among other things, trust love will conquer fear and believe they can make a difference.
Lora is originally from the Dominican Republic. Aside from after-school programs, he assists with clothing, feeding and job opportunities for the families of the mission.
“What an honor it is to be standing here this morning,” said Lora. “We don’t do it because we’re going to eventually receive an award, but we do it for others.”
He thanked the mission’s board of directors and the churches, nonprofits and volunteers that have assisted in the mission’s success with the children it serves.
“I want to encourage all of you to follow the legacy and example of Martin Luther King. There’s so much work to be done, still,” Lora said.
Bullard spoke after Lora was presented with the Humanitarian Award.
“The day was Aug. 28, 1963,” he said. “Over 200,000 people marched on Washington, D.C., amassed and gathered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
“At the time, 100 years had passed since Abraham Lincoln passed the Emancipation Proclamation.
King told the world, ‘I still have a dream that that my four little children will one day be not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.’ Fast forward to 2013. Much has changed, yet I appeal to you. As a collective people, we still have not reached the mountaintop of our promise. Too many of our families still suffer from the soft bigotry of low expectations, the blind bigotry of apathy.”
Bullard said that Georgia ranks third from the bottom in terms of high school graduation rates and fourth in the nation in prison population rates.
“If we are to live out the full measure of his creed, we must intentionally close our eyes to the old way of thinking, … close our eyes to the status quo and dare to dream … that a family that struggles in the ghetto, in the hood, in the wreckage of our city, that that family is not doomed to that existence. However, I know that dreaming borders on slothfulness without action. We must also dare to lead. … We can all dare to lead by being involved, by tutoring, by encouraging someone else, by showing up and by being a positive example. We must dare to minister to the dispirited soul. When it becomes more important who you are than what you have … this will be the day that all of God’s children will be able to sing, ‘My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty,’” he said.