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Dr. Jack Manno, Cindy Squillace Honored with Racial Justice Award

Retired faculty member earns award from Interfaith Works

Cindy Squillace and Jack Manno

Dr. Jack Manno, who retired as a professor from ESF, and his wife, Cindy Squillace, will be honored this week with the Racial Justice Award from InterFaith Works.

Manno and Squillace have devoted much of their lives to advocating for multiple peace and justice causes. They have taken action to end war and racism, and they have worked to promote environmental responsibility and human-based economics. They are known for their long-time work with the Neighbors of Onondaga Nation.

Manno, who taught in the ESF Department of Environmental Studies, works and writes extensively about Indigenous values and environmental decisions. In 1993, he assisted the Onondaga when an underground gasoline storage tank operated by an illegal gas station was found to be leaking, contaminating the ground water. From working on this and other environmental issues, he developed a deep commitment to learn from and work with the Onondaga Nation. Manno was also a key organizer of the Onondaga Land Rights and Our Common Future educational series held at Syracuse Stage. He is a member of the educational collaborative at the Ska-nohn, Great Law of Peace Center and helped to found the Center for Native People and the Environment at ESF.

Squillace recently retired as a social worker and grief counselor. Her career spans Hospice's Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Program, educating Central New York about racial disparities with infant mortality. She most recently worked with teens in the Syracuse city high schools. Over many decades, she has built collaborative projects and long-term friendships with many diverse people and groups, including people from the Onondaga Nation. Some of these projects with the Onondaga Nation include the Good Friends Community Garden, the Plant and Seed Give Away, and raising awareness regarding USA and Native history through an experiential exercise called "Witness to Injustice."

InterFaith Works' Racial Justice Awards Ceremony will be held at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 21, at Syracuse Stage.