The Gail Sadalla Rising Peacemaker Award
Message from Community Boards regarding one of our MLK Peer Leaders:
“At our 6th Annual San Francisco Peacemaker Awards on Friday, June 3rd, we are awarding SFUSD middle school student Da’Nille Lemon with The Gail Sadalla Rising Peacemaker Award, which goes to a youth peacemaker, ages 12-24, who is making a difference in his/her school or community and setting an example for other youth in anti-violence and peacemaking activities.
We are honored to award this young advocate (and Peer Resources participant) for peace and justice, who has made a difference in her SF public school, and would love to get the word out about her accomplishments. If possible, please include this information in any calenders, announcements or newsletters.
The press release for the event and photo of Da’Nille is attached. Da’Nille’s bio below:
Da’Nille Lemon is a 14-year-old 8th grade student at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Middle School, where she serves as the Peer Mediation Project Leader for the Restorative Mediation Program. Da’Nille participates in her school’s Peer Resources elective, a program that empowers youth to create just change.
This dedicated mediator has helped her peers for many years; at MLK she has already helped resolve 20 disputes, including play-fighting turning into real violence, name-calling, and gossip. Da’Nille talks to students to convince them to use mediation, and when a mediation is scheduled, she picks up students from their classroom and accompanies them. She also provides oversight, training and feedback to other mediators.
“The main thing I like to do is to help people. If I see something that needs to be changed, I do my best to make that change,” Da’Nille said. She knows firsthand what being bullied feels like, and credits her mother, Tennille Lemon, for teaching her to stand up for herself, build her self-confidence, and to be herself— messages she now imparts to her peers.
Da’Nille founded the “No Flex Zone,” a place in her school’s cafeteria where bullying stops. She convinced the school to allow her to designate a space where students can sit and relax without having to worry about being harassed or teased. A strong advocate for social justice and peace, she likes to remind her fellow students that everyone has the right to feel safe, and encourages others to show they care. “