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UnityND founder recognized by USA Network

Culture | November 12th, 2014

UnityND founder recognized by USA Network

One of the founders of UnityND is being recognized by USA Network for his anti-racism efforts and will be given an award at ceremony this Saturday.

Scott Garman, of Little Falls, Minn. and formerly of Fargo, will received a Characters Unite Award, which is inspired by USA Network’s “Characters Welcome” slogan to fight social injustices and cultural divides still prevalent in our society. As a part of the award, UnityND will receive a $5,000 grant. The awards program was launched in 2009.

“The criteria for winning a Characters Unite Award are: character, impact and influence. Scott Garman demonstrates each of these through his work with UnityND,” said Loren Hynes of USA Network. “He is a remarkable example of someone who, upon learning about an extreme situation of hate in his home state, decided to take action to unite others to stop racism and discrimination that was developing. He rallied people near and far to raise awareness of and put a stop to the hate and discrimination in Leith. Garman knew it wouldn't be easy, but he was committed to the effort and cared deeply about the cause.”

White supremacist Craig Cobb was arrested for terrorizing citizens of Leith, N.D. and is no longer an issue for its citizens thanks in no small part to UnityND’s efforts. The group also held a festival in July to celebrate its efforts.

“I personally didn’t feel that I deserved the award as a single person. UnityND has been a group effort from day one,” Scott Garman told HPR. “It was humbling to be nominated and to win. We all deserve this award. It’s not just for me, it’s for all the other members of our group as well.”

Garman was nominated by a distant cousin from New Mexico who heard about his efforts on the Internet. Garman is hoping to use the grant money to start a couple college scholarships that promote diversity as well as organize more events like Unity Fest.

“The Characters Unite Award honors extraordinary individuals around the country who are working to combat hate and discrimination,” Hynes told HPR. “Scott Garman, through his work at UnityND, works tirelessly to raise awareness of and put an end to the real hate that still exists in America today. His passion for promoting tolerance, respect and unity has resulted in real, meaningful change. He is an incredibly brave and inspiring individual.”

As a part of winning the award, USA Network is currently airing a PSA featuring Garman.

“I’ve seen so much growth over the past year,” Garman said. “And it’s just so wonderful to see North Dakotans coming together over issues that affect all of us and coming together to do something about these things. It’s just been inspiring. I can’t stress enough how much I respect the people of North Dakota and those that have been with me every step of the way.”

Saturday’s ceremony will include an award presentation, a speech from Garman and free food and drinks.

IF YOU GO:

Characters Unite Award presentation

Sat, Nov. 15, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

The Falls Ballroom, Little Falls, Minn.

charactersunite.com

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