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Connie Hogarth, co-founder and executive director of White Plains-based WESPAC for 23 years and a longtime social justice and environmental activist, died Feb. 11. She was 95.
In 1974, Hogarth helped create WESPAC Foundation, which has fought for progressive social change in Westchester County. She stepped down from her leadership role at WESPAC in 1996.
Shortly after her retirement from WESPAC, she was honored with the establishment at Manhattanville College in Purchase of the Connie Hogarth Center for Social Action, dedicated to training students to move from academics to activism, combining conscience, career and social change. The Center occupied a major part of her activism, working for peace education, human rights, environmental justice, criminal justice, and a broad perspective on the U.S. role in the world. She was the co-chair of the annual Anti-Death Penalty lectures held at Manhattanville College, co-sponsored by the Connie Hogarth Center and the Civil Liberties Union.
Current WESPAC Executive Director Nada Khader said Hogarth’s efforts with WESPAC included educational and activist work to shut down the Indian Point nuclear power plant in Buchanan; active support for ending apartheid in South Africa and local efforts in the broad areas of human rights, LGBTQI rights, civil rights, affordable housing and equal educational opportunities. She was also a longtime member of the board of the Lower Hudson Valley Civil Liberties Union.
Her environmental focus in recent years centered around climate change and the dangers of global warming. She was one of the founding members of the Climate Crisis Coalition, launched in 2004 and based in Lenox, Massachusetts. She served on the board of Defending Dissent, the national organization based in D.C., to defend the Bill of Rights and particularly the First Amendment.
After many years living in Westchester, she and her late husband, Art Kamell, moved to Dutchess County, in a house facing the Hudson River and Storm King Mountain. In 2010, she was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement award from the Westchester Human Rights Commission and the Westchester Martin Luther King Institute Award and the Clara Lemlich Award of the Labor and Triangle (Shirtwaist Factory Fire) Coalition.
“Overriding for her was a belief in nonviolence, alternatives to war, justice in all its faces, and working to leave an earth for our children and for generations ahead,” Khader stated. “Let us collectively continue to keep her spirit alive as we work to end injustice in our world forever and ever.”
Rick has more than 40 years’ experience covering local news in Westchester and Putnam counties, running the gamut from politics and crime to sports and human interest. He has been an editor at Examiner Media since 2012. Read more from Rick’s editor-author bio here. Read Rick’s work here: https://www.theexaminernews.com/author/pezzullo_rick-writer/