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NANCY BISSELL

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Birth Date: 1939
Birth Place: New Jersey

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Date submitted: October 24, 2006
Gift: Arch with Seating
Location on plaza map: A2
Areas of Achievement: Activism, Arts, Community Building, Higher Education, Philanthropy, Volunteer
 
Nancy Bissell was nominated for the Amazon Foundation's Women Activists Arch in the Women's Plaza of Honor by Primavera Foundation.

"Nancy Bissell has served her community well. Through a lifetime of commitment to peace and social justice, she has spoken for those who were ignored and rallied for the rights of individuals to live their life with dignity and personal freedom. A former Peace Corps volunteer to Bolivia, Nancy fights for the rights of the individual. She opposes oppression in her stands against sexism, homophobia, and other unjust perspectives.

Nancy’s life displays a long history of advocacy for homeless people. She brought to her Tucson community in 1982, St. Martin’s soup kitchen, organized by her and sponsored by the Episcopal Church of Arizona. Her experience listening to the men, women, and families who came for food encouraged her and another Tucsonan, Gordon Packard, to further extend assistance to people caught in poverty. The Primavera Foundation was born. In its 21 years, Primavera has developed day shelters, an emergency shelter, transitional housing complexes, employment training programs and other services to help homeless people with basic needs and opportunities of self-empowerment. Over 6,000 people a year benefit from these programs. As an active board member, Nancy remains involved with this evolution of services.

The community has recognized Nancy’s commitment. Among the honors Nancy has received are the Jefferson Award for Public Service, National Association of Social Worker’s Community Service Award, AFP’s 2001 Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser Award, and an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from the University of Arizona. Each award is in response to Nancy’s commitment to challenge oppression and promote justice. Nancy Bissell is a social activist par excellence." --Primavera Foundation