Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Death penalty foe wins Youth Spirit award.(Final)

Byline: Rick Nathanson Journal Staff Writer

* Santa Fe High grad, four finalists honored at luncheon

A Santa Fe teen who is a vocal opponent of the death penalty has been named the 2003 winner of the Amy Biehl Youth Spirit Award.

The winner, Anika Liljenwall, and four finalists -- Meghen H. Beers, Amura Morning Cloud Enciso, Terra Gearhart and Katie Morris -- were honored Friday at an awards banquet at the Albuquerque Convention Center. The keynote speaker was award-winning, independent documentary filmmaker Rory Kennedy.

The annual award honors the memory of Amy Biehl, a 1985 graduate of Santa Fe High School who was killed in a 1993 riot in South Africa. The 26-year-old Fulbright Scholar was conducting voter registration drives for the first all-race election that ended apartheid and helping leaders there develop a new constitution.

Nominations were selected on the basis of the nominees' vision, initiative and dedication in service to others. The award was created by the nonprofit New Mexico Voices for Children. The agency advocates on behalf of children's issues and is committed to advancing the interests of children, youth, families and communities through research, education and organization.

Anika, a graduate of Santa Fe High School, believes that the death penalty, like apartheid, discriminates against the poor and against people of color. …

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