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Green Party LogoLouisiana Congressional Candidate Honored for Commitment to Humanity

Distributed by the Green Party of the United States

For Immediate Release

Contact: Pat LaMarche, Malik for U.S. Congress, 207.671.0190
Miles Dinnen, Thomas Merton Center, 412.361.3022

Malik Rahim: 2008 Thomas Merton Award Recipient

[Pittsburg, Pennsylvania] -- Thomas Merton, philosopher and noteworthy catholic author and theologian once said, "We must make the choices that enable us to fulfill the deepest capacities of our real selves." Even though he died 40 years before last night's award ceremony, honoring Malik Rahim for his work; one might have imagined that Thomas Merton said those words with Malik in mind."

Malik Rahim is the Green Party candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in Louisiana's District 2 (

Miles Dinnen, spokesperson for the Thomas Merton center explained the choice that they made this year when selecting their honoree: "This year, we honor longtime housing and prison activist Malik Rahim. Malik gained publicity as a community organizer in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina when he stayed in New Orleans to assist the community and co-founded the Common Ground Collective."

Since then, Malik has been speaking out about racism and the failures of government exposed by the Katrina disaster.

Dinnen continues, "We honor a man who took fifty dollars and with the help of three friends worked for social justice at a time of great crisis. We find his work so valuable, and the fact that he could do this work in the wake of Hurricane Katrina really caught our attention."

Rahim took time from his U.S. Congressional campaign to travel to Pittsburg to receive this award. With only weeks left before the special election which has been rescheduled because of Gustav, another hurricane that has challenged New Orleans and proven the flexibility of her residents.

"My campaign for Congress is about promise for the future," said Rahim. "This award was about the past we are building on: the past that has set us on a course for this future. I had to go, I needed to go and accept this award on behalf of the 20,000 volunteers who made Common Ground Relief happen."

"I am against war, against violence, against violent revolution, for peaceful settlement of differences, for nonviolent but nevertheless radical changes. Change is needed, and violence will not really change anything: at most it will only transfer power from one set of bull-headed authorities to another." -- Thomas Merton

More information:
Malik Rahim, candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, District 2, Louisiana
Thomas Merton Award
Common Ground Collective