NEW CANAAN, CT - Grace Farms Foundation President Sharon Prince recently received honors from NOMI Network and Auburn Seminary recognizing her vision for Grace Farms in New Canaan, Connecticut and the Foundation’s contributions to justice, faith, community, and architecture. She was recognized among leaders including the designer Eileen Fisher, Wendy Savage of Patagonia, actress Julia Ormond, and Dr. Debbie Almontaser of Bridging Cultures Group Inc.
On April 27, Auburn Seminary honored Prince as a Lives of Commitment 2017 Honoree, granted to leaders who work to bridge divides, build community, pursue justice, and inspire positive change in the world. On May 2, NOMI Network presented Prince with their Abolitionist Award at their annual Gala at The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers in New York City. NOMI Network, an anti-trafficking organization, and Auburn Seminary, a 200-year old faith and justice advocacy organization, cited Prince’s approach to disrupt and eradicate child exploitation, modern-day slavery, and domestic violence through private and public sector collaborations at Grace Farms.
“I believe that once you learn that slavery exists, the responsibility to intervene shifts to you, and it shifts to me. We can no longer look the other way. Once I saw slavery more than a decade ago, I simply could not unsee it,” said Prince at the NOMI Network Gala. “Grace Farms is the platform and leveraging vehicle that we hope will enable more people to understand the presence and prevalence of slavery and not look away—and choose to act with us.”
In its one and a half years since opening in October of 2015, Grace Farms Foundation, with its Justice Initiative Director Krishna Patel, has galvanized law enforcement, not-for-profit organizations, government organizations, and multi-sector experts to create a new model for eradicating all forms of modern-day slavery. The unanimous passage of Connecticut Public Act 16-71, drafted at Grace Farms, has become the most comprehensive state anti-trafficking reform legislation, and is now paving the way for other states in the U.S. looking to implement anti-trafficking legislation. Additionally, outcomes from a 2016 workshop at Grace Farms with United Nations University recently led to concrete UN Security Council resolutions related to combating trafficking by non-state terrorist groups.
In addition to Prince’s recent accolades, Grace Farms has been acknowledged for its architecture, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning firm SANAA, and concept as a new kind of public space that advances the Foundation’s core initiatives of nature, arts, justice, community, and faith. To date, Grace Farms has received the AIA 2017 Architecture Honor Award, also received by Prince on April 27, and the Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize (MCHAP).