Shirley Lee Recipient of the Daaga’ Community Service Award
BOARD RESOLUTION NO. 2016-18
SUBJECT: DAAGA’ COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD – SHIRLEY LEE
WHEREAS, Shirley Lynne (McConnell) Lee, originally of Evansville is the daughter of the late Russell “Mac” and Helen (Foster) McConnell. She has four sisters: Marilyn Callahan, Donna Cofield, twin Sharon McConnell, and the late Doris Bailey. Shirley’s Inupiaq name is Bunikjoruk means “lively and bubbly little girl.” She has been married to Gary Lee for 36 years and they have six children: Laverne, Jennifer, Daniel, Solana, Christin, Juliana and ten grandchildren; and
WHEREAS, Shirley is one of a few ordained Native women priests of the Episcopal Church and currently serves at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Fairbanks. Her primary ministry has been devoted to working with Alaska Native male inmates. Together with her husband, Shirley travels to various prisons in Alaska and out of state to visit, mentor and guide them. As a consequence, many affectionately call them “Mom and Dad.” Shirley supports and mentors inmates upon their re-entry into society; and
WHEREAS, Shirley has been deeply involved in the movement to free the Fairbanks Four. As Chair of the Tanana Chiefs Conference Justice Task Force, she worked closely with the Alaska Innocence Project leaders and others to overturn the convictions of George Frese, Kevin Pease, Marvin Roberts and Eugene Vent; and
WHEREAS, Shirley was the recipient of the 2011 Women of Distinction Award from the Girl Scouts Farthest North Council that recognizes strong contributors who make highly visible and silent contributions to the Fairbanks community. The awardees are honored for making Fairbanks a better place to live and being a positive role model for young girls; and
WHEREAS, Shirley was an early advocate of and established Housing First whose mission is to provide permanent, safe, supportive housing to the homeless chronic inebriate population. Since the facility opened in 2012, several residents now live sober lives and the interaction between inebriated individuals, police and fire departments has declined drastically; and
WHEREAS, Shirley often says, “we are all servants and should always serve others,” and leads by example. She works with families and law enforcement to hold an annual gathering of remembrance for victims of unsolved homicides and raises awareness of the unsolved cases. Shirley serves on the Diversity Council for the City of Fairbanks and for the past 35 years, has served as a board member for Evansville, Incorporated.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Directors of Doyon, Limited on behalf of the shareholders, hereby recognize Shirley Lee for her strong commitment, competence and sensitivity in the area of helping others to make communities healthier and safer places to live. Her accomplishments directly impact Alaska Native people. The Board of Directors hereby honors Shirley Lee as the recipient of the 2016 Daaga’ Community Service Award.
ADOPTED and DATED this 20th day of February 2016 at Fairbanks, Alaska.