Giraffe Heroes Database
Letter "H"
Entries beginning with "H"

Haberman, Steve

Steve Haberman and Lisa Radelet of Milwaukee WI left well-paying jobs to work without salaries for the abolition of capital punishment. Despite threats against their own lives, the couple founded the Justice and Mercy Project, using drama, lectures and workshops to advocate against the death sentence in Texas, the state with the most prisoners on Death Row.

  • criminal justice
Giraffe work location(s): North America, US, Wisconsin
Home when commended: North America, US, Wisconsin
Home now: North America, US, Wisconsin
Gender: M (male)
For more information, click on the Giraffe's name.

Hacker, Randi

Randi Hacker and Jackie Kaufman of Montgomery VT left their lives as writers in New York City to start an environmental-activism magazine for kids. Kaufman and Hacker maxed out their personal credit cards, and went three years without salaries, supporting themselves with other freelance work.
  • environment
  • media issues
  • youth issues
Giraffe work location(s): North America, US, Vermont
Home when commended: North America, US, Vermont
Home now: North America, US, Vermont
Gender: C (couple)
For more information, click on the Giraffe's name.

Haddock, Doris

When opponents of campaign finance reform told Doris Haddock to take a hike, she took them up on it. A staunch supporter of reform, Haddock took her message across the country, walking from L.A. to D.C. in 13 months, speaking out all the way on the dangers of a corporate takeover of democracy—and celebrating her 90th birthday on the way.

  • government
Giraffe work location(s): North America, US
Home when commended: North America, US, New Hampshire
Home now: North America, US, New Hampshire
Gender: F (female)
For more information, click on the Giraffe's name.

Hale, Clara

Clara “Mother” Hale devoted decades of her life to caring for suffering children, first taking in drug-addicted babies in her own New York apartment, then founding Hale House in Harlem so more children could have a safe and nourishing home. When she was about to retire, she was brought a drug-addicted infant and soon was caring for dozens of such babies. Then the AIDS epidemic exploded and she opened “Hale Cradle,” where HIV-infected babies could receive love and care. Retirement had to wait. 

  • health/public health/disabilities
  • substance abuse
  • youth issues
Giraffe work location(s): North America, US, New York
Home when commended: North America, US, New York
Home now: North America, US, New York
Gender: F (female)
For more information, click on the Giraffe's name.

Hale, Victoria

As a pharmaceutical executive, biochemist Victoria Hale saw that the industry was shelving drugs useful to the developing world because the projected profits weren’t high enough. Every year millions die from conditions for which cures have been discovered. Hale left her secure corporate job to found the nonprofit Institute for OneWorld Health, getting medications that vanquish debilitating and often fatal diseases to the people who most need them.

  • business/workplace issues
  • health/public health/disabilities
Giraffe work location(s): Global
Home when commended: North America, US, California
Home now: North America, US, California
Gender: F (female)
For more information, click on the Giraffe's name.

Hall, Andy

In his work as an investigator for Finnwatch, a worldwide nonprofit fostering corporate responsibility, Andy Hall uncovered multiple human abuses by Thailand’s Natural Fruit Company and reported them to the media. Rather than address the charges, the company has taken Hall to court, where he faces millions of dollars in fines and many years of imprisonment.

  • public safety
  • whistle blowers
Giraffe work location(s): Asia, Thailand
Home when commended: Asia, Thailand
Home now: Asia, Myanmar
Gender: M (male)
For more information, click on the Giraffe's name.

Hall, Louis

Louis Hall championed the rights of his fellow wheelchair users in Palatine IL by crusading for access to public transportation. When officials refused to install wheelchair lifts on buses, Hall sued the city for discrimination and won his case before the Illinois Human Rights Commission. Hall has continued to be a strong spokesperson for people with disabilities.
  • health/public health/disabilities
Giraffe work location(s): North America, US, Illinois
Home when commended: North America, US, Illinois
Home now: North America, US, Oregon
Gender: M (male)
For more information, click on the Giraffe's name.

Hall, Tony

Congressman Tony Hall of Dayton OH didn't follow the beaten path for new Representatives—getting on powerful committees, bringing home the bacon for his district, and working for his party. Instead Representative Hall chose to chair the House Select Committee on Hunger, a committee with lousy funding and no pork barrel potential. Refusing to play partisan politics, Hall shared the credit—across party lines—for the committee's highly praised work on addressing the root causes of hunger.

  • government
  • poverty
Giraffe work location(s): North America, US, Ohio
Home when commended: North America, US, Ohio
Home now: Europe, Italy
Gender: M (male)
For more information, click on the Giraffe's name.

Hamel, Gordon

Gordon Hamel was a 10-year civil servant when he blew the whistle on a federal agency that was being politicized and used as a base for the then President's re-election campaign. His attempt to expose abuse of taxpayers’ money resulted in the loss of his job, as well as a smear campaign and $80,000 in legal fees.

  • government
  • whistle blowers
Giraffe work location(s): North America, US, Virginia
Home when commended: North America, US, Virginia
Home now: North America, US, Virginia
Gender: M (male)
For more information, click on the Giraffe's name.

Hamilton, Nordia

Nordia Hamilton of Miami FL was born in Jamaica where schooling must be paid for. Grateful for the free education she is getting in the US, she devotes all her lunch hours, evenings and weekends to helping other kids learn.
  • education
Giraffe work location(s): North America, US, Florida
Home when commended: North America, US, Florida
Home now: North America, US, Florida
Gender: F (female)
For more information, click on the Giraffe's name.

Hamlin MD, Catherine

For half a century, Catherine Hamlin MD has treated Ethiopian women who have obstetric fistulas, a disastrous condition caused by lack of good care in difficult childbirths. Hamlin founded and runs a hospital dedicated to caring for these injured women, providing free surgical repairs, housing, and then training for new jobs. Hamlin has funded much of this work, forgoing a salary, and has stayed with her patients during violent coups and attacks, despite the danger.

  • health/public health/disabilities
Giraffe work location(s): Africa, Ethiopia
Home when commended: Africa, Ethiopia
Home now: Africa, Ethiopia
Gender: F (female)
For more information, click on the Giraffe's name.

Hammerman, Ilana

Israeli writer, translator, and editor Ilana Hammerman risks the loss of her career and her freedom by repeatedly defying what she considers an unjust Israeli law and writing about her "crime" in newspapers and online. She smuggles Palestinian women and children from their West Bank villages to Israeli cities and beaches for a day of freedom and fun. She does this despite the law and much hostility from Israelis who fear all Palestinians, and hundreds of other Israelis have followed her lead.

  • international peace
Giraffe work location(s): Asia, Israel
Home when commended: Asia, Israel
Home now: Asia, Israel
Gender: F (female)
For more information, click on the Giraffe's name.

Hampshire, Victoria

When FDA veterinarian Victoria Hampshire discovered that a canine medication had caused illnesses and the deaths of more than 500 pet dogs, she did her job and reported her findings. The international corporation that made the product mounted an assault on her integrity and tried to get her fired. Hampshire stood her ground and the product was recalled.

  • government
  • whistle blowers
Giraffe work location(s): North America, US, Maryland
Home when commended: North America, US, Maryland
Home now: North America, US, Maryland
Gender: F (female)
For more information, click on the Giraffe's name.

Hanh, Thich Nhat

Thich Nhat Hahn of Duras, France, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, was exiled from his country for advocating peace during the Vietnam War. He has worked continuously developing programs and raising funds for victims of war.

  • international peace
Giraffe work location(s): Europe, France; Asia, Vietnam
Home when commended: Europe, France
Home now: Europe, France
Gender: M (male)
For more information, click on the Giraffe's name.

Hankins, George

New York City Police officer George Hankins and his partner, Officer George Pearson, pooled their savings and hocked their pensions to start a youth center for troubled teens in the Bronx. Hankins worked at the center every day for many years.

  • community development
  • youth issues
Giraffe work location(s): North America, US, New York
Home when commended: North America, US, New York
Home now: North America, US, New York
Gender: M (male)
For more information, click on the Giraffe's name.

Hanna-Attisha, Mona

As both a pediatrician and a concerned parent, Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha conducted endless studies to test the levels of lead in Flint, Michigan’s tap water. She found they were dangerously high and were a serious threat to the health of local residents, especially the children. Rebuffed and insulted by local and state agencies, she went public with her findings. She was vindicated when her claims about the water were corroborated, the state’s Department of Environmental Quality censured, and the city manager’s cost-saving decision to pipe polluted Flint River water into Flint’s homes was rescinded. Flint’s water now comes from Lake Huron as it did before the decision to cut costs.

  • health/public health/disabilities
Giraffe work location(s): North America, US, Michigan
Home when commended: North America, US, Michigan
Home now: North America, US, Michigan
Gender: F (female)
For more information, click on the Giraffe's name.
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