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

Rabalais, Scarlett

Scarlett Rabalais of Houston TX left a successful career to start Hot Diggety Dog, a string of food stands employing only seniors and the disabled. Rabalais had to battle to change ordinances in town after town to allow for the open-air carts, each employing three people at a decent wage. She's kept stands open even when they don't turn a profit.

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

Radelet, Lisa

Lisa Radelet and Steve Haberman of Milwaukee WI left well-paying jobs to work without salaries for the abolition of capital punishment. Despite death threats, 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, Texas
Home when commended: North America, US, Texas
Home now: North America, US, Colorado
Gender: F (female)
For more information, click on the Giraffe's name.

Radelet, Lisa and Steve Haberman

Steve Haberman and Lisa Radelet of Milwaukee WI left well-paying jobs to work without salaries for the abolition of capital punishment. Despite death threats, 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: C (couple)
For more information, click on the Giraffe's name.

Rahimzada, Aziza

Aziza Rahimzada stands against the elders and many others in her Afghanistan community by teaching classes, lobbying for books and supplies, and providing a forum for young people to talk about their problems so that she can get adults to address those problems. In addition, Aziza has secured running tap water for her community. She's done all this despite the obstacles thrown in front of her for being a 14-year-old girl in a culture that doesn't always value females as public forces, especially very young ones.

  • community development
  • education
  • youth issues
Giraffe work location(s): Asia, Afghanistan
Home when commended: Asia, Afghanistan
Home now: Asia, Afghanistan
Gender: F (female)
For more information, click on the Giraffe's name.

Rajan, Bilaal

By the time he was 14 years old, Bilaal Rajan had spent more than two-thirds of those years getting support for causes and inspiring other young people to get involved, despite all the pressures on kids to focus on being consumers rather than active contributors to society.

  • international aid
  • poverty
  • youth issues
Giraffe work location(s): International, Africa, Asia
Home when commended: North America, Canada, Ontario
Home now: North America, Canada, Ontario
Gender: M (male)
For more information, click on the Giraffe's name.

Raman, Meenakshi

Meenakshi Raman of Penang, Malaysia, as cofounder of her country's first public-interest law firm, offers legal aid to minorities, tenant farmers and politically unpopular clients. When Raman represented villagers whose land was being contaminated by the Malaysian government, she was tossed in jail for 47 days. Upon release she took up the case again.

  • civil liberties
  • criminal justice
  • public safety
Giraffe work location(s): Asia, Malaysia
Home when commended: Asia, Malaysia
Home now: Asia, Malaysia
Gender: F (female)
For more information, click on the Giraffe's name.

Ramirez, Jorge

Jorge Ramirez, a successful psychologist in California, went home to a family reunion in El Salvador and was so shocked by conditions there that he gave up his practice and created a nonprofit to help young Central Americans get US educations and return to their homelands equipped to improve conditions throughout the region.

  • education
  • youth issues
Giraffe work location(s): Central America, El Salvador
Home when commended: U.S., California
Gender: M (male)
For more information, click on the Giraffe's name.

Ramirez, Marie

Marie Ramirez of San Diego CA works for a Navy contractor that she has accused of sex discrimination and of exposing workers to highly toxic PCBs. Determined to stop these practices, she persisted in her claims, despite attempts to have her fired on false charges and assignments designed to pressure her to quit. (See also Alton Bennett and Tim Reid)

  • whistle blowers
Giraffe work location(s): North America, US, California
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.

Randall, Dick

Dick Randall was a professional trapper for the US Department of Agriculture, charged with killing coyotes who were killing farm animals. Seeing in person the unintended consequences of the trapping program, he quit his job and testified before Congress about the thousands of wild creatures that were dying terrible deaths in the traps. 

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

Rasor, Dina

Dina Rasor of El Centro CA founded the Project on Military Procurement as a channel for Defense Department personnel who wanted to expose misconduct in their offices without exposing themselves to retribution.

  • government
  • whistle blowers
Giraffe work location(s): North America, US, California
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.

Rateaver, Bargyla

Botanist Bargyla Rateaver of San Diego, California, battled for 20 years to get organic agriculture classes included in the California university system. Shunned by her peers for years, she is now considered the mother of the U.S. organic movement.

  • education
  • health/public health/disabilities
Giraffe work location(s): North America, US, California
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.

Rathbone, Ann

Ann and Doug Rathbone were so grateful that great medical care cured their son of leukemia, they committed to raise 500,000 Australian dollars for families who could not afford such care. They also lobby government agencies for more assistance to families whose kids have cancer, and provide support themselves to the families.
  • health/public health/disabilities
  • poverty
Giraffe work location(s): Australia
Home when commended: Australia
Home now: Australia
Gender: F (female)
For more information, click on the Giraffe's name.

Rathbone, Doug

Doug and Ann Rathbone were so grateful that great medical care cured their son of leukemia, they committed to raise 500,000 Australian dollars for families who could not afford such care. They also lobby government agencies for more assistance to families whose kids have cancer, and provide support themselves to the families.
  • health/public health/disabilities
  • poverty
Giraffe work location(s): Australia
Home when commended: Australia
Home now: Australia
Gender: M (male)
For more information, click on the Giraffe's name.

Rathbone, Doug and Ann

Doug and Ann Rathbone were so grateful that great medical care cured their son of leukemia, they committed to raise 500,000 Australian dollars for families who could not afford such care. They also lobby government agencies for more assistance to families whose kids have cancer, and provide support themselves to the families.
  • health/public health/disabilities
  • poverty
Giraffe work location(s): Australia
Home when commended: Australia
Home now: Australia
Gender: C (couple)
For more information, click on the Giraffe's name.

Read, Dallas

Dallas Read of Chevy Chase MD has questioned conventional wisdom, challenged authority, and championed the common good for over half a century. Whether the risk was to her job, freedom, or social standing, she has consistently swung into action to oppose injustice and malfeasance.

  • community development
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.

Reagan, Michael

Michael Reagan, an artist and a former Marine who served in Vietnam, gives his time and talent to drawing portraits of U.S. military personnel who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan, donating the drawings to the mourning families. Calling his effort the Fallen Heroes Project, he's brought peace to thousands of bereaved hearts, working nonstop to complete as many portraits as possible.

  • arts
Giraffe work location(s): Throughout the U.S.
Home when commended: North America, US, Washington
Home now: North America, US, Washington
Gender: M (male)
For more information, click on the Giraffe's name.
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