Carla Kappler received the Ismat Ara and Abdul Mannan Sheikh Community Unity Award at a ceremony in Moscow's 1912 Center on Thursday, November 7. The event was hosted by the Moscow Human Rights Commission and the City of Moscow. The biennial award, presented by the Mayor, recognizes extraordinary contributions to diversity, inclusion, human rights, and public service in Moscow and the surrounding area. It honors the memory of two outstanding citizens for whom it is named. For years, the couple hosted Thanksgiving dinners, with an open invitation to anyone.
As her nominator Lynn Ate notes, "Carla Kappler is a founding member of the Latah County Human Rights Task Force… She has especially focused on engaging Moscow's children, inspiring them with commitment to our community and to social justice. Each year she can be seen working the kitchen at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast… she's a faithful participant in Human Rights Day at the Market as a means of involving the Moscow community in human rights issues… She has marched in every kind of human rights parade - Palouse Pride, Immigration Reform, Fair Employment and more – in each case working to provide cohesion of the whole and outreach to all."
Karla is also noted for her activity with the Moscow Sister City Association and is locally known for the Carla Kappler Secret Sauce spaghetti dinner fundraiser. She has worked with Sojourners Alliance and is perhaps best known for the annual Moscow Food Drive which began in 2008.
Her nominators capture Kappler's amazing spirit in explaining, "Carla's caring heart reaches out to all in Moscow and beyond; what is even more important is that she brings people together as she shares her enthusiasm and her vision. And by bringing us together in those efforts, she brings out the best in each of us as interlaced threads in the whole cloth that is the Moscow community.
The award consists of an engraved vase for the recipient, and inclusion of their name with those of previous recipients on a plaque housed in City Hall, and on a commemorative stone in East City Park.