“The Common Good, a nonpartisan public advocacy group in New York City, honored Shook this month alongside Arizona Sen. John McCain and former Secretary of State John Kerry. She received the American Spirit Award for Citizen Activism with the headline “One Woman Posts — The World Responds.”
“I was floored because the other two recipients were John McCain and John Kerry,”Shook said. “I was really overwhelmed with emotion. That whole event was amazing.”
The theme of the event was “Our Nation at the Crossroads,” and organizers sought to gather the brightest thinkers in the United States to spotlight public policy choices and to “bolster American democratic values.” Legislators, experts and news outlets participated in a forum discussing topics such as the press under fire, global threats and the growing economy.
Shook spoke to the crowd upon receiving her award.
“I was an unknown to these people, but I got some really good feedback,” she said. “So many people came up and thanked me. I accepted the award for myself and on behalf of every marcher, because it would not have been possible without them.”
Shook said that her message focused on hope and she shared stories of what other people have done since the marches in January. She said that an 8th-grader from Chicago told her that she was so moved by the experience of walking with her mother, aunts and grandma that she is making a documentary to inspire other students.
“I told them, ‘Don’t despair, because those people who stood up had a ripple effect and it keeps rippling,'” Shook said.”