The Joel Hernandez Voice of the Recovery Community Award recognizes one local, state or regional recovery community organization for its success in assessing the specific needs of their community and carrying out a vision and mission of mobilizing resources within and outside the recovery community to increase the prevalence and quality of long-term recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs.

Congratulations to the 2017 Joel Hernandez Award Recipient

The Alano Club of Portland was established in 1947 to provide inviting and accessible support for individuals and families recovering from alcoholism, drug addiction, and other addictive disorders. Since its inception, Alano has been the most visible and accessible source of healing, hope and solutions for recovering men, women and families in Oregon.  In addition to over 100 weekly mutual aid support meetings, the Alano Club offers other recovery resources, like weekly recovery yoga and mindful meditation classes, monthly seminars on topics like brain chemistry and addiction and relationships and recovery, and regular workshops on topics ranging from recovery advocacy to mindful-based relapse prevention. The Alano Club also hosts large-scale sober social events, like their Recovery Art Walk, Recovery Talent Show and holiday community dinners.

The Alano Club seeks to provide individualized recovery programs to all that desire help with their recovery journey. The Club has studied and integrated alternative recovery options into their own Recovery Toolkits, as the Club describes them. Every individual that seeks recovery assistance from the Club receives an unique recovery plan that can include faith-based or secular support, workshops on mindfulness, healthy eating, and yoga, or writing seminars that encourage and help those in recovery to write and share their stories. The peer support found at the Club along with individualized Recovery Toolkits has made the Alano Club one of the most notable recovery community organizations in the country. The Alano Club is a member of the Association of Recovery Community Organizations (ARCO) at Faces & Voices of Recovery.

Brent Canode will receive this prestigious award on behalf of the Alano Club of Portland. Brent became the Club’s Executive Director in 2006. From 2006-2008 he designed and implemented the capital campaign that made possible the recent restoration of the Club’s historic support center. Brent brings to the Club more than ten years of experience in policy analysis, program development, fundraising and non-profit management. He has worked for a diverse mix of elected officials, non-profit organizations and government agencies.

Honoring Joel Hernandez

The Voice of the Recovery Community award honors a champion whose protest in the face of discrimination inspires us all. For 25 years, Joel Hernandez worked in the electronics industry at Raytheon as a calibration technician. After testing positive for cocaine in 1991, Joel resigned his position to prevent being fired. After he found recovery and with the support of his family, he applied for his old position at Raytheon. He found he faced a lifetime ban for employment at the company after receiving a card in the mail saying his application had been denied. 

Joel fought hard to return to his old workplace and to help others in the future. His fight to get his job back under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) went all of the way to the US Supreme Court in a suit that he filed to regain the chance to compete for any job he had been qualified for in 25 years of being employed. In 2004, a settlement in Joel’s favor was reached before it was ever brought before a jury. 

“People in recovery from addiction, their families and friends know that there is hope for every one of us, in spite of our past history. When I decided to sue Raytheon, I wanted to let others know that recovery works, and that we can give a good, positive message that we can be productive, tax-paying citizens,” Hernandez stated. 

Joel’s fight to restore a basic civil right ignited the recovery movement and goes down as a pivotal moment in our history.

Faces & Voices of Recovery honors this remarkable man, Joel Hernandez, who championed recovery advocacy until he passed away from cancer in February 2006. 


NOMINATION INFORMATION- check back in 2018

The Voice of the Recovery Community Award recognizes one local, state or regional recovery community organization for its success in assessing the specific needs of their community and carrying out a vision and mission of mobilizing resources within and outside the recovery community to increase the prevalence and quality of long-term recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs.

Nomination period has ended for 2017- check back for 2018 deadlines

Criteria for Nominated Organizations:

Local, state or regional recovery community organizations that are led and governed by representatives of the recovery community - people in long-term recovery, their families, friends and allies - that support all pathways to recovery and focus activities on the following three strategies:

  1. Public Education: educating the public, policymakers, media, and others about the reality and promise of recovery to change public attitudes
  2. Policy Advocacy: advocating for local, state, and federal public policies that support long-term recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs
  3. Making peer-based and other recovery support services available and accessible to build leadership and support long-term recovery

 Nomination Guidelines

  • Previous recipients of the Joel Hernandez Award may not be re-nominated.
  • Organizations that have been nominated in previous years may be nominated again.
  • Organizations are not required to be independent entities or 501(c) 3 organizations.
  • Employees of Faces & Voices of Recovery, their immediate families and current board of directors and their families and organizations are not eligible.
  • The recipient will be expected to attend The American Honors Recovery award reception on July 17, 2017 in Washington, DC, all expenses paid.

A complete nomination form includes:

  1. Nomination Recommendation
  2. Nominated Organization Description
  3. 2 References and Contact Information

If you wish, you may send additional supporting documents. Please note any supporting information will not be returned.

Incomplete nominations will not be processed. Only one nomination per individual accepted. A selection committee will decide on the recipient based on the selection criteria outlined in the Nomination Guidelines and Requirements. All nominations will be acknowledged by email. The organization receiving the award will be contacted directly by the selection committee and will be honored at the America Honors Recovery Gala & Dinner in Washington, DC on July 17, 2017.