Skip to main content

Boreal Community Media

The Violence Prevention Center presents the Joan Drury Award

May 20, 2022 03:51PM ● By Editor
May 20, 2022

The Joan Drury Award is named in honor of local resident Joan Drury, and recognizes one community member and one business each year who exemplify a commitment to creating a peaceful and just community that fosters healthy relationships and does not tolerate violence. The Violence Prevention Center is currently accepting nominations for the Joan Drury Award through July 1st. One award winner will be selected from each category, and the winners will be presented with their awards at a ceremony on August 20th.

Joan Drury, who was born February 2nd, 1945 and passed away November 9th, 2020, dedicated her life to feminism, justice, advocacy, and equity for women, girls, and LGBTQ2IA+ individuals. She leaves behind an enduring legacy. Joan believed in women and believed they should be empowered and uplifted by other women. The mission of the Violence Prevention Center dovetails with these beliefs and Joan gave her energy and resources to supporting the organization. She believed all people deserve a chance to live out their own story without the fear of domestic violence and sexual assault. She contributed to the Violence Prevention Center as a volunteer, board member, donor, and active friend. To Joan, friendship was the most valued of relationships and commitments. The Violence Prevention Center is proud, honored, and forever grateful to be a friend of Joan Drury. We present the Joan Drury Award to honor our friend and to recognize other community members who continue to make positive change in the lives of those around them.

​As a long-time volunteer at the Violence Prevention Center in Grand Marais, Joan had many roles. She actively served on the Board of Directors, attended and volunteered at events, and supported the organization financially. While Joan participated and invested in the organization and used her own resources, she also encouraged others to do the same. She recruited friends and community members  to serve as VPC volunteers and board members. During milestones of Joan’s own life, including birthday parties, she asked her guests to celebrate her by making a contribution to the VPC. 

​Joan Drury lived the mission and vision of VPC throughout her entire life. Joan reveled in the meaning of words; she believed women's experiences and ideas birthed new realities and the possibility to create a more inclusive and just world. As an author, activist, and feminist, Joan had a wide variety of interests all connected by her commitment to feminism and advocacy for feminist values. In all these capacities Joan understood the importance of individuals being free from both violence and the fear of violence in order to achieve their full potential. She was a leader who was committed to working toward a just and equitable community.​

Joan lived and advocated boldly. She used her voice, resources, and influence to make a better world for women, girls, and LGBTQ2IA+ individuals. Joan knew that not all LGBTQ2IA+ individuals are safe to let their true identities be known. By being visible as a lesbian herself, even stamping her personal and business bills as “lesbian money,” Joan hoped to create and live in a world where people are free and safe to love and be their true selves. All throughout her life, Joan worked to rewrite societal narratives. Joan has made a resounding change in the narratives of countless individuals, non-profits, and communities. The Joan Drury Award honors Joan’s unmatched, lifelong commitment to fostering communities and systems which cultivate healthy relationships, serve individuals with equity and compassion, and do not tolerate violence.

The Violence Prevention Center is accepting nominations for community members and businesses who exemplify one or more of the following: volunteerism; community commitment; promotes education, awareness, and outreach; personal awareness; and philanthropy. Nominations may be submitted online at through July 1st, 2022. Contact the Violence Prevention Center with any questions: 218-387-1262 or by email at [email protected].