Fred Bemak (Ed.D. 1975), a professor in the Graduate College of Education and the director of the Diversity Research and Action Center at George Mason University, was honored by the American Counseling Association as winner of the Kitty Cole Human Rights Award. The award honors an American Counseling Association member who has made significant contributions in one or more areas of the broad spectrum of human rights.
Bemak is the founder and CEO of Counselors Without Borders. The foundation for his human rights work was established early in his career as a counselor working with impoverished youth in an Upward Bound program, later becoming the youngest Upward Bound Program Director in the country. For the past four decades, he has continued his human rights work focused refugees, immigrants, trafficked children, child soldiers, poor and low income students as well as in diversity as it relates to human rights and post-disaster counseling. He has published five books and 90 book chapters and journal articles related to his social justice and human rights work. Bemak has received numerous awards including three Fulbright scholarships, a Kellogg Foundation International Fellowship, and appointments at universities in Australia, Mexico, and Taiwan.