FARE recently honored two youngsters at the center of an important anti-discrimination complaint to protect the rights of individuals with food allergy. Mason Wicks-Lim and Sam Picone-Louro received the FARE Young Advocate Award during a presentation at the Boston Children’s Hospital Food Allergy Symposium, held Sept. 24, 2016 in Danvers, Mass.
Prior to the award presentation, attorney Mary Vargas gave an overview of the case. In a Letter of Finding, the U.S. Department of Justice determined that Mason was discriminated against when a Western Massachusetts youth theatre company failed to make reasonable modifications for his safety. The theatre was also found to have retaliated against Sam, who spoke up on Mason’s behalf.
As part of Vargas’ presentation, Mason and Sam both talked about their experiences, highlighting the challenges they faced with friends and the community because of the case, as well as their desire to push forward so that others wouldn’t be discriminated against in the future.
“The most important thing I learned is that it’s really important to speak up for yourself and for others who need your voice,” said Mason.