For more than four decades, the Trinity High School community has awarded the Trinity Peace Medal. The award recognizes a deserving individual or group for efforts that promote peacemaking, justice-building and service to others. Mr. Klaus Mittelsten H’92, who at the time was chair of Trinity’s Foreign Language Department, initiated the award, along with then-Trinity principal Rev. Thomas Duerr H’92. Recent recipients have included Mr. Roy Germano ’98, Ph.D., the Little Sisters of the Poor, Sister Mary Angela Shaughnessy and Mayor Greg Fischer ’76.
The 2018 Trinity Peace Medal is awarded to Ms. Karina Barillas.
Karina Barillas is a native of Guatemala. Through a Fulbright scholarship in 1996, Karina earned her B.A. in Liberal Studies, with minors in English, psychology and education from the University of Louisville. She received her Masters in Education with a concentration in Counseling Psychology from the University of Louisville in 2002. She began working with women’s issues as president of the International Students Organization at the University of Louisville in 2000.
Karina worked for eight years advocating, accompanying and supporting Latina victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault at the Center for Women and Families. For three years she was the co-host of the first Spanish-language television show in Kentucky, Amigos en Louisville, a social, informational and educational program. The National Conference for Community and Justice awarded her their Peace Maker Humanitarian Award in 2004. Karina was featured in Louisville Magazine’s 2004 edition as one of twelve “women to watch.” She was named “one of the twenty-five most influential Hispanics in Louisville” by the Spanish newspaper Hoy en las Americas.
In 2006, Karina was awarded the Arte Sana National Latina Advocate Award for her work with victims and survivors of sexual assault.
Karina is one of the co-founders and currently works as the Executive Director for La Casita Center, a Community of Latinx Hospitality. Unique to the state of Kentucky, the center enhances the well-being of Louisville’s Latino community through education, empowerment, advocacy, and wellness. La Casita works intentionally to build a thriving community based on mutual support and respect.
Karina was featured in the 2013 Leo Weekly’s People Issue and in the March 2014 Today’s Woman magazine. In 2015, she was awarded the Alden Fellowship by the Community Foundation of Louisville to attend Duke University and earn her Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership. In October of 2016, Karina was awarded the Toward Award on Service and Advocacy by Presentation Academy. In April 2017, she was given the University of Louisville Community Spirit Award by the College of Arts and Sciences. The Spanish newspaper, Al Dia en America, named Karina as one of the three Most Outstanding Latinas in Louisville. Most recently, in April of this year, the Community Foundation of Louisville named Karina one of the thirteen “Forces of Good” in our community, honoring her work by featuring her on a billboard.
Karina is the proud mother of Ali (Trinity Class of 2022) and Fatimah. She loves to dance salsa, sing, garden and cook in her spare time.
Karina is an outstanding example of someone who has honored the dignity of all people throughout her professional career. Her concern for the less fortunate and marginalized has been a hallmark of her career. Through her years of dedication to education, advocacy and empowerment, Karina has touched and enriched the lives of many. Karina is more than deserving of another award.
Trinity is proud and honored to bestow the 2018 Peace Medal to Karina Barillas. She is pictured with longtime Trinity Theology instructor Tom Dubay H’94.
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