On March 28, Halifax Community College will hold its inaugural Progressive Communities Awards dinner.
During the event, eight individuals and organizations will be honored for their contributions to the citizens of the Roanoke Valley.
The ceremony will be held at The Dr. Ervin V. Griffin, Sr. Centre.
African American Heroes Award
The African American Heroes award is designed to honor individuals who have changed the local landscape for African Americans in the Roanoke Valley.
Winners are selected based on their contributions to the community, their unselfish devotion to others, innovative leadership in the region and their willingness to share time and wisdom with the community through their service.
The 2019 African American Heroes recipients are Dr. Stephanie Credle and Mr. James Miller.
Community Bridge Builders Award
The Community Bridge Builders award honors individuals who have developed and fostered partnerships across social, racial or demographic lines for the betterment of the Roanoke Valley. Through these connections, these individuals have pioneered initiatives that stand as important examples of what can be accomplished when differences are put aside to achieve a common goal.
The 2019 Community Bridge Builders recipients are Curtis Wynn, Audrey Hardy, and the late Kim Taresco.
The Faith-in-Action award was created to honor churches and religious organizations that consistently live out the tenets of their faith, making a quiet difference in the lives of everyone they meet. It recognizes and honors spiritual leaders and congregations who do more than talk about their faith – they live it every day.
The 2019 Faith-in-Action Award recipients are Quankey Missionary Baptist Church and Valley Community Church.
Youth Impact Award
The Youth Impact Award recognizes those residents of the Roanoke Valley under the age of 18 who have made a difference in their world. Whether they came together to benefit others, tackled problems like bullying, or simply improved the atmosphere within their schools, their impact in the Roanoke Valley can be seen and felt by everyone.
The 2019 Youth Impact Award recipient is Minister Elijah Lee.
All winners will be recognized and honored at the Progressive Communities Awards dinner on Thursday, March 28, at 6 p.m. Tickets are $25, and can be purchased online at this link, or by calling Sabrina Freeman at 252-536-5464. Sponsorship opportunities are also available through the HCC Foundation by calling 252-536-5479.
Presidential Lecture Series
The next speaker for the Presidential Lecture Series will be Holocaust survivor Zev Harel, who will be at The Griffin Centre April 4 at 1 p.m.
Harel was 10-years-old when Nazi forces invaded European countries. All of his friends and family, with the exception of one brother and three cousins, died during the Holocaust.
Harel said lying about his age is what saved him from being sent to the gas chambers while at the concentration camp.
Harel is a survivor of Auschwitz, Mauthausen and Ebensee concentration camps. He was liberated at the age of 15 by the U.S. Army’s 3rd Cavalry. Following his liberation, Harel served in Israel’s military, and military reserves, until 1965.
Harel is a graduate of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel, and received his Master of Social Work from the University of Michigan, and his Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. He is Professor Emeritus of the School of Social Work at Cleveland State University in Cleveland, Ohio.
Harel has been a public speaker about the Holocaust for the past 40 years as he honors the memories and legacies of the Holocaust. He has been engaged in speaking about these topics to high school students, college students, and educators at local, state and national levels. Harel has also spoken at Holocaust Teacher Workshops sponsored by the North Carolina Council on the Holocaust and at Holocaust Remembrance events in North Carolina. Among his numerous awards, he was a recipient of the Elie Wiesel Award of Honor.
The event is free and open to the public.