BY JANE MOON DAIL
One Columbia organization is celebrating its 48th year of recognizing leaders who make a different across the Midlands and the state.
The Columbia Urban League will host the 48th annual Fund Campaign and Equal Opportunity Day Dinner 6 p.m. today at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. The organization will recognize five business, educational and civic leaders for their contributions toward unity, cooperation and civility.
"Our honorees are being recognized for their dedication and servant leadership to the Columbia Urban League and for their involvement in supporting underserved communities," said James T. McLawhorn, Columbia Urban League president and CEO. "All of our honorees, along with others, have been instrumental in moving our state toward (this year's theme of) 'One South Carolina.'"
Gov. Nikki Haley will be the keynote speaker, and she will also receive an award for the leadership she has exhibited this year.
Equal Opportunity Dinner honorees:
Martha Scott Smith is receiving the Anthony and Alice Hurley Award. Smith is being recognized for her years of leadership and service with the Columbia Urban League. She helped establish the Summer Work Experience Leadership Program (SWELP), which has served more than 6,000 youths.
The Boeing Company will receive the Virgil C. Summer Award, which recognizes exemplary achievements of individuals and businesses promoting corporate social responsibility. The company is being recognized for promoting diversity and focusing on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education for a more competitive workforce.
Project Unity, USA will receive the Ethel M. Bolden Community Service Award. The Columbia Urban League will present the award to the grassroot national community initiative's president, Bruce Trezevant. Project Unity, USA is being recognized for promoting unity among community stakeholders to reduce crime and increase health in the community.
David H. Swinton, Benedict College president and past chairman of the Columbia Urban League, is receiving the President's Award. He is being recognized for his years of service and leadership, including for planning the 2000 King Day at the Dome.
Gov. Nikki Haley, South Carolina's first minority and female governor, will receive the Stephen G. Morrison/Nelson Mullins Social Justice Award. She is being recognized for her leadership in the South Carolina General Assembly's removal of the Confederate Flag from the State House grounds. She is also being honored for her efforts to unite the state after massacre of nine people at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston this summer.
Source: The State Newspaper