We are deeply grateful to everyone whose support and participation has made this year’s UNCF “A Mind Is” Gala such a success. That success is not just about one night, but about walking the walk and investing in a new kind of philanthropy; one that proves an investment in our young people today will pay dividends tomorrow, not just for them, but for all of us,” said Michael L. Lomax, Ph.D., president and CEO, UNCF.
The UNCF “A Mind Is” Gala also continued its tradition of honoring noted civic, education, and business leaders for their game changing advocacy on behalf of education through partnerships with UNCF and their own work. This year, two longtime advocates on behalf of UNCF’s mission to strengthen a college going culture received the organization’s highest awards.
Ingrid Saunders Jones, vice president for Global Community Connections of the Coca-Cola Company and chair of the Coca-Cola Foundation, was honored with the UNCF President’s Award for her work with and support of UNCF. Ms. Saunders Jones is a member of the Board of Trustees of UNCF member institution Clark Atlanta University and the national chair of the National Council of Negro Women.
Reverend Dr. Calvin O. Butts III, pastor of the historic Abyssinian Baptist Church, was honored with the UNCF Shirley Chisholm Community Service Award. Named for the former New York Congresswoman and the first major-party presidential candidate, the award was presented to Dr. Butts in honor of his longtime work addressing and solving educational challenges in Harlem and New York City. Russell Short, a student at a UNCF member HBCU and member of the Abyssinian Baptist Church, assisted in presenting Rev. Butts with his award. Past honorees have included Teach for America Corp members, Vernon E. Jordan, Young & Rubicam and the Ad Council. David Sable, global CEO, Young & Rubicam, and Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Ad Council were present at the event to discuss their longstanding partnership with UNCF.
Photo Credit: Earl Gibson III