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Governor recognizes outstanding Blacks at IBE

Governor Eric J. Holcomb honored 10 African-American Hoosiers for their exceptional efforts across diverse fields—including education, health and civil rights —at the Governor’s Awards Reception held in conjunction with the 47th Indiana Black Expo (IBE) Summer Celebration on July 11, 2017. The reception acknowledges the outstanding achievement of African Americans throughout the state.

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DR. VANESSA ALLEN-MCCLOUD of Gary received the 2017 Governor’s Award for Achievement in Civil Rights during the Indiana Black Expo 47th Annual Summer Celebration. She is president and CEO of the Urban League of Northwest Indiana.

“It’s an honor to pay homage to people who have lived lives of excellence and example in their communities,” Gov. Holcomb said. “These leaders are doing great work locally and for our state and nation at a time when civic engagement, leadership and civility are very much needed.”

2017 Governor’s Reception Award Winners

Achievement in Health & Wellness – Melvin Burks, CEO Hamilton Center, Terre Haute; Achievement in Business & Entrepreneurship – Frank Davis, President Circle City Rebar, Indianapolis; Achievement in Education – Dr. Dena Cushenberry, Superintendent, MSD of Warren Township, Indianapolis; Champion of Faith – Bishop Tavis Grant II, Senior Pastor of Greater First Baptist Church, East Chicago; Achievement in Civil Rights – Up and Coming Award: Chrystal and Kareem Hines, Indianapolis, IN; Community Impact Award: Dr. Vanessa Allen-McCloud, President and CEO, Urban League of Northwest Indiana; Legacy Award: Jeff Lorick, Executive Director, Human Rights Commission, Terre Haute, IN; Reverend Charles Williams Award – Rev. Charles Harrison, Ten Point Coalition; and Sam Jones Trailblazer Award – Mr. Olgen Williams former Deputy Mayor of Indianapolis Neighborhoods.

The Governor’s Awards are sponsored by the Indiana Civil Rights Commission, Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, and the Indiana Department of Administration.


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