DETROIT, June 1, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- New Detroit will honor a champion of higher learning, a literacy arts organization that brings professional writers into classrooms, and the nation's third largest minority-owned automotive supplier with a diverse workforce of 1,500 at its 2012 "Closing the Gap" celebration of progress in race relations.
The 14th annual awards program, scheduled Tuesday, June 19 at 5:30 p.m. at the MGM Grand Detroit Hotel Ballroom, 1777 3rd St. in Detroit, will honor the achievements of:
- Alan E. Schwartz, a New Detroit Trustee Emeritus and Chairman of the Board in 1982 with the Anniversary Award, which honors a veteran advocate for improved race relations every five years;
- Curtis L. Ivery, Ph.D., Chancellor of Wayne County Community College District (WCCCD) with the Individual Award;
- InsideOut Literacy Arts Project with the Community Organization Award; and
- Bridgewater Interiors, LLC with the Corporate Award.
"New Detroit celebrates the achievements each year of an individual, a community organization, and a corporation whose actions have made a positive change in race relations in the region," said Shirley R. Stancato, New Detroit President and CEO.
Stancato remarked that every five years a special Anniversary Award is given to a veteran advocate for improved race relations. This year's award, which marks New Detroit's 45 years as the region's leading race relations coalition, will recognize Alan E. Schwartz, a New Detroit Trustee Emeritus and Chairman of the Board in 1982. Schwartz is a founding partner of Detroit-based Honigman law firm. Previous recipients of the Anniversary Award include Joseph L. Hudson Jr., Judge Damon J. Keith and the late Dr. Arthur L. Johnson.
"Alan Schwartz is a part of that progressive generation of leaders who advocated for equality. All of this year's honorees have played a unique role toward that goal and have demonstrated through their individual achievements what true commitment to change can achieve," said Stancato.
Curtis L. Ivery, Ph.D., Chancellor of Wayne County Community College District (WCCCD), one of the nation's largest and Michigan's largest community college, will receive the Individual Award. Under his leadership, WCCCD has been transformed into a thriving, five-campus multicultural district that expanded access to higher education and new careers to more than 72,000 students annually. Dr. Ivery led the way to the creation of more than 110 degreed programs and certificate programs to help retrain Southeast Michigan workers for new careers in emerging industries such as digital media, advanced manufacturing, information technology, and health care, among others.
InsideOut Literary Arts Project, which engages students in kindergarten through grade 12 in the pleasure and power of reading and writing, will be honored with the Community Organization Award. The literacy arts organization, founded by Executive Director Terry Blackhawk in 1995, places professional writers in classrooms and has helped more than 40,000 young people in 35 schools develop self-expression and talk openly about diversity. The organization has published more than 330 poetry journals of emotionally-charged prose that has helped young writers confront their feelings. InsideOut received the "Coming Up Taller Award" from First Lady Michelle Obama on behalf of the President's Committee on the Arts in 2009 for the organization's Citywide Poets creative writing program that brings the best in verse and literary vision to Detroit's teen writers.
Bridgewater Interiors, LLC, the third largest African American-owned company in the nation and the largest African American-owned business in Southeast Michigan, is the recipient of the Corporate Award. Established in 1998, by President and CEO Ronald E. Hall, Sr., the Southwest Detroit-based auto supplier serves General Motors, Ford Motor Company, Chrysler LLC and Honda with a diverse workforce of 1,500. The company embraces the importance of leveraging the talents of all employees, especially those from groups traditionally underrepresented in business, to move the company forward.
Awards will be presented by Stancato and William S. Taubman, New Detroit Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of The Taubman Company. William Emerson, Chief Executive Officer of Quicken Loans, will serve as the event chair.
The Closing the Gap Awards Dinner is also a fundraiser for New Detroit, a nonprofit organization. Individual tickets are $150 and a range of sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information, contact Joe Ann Walker at 313-664-2042, [email protected] or visit www.newdetroit.org.
New Detroit is a private, non-profit, tax-exempt organization. The mission of New Detroit is to work as the coalition of Detroit area leadership addressing the issue of race relations by positively impacting issues and policies that ensure economic and social equity.
For more information visit: www.newdetroit.org
313-872-2202 ext. 209
SOURCE New Detroit