American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity Announces…

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AAAED Conference 2018

“We are pleased to recognize all of these distinguished individuals and organizations for their contribution to the cause of access, equity and diversity,” said Danielle Williams, Ed.D., Awards Committee Chair.

The American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity (AAAED), an organization of equal opportunity, diversity and affirmative action professionals, announced the recipients of its annual awards program. The awards will be conferred at the Association’s 44th National Conference and Annual Meeting themed "Bridging Opportunities: Keeping the Dream Alive." The meeting will be held at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel, 165 Courtland Street NE, Atlanta, GA 30303. The awards will be presented on Thursday, June 7, 2018 from 12:15 pm to 2:15 pm.

AAAED will honor civil rights icon, the Rev. Dr. CT Vivian, with the Drum Major for Justice Award. Dr. Vivian, once known as a Christian journalist, is best known for his work with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. As National Director of Affiliates and strategist for every Southern Christian Leadership Conference (S.C.L.C.) organization, he truly helped change the nation. In November 2013, Dr. Vivian was honored for his vision and leadership in the fight for justice when he was awarded this Nation’s highest civilian honor—The Presidential Medal of Freedom. The Drum Major for Justice is the highest award the association confers. The award is a special acknowledgement of the extraordinary contributions that an organization or individual, including a public servant or one who has held an elective office or appointment to public service, has made to the cause of equity, access and diversity. Previous awardees include Representatives August F. Hawkins and Parren Mitchell (deceased), Dr. Shirley A Jackson, Rep. G. K. Butterfield, Dr. Norman C. Francis and Rev. James Morris Lawson.

The Southern Poverty Law Center will receive the Edward M. Kennedy Community Service Award. The Community Service Award is presented to an individual or organization demonstrating outstanding community service. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society. Using litigation, education, and other forms of advocacy, the SPLC works toward the day when the ideals of equal justice and equal opportunity will be a reality.

Beverly Guy-Sheftall will receive the Arthur A. Fletcher Lifetime Achievement Award. The Arthur A. Fletcher Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes a lifetime of achievement promoting and advocating for affirmative action, EEO and diversity. Professor Guy-Sheftall is founding director of the Women’s Research and Resource Center (since 1981) and an Anna Julia Cooper Professor of Women’s Studies at Spelman College. She is also an adjunct professor at Emory University’s Institute for Women’s Studies where she teaches graduate courses in their doctoral program. She is currently President of the National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA). Professor Guy-Sheftall has published a number of texts within African American and Women’s Studies, which include the first anthology on Black women’s literature, Sturdy Black Bridges: Visions of Black Women in Literature (Doubleday, 1979).

Rogsbert F. Phillips-Reed, MD will receive the Rosa Parks Award. The Rosa Parks Award recognizes an individual who serves as a role model and leader for others through their personal achievements, excellence in a chosen field, a commitment to human, civil rights and social issues and contributions to the betterment of society. A native Georgian, Dr. Phillips-Reed is a general surgeon and Fellow of the American College of Surgeons specializing in breast surgery. She graduated from Columbia University School of Physicians and Surgeons in 1977, and in 1982 became the second woman and first African American woman to successfully complete Emory University’s Surgical Program.

Rogelio Sáenz, PhD will be the recipient of the Cesar Estrada Chavez Award. The Cesar Estrada Chavez Award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated leadership in support of workers' rights and humanitarian issues. Rogelio Sáenz is Dean of the College of Public Policy and holds the Mark G. Yudof Endowed Chair at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Sáenz has written extensively in the areas of demography, Latina/os, race and ethnic relations, inequality, immigration, public policy, social justice, and human rights.

The Coca-Cola Company will receive the Champion of Diversity Award. The Coca-Cola Company is the world’s largest total beverage company, offering over 500 brands to people in more than 200 countries. The company’s vision is to be as “inclusive and diverse as our brands, unleashing the power of perspectives within our associates to drive innovation and sustainable system growth.” The Champion of Diversity Award is given to an organization or corporation for outstanding achievements in promoting diversity in the workforce.

Southern Company Gas will also receive the Champion of Diversity Award. Southern Company Gas provides for the energy needs of millions of U.S. households and businesses. As the largest natural gas-only distribution company in the United States, with more than 150 years of history behind them, they are working to ensure that Americans have access to an abundant, safely delivered supply of natural gas for decades to come. Supporting and enabling diversity and inclusion is a business priority at Southern Company Gas. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion partners with the organization to create a work environment where all employees can thrive and feel valued, respected and productive.

AAAED President Myron R. Anderson, PhD, will confer the President’s Award on members of the Association who have made outstanding contributions to the Association.

“We are pleased to recognize all of these distinguished individuals and organizations for their contribution to the cause of access, equity and diversity,” said Danielle Williams, Ed.D., Awards Committee Chair. "Great honor is due to these trailblazers who have been outstanding in their fields,” added President Anderson.

The AAAED 44th National Conference and Annual Meeting is open to the press. For more information or to register for the Conference, go to:

Founded in 1974 as the American Association for Affirmative Action (AAAA), AAAED is a national not-for-profit association of professionals working in the areas of equal opportunity, compliance and diversity. AAAED has 40 years of leadership in providing professional training to members, enabling them to be more successful and productive in their careers. It also promotes understanding and advocacy of affirmative action and other equal opportunity laws to enhance the tenets of access, inclusion and equality in employment, economic and educational opportunities.

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