14th Annual Race Unity Awards July 18

The 14th Annual Race Unity Awards will be held Sunday, July 18, from 3 to 6 p.m., at Klehm Arboretum Gallery, 2701 Clifton Ave., Rockford. The annual awards event includes a potluck dinner with beverage and place setting provided.

A silent auction is also planned, with proceeds benefiting The House on West State Street, a neighborhood resource center that works with neighborhood residents to improve the social and economic needs of the area.

The Race Unity Awards are sponsored by the Institute for the Oneness of Humanity and by the Baha’i Community of the Rockford area. The awards recognize individual, group and organizational efforts toward eliminating prejudice, healing the effects of racism and promoting unity and understanding within the community.

The recipients of the 14th Annual Race Unity Awards are:

All-City Musicals: Rockford Public Schools—nominated by Dr. Ellen Bueschel

The All-City Musical productions have been a project of the Rockford Public Schools funded by a federal grant called Arts Revival. There have been three productions: The King and I, The Wiz and Oliver.

Students representing all schools in the school district participated in some capacity, with racial diversity being a standard used to make casting decisions. The diversity of the participants added to the richness The 14th Annual Race Unity Awards will be held Sunday, July 18, from 3 to 6 p.m. at Klehm Arboretum Gallery, 2701 Clifton Ave., Rockford. The annual awards event includes a potluck dinner with beverage and place setting provided.

A silent auction is also planned, with proceeds benefiting The House on West State Street, a neighborhood resource center that works with neighborhood residents to improve the social and economic needs of the area.

The Race Unity Awards are sponsored by the Institute for the Oneness of Humanity and by the Baha’i Community of the Rockford area. The awards recognize individual, group and organizational efforts toward eliminating prejudice, healing the effects of racism and promoting unity and understanding within the community.

The recipients of the 14th Annual Race Unity Awards are:

All-City Musicals: Rockford Public Schools—nominated by Dr. Ellen Bueschel

The All-City Musical productions have been a project of the Rockford Public Schools funded bu a federal grant called Arts Revival. There have been three productions: The King and I, The Wiz and Oliver.

Students representing all schools in the school district participated in some capacity, with racial diversity being a standard used to make casting decisions. The diversity of the participants added to the richness of the experience for both participants and audiences. These productions have given all schools a model to follow for equity in casting and encouraging minority students to participate in school productions.

The African American Donor Task Force: Beverly Edwards and Julie Tilbury–Nominated by Tommy and Evelyn Meeks

In July 2002, the African American Donor Task Force began in the Rockford area to increase awareness about the need of life-saving donations in the minority community. Julie Tilbury, formerly of Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network and now of the National Marrow Donor Program of the Rock River Valley Blood Center, initiated this task force and looked to a leader in the minority community to preside over it.

Beverly Edwards of Crusader Clinic accepted this challenge to help save and enhance the lives of people in the minority community through the advocacy of donation. Since that time, the task force has had widespread success educating the African-American community about donation of blood, bone marrow, organ, tissue and cornea.

Edwards and Tilbury teach people that regardless of race, organ and tissue donors save lives. These two women help save lives, and at the same time promote racial unity through greater understanding of organ donation in the minority community.

Rockford Association for Minority Management (RAMM)–nominated by George Davis

Rockford Association for Minority Management (RAMM) was chartered in 1980 as a non-profit organization with a mission to enhance the contributions of minority management in business, industry and the community at large. This organization has worked to heal the effects of racism for many years by helping young people to be the best they can be.

RAMM provides positive role models and financial assistance to minority high school students for higher education. Each year, RAMM awards scholarships to deserving minority high school seniors who achieved excellence in education and in the community. This scholarship program is the result of RAMM-sponsored fund-raisers and contributions from businesses and individuals in the community who share a common belief: that investment in the education of our young people is essential. RAMM awarded 23 minority scholarships this year.

Roy Gayle Baseball Complex: Rockford Pony Baseball—Nominated by Linda Pirrello

Rockford Pony Baseball at Roy Gayle Park (at Meridian Road near Bypass U.S. 20) has been bringing boys and girls from all ethnic, economic and religious backgrounds together since 1962. Here the children learn to work together and to have respect for each other. There is a great camaraderie at Roy Gayle Park: parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles of different racial backgrounds laugh, cry, clap and yell as they cheer the boys and girls along. Some of the friendships last a lifetime and have spanned two and three generations. For more than 40 years, Rockford Pony Baseball at Roy Gayle Park has helped foster racial unity within the Rockford area through its commitment to kids, baseball and the community.

For more information: 963-3100.

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