Race Unity Awards to be presented July 27

The 13th Annual Race Unity Awards will be presented from 3 to 6 p.m., Sunday, July 27, at Klehm Arboretum, 2701 Clifton Ave., Rockford, inside the main building. The annual awards event includes a potluck dinner, with beverage and place setting provided.

A silent auction is also planned for the event, with proceeds benefiting The House on West State Street, a neighborhood program 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, as well as promoting unity and understanding in the community.

The recipients of the 13th Annual Race Unity Awards are:

Tommy and Evelyn Meeks—For the past 12 years, Tommy and Evelyn Meeks have worked tirelessly to bring the Annual Juneteenth Celebration to the Rockford area. This celebration invites and welcomes the entire Rockford area community to celebrate African-American culture through music, poetry readings, dance, speakers and food. The Meeks’ hard work and dedication to Juneteenth promotes racial unity by bringing together people of all racial and ethnic groups to mark the past, recognize the present, and give hope for the future of race relations.

Rockford Area Music Industry (RAMI) Awards—For 12 years, the Rockford Area Music Industry has hosted the RAMI Awards and provided the Rockford area community with a common denominator—music—through which we can celebrate our differences and recognize the unique contributions of different cultures. The RAMI Awards allows diverse people to perform together, present together, and celebrate outstanding achievement in music and has consistently included a diverse group of RAMI Award recipients.

Jennifer Smith—Ms. Smith promotes unity through her life, encouraging all with whom she interacts to see concord rather than discord, and has found many ways to express her belief in unity. In high school, Smith wrote essays on the need for racial and religious acceptance; in college, some of her friends learned to appreciate diversity by experiencing her diverse group of friends. Jennifer Smith is living proof that we can achieve the oneness of humanity one person at a time, one day at a time.

For more information, call 963-3100.

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