NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – The New Hanover County Office of Diversity and Equity hosted its second annual Equity Awards Gala on Friday, August 19, recognizing 11 residents for their dedication to expanding and elevating equity and diversity throughout the community.
The event, which was held at Wendell Daniels Hall at Cape Fear Community College’s Union Station, brought local leaders, elected officials and community advocates from across New Hanover County together for a celebration to recognize community members who are advancing diversity, equity and inclusion work across the county.
“When the Office of Diversity and Equity was established in June 2020, we knew that equity had to be woven into the fabric of how we operate as a county. We also knew that while local government could foster that idea, the value ultimately needed to become part of our community’s way of life. This event is an amazing opportunity to honor and remember that,” said New Hanover County Board of Commissioners Vice-Chair Deb Hays who spoke at the event. “When you meet these 11 individuals we celebrated and hear the stories about the efforts they have made, it is a reminder of the amazing things happening around us. It is truly humbling to be here recognizing all they are doing to make our home a better place.”
The recipients of the 2022 Equity Awards are:
- Chakema Clinton-Quintana, Vice President of Inclusive Small Business at Live Oak Bank – Business Equity Award
- Sean Palmer, Director of UNCW’s Upperman African American Cultural Center – Education Equity Award
- Rev. Dr. Jermaine Armour, Pastor of Outreach Ministry Saint Luke AME Zion Church – Faith-based Equity Award
- Sheri Shaw, Three Ladies in Wilmington Founder – Community Equity Award
- Crystal Pellom, Three Ladies in Wilmington Founder – Community Equity Award
- Dr. Constance Foreman, Three Ladies in Wilmington Founder – Community Equity Award
- Cierra Washington, Northside Food Co-Op Project Manager and community advocate – Community Equity Award
- Fawn Rhodes, New Hanover County Health and Human Services Advancing Equity Coordinator – Health Equity Award
- Jazmin Trejo, Cape Fear Latinos Founder – Nonprofit Equity Award
- Vannia Bautista, Cape Fear Latinos Founder – Nonprofit Equity Award
- Amir Johnson, Myrtle Grove Middle School student and international winner of World’s Perfect Brightest Boy – Youth Equity Award
“Last year, for the first Equity Awards, we were blown away by the nominations we received, which set a very high standard. This year’s nominees certainly carried that torch even further,” said New Hanover County’s Chief Diversity and Equity Officer Linda Thompson. “When we sat down to review the almost 47 nominations that were submitted, it was so impressive to see the dedication shown by our community members to promote diversity, inclusion and respect across our county. It’s an honor to congratulate this year’s recipients and I want to thank them for their dedication to serving others while helping our community heal forward.”
View photos of the event and award winners here. And for more information on the Office of Diversity and Equity, visit Diversity.NHCgov.com.