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President’s Award for Civic Leadership for Boston pastors

Emerson President Lee Pelton hosted the College’s inaugural President’s Award for Civic Leadership on Wednesday, February 4, in the Bordy Theater.

Pastors Gloria White-Hammond and Ray Hammond of the Bethel AME Church of Boston received the awards in recognition of their outstanding civic leadership, and advancing social justice and the common good.

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Pastors Gloria White-Hammond and Ray Hammond receiving the President's Award for Civic Leadership at the Bordy Theater on February 4. (Photo by Nick Eaton '17)

The award recognizes individuals throughout Boston, as well as nationally and globally, whose actions have made a positive impact on society.

The Hammonds, who are husband and wife, accepted the awards during the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Leaders Breakfast, which was organized by Emerson’s Elma Lewis Center for Civic Engagement, Learning, and Research.

Pelton

President Lee Pelton at the award ceremony February 4. (Photo by Nick Eaton '17)

Dr. White-Hammond is a retired pediatrician from the South End Community Health Center and co-pastor of the Bethel AME Church in Boston. In 1994 she founded the church-based creative writing/mentoring ministry, Do The Write Thing, for high-risk adolescent females. The project serves young women through small groups in Boston public schools, juvenile detention facilities, and on site at Bethel AME Church. In 2002, she co-founded My Sister’s Keeper, a women-led humanitarian and human rights initiative that partners with Sudanese women in their efforts toward reconciliation and reconstruction of their communities.

Pastor Hammond has a long history of involvement with youth and community activities. He is Chairman and Co-Founder of the Ten Point Coalition—an ecumenical group of Christian clergy and lay leaders working to mobilize the Greater Boston community around issues affecting high-risk youth; Executive Director of Bethel's Generation Excel program; Executive Committee Member, Black Ministerial Alliance; Chair of the Boston Opportunity Agenda; a member of the Strategy Team for the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization; a member of the Boston Green Ribbon Commission; and a trustee of the Yawkey Foundation, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, BMC Health System, Inc. and the Math and Technology Public Charter High (MATCH) School. He is a former chairman of the Boston Foundation, and continues to work in local and district youth activities in the AME Church.

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Dorcas Thete '18 at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Leaders Breakfast in the Bordy Theater on February 4. (Photo by Nick Eaton '17)

Married since 1973, the Hammonds have devoted their lives to serving local and global communities in need. “I’m very pleased to present this inaugural award for civic leadership to Pastors Gloria White-Hammond and Ray Hammond. Their work exemplifies the extraordinary impact that action motivated by a concern for social justice and our common good can have on so many individual lives and communities,” said President Pelton.

Martin

Emerson staff member Steven Martin sings during the Community Leaders Breakfast on February 4. (Photo by Nick Eaton '17)

The College’s Office of the President and its Elma Lewis Center for Civic Engagement, Learning and Research established the President’s Award for Civic Leadership to celebrate great civic leaders. It will be awarded on an ongoing basis to individuals who demonstrate creative courage in advancing social justice, selfless action to better the lives of others, and/or outstanding leadership that advances the common good.

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Attendees of the Community Leaders Breakfast in the Bordy Theater on February 4. (Photo by Nick Eaton '17)