The 36th annual Giants Awards Banquet returns to Grand Rapids tomorrow evening from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m at DeVos Place in the Steelcase room.
Founded by Dr. Patricia Pulliam and Cedric Ward in 1983, the award banquet is held to honor 13 African American individuals or organizations, including members of the Grand Rapids Community College community, for their contributions to changing the quality of life in Grand Rapids.
“This event is so important because it’s honoring many of the people that have contributed so greatly to our Grand Rapids community,” said Domingo Hernandez-Gomez, Director of the Bob and Aleicia Woodrick Center for Equity and Inclusion.
The Woodrick Center has been working on the Giants Awards Committee and are planning the event.
The 2018 honorees include:
Floyd Skinner Justice Award – Huemartin Robinson II
Walter Coe Public Service Award- Christina Y. Johnson
Eugene Browning Medical Service Award – Dr. Valencia L. Agnew
W.W. Plummer Humanitarian Award – Renee Williams
Milo Brown Business Award – Wayne D. Wilson
Phyllis Scott Activist Award – Rhondo Cooper Director of upward bound
William Glenn Trailblazer Award – Bill Manns
Raymond Tardy Community Service Award – Gertrude G. Croom
H.C. Toliver Religious Life Award – Lois Jene Thomas
Hattie Beverly Education Award – Carolyn J. Evans
Martha Reynolds Labor Award – Deborah A. McMillan
There will also be Junior Giants Awards given at the event. These awards are scholarships given to Grand Rapids students that have shown exceptional leadership abilities, community involvement and impact, academic or athletic accomplishments and academic progress or achievements.
The Junior Giants Cedric Ward Leadership Scholarship will be awarded to Binti Abdi, a senior from the Kent Intermediate School District.
The Junior Giants Dr. Patricia Pulliam Leadership will be awarded to GRCC student and member of Alpha Beta Omega, Deandre Bridgeman.
Event organizers are excited about this event which highlights the achievements of leaders within the local minority community.
“If you look at our history, those in the minority were not always recognized for their work,” Hernandez-Gomez said. “It’s also important because it’ll help to inspire young people in the community to be active and helpful in the community.”