COLUMBIA, SC — Eight Midlands business, civic and educational leaders will be honored for their service to the community when the Columbia Urban League hosts the 46th Annual Fund Campaign and Equal Opportunity Day Dinner Thursday at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.
“Empowering Families through Civility and Self-Reliance” is the theme for this year’s dinner.
“The contributions of these honorees have improved the quality of life for many in our community as well as enhanced the overall well-being of our total community,” said James T. McLawhorn, Columbia Urban League president and chief executive officer. “These honorees, through their personal accomplishments and service to others, have demonstrated the importance of civility and self-reliance in empowering families and communities.”
Here is a look at this year’s Equal Opportunity Dinner honorees:
(Marshall) Sonny White, president of Midland’s Technical College, is receiving the Anthony and Alice Hurley Board Member Award, recognizing accomplishments of a current or former Urban League board member. White was instrumental in supporting the league’s college financial literacy efforts and college internship program while helping it secure science, technology, engineering, Math Expo, and WorkKeys certification.
Carlton S. King, site personnel manager for Michelin North America, is receiving the Virgil C. Summer Corporate Citizens Award. He is being recognized, along with Michelin, for social responsibility and support of the Columbia Urban League’s Youth Initiative and annual Black History Achievement Program.
Sonja L. Taylor, diversity recruitment manager for the Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics, is receiving the President’s Award, which recognizes outstanding leadership and commitment to the league’s mission. She is being recognized for her service tin the areas of science, technology, engineering and math. She has played a major role in the Urban League’s Annual STEM Expo, Summer STEM Academy, and other related STEM Initiatives.
William “Bill” Horton and Mary R. Major, both retired corporate executives, are receiving the David Wallace Humanitarian Award for their long-term support of the Columbia Urban League through their philanthropic efforts and promotion of youth leadership development, specifically with children in care.
Three people are receiving this year’s Whitney M. Young, Jr. Award for leadership in advancing racial equality.
Harvey B. Gantt, civil rights pioneer and former mayor of Charlotte, for his courageous and trailblazing efforts in desegregating Clemson University in fall 1963.
James L. Solomon Jr., civil rights pioneer and former director of the S.C. Department of Social Services and past chairman of the Columbia Urban League’s board of directors, for his trailblazing efforts in desegregating the University of South Carolina in spring 1963.
Henri Monteith Treadwell, civil rights pioneer and senior social scientist and associate director of the Development in the National Center for Primary Care at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, for her trailblazing efforts in desegregating the University of South Carolina in spring 1963.
Thursday’s dinner will begin at 6 p.m. with a reception at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, 1101 Lincoln St., followed by the dinner and program at 7 p.m.
Yolanda Smith, mother of former University of South Carolina and current NFL football player Marcus Lattimore, is this year’s keynote speaker.
Tickets to the dinner are $75 per person. For tickets, call Mary Canty at (803) 799-8150 ext. 128.