25th Annual "Evening With the Stars" Awards Banquet and Holiday Gala
The 2017 Gala is sold out!
25th Annual Awards Banquet and Holiday Gala
Saturday December 9, 6:00pm - Midnight
Dinner, Open Bar, Live Entertainment, Dancing, ASC3 Alumni Raffle, Souvenir Program Booklet, Holiday Gift.
Advertise in the 25th Anniversary Edition of the Gala Program Book
Be a Co-sponsor of our Annual Fundraiser by advertising in the Souvenir Program book.
Nguzo Saba /All 7 Principles Combined - Our Top Award
Yvonne Pointer, Activist/Author/Founder Gloria Pointer Foundation/Positive Plus
Yvonne Pointer was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, the fourth of ten children. Yvonne’s oldest daughter Gloria was abducted, raped and murdered in 1984. Since the death of her daughter, Yvonne has worked tirelessly towards safer communities, in and out of the City of Cleveland.
Yvonne is the co-founder of P.A.C.K ( Parents Against Child Killing), the founder of Positive Plus Women’s Support Group which is funded by the United Black Fund of Greater Cleveland Inc., an active member of P.O.M.C. (Parents of Murdered Children), and a mentor in the Cleveland City Schools.
Ms. Pointer is often called upon to give words of consolation to individuals and families victimized by violence. She is convinced the problems of drugs and gang violence will not just go away. Her motto is: One Pointer, One Passion, One Purpose.
Her name was placed in the rotunda of City Hall in Cleveland on September 30, 1992. She was awarded the 908th Point of Light national tribute to Americans who made positive differences by then - President George H. Bush. The Federal Bureau of Investigation awarded Ms. Pointer the Director’s Community Leadership Award on April 19, 1993. On May 4, 1994, Yvonne received The National Council of Negro Women’s Tribute to Black Women Community Leaders Award.
The Plain Dealer honored Yvonne with the “Making A Difference” Award in 1995. She was given the Greater Cleveland YWCA’s Women of Achievement Award in 1996. In July 2000, Yvonne was a recipient and speaker at the annual Essence Award at ceremonies at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
KUmoja / Unity Award
Jeffery Patterson, CEO, Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority
Patterson has spent the vast majority of his professional career serving the residents of the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County. As CEO of the 7th largest housing authority in the nation, he is responsible for a $220 million dollar budget, 1,000 employees, 10,500 units of housing, over 15,000 housing choice vouchers, and nearly 55,000 residents and participants of CMHA’s Low Income Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher Programs.
Patterson directs CMHA’s efforts to be the leader in cultivating safe, sustainable, dynamic communities of choice where everyone can strive for success. In addition, he also pushes the authority toward using advanced sustainable practices and techniques to serve the residents of CMHA, while utilizing numerous innovative programs and services that provide opportunities and assistance to those residents and clients who are looking to move towards self-sufficiency. Under his leadership, CMHA has been recognized for its innovative efforts in the areas of sustainability, digital inclusion, civic awareness, supply side diversity, property maintenance, social service activities, and resident self-sufficiency programing and initiatives.
Patterson serves on the Boards of the Cleveland Transformation Alliance, Greater Cleveland Foodbank, American Heart Association, North Central Regional Council for the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO), The Council for Economic Inclusion, Council for Large Public Housing Authorities(CLPHA), the Housing Authority Insurance Group (HAIG), Village Capital Corporation, Campus District, and the National Initiative on Mixed-Income Communities.
Patterson has been featured in The Profiles in Diversity Journal, Kaleidoscope Magazine, and was the recipient of the “Who’s Who in Black Cleveland” Game Changer Award. In addition, he has also been recognized by the Commission on Economic Inclusion, The American Heart Association, the recipient of the Campus District’s Visionary Award, as well as the Liberia Economic Development Initiative’s Life Changer Award for his efforts to bridge the digital divide. Patterson possesses a Bachelors of Arts Degree from Mount Union College and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Baldwin Wallace College.
Kujichagulia / Self-Determination Award
Margaret Larkins-Pettigrew, MD, MEd, MPPM, FACOG Dr. Margaret Larkins-Pettigrew is a Cleveland transplant with roots that began in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She has embraced Cleveland and made the focus of her work diversity and inclusion. Dr. Larkins-Pettigrew has administrative roles which include the Edgar B. Jackson Chair & Director of the Center for Clinical Excellence and Diversity at University Hospital Case Western Medical Center as well as Dean of Students for Case Western Reserve University. Clinically, as an Associate Professor and Head of Global Health programs in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, she is an expert in the care of women living with HIV, a clinical educator and busy practitioner at MacDonald Women’s Hospital. She maintains an adjunct faculty appointment at the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Medicine.
As Chair, she is responsible for promoting continued diversity and inclusion of University Hospitals’ large academic institution through ongoing cultural competency programs. She plays a key role in talent acquisition, retention, mentorship and promotion of underrepresented minority trainees and faculty. While developing a pipeline to support young leaders’ desire to pursue a career in medicine, she is a leader in the field of developing programs that target disparities in health care. She is an active participate and advocate for community efforts that focus on heath equity, literacy and quality social programs assisting the most vulnerable. She has a special interest in educating and empowering women. As Dean of Students in addition to developing pipeline programs specifically for medical school recruitment, Dr. Larkins-Pettigrew is committed to counselling and advising medical students toward insuring a rich talent physician workforce.
As the Director of Global Health Programs in Reproductive biology, Dr. Pettigrew is a key strategist who coordinates local and international educational experiences for post-graduate trainees, medical students and faculty. She is the founder of W. O.N. D.O. O.R. (one door), Women and Newborns, Diversity, Outreach, Opportunity and Research, a program that aims to educate global medical providers through local and international health care collaborations. In addition to her commitment to local health issues. She also assists in the development of medical, surgical and social programs for volunteer doctors, nurses and health care professionals for medical missions in West & Southern Africa and South American countries Dr. Pettigrew delivers health care to all women but has a professional mission to insure that women with socioeconomic challenges have access and receive optimal care. She is a clinical and research mentor for post-graduates, residents and student.
Prior to receiving her MD degree from the University of Pittsburgh, she practiced as a critical care nurse receiving her baccalaureate degree in nursing from the University of Pittsburgh, a Master’s degree in education from California State University Los Angeles, and an Adult Nurse Practitioner certification from California State University, Long Beach. She is a proud veteran of the United States Navy where she cared for active duty members, veterans and their families. Dr. Pettigrew holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Management (International Affairs) enhancing her expertise in global health programming and policy development. Locally, she is an active volunteer as a health consultant to many organizations.
Dr. Pettigrew is a frequent speaker internationally and throughout the region on multiple health issues focusing on the wellness of women. She has written articles for local health organizations, international publications and has been featured on local healthcare infomercials. She is the recipient of many honors and awards for her work including the Athena Award nomination, the prestigious Crain’s Business Magazine “Woman of Note” award. Top Docs by Cleveland Magazine. YWCA Distinguished Woman award and the FLEX leadership program at Case Western University.
Service is the focus of Dr. Pettigrew’s professional and personal life as noted by her extensive committee and board memberships locally, nationally and internationally. Dr. Larkins-Pettigrew’s greatest accomplishments include her role as a loving wife to Chenits for more than thirty-nine years. She is the mother of three successful sons and one daughter-in-law, as well as the loving grandmother of delightful grandchildren, Corbin, Chase and Carson. She is a doting godmother to her grandnephew, Zay.
Favorite Quote: “At some point in our lives we must move beyond striving for excellence and seek to find purpose in all that we do”
Ujima / Collective Work & Responsibility Award
Cathy Kopinsky, Project Cordinator Mission Outreach, St. Vincent Charity Hospital
Cathy is the Mission Outreach Project Coordinator at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center. She has been with community outreach since 1995, with most of her work focused in the Central neighborhood. Her duties have included initiating and facilitating a health education/screening program monthly at 14 low income housing sites; developing and maintaining a collaborative partnership between 56 congregations of faith and the medical center; working with a team to support a healthcare clinic housed in a homeless facility; and Initiating preventative health interventions for residents of a HUD subsidized senior and disabled apartment building.
One of Cathy’s current efforts, and the project closest to her heart, is coordinating a youth program in the Central neighborhood. The O’Neal Foundation-funded program provides twenty 13 to 15 year olds an opportunity to learn soft job skills and build self sufficiency. They learn to show up when scheduled, show up on time and with an eager attitude, with their pants up and shirts tucked in. The youth receive a monthly stipend, along with classes on banking, budgeting and finance; they interact with students from Cleveland State and Case Western Reserve University, sharing homework, career goals, victories and challenges. They are self-named the “United Resilient Family.” Her wish is that together they remain united and resilient.
Cathy serves as board vice-chair for Project HOPE of Cleveland, (Health Outreach for Prevention and Empowerment), housed at St. Aloysius Church. Project HOPE provides free basic health screenings & education, pharmaceutical, vision & dental assistance, and healthcare referrals for the uninsured and underinsured. She chairs the Marion-Sterling School Community Partnership, a working group of 16 community organizations focused on coordinating supplemental supports for the PreK – 8th grade students. She is secretary of the Minority Health Alliance, and serves on the Cleveland Office of Minority Health Advisory Committee, the Centers for Families and Children Policy Council and is a community advisor for the Prevention Research Center at Case Western Reserve University.
Cathy received her Bachelor of Social Work from Ursuline College.
Ujamaa / Cooperative Economics Award
Liz Forester Lazar, Director of Programs and Partnerships, DigitalC
Liz Forester Lazar is DigitalC’s Director of Programs and Partnerships, designing and managing the Connect the Unconnected and ReStart pilot programs that use technology to create smart, connected, inclusive, and globally competitive communities.
Prior to DigitalC, Liz spent time in the public sector, including the City of Cleveland’s Department of Economic Development and the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, honing her skills in real estate development, transit-oriented development, grant writing and resident-centered community impact.
Liz holds a bachelor’s degree from Baldwin Wallace University and a Master of Public Administration degree from Cleveland State University’s Levin College. She is a proud resident of Cleveland’s Old Brooklyn neighborhood.
Kuumba / Creativity Award
AkuSika Nkomo Mackey, Founder & CEO, Africa House Enterprise
AkuSika Nkomo Mackey is a native Clevelander. She earned a BFA from Rutgers University in Health, Physical Education and Dance. She obtained her MA in Psychology from Cleveland, State University with a specialization in Diversity Management.
Ms Mackey is active in her community as a social entrepreneur and service provider. As the Chief Executive Officer of Africa House Enterprise she provides assistance living and respite care services. Ms. Mackey also operates a summer day camp and outdoor education program called the, “African Solar Village Green Project” (ASVGP) in collaboration with Youth Opportunity unlimited. The African Solar Village Green Project is a STEAM initiative. That’s Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math which was inspired by her late husband Dr. Willie R. Mackey an Astrophysicist who worked at NASA for over 10 years.
She also believe that all work and no play is not good. Ms. Mackey is launching her Singles Ministry the first of the year that will focus on teaching Ballroom and other forms of hand dance on Monday night at her establishment called Africa House. Participates are provided dinner cooked by single women.
Mackey attributes her success to her belief in God and the 3 P’s - Patience, Persistence and Perseverance.
Nia / Purpose Award
Deirdre Jones - Commander of the Bureau of Support Services, Cleveland Division of Police
Deirdre Jones is the Commander of the Bureau of Support Services and a 28-year veteran with the Cleveland Division of Police. Her area of command includes but is not limited to the Cleveland Police Academy, Personnel, Budget and Policy Units.
As a former Sergeant, Commander Jones served as the first female to ever supervise the Division’s Homicide Unit. In addition to being published in the Ohio Association of Police Chiefs magazine, Commander Jones contributed to the Division’s Domestic Violence Unit during her prior assignments as detective and sergeant. She contributed to the Unit’s Operations Manual and advocated for the Unit to be the primary investigator of Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, and Transgender relationship violence. She is a state-certified domestic violence (DV) instructor, a federally-certified DV instructor-trainer through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), a facilitator and coordinator of DV workshops and discussion forums, and has taught locally and nationally on domestic violence-related topics.
Commander Jones holds a Master of Public Administration from Villanova University, is a 2012 graduate of the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police Executive Leadership College, and has completed the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the DHS’ federal leadership programs. Commander Jones is a former member of the Board of Trustees for the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland and served on the Cleveland Community Police Commission. She is a member of the National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives, the International Association of Women Police, and the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives.
Commander Jones has also received numerous accolades throughout her career, including the Medal of Heroism and the Chief’s Commendation for Outstanding Investigative Unit.
Imani / Faith Award
Rev. Dr. Curtis Walker, Pastor Beth -El AME Methodist Church
The Rev. Dr. Curtis Theodore Walker, is an ordained elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. He frequently presents workshops for several organizations with varied topics that range from Family Violence to Leadership and Church Administration. An author of several articles, Rev. Walker has contributed to numerous publications, and is a devotional writer for the African-American Devotional Bible (KJV).
Rev. Walker currently serves on the Ohio School Board Association Board of Trustees; Urban School District Advisory Network and Northeast Regional Executive Committee. He has served on the Board of Trustees for the Girl Scouts of the Western Reserve, Summit Chapter of the American Red Cross, NAACP, Summit County Housing Trust Fund, and many others. He is also a member of the Ethics Committee of Akron General Medical Center and has served on the United Way of Summit County’s Board. He received the Ohio School Board Association Northeast Ohio Outstanding Board Member Award and the National School Board Association Council on Urban School Boards Benjamin E. Mays Lifetime Achievement Award.