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2017 Award Recipients Announced at the Foundation’s May 3 Community Luncheon

Wednesday, May 10, 2017  
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WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The Winston-Salem Foundation hosted its annual Community Luncheon on May 3 with a sold-out crowd of 1,250 community members in attendance. The Foundation announced the recipients of the 2017 Winston-Salem Foundation Award and the 2017 ECHO Awards as follows:

 

2017 Winston-Salem Foundation Award: Jeff Bacon

 

2017 ECHO Awards:

• Jahmila Best

• Mary Jac Brennan

• Kelly Carpenter

• Joy Prom

• Mary’s Mavens 


The keynote speaker was Howard Ross, a lifelong social justice advocate and worldwide thought leader on identifying and addressing unconscious bias. His firm, Cook Ross, Inc. has implemented large-scale organizational culture change efforts in the areas of managing diversity and cultural integration in academic institutions, professional services corporations, Fortune 500 companies, and retail, healthcare, media, and governmental institutions in the United States and worldwide. Ross is the author of ReInventing Diversity: Transforming Organizational Community to Strengthen People, Purpose and Performance, and Washington Post best-seller, Everyday Bias: Identifying and Navigating Unconscious Judgments in Our Daily Lives. 

The Winston-Salem Foundation Award This award was established in 1996 and is presented annually to individuals who demonstrate the Foundation’s values of generosity, excellence, inclusion, and integrity along with visionary leadership in a community activity or on behalf of a community organization, particularly in the recent past.  

 

Jeff Bacon is a visionary leader who has used his culinary skills to give second chances to many who may have lost hope. His vision led to the creation of Triad Community Kitchen (TCK), which has graduated over 600 individuals to work in the food service industry while also providing meals to over 300,000 individuals annually through the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina.  In 2015 Jeff led the opening of Providence Restaurant, which has a two-year residency program for TCK graduates, providing them with on-the-job experience and the chance to ultimately secure higher-paying, stable jobs elsewhere in the field. Jeff serves as a mentor to participants, focusing on their assets and not the deficits from their past. Many in our community have improved their lives and have found stable employment thanks to Jeff Bacon.  With this very well-deserved recognition comes a $10,000 Foundation grant which Jeff designated to two organizations – TCK Providence and Hope Community Church.  
 
2017 ECHO Awards  
The Foundation also presented the 2017 ECHO Awards to five recipients who are creatively building social capital. Each recipient is uniquely connecting and building trust among people in order to make our community stronger and each received $1,000 to grant to a nonprofit organization of their choice.  

 

Jahmila Best - Jahmila is a junior at Parkland IB Magnet School and a National Honor Society member. She has been a vital volunteer and youth leader for the community organizing nonprofit Neighbors for Better Neighborhoods, helping to conduct door-to-door interviews with city residents to learn more about their visions for their neighborhoods. By meeting people on their own doorsteps, Jahmila encourages open dialogue and is strengthening neighborhoods from within. She has also trained residents on community development strategies, encouraging neighbors who were previously strangers to become partners in their shared goals for a stronger community.  

 

Mary Jac Brennan - Through her passionate work at Cooperative Extension, Mary Jac’s relational fingerprints are all over Forsyth County. An instrumental figure in the establishment of many local community gardens, the Urban Farm School, and the Forsyth Community Food Consortium, Mary Jac has brought diverse individuals and networks together through a common interest in food, farming, and the regional food economy. The connections she has built between community members, farmers, culinary professionals, healthcare providers, and policymakers will continue to improve the health and vitality of Forsyth County’s residents for years to come.

 

Kelly Carpenter -As pastor of Green Street United Methodist Church, Kelly leads and inspires a diverse congregation — but his social capital work goes even deeper. Kelly’s intentional desire to bridge across divisions has fueled innovative programs such as the Institute for Dismantling Racism, The Shalom Project, and Winston- Salem’s first Circles program, which builds relationships between community allies and individuals who are working to exit poverty. Kelly, an original ECHO Council member, also helped found the Peters Creek Community Initiative, which joins churches, businesses, city officials, and residents in that area’s revitalization efforts. 

 

Joy Prom - Each spring, Joy Prom brings together 200 individuals with developmental, intellectual, and/or physical “different abilities” with a diverse group of 350 community volunteers for an enchanting prom evening filled with ball gowns, make-up, shoe shines, refreshments, dancing, and crafts — and all free of charge! Guests, who range in age from 16 to 72, volunteers, and caregivers are profoundly impacted by the annual event, which forges connections that last well beyond the evening itself. Joy Prom is a ministry of local nonprofit Love Out Loud. 

 

Mary’s Mavens – The idea for Mary’s Mavens grew out of Winston-Salem’s EmcArts Community Innovation Lab, which has engaged diverse community stakeholders to address complex social challenges. Mary Haglund, Paola Miranda, and Rebeccah Byer started this group, which is now over 1,000 members strong and includes networking and educational sessions on topics such as lifecoaching and entrepreneurship. While the initial goal was to connect and support female business owners, it has now become a space for every woman with a dream — and for those coming from many different backgrounds and struggles. 


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