Spirit of MLK Celebration Honors DIVERSITY LEADERS at MAHEC
On Wednesday, January 22, more than 200 employees and community members gathered at MAHEC to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Spirit of MLK awards celebration we have hosted annually since 2001.
This year’s event featured keynote speaker Reverend Canon Nontombi Naomi Tutu, daughter of Archbishop Desmond and Nomalizo Leah Tutu, who reminded us that Dr. King’s work is not limited to civil rights in the United States but is part of a larger human rights movement that strives for justice for people everywhere. This movement requires us to stand up for the humanity of others wherever we find ourselves, in the smallest of daily acts and larger social justice efforts.
This year’s Emerging Leader Award was presented to Ana Cabello-De la Garza, MSW, MPH, for her health equity and reproductive justice work across MAHEC. Ana is the lead for our statewide medication-assisted treatment training project and is also the chair of the consumer working group of the National Preconception Health and Healthcare Initiative. The Spirit of MLK was awarded to Cherie Jackson, strategic business partner in our Department of Talent Management, for her tireless commitment to promoting social justice here at MAHEC and in the community at large.
Participants were treated to an inspirational MAHEC Community Choir organized by JoAnne Edgerton, who is a Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. The Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church musicians and community members accompanied the choir with MAHEC singers Tiffany Woods, RN; Bill Gist, MD; Heather Miracle, WHNP-BC; Evan Richardson, CNM; Denise Duckett, BSW; and her niece Jacquelyn Powell, LPN, from Digestive Health Partners.