President M. Lee Pelton presented the college’s inaugural President’s Award for Civic Leadership to pastors Dr. Gloria White-Hammond and Ray Hammond at a Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Leaders Breakfast event in the Bill Bordy Theater on Feb. 4.
The award was established by both Pelton’s office and the Elma Lewis Center for Civic Engagement, Learning, and Research to recognize individuals who have made strides in social justice or leadership in the Boston area and beyond, according to a campus wide email announcement sent Tuesday.
Pelton acknowledged the numerous philanthropic achievements of the Hammonds in his speech before presenting them with the leadership award.
“Today we have the happy opportunity to recognize two people that exemplify moral leadership at its very best,” Pelton said to the audience. “They let the world in, and they can be a powerful force that they change and engage the world like this.”
White-Hammond is a retired pediatrician formerly of the South End Community Health Center. She and her husband, Hammond, are now currently co-pastors of the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Boston.
“This truly is about a core of people, countless men and women on whose shoulders we stand,” Reverend Hammond said in his speech following Pelton. “We are here today because they were there.”
According to Pelton’s announcement, the award will be presented to others in the future as an opportunity for the Emerson community to celebrate the achievements of civic leaders.
News editor Dina Kleiner, a friend of Jack Skinner, did not edit this brief.