Annual Awards Honor Those Whose Work Embodies Hope

Posted by Jeffrey Cowart
The Appalachian Center for Civic Life honored individuals and organizations in the region for their service to the community and the college at the 19th annual Hope Awards on March 25.

Emory & Henry College and the Appalachian Center for Civic Life honored individuals and organizations in the region for extraordinary civic engagement to the community and the college at the 19th annual Hope Awards, held March 25 at the McGlothlin Center for the Arts on its Emory campus.

“The Hope Awards is a means by which this College bears witness to what it believes in and in what it values,” said Tal Stanley, director of the Appalachian Center for Civic Life. “Emory & Henry College and its Appalachian Center for Civic Life believe in lives that link learning with civic service, and in so doing build hope in and for this place.”

This year’s honorees include Todd Stanley, PRC Director & Director of Counseling Services at the Powell Resource Center. Stanley works as an advocate for those who are hurting and his service in benefit of mental health for the people of Southwest Virginia. On both the Emory campus and the Marion campus, the people of Emory & Henry know Todd to be welcoming, gracious, and supportive. His empathy for others and sensitivity not just for those who suffer in mind and spirit, but the practices and life ways of mental health, help make E&H more caring and humane.

Kelly Bremner, associate professor of theatre, Women and Gender Studies and chair of the E&H Theatre Department, received the faculty award. Bremner’s deep and abiding commitment to the arts is vital to the life of a free and democratic republic. She has given her life to using the arts for building a better world for all people. In her work as a teacher, and in her applied theatre course, Kelly introduced scores of students to the civic responsibilities of art, and the use of drama to give voice to those who have had their voices denied to them. She understands and teaches the ways that drama can help provide the platform for communities to envision different, more just, more inclusive futures for themselves.  

Emory & Henry student Katherine Myers also received a Hope Award for her commitment to social justice and building strong, vital communities through diversity, dialogue, and empathy. On the Emory & Henry campus, Katherine has found ways to express her commitment through the Multicultural Student Association, and the Inclusion and Dialogue Center. In the communities around Emory & Henry, she has given voice to her commitments through her work with the Appalachian Peace Education Center and the Virginia Organizing Project. In all of this work, Katherine is respected for her social awareness, empathy, and unswerving commitment to the common good.

A new Hope Award for the students of the School of Health Sciences debuts this year, going to student Lindsay White for her commitment to civic service in the local community and among her peers and colleagues in the School of Health Sciences. Lindsay finds ways everyday to lead by example - organizing service engagements, teams for particular projects, and offering support to faculty and students alike when there is need for additional hands. This award also recognizes her service in the larger community, beyond the School of Health Sciences, often without recognition. On a daily basis, she helps to build the common good, finding ways to give expression to her commitments.

The Hope Award for a Civic Organization recognizes Southwest Virginia Legal Aid Society’s commitment to the people and places of this region. Grounded in the precept that equal standing before the law is the core principle of the American republic, this organization stands as advocate and friend for the most vulnerable among us. The award also recognizes that equal justice requires a great cloud of witnesses, persons with varying skills and talents, differing perspectives, all working together for a common cause. The justice Southwest Virginia Legal Aid Society has sought and achieved for more than more than forty years, its resiliency, were all made possible because of this great cloud of witness—staff attorneys, private attorneys, paralegals, support personnel, its Board of Directors, and the commitment of people throughout Southwest Virginia to this shared work, as well as the people served. The award was accepted by Executive Director Larry Harley.

Each year, the College Community Club Award recognizes a group or project that is undertaking important, vital work for the common good in this place and at the same time engages Emory & Henry students in carrying forth this effort. The 2019 award recognizes the Mel Leaman Free Clinic and its dynamic collaboration with the Emory & Henry School of Health Sciences students and faculty to offer primary health care to all persons regardless of ability to pay. Their work resonates deeply with the mission of Emory & Henry to bring learning and service to the people and places of this region and beyond. The Mel Leaman Free Clinic not only serves those who come through its doors, but also equips persons for lives of meaningful service long years in the future. The award was accepted by Susan MacNeil Ferraro.

  • Award winners from left to right: Larry Harley, Lindsay White, Todd Stanley, Kelly Bremner and Ka...
    Award winners from left to right: Larry Harley, Lindsay White, Todd Stanley, Kelly Bremner and Katherine Myers
The Hope Awards is a means by which this College bears witness to what it believes in and in what it values.
-Tal Stanley

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