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Executive Director, Focus: HOPE
As co-founder and visionary leader of an extraordinary civil and human rights organization designed to overcome racism, poverty and injustice, you have demonstrated a level of selfless dedication, courage and faith that is an inspiration to all. Your accomplishments as executive director of Focus: HOPE are a tribute to your deep compassion and resourcefulness. You have provided leadership and advocacy for a crucial food prescription program for infants, preschool children, and prenatal and postpartum mothers, as well as low-income elderly persons. You have also helped develop a nationally recognized training program which prepares impoverished men and women for careers in manufacturing and information technology, enabling them to enter the financial mainstream. Because of this extraordinary work, you have opened the door for numerous individuals who have gone on to better lives and successful careers. Your tireless work in overcoming poverty and injustice has been recognized nationwide. You have increased public awareness of hunger and malnutrition, helping to formulate vital legislation and national policy. You hosted the White House Conference on Aging and served as chairperson for Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer's Human Rights Department Transition Team. You are also widely recognized for your consultation and participation in dozens of committees and advisory councils including the Detroit Works Partnership, the Workforce Development Board, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's "Partnership in Training" and numerous others. Because of your exceptional professional abilities and enduring commitment to community initiatives, you have earned countless awards and accolades from such distinguished organizations as the University of Michigan School of Business Administration, Detroit NAACP, National Council of Negro Women, the Anti-Defamation League and Michigan Women's Foundation. As acknowledgment of the breath and depth of your accomplishments, you were also inducted into the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame. In recognition of your tireless dedication and selfless contribution to human and civil rights, the University of Detroit Mercy is honored to present you with the Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree. Commencement, University of Detroit Mercy, May 15, 1999.