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Higher Education Leadership Foundation
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PERSON OF THE YEAR HONOREES

Advocacy, Policy and Fundraising

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Dr. Harry Williams
President | Thurgood Marshall College Fund
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Dr. Michael L. Lomax
President | United Negro College Fund
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Leslie Baskerville, Esq.
President and CEO | National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education

The work of advocacy and representation is incessant and requires a rigor and laser focus that is not for the weak or faint of heart. The ever shifting socio-economic and political winds have required of the HBCU sector, leaders with the gravitas, vision, and unrelenting conviction to interrogate the challenges and respond with strategic thinking and action for the uplift of the nation’s HBCUs. This work has been particularly timely in the wake of the nation’s attempt to reconcile systemic racial inequities and the impact on our communities and institutions.

The HBCU sector has been well-served for over two decades by a trio of audacious, fearless and passionate leaders who have, with impressive skill and commitment, worked to advance HBCUs and the students they serve. Collectively, they have changed the prevailing narrative about HBCUs in the public’s imagination and situated the conversation about HBCUs in the most influential, powerful, and well-resourced spaces. While these leaders have pursued this work without regard for reward or accolades, the Higher Education Leadership Foundation understands and acknowledges that this work requires suitable recognition and appreciation. It is absolutely appropriate that we lift these stellar HBCU leaders for a deserved time to be lauded by their peers.

Leadership in Research and Medicine

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Dr. Wayne A.I. Frederick
President | Howard University
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Dr. Valerie Montgomery-Rice
President | Morehouse School of Medicine
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Dr. James E. K. Hildreth
President | Meharry Medical College

Resolving the significant health disparities between African Americans and other Americans remains the persistent challenge of modern medicine. Confronting the embedded elitism in medical education with the audacity to lead institutions where African American physicians might be trained is a bold assignment for anyone to assume. Yet, in this nation today, there are leaders who have embraced and conquered the challenge of their own medical education and training and have emerged to lead medical institutions to serve medically embattled communities. That they have used their intellectual prowess and scientific acumen to transcend gender and race in the medical community is an extraordinary achievement that must be acknowledged and appropriately celebrated.

Because of their leadership and commitment to medical education and the creation of generations of physicians trained to be culturally sensitive, the African American community can be hopeful that historic and persistent disparities in access, treatment and outcomes will no longer exist. The impact of their leadership cannot and must not be ignored. The collective health of our communities and opportunity for every African American to live a long, healthy life with access to excellent medical care provided by physicians who are well-trained, and caring will be the legacy of these remarkable leaders. The Higher Education Leadership Foundation is proud to proclaim and honor these outstanding and committed leaders in American medical education.