Contact: Public Health and Human Services
Division of Human Services
The 16th annual Columbia Values Diversity Awards were presented earlier today at the Columbia Values Diversity Celebration. The awards are given to an individual/family and an organization/group that have made significant contributions promoting appreciation for diversity and cultural understanding in Columbia.
Martin Luther King Jr. stated, "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." Anyone who knows Tyree Byndom can tell you he is not a silent man. He promotes justice, tolerance and social involvement by participating in a number of organizations that strive to enhance the lives of people in Columbia.
Byndom has revitalized the Douglass Park Neighborhood Association and moved his family back to the First Ward neighborhood so he can be active in assisting with issues such as violence and drug prevention. Byndom has collaborated with the National Society of Black Engineers to run an after-school tutoring program and has met with Columbia Public School administrators to think about creating ways to enhance the lives of children and young adults in the area. He is involved with the Minority Men's Network, PedNet's Unite for Healthy Neighborhoods, the Everyone Eats Program and Columbia's Stop the Violence campaign. Through his three weekly radio shows on KOPN, Byndom strives to give a voice to diverse topics and encourages a variety of people from different backgrounds to explore their ideas and beliefs and to discuss alternatives for solving problems.
Like Martin Luther King Jr., Byndom is a shining example of an individual who has dedicated his life to service. He has an extraordinary ability to bring people from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds together to champion a cause and promote equality and justice. His capacity for tolerance and understanding, paired with his ability to communicate with diverse group of people, makes him a unifying force in our community.
The 2013 Columbia Values Diversity Award for Groups was presented to Job Point. Job Point was created 47 years ago by the Columbia Cosmopolitan Luncheon Club, which realized, when given the opportunity, all people have a contribution to make. The organization serves a diverse population and tirelessly advocates for adults with disabilities, youth who are at risk, veterans and other who have been disenfranchised. The organization seeks to improve diversity in the community through a number of programs like YouthBuild, which assists disadvantaged youth to increase their education levels, obtain training in the construction field and develop leadership abilities. Job Point's newest program, Civic Youth Corps, partners with the Harry S. Truman Veterans Hospital to improve veterans' homes while teaching youth vocational skills. Programs like these promote non-violence and provide a safe and positive environment for at-risk youth. The organization promotes equality through its highway and heavy construction training by placing priority on serving individuals who belong to an ethnic minority or an economically disadvantaged group. Job Point also builds wheelchair ramps for disabled individuals, conducts weatherization for home-bound seniors and assists Habitat for Humanity build homes for low-income individuals.
Job Point's programs center around helping individuals create better lives for themselves and their families. These programs coupled with the organization's strong commitment to social justice, exemplify the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.