Contact: JJ Musgrove, Director
Office of Cultural Affairs
573-874-7512 or OCA@GoColumbiaMo.com
The 17th annual Columbia Values Diversity Awards were presented at the Columbia Values Diversity Celebration on January 16th. 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.
Ulysses S. Grant Elementary School was awarded the 2014 Diversity Award for groups.
Grant Elementary School has deep roots in diversity. It opened in 1910 and is the oldest existing school in Columbia. In 1959, the Battle Family broke the color barrier by sending their children to Grant, which made Grant the first elementary school in Columbia to be integrated. The school works to fulfill its mission through a cooperative effort with parents and the community, to help all children reach their academic, intellectual, social, and creative potential within a safe and nurturing environment. Grant currently has students from 27 different countries. The school works to make our community a better place with adopt-a-spot projects with their Partners in Education. Its "Wish Granted" program gathers food baskets during the holiday season to help feed families in need. Built around a supportive community that thrives on diversity, the school creates a lasting connection long after students have graduated.
The 2014 Columbia Values Diversity Award for an individual was presented to Dr. Julie Middleton.
Dr. Middleton has been a powerful force and promoter of education for almost 30 years. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., stated "Everybody can be great because anybody can serve…you only need a heart full of grace." Dr. Middleton exemplifies King's teaching through the promotion of education to all Columbia youth, her work in the community to foster dialogue and understanding, and her selfless service to those in need. Middleton has served on numerous boards, most of which serve minority youth or families. She is always an advocate for hearing the voices of all in our community and has worked with many groups to coordinate events and call attention to diversity in Columbia.