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Black History Month celebrated with GIANT awards at GRCC

Previous GIANT award winners
Previous GIANT award winners

Now in its 41st year, the awards ceremony celebrates the accomplishments of African Americans in Grand Rapids, that some say, may otherwise go unnoticed

“I think we need to go back to the very beginning when Dr. Pulliam and Cedric ward sat at a kitchen table and had a discussion, said there is no recognition for any African American in this city for the leadership they provide in this city, and they designed the giants awards right then and there.”

That was in 1983 and the Giant Awards has been hosted by Grand Rapids Community College ever since. Every year 11 individuals are recognized for their contributions in the areas of Community Service, Religious Life, Medicine, Activism and more. There is also a 12th award, which is the “Giant Among Giants”. A person who has gone above and beyond in their service to the community. Tempy Mann is this year’s chairperson for the Giants Selection Committee. She says the original vision is being fulfilled by today’s recipients.

“The work that these individuals are doing doesn’t just effect our community, but all of West Michigan, it’s far reaching.”

Mann also says hosting the Giant Awards in Black History Month was deliberate, adding it’s not just about African Americans, it’s about “community”.

“The beauty of this night, it shows the entire community, different cultures all the different businesses, races, ethnicities, everyone is represented there.”

The 41st Giant Award event will be held Saturday at DeVos Place.

Jennifer is an award winning broadcast news journalist with more than two decades of professional television news experience including the nation's fifth largest news market. She's worked as both news reporter and news anchor for television and radio in markets from Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo all the way to San Francisco, California.
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