Each year, Carver honors leaders in the fight for educational opportunity and a just society with its Child of America Award. We used this occasion to honor Dick Whitcomb with an exceptional Lifetime Achievement Award in May 2013. All honorees are exceptional role models for our youth who through their thought, word and deeds inspire us all.
Our 2015 Child of America honoree is Dr. Marlen Bodden, a celebrated lawyer at the Legal Aid Society in New York City, the nation’s largest and oldest legal services organization. Dr. Bodden is also the much acclaimed author of The Wedding Gift, which is informed by her deep knowledge of modern and historical slavery, human trafficking, and human rights abuses.
Past Child of America honorees were Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Roger Wilkins, in 2002, the first year of the award; Helene Gayle, MD, President and CEO of CARE USA; James Comer, MD, the Maurice Folk Professor of Child Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine; Geoffrey Canada, CEO of Harlem Children’s Zone; Cynthia Thompson, National Chair of The Girl Scouts of America; Cornell Leverette Moore, Esq., Grand Sire Archon-Elect, Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity; the Reverend Dr. James Alexander Forbes, Jr., Senior Minister Emeritus of Riverside Church, NY, NY; Richard Fuller, the past Executive Director of the Carver Center (1978-2004); Debo P. Adegbile, director of litigation for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. For the 10th annual awards ceremony, we honored Elizabeth “Betty” Molina Morgan, Ph.D., Executive Director of Grad Nation, an initiative of the America’s Promise Alliance. Founded in 1997, the America’s Promise Alliance, chaired by Mrs. Alma Powell, named the City of Norwalk among the “100 Best Communities for Young People” in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Its founding chairman is General Colin Powell. Dr. Morgan was the former superintendent of Washington County Schools in Maryland and the 2010 American Association of School Administrators National Superintendent of the Year. In 2012, we honored Alberto M. Carvalho, Superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools. In 2013, we honored Richard Whitcomb with Carver’s Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2014, we honored Morris “Mo” Pleasure with the Child of America award at his performance at Carnegie Hall for his work with Carver’s Youth Voice initiatives.