MLK award winners announced

This year, CEA is proud to announce co-recipients of the 2012 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award, Pastor Dale B. Snyder and Priscilla Tyson. Jimmie Beall will receive the Helen Jenkins Davis Award.

Pastor Dale B. Snyder, senior pastor of Bethel AME Church in Linden, is a third-generation social activist. He started early, talking about social justice around the dinner table and on the many fishing trips he took with his father, an African Methodist Episcopal minister, and grandfather. His older brothers were involved in black nationalist politics and issues of black identity. Conversation was always about liberation and human rights. Snyder also learned the value of organizing, when his father started a construction company rehabilitating homes, and the business grew into a unionized company focused on street and highway projects. He followed along, becoming a journeyman machine operator.

After attending business school and Ashland Theological Seminary, Snyder worked for government and private firms, and along the way, always supported union activities. He lobbied for Ohio House Bill 584, supporting set asides for minority contractors. He lobbied to include minority contractors in the construction of Linden-McKinley HS. He joined with the NAACP demanding minority contracting opportunities during Ohio State University’s building spree. Pastor Snyder has joined the city’s efforts to reduce violence among African-American youth.

During this past election campaign, Snyder rallied 96 AME churches to gather signatures against SB 5 and became Franklin County’s outreach coordinator for We Are Ohio. He also helped persuade officials to allow weekend voting before the election and brought in a record number of new voters, helping the disenfranchised gain a voice.

Priscilla R. Tyson has been focused on giving back during most of her career, always bringing her passion and talents to the task of improving the community. A business graduate of Franklin University, Tyson served as vice president of community development at National City Bank and at Grant/Riverside Methodist Hospital. She was founding executive director of City Year Columbus, providing leadership to the entire Midwest program, inspiring young people to invest in their communities and improve life for their neighbors and themselves.

Tyson served as president of the Columbus Civil Service Commission, promoting excellence in city services, and on the board of the Greater Columbus Arts Council and Greater Columbus Creative Cultural Commission, both dedicated to growing and sustaining the arts locally. Elected to Columbus City Council in 2007, Tyson has specialized in consensus building, problem solving and planning, serving on multiple committees. She wholeheartedly commits herself to making our community a better place to live.

Jimmie K. Beall, is a guidance counselor at Monroe Alternative MS. Beall has devoted a large part of her educational career to protecting human rights. She has been an active member of the CEA GLBT caucus and opened our eyes to the need for social justice for GLBT Association members and students. She conducts workshops on GLBT awareness for Columbus teachers and counselors, confronting issues of bullying and creating a safe learning environment for employees and students. Her sessions during professional development conferences are among the most popular for teachers from all backgrounds.

Beall, who is now pursing her doctorate in urban educational administration, has lived what she preaches. With a great deal of courage, she filed what would be a landmark discrimination lawsuit against the London City Board of Education. In 2006, a federal judge ruled that gay men and women are entitled to fundamental rights and protections in the workplace.

The Jan. 12 dinner at the Hyatt Regency will feature keynote speaker Rev. Jesse Jackson. While an undergraduate, Jackson became involved in the civil rights movement. In 1965, he went to Selma, Alabama, to march with Dr. King. He was in Memphis with King when the civil rights leader was assassinated on Apr. 4, 1968. In the 1980s, he became a leading national spokesman for African Americans. After being appointed special envoy to Africa, he was awarded the 2000 Presidential Medal of Freedom.

We congratulate these outstanding community members who serve as role models for us all. Come and help us honor them. Get your tickets, $30 each, now by calling CEA at 253-4731.