Charleston, S.C. – The chief justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court, the chief executive officer of a community development fund, and an organization made up of South Carolina nonprofits will be honored with awards at the 47th Annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration next week.
Chief Justice Donald W. Beatty will be honored with the Harvey Gantt Triumph Award at the MLK Ecumenical Service taking place at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 20 at Morris Street Baptist Church.
The Harvey Gantt Triumph Award for Lasting Contributions to Civil and Human Rights was established in 1984. It was named after its first recipient, architect and statesman Harvey B. Gantt, the first African American student to attend Clemson University. Previous Harvey Gantt Triumph Award recipients have included U.S. Representative John Lewis, a prominent leader of the civil rights movement in the South, and Senator Ted Kennedy, U.S. Representative James E. Clyburn, South Carolina Representative Lucille S. Whipper, renowned civil rights activist Septima P. Clark, and Esau Jenkins, a community organizer during the segregation era.
Chief Justice Beatty has served as the chief justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court since January 1, 2017. Previously, he served as an associate justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court and a trial judge for the South Carolina Court of Appeals and Circuit Court. Prior to that, he was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives, where he served on the House Ethics Committee; Medical, Military, Public, and Municipal Affairs Committee; and Judiciary Committee, as well as serving as vice chair and chair-elect of the South Carolina Legislative Black Caucus.
Through the years he has regularly donated his time to serve nonprofits, appear at schools, and speak to youth groups. A military veteran and recipient of multiple awards, he holds a juris doctorate degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law.
Michelle Mapp and Together SC will each be honored with the Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Vision Award at the MLK Business and Professional Breakfast taking place at 7:00 a.m. on Tuesday, January 22 at the Charleston Gaillard Center.
Named for Mayor Joe Riley, a highly respected and visionary leader who capped a 40-year career as mayor of Charleston on January 11, 2016, the Vision Award was created to carry on his legacy.
Ms. Mapp is the CEO of the South Carolina Community Loan Fund, a nonprofit community development financial institution that revitalizes communities throughout the state. In addition to a master’s degree in engineering management from George Washington University, she holds a master’s degree in public administration from the College of Charleston and the University of South Carolina. She has served on multiple business and nonprofit boards and is a Leadership Charleston alum. In 2017 and 2018, Charleston magazine named her one of “Charleston’s Most Influential,” in 2016 she received the Marjorie Amos-Frazier Pacesetter Award, and in 2012 she was an executive finalist for the Charleston Regional Business Journal’s “Influential Women in Business” list.
Run by nonprofit leaders for nonprofit leaders, Together SC serves South Carolina’s nonprofit and philanthropic community. Through its member organizations, it aims to support and empower volunteer and professional leaders dedicated to community service, leadership, and caring. Formerly known as the South Carolina Association of Nonprofit Organizations, it began operating in 1997 with 67 charter member organizations. Today its statewide network includes more than 800 organizations whose diverse leaders believe in its vision of a united, trusted, and effective nonprofit community working to enrich the lives of all South Carolinians.
Attendance of the 2019 MLK Ecumenical Service is free and open to the public. Individual tickets to the 2019 MLK Business and Professional Breakfast were available to the public but have sold out. Doors will open at 7:00 a.m. and the breakfast will begin at 7:30 a.m. More information about both of these events can be found at ywcagc.org.
ABOUT THE MLK CELEBRATION
The 47th Annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration is one of Charleston’s longest running events, predating Spoleto Festival USA and other well-known local events. The annual celebration was founded by YWCA Greater Charleston and first held in January 1972—one of the first such tributes to Dr. King in the nation. The MLK Business and Professional Breakfast was added in January 2000 in partnership with former Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. and the City of Charleston. Today the celebration is the largest tribute to Dr. King in South Carolina, attracting an estimated 30,000 celebrants each year.
ABOUT YWCA GREATER CHARLESTON
For 111 years, YWCA Greater Charleston has worked to eliminate racism and empower women in Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester Counties. A historic local association of YWCA USA, one of the oldest and largest multicultural women’s organizations in America, it seeks to create opportunities for personal growth, leadership, and economic development for women, girls, and people of color. Its annual 10-day Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration is one of Charleston’s longest running events. In 2017, YWCA Greater Charleston brought the Racial Equity Institute, an ongoing program, to Charleston to help local leaders understand and address racism in the community. And in 2018, YWCA Greater Charleston introduced What Women Bring, a power lunch attended by hundreds to celebrate and empower South Carolina’s women in business, community, and culture. For more information, visit ywcagc.org.