Baylor To Honor Two With Inaugural PAVE Award April 23

April 20, 2001

by LoAna Lopez

Baylor University will honor two recipients of the first-ever Projecting A Voice of Equality (PAVE) Award at the President's Community Leadership Reception at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 24, in Barfield Drawing Room of the Bill Daniel Student Center on the Baylor campus.

President Robert B. Sloan Jr. will present the 2001 PAVE Award to Judge E. Jean Laster, a Waco Justice of the Peace, and to CrossTies Ecumenical Church of Waco. Both winners were nominated by people in the general community.

The PAVE Award is presented to an individual or group displaying extraordinary leadership and excelling in shared progress for social, economic, racial and ethnic change in order to build a community vision that projects equality.

Ramona Curtis, director of human relations at Baylor, said this is a great opportunity for the university to recognize community members who are working to "build a community of mutual understanding among various groups in our area."

Nominees were judged on their efforts to increase positive understanding of minorities and women, eliminate cultural barriers, encourage positive relations between ethnic groups and establish partnerships with persons or organizations seeking social change.

Founded by a small group of women to minister to the needs of a diverse community, CrossTies Ecumenical Church set its goals to build bridges that transcend between ethnic minorities, Curtis said. CrossTies works toward the development of children and youth building mosaic programs that provide educational tutorials and a safe playing environment. The church also operates the Gospel Cafe, feeding about 100 people Wednesday through Friday in an all-inclusive atmosphere that encourages community dialogue.

Laster has served as Justice of the Peace for Precinct 7 in McLennan County since January, 1999. Curtis said Laster has been instrumental in helping to create diverse interactions among youth in such arenas as the Steering Committee of the Central Texas Teen Summit and the Conflict Resolution/Mediation Conference for young men.

For more information about the award, contact Curtis at 710-8588.

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