Baylor has presented the 2004 Projecting A Voice of Equality (PAVE) Award to Church Under the Bridge, an interdenominational church which has reached out to urban worshipers in Waco since its inception in 1992.
At the President's Community Leadership Reception in April, Baylor President Robert B. Sloan Jr. presented the award to Kathy Wise, assistant director for Mission Waco, who accepted the award on behalf of the church.
Winners of the PAVE Award are nominated by people in the general community. It 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 outstanding community members such as Church Under the Bridge.
"This award is designed to honor those who build a community of mutual understanding among social, racial and ethnic groups in our area," she said.
Nominees are 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.
Curtis said Church Under the Bridge has committed itself to "embracing all racial and economic backgrounds in membership and leadership in a culture that mostly knows prejudice. The church is committed to diverse leadership (including women and minorities) and has special efforts to empower them. As a result of their core commitments the church is racially and economically diverse."
The PAVE Award citation notes that Church Under the Bridge has held frequent racial reconciliation discussions among the racially diverse groups who attend, provides funds to empower the marginalized and states its intent for inter-ethnic relations both in print and in action. -- BN