INDIANAPOLIS — The Center for Leadership Development awarded more than $5 million dollars in scholarships to 80 students as they celebrated the 43rd Annual Minority Achievers Awards and Scholarship Gala Thursday.

“We are immensely grateful for the opportunity to showcase these talented minority men and women and the incredible academic accomplishments of our students,” said CLD President Dennis Bland. “It is critical we encourage personal development and educational attainment in minority youth today, as they will become the torch-bearing leaders of our collective tomorrow.”

The event awarded approximately $5,271,408.50 to students to support their pursuit of educational excellence at various colleges and universities.

The event was emceed by local news personalities Bob Donaldson and Fachon Stinger. The State of Indiana’s Chief Equity Inclusion and Opportunity Officer, Karrah Herring, served as the gala’s Title Sponsor.

“Anytime we can help support recognizing the excellence, resilience and brilliance of our gifted minority students and men and women in Indiana, sign us up,” said Herring. “Our team looks forward to celebrating with all distinguished honorees and scholarship recipients.”

President Bland was awarded with the Sagamore of Wabash, one the state’s highest honors, as he was recognized as an honoree that is “distinguished by his humanity in living, loyalty in friendship, wisdom in council, and inspiration in leadership.”

CLD also honored professional minorities for their contributions to the community including:

  • Accomplished Achievement Award: Justin Christian, CEO and Founder at BCforward
  • S. Henry Bundles, Jr. Award for Service to the Center for Leadership Development: Lilly Endowment, Inc.
  • Arts and Entertainment: Dr. Robert Townsend – Founder/Artistic Director at The Performing Arts Conservatory
  • Business and Industry: Ms. Kelly Copes-Anderson, Associate VP – Head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Eli Lilly and Company
  • Education (K-12): Ms. Christina Aden, Chief Human Resource Officer at Indianapolis Public Schools
  • Education (Post Secondary): Mr. Sean Huddleston, President & CEO at Martin University
  • Entrepreneurship: Ms. Nadina Edwards, Vice President of Operations at Nubian Construction Group
  • Professions: Ms. Lisa Seay, Executive Vice President and Chief Talent Officer at Project Lead The Way
  • Public and Community Service: Ms. Darrianne Christian, Board of Trustees Chair at Newfields
  • Science, Technology, and Engineering: Dr. Jade Bing, Synthetic Chemist at Corteva Agriscience
  • Up & Coming: Ms. Kara Hawkins, CEO & Founder at Innova (ART) Is – Global Design, Marketing, and Education and Innova Wings & Greens
  • Torchbearer Prize for Youth Excellence (Female): Chelsea Murdock, Hamilton Southeastern High School
  • Torchbearer Prize for Youth Excellence (Male): Amadou T. Diallo, Brownsburg High School
  • CLD Distinguished Alumni Award: Paula Glover, CLD ’90, Director of Recruitment and Project Management at The Mind Trust
  • Madam C.J. Walker Lifetime Achievement Award: Sharon Barner, Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer at Cummins, Inc.

To learn more about at CLD please click here.