The Equal Opportunity Awards Gala
The Gala is our most significant fundraising event of the year. More importantly, it affords us the opportunity to celebrate our Volunteer of the Year, Minority Business, Corporate Leadership and Whitney M. Young Jr. Lifetime Achievement award winners.
And, the evening is always a celebration to remember, with good food and fellowship and top-flight music provided by acts such as Jeffrey Osborne, the Whispers, the Spinners, the Temptations, the O’Jays, En Vogue, Boney James, Morris Day & The Time, James “JT” Taylor, formerly the voice of Kool & The Gang, and Tower of Power!
The Gala also provides an excellent opportunity for networking with top area business professionals, and an investment in a corporate table is a good investment for local businesses.
The 2016 Equal Opportunity Awards Gala was a huge success and we hope to see you next year! Held the fourth Thursday of October each year, the gala is a must-do business event.
Sponsorships and Donations
Fundraising is critical to the Urban League’s ability to provide programs and services to the community. Gala sponsorship is an important part of our fundraising. Sponsors include a diverse group of corporate, government and community leaders, providing prime exposure opportunities for your organization. Sponsors are also recognized on video screens, during the awards program and in our souvenir program booklet. Contact us at 865-524-5511 to find out how you can make a difference in the lives of so many through your support or you may choose to simply make a donation below.
Recognizes a company, governmental agency or entity that has shown sensitivity to diversity, employment trends and/or special program involvement and support of the Urban League and its mission.
Corporate Leadership Award Recipients
2016: Mayor Madeline Rogero, City of Knoxville
2015: Randy Boyd, TN Commissioner of Economic & Community Development (not pictured)
2014: Pinnacle Financial Partners
2013: Green Mountain Coffee Roasters
2012: SunTrust Bank
2011: Denark Construction
2010: Allstate, Lonnie Jones Agency
2008: U.S. Cellular
2007: Moxley Carmichael
2006: Scripps Networks Interactive
Recognizes a minority-owned business that has made an economic as well as a social impact in the community.
Minority Business Award Recipients:
2016: Jarnigan & Son Mortuary – Beal Bourne
2015: East Tennessee Mechanical Contractors
2014: Marc Nelson Denim
2013: Helping Hands Home Assistance
2012: Brown Pearman Russell, LLC
2011: Lonsdale Market & Deli
2010: Hispanic Chamber of East Tennessee
2009: Jones Kirkpatrick & Associates
2008: Premiere Building Maintenance
2007: Unity Mortuary
2006: Visionary Solutions, LLC
Volunteer of the Year
Salutes an individual who has made a significant impact on the programs and services of the Knoxville Area Urban League and the community.
Volunteer Award Recipients:
2016: Sanford Smith
2015: National Achievers Society Advisory Committee
2014: Nicholas Jones, Lonnie Jones Insurance
2013: Alexis Goetz, Enterprise Holdings
2012: Michael Fox
2011: Charles “Chuck” Christiansen
2010: Nate Ware, U.S. Cellular
2009: Eric and Jamia Stokes
2008: Tammy Strader, Denark Construction
2007: Mike Simmons, Kim Jones and Joe Austin, First Tennessee Bank
2006: Lenissa Mostella, University of Tennessee, Office of Equity and Diversity
Whitney M. Young, Jr. Lifetime Achievement
The most prestigious of all Urban League Awards, this award is named to honor the fourth executive director of the National Urban League (1961-1971). Mr. Young worked tenaciously to forge new alliances and coalitions to build bridges of understanding among the races.
Whitney M. Young Award Recipients:
2016: Reverend Dr. Gordon and Mrs. Judy Gibson
2015: Theotis Robinson, Jr.
2014: Rita Geier
2013: Rev. Dr. Harold Middlebrook
2011: Helen Ashe and Ellen Turner, the Love Kitchen sisters
2008: Robert Booker, Former legislator, author and historian
2007: Margaret and Felix Gaiter, Community volunteers
2006: Dr. Robert Harvey, Interim President, Knoxville College
2005: Sarah Moore Greene
2002: Gloria Garner