Announcing Alliance for Greater Works’ 2021 Equity Champions

Our 20th Anniversary Gala & Silent Auction is quickly approaching, Thursday, September 30, 2021, 6:30 – 8:00 pm, and this is a virtual event that you will not want to miss. This inaugural year’s theme is, An Evening for All Who Dare to Believe.

In keeping with the theme, Alliance for Greater Works is honoring one organization and three individuals who have dared to believe. Alliance is honoring them as Equity Champions, committed to making a difference in the lives of those living in underserved marginalized communities. 

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas is an organization that dares to believe by creating initiatives such as Advance Together: An Inclusive Economy Accelerator to increase the progress of community partnerships in Texas. This work is instrumental in reducing barriers to economic opportunity for marginalized people. For more information about Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas visit https://www.dallasfed.org/cd/at .

As the senior pastor of the Historic Little Rock Baptist Church, located in Detroit, Michigan, Rev. Jim Holley, Ph.D. has dared to believe for nearly five decades. Reaching beyond the church’s four walls, he has dedicated his life to transform the marginalized communities of Detroit. His ultimate mission in life is a “Ministry of Liberation,” focused on freeing his people through Salvation, Education and Economics (SEE). Holley has done so with community economic development and social entrepreneurship strategies. For more information on Rev. Holley visit https://www.historiclittlerockbc.org 

Bishop Omar Jahwar was the voice of Dallas urban communities, most notably as it relates to social change and eradicating senseless violence. He was an internationally renowned community leader and advocate, and the CEO and founder of Urban Specialists. Bishop Omar spent 23 years promoting strong families, helping to strengthen communities, and advocating for peace. Over 20 years ago, Bishop Omar became the first state appointed gang specialist in Texas.  In this role, he negotiated peace terms between incarcerated rival gang members, and in 2000 brought over 400 gang members together to negotiate the first peace treaty between the infamous Blood and Crip gangs in Dallas. For more information on Bishop Omar Jahwar and his fight to end systematic racism, visit https://urbanspecialists.org/about/ 

And last, but certainly not least, Alliance is excited to honor Opal Lee. Best known as the Grandmother of Juneteenth, Ms. Lee has been devoted to preserving the history and timeline of the emancipation of Texas slaves and the unifying effect of understanding that “None of us are free, until we are all free.” Ms. Opal Lee has been one who dared to believe that her vision of making Juneteenth a national holiday – would come to past and it has come to pass this year. 

Throughout her 93 years of living, Lee has helped establish the Tarrant County Black Historical and Genealogical Society dedicated to the preservation of the history of the Fort Worth Black populace. She served on the Historic and Cultural Landmarks Commission, AIDS Outreach committee, Evans Avenue Business Association, Good Samaritans, and Riverside Neighborhood Advisory Council. Lee served as Precinct Chair for District 8 for over 30 years, a member of Grandmother’s Club, and Ethel Ransom Humanitarian and Cultural Club. Currently Opal Lee is an active member in her church, Baker Chapel AME where she serves as a Missionary, church-school teacher, assistant teacher, and Deaconess. 

Finally, her single greatest passion exemplifies her sense of community spirit. For over 40 years, Mrs. Lee, along with the help of many others, strives every year to keep and expand the celebration of our “Day of Freedom” June 19, 1865, when slaves in Texas found out they were free. Mrs. Lee has received many awards and commendations in her lifetime but values her ability to affect positive change in the lives of those around her more than any accolades that can be given to her. For more information about Opal Lee: https://www.opalswalk2dc.com 

Equity work is generational work and we salute 2021 Equity Champions for their commitment for ensuring that all people have access to opportunity, regardless the zip code.

Christie Dobbins

Community Engagement Specialist

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