Miller Smith Receives Black Heritage Pioneer Award
On Saturday, February 25, Dr. Arlette Miller Smith, Associate Professor in the English Department, accepted the Black Heritage Pioneer Award. This year, the award was given to four women, all of whom have shown leadership and commitment in support of the theme: “Year of the Black Woman/Celebrating the Black Woman.” The award is sponsored by the City of Rochester’s Black Heritage Committee.
According to the committee, they were looking to recognize African American women who have made great strides in “lifting up the idea, identity, and voices of black women.”
The award criteria included: individuals and/or organizations that have deliberately demonstrated their appreciation of/for, and/or their support and commitment to the empowerment and development of African-American woman/girls in one or more of the following areas:
• Educational attainment;
• Professional development (including but not limited to improved political awareness; business and career development; and personal development skills);
• Faith formation & spiritual development;
• Parenting and family development skills;
• Improved health and wellness outcomes (includes athletic development and sports involvement);
• Artistic expression and appreciation (all forms and mediums, including but not limited to the performing arts, visual arts and literary arts).
Other winners included: Keischa Higdon, Founder and Executive Director, Sisters Together Achieving Results; Dr. Cynthia McGill, Author, Former Assistant Provost, Rochester Institute of Technology and Pastor, New Life Fellowship; and Melanie Silas, Assistant Professor, Monroe Community College, Author, Playwright, and Pastor.