‘Diversity Awards’ presented

Welcoming Fort Wayne and 15 supporting organizations have honored eight individuals and/or organizations for their contributions in the immigrant/refugee communities in the Fort Wayne community.

Awards were presented to the following individuals:

Positive Role Model, Farah Combs, Continuing Lecturer and Coordinator of the Arabic Program at Purdue University Fort Wayne

Community Organization, Laura Pontius of the Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic, Award accepted by Board Member Randy Brown

Entrepreneur of Excellence, Samuel Melo of SpanicUS Interpretation Services

Diverse Employer, George Rongos of George’s International Market

Lifetime Achiever, Ana Guisti of the Center for Nonviolence

Emerging Leader, Yvonne Johnson of the Bukál Beverage Company

Social Justice, Ahmed Abdelmageed, Assistant Dean of Alumni & Community Engagement, Manchester University, the School of Pharmacy, Natural & Health Sciences

Storyteller, Aaron Robles of Founders Spark

The annual 2019 Welcoming Fort Wayne Diversity Awards is an official registered event with Welcoming America during national Welcoming Week recognized in cities across the United States during the week of Sept. 13 to 22. Welcoming Week’s purpose is to bring immigrants, refugees, and native-born residents together to raise awareness of the benefits of welcoming everyone in our communities.

Welcoming Fort Wayne is a local initiative of Associated Churches of Fort Wayne-Allen County dedicated to promoting immigrant integration into the greater Fort Wayne area by supporting economic development, ensuring equity in education, government, health and social services, as well as promoting an appreciation of arts and culture.

Organizations supporting this years’ Welcoming Fort Wayne Diversity awards event included: Welcoming Fort Wayne, Associated Churches, Wellspring Interfaith, Purdue University-Fort Wayne, Manchester University-College of Pharmacy, Amani Family Services, the City of Fort Wayne, the St. Joseph Community Foundation, the YMCA, Fort Wayne Community Schools, Many Nations Church, Friends of the Third World, United Church of Brethren, METRO, Catholic Charities of Fort Wayne-South Bend, and the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership.