PHILADELPHIA -The Philadelphia Multicultural Affairs Congress (MAC), a division of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, celebrates its 16th Annual Recognition Luncheon on Friday, October 29, 2010, entitled “Giving Voice: Past, Present, and Future”, to honor hospitality, tourism, and community leaders for their accomplishments in support of MAC’s mission to promote Philadelphia as an ethnically diverse visitors destination. This annual luncheon is the largest and only gathering of professionals dedicated to increasing Philadelphia’s prominence as a top multicultural tourism and convention city.
“It is with great enthusiasm that we honor Philadelphia’s leaders at MAC’s 16th Annual Recognition Luncheon,” states Tanya E. Hall, executive director of MAC. “These talented and dedicated individuals aid in promoting Philadelphia’s recognition as an inviting, multicultural city in the past, present and continuing in the future.”
This year’s award recipients include:
The Enslaved Africans Commemorated at the President’s House Site will be honored with MAC’s Outstanding Recognition Award. Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter and former Philadelphia Mayor John F. Street, will reveal the City’s first tribute image of the enslaved Africans that will be placed as official banners sponsored by MAC, throughout Independence National Historic Park. Focusing on the untold stories of slavery during our nation’s quest for freedom, The President’s House brings to light the injustice and events in Philadelphia that shaped history’s course of the slave trade in America. When an archaeological dig began in 2008, more than 250,000 visitors came to discover what was uncovered. The soon-to-be completed outdoor installation allows visitors to walk through the house’s original footprint, including a memorial space where some of the enslaved lived.
Radio One Philadelphia’s E. Steven Collins will accept MAC’s Industry Appreciation Award. This award is given to individuals or organizations that pave the way for multicultural tourism initiatives and, in addition, partner with various segments of the hospitality industry. E. Steven Collins is known and respected as one of Philadelphia’s strongest community voices and his service to MAC is representative of his love of the city. His willingness to bring his voice and resources to important community issues are impressive and worth celebrating.
MAC is honoring two recipients for the Share the Heritage Awards in 2010, Jeri Lynne Johnson, founder of the Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra and the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival. This award is bestowed upon individuals or organizations that have helped propel multicultural tourism initiatives in Philadelphia and in our nation. Jeri Lynn’s Johnson’s contributions as a leader in the arts and cultural community have rippled far beyond the rows and instruments of her orchestra. Her fervor for engaging diverse audiences by normalizing cultural inclusion in classical music is her heart’s passion.
The Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival, which just concluded its 2010 event, was created to showcase and celebrate films by and about Asian Americans to audiences of all backgrounds in Philadelphia. In three short years, this Film Festival has screened more than 100 films and has received wide acclaim. As the festival director, Joe Kim has built this event with a dedicated team of volunteers who share his mission in promoting diversity.
One of Philadelphia’s first African American female entrepreneurs, milliner Mae Reeves will receive MAC’s Pioneer Award. This award is presented to individuals who have overcome obstacles in dedication to their mission. Mae Reeves’ dedication to the art of hat making is very impressive. From the late 1930s to 1980s, Mae Reeves was one of Philadelphia's most successful millinery designers and was also one of the first African American women to establish a business in the downtown area of the city. Today, at the age of 98, her contributions to the fashion world will live on for many years to come. The Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture recently acquired part of her extensive hat collection, antique furniture from her millinery shop and other personal items to tell the story about her illustrious career.
Rev. Louis a. Cortes, Jr. , President and CEO of Esperanza , the largest Hispanic faith based evangelical network in the United States, will receive the Community Impact Award for his many years of community advocacy. This award is presented to individuals that strive to create a better Philadelphia and the surrounding communities. Rev. Luis Cortes is recognized as a national leader of Hispanic concerns and community development and is widely known for his work and insight to organize on a local and national level regarding the need for comprehensive responsible immigration reform. As an organization dependent upon our nation’s strength of diversity, MAC salutes Rev. Cortes for his unending faithful work on this critical issue.
The Bring It Home Award, presented to individuals or organizations that support MAC’s mission by partnering with the PCVB to bring a multicultural convention to Philadelphia, will be awarded to members of the National Association of Black Journalist (NABJ) Philadelphia chapter. The Philadelphia chapter, established in 1973 in an effort to increase the number of black journalist in the media and increase coverage within the Black community, was the founding chapter of NABJ. These hardworking professionals helped in their individual ways to make Philadelphia the site of the 2011 National Association of Black Journalists Annual Convention that will bring more than $6.6 million in economic impact to Philadelphia. Specifically, this award salutes Melanie Burney, Deirdre M. Childress, and Sarah Glover for their unyielding effort in bringing the NABJ convention back to its home, Philadelphia.
PCVB President and CEO, Tom Muldoon, will be presented with MAC’s first ever Lifetime Achievement Award for his exceptional life-long service to the hospitality industry, while supporting the mission of the Multicultural Affairs Congress. A leader in the tourism and hospitality industry for over 25 years, Muldoon played a key role in the creation and development of MAC, the first of its kind in the nation, from its inception to the success it represents today. His devotion to focusing and increasing multicultural tourism in Philadelphia has been crucial to raising the city’s visibility as one of the top tourism and convention destinations in the country.