Saturday, March 30, 2024

Recorder Media Group Invites Nominations for Champions of Diversity Awards

INDIANAPOLIS Ind. – Recorder Media Group and Indiana Minority Business Magazine have opened nominations for the 2023 Champions of Diversity Awards. In addition to celebrating all of the Champions of Diversity award winners, five distinctive awards will be considered: the Rosa Parks Trailblazer Award, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Award, the William G. Mays Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award, the Lifetime Education Advocate Award and the Diversity Choice Award.

“There are many individuals, organizations and businesses that are making an effort to impact Indiana’s minority communities,” said Robert Shegog, president and CEO of the Indianapolis Recorder Newspaper and Indiana Minority Business Magazine. “The Champions of Diversity awards highlight all of the people who have worked to advance equity in our state.

In addition, the event gives our partner organizations and businesses the opportunity to share the impactful work they are doing. Collectively, the event brings greater visibility to diversity, equity and inclusion advocates throughout Indiana.”

Now in its 16th year, the annual awards recognize individuals, companies and organizations that have exhibited a high level of commitment to diversity in the state of Indiana.

The Annual Champions of Diversity Awards Dinner will be held on Friday, January 13, 2023 at the Marriott Downtown Indianapolis, 350 W. Maryland Street, Indianapolis, IN 46225. A networking reception will begin at 5:30 p.m. with dinner promptly following at 6:30 p.m. The event will conclude at approximately 8:30 p.m. All times Eastern.

Individuals are nominated via an online application. Nominations for the 2023 Champions of Diversity Awards will be accepted through Friday, September 30 and are open to all Hoosiers; regardless of race, discipline, industry or background. Third-party nominations and self-applications are both welcomed.

More information can be found online at or by reaching out to

Past Award Winners
The Champions of Diversity Awards have recognized hundreds of diverse leaders over the past 16 years. Some of the past award winners include:

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Award

  • Winnie Bulaya, Founder, Refugee Welcome Basket (2020)
  • James & Nancy Cotterill, Unite Indy (2019)
  • Indiana Undocumented Youth Alliance (2018)
  • Gregory S. Fehribach, The Fehribach Group (2017)
  • Mark & Karen Hill, Founders, Collina Ventures (2016)
  • Shrewsberry & Associates (2015)
  • The Eskenazi Family Foundation (2014)
  • Eli Lilly & Company (2013)
  • Second Helpings (2012)
  • John McClelland, Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana (2011)
  • Melvin and Bren Simon, Simon Property Group (2010)
  • James Morris, President, Pacers Sports & Entertainment (2009)
  • Pastor Glenn Palmer, Calvary Temple (2008)

Rosa Parks Trailblazer Award

  • Rupal Thanawala, Partner, Tenthpin Management Consultants (2020)
  • Gurinder Singh Kalsa, Founder and Chairman of SikhsPAC (2019)
  • Salesforce (2018)
  • George Rawls M.D., The Aesculapian Medical Society (2017)
  • The Oaks Academy (2016)
  • Karen Freeman Wilson, Mayor, City of Gary (2015)
  • Deborah Hearn Smith, Girl Scouts of Central Indiana (2014)
  • Vera Bradley (2013)
  • John Mellencamp (2012)
  • Honorable Tanya Walton Pratt (2011)
  • Dr. Rose Mays, IUPUI School of Nursing (2010)
  • Frank Anderson, Marion County Sheriff (2009)
  • Cordelia Lewis Burks (2008)

William G. Mays Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award

  • Elizabeth J. & Laurie Henry, Owners, McDonald’s (2020)
  • Nathan & Deborah Oatts, Oatts Trucking and Nubian Construction (2019)
  • Lamont Hatcher, AIS (Apex Infinite Solutions) (2018)
  • Courtney Cole & Monica Peck, Co-Owners Hare Chevrolet (2017)
  • Engaging Solutions, LLC (2016)
  • John T. Thompson, CEO, Thompson Distribution Company (2015)

Lifetime Education Advocate Award

  • Dr. Eugene White, President Emeritus, Martin University (2020)

Diversity Choice Award

  • Bart Peterson, Former Mayor, City of Indianapolis (2008)

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