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Column: C.T. Vivian to get big send off to D.C. award event

By Maria Saporta
Published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on October 18, 2013

The Atlanta community will be giving civil rights leader the Rev. C.T. Vivian a “Send Off Salute” on Saturday, Oct. 19, at the City Hall atrium at noon.

The National Center for Civil and Human Rights and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed as well as other dignitaries will honor Vivian, who is one of this year’s 16 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama.

Vivian will be inducted into an elite class of activists and humanitarians who have been awarded our nation’s highest honor.

Other recipients of the 2013 Presidential Medal of Freedom include former President Bill Clinton and media legend Oprah Winfrey.

Vivian, 89, was a close friend and associate of Martin Luther King Jr. during the Civil Rights Movement. Vivian has remained active in the movement ever since, and he is the current president of the SCLC, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which was founded by King, the Rev. Joseph Lowery, Fred Shuttlesworth and Ralph David Abernathy.

Vivian marched during the first March on Washington in 1963, and he returned for the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington this past August. During his decades in the movement, Vivian participated in the Freedom Rides and helped organize sit-ins across the country.

Georgia Women’s assembly

At the 23rd annual Georgia Women’s Assembly on Oct. 18, the elusive “What Women Want” will be explored by leaders in the state.

Those leaders include state Rep. Stacey Abrams, who also is House minority leader; Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver; Deborah Richardson of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights; Stephanie Davis of Georgia Women for a Change; state Sen. Renee Unterman; and Cathy Adams, vice president of Federal Home Loan Bank.

The assembly will culminate with a noon lunch program with Eve Ensler, author of “The Vagina Monologues” and founder of One Billion Rising, who will participate in a conversation with her best friend, Pat Mitchell, CEO of the Paley Center.

The assembly will take place at the Loudermilk Center. Georgia Woman for a Change is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that impacts thousands of women and girls each year by working on public policy issues related to violence against women and girls, including human trafficking, as well as access to health care, economic security and reproductive justice.

New executive director

The Center for Financial Independence and Innovation, a Decatur-based nonprofit lender to people with disabilities, has hired a new executive director, Sherry Siclair.

Most recently, Siclair was the development director for the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System. She also has been executive director of the Georgia Law Center for the Homeless and the founding director of the Women’s Resource Center.

“Sherry is a proven leader with significant nonprofit experience working with underserved communities in Georgia,” said Mike Galifianakis, CFII’s board chair. “Her passion for her work, collaborative spirit and can-do attitude make her the perfect fit for our organization.”

Nancy Zintak

Nancy Zintak’s career is taking a dramatic turn. The Atlanta native, who has been working at Georgia Public Broadcasting overseeing marketing, communications and creative services at the statewide radio and television network, is the new regional vice president of Caron Treatment Centers and Hanley Center, a nonprofit that deals with addiction, prevention, treatment and recovery issues.

“As a professional, parent and lifelong member of this wonderful community — I am honored to be taking on this important role,” Zintak said. “Addiction is an epidemic in America, and we see a real opportunity to create a center for education, resources and support for families who are in search of treatment for the disease of addiction. Caron and Hanley are committed to establishing a presence in the Southeast that will become a community of hope for anyone who seeks lifelong recovery.”

Food Bank grant

The Atlanta Community Food Bank has received a grant of $30,000 from the Nationwide Insurance Foundation to provide food to those living in “food insecure” households.

The Atlanta grant is part of a $1.25 million donation that Nationwide is making through Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger relief organization and 21 of its member food banks where Nationwide’s employees work and live.

In Atlanta, Nationwide’s Carlos Foster serves as co-vice chair of the Food Bank’s advisory board.

Trees Atlanta grant

The State Farm Youth Advisory Board has made a $35,000 grant to Trees Atlanta, a group that protects and preserves the region’s tree cover. The grant will support Trees Atlanta’s youth education program — Urban Tree Trackers, which promotes art, environmental science, leadership and volunteerism to students in the Atlanta Public Schools. Greg Levine and Connie Veates, co-executive directors of Trees Atlanta, thanked State Farm for the “wonderful grant” for the youth program.

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.

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