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Our Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion » Employee Resource Groups » AAN-Midwest to Hold Scholarship Gala Fundraiser

AAN-Midwest to Hold Scholarship Gala Fundraiser

Friday, June 18, 2010
Coney Island’s Moonlite Pavilion
6201 Kellogg Avenue
7 p.m. – 11 p.m.

The African-American Network (AAN) Ohio and Indiana Chapters are hosting the 2010 AAN Scholarship Gala Fundraiser “Stars – Leading, Lighting, Guiding While Illuminating the Way.” Come share an evening of dining and dancing featuring a music review from the “Cotton Club” era.

Just as the Cotton Club (New York City) launched the careers of many of the greatest African-American entertainers of the era, such as Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Billie Holiday, and Lena Horne, AAN will be launching our own community rising stars. This event recognizes the accomplishments of our students who are or will be attending colleges and universities across the nation.

Tickets and sponsorship available. Please register here.

For additional information, please contact Linda Harper at 513-287-3783 or e-mail

This event is open to the public.

Scholarship Awards Ceremony - The scholarships will be presented to the awardees during a ceremony that will be held at the Cincinnati Auditorium, 4th & Main on July 21, 2010 from 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm. The Keynote Speaker will be Dr. Sharon Draper, a world-renowned educator and New York Time Best Selling author with local ties to the community.

Dr. Sharon Draper has been honored as the National Teacher of the Year and is a five-time winner of the Coretta Scott King Literary Award. She was selected as Ohio's Outstanding High School Language Arts Educator, Ohio Teacher of the Year, and was chosen as a NCNW Excellence in Teaching Award winner. She is a Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award winner, and was the Duncanson Artist-in-Residence for the Taft Museum. She is a YWCA Career Woman of Achievement, and is the recipient of the Dean's Award from Howard University School of Education, the Pepperdine University Distinguished Alumnus Award, the Marva Collins Education Excellence Award, and the Governor's Educational Leadership Award. Last year she was named Ohio Pioneer in Education by the Ohio State Department of Education, and in 2008 she received the Beacon of Light Humanitarian award. In 2009 she received the Doctor of Laws Degree from Pepperdine University.

Dr. Sharon DraperShe has been honored at the White House six times, and was chosen as one of only four authors in the country to speak at the National Book Festival Gala in Washington, D.C, and to represent the United States in Moscow at their Book Festival. Her book Copper Sun has been selected by the US State Department and the International Reading Association as the United States novel for the international reading project called “Reading Across Continents.” Students in the US, Nigeria, and Ghana are reading the book and sharing ideas-a true intercontinental, cross-cultural experience.

Actively involved in encouraging and motivating all teachers and their students as well, she has worked all over the United States, as well as in Russia, Ghana, Togo, Kenya, Ethiopia, Bermuda, and Guam, spreading the word about the power of accomplished teaching and excellence in education.

About the African American Network
Duke Energy’s African American Network - Midwest (AAN – Midwest), formerly known as the Collaborative for Positive Change, was founded in 1992 and became a company chartered networking group in 1994 to attract, nurture, develop and promote a diverse work force.

The AAN organization has the following goals:

  • Create value for Duke Energy as a business resource
  • Identify development and growth opportunities for African American employees at Duke Energy.
  • Create an organization with a solid brand reputation
  • The organization's primary objectives focus of employee development and community service are met by:
    • Sponsoring educational sessions that focus on personal and professional growth.
    • Hosting an annual scholarship event to fund scholarships for deserving students in the Midwest.
    • Hosting an annual golf tournament to raise money for a local community service organization.
    • Supporting the United Way, Global Service Event and numerous community service projects throughout the year.

The AAN was launched on May 17, 2007. It combined two existing employee resource groups: Collaborative for Positive Change in the Midwest and the Minority Professional Association in the Carolinas. The organization has three chapters within the company: AAN - Cincinnati, AAN - Indiana and AAN - Carolinas.

Each chapter sponsors educational sessions, leadership development opportunities, and other activities for its local members. These sponsored sessions encompass employee development initiatives, promote the value of a diverse workforce and increase an understanding of cultural differences in support of the overall goals and strategies of the organization.

AAN – Midwest Scholarship Awards Celebration
The Awards Celebration is underwritten by Duke Energy and proceeds go directly toward funding scholarship awards. The Scholarship Program currently provides up to 8 scholarships of up to $2000 per year to undergraduate students at accredited, two or four-year colleges or universities.

The following guidelines are used when selecting the recipients for the scholarship awards:

  • Scholarship awards are granted on the basis of academic achievement, honors, participation in school and community activities, education and career goals and a letter of recommendation.
  • Scholars must meet certain enrollment and GPA criteria in order to renew their scholarships.
  • Proceeds from the scholarship fundraisers are the primary funding source for scholarships.

AAN – Midwest scholarships have been awarded to students attending the following colleges and universities

  • University of Cincinnati
  • Hampton University
  • Northern Kentucky University
  • Cornell University
  • Tuskegee University
  • Tennessee State University
  • Tuskegee University
  • Spellman College
  • Washington University
  • Lincoln University
  • University of Kentucky
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • University of Toledo
  • Kentucky State University
  • DePaul University Theatre School
  • North Carolina Central University