UofM Will Honor Dr. L. LaSimba Gray with Lifetime Achievement Award

January 23, 2017 - The University of Memphis will present Dr. L. LaSimba Gray with the Authur S. Holmon Lifetime Achievement Award during the opening ceremonies for Black History Month Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. in the Michael D. Rose Theatre. Sponsored by the Black Student Association and Office of Multicultural Affairs, the event is free and open to the public.

Gray is senior pastor of the historic New Sardis Baptist Church. During the 18 years that he has been at New Sardis, the membership has grown by 2,000 members. He served as the health coordinator for the Memphis Affiliate of the Congress of National Black Churches, leading the health ministries and environmental justices. Gray is president of the Memphis Satellite of Operation Push and served on the Tennessee Human Rights Commission under three governors.

In 1990, Gray organized a group of activists and filed a federal lawsuit challenging the runoff provision of city elections in Memphis. The federal court ruled, without a trial, that the runoff was unconstitutional and Dr. W. W. Herenton was elected the first African-American mayor of Memphis.

Gray was elected to the board of directors of Tri-State Bank in 2006. This bank is owned by African-Americans and controls over $123 million in assets.

The Lifetime Achievement award was established in 1991. It was renamed in 1996 to honor Holmon, who served as associate dean of students for minority affairs for 26 years.

For more information, call 901.678.2054.

Contact: Gabrielle Maxey