Skip to main content

Learning. Leading. Acting. Responding to COVID-19, racial injustice and economic hardship.

GV Now

Trailblazer honored by Positive Black Women

  • The annual luncheon for Positive Black Women was recently held.
  • The annual luncheon for Positive Black Women was recently held.

Posted on February 17, 2020

The annual luncheon for Positive Black Women, a group that started on campus in 1994, honored a longtime community and campus leader with the 2020 Dr. Doris Rucks Trailblazer Award.

Beverly Grant, who also had integral roles with the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy and the Division of Inclusion and Equity, humbly received the award.

“I’m going to accept it only on behalf of those women who came before me, who made it possible for me to do what I have done,” Grant said. “I want to challenge each one of you to lead your legacy, which is your footprint for someone else to follow.”

Other event highlights included featuring African arts; the group in the past has focused on women of color in politics, black inventors and empowering women in the community, president Jamillya Hardley said.

“Each year we meet as a group to decide what’s going on in the world, what are the current events, what’s happening and what would make the most impact,” she said.

Group board members each picked an artist to feature. Some of these artists included choreographer Alvin Ailey, musician Akon, and actress Lupita Nyong’o.

“Art is a very well-known topic within Grand Valley and society today, so we tried to be a little bit different in our selections,” vice president V’lecea Hunter said. “That’s why we focused on the dance aspect, but also Akon being impactful as an artist -- a musical artist but at the same time a community activist.”

Along with the presentations on different artists, group members were presented wearing different types of cloths from various African cultures in a live-museum experience “to give another level of impact,” Hardley said.

-- written by Olivia Conaty, student writer

For more information on Positive Black Women at Grand Valley visit