University Honors Two for Community Service Efforts

University Honors Two for Community Service Efforts

By Kathleen Sullivan
Staff Writer

A woman battling HIV who has helped others afflicted with the disease, and a long-time civic leader were honored by Boston College at a campus ceremony on Oct. 23 for their efforts to improve the lives of those in need.

Community Service award winners Catherine Du Bois Gaynes (left) and Deborah Jackson. (Photo by Lee Pellegrini)
HIV activist Catherine DuBois Gaynes was presented with the 2002 Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Award, given annually to citizens whose community involvement exemplifies the slain civil rights leader's message.

Deborah C. Jackson, CEO of the American Red Cross of Massachusetts Bay received the 2002 Amanda V. Houston Community Service Award, named after the late director of Boston College's Black Studies Program.

The awards, sponsored by the Office of Governmental and Community Affairs, were presented by Community Affairs Director Jean McKeigue and Black Studies Program Assistant Sandra Sandiford at a ceremony held in the McMullen Museum of Art. Vice President for Student Affairs Cheryl Presley, O'Neill Library Instructional Services Manager Kwasi Sarkodie-Mensah and Asst. Prof. Rosanna DeMarco (CSON) offered remarks.

Gaynes, an African-American woman living with HIV, has used her experiences to advocate for others who are HIV-positive, particularly women of color. She has dedicated countless hours of service to decrease the soaring incidence of HIV in women of color and to promote prevention messages to urban youth. She helps women cope with children and family care issues, work-related demands and medical side effects. She is involved in a research project focusing on HIV prevention in Boston Public Schools and works with numerous community and health groups.

A civic and community leader whose career in urban policy and community service has spanned more than 20 years, Jackson became the CEO of the American Red Cross of Massachusetts Bay earlier this year. Previously, Jackson was the executive director of the Roxbury Comprehensive Community Health Center, where she co-founded the Neighborhood Health Plan HMO and Multicultural AIDS Coalition, which continue to offer vital services today.

She also served as president and CEO of Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries Inc., the first African-American to head the state's largest provider of social and job training services for people with disabilities and the economically disadvantaged. Jackson helped establish and oversee community benefit programs at Children's Hospital in Boston, and managed operations, growth and development for the Boston Foundation's grant programs and initiatives.  

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