GIANTS Awards and Banquet

The Annual Giants Awards and Banquet is sold out!  Thank you for your continued support as we celebrate the 37th year  honoring thirteen African American individuals who will be recognized for their exceptional contributions shaping the history and quality of life of greater Grand Rapids. The idea for this event grew out of need for recognizing notable contributions of African Americans to the quality of life in Grand Rapids. The founders for this event, Dr. Patricia Pulliam and Cedric Ward decided to engage a group of people from the community to plan the event.

The awards recognize the contributions from all aspects of community life. Each award is named after local individuals who have given excellence and is a perpetual memorial to their notable contributions. Proceeds from the event will support the Grand Rapids Community College Foundation’s Milo M. Brown Memorial Scholarship and the Jr. Giants Fund. Two or more scholarships are awarded annually. The scholarships are presented to African American students as perpetual memorials to Mr. Brown.

Junior Giants Awards

Junior Giants Cedric Ward Leadership Scholarship - This scholarship is awarded to a senior student in the Kent Intermediate School District.  Junior Giants Dr. Patricia Pulliam Leadership Scholarship - This scholarship is awarded to a current college student.

The scholarships are named in honor of the founders of the GIANTS, Dr. Patricia Pulliam and Mr. Cedric Ward.  The scholarships are awarded to students of African American Heritage who are nominated and demonstrate the essence of a Junior Giant: Demonstrated Leadership Profile, Community Involvement and Impact, Academic and/or Athletic Accomplishments, Academic Achievement/Academic Progress.

2019 Junior Giants Cedric Ward Leadership Scholarship recipient is Jmyrea White.

2019 Junior Giants Dr. Patricia Pulliam Leadership Scholarship is Maya Smith.


2019 Giants Award Honorees:

Floyd Skinner Justice Award

Not awarded this year.


Walter Coe Public Service Award

Mari Beth Johnson-Jelks


Eugene Browning Medical Service Award

Jason Slaikeu MD, MBA


W.W. Plummer Humanitarian Award

LaSandra A. Gaddy


Ethel Coe Humanities Award

Lisa M. Knight


Milo Brown Business Award

Troy Yarbrough of Preferred Construction Group


Phyllis Scott Activist Award

Cole Williams


William Glenn Trailblazer Award

Victoria Ann Upton (Posthumously)


Raymond Tardy Community Service Award

India Manns


H.C. Toliver Religious Life Award

Bishop Dennis J. McMurray & Dr. E. Jean Lackey-McMurray


Hattie Beverly Education Award

Not awarded this year.


Martha Reynolds Labor Award

Carrie L. Jackson


Giant Among Giants - Michael B. Johnson, Sr.