• Kenneth Crooks, Jr.
    Executive Director Emeritus

  • As times change, what previously was a ‘dialogue about race’ has evolved into a holistic approach to diversity in our community and beyond.

    One Columbus, has also evolved, strengthening its core mission: striving to inspire, motivate, promote diversity, and ensure that each member of the community is respected and valued. Recognizing and appreciating diversity is an obligation to which each of us must be committed. If we accept and act on this challenge, then Columbus will truly become a ‘One Columbus’.

Recognition Dinner

The Recognition Dinner is a region-wide event held annually in the winter to recognize organizations, individuals and/or a young person that has made a significant contribution to diversity in the community. The Community Excellence Award is displayed on the Plaza Level of the Government Center and is given to an individual or organization. The Richard R. Miles Youth Award is give to a high school junior or senior for similar work.

Awards Criteria:

The Community Excellence Award may be given to an individual, business, or organization.The Community Excellence Award recognizes individuals, small and large businesses, nonprofit and civic organizations that have made consistent and effective efforts to promote diversity in their own organization or sphere of influence, within the Columbus, Georgia community.

The Richard K. Miles Youth Award is presented to a high school junior or senior.

Recipients of the Community Excellence Award :

1. Must have demonstrated significant effort toward assisting, encouraging and promoting diversity during the past year.
2. Must have provided significant support to our multicultural community, affecting change in the quality of life for the Columbus community.
3. Must have contributed to the resolution of issues important to our multicultural community.
4. Must have initiated and achieved measurable results toward improving racial harmony within our multicultural community.
5. Must have demonstrated leadership of others, inspiration, motivation and commitment to a better quality of life for the citizens of our multicultural community.
6. Nominations:

a) Must include a statement (500 words or less) of the nominee’s contributions and efforts in the area of diversity. Emphasis must be placed on how the nominee contributed to positive changes in our multicultural community.
b) May be individuals or organizations
c) Nominations must be delivered by U.S. Postal Service to: One Columbus PO Box 386 Columbus GA 31902 with a postmark no later than the last working day of September.
d) Nominations must be submitted on the Official One Columbus Nomination Form. The form may be found on the One Columbus website. www.onecolumbus.org
e) In five hundred words or less, describe the successes of the person or organization you believe is the best in class for this award. All areas of the selection criteria must be evident in nomination.

Recipients of the Richard K. Miles Youth Award Criteria:

1.Students must have worked to create unity and respect among their class mates and peers in school and community settings.
2.Nominees should have demonstrated commitment to the goals of One Columbus by some project or program
3. Nominees must submit an essay of not more than 300 words describing an act, event, or occasion where their leadership in diversity and/or race relations was important.
4.The Richard K. Miles Youth Award nominations are made through the Muscogee County School District from among its accredited high schools in the Columbus community.


1. The Community Excellence Award nominations opening date is August 1 and will close on the last working day of September each year.

A committee representative of the Columbus community named by the board of directors will receive and review the submissions and will recommend a candidate to the board of directors at its November meeting.

The winner will be notified and invited to attend the Recognition Dinner to receive the award. Up to 3 Family members/ friends or organizational representatives may accompany him or her.

The event will take place during the Martin Luther King Week Celebrations in January each year

2. The Richard K. Miles Youth Award nominations will be coordinated by the MCSD. The Student Services Division or a unit designated by the Superintendent will solicit, pre-screen, evaluate and recommend a nominee to the One Columbus Awards Committee.

This award is a tangible product and not a scholarship.