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Collins-Thompson among 7 honored by business and women’s club group

Genevieve Collins-Thompson will receive the 2015 Sojourner Truth Award, named in honor of the former slave who became an abolitionist and women’s rights activist, during the annual Founder’s Day Luncheon of the Buffalo Club of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs.

The luncheon will be held Saturday at the Holiday Inn in Amherst.

Both on the job and through volunteer work, Thompson has focused on ways to help improve the status of those in need. She has worked for the state Department of Labor, representing minorities and veterans; her volunteer efforts have dealt largely with women and youth.

Other award winners include:

• Vicki Barnes, a math teacher in Buffalo Public Schools and a licensed real estate broker and saleswoman, will receive the Professional Award. A graduate of city schools with several advanced degrees, she has coordinated numerous math programs for the University at Buffalo.

• Gladys Jean Diji, who spent most of her nursing career with the Office of Mental Health at Buffalo Psychiatric Center will receive a Community Service Award. Before retiring in 2010, she was the Western New York coordinator of diversity planning and compliance for three facilities in the region.

• Alisha Taggart-Powell will receive the Business Award. She is owner and creative director of Janies Emporium, a new fashion boutique specializing in jewelry, accessories and natural hair care named after her late grandmother – a businesswoman in the 1940s. She also works full time as the coordinator for non-traditional occupations at Trocaire College.

• Dr. Jeffrey Grace, clinical director at Buffalo Psychiatric Center, will be honored as Man of the Year. With more than three decades of experience in the field, he’s a past president of the Western New York Psychiatric Society and a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.

• Dennisjanee Brown, a senior at Leonardo da Vinci High School in Buffalo who plans to study veterinary science and business in college, will receive the Scholarship Incentive Award. Dennisjanee has been on the honor roll throughout high school and is a member of the National Honor Society.

• Abbeni Crysta-Salome Dixon, a senior at Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts, will receive a Community Service Award. She’s an officer and active member of Buffalo District A.M.E. Zion Youth, and has won numerous awards for being an outstanding leader and mentor.