DCCC president receives ATHENA Award from Delco Chamber

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Dr. L. Joy Gates Black

Delaware County Community College President Dr. L. Joy Gates Black received the ATHENA Leadership Award® today for her professional excellence, community service and for helping residents, especially women, in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills. The award was bestowed upon Dr. Gates Black by the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce during a virtual luncheon, due to COVID-19 safety restrictions.

Keynote speaker Leslie Richards, general manager of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, complimented Dr. Gates Black on leading the College during an unprecedented time when COVID-19 has threatened the safety and economic well-being of students and residents and during a period of national turbulence and soul-searching on issues of race, equity and community policing.

Richards especially recognized Dr. Gates Black for establishing the College’s first Center for Equity and Social Justice, which is hosting the College’s new Dialogues for Diversity series of virtual community discussions on  equity and social justice. She also lauded Dr. Gates Black for volunteering to lead the Pennsylvania delegation of the Reskilling and Recovery Network, a national initiative led by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), the National Governors Association and higher education and training leaders from 20 states, to help retrain workers impacted by COVID-19. “It is impressive how she has demonstrated true leadership in this time,” Richards said of Dr. Gates Black, who is an AACC board member.

In receiving the award, Dr. Gates Black—the first woman and the first African American to head Delaware County Community College—thanked her grandmother and her mother, two strong women she said who raised her to give back to the community, her husband and her many mentors and role models. In addition, she thanked her College family. In a question-and-answer session at the end of the luncheon, Dr. Gates Black said, “I’m able to be here today, but it’s because of the great work of the faculty and staff at the College.”

The ATHENA Leadership Award® is presented by chambers of commerce, women’s organizations and universities to a woman, or man, who demonstrates the qualities embodied in the ATHENA Leadership Model and who has achieved the highest level of professional excellence; contributes time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community; and actively assists others, particularly women, in realizing their full leadership potential. Almost 8,000 leaders have been recognized with the award in 500-plus regions representing 48 states and 11 countries, including the United States, Bermuda, the United Kingdom, China, Canada, Greece, India, Russia, the United Arab Emirates, Ghana and Mexico.

Inspired by the goddess of Greek mythology known for her strength, courage, wisdom and enlightenment, the award is unique in both scope—local, national and international—and the ATHENA mission upon which it is based. By honoring exceptional leaders, the ATHENA Leadership Award® Program seeks to inspire others to achieve excellence in their professional and personal lives.

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