Dr. Catherine Meeks, founding executive director of the Absalom Jones Episcopal Center for Racial Healing, has been named a 2022 Presidential Award Lifetime Achievement Honoree. Dr. Meeks was awarded The President Joseph R. Biden Lifetime Achievement Award and the Presidential Volunteer Service Award medal.
“[Y]our years of dedicated service to this great nation have made a difference in the lives of many. The recommendations … for your nomination to receive these presidential honors have overwhelmingly exceeded expectations,” according to the award announcement.
In addition to her work at the Center for Racial Healing Dr. Meeks, was also recognized for her work as being a frequent guest on Georgia Public Radio, editor of “Living into God’s Dream: Dismantling Racism in America and co-author of “Passionate for Justice: Ida B. Wells as a Prophet of our Times.”
Dr. Meeks holds a Bachelor of Arts in speech education from Pepperdine University, a Masters Degree in social work from Clark Atlanta University, (formally Atlanta University) and a Ph. D from Emory University.
Dr Meeks spent 25 years at Mercer University serving as Assistant Dean of Women, Instructor and Assistant Professor. While at Mercer Macon Mayor Jim Marshall recruited her to be a loaned executive where she led the Youth Violence Prevention Task Force for two years. That work brought her to the attention of Wesleyan College where she was recruited to be the Clara Carter Acree Distinguished Professor of Socio-Cultural Studies until retiring in 2008.
In 2017, Dr. Meeks returned to the workforce with the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta as founding director of the Absalom Jones Episcopal Center for Racial Healing in Atlanta. There she was tasked with making The Center a resource for the entire Episcopal Church as it continues to imagine the way forward in building the Beloved Community. Her work at the Center has also made it internationally known as an important and essential resource for racial healing work.
Learn more about the work of the Center for Racial Healing here.