(COLUMBIA, MO) - The 25th annual Columbia Values Diversity Awards were presented at the Columbia Values Diversity Celebration on Jan. 13. The awards are given to individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions promoting appreciation for diversity and cultural understanding in Columbia.

Sharp End Heritage Committee awarded the group 2022 Diversity Award

The Sharp End Heritage Committee was formed by the late James Whitt in 2014 in an effort to recognize the history of the once thriving Black business district in Columbia known as the Sharp End. In the following years, the committee continued its work to create the broader African American Heritage Trail. Over 20 markers have been installed, with the Sharp End marker being the first. The trail commemorates Black enterprises, churches and individuals who overcame enormous odds to achieve outstanding legacies. The Sharp End Heritage Committee's work to document and spread awareness of Black history in Columbia will have a lasting impact for our city.

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Hsiao-Mei Wiedmeyer awarded the individual 2022 Diversity Award

Hsiao-Mei Wiedmeyer has served as an ambassador to Columbia, playing an important role in welcoming many Chinese visitors to the city and helping the Chinese American community recognize and celebrate their ancestry. Her perseverance toward building an inclusive Columbia community reflects the life and teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who led others with education, commitment and direct action. Ms. Wiedmeyer has made a local impact by founding Columbia Friends of China, a nonprofit organization dedicated to better understanding Chinese culture. Through organizing many events and programs, Ms. Wiedmeyer has helped to reach thousands of community members and aided in deepening Columbia's appreciation of the diverse cultures found in our community.

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