The George Henry White Pioneer Award was established by the Benjamin and Edith Spaulding Descendants Foundation to honor the legacy of, the late Congressman George Henry White (1852 -1918), who was a major civil rights leader during his time, and was the lone African American serving in the U.S. Congress from 1897 to 1901.
The award honors qualities of Servant Leadership, Social Entrepreneurship, Visionary Action, and Family Cohesiveness.
The BESD Foundation, Inc. BOD's, voted unanimously, without opposition, to give the 2014 GHW award to Dr. Benjamin Justesen for his visionary action, and diligent and ongoing efforts to promote public knowledge of the life and enduring legacy of GHW. Dr Justesen serves as a spokesperson on the life and legacy of GHW at public events sponsored by the BESD foundation and other organizations, and is a present day authority on GHW. He also worked with the Ms. Kate Tsubata and the Lightsmith Productions Company as a writer and editor in the production of the documentary movie on the life of GHW entitled,”George Henry White- American Phoenix”. Dr. Justesen has authored two books on the life of GHW, one entitled: “An Even Chance in the Race of Life” and the other book is entitled: “In His Own Words”, which is a compilation of Writings, Speeches, and Letters done by GHW.
The GHW Award for 2014 was presented by Mr. Vincent Spaulding, BESD Foundation, President Emeritus & COO, to Dr. Justesen on August 2, 2014 during a banquet in Asheville, NC.