Diversity Foundation Chairman Ed Lohnes is shown with Vernell and Ernest Wabasha after they were presented Diversity Foundation's Bridging The Gap Award.
Diversity Foundation, Inc., a St. Cloud non-profit organization, annually awards its "Bridging the Gap Awards" to people across Minnesota and the Midwest, whom have proven through exemplary efforts that they are committed to making their communities a better place for all cultures, genders and races.
The foundation strives to build bridges between people of all cultures and ethnicity.
"The foundation's network of resources aims to motivate, educate and enlighten communities across the state of Minnesota," says Lyle Rustad, Diversity Foumdation, Inc. Executive Director.
The Awards Meaning and Symbolism
The Carbon atom, an essential element in all living things, is the focus of the Bridging the Gap Award. In front of the four electrons in the outer layer of this atom ride the names of each race. This provides symbolic evidence that without these four electrons or the four races life would cease.
On the orbit of the red electron appear the words "Bridging the Gap". It appears there because some believe that Native Americans will play a major role in uniting the people of the world.
Our Awards Creator - Norman Ellig
The continents of Africa and Europe, ancestral home of the black and white race, form the background of the white and black orbit. These two races, at unease in America today, when united, will provide proof that humanity can tread the path of unity.
The Ship Rock in the foreground, land mark of the Navajo's traditional homeland in northwestern New Mexico, is called Rock with Wings. It is repeated that this rock was climbed by people to evade an enemy and that it provided safety by sailing across the sky. It symbolizes, to me, the safety mankind will obtain when they climb aboard the ship of racial unity. This is all that it is.
"Race unity is one of the most important issues in the world today. With this in mind, I was spiritually inspired to create and complete the Bridging the Gap Award."
The Bridging The Gap Awards have been given out since 1997. Click on any of the links below to see each year's winner.