Honorary Lifetime Givens Board Member Garners Historic Award

Al Whitesides, an Honorary Lifetime Board Member of Givens Communities, is among the first four recipients of the John Lewis Award, presented by the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Association of Asheville and the Buncombe County Community Outreach Providing Empowerment Committee.

“Givens Communities has been fortunate to be among the many who benefit from the immeasurable dedication and continuing service of Mr. Whitesides,” said Kevin Schwab, CEO of Givens Communities. “For him to receive this award is an opportunity for us to once again thank him for his service to Givens Communities and to the greater community of Western North Carolina.”

In addition to his contributions to Givens Communities, Whitesides has been Chair of the Asheville City Schools board, Chair of the UNC Asheville Board of Trustees, and was the first African American to serve as a Buncombe County Commissioner.

The award, named in recognition of a civil rights icon, honors those in the Asheville area community who foster a culture of inclusion and work to achieve a just society for the disadvantaged. Lewis served as a U.S. Congressman from 1987 until his death in 2020 and is remembered as a pivotal force for equality in America and bringing an end to segregation.

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