The Salisbury Human Relations Council is pleased to announce the 2022 Elizabeth Duncan Koontz (EDK) Humanitarian Award recipients. This year’s recipients are Reverend Dr. Robert Black, DeCarlo Duling, and Sherry Hawthorne.
The Reverend Dr. Robert Black is the priest at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in downtown Salisbury. He has made significant contributions to the improvement of human relations in Salisbury through his leadership in efforts called “Becoming Beloved Community,” which is the church’s long-term commitment to racial justice and healing. Black led St. Luke’s on a project to address representation in religious art in the city’s most historic church building which resulted in the commissioning of religious icons, including an icon of Elizabeth Duncan Koontz dedicated on Sunday, Jan. 9. “Receiving this award is a particular honor” for Black, as Elizabeth Duncan Koontz was a member of St. Luke’s.
DeCarlo Duling is an educator and community and religious leader in Salisbury. As a math and science teacher at North Rowan Middle School, he has organized successful mentoring programs and held clothing donation drives for needy students. Duling has organized food drives during the COVID-19 pandemic and raised funds for families affected by the pandemic. He serves on the Stewards Board for the Soldiers Memorial AME Zion Church and is the president of the District Men’s Boosters. “Duling serves his community in a very selfless way, serving with gladness and making a positive difference in the lives of so many,” said Raemi Evans in her nomination form.
Sherry Hawthorne, a Salisbury native, is noted for sharing her passion for event planning throughout the City. Her event planning has been witnessed throughout the years from events such as the Juneteenth Celebration and Parade, Toys for Tots, Jersey City Reunion, the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. parade, and the Livingstone College Homecoming parade. Krystal Conner stated “Mrs. Hawthorne has been a great community leader. Past and present she has been a great asset to our community.”