Blue Cross Employee Honored for Service at Grand Rapids MLK Celebration
Through his personal and professional roles, Cle Jackson works to unite others around big causes, serving with determination and spirit.
As a senior community responsibility liaison at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Jackson brings community partners together with the aim of building a healthier West Michigan. As president of the Greater Grand Rapids NAACP, Jackson works to tirelessly reimagine the storied civil rights organization, said Joe Jones, president and CEO, Urban League of West Michigan.
“Through (Jackson’s) leadership, the branch strives to build a better system in which all citizens have equal access to political, economic, educational and social resources,” Jones said.
To recognize his service to Grand Rapids and the broader West Michigan region, Jackson was presented with the Urban League’s Paul I. Phillips Presidential Legacy Award at the organization’s annual breakfast celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., held on Monday, Jan. 20. The award is named for Phillips, the first African American elected to the Grand Rapids City Commission and the Grand Rapids Board of Education and a celebrated local civil rights leader.
“This is just such an honor to follow in that legacy,” Jackson said of Phillips. “It is such an honor to be recognized for the commitment and the work that folks like myself have done in this community.”
He said he’s especially proud to receive recognition from the Urban League, an organization he works regularly with through his roles at Blue Cross and the NAACP.
Also honored at Monday’s event with the Paul I. Phillips Presidential Legacy Award was Tasha Blackmon, CEO, Cherry Health. Allen Brown, president, Behind the Scene Catering and Synia Jordan, owner, Samaria J’s Salon Suite, were recognized with the Nolan Groce Business Leadership Award and The Wege Foundation was honored with the Drum Major for Justice Award.
A fireside chat featured community leaders who examined famous quotes from King, sharing their thoughts on the state of inequities in employment and workplace development, housing and community development, education, health and racial equity, diversity and inclusion.
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Photo credit: MI Blues Perspectives