20th Anniversary

  • 20th Anniversary Highlights

    Kimmel Arena Filling up before the speech.

  • 2042 ASCORE Awardees

    From left Samantha Singer, Yetta Williams, Lucia Daugherty, Phillip Cooper with Chancellor Mary Grant (not pictured Mirian Porras-Rosas.

  • ASCORE Reception

    ASCORE member Oralene Simmons with Dr. Henry Louis Gates

  • Chancellor Grant

    Chancellor Grant welcoming the audience

  • Honoring ASCORE

    Members of ASCORE received a standing ovation from the audience of 1,700

  • James Ferguson first chair and co-founder of ASCORE

    James Ferguson shares the stories of ASCORE and thanks the mentors that supported them.

  • Dr. Deborah James

    UNC Asheville Literature and Language professor (and alum), introduced Dr. Henry Louis Gates

  • Finding Your Roots

    Dr. Henry Louis Gates giving the keynote speech and shares the story of his great great grandmother in West Virginia.

  • Chancellor Grant

    Chancellor Grant welcoming the attendees of the Awards Luncheon at the Morris Hellenic Ceneter

  • 2042 ASCORE Awards Luncheon

    Dr. Agya Boakye-Boaten and Dr. Tiece Ruffin (Advisory board member). The table centers came from the collection of artifacts - this one is from celebrations from the new year in Asia

  • 2042 ASCORE Awardee

    Phillip Cooper from AB Tech with Frank Castelblanco, CDE Board Chair

  • 2042 ASCORE Awardee

    Lucia Daugherty White with Asheville Buncombe Community Relations Council

  • 2042 ASCORE Awardee

    Mirian Porras Rosas with Nuestros Centros

  • 2042 ASCORE Awardee

    Samantha Singer with UNC Asheville

  • 2042 ASCORE Awardee

    Yetta Williams with Asheville City Schools

  • Awards Luncheon

    Long time supporter Fred Meyer visits with Lucia Daugherty far left with volunteer extradonaire Laurie Chess in the back ground. The table centers featured artifacts from the Seasons of Gratitude Road Show including a Chiwara

  • Awards luncheon

    ASCORE members with family and friends

  • Awards Luncheon

    Yetta Willimas with Building Bridges Board members

  • Deborah Miles

    Executive Director Deborah Miles speaking at the Luncheon.

  • Sam Singer and Chancellor Grant

    Awardee Sam Singer a student at UNCA and Chancellor Grant.

  • Awards Luncheon

    Award recipients, ASCORE members and UNCA Chancellor Grant

ASCORE members and Award winners from left to right - Front Row: Millus Turman, Phillip Cooper, Samantha Singer, UNC Asheville Chancellor Mary Grant, Yetta Williams, Mirian Porras-Rosas, Lucia Daugherty, Etta Whitner Patterson. Second Row: Viola Jones Spells, Carolyn Taylor Jackson, Virginia Dawkins Weaver, Viola Turner, Oralene Graves Simmons, Marvin Chambers, Liz Colton, Sandra Burton Hughes, Jesse Ray. Third Row: Al Whitesides, Annette Penland Coleman, Stanley Scott, James Ferguson, Barbara Turman Ferguson, James Burton, Clifford Cotton, William Young.

Building on a Legacy: UNC Asheville Center for Diversity Education 1995-2016

On behalf of all of us at The Center for Diversity Education, Chancellor Mary Grant, and honored ASCORE members and awardees: thank you to those who joined us for our 20th anniversary. In celebrating, our desire was to both reflect on where we have been, where we would like to be, and most importantly, how we hope to get there.

On Thursday, November 5, 2015 the brilliant and humorous Dr. Henry Louis Gates honored us first with a tribute to the ASCORE attendees, then with an informative presentation to over 1500 attendees on the story of his DNA that connects him to West Virginia, Egypt, and Ireland. The luncheon for 300 on November 6 at the Morris Hellenic Center honored the five recipients of the 2042 ASCORE Awards. Their work in today's complex environment mirrors the courage shown by the ASCORE members, whose actions between 1960 and 1965 changed the face of Asheville. As each of the awardees shared their challenges and visions, we were inspired to know that the mantle is in fact being passed to a new generation of individuals already making a difference.

We believe the 20th commemoration made clear the foundation the Center is built on: a unique partnership between the University and the community, dedicated to the intellectual and emotional work necessary to foster greater equity and inclusion across WNC. Thank you for your past and continuing support of our efforts. We hope you will continue that support as we enter our third decade, now as a part of UNC Asheville.

View photos from the 20th Anniversary on our Facebook page!

ASCORE 2042 Award Recipients

These award winners were honored at our ASCORE Awards Luncheon on November 6, 2015.

Philip Cooper, AB Tech

Philip Cooper is a 2013 Human Services Technology graduate of Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College.  Following graduation, he joined the Student Services staff of the college and is a mentor to students in the Minority Student Leadership Academy and other students with a special focus on helping others address the challenges of re-entry following incarceration and money management. He is a Certified Peer Support Specialist at Next Recovery and a Recovery Coach for Biltmore Transitional House. He is a Lifelong learner and while working full-time he continues his education at the college in the Transfer Program working towards a B.S.B.A in Computer Information Systems. 

Lucia Daugherty, Asheville Buncombe Community Relations Council

As one of the founders of the Pisgah View Garden, along with husband Bob White, and an early tutor for I Have a Dream Foundation at Pisgah View Apartments, Daugherty has plenty of wisdom on community cohesiveness. She puts that skill at relationship building to good use as the Executive Director of Asheville-Buncombe Community Relations Council (ABCRC) whether it is working with law enforcement or the schools. When Lucia has a task before her, she focuses entirely on it. She doesn’t stray from the path until she is confident that she has done what is needed for the community and for the individual.

Dulce Milian Rosas Porras, Neustro Centros

Rosas Posas is a community organizer with Nuestro Centro and the coordinator for the Raices (Roots) Program, which connects children to Mexico through a bi-lingual culture program of music and dance. In her work with families, she builds confidence and skills to address the structural racism in community institutions. Dulce has done all of this work for her community while earning her GED with plans to continue on to higher education.

Samantha Singer, UNC Asheville

As a social justice leader at UNC Asheville, Samantha Singer has helped create Hyannis House, a safe haven for women and members of the LGBTQIA community who were affected by sexual assault. She worked as the Equity and Inclusion intern at the Center for Diversity Education of UNC Asheville, and continues to use education of the community to help break down barriers.

Yetta Williams, Asheville City Schools/Hall Fletcher Elementary

For more than ten years, Yetta Williams has taught at Hall Fletcher Elementary, but her work for today’s youth doesn’t stop there. Yetta perseveres to give a voice to children in the Asheville City Schools system by participating in multi-ethnic conversations and Building Bridges of Asheville. She brings up open-minded topics so the community will think about what is needed and won’t lapse into blind complacency. This year, Yetta received the 2015 Beattie Foundation award for “Teachers to Singapore & Malaysia,” a professional development program.

Keynote Speaker, Dr. Henry Louis Gates

Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., an American literary critic, historian, scholar, and Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University, honored UNC Asheville with his keynote address on November 5, 2015. Dr. Gates first gave a tribute to the ASCORE attendees, then continued with an informative presentation on the story of his DNA that connects him to West Virginia, Egypt, and Ireland.

What is ASCORE?


From 1960–1965, high school students with the Asheville Student Committee on Racial Equality (ASCORE) worked to desegregate restaurants, schools, buses, libraries, and businesses in our mountain home. The students came from Stephens-Lee High School and the Allen School. 50 years later, their legacy will be honored with the ASCORE Leadership Awards as part of the 20th Anniversary Celebration of the UNC Asheville Center for Diversity Education.  Five awards at $500 each will be given to young adults between the ages of 21–40 who exemplify a few of the characteristics that made ASCORE and ASCORE members so successful.

Thank you to our sponsors!

Our 20th Anniversary would not have been possible without the generosity and kindness of our sponsors. 

Event Sponsor

Suntrust  logo

Award Sponsors

 First Citizens Bank logo          Tzedek logo

   UNC Asheville logo                         AB Tech logo