May 20, 2010

Gladys McCoy Award winner's biography

Gloria Wiggins is the 16th winner of the Gladys McCoy Award for lifetime volunteer achievement. Ms. Wiggins has spent her lifetime engaged in community activism.

“Ms. Wiggins is a very worthy recipient of the McCoy Award, given her exceptional advocacy, self-sacrifice, image as a community role model, and dedication to improving Multnomah County over a long period of time,” said Brad McLean, chair of the County’s Citizen Involvement Committee (CIC).

The CIC makes the award each year to an outstanding nominee who has given exemplary time and service to the county community.

Gloria Wiggins, current division manager of El Programa Hispano at Catholic Charities, has been advocating for equity throughout Multnomah County for the last 10 years. In so doing, she has made significant positive change. In the Latino community, she has tirelessly promoted culturally-specific service delivery, advanced understanding of the community’s diverse cultures and backgrounds, and worked for policy change with issues like domestic violence and academic performance improvement.

In addition to her community work on behalf of the Latino community, Ms. Wiggins has consistently worked in partnership with all diverse communities to reduce existing disparities based on race and ethnicity. She is a founding member and serves on the executive committee of the Coalition of Communities of Color, which has led to significant change for all these communities. Additionally, she volunteers with numerous community groups, such as the Rockwood Urban Renewal Committee, the Gresham Safety Blue Ribbon Task Force, and Multnomah County’s Fatality Review Committee.

The Gladys McCoy Award was established in 1994 to honor those who have contributed outstanding service in the area of community service and citizen involvement. The award is given to a person who has exemplified the life of the late Multnomah County Chair Gladys McCoy by making major contributions to civil rights, human rights, affirmative action, children and youth, family issues, community, neighborhood, local political party, local government, environmental issues, and/or education. Ms. Wiggins certainly fits that criterion both through example and legacy. Ms. Wiggins’ name will appear on a plaque with past winners on permanent display in the Multnomah County Chair’s office.

County Department, Council, and Commission Volunteer Awards

The County Department, Council, and Commission Volunteer Awards are awarded to individuals nominated by county bodies and partner organizations for their community service. Seventy-five volunteers were recognized this year by 13 different county departments, commissions, and offices for their dedicated service. View the list of winners .

All awardees were recognized at a ceremony on Tuesday, April 27 in the Multnomah Building. Learn more about some of the other awards that were given out at the ceremony.

Watch the ceremony below!