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DDWSF has granted 234 scholarships
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Welcome the David & Dovetta Wilson Scholarship Fund's new website.

New Umbrella Awards

The David & Dovetta Wilson Scholarship Fund is pleased to announce new umbrella awards:
The Kathlena Wilson Legacy Award
The Judith E. Hibbert Memorial Award
The Jordan T. Wilson "Heroes" Award


Announcing our 2016 Student Scholarship Recipients


The Dove Award

This Award was established in 1992.

Formerly known as the President Emeritus Award,
the name was changed in 1998 to honor the life of
Mother Dovetta Wilson who passed away in 1995.

This award recognizes individuals whose achievements and
efforts exemplify our commitment to each other,
our community, nation and the world.


The 2017 Dove Award recipient is Dr. Damon Love

Damon Love, Ph.D., is currently on the staff of Eli Lilly Company serving as Oncology Medical Science Liaison. A graduate of Princeton University, Dr. Love obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Neuroscience at Princeton University. At Stony Brook University, he earned a certification in Bioscience, a doctoral degree in Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology and he served as a Graduate Research Fellow. While pursuing his Masters degree in Clinical Investigation at Weill Medical College of Cornell University, Dr Love worked as Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Weill Cornell Medical College. In the capacity of Adjunct Professor at American Public University System, he taught Biology, Human Genetics and assisted in designing the laboratory course curriculum

Dr. Damon Love makes extensive contributions in journals and other publications involving cancer research. He received the New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) Postdoctoral Fellowship Award, theTurner Summer Research Grant, the Keystone Symposia Travel Award, the the Brady William Russell Scholarship, the TL1 Clinical Research Training Grant, an the W. Burghardt Turner Dissertation Fellowship

Dr. Love is member of the Safe Haven United Church of Christ where he serves on the church’s Executive Council as Director of Pastoral Care. He is also a member of the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET), the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc, and the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS).

Dr. Love lives in Forest Hills, New York with his wife Crystal and daughter Bianca.


The 2016 Dove Award recipient is Dr. David H. Connell

David H. Connell, D.M.A. is Norfield's Director of Music, Artist-in-Residence and Ministry Associate for Faith Formation

David Connell is a lifelong church musician and teacher who has served at Norfield since 2007. As Artist-in-Residence his contributions to Norfield include music performing and composing, visual arts and design, preaching, worship leadership and gardening. As Ministry Associate for Faith Formation he leads the Big Bible Reads and helps to coordinate and lead the Soul Food Series and other opportunities for education at all age levels.

He earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, and subsequently taught on its faculty for eleven years. He brings to Norfield experience leading worship in many denominations, serious theological study, and dedication to the task of deepening the congregation’s understanding of scripture and the faith.

He is also in his eleventh season on the faculty of the North Carolina Governor’s School (West) in Winston-Salem, leading the choral program for gifted high school students from across that state.


The 2014 recipient of the Mother Dovetta Wilson Leadership Award is Ms. Karen E. Watson

Karen E. Watson, a native of Harlem, has made a positive difference as a Corporate Executive, through her work at The MacNeil/Lehrer Report, National Public Radio’s Morning Edition, the Public Affairs Office for the Federal Communications Commission during the overhaul of the Telecommunications Act, and by advocating policy issues for Echostar Inc. in the early days of satellite television.

As the former Managing Director of Nielsen Government and Public Sector, LLC for Nielsen, Inc., Ms. Watson, made it her quest to improve the lives of people throughout our nation by collaborating with the White House and the Partnership for a Healthier America to encourage Americans to drink more water. First Lady Michelle Obama hailed Ms. Watson’s work on behalf of our country as “groundbreaking” for tackling such issues as obesity, hunger, sustainability and the digital divide.

Ms. Watson’s career is based on a strong commitment to and passion for forging private-public sector partnerships to impact global social good, having been named as one of Savoy Magazine's 2014's Top 100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America;  

For those reasons, The David and Dovetta Wilson Scholarship Fund, honors Karen E. Watson with The Mother Dovetta Wilson Leadership Award in recognition of her lifelong dedication to education, her commitment to excellence, the impact of her work to create a healthier nation and world.


The 2013 recipients of the Mother Dovetta Wilson Leadership Award are as follows:

Ms. Zoy Balaskas, Esq

Ms. Zoy Balaskas is an attorney, licensed to practice law in the State of New York. Zoy graduated New York University School of Law, earning a J.D. in 1998, and an L.L.M. degree in 2003 with specializations in International and Commercial studies. Prior to attending law school, Zoy graduated from Queens College of the City University of New York in 1995 with the highest cumulative grade point average in her graduating class, with a dual major in Philosophy and Political Science, and minors in Economics, Business (Business and Liberal Arts) and Western Studies (Honors Program in the Western Tradition). She graduated from Flushing High School as valedictorian in 1991.

Zoy currently works as Underwriting Counsel for First American Title Insurance Company – National Commercial Services. In her current position, Zoy underwrites title insurance in connection with the acquisition, conveyance and financing of New York real property.

Zoy has performed pro bono work with the Volunteers of Legal Services, Inc., Elderly Project and volunteers with Le Cats on the Water, an organization committed to assisting feral cat communities.


Rev. Jeremiah Crawford

The late Rev. Jeremiah Crawford established the Union Grove Baptist Church October 23, 1946 where he became pastor. Along with the pastor, the church membership consisted of his wife Dovetta Crawford and their fourteen children. The church relocated from Manhattan to the Bronx as its membership grew. In 1956, after the death of Rev Jeremiah Crawford’s, his son Rev. Fletcher Crawford became pastor. In 1962 the church moved to 1488 Hoe Avenue in the Bronx where it is now currently located.


Rev. Dr. FletcherCrawford

Rev. Crawford, Pastor Emeritus, was born in Waverly, Alabama to the late Rev. and Mrs. Jeremiah Crawford. He was one of fourteen children. Called to the ministry in March 1947 under the leadership of his father, Rev. Jeremiah Crawford, he began his ministry as a Sunday school teacher and was later ordained as a deacon. In 1959, he was called to the pastorate of Union Grove Baptist Church. His vision was uncompromisingly clear: to build and develop a kingdom of empowered people for God.

Pastor F.C. Crawford, Emeritus received his religious education from the Baptist Education Center for Religious Education and Southern Baptist Bible College. He received his Bachelor of Theology Degree at Notasulga, Alabama Bible College, (now known as Alabama Bible University). He also served in the United States Army during World War II.

Rev. Crawford and his wife, Mother Arnetta Crawford are an anointed duo. They have been married since 1962 and with this union, are the proud parents of Rev. Frederick Crawford, Deacon Patrick Crawford, Rev. Lerone Crawford and Sis. Selene Crawford. They are proud grandparents of eight grandchildren.

His vision, to improve the community, has now become a reality with the building of a new affordable housing development named
“The Rev. Dr. Fletcher C. Crawford Housing”.


Reverend Frederick Crawford

Rev. Frederick Crawford was ordained under the leadership of Rev. Fletcher Crawford where he became an Associate Minister at Union Grove Missionary Baptist Church. On 1998 he was ordained as Pastor at First Calvary Baptist Church in Harlem until
October 2008.

His educational background was through our Public School system. Upon his graduation from 1991, he attended Pine brook Junior College, Cooper PA. In 1982 he attended Eastern Mennonite College and Seminary in Harrisburg, PA with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a minor in Religious Studies. He also attended the Alliance Theological Seminary. Reverend Crawford was a teacher at New York Baptist Education, New York Leadership School, and Empire Missionary Baptist Congress Youth department. During his undergraduate years of college, he served as assistant to Rev. Calvin Baltimore at First Baptist Church-Harrisburg, PA. During his Assistant leadership at First Baptist Church he served with Evangelism, Prison, and Nursing and Group Home ministries.

Rev. Crawford is the recipient of numerous commendations and honors; He received the Religious Community Leader Award in 2007 from the NAACP and Outstanding Community Award in 2008 from the Bronx Borough President..


The 2012 leadership award recipient is Mr. Voza Rivers.

Voza Rivers is an accomplished theatre, music, film and events producer.  He was nominated for a Grammy for the hit Broadway musical “Sarafina!”  He is also an award-winning documentary filmmaker. Currently, Rivers is Executive Producer/Founding Member of New Heritage Theatre Group (f/k/a/ Roger Furman Theatre), New York City’s oldest Black not-for-profit theatre, (celebrating 48 years); Co-Founder/Executive Producer of IMPACT Repertory Theatre; 1st Vice President, Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce; Executive Producer and Vice Chairman, Harlem Week/The Harlem Jazz & Music Festival and the National Black Sports & Entertainment Hall of Fame Annual Gala.  He is Co-Director of the Dwyer Cultural Center in Harlem, a partnership of Community Works and International Communications Association. The Dwyer is a multimedia cultural center dedicated to preserving, celebrating, and documenting Harlem’s history and traditions.  Mr. Rivers currently serves as the  Chairman of the Harlem Arts Alliance, a cultural service organization of 700+ members, including not-for-profit and for-profit cultural institutions, performing and visual artists, filmmakers, directors, technicians, playwrights, choreographers, technicians, designers, colleges, churches, and museums, and other arts service organizations who create cultural events for Harlemites, tourists, tri-state residents, and beyond.

Under the New Heritage Theatre banner there are three divisions:

New Heritage Films/Harlemwood Film Festival – Rivers has produced numerous documentary short films and film festivals, including the award winning “Hughes Dream Harlem,” on the life of poet Langston Hughes, the 95th Anniversary of the National Urban League, the 110th Anniversary of the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, the 170th Anniversary of the Harlem Dowling Child Care Agency and most recently “Harlem Is Music,” and “Harlem is Theater” documentaries.  Rivers is currently concluding work on “The Savoy King” (a feature length documentary about famed band leader of the 40’s Chick Webb featuring the voices of Bill Cosby, Andy Garcia, Danny Glover, Billy Crystal and Tyne Daly), and “Harlem is Gospel,” as well as six Harlemwood Film Festivals with screenings at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The Theatre at Riverside Church, The Museum of the City of New York and the Dwyer Cultural Center.
IMPACT Repertory Theatre, (est. 1997), an arts and leadership program for young people, was nominated in 2008 for an Oscar® for Best Original Song for the film “August Rush” and also a Grammy® for Best Soundtrack Album for “August Rush” (2009).

Furman Theatre Rep, (est. 1997), is the ensemble group of actors, musicians, writers and directors responsible for providing creative content and performances for New Heritage Theatre productions.

A partial listing of Rivers’ productions includes:

Mbongeni Ngema’s, TONY and GRAMMY nominated hit Broadway musical “Sarafina,” the United States premiere of Mbongeni Ngema’s“Township Fever,” and TONY nominated “Asinamali!” the U.S. premiere of  the OBIE award-winning “Woza Albert!,” the premiere of iconic British director Peter Brook’s “Tierno Bokar.”, the New York premiere of OBIE and NAACP award winning playwright and actor Daniel Beaty’s “Through the Night;” “The Tragedy of Macbeth” and “Romeo and Juliet” (featuring leading Black actors from the Royal Court Theatre Company and Royal National Theatre in England); and the OBIE award-winning play the “Huey P. Newton Story” at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem.  Recent Roger Furman Reading Series productions include “Winterkill,” “Paradise Lost,” “The Long Black Block,” and musical productions “Berta’s Jam,” “Wild Women Don’t Have the Blues,” “White, Black and Blues,” “Jazz for Peace,” and “Do Enka,” a musical celebration of American Jazz and Japanese Do-Enka music.

His most recent awards and recognition:

Arts Organizing Award - National Conference of Artists 2005
Ellie Charles Award – African Voices Magazine 2006
Community Service Award – Harlem Business Alliance 2006
Vanguard Award – Black 2 Broadway 2006
Star Achiever Award – United Negro College Fund 2006
Peace Award - Kobe International Harmony Eyes Festival 2007
Larry Leon Hamlin Producers Award
National Black Theatre Festival 2007
Excellence Award - Black Star News 2008
Cultural Legacy Award - Mind Builders - 2008
Distinguished Community Service Award
E. Louise Richardson - 2008
Black Masks Magazine – Cover Story (June/July) 2009
NY Daily News – Listed as one of the most
Influential New Yorkers in Arts & Culture (February) 2009
NY Daily News Listed as one of the most
Influential New Yorkers in Arts and Culture (August) 2010
NY Times Influential New Yorkers - Harlem Edition-September 2010
Community Service Award - Community League of the Heights 2010

Please view our comprehensive list of Past Leadership Recipients




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