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Britainy Beshear receives Community Leader Award at Coretta Scott King of Ivy Awards

Brittany Beshear receives the Spirit of the Ivy Connector Award at the 19th annual Coretta Scott King Spirit of the Ivy Awards Luncheon honoring local Lexington women who exemplify the Spirit of the Ivy: strength and endurance on Friday, Jan. 13, 2024, at the Hilton in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Kristen Roberts | Staff

First lady Britainy Beshear was honored with the Community Leader Award at the 19th annual Coretta Scott King of Ivy Awards on Jan. 13 in Lexington.

The event hosted by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Beta Gamma Omega Chapter honors local women who exemplify the Spirit of the Ivy, strength and endurance, according to the Eventbrite website. 

Beshear was awarded for being a dedicated advocate for Kentucky families, according to a Facebook post made by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. 

The post said she is “actively addressing crises, raising awareness of human trafficking, and supporting initiatives like the Purple Star Certified program for military children.”

The post also mentioned Beshear’s love and investment in education, which is shown through her reading to students and championing causes, such as Shop & Share to aid domestic violence victims. 

Alongside Beshear, seven additional honorees were recognized over ten categories: business owner, outstanding educator, single mother, community leader, connector, creative and performing arts, young entrepreneur, outstanding first responder, outstanding organization and community partner. 

Members of the chapter nominate numerous women throughout the community for these awards, according to Samantha Anderson, current president of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. 

Those who received an award shared a short sentiment about the work they do and what an honor it was to be recognized. 

Beshear said that she had no idea she was nominated and was honored to be recognized.

“To be recognized by an organization that is dedicated to making the world a better place, not only within their communities and as an organization, but that message spreads throughout the nation,” Beshear said. 

She said while she received the award, she is just a representative, as it’s about the amazing work that people do that goes unnoticed and under appreciated. 

“We can come here today and really recognize the strength of women and celebrate what being a woman in this world can be,” Beshear said. 

Anderson said this event is meant to honor King as well as recognize other outstanding women in the community and hear their stories.

Coretta Scott King was the wife of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. She worked alongside her husband to end injustice and continued his legacy after his death, according to the National Women’s History Museum website

“You know that old saying, ‘beside every good man, there’s a strong woman,’ and that woman was Coretta Scott King,” Anderson said. 

Anderson said she thinks it’s important for them to acknowledge these outstanding women in the community who have been at the forefront. 

LaTonya Johnson, second vice president and fundraising chairman of Alpha Kappa Alpha and Spirit of Ivy Awards chairman, said she enjoys the event for its efforts to represent and honor women in the community. 

She said it touches on many different aspects of the work women do throughout the community, and it is not about her but about the “unsung heroes.”

Part of Johnson’s role as fundraising chairman is to make sure the chapter reaches its fundraising goals. She said they accomplish this by holding events such as the Ivy Awards and selling tickets. 

Johnson said that doing so allows them to promote the programming they do to support their local community and even offer scholarships for college students, two of which were awarded to two young women at the event. 

The event also featured live entertainment from KJ Soul Violin, food and vendors from local small businesses for attendees to shop.

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