Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians' Chief Phyliss J. Anderson was recently presented with the ‘Mississippi Trailblazers Inspire Award.’
Anderson was among other Mississippians who were honored for their outstanding contributions and legacies to the state of Mississippi.
Anderson said she was truly humbled to be surrounded by the extraordinary group of achievers.
"I feel it is so very important that we celebrate our diversity and our unique cultural heritage as Mississippians," Anderson said. "And if I am an inspiration worthy of this award, it is only because of my people. They provide me challenges and motivation each and every day. My successes are their success. Our quality of life depends on the work we are doing and as a Mississippi Choctaw, I am so proud of my tribe and my people."
The ceremony’s theme was “Celebrating Diversity: the Strength of Mississippi.”
The Mississippi Trailblazers organization is a non-profit group that recognizes Mississippians for their contributions to diversity through their professional and public service endeavors, and for representing Mississippi in a favorable and positive light.
Other recipients were: Mr. Sam Haskell, Amory native and former Executive Vice President and Worldwide Head of Television for the William Morris Agency, honored with the ‘Mississippi Trailblazer of the Year award.’ Mrs. Doyce Hancock Deas, Arts and Civic Leader, Philanthropist and Public Education supporter was honored as the ‘Tupelo Trailblazer.’ Brig. Gen. Augustus L. Collins, native son of Booneville and Adjutant General of the Mississippi National Guard was presented with the ‘Sam Haskell Spirit of America Award.’ Mr. Aubrey Patterson, an Oxford native and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Bancorp South was presented with the ‘Pinnacle Award.’ Ms. Ora Reed, a Lexington native and International performer and Cultural Ambassador of Mississippi as appointed by Gov. Haley Barbour, was presented with the ‘Legacy Award.’ Ms. Oleta Garrett Fitzgerald, Southern Regional Director for the Children’s Defense Fund Southern Regional Office and Mrs. Nancy Loome, Executive Director of The Parents’ Campaign, both Jackson natives, shared the ‘Representative Leonard Morris Award for Public Service and Integrity.’