The University of Georgia named Eugenia Harvey as the recipient of the inaugural Footsteps Award during the university’s annual Holmes-Hunter Lecture on Tuesday, Feb. 1.
The award recognizes a UGA graduate who follows in the pioneering footsteps of Charlayne Hunter-Gault, Hamilton Holmes and Mary Frances Early, UGA’s first enrolled Black students and first Black graduate, respectively, by making a significant positive impact in human rights, race relations or education in their community.
“When I received my acceptance letter from UGA, my mother reminded me that I was following in the footsteps of those who paid the price for me to attend my desired school,” said Harvey, who graduated with a broadcast journalism degree. “I bring those words up from deep within my heart today as I receive the inaugural Footsteps Award from this, my university. With gratitude and purpose, I walk forward, hoping to brighten the path for those yet to come.”
Harvey serves as the chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer for The WNET Group and is part of the organization’s senior leadership team. She plays a central role in the efforts to build a more inclusive, equitable and anti-racist organization. The WNET Group is the community-supported home of New York’s THIRTEEN – America’s flagship PBS station – WLIW21, operator of New Jersey’s statewide public television network NJ PBS, and Long Island’s only NPR station WLIW-FM.
In addition to her role as chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer, Harvey also oversees The WNET Group’s Community Engagement team, which has partnered with thought leaders from over 400 community organizations to convene solutions-oriented discussions around systemic racism in New York City and across the country.
Harvey is also an award-winning producer, and continues to serve as executive producer for The WNET Group’s “Chasing the Dream: Poverty & Opportunity in America,” providing critical programming on poverty, opportunity and justice in America; “Peril & Promise: The Challenge of Climate Change,” a reporting initiative reporting on the human stories of climate change and its potential solutions; and “Exploring Hate: Antisemitism, Racism and Extremism,” examining the roots and rise of hate in America and across the globe.
“Eugenia brings diverse and underrepresented stories to light and diversifies the talent behind and in front of the camera,” said Yvette Daniels, president of the UGA Alumni Association board of directors. “Her impactful work promotes social justice and inspires audiences to improve the world. We are honored to call her a Bulldog and honored to name her the winner of the inaugural Footsteps Award.”
“Eugenia is such a great example of UGA alumni at their best: she went out into the world, she is excelling in her field and she is making a real difference,” said Meredith Gurley Johnson, executive director of the UGA Alumni Association. “The work she has done and will continue to do makes her a perfect choice for this first Footsteps Award.”
Harvey will be honored in Atlanta at the spring reception of The 1961 Club, a UGA giving society named for the year of desegregation at UGA and composed of donors to the university’s Black Alumni Scholarship Fund. Nominations for the 2023 Footsteps Award will open in the fall.