Wednesday, November 15, was a very special day in Norwich. One hundred friends, family members, government officials and well-wishers gathered at the Norwich Inn to honor Norwich legend, Lottie Scott. After a lifetime of community service, all in the name of inclusivity, it was her moment to be honored as the latest Willard M. McRae Community Diversity Award winner.
Not that Ms. Scott hasn’t been so honored before — she’s previously earned the W. E. B. Dubois Lifetime Achievement Award from the Connecticut State Conference of NAACP Branches, and the first Lottie B. Scott Diversity Award presented by the Norwich Rotary Celebrate Cultural Diversity Committee. Last night’s event was further confirmation that Ms. Scott continues to be a strong voice in her community, willing to say what others might only think, and a true force for change.
Ms. Scott was nominated by Norwich native Barry Shead, vice president and branch manager, Savings Institute Bank and Trust. He lauded her for her tireless efforts and declared his pride in having worked by her side. State Senator Cathy Osten read proclamations from US Congressman Joe Courtney and the Connecticut General Assembly commemorating Ms. Scott’s career of achievements on behalf of the Norwich community. Norwich Mayor Deb Hinchey talked about the tremendous influence Ms. Scott has had on her life, including her encouragement to run for mayor.
In presenting the award, Liberty Bank President and CEO Chandler J. Howard said, “Lottie, you are a well-loved community treasure and an exemplar of the spirit of inclusion that has made America the rich culture it is today. Champions of diversity are needed now more than ever and I applaud all you have accomplished to bring people together on common ground and to foster good will among neighbors.”
As the award recipient, Ms. Scott was entitled to direct $5,000 from the Liberty Bank Foundation to the nonprofits of her choice. She chose to divide it among: the Robertsine Duncan NAACP, the Ellis Walter Ruley Committee, and the Norwich Arts Center.
Congratulations, Lottie Scott! You’re a wonderful addition to the luminaries who have received the McRae Award over the past 17 years.