Every year at Honors Day, the Memphis Child Advocacy Center honors our heroes: our committed team members, dedicated volunteers, and community advocates who work to safeguard the most vulnerable kids in our community. The community joined our Facebook live event on Friday December 10, 2021 as we celebrated our teams and the individuals selected for each of these awards. You can watch the recording of Honors Day below or on our Facebook page and YouTube channel.
Awards. At Honors Day, we recognize the commitment of both our team and the community members who support our mission. The Shelby County Child Protection Investigation Team (CPIT) is headquartered at the Memphis Child Advocacy Center. CPIT is 15 agencies strong and provides a coordinated team response to reported child sexual abuse and other severe abuse. There are also volunteers, donors, advocates, and organizations in the community that help our mission in a myriad of ways.
The CPIT award honorees are nominated by CPIT members and are selected by committees made up of peers from multiple CPIT agencies.
The James G. Hughes CPIT Excellence Award for Compassion honors a member of the Shelby County Child Protection Investigation Team (CPIT) who has demonstrated exceptional compassion to children and their families. Devon Dennis, Assistant District Attorney from the Shelby County District Attorney General's Special Victims Unit, is this year’s winner.
The James G. Hughes CPIT Excellence Award for Teamwork recognizes those whose performance demonstrates commitment to exceptional professionalism and team collaboration. Lanarda Parker-Miller, the Memphis CAC's Team Services Data Coordinator, was recognized for teamwork at this year’s Honors Day.
The James G. Hughes Community Advocate Award honors a community member whose efforts in Shelby County demonstrate commitment to the safety and well-being of children. This year’s Community Advocate Award goes to Mike Ryall, current CAC board member and former Interim Director of the Memphis Police Department.
The Nediva Award honors a volunteer who has made invaluable contributions toward the center’s mission. Nediva is a Hebrew name which means noble and generous. It is the origin of the word volunteer. This year, longtime Memphis CAC volunteer Almida Smith, was recognized with the Nediva Award. For the last five years she has served as the co-chair of the CAC’s largest fundraising event.
The late Dr. James G. Hughes was a pioneer in child abuse prevention and intervention. He founded Le Bonheur Children in Crisis, was a founding member of the Memphis Child Advocacy Center board of directors, and was a lifelong advocate for children.
It takes a capable, committed team to successfully confront child sexual abuse in our community. The work of the team headquartered at the Memphis Child Advocacy Center, combined with action by dedicated community members, makes a real impact in our community. Together, we are helping victims become children again.