Schley R. Lyons Circle of Excellence Award
Toni Freeman, LC Class 16
In honor of our founder, the Schley Lyons Awards has been given every year since 1984 to a Leadership Charlotte Alumnus. This Leadership Charlotte graduate has demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities in keeping with the ideals of Leadership Charlotte.
Toni Freeman is an active community leader with over 20 years of executive management experience. Freeman is currently serving as the Executive Vice President of the Arts and Science Council. She has served as a board member on multiple organizations dedicated to improving the Charlotte community and beyond.
Education: ourBRIDGE for KIDS
Sil Ganzó is the founder and Executive Director of ourBRIDGE for KIDS.
Sil moved to Charlotte, NC in 2003 from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Sil became involved with refugee and immigrant families in 2010 and recognized the lack of educational and socio-emotional support for newly- arrived children. She was inspired to create ourBRIDGE, a safe, nurturing, and respectful environment where refugee and immigrant children can learn English and be encouraged to achieve academic excellence and cultural pride, and where
their families would feel welcome and embraced as they strive to start their lives anew in the United States.
Healthcare: ONE Charlotte Health Alliance
The ONE Charlotte Health Alliance was launched by Novant Health, Atrium Health and Mecklenburg County Health Department as a holistic initiative designed to begin the conversation around investments to address the community’s critical needs, specifically barriers to health care.
ONE Charlotte Health Alliance intends to build upon existing community efforts, foster partnerships and create new opportunities to improve access to coordinated health services and resources in underserved communities.
Housing: Housing Justice Coalition Charlotte
The Housing Justice Coalition Charlotte is a grassroots organization of community activists working to hold the Charlotte City Council accountable on how the Housing Trust Fund monies are allocated, spent and tracked by creating independent community oversight of housing and development. Its goal is to address housing as part of the larger issue of economic injustice across the Charlotte metropolitan area.