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2019 Commemoration presented the Ralph Bunche International Medal

The Ralph Bunche International Medal was awarded to the 2019 Commemoration, American Evolution on April 19. Wilda Spalding, a descendant of J. Walter Spalding, the co-founder A.G. Spalding & Bros. Sporting Goods, and a human rights and peace advocate, presented the award at Historic Jamestowne. Our very own Kathy Spangler, Executive Director of 2019 Commemoration, accepted it on behalf of the commemoration.

Wilda Spalding | Photo provided by Robyn Gentry

The Ralph Bunche International Medals are given to individuals or groups who live lives of purpose and service that inspires others. These unique medals have previously been awarded to peace counselor and spiritual leader, Reverend Patrick McCollum and Director of Innovation for the VF Corporation, Safir Bellali.

According to Spalding, her ancestor, Edward Spalding, arrived in Jamestown on April 19, 1619, along with colonial Governor, George Yeardley. Spalding herself came to Jamestown for a tour and to present the award to honor the 400th anniversary of her ancestor’s arrival.

The peace award honors Ralph Bunche, who was an American political scientist, academic and diplomat. He was the first African-American to receive the 1950 Nobel Peace Prize for his United Nations mediation in Israel in the late 1940s. He was also involved in the formation and administration of the United Nations, which is just one legacy among a long list of amazing contributions to the world that he did in his lifetime.

Spalding presented other gifts during the ceremony to officials and groups doing inspiring work in the area, the Virginia Legacy Soccer Club received a soccer ball and an Olympics collectors pin was presented to the Greater Williamsburg Chamber & Tourism Alliance. Individuals who accepted gifts included the Honorable Douglas Pons, Vice Mayor of the City of Williamsburg; Terry Banez, Executive Director & Chief Executive Officer, Greater Williamsburg Business Council; Robbi Hutton, Director of Parks and Recreation; and Bobby O’Brien, Technical Director and Executive Director of the Virginia Legacy Soccer Club and more.

The 2019 Commemoration, American Evolution will continue to work hard to inspire others with the themes of democracy, diversity and opportunity while honoring Ralph Bunche and all that he has done for the world.

Spalding and ceremony attendees with presented gifts. | Photo provided by Robyn Gentry