The Harriet Tubman Guild, Inc.’s annual luncheon is always an exciting afternoon. On Dec. 12, at the Omni William Penn Hotel, more than 300 gathered for the Queen’s Luncheon and the first Winona Idell Lincoln Service Award. Lincoln was the founder of The Harriet Tubman Guild.

In July of 1915, when a group of Christian women first met at the home of Lincoln, their purpose was to assist the Women’s Auxiliary of the Union Baptist Association in maintaining the Aged Ministers and Laymen’s Home. They chose the name Harriet Tubman because of Tubman’s love for her people and her exemplary activities as nurse and spy during the Civil War.

THE LUNCHEON COMMITTEE—Ivella Davis, Maxine Engram, Joan Smith, Joyce Randolph and Lizette Jackson-Hicks.


After a beautiful program that featured the Mt. Ararat Male Chorus, a delightful lunch and great shopping with numerous vendors, the first Winona Idell Lincoln Service Award was presented to Helen Smith Faison, Ph.D. The first recipient of the Winona Idell Lincoln Award is an education trailblazer and exemplifies the Guild motto, “showing our love through service.”

During her 55-year career, University of Pittsburgh alumna, Faison proved herself to be a remarkably accomplished and a widely acclaimed and admired educator with a litany of professional firsts to her credit. Those credits include: 1950, four years before the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education ruling, Faison was hired to teach in the Pittsburgh Public Schools, in 1968 she was named the first female high school principal, as well as the first African-American high school principal. In 1982, she became deputy superintendent of the Pittsburgh Public Schools, in 1999, she became the interim superintendent of the Pittsburgh Public School District and was the first Black to lead Pittsburgh’s schools. In 2005, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette named her the region’s most influential person in education. Faison also was listed as one of the 50 Women of Excellence by the New Pittsburgh Courier.

After the service awards, the gospel feast continued with the Mt. Ararat Male Chorus and remarks from Ivella Davis and Lizette Jackson-Hicks. The 2009 Queen’s Luncheon Committee included Ivella Davis, Maxine Engram, Joyce Randolph, Joan Smith and Lizette Jackson-Hicks.

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