Dee Davis, president and founder of the Letcher County-based Center for Rural Strategies, will receive the Everett C. Parker Award next month from the United Church of Christ Office of Communication Inc.
The award will be presented to Davis, of Whitesburg, on October 13 at the 34th annual Parker Lecture in Washington. The church said in a statement that Davis is receiving the award “in recognition of more than 40 years of work to bring telecommunications services to rural America, particularly the people of Appalachia.”
The annual award “is given in recognition of an individual whose work embodies the principles and values of the public interest in telecommunications and the media as demonstrated by the late Rev. Dr. Parker, the group’s founder,” according to the United Church of Christ Office of Communication Inc. (OC).
The organization, founded in 1959, says “Parker was prompted by the Rev. Martin Luther King to set out to reform television stations in the South, which were doing a poor job of covering the civil rights movement.”
The United Church of Christ Office of Communication said of Davis, “Starting as a trainee in 1973 at Appalshop, the prominent Appalachia-based media, arts, and education center, Davis became its first president and spearheaded a number of initiatives that used media as a strategic tool for organizing and rural development. In 2000, he founded the Center for Rural Strategies to improve economic and social conditions for rural communities, both at home and around the world, through the innovative use of media and communication ….”