October 20, 2006
The Long Beach branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People honored Gwen Mathews, assistant superintendent for Middle and K-8 schools, and Mike Murray, a board member and past president of the Long Beach Education Foundation, with prestigious awards at the NAACP’s 27th Freedom Fund Dinner.
The dinner, themed "Ordinary People — Extraordinary Acts of Equality," honored Mathews with the Zelma A. Lipscomb Community Service Award. Lipscomb, a founder of the Long Beach branch of the NAACP, died in September at the age of 94. She served in several NAACP leadership positions, including president, and was widely respected as a civil rights pioneer and advocate for equal educational opportunity.
Mathews has worked for more than three decades for the Long Beach Unified School District. Prior to her current position, she served as director of Head Start, which earned commendations as a national model during her tenure.
The NAACP recognized Verizon’s Mike Murray, a long-time volunteer for the Long Beach Education Foundation, with the Corporate Humanitarian Award. Verizon and Murray earned the award for their extensive community involvement and for promoting cultural diversity.