There are less than two weeks left before the Fifth Annual The Vulcans Community Awards! Learn why you should go and all about the nominees: just a few examples of the magic behind the ‘Magic City.’


A shot from the Vulcans Community Awards last year. Photo via Vulcan Park Foundation

We’ve been talking about The Vulcans Community Awards all summer, and now they are upon us. In less than 2 weeks, Vulcan Park Foundation will host their annual awards night to celebrate 13 individuals in the Birmingham Area. Here’s why you should be there.

Drs. Julian Maha and Michele Kong of KultureCity, honorees from The Vulcans 2017. Photo via Vulcan Foundation

The Vulcans Community Awards is a recognition event like none other. Now in its fifth year, the event hosted by Vulcan Park Foundation recognizes citizens who exemplify civic pride, leadership and progress just as Vulcan has symbolized for 114 years.

Update: See the photo gallery from the awards ceremony here.

Honorees Bring the Magic to ‘The Magic City’

The Vulcans is a night to engage with members of the community you may not otherwise know about. These thirteen honorees are working, sometimes under the radar, for a better Birmingham. They believe in Birmingham and are instrumental in its growth. To miss this event is to miss out on the best of Birmingham.

They are not doing this for fame or fortune or praise. The thirteen remarkable members of our Birmingham community are working towards a better city because they care, and because they can. Not because it’s easy, but because they believe in the magic of ‘The Magic City.’.

Who are these incredible honorees? It could be anyone, regardless of age, who is making a difference within the seven-county Birmingham region.

Timothy Alexander of UAB is an author, motivational speaker and character development coach. Photo via Vulcan Foundation

“Bring plenty of tissues”: Some Background On the Event

From moving stories of heroism, servant leadership, innovation and perseverance, this is a celebratory night you won’t forget.

LaShana Sorrell, Director of PR and Marketing at Vulcan Park and Museum said the wonderful members of our community who are being honored have worked tirelessly to make our city a better place.  

If you attend the event, bring plenty of tissues as many of the stories have the power to move you to tears. The celebration of these community members is emotional and important, something you will not want to miss.

J.W. Carpenter works with schools in the Birmingham area to prepare students for life after school and beyond. Photo via Vulcan Foundation

Specifically, the event honors thirteen nominated individuals from the seven-county Birmingham region who exemplify civic pride, leadership and progress in the following categories:

  • Lifetime Achievement
  • Newcomer
  • Hero
  • Game Changer
  • Servant Leadership

The physical awards are hand-poured mini-Vulcans and mini-spears from Sloss Furnace, and the event will be led by a WBRC anchor.

Brian “Voice” Hawkins is influential in the creative community of Ensley and throughout Birmingham. Photo via Vulcan Foundation

How Can You Attend?

This event is open to the public. Tickets are available for either individuals or for a table, and must be purchased in advance. Buy your ticket here before October 22.  A portion of the ticket sales support Vulcan Park and Museum’s mission, including education programs such as Anything is Possible.

Over 150 Submitted, 13 Selected

The Vulcans received over 150 nominations this year, but the selection committee had the hard task of choosing only thirteen nominees to honor. These thirteen honorees are split into two groups: The Vulcans and Spear Awards.

Spotlight on the Honorees

Within each tier, there are four categories, save for the Lifetime Achievement award, which is only given to one person. This year’s Lifetime Achievement award is going to Dr. Charles ‘Scotty’ McCallum. Those four categories are as follows: Hero, Newcomer, Game Changer and Servant Leadership.

The 2018  honorees include:

The Vulcans Awards:

Lifetime Achievement: Dr. Charles ‘Scotty’ McCallum, Jr., Former University of Alabama at Birmingham President

Hero: Sean Fredella of Morthan4

Newcomer: Jenny Short of Jasper Main Street

Game Changer: Edward K. Aldag, Jr. of Medical Properties Trust

Servant Leadership: J.W. Carpenter of Birmingham Education Foundation

The Spear Awards:

Spears Heroes: Timothy Alexander of University of Alabama at Birmingham Football and Austin Perine of Show Love Inc.

Newcomers: Christopher Nanni of  Community Foundation Foundation of Greater Birmingham and Lizzi Wilkerson of Red Mountain Grace

Game Changers: Brian Hawkins of We are Rtists (WAR) and Dr. Hollie Cost, City of Montevallo Mayor

Servant Leadership: Lisa Borden of  Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC and Marvell ‘Chip’ Bivins of The University of Alabama System

Just A Glimpse Into The Award Honorees

Featuring three of the amazing honorees will give you just a glimpse into the hard work that each of these honorees is doing for the greater Birmingham community.

Brian Hawkins of We Are Rtists in Ensley, recipient of the Game Changer Spear Award. Photo via Vulcan Foundation

Brian Hawkins: Hawkins, also known as Brian “Voice” Porter Hawkins, is the Vice President of We are Rtists (WAR). WAR is a group made up of artists and creatives. Its main goal is to teach artists financial literacy. He is leading a beautification effort throughout Ensley with The Color Project Ensley,  a part of Ensley Alive. The Color Project has taken the lead on creating gardens and community spaces in Ensley that will help the members’ physical, mental and social health. By creating areas in which to interact outside, the project helps the neighborhood get outside to walk, garden and meet the other members of the community. Hawkins is also involved with other organizations in Birmingham that focus on artists and creatives, like Bards and Brews at the Birmingham Public Library and more. He is being honored with a Game Changer Spear Award.

J.W. Carpenter of Birmingham Education Foundation is being honored with a Vulcan Award for Servant Leadership. Photo via Vulcan Foundation

J.W. Carpenter : Carpenter is the Executive Director of the Birmingham Education Foundation. He has been the driving force behind the Foundation’s efforts to make sure that students attending Birmingham City Schools receive a first-rate education and are prepared for life after high school. He also creates collaborations between students, their families, politicians, executives and others to solve challenges facing the community. Carpenter had a  career as an attorney before he decided to pursue his passion for education. He started working with Teach for America before heading up the Birmingham Education Foundation. Carpenter is being honored with a Vulcan Award for Servant Leadership.

Timothy Alexander, UAB Football Character Development Coordinator will be honored with a Hero Spear Award. Photo via Vulcan Foundation

Timothy Alexander: Alexander had dreams of playing football in college, but after a car accident his senior year of high school left him paralyzed, his life was changed. However, he never gave up his passion for college football. He didn’t let his circumstances deter him. Instead, he used them to inspire and motivate others. He was a leader in the push to bring back UAB’s football program and became the voice of the movement. He is now the UAB Football Character Development Coordinator, a published author, and motivational speaker. In a feat of determination and pure spirit, and with the help of physical therapists, he walked the game ball to the referee to kick off last year’s UAB football season opener against Alabama A&M.  Alexander is being honored with a Hero Spear Award.

Recognition for Some of Birmingham’s Finest

There are so many people in Birmingham that are going out into the city and doing what needs to be done. The Vulcans Community Awards are just one way for these individuals of our area to be recognized. Because the honorees are submitted by their peers, the community is able to recognize people who otherwise may fly under the radar.

“It’s such an inspiring event. You’re encouraged by seeing all the goodness that is going on in our area. We want people to realize that there are hundreds of people in this area who are doing something every single day, and this is just a way that we can recognize a few.” – LaShana Sorrell

Birmingham, Vulcan, Vulcan Park and Museum, Museum Day
The Vulcan statue watches over Birmingham. Photo via Vulcan Park and Museum

Want to Hear More? Attend the Event!

Did those three stories move you as much as they moved me? Do you want more? You’ll have to attend this fantastic evening to hear all thirteen stories!

Date: November 1, 2018

Time:  5:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Location: The Club, 1 Robert S Smith Dr, Birmingham, AL 35209

Tickets: Individuals and tables. Proceeds from ticket sales go to support Vulcan Park and Museum’s mission.

Sponsored by:

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Lauren Bedford
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