2023 Honorees

Theo Braddy

Theo Braddy

Theo W. Braddy graduated from Temple University with his MSW in 1988, after receiving his BSW from Edinboro University. At the early age of 15, he became a person with a disability due to a high school football accident that left him paralyzed from the neck down. For over 40+ years, Mr. Braddy has advocated on behalf of persons with disabilities.

Braddy was hired in 1988 as CEO of the Center for Independent Living of Central Pennsylvania. As CEO, Braddy created an independent living center that has become a strong and growing voice for persons with disabilities. 

Braddy has taught at Temple University and Millersville University as an Adjunct Professor. Two different governors have appointed Mr. Braddy as Commissioner for the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission. Governor Corbett appointed Braddy to serve on the PA Statewide Independent Living Council. In 2021, Governor Wolf appointed Braddy to serve on the State Board of Vocational Rehabilitation and reappointed him in 2021 to the PA Statewide Independent Living Council.

Senator Robert Casey, Jr. selected Braddy as 1 of 4 Black leaders in Pennsylvania who have demonstrated power and persistency in overcoming challenge and creating meaningful change in PA. He was honored by having Senator Casey acknowledge his contribution on the Senate Floor at a Congressional Hearing and was presented with a Senate Proclamation and Plaque for his

Braddy was also recognized and celebrated as a Black Leader during Senator Casey’s Resilience in the Face of Adversity virtual event in February of 2022. On September 30, 2022, President Biden announced Braddy's appointment to the National Council on Disability (NCD). NCD is an independent federal agency that advises the President, Congress, and other federal agencies on policies, programs, practices, and procedures affecting people with disabilities.

In December 2022, Braddy was invited by Governor-Elect Shapiro to join his Transition Team’s Advisory Committee on Education & Workforce Development.

Mr. Braddy is married to Rovenia Braddy, who is an author and playwright. He is also the father of two adult children: a daughter, Kimmi Braddy, and a son, Theo Braddy Jr.

Homer Floyd

Homer Floyd

Homer C. Floyd was Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, a position he held from February 1970 until his retirement in January 2011.  Mr. Floyd was responsible for directing the enforcement of the civil rights laws for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, which includes the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act and the Pennsylvania Fair Educational Opportunity Act. He provided leadership and direction in many precedent setting cases, which resulted in removal of barriers that limited opportunities for minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and many other protected class members. Over the years, thousands have benefited from his work.

Before coming to Harrisburg, Mr. Floyd held positions in agencies at the local, state, and federal levels in Kansas, Nebraska and Washington, D. C. 

From 1966-1970, Mr. Floyd was Executive Director of the Kansas Commission on Civil Rights and a consultant to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, serving North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas. He also served as consultant to the Government of the Virgin Islands and to numerous state and local agencies. 

Mr. Floyd’s career in human rights began after he spent 18 months as a Recreation Department Supervisor in Kansas City, Missouri. Joining the Kansas Commission in 1961, he left in 1964 to become Executive Director of the Topeka Human Relations Commission. From there, Mr. Floyd went to Washington, D. C. to assist in the preparation of rules, regulations, procedures and training programs for the U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In 1965, he became Executive Director of the Omaha Human Relations Board.

Mr. Floyd holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Kansas and has done additional work at Fisk University (Nashville, Tennessee). 

He was an outstanding football player in high school and college. He also played professional football with the Edmonton Eskimos in the Canadian Football League.

Mr. Floyd was born in Wetumpka, AL, and his first three years of schooling were at the Elmore County Training School before moving to Massillon, OH.

Mr. Floyd has and continues to serve on many Boards and Commissions, including Treasurer and Member of the Board of Directors of the International Association of Official Human Rights Agencies, member of the Samuel L. Abrams Foundation Board, the Pennsylvania Housing Advisory Committee, U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Standing Committee, past Chair of the Central Pennsylvania Advisory Board to the United Negro College Fund, past President of the Boys’ Club of Harrisburg, former member of the Board of Directors of the Tri-County United Way, Board of Directors of the Harrisburg Area YMCA, a life member and former Polemarch of the Harrisburg Alumni Chapter of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, life member of the NAACP, member of the National Association of Human Rights Workers, life member of the Kansas University Alumni Association, member of the Harrisburg Chapter of the National Caucus and Center on Black Aged, and member of the Executive Committee of the Dauphin County Democratic Committee.   

Mr. Floyd was married to the late Mattie M. Longshore and has three children and three grandchildren. 

Hettie Simmons Love

Hettie Simmons Love

Hettie Simmons was born in Jacksonville, Florida in 1922, and attended Fisk University, an Historically Black College or University (HBCU) in Tennessee, where she majored in math. After graduating from Fisk in 1943, Hettie returned to Jacksonville and worked for the Afro-American Life Insurance Company in their accounting department. Her desire for better opportunities for her future led her to apply for admission to the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She majored in accounting, earning a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree in 1947. Hettie was unaware at the time that she was the first African American student – male or female – in the Wharton School.

While at the University of Pennsylvania she met the love of her life, George Hayward Love. They married in 1948 and settled in Philadelphia where Hettie applied for jobs in her field of study. Hettie was turned away for various reasons including that she was “overqualified.” She obtained work as a bookkeeper for the American Friends Service Committee for a short time but eventually settled into the role as a stay-at-home mother, raising her two children, George, Jr., and Karen.

Unable to pursue a career with her degree, Hettie Love applied her academic skills in community settings, serving in leadership positions including treasurer in several organizations in Philadelphia and, after the family moved to Harrisburg in 1971, serving as the church treasurer at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church for over 20 years. Hettie also lent her business acumen to three different Black-owned businesses in the Harrisburg area, serving as an accountant, and offering suggestions for operational improvements. Hettie also pursued opportunities to volunteer in the community. One of her first actions was to devote her time to service and sisterhood by reactivating with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Epsilon Sigma Omega Chapter. Hettie also became a charter member of the Harrisburg Chapter of The Links, Incorporated and is a proud alumna member. She volunteered in schools as a math tutor, served on the board of the YWCA and worked for RSVP (Retired Seniors Volunteer Program) in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Hettie Love, while in her eighties, was still volunteering to help seniors complete their income tax forms. 

In 2016, Hettie Love earned the distinction as a diamond member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. for having been a member for 75 years and is an example of committed service to all mankind. (She joined Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Pi Chapter, in 1941.) It was not until June 2016 at that celebration in Atlanta, that Lana Williams Woods, a sorority sister, and Wharton alumna, started Hettie Simmons Love on her road to discovery as one of Wharton’s hidden figures. In December 2016, Hettie was awarded a Trailblazer award from the National African American MBA Association of the Wharton School.

Since then, many honors have been bestowed upon Hettie Simmons Love. A children’s book was written by students from a Boys and Girls Club in Philadelphia, to celebrate the fact that she was the first African American graduate of The Wharton School with an MBA. The National Youth Foundation, under the leadership of Sophia Hanson, published the book, Hettie Simmons Love, Penn Pioneer, in 2021 and distributed them to libraries and schools in every place where Hettie Simmons Love has lived. She was also treated to a car parade to the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia on May 15, 2021, where she met the first African American Dean of The Wharton School, Erika H. James, and some of the student authors. 

The World Affairs Council of Harrisburg presented Hettie Love with the Torch of Global Enlightenment Award in May 2021 and an article highlighting her as “Harrisburg’s Hidden Figure” was printed in the Patriot News.

On September 19, 2021, the Union of Black Episcopalians, Bishop Nathan Baxter Chapter (UBEBBC), hosted a Love Gala in honor of Hettie S. Love and her deceased husband, George H. Love, an educator. The Dr. George H. and Mrs. Hettie S. Love “Love of Learning” Scholarship was established to support a student of color entering the field of Education – a perpetual way to keep alive the memory of the Loves who have contributed so much to the betterment of their communities. Funded through contributions to The Foundation for Enhancing Communities (TFEC), this scholarship encourages teachers to share their love of learning with future generations.

The American Literacy Corporation (ALC), under the leadership of Floyd Stokes, awarded Hettie Love the Black Excellence Lifetime Achievement Award on February 24, 2022. She continues to support reading events and has read books, including her own, on ALC’s Reading 365 and in classrooms.

Hettie is so pleased and honored to receive the Lifetime Legacy Award from the Greater Harrisburg Area NAACP ACT-SO Lifetime Legacy Award. This award, presented to her during the youth awards program, was so uplifting. She was very impressed by the many accomplishments of the students.

Hettie Love continues to make contributions to the community through Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Epsilon Sigma Omega Chapter; St. Paul’s Episcopal Church; Episcopal Church Women (ECW); the Union of Black Episcopalians (UBE); and other community organizations.  She is a life member of the NAACP. 

Hettie Simmons Love celebrated her 100th year of life this past fall and continues to thrive despite the aches and pains that come with age; her opportunities to inspire others have only increased with each passing year and she is truly blessed to be living her best life each day.

Madison Stokes

Madison Stokes

Madison Stokes,18, from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, is currently a first year student at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is majoring in English with a Minor in Biology. She was awarded the Presidential Scholarship. At Chatham, Madison is involved in Student Government as one of two Class of 2026 Representatives, Food Committee Chair, and the Event Coordinator for the Black Student Union.

Madison works as the Office Manager for the American Literacy Corporation (ALC), whose main goal is to promote the love of reading to children. Prior to the pandemic, the ALC held in-person reading events in schools, libraries, community events, etc. across the country. Since October 1, 2020, her dad, Floyd Stokes, the founder and executive director of the ALC, created Reading 365 sharing stories via Zoom and Facebook Live. As of January 10, 2023, Reading 365 has continued for 801 days straight. Madison has launched, hosted, and or read nearly every day. She is the coordinator for the first ever MLK Day of Reading where 17 locations and over 60 volunteers throughout Pennsylvania will host a storytime celebrating the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  

In July 2022, Madison won a gold medal in the NAACP Academic, Cultural, Technological Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) National competition in the category of Medicine and Health. She competed in ACT-SO all four years of high school. She is a four-time gold medal winning competitor at the regional NAACP ACT-SO competition in the category of Medicine and Health. In July 2021, she won a bronze medal at the national NAACP ACT-SO competition in the category of Medicine and Health. In August 2022, Dauphin County Commissioners proclaimed August 24, 2022 as “Madison Stokes Day” in recognition of this achievement.

Madison is also an author of two books: I Can Do It By Myself, a book encouraging children to be independent and Best Friends, an early reader chapter book. She is also a co-author of the book, Dress Up with her little sister, Olivia Stokes.

During high school, Madison was the president of the entrepreneurship club DECA, the Technology Officer for Student Council, the first president of the Youth Ambassador Club, and a member of the National Honor Society and the Spanish Honor Society. 

Madison is a passionate learner with a growth mindset inside and outside of the classroom. She is committed and has a deep desire to help others. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with family.