Julia Wilson receives 2016 Outstanding Alumna Award from the USC Black Alumni Association at Star-Studded Event in Marina del Rey
The University of Southern California Black Alumni Association awarded Ms. Julia Wilson, CEO and founder of Wilson Global Communications, headquartered in Washington, D.C., with the 2016 Outstanding Alumna Award on Thursday, March 10th, at the association’s 40th anniversary and scholarship benefit at the Ritz Carlton Marina del Rey. USC President C.L. Max Nikias gave remarks to a capacity crowd of 450 attendees.
Wilson graduated from the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism in 1991 with a Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism, and later taught journalism at USC as an adjunct professor. Wilson currently works closely with the 46 members of the Congressional Black Caucus, 42 Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and education leaders in China on a sponsored educational program for underserved American students to study at Chinese universities. She is the appointed liaison representative of the China – United States Exchange Foundation.
“We proudly honor the noteworthy achievements of Ms. Wilson” said Dr. Michele Turner, executive director of the USC BAA. “Her commitment to excellence in global markets aligns with those of our organization and mission, and splendidly showcase our theme this year – Legacy 360°,” Turner added.
Following a video narrative of Wilson previously videotaped in Washington, D.C. that included meetings with Congressional leaders on Capitol Hill, Emcees Holly and Rodney Peete introduced Wilson during the USC awards dinner for her accomplishments as a “creative leader of cross-cultural economic and educational exchanges in international markets” and presented her with the award on behalf of the USC BAA.
“We live in a connected world, and after operating in the international space for more than 20 years, I am convinced more than ever before of the importance for us to participate in the global marketplace,” said Wilson as she accepted the award. She encouraged the university to continue striving for excellence and empower diverse students to compete globally. “America’s future economy is only as good as its educated workforce,” she added.
In 1994, Wilson became the first American woman to found a public relations company in the newly democratic South Africa. She later expanded Wilson Global to Ghana where she published “The Ghana Club 100,” a magazine highlighting that nation’s top 100 companies during Pres. Bill Clinton’s visit in 1998, copies of which were autographed by the president. Wilson also coordinated the philanthropic activities in South African townships for Prince Charles’ Prince of Wales Trust. She moved Wilson Global to our nation’s capital in 2005. In 2013, she assisted Xavier University of Louisiana in establishing the first U.S. Confucius Institute (of Chinese cultural studies) in the State of Louisiana.
WGC has amassed an extensive international network of contacts, built over more than two decades, providing cross cultural consultation and expertise to organizations seeking global opportunities in education, business and civic affairs.
Other awardees during the benefit included: Academy Award-nominated filmmaker John Singleton; author, educator/activist and creator of the Kwanzaa holiday Dr. Maulana Karenga; California State Assemblymember Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer, Sr.; Young alumni, Deara Okonkwo and Neftalie Williams.
The evening featured a keynote address by Sandra Evers-Manly, vice president of Global Corporate Responsibility for Northrop Grumman, who described the USC BAA as “life-changing and supportive” throughout her tenure at USC. She pledged her commitment to help create a similar environment for black students, and announced a donation of $400,000.00 to the USC BAA for student scholarships. USC BAA presently boasts a 100 percent graduation rate among the students they support.
The USC marching band rounded off the evening with a rendition of USC’s fight song.