The Union of Black Episcopalians plans to honor four leaders during its 49th Annual Conference, which meets July 23-26 at the Crowne Plaza Philadelphia-Cherry Hill.

The Very Rev. Michael Battle will receive the Bishop Quintin Ebenezer Primo Award for Extraordinary Faithfulness in Pastoral and Prophetic Leadership in Ministry. Battle is the Herbert Thompson Professor of Church and Society and director of the Desmond Tutu Center at General Theological Seminary in New York.

The Very Rev. Walter B.A. Brownridge, most recently dean of the Cathedral of St. Andrew in Honolulu, will receive the Bishop Walter Decoster Dennis Award for Canonical and Ecclesiastical Leadership. Before entering seminary, Brownridge practiced law for ten years both as a federal prosecutor and in public policy.

The Rev. Canon Michele V. Hagans, priest associate of Holy Comforter Church in Washington, D.C., will receive the Rev. Dr. Anna Pauline “Pauli” Murray Award for Lifelong Excellence in the Ministry of Civil Rights and Activism. Hagans also serves the Diocese of Washington as canon for ministry initiatives.

Deborah J. Stokes, a member of St. Philip’s Church in Columbus, Ohio, since 1975, will receive the UBE Faith In Action Award. For 31 years, she was a social-work administrator in Ohio’s Department of Health, Division of Family and Community Health Services. She has served in many parish, diocesan, and General Convention posts, including Executive Council.

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