Faith is a common denominator in Dorothy Jackson's life. Faith in God, faith in others, and faith in the power of one person to make a difference in the world.
Jackson, Akron's deputy mayor for intergovernmental relations, was honored as the 31st recipient of the Polsky Award in recognition of her inspired service to local, regional and national organizations. A lifelong resident of Akron, Jackson is a tireless advocate for those without a voice in the community, both literally and figuratively. In addition to her commitment to children, families and senior citizens, Jackson has served as a faithful interpreter for the hearing impaired for more than four decades.
Akron has benefited tremendously from her care, concern and creative problem solving. Well-known for her warm and unassuming nature, Jackson is equally regarded for her dogged determination to improve the lives of Akron's most vulnerable children and adults. Her home-cooked meals and kind spirit have nourished legions.
"Dorothy truly epitomizes this award," said Karl Hay, chairman of the Polsky Selection Committee and 1992 recipient of the award. "She has helped literally thousands of people with no fanfare or thought of being recognized. We weren't surprised that we had to postpone telling her that she had won the award because she was on a trip to Washington with a group of children."
"No one is a stranger in Dorothy's eyes," said former Akron Community Foundation President Jody Bacon. "Being a humanitarian is inherent in her personality."
In accepting the award, Jackson's devout faith was evident. "There is a song that we sing in my church," she explained. "And it says that I cannot be idle. There is no time for repose. My resting shall be over there. Where all of the faithful in heaven above a crown of bright glory shall wear."