Despite the headlines and constant squabbles on social media about the state of the world, what always keeps me calm and gives me hope is the fact that there are a lot of great people that are actively working to be the change we all hope to see in this world.

This week in Longview, I learned about a great organization called the "Unity & Diversity Committee" which meets every first Monday of the month at Noon at the Longview Public Library and they meet to discuss how to bring about more diversity and inclusion in the East Texas area. In a world where some folks would rather build "walls", this organization is focused on building "bridges" to open up doors of opportunity for everyone.

I had the pleasure of attending this year's Unity Honors Luncheon which was held at The Maude Cobb Convention Center in Longview where they honored two Longview community leaders for their tireless work and effort to bring about lasting real change to the community.

This year's honorees were Mr. Carroll Greenwaldt and Mrs. Shalonda Adams, both Longview residents who have been active leaders and humanitarians.

Mrs. Adams is the Principal of PTISD P.A.C.E. Alternative Campus: DAEP and the PTISD Adaptive Behavior Unit. She works with students and their families to overcome challenges. She is also known for work with Partners In Prevention Hope For Youth, serving as a mentor and group facilitator with Forever Friends and she sits on several community organization boards.

Mr. Greenwaldt has been an active humanitarian in Longview for 45 years. He help create the "backpack program" in Longview ISD which feed kids on the weekend and he's also worked internationally with several organizations including an effort to help children in Mexico see qualified health professionals and implementing the "Tele-doc Program". He has also lead diversity and inclusion efforts in the workplace at Eastman Company advocating for women, African Americans, Hispanics, Veterans and LGBTQ communities.

Congratulations to both of these amazing leaders!