Santa Maria Recognized with the Cincinnatus Association’s Spencer Award for Promoting Diversity and Inclusion

At The Cincinnatus Association’s Seventh Annual Donald and Marian Spencer Spirit of America Awards Dinner, held on May 10, 2022 at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza, Santa Maria was honored, along with five other Cincinnati area businesses and nonprofits for promoting diversity and inclusion.


The Cincinnatus Association named the Spencer Awards after Cincinnati’s “First Couple of Civil Rights,” as a way to celebrate the couple’s achievements and “honor nonprofits and businesses who exhibit conspicuous and enduring contributions to promoting greater inclusion and diversity in the community.”


Although Mr. Spencer died in 2010, before the inception of the awards, Ms. Spencer participated in the dinner each year until her death in 2019. Marian Spencer was known for fighting to integrate Coney Island amusement park so her children could swim in the pool. She also was the first African American president of the Woman’s City Club of Cincinnati and the first African American member of Cincinnati City Council. Donald Spencer was the first African American on the Cincinnati Park Board, the first African American broker on the Cincinnati Board of Realtors and the first African American trustee at Ohio University.


“When reading the nominations, we receive each year for the Spencer Awards, the outstanding work being done by so many organizations in our community to improve the lives of our citizens is an inspiration to us all. Cincinnatus has this unique opportunity to recognize and share with you the efforts of our honorees to help those in need achieve their ‘American Dream’ through their services, education and inclusion of all citizens,” said Susan Noonan, Chair of Spencer Dinner Committee.


The 2022 Spencer Awards were presented to:


  • Activities Beyond the Classroom, a nonprofit organization was founded in 2004 by several individuals who believed that no child should be without life-shaping extracurricular activities. The goal of ABC is to ensure that students participate in activities outside of classroom academics that will help them develop the skills they need to succeed in life. ABC assists with over two hundred free activities each year, impacting more than 15,000 Cincinnati Public School students.
  • Avondale Development Corporation, a nonprofit organization, was founded in 2011 for the purpose of improving the quality of lives of the residents of Avondale, the largest African American neighborhood of Cincinnati. ADC’s mission is to direct the revitalization of Avondale by developing housing, real estate, and economic initiatives while collaborating with residents and partners to address priorities that promote the well-being of Avondale residents.
  • Clifton Cultural Arts Center is the only multi-disciplinary arts center in the racially and socioeconomically diverse Uptown neighborhoods of Corryville, Clifton, Avondale, Clifton Heights-University Heights-Fairview and Mt. Auburn. CCAC’s mission is to build a community-created place where: people of all ages, races, culture, and socioeconomic status connect with one another through art. CCAC’s average attendance is over 40,000.
  • Lighthouse Youth, a nonprofit organization formed in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1969, has a mission is to empower young people and families to succeed through a continuum of care that promotes healing and growth. Serving clients ages 0-24 and the families that surround them, Lighthouse is a “trauma-informed” agency and widely considered the premier youth serving provider in our region. Lighthouse serves 4,000 diverse clients annually in their various programs.
  • Santa Maria Community Services, a nonprofit organization, is a catalyst and advocate for Cincinnati’s Greater Price Hill families. Through their initiatives, Santa Maria works to ensure that Greater Price Hill is a thriving, and self-sustaining community. The services provided are focused on promoting family and individual wellbeing. Santa Maria was recently awarded the 2021 INSPIRE Healthcare Diversity and Inclusion award from The Health Collaborative.
  • TriVersity Construction is a for profit organization and is among the largest commercial construction companies in the tri-state region. TriVersity is known for their focus on the customer experience during the construction process, their investment in ongoing innovation, and their deep commitment to the communities in which they operate. They have an active commitment to various community service organizations by allowing their employees to volunteer.


About Cincinnatus Foundation

Founded in 1920, Cincinnatus is a civic organization dedicated to reducing poverty and helping more people in Greater Cincinnati achieve the American Dream. The association does that not only by advocating for diversity and inclusion but also for good education and government. More information:

About Santa Maria Community Services, Inc.
Santa Maria Community Services, Inc. is an independent, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization originally founded by the Sisters of Charity in 1897 and place-based in Cincinnati Ohio’s Price Hill community. Santa Maria provides more than 2,500 individuals with educational tools and resources to build strong families, promote healthy residents, and foster neighborhood revitalization. Our Price Hill Family Centers provide a welcoming environment and the coaching, support, and flexibility to assist families to achieve their identified goals toward stabilization and self-sufficiency. Our mission is to be a catalyst and advocate for Greater Price Hill families to attain their educational, financial, and health goals. Our vision is for Greater Price Hill to be a vibrant, thriving, and self-sustaining community. Santa Maria is a United Way Agency.