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For the Love of Children


Youth Award


Presenting Sponsor:

2018 Champions for Children Honorees

Father Michael Graham Father Michael Graham, S.J. has served as president of Xavier University since 2001 and is currently serving as the chair of the Cincinnati Preschool Promise Board. During his time as president, Father Graham has invigorated Xavier's Jesuit tradition of serving society by educating students intellectually, morally, and spiritually, with rigor and compassion, toward lives of solidarity and service.

Under his leadership, Xavier has established an academic vision, increased the number of full-time faculty, enhanced interdisciplinary study and expanded academic service learning and study abroad. Father Graham’s passion to connect and collaborate with local and regional communities inspired him to establish the Community Building Collaborative as well as the Eigel Center for Community-Engaged Learning, the hub of Xavier’s community engagement network.

That same passion led to his involvement with the Cincinnati Preschool Promise (CPP) and the passage of the levy to fund the initiative last November. Father Graham also serves on the boards for The Center for the Holocaust and Humanity Education, Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, Gonzaga University in Spokane, St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati and chairs the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) Board of Directors.

Diane Jordan-Grizzard Diane Jordan-Grizzard is director of strategic talent at BHDP Architecture and is a past chairperson and current member of the 4C for Children Board of Trustees. She also serves as the CEO/president of Thembi Speaks, a management consulting service she founded in 2004.

Diane has a long history of supporting early childhood education and parent involvement, including past roles with Head Start on both the local and regional level and as COO of Beech Acres Parenting Center. She was an Advisory Committee member of Children’s Defense Fund and a strategic partner to its Black Community Crusade for Children. An impetus to that involvement was her work in Liberia, West Africa, from 1979-1984 where she served as a doula, business owner and World Health Organization volunteer. The integration of these experiences with her formal studies inspires the framework she uses today to encourage individuals to unlock their purpose, passion, and power.

Diane is also involved with a number of local outreach efforts including the University of Cincinnati CECH Higher Education Mentoring Initiative and is a member of the Interact for Health Board and the YWCA Board of Directors. She has been recognized as a YWCA Career Woman of Achievement Honoree and was a finalist for the Cincinnati Chamber Women Excel Nonprofit Woman of the Year.

Gala Sponsors
View our Gala Sponsors

Gala Photo Gallery
View photos from our 2017 Champions for Children Gala

More information
Contact Ilona Piaskowy at 513-758-1323 for more information.


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