Family, friends, elected officials and the 88th Street Temple Church of God in Christ congregation witnessed the leader of a local nonprofit receive the highest honor a U.S. President can award to a civilian.
Robert M. Sausedo, a minister at 88th Street Temple and president of Community Build, Inc. was awarded the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award on Sept. 24 by Chief Apostle Dr. Kenneth W. Curry, certifying agent for the Presidential Volunteer Service Award.
Dr. Curry also presented Sausedo with an honorary doctorate in humane letters from the Christian Bible Institute & Seminary for his two decades of work in the church. Sausedo is an ordained minister at 88th Street Temple under the leadership of Superintendent Anthony L. Williams, senior pastor, and serves as assistant pastor at Los Angeles Community Church.
The prestigious Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes individuals who have excelled in their area of community service and have gone above and beyond the call to create an atmosphere that helps those around them be their very best.
“Growing up in South Los Angeles in the 1980s, I saw what the effects that street culture and hopelessness could have on people and communities. Some of my closet friends didn’t make it,” Sausedo said. “I vowed to do whatever I could to make a difference to empower my community. But never in my wildest dreams, did I ever think it would lead to this.”
Sausedo was recognized by the Presidential Volunteer Service Programs with the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award for his three decades of volunteer engagement and involvement with civic matters that impact youth, economic development, social justice and literacy.
“By sharing your time and your passion, you are helping discover and deliver solutions to the challenges we face – solutions, that we need now more than ever,” said Dr. Curry reading from a congratulatory letter from President Biden especially written for Lifetime Achievement recipients. “We’re living in a moment that calls for hope and light and love. . . through your service, you are providing all three.”
Sausedo led a fundraising effort to build a library in South Los Angeles and helped launch a private pilot program that has introduced hundreds of African American students to careers in aviation. In April 2019, Sausedo was selected to lead Community Build, Inc., (CBI) one of Los Angeles’ oldest nonprofit organizations. Since that time, he has instituted new programs that provide employment opportunities and training programs for ex-felons, at-risk youth seniors and previously homeless individuals reentering the workforce. Two of CBI’s flagship programs are Community Response System of South Los Angeles (CRSSLA) and CURE LA.
Since its inception, CRSSLA member organizations have distributed over ten million pounds of food to the neediest areas at sites across Los Angeles. CURE LA, a “Revolutionary Evolutionary” approach to healthcare without walls, provides pop-up clinics that go where the need is greatest and provide basic services such as blood pressure, blood sugar, vision and glucose testing, dentistry, and covid vaccinations.
During the ceremony, Community Build, Inc. board member Patricia Watts presented Reverend Michael Eaddy with a Lifetime Humanitarian Achievement Award. Rev. Eaddy is the Chairman of the General Council of the pastors and elders of the Church of God in Christ, First Assistant. Superintendent Anthony Williams was also recognized b Community Build, Inc. for his dedication to improve the community and taking God’s message beyond the walls of the church.
The idea for the Presidential Lifetime achievement began when President George H. W. Bush challenged each American to make time to help their neighbors, community and nation through service during his 2002 State of the Union Address. He called on each person to dedicate at least 4,000 hours – or two years – to service over the course of their lives.
In 2003, President Bush created the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation which founded the President’s Volunteer Service Award to recognize the important role of volunteers by honoring individuals whose service positively impacts communities in every corner of the nation and inspires those around them to act.