Branton/Hall Community Collaborator Award

The Branton/Hall Community Collaborator Award recognizes an individual from the Greater Kansas City area who has played an active role in civic engagement, leadership, fostering a spirit of service to others and promoting the spirit of collaboration for social good.


About the Award

The Branton/Hall Award was named in memory and honor of two JLKCMO members – Mary Shaw “Shawsie” Branton and Adele Hall. These two women dedicated their lives to making Kansas City a better, more inclusive, well-cared-for community. Longtime pillars of our community, Shawsie and Adele were model volunteers who worked tirelessly as catalysts for change, sensing needs in our community and then working diligently to bring the right individuals together to solve some of our city’s most pressing issues. As Kansas City’s only recipients of the Association of Junior Leagues International’s highest honor, the Mary Harriman Community Leadership Award, Shawsie and Adele believed that every person in our community, regardless of circumstance, deserves a chance to succeed.

This distinguished award honors Shawsie Branton and Adele Hall’s commitment to and passion for advocating, influencing and convening leaders for positive change. It recognizes like-minded individuals who continue their legacy of creating positive social impact in Kansas City. Learn more about Shawsie and Adele.

Mamie Hughes – 2021 Honoree

Mamie Hughes is a Kansas City treasure with a history of convening people for lasting, positive change. Her accomplishments include being the first Black woman to be elected to the Jackson County Legislature, appointed by President Carter to ACTION/VISTA, and serving as Chair of the Black Economic Union and the Mid-America Regional Council Commission on Aging.


In addition, she supported grass root activities for voter registration and the development of the 18th & Vine area, including the GEM Theater, the Negro Leagues Museum and the Jazz District. In 2016 she wrote her autobiography, Mamie Who? The Life and Times of a Colored Woman, chronicling her efforts against racism and championing women’s rights. Her commitment to civic engagement, leadership and collaboration for social good is legendary.


Mamie hasn’t slowed down a bit – she’s currently working politically across state lines for candidates, serves as a board member for Kanbe’s Markets (a nonprofit bringing nutritious food into Kansas City food deserts) and is adamant about voter registration drives. We are honored to recognize and thank her for many past, present and future contributions to spark change in Kansas City. See our video about Mamie’s remarkable life.

Past Honorees

2020’s honoree was SuEllen Fried. SuEllen has built a lifetime of work reflecting active involvement in civic engagement, leadership and fostering a spirit of service to others. The Branton/Hall Community Collaborator Award recognizes this lifetime of service.

Among SuEllen’s many accomplishments are founding STOP Violence in 1982 and developing the Reaching Out From Within program, which teaches prison inmates to change their violent language, actions and thoughts. Learn more about SuEllen in this YouTube video.


David Oliver was the 2019 honoree. “Practicing law is my profession, building our community, my passion.” David is a trial lawyer with the Kansas City law firm of Berkowitz Oliver LLP. He also has his own consulting practice helping companies diversify their boards and implement best practices in board/management relations. David’s civic activities include serving as a board member of the Alliance for Childhood Education, MRIGlobal, the UMKC Trustees, Teach for America–KC and the Missouri Advisory Board for Educator Preparation.

David has strong ties with the Junior League: his mother, Gertrude Field Oliver was president of the JLKCMO in 1944-1945, and he currently serves as a Community Advisor to the C3KC Committee.


2018’s honoree was Albert P. Mauro, Sr., former Vice-President and Secretary at Kansas City Southern Industries. Al has been active throughout the Kansas City community, having served with distinction on numerous boards, such as the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, Truman Medical Center, the Downtown Council, the Visiting Nurse Association, Friends of the Zoo, Crittenton Children’s Center, Starlight Theatre and the Board of Regents at Rockhurst College. He has received many awards and honors recognizing him for his tireless efforts to positively impact Kansas City.