Bahai News -- San Antonio Express-News - Activist Sinkin gets King award Category: Metro and State

Activist Sinkin gets King award

By Karen Adler
San Antonio Express-News
Web Posted : 01/19/2003 12:00 AM

A community activist who was a pioneer in local minority employment practices won the 2003 Martin Luther King Distinguished Achievement Award on Saturday night.

photo The 2003 MLK Distinguished Achievement Award went to William R. Sinkin on Saturday. He was owner and president of the Texas Bank.
Bob Owen/Express-News
lliam R. Sinkin, the first bank president in Texas to put an African American on the front teller line, was selected from 18 nominees.

The award ceremony took place in City Council chambers.

"This is a great, great pleasure and honor and probably one of the finest I have received in my career," he said, adding that King's message is "growing stronger and more mighty every year."

Sinkin, 89, was owner and president of the Texas Bank, a Southeast Side institution that made loans to small businesses, minorities and women.

"This gentleman was a man of conviction and he collaborated with his community to make things better," District 2 Councilman John Sanders said.

Sinkin was a founder and first president of HemisFair and one of the founders of San Antonio Goodwill Industries. The San Antonio native has also served as president of the Jewish Federation, Texans for Equal Education and the San Antonio Urban Coalition.

He is chairman of Solar San Antonio, a nonprofit resource center for renewable energy.

Sinkin's wife of 60 years, Fay, nominated him for the award.

This is the 12th year in which the city-funded Martin Luther King Jr. Commission has handed out the award in honor of the values, teachings and work of the civil rights leader.

Past honorees include the late U.S. Rep. Henry B. Gonzalez, the late Rabbi David Jacobson, the Rev. Claude Black, the late Rev. Samuel Horace James, and the late Frank Tejeda, congressman and state senator.

Also Saturday, Alice Harper, owner of Ma Harper's Creole Kitchen, received the Baha'i Unity of Humanity Award. Harper feeds the hungry and works against prejudice.

"This is a surprise," said Harper, a participant in Race Unity Day and the MLK March. "I thank the Almighty for giving me the strength to keep going."

kadler@express-news.net

©Copyright 2003, San Antonio Express-News (TX, USA)

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