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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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A 'phenomenal' woman

Social worker relies on her faith

Lots of people have considered Ollie Knight a phenomenal person—but now it’s official.

The recently retired interim CEO of Human Resources Development Institute Inc. received one of the inaugural Phenomenal Woman of the Year awards, given at the Black Women’s Expo in Chicago.


Ollie Knight was honored for 30 years
Ollie Knight was honored for 30 years of work as a social worker and mental-health advocate by the Black Women’s Expo in Chicago.
Knight, a member of Christ the King Lutheran Church, Chicago, was picked in the “community” category, and joined a prestigious list led by Michelle Obama, wife of presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Knight was honored for her 30 years as a social worker and mental-health advocate, a path that began her first year at a Michigan community college.

“I thought I wanted to be a nurse, and then I met a social worker and realized I wanted to do what she did,” Knight recalled. “I didn’t really know what I would do, but I knew I wanted to help people.”


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