FBI Columbia
Public Affairs Officer Kevin Wheeler
803-551-4200 - columbiamedia@fbi.gov
May 5, 2023

FBI Honors Columbia Community Organization with National Award

(Washington) — FBI Director Christopher Wray presented Building Better Communities (BBC) with the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA) for its service to the people of South Carolina in a special ceremony today. Building Better Communities was recognized for demonstrating outstanding contributions to the community by focusing on combating community violence, low health status, low education, and economic disparity within underserved communities.

The FBI established the DCLA in 1990 to publicly acknowledge the achievements of those working to make a difference in their communities through the promotion of education and the prevention of crime and violence. The FBI’s 56 field offices select the recipients annually for this honor.

During today’s ceremony, Director Christopher Wray told the recipients: “Like the 38,000 employees of the FBI, you don’t do what you do for fame—and certainly not for fortune. You do it out of kindness, out of compassion for others, out of a hope and a dream for safer communities....to leave your towns and cities better places than when you got there. And that’s how I’ve defined success here within our organization, too. Success to me is if everyone leaves the FBI a better place than they found it.”

BBC members volunteer thousands of service hours annually in disadvantaged communities collaborating with local law enforcement agencies to build safer communities and local officials and businesses to improve education that leads to income growth, better healthcare, increased voter participation, and enhanced reentry resources for those who made mistakes and desire to clear their past and successfully reenter society.

“I am honored to be receiving this award from an organization that I admire deeply,” said Perry Bradley, Jr., Executive Director of BBC. “BBC has fought to better our communities for over 13 years by organizing events such as the Caravan For Love, bringing awareness to South Carolina that we need Hate Crime Legislation; the BBC March For Our Lives, which brought over 5,000 students from across South Carolina to talk about responsible gun laws; and so many local events that bring much needed resources to our communities through partnerships with local law enforcement, elected officials and community leaders across South Carolina.”

Director Wray hosted the 2022 DCLA winners at FBI Headquarters today emphasizing the importance of partnerships in keeping our shared communities safe. These partnerships—as exemplified by the breadth of the work by the DCLA recipients—have led to a host of crime prevention programs that protect the most vulnerable in our communities, educate families and businesses about cyber threats, and work to reduce violent crime in our neighborhoods. Learn more about the Director’s Community Leadership Award program at https://www.fbi.gov/how-we-can-help-you/outreach/dcla, the FBI’s general outreach efforts, and the Columbia Field Office online at https://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field-offices/columbia.

Perry Bradley DCLA