October 21, 2014  

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BancorpSouth's Edwards Named IDS Housing Initiative Partner of Year

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Evelyn Edwards, center, vice president of community reinvestment with BancorpSouth, is the 2011 recipient of the Housing Initiative Partner of the Year award. Pictured with her are David Barrentine, BancorpSouth region president, and Dr. Royal Walker, Jr., executive director of the Institute for Disability Studies. (Submitted photo)

Evelyn Edwards, vice president of community reinvestment for BancorpSouth, has been named the 2011 Housing Initiative Partner of the Year by The University of Southern Mississippi Institute for Disability Studies (IDS).

Edwards was presented the award at the fall meeting of the IDS Housing Advisory Council on Oct. 27. The award is presented annually to an individual or agency participating on the IDS Housing Advisory Council who has worked in the housing, disability or economic development arenas in the state to empower people with disabilities to live independently in their communities. Edwards has been an active member of the IDS Housing Advisory Council since its formation in 2004.

“Evelyn Edwards and BancorpSouth have shown through their actions that they are committed to assisting individuals with disabilities and their families in becoming homeowners and members of their communities in Mississippi,” said Dr. Royal Walker, Jr., executive director of the Institute for Disability Studies. Walker presented Edwards with a canvas reproduction of “Back Home,” an original oil painting by Hattiesburg artist, Phebe Smith.

“BancorpSouth is one of the leading financial institutions in Mississippi that makes a valiant effort to further housing,” said Cassie Hicks, IDS coordinator of housing. “BancorpSouth employees like Evelyn Edwards participate in multiple community outreach events throughout our communities to connect residents with viable banking services, financial education and access to homeownership grants for potential homebuyers. The input provided by her, as well as other IDS Advisory Council members, allows IDS to continue to make a statewide impact in households with disabilities to acquire wealth through homeownership.”

Nominations for individuals or organizations for the IDS Housing Initiative Partner of the Year are received from April 1 through June 30 of each year. For more information about the 2012 award qualification and nomination process, visit the Web site www.usm.edu/ids/housingpartners.

For more information about the Institute for Disability Studies at Southern Miss and it housing programs visit www.usm.edu/ids