News Release Header
For Immediate Release:
September 04, 2020

Media Contact:
Griselle Marino
[email protected]

Link to Black Affairs Advisory Board’s Heritage Planning Committee Annual Community Pillar Awards ceremony available

Black Affairs Heritage Planning Committee
Screeshots from the virtual Pillar Awards ceremony

MIAMI – The Black Affairs Advisory Board’s Heritage Planning Committee hosted its annual “Community Pillars” awards and scholarship presentation on Aug. 22. Watch the recording here or via its shortened version You can also view it on the Black Affairs Facebook page. Commissioners Daniella Levine Cava and Eileen Higgins participated in the ceremony.

The 2020 Community Pillars are:

  • Dr. Armen Henderson, for his volunteer efforts to provide onsite services to Miami’s homeless population.
  • Edward Sheppard, for founding the “Blindfolded International Student & Cultural Exchange” which facilitated students’ visiting from Botswana the opportunity to interact and be paired with students from Miami Central High School.
  • Dr. Whittington B. Johnson, for being the first African American tenured professor hired at the University of Miami.
  • Juanita Walker, for her a mission to provide quality childcare to some of the most economically-disadvantaged communities in Miami-Dade County.

This year’s Corporate Pillar is Sweet Exchange Collective:

  • a group of black culinary, hospitality and entertainment professionals known for concept creation and successful execution of a Drive-Thru hot meal program prepared for the community by the community.

The Black Heritage Planning Committee also awarded scholarships to five Young Pillars:

  • Kamari Dawson (Morehouse College)
  • Heaven Kendricks (Albany State)
  • Na’Vaeh Kendricks (Albany State)
  • Chanice Forbes (Missouri State)
  • Kennedy Jennings (Alabama A&M University)

Additionally, the Greater Miami’s Convention & Visitor Bureau’s Black Hospitality Initiative (BHI) presented its award to Florida International University student Paige Johnson. The Clarence Pittman Jr. Scholarship supported by the A. Philip Randolph Institute’s Miami Dade Chapter was presented to Brandi Milliner (Bethune-Cookman University) and Jasmine Brown (Florida State University).

“This year’s observance, as have many other community events, pivoted to the virtual Zoom platform due to the current pandemic,” notes Black Affairs Advisory Board Chair Stephen Hunter Johnson. “We are cognizant of the need to discourage in-person gatherings and decided not to postpone this uplifting celebration of our dedicated Community Pillars as well as present scholarships to our Young Pillar recipients,” added Black Heritage Planning Committee Chair Edgar Wright.

The honorees were selected for their support of programs or businesses which positively impact the community and have a deep commitment to public service. Most of them have toiled tirelessly without fanfare for years in their chosen community path.

Follow BAAB on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. For more information, please contact Black Affairs Advisory Board Director Retha Boone-Fye at [email protected] or 305-815-1932. For the high resolution photos above, contact Griselle Marino at 305 0375-1585 or via email at [email protected].

The Office of Community Advocacy under the Board of County Commissioners, oversees nine advisory boards and the Miami-Dade County Goodwill Ambassaors Program. The Office is charged with making Miami-Dade County "One Community" that embraces our diverse and unique population. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow @AdvocacyMDC on, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter


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