News Release Header
For Immediate Release:
June 09, 2016
Media Contact:
Retha Boone-Fye

Annual Community Pillars Awards ceremony set for June 18

MIAMI – The Black Affairs Advisory Board's Heritage Planning Committee will host its annual "Community Pillars” awards and scholarship presentation on Saturday, June 18 at the Historic Hampton House, 4240 Northwest 27th Ave. The recognition and scholarships will be given during a brunch/reception beginning at 11:45 a.m., along with a silent auction to support fundraising efforts for selected Young Pillars. Tickets are $30 per person.

This year's Community Pillars are: 

Ricardo Gonzalez – Public Service
Mark Beckford – Youth Advocate
Javid Hepburn & Shenetra Mack – Community Empowerment
Dr. Yinka Tella – Culture
Harewood Cuthbert – Business
Andre Williams – Eye Urban TV – Media
Annie Neasman – Health
William Aristide – Education

These 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 these honorees have toiled tirelessly without fanfare for years in their chosen passion. 

The Black Heritage Planning Committee is also awarding scholarships to several "Young Pillars”— students who are enrolled in a post-secondary institution and were involved in various civic activities throughout high school. 

The Young Pillar Scholarship recipients and their chosen academic institutions are:

Alecys Procter Turner – Berklee College of Music     
Francheska Fabien – Temple University                    
Michael Simpson – Miami-Dade College        
Camila Mijares – Miami-Dade College    
De'Andre Brown – Bethune Cookman College
Neely Woodruff – Spelman College
Jameisha Taylor – University of Southern California
Ifeoma Duru – Miami-Dade College

"This year's Community Pillars reflect the deep passion that these individuals have for our community, and because of them Miami-Dade County is a better place in which to live," said Edgar Wright, chair of the BAAB's Heritage Planning Committee.   "Most of our Young Pillars have overcome hardships in their young lives, but still found time to serve their community. They have either been accepted or are already attending institutions of higher learning and can benefit greatly from this assistance.  Since its inception nine years ago, several of our earlier recipients have graduated to become responsible citizens and are on their way to becoming future community leaders.”

About the Black Affairs Advisory Board (BAAB)

The Black Affairs Advisory Board (BAAB) is under the Office of the Chair and was created to serve in an advisory capacity to the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners. Each BAAB member was selected by and represents a Commissioner from each district and serves at the will of that Commissioner.  The BAAB exists to advocate for the social, economic, political and educational needs of the diverse Black World Community in Miami-Dade County, while advancing the quality of life for these residents in a dedicated and responsive manner.

About the Annual Pillars Awards

Each year, the Black Affairs Advisory Board's Black Heritage Planning Committee selects and recognizes individuals or organizations that often work behind the scenes without intentionally seeking recognition.  Now in its 16th year, the event has honored more than 200 individuals in the South Florida area in categories including education, business, media, advocacy and public service.   For the past nine years, Young Pillars have received scholarships to continue their post high school education. They are selected based on their academic goals and community service.

For more information, call the Office of Community Advocacy at (305) 375-5730.


WHO:        Black Affairs Advisory Board's Heritage Planning Committee 
                  Community Pillars honorees

WHAT:      Community Pillars awards

WHEN:      Saturday, June 18 at 11:45 a.m.

WHERE:    Historic Hampton House, 4240 Northwest 27th Ave., Miami, Florida 33142