News Release Header
For Immediate Release:
June 06, 2013
Media Contact:
Rene Diaz


2013 Pillars Awards Ceremony to take place on Saturday, June 15, 2013

(Miami-Dade County, FL) -- The Miami-Dade County Office of Community Advocacy will recognize community leaders and young pillars at the 2013 Pillars Awards Ceremony by the Black Affairs Advisory Board’s Heritage Planning Committee.  The reception will take place on Saturday, June 15, 2013, at 11:30 a.m. at the Courtyard Marriott Coconut Grove, located at 2649 South Bayshore Drive.

The event will begin with a silent auction followed by the scholarship presentations, recognition of community partners and the 2013 Community Pillars. These honorees were selected for their support of programs or businesses which positively impact the community and commitment to public service.  Tickets are $40 per person and include the brunch and program. 

The 2013 Community Pillars are: 

Penelope Townsley (Public Service)
Jacques Laroche (Business)
Melton Shakir Mustafa (The Arts)
Rodney Baltimore (Media)
Rev. Darryl K. Baxter (Religion)
Minister Willie Harris (Humanitarian)
Dr. Vincent Omachonu (Education)

The Heritage Planning Committee is also awarding scholarships to several “Young Pillars”—students who are enrolled in a post-secondary institution and involved in various civic oriented activities.  This year’s recipients are:

Jahnisha Williams (Bethune-Cookman University)
Jamesha Hall (Florida A&M University)
Chevon Williams (University of Florida)
Amani Jackson (Florida A&M University)
Kiara Moyer (Florida A& M University)
Ashley Budhu (Florida Memorial University)

“The Black Affairs Advisory Board’s Heritage Planning Committee is proud to be able to recognize our ‘Community Pillars’ as well as our ‘Young Pillars’ as a part of our effort to highlight the activities of those who work behind the scenes and are dedicated to making our community a better place,” said Edgar Wright, chair of the BAAB’s Heritage Planning Committee. “Many of our ‘Young Pillars’ have usually overcome obstacles in their young lives, but still find time to serve their community. They have been either accepted or are already attending institutions of higher learning and can benefit greatly from our assistance.  Over the past six years, our ‘Young Pillars’ have graduated and become responsible citizens on their way to becoming future ‘Community Pillars,’” added Mr. Wright.

This years’ sponsors include Comcast Cable, Macy’s Aventura store, the Diaspora Arts Coalition (DAC), Royalty Cookies, AWA Skin Care, The Adrienne Arsht Center and VITAS. Scholarship sponsors include Rozalyn H. Paschal, M.D., P.A., the A. Phillip Randolph Institute-Miami-Dade Chapter and ICMA Retirement Corporation.

About the Black Heritage Planning Committee:
The BHPC is a subcommittee of the Black Affairs Advisory Board.  It is comprised primarily of volunteer Miami-Dade employees who plan and implement programs throughout the year aimed at increasing the visibility and recognition of the contributions of members and descendants of the African Diaspora.

About the Pillars Awards:
The Annual Pillars Awards recognizes people from the community who often work behind the scene without intentionally seeking recognition.  Young Pillars are selected based on their academic goals and community service.

For further information on the Black Affairs Advisory Board or the Annual Pillars Awards, call (305) 375-4606 or visit