Annual Community Pillars Awards ceremony held June 17
From left to right, standing, honorees Rev. Alphonso Jackson III, Tangela Sears, Rev. Twila Payne, City of Miami Commissioner Keon Hardemon, Julia Brown, Akua Scott, Miami-Dade Police Assistant Director Stephanie Daniels, Ronda Vangates and Pierre Saliba, and seated, Mrs. Thelma Harris.
MIAMI – Over 150 guests attended the Black Affairs Advisory Board’s Heritage Planning Committee’s annual “Community Pillars” awards and scholarship presentation on June 17. The event, held at the Biscayne Bay Marriott in downtown Miami, allowed this year’s honorees to be celebrated by their guests and supporters.
The event was capped off by the donation of scholarships to the “Young Pillars” by Miami City Commissioner Keon Hardemon, who received the “Community Pillars Legacy” award. This award was presented for the first time to a former “Young Pillar” in recognition of being nominated as a Community Pillar. The event also featured a silent auction with donations being added to the funds raised by Heritage Planning Committee members.
The Community Pillars recognized at the event included the following advocates: Mrs. Glenda Harris (the family of Rev. Edward T. Graham), who accepted the “The Legacy Award” on behalf of her family; Akua Scott, Social and Economic Justice; Tangela Sears, Anti-Violence; SBC Community Development Corporation - Community Empowerment; Pierre Saliba – Cultural Awareness; Ronda Vangates, Esq. – Business; Julia Brown – Media; Miami-Dade Police Assistant Director Stephanie Daniels – Public Service; and Miami City Commissioner Keon Hardemon, who was presented with the first “Dual Legacy Award.”
These honorees were selected for their support of programs or businesses which positively impact the community and have a deep commitment to public service. The Black Heritage Planning Committee also awarded 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: Dequan Sands – Florida A&M University, Darius Wright – Wooster University, Abdias Armenteros – Julliard, Travis Johnson – Florida Southwestern State College, Keanna Nembhard – University of Florida, Cornelius White – Stetson University, and Druscilla Daley – University of South Florida.
For more information on the Pillars awards, contact Retha Boone-Fye at (305) 375-4606 or Retha.Boone-Fye@miamidade.gov.