Seeing the unsung: the 4th annual Unsung Heroes Awards via Representative Hank Johnson
For some, it's the name of a long-running series on TV One which highlights people in arts and entertainment whose artistry is at times overlooked.
This past Sunday, November 19th (2023), the word takes on an even broader meaning to the tune of public recognition of 29 leaders from DeKalb, Rockdale, and Newton Counties, as said individuals go above and beyond their day-to-day occupations to give back to their communities and make a positive impact in the lives of those in their communities. Thanks to Representaative Hank Johnson (GA-04) and his team, the 4th annual Unsung Heroes Awards at the Ours Studios in South DeKalb provides an opportunity for his constituents and the larger community to meet, greet, connect, and getter a better sense of some of the constructive and transformative efforts and endeavors of these community leaders.
Through the award tiers including the Diamond of the District Award (which goes to an individual, organization, or business that has a positive impact on a community through the promotion of goodwill, a helping-hand concept, along with building up of the spirit or support of character), the Pillars of Power Award (which goes to a former elected official, government employee, law enforcement officer, public safety officer, community advocate, diplomat, or member of the clergy), Community Cornerstone Award (which goes to a community advocate whose service or work has laid the foundation of building up a community, the architect of a fundamental plan or mission to safeguard a community or area [a gatekeeper]), the Beacon of Light Award (which goes to an individual whose spirit or acts of kindness brightens the everyday life of a person via the lenses of hospitality, education, support/adminstrative fields, along with those who are in the hospitality fields [host or hostess]), and the Champion of the 4th Award (which goes to an individual whose advocacy is a sword and shield for a purpose, cause, or mission to educate, engage, and strengthen a position or mission of a community, organization, or institution), all in attendance get to see there are positive agents of change in the midst. In doing so, all can feed off the positive energy and spirit along with realizing they have the capacity to be positive change agents as well.
With such tremendous people and entities present and accounted for, Congressman Johnson's statement provides a simple yet strong stagement and commentary on the nature of the event:
"I had the opportunity to honor those who are doing so much to enhance the lives of others in our community; community service is what it is all about".
Taking a moment to acknowledge the contributions of others can provide a source of recognition, but generate a sense of awareness and augmented immersion within the immediate and interlocking community. It's reinforcement of the notion and relevance of the role of positive presence and purpose as truly amazing things can happen.
Even if those doing so are unsung.
Notes: All photos and video are provided via Congressman Hank Johnson's office, including the post-event release which provides points of reference on the event. To learn more about the work of the Congressman, you may visit his district website.
Here's a breakdown of the recipients of the respective awards:
Diamond of the District:
Dr. Roderick Cunningham (The Beverly Cunningham Foundation)
Ms. Beth Ehrhardt (Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation)
Pastor William Francis (Lives and Souls Missional Church)
Pastor Clara Lett (Rainbow Covenant Ministries/Rainbow Community Center)
Ms. Patricia Roberts (The Jamal Addison Foundation)
Mr. Fuquan and Mrs. Shelia Stafford (The Stafford Boxing Club)
Ms. Takosha Swan (The Veteran's Anthem, Inc.)
Pillars of Power Award:
Ms. Faye Coffield
Mr. Jeff Dickerson
Mr. Reginald "Ray" Moore
Ms. Martha Shockey
Mr. Stanley Watson
Community Cornerstone Award:
Ms. Alice Bussey
Mr. Donald Edwards
Ms. Nettie Jackson
Mr. Dave Marcus
Mr. Bruce McMillian
Beacon of Light Award:
Ms. Carleen Cumberbatch
Mr. Orrin Hudson
Mrs. Mary King
Ms. Vivian Moore
Ms. Paulette McWhorter
Champion of the 4th Award:
Ms. Charolette Cain
Mr. George Chidi
Ms. Stephanie Corcas
Mr. Alvin Dollar
Mr. Keith Lamar
Dr. Iris Buchanan-Perry
Mr. Brian Wertheim