By Special to the Daily World
Congressman. John Lewis and media executive Xernona Clayton will be the featured speakers at the 29th Pioneer Black Journalist Awards Luncheon. The Atlanta Association of Black Journalists (AABJ) will honor the achievements of African-American journalists and award scholarships to deserving college students.
The event will be hosted by The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Beats Department Leader Monica Richardson, and will be held at Park Tavern in Atlanta on Sunday, April 3 from 3 to 5 p.m.
Lewis, a lifelong advocate of civil liberties, will deliver the keynote address. Lewis played a major role in passing the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and contributed his efforts in securing equality and desegregation in America. Congressman Lewis is the recipient of numerous honors that recognize his commitment to activism, volunteerism and human rights. Most recently, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Xernona Clayton, a civil rights leader and broadcast executive, will be a featured guest speaker at the awards luncheon. Clayton is the founder, president and CEO of the Trumpet Awards Foundation Inc., and creator and executive producer of the Trumpet Awards. In recognition of Xernona’s contribution to broadcasting, her community and the nation, AABJ developed the Xernona Clayton Brady Scholarship to support students pursuing a career in journalism. Three local college students will be recognized with this scholarship at this year’s event.
“It is a great pleasure for me to join the Atlanta Association of Black Journalists to recognize excellence in the field at their 29th awards ceremony,” Congressman Lewis said. “I remain deeply indebted to the Black press, as does every citizen of this nation. “These brave reporters, with their pads, pens and cameras, played an unforgettable role in the nonviolent revolution we call the Civil Rights Movement of the sixties,” Lewis said.
“Their courage and their commitment to risk their lives to publish the truth of injustice in this nation helped to usher in a new America and a better world community. I am delighted to join their celebration on April 3,” Lewis added.
At this year’s event, Atlanta Voice Publisher Janis Ware will be presented with AABJ’s highest honor, the Pioneer Black Journalist of the Year award. Georgia Public Broadcasting production assistant Anare Holmes will also be honored with AABJ’s Volunteer of the Year award.
To purchase tickets and learn more about AABJ, visit www.aabj.org.