By Special to the Daily World
Evelyn Gibson Lowery, founder and chair of SCLC/Women’s Organizational Movement for Equality Now Inc. has announced that former Georgia State Director of USDA Rural Development, Shirley Sherrod; award-winning actor, dancer, singer, and director, Jasmine Guy; and Dr. Bill Releford, a leader in the field of diabetic limb salvage and founder of The Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program, will be honored at the 32nd Annual Drum Major for Justice Awards Dinner on Monday April 4 at 6 p.m. The dinner, held in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the anniversary of his assassination, will take place at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Atlanta.
Other prestigious honorees include Derrick Watkins (aka Fonzworth Bentley), musician, author, and host of MTV’s “From G’s to Gents;” Real Men Cook for Charity, a national Father’s Day event founded by Yvette and Kofi Moyo to positively change the way the world views Black men; and the first Black all-female flight crew: Captain Rachelle Jones, First Officer Stephanie Grant, Flight Attendant Diana Galloway, and Flight Attendant Robin Rogers. Recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in Civil Rights will also be awarded, including civil rights icon Dr. Joseph E. Lowery; former Atlanta mayor and U.S. Ambassador Andrew Young; and Congressman John Lewis.
“Dr. King wanted to be called a Drum Major for Justice,” Lowery said. “He once said the great issue of life is to harness the drum major instinct. Well, our prestigious honorees exemplify the moral excellence and generosity Dr. King spoke of and are truly modern-day Drum Majors for Justice.”
Entertainment will include a performance by 10-year-old Kirlisa Broxton, winner of a talent contest held during the recent Evelyn Gibson Lowery Civil Rights Heritage Tour.
The Drum Major for Justice Awards Dinner pays tribute to present day “Drum Majors” — individuals who have made major contributions advancing the social justice cause in their respective fields. Founded in 1979, SCLC/W.O.M.E.N. Inc., is an independent 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization providing a diverse array of services to improve and empower at-risk and low-income families. Programs include: youth mentoring, domestic violence education, HIV/AIDS education, and computer training. Their Heritage Pride program hosts the annual Evelyn Gibson Lowery Civil Rights Heritage Tour through the cradle of the Civil Rights Movement and has erected 13 monuments honoring civil rights icons. For more information or to purchase tickets call 404-584-0303.