Ambassador Suzan Johnson Cook, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, U. S. State Department, was visibly moved as she accepted her award at the SCLC/Women’s Organizational Movement for Equality Now, Inc.’s (sclc/WOMEN, Inc.) 34th Annual Drum Major for Justice Awards Dinner held in Atlanta last week.
“I could not miss this moment,” Ambassador Cook said as she accepted the Religious Freedom Award. “It is such an honor to be here on this day with civil rights royalty – especially our queen, Mrs. Evelyn Lowery.”
For the past 34 years Dr. Evelyn Gibson Lowery, founder of sclc/WOMEN, Inc, observes April 4, the day Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, by celebrating leaders who exemplify the spirit of Dr. King. Lowery recruited an impressive, intergenerational group of leaders to participate in the program including: Dr. King’s sister, Christine King Farris; former Atlanta Mayor, Shirley Franklin; Atlanta City Councilman Kwanza Hall; and civil rights leader and King confidant, Dr. Joseph E. Lowery.
“Having been a part of the civil rights movement from the beginning, I am very proud to present Drum Major Awards to these accomplished leaders,” said Mrs. Lowery. “Each of the honorees, in their own way and respective areas, are answering Dr. King’s call to be a Drum Major for Justice.”
In addition to Ambassador Cook, 2013 Drum Major for Justice honorees are:
• Dr. Henry Panion III, PhD (Magnificent Maestro Award) -University of Alabama Professor and Grammy/Dove Award winning producer, composer, and conductor
• DeMaurice Fitzgerald Smith (Sports Award )- executive director, NFL Players’ Association
• Representative Stacy Y. Abrams (Government Award),GA House Minority Leader
• Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell (Government Award), U.S. House of Representatives
• Minnie Morgan (Faithful Servant Award), Teamsters Local Union 528
• Seaborn Johnson (Auburn Avenue Entrepreneur Award), Barber
• Lynard Thomas (Youth Award), Evelyn Gibson Lowery Heritage Tour talent contest Winner
Karyn Greer, WXIA-TV news anchor, served as Mistress of Ceremonies and stellar performances by Miles College Golden Voices of Fairfield, AL earned standing ovations.