Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Friends of Yates' Black History Month event set for March 1

Courtesy of Friends of Yates

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ---- In honor of Black History Month, Friends of Yates, Inc. cordially invites the community to celebrate the accomplishments of several influential African American leaders in our community.

On Sunday, March 1, 2015, at 3:30p.m., Friends of Yates, Inc. will hold its “35th” Annual Black Men and Women of Distinction celebration at The Yates Center 1418 Garfield Avenue, Kansas City. Kansas.

As quoted by Booker T. Washington, “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life, but by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.”

For many years, reaching all the way back to the origins of slavery and segregation, black men and women had made tremendous milestones in their communities through their inventions, education, civic commitments to family togetherness, all the way to their earnest quest to be equal in opportunity and prestige.

It is that kind of motivation that has propelled our community for many years and which has bridged the gap between remembering our past and embracing our future.

This rings true for the men and women we honor this year as Black Men and Women of Distinction.  These leaders have helped to pave the way for others due to their outstanding commitment to excellence in their professional fields and civic duties.

They mirror the plan of success, for it is not what one does personally; rather is what one does for others that make him or her successful. The 2015 Black Men and Women of Distinction recipients are Karen Allen, Kathy Colon, Lillian Donaldson, James Echols, Samuel Lockridge, Neva Campbell-Lowe, Mennie Milan, Gary Mitchell, Dr. Eva Tucker-Nevel, Chivas O’Neal, Mavis Perkins, Ernestine Pilcher, Salem Baptist Church Naomi Circle, Valerie Nicholson-Watson, Dr. Everlyn Williams, Dr. Roger Williams, Judge Brian C. Wimes, Atty. Michelle Wimes and Rev. Bobby Young. 2015 Donald D. Sewing Service Award recipients include, Claudine Lamb, Curtis McClinton and Alberta Walker.

This year Friends of Yates, Inc. is pleased to highlight the occasion with two outstanding men who will be named as “Portrait of a Black Man”. The tribute this year will be given to Mr. Jonathan Carter and Rev. Desmond Lamb. Also, Dr. Marjorie Williams will be bestowed with the honor of “Portrait of a Black Woman”.

Jonathan Carter is a journalist who joined the KCTV5 news team in April 2010. A native of Ohio, Jonathan served in the U.S. Army. He served as a broadcast journalist with the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service. During his military service, Jonathan's Foreign Service included tours in Europe, Central America, Africa and Haiti. He also served throughout the United States, including a stint in Alaska. After leaving the military, Jonathan worked for television stations in New Orleans, Cleveland and Mobile, Ala. He joined KCTV5 as a reporter in April 2010 and has served as anchor.

When asked what he loves most about Kansas City, Jonathan without hesitation exclaims, "The barbecue, of course!" But he adds, "A very, very, very close second would be the people of the city, who have shown me what real Midwest hospitality is all about!" Jonathan loves to talk to KCTV5 viewers.

Rev. Desmond Lamb, Sr.'s first Pastoral assignment came in 1993 when he was only 21 years old.  He became Pastor of the Second Baptist Church in Odessa, Mo.  Two years later, only a few days before his 25th birthday, he would become Pastor of a small Kansas City, Kansas congregation- a congregation that on more than one occasion had nearly met its end.  He became Pastor of Forest Grove, there were less than on hundred members at the church.  Since then, the membership has grown to over six hundred baptized believers.

Under Reverend Lamb's leadership, the church, formerly located at 28th and State Ave. was able to pay off its mortgage and purchase a new worship center located at 1417 N. 9th Street, Kansas City, Ks.  This facility has been newly renovated and expanded.

Pastor Lamb has been honored on several occasions including: recognition among the Black Men and Women of Distinction by the Yates Center, Having received a Proclamation of Honor from Mayor Reardon for service in Wyandotte county in 2007; Having received a certificate for Outstanding Leader in Providing a Safety Net for Victims of Domestic Violence in 2006 by Yates and Joyce Williams Centers. Following in Jesus' footsteps, Pastor Lamb has been called to embrace the inner city community with a spirit of excellence.  His service is for the lost and the sick.  He has been called to minister and counsel those despised and rejected by society and man. Rev. Lamb recently completed his Master of Divinity, Counseling degree from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Dr. Marjorie Williams became Superintendent of the Hickman Mills School District located in South Kansas City in July 2000.  She immediately took an active role in the plight of public education, community issues and organizations in the Greater Kansas City area.

After 37 years in the field and retiring after 12 years in the position of Superintendent in 2012, Williams founded The Marste Group, LLC, a consulting firm, serving school districts and businesses throughout the United States. Williams attributes her success and appointed leadership in key positions to her faith in God, and the 5 “C’s”… Competence, Character, Commitment, Communication and Courageousness!

Dr. Williams has served on various community and civic boards inclusive of but not restricted to the Advisory Board of the Missouri-Kansas Superintendents Forum, the Board of Directors for Kansas City Public Television (KCPT), Derrick Thomas Third and Long Foundation, The Missouri Safe Schools Advisory Board, National Express Transportation Advisory Board, Avila University School of Education Advisory Board, STEM Advisory Board, Baker University, the Urban Superintendents of American Association, the ReDiscover Board, Crittenton/St. Luke’s Board, The National Aids Service Foundation, Kansas City Freedom Schools, Teach For America and the Local Investment Commission (LINC).

This prestigious celebration of African-American accomplishments will host some of Kansas City’s finest leaders and talent.  Mr. Jonathan Carter, anchorman for KCTV5 news will act as Celebrity Master of Ceremony for the program, while Rev. Dr. R.L. Baynham, Pastor of Metropolitan Baptist Church (Kansas City, Kansas) and Rev. Desmond Lamb, Forest Grove Baptist Church will help us usher in the spirit of our creator who makes all of our accomplishments possible.  Divine Praise of Metropolitan Baptist Church will provide guest with a music selection, while 5-7-8 also from Metropolitan Baptist Church will grace us with a Liturgical Dance.

This is truly an event you do not want to miss!

Friends of Yates, Inc., which incorporated in 1979, as a supportive arm of Yates Branch YWCA, continues to be a force in the Kansas City, Kansas community since becoming the legal entity of Yates Branch YWCA in 1982.  It provides services and a sense of identity to children, youth, adults and senior citizens. In the great tradition of the Yates branch YWCA that was organized in 1913.  We are proud to celebrate over “100” years of service to our community.  The programs and services of Friends of Yates, Inc. include: the Della Gill/Joyce H. Williams Center for victims and their children, the first and only shelter/Transitional Housing in Wyandotte County assisting victims of domestic violence; Men and Women of Distinction Program, which has been honoring men and women for thirty-five (35) years, who have and/or yet making outstanding contributions to the community;  Friends of Yates Nursing Home Support Group; Judge Meeks Jr./Meeks/Burks/Attorney Jackson/Robinson Library, Atty. Shelby Watson Learning Center, Crime Awareness Coordinating Efforts (C.A.C.E.); Marie Grant Child Advocacy Center, Healthy Eating/Healthy Living Nutritional Program; Pathway to Advocacy Violence Free Living and Economic Empowerment (P.A.V.E) Substance Abuse Prevention and Intervention; Teen Dating Violence Prevention Programs; and the BridgeS.P.A.N. Hospital Advocacy Program.

This event is open to the public.  If you have question concerning this event, or ways that you may become a partner with Friends of Yates, Inc., please contact the Administrative Office at (913) 321-1566.