RICHMOND, VA - Dominion will celebrate its 21st annual Strong Men & Women: Excellence in Leadership educational series by honoring six prominent African Americans.
“Strong Men & Women” highlights the accomplishments of selected African-American role models and tells their stories in an educational series that is distributed during Black History Month to schools across Dominion’s retail electric and natural gas service areas in North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. More than 200 African-American leaders have been honored in the program’s history.
“The life stories and interests of these exceptional men and women are incredibly rich and diverse,” said Thomas F. Farrell II, Dominion president and chief executive officer. ”They uplift and serve as shining examples of commitment, vision and what it means to push through hardship and succeed. These are the kind of role models our youth deserve.”
The awards ceremony was held February 3rd at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, where the VMFA African Art Collection is housed in the new Dominion Resources Gallery. Dominion Resources is also the presenting sponsor for the international landmark exhibition Dynasty and Divinity: Ife Art in Ancient Nigeria that opens to the public Feb. 12.
The 2011 honorees are:
Leon D. Bibb* – first African-American prime-time broadcast news anchor,Cleveland, Ohio.
Lillian Lincoln Lambert – first African-American woman to earn a Harvard MBA, Mechanicsville, Va.
The Honorable Cleo E. Powell, J.D. – first African-American woman judge, Virginia Court of Appeals, Richmond, Va.
Gary G. Thomas – first African-American artist with work on displayin three national sports museums,Shaker Heights, Ohio.
The Honorable Jay Williams– first African-American and youngest mayor ofYoungstown, Ohio
Dorothy Cowser Yancy, Ph.D.– first woman president (Emerita) of Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, N.C.
Also honored were four Virginia student essay-writing contest winners. High school juniors and seniors each year are invited to participate in the Strong Men & Women: Excellence in Leadership program by writing essays about any of the past honorees. Winners received a laptop computer and their schools each received a $1,000 cash award. About 25,000 sets of learning materials were sent to schools and libraries in five states.