By Jazelle Hunt
NNPA Washington Correspondent
At a reception during the 45th Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) Annual Legislative Conference, the National Newspaper Publishers Association honored five Black luminaries with its Leadership Awards.
The awards are given to those who have demonstrated leadership in the Black community and support of the Black Press. Held at the Washington Marriott Marquis, which is partially Black-owned, the reception drew a large crowd of conference attendees and Black Press supporters.
Misty Copland, Roland Martin, Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards (D-Md.), Rahiel Tesfamariam, and A. Shuanise Washington were the awardees for 2015, the NNPA’s 75th anniversary year. Denise Rolark Barnes, chair of the NNPA and publisher of The Washington Informer, along with Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., president and CEO of the NNPA, emceed the event.
Each of the honorees thanked the NNPA for its support and its dedication to keeping Black communities empowered and informed.
“When I came into Congress, I said we were going to do something different. I said that we were going to make our paper of record our Black newspapers,” said Congresswoman Edwards. “When we reach out in my office … we reach out to our papers of record. When I decided I was going to embark on this journey to the U.S. Senate, our paper of record on that decision was The Afro and The Washington Several notables were also in attendance, including Congressmen Al Green (D-Texas) and Bobby Scott (D-Va.), Newport News, Va. Mayor McKinley Price, Sir Hillary McDonald Beckles, vice-chancellor of the University of the West Indies in Jamaica; Diane Watson former U.S. ambassador and former Congressional representative, and many more.