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Hampton Roads Community News

Dominion, Library of Va. Salute 7 African-Americans In Va. History

Dominion Resources and the Library of Virginia commemorated the leadership and accomplishments of seven outstanding African-Americans during the fifth annual “Strong Men & Women in Virginia History” awards program on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017, at the Richmond Marriott.

The program honors prominent African-Americans, past and present, who have made significant contributions to the Commonwealth.

“For the young man or woman who has big dreams of being a writer, a newscaster or a judge, we have great role models to inspire future generations in this year’s honorees,” said Mark Webb, senior vice president, Corporate Affairs and Chief Legal Officer at Dominion. “It’s an honor to recognize these men and women for their strong leadership and accomplishments that have made our communities better for all.” Dominion Resources is the parent company of Dominion Virginia Power and sponsor of the annual series.

“Each year, the men and women honored through the Strong Men and Women program are individuals of outstanding merit and accomplishment – and the 2017 honorees are no exception,” said Dr. Sandra G. Treadway, Librarian of Virginia. “The Library of Virginia is proud to partner with Dominion in highlighting the achievements of African-American Virginians, past and present, who serve as inspiration to us all.”

The following honorees were recognized: William E. Bailey – aviation pioneer and philanthropist, Accomac; Charles Spurgeon Johnson* – sociologist, author and educator, Bristol; The Honorable Benjamin J. Lambert III* – optometrist and legislator, Richmond; The Honorable Mary Bennett Malveaux – judge –Virginia Court of Appeals, Henrico; Leonard “Doc” Muse – pharmacist and community leader, Arlington, Stephanie T. Rochon-Moten* – news anchor and cancer awareness advocate, Richmond; and Margaret Ellen Mayo Tolbert, Ph.D. – scientist, educator and author, Suffolk. (*Posthumous honor)

Four high school students also were recognized during the ceremony. Each wrote winning essays, selected from nearly 200 entries, about the importance of helping others.

The winners of the 2017 “Strong Men & Women in Virginia History” student essay writing contest are: Meenakshi Balan – Thomas Jefferson HS for Science and Technology, Fairfax County; Hunter Davis – Gate City High School, Scott County; Indya Gipson – Nansemond River High School, Suffolk County; and Grace Lu – Douglas S. Freeman High School, Henrico County.

Each student received an Apple MacBook Air laptop and $1,000 for their school. Winning essays and program details, as well as photos and videos of the event are posted on

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