L-R: Karyn Greer, Jennifer Parker, Steen Miles, Valerie J. Morgan and Carolyn Glenn.
Five African American women in media joined a host of local legends at the DeKalb History Center’s Seventh Annual Black History Month celebration in Decatur.
The five journalists—On Common Ground News’ Editor Valerie J. Morgan, Crossroads News Jennifer Parker, radio personality Rashan Ali, Channel 11’s Karyn Greer and former State Sen. Steen Miles, who formerly worked as an anchor at Channel 11—were saluted at the center’s Feb. 6 luncheon program.
“We believe it is important to bring current history makers like these women to light so that we can honor their work while they are still with us and collect their valuable history,” said Melissa Forgey, DeKalb History Center Executive Director. “We hope the leaders we honor reflect contributions that future generations will value in DeKalb County.”
Morgan expressed her gratitude for being honored, and thanked the publishers of The Champion Newspaper, Carolyn and Earl Glenn, for being “front runners and mentors” as DeKalb’s legal organ. Carolyn Glennserved as mistress of ceremonies for the event.
Morgan said the women honored at this year’s history program are all exceptional journalists who share their different perspectives on the news with a passion and a desire to serve.
The “Honoring Women in the Media” black history program not only celebrated the five women who have made a positive impact on DeKalb County through media and journalism, but also hosted soprano soloist Carlisa N. Johnson, a 2014 graduate of Agnes Scott College in Decatur.
The DeKalb History Center began hosting the black history program in 2008. Forgey, who is celebrating her seventh year at the history center, says it is important to honor great men and women who are making history for not only African Americans, but also the entire county.
“The DeKalb History Center collects, preserves and shares the history of the entire county, and we decided this program would be a great way to extend our efforts further,” said Forgey. “This is always an exciting event where we recognize just some of our current African American leaders who are impacting our local history.”
This year’s honorees have added their names to an esteemed list of community leaders and activists. Here is a list of past honorees and program themes in which they were honored:
2008 – A Salute to African-American Entrepreneurs
Lecester (Bill) Allen
Robert L. Brown, Jr.
Carolyn Jernigan Glenn and Earl Glenn
Cornell McBride, Sr.
2009 – A Salute to Civil Rights Leaders
Thurbert E. Baker
Dr. Eugene P. Walker
2010 - A Salute to Law & Justice Leaders
Judge Gregory A. Adams
Sheriff Thomas E. Brown
Judge Barbara J. Mobley
Judge Desiree Sutton Peagler
2011 - A Salute to DeKalb’s Military Heroes
Thomas N. Bristow
Ray Jones, Jr.
2012 – A Salute to Community Champions
Sherriff Elect Derwin Brown
Dr. William C. Brown
Gregory B. Levett, Sr.
2013 – Honoring Living Legends
Clarence G. Carter
Don P. Roberts
Beverly “Guitar” Watkins