LIMA — The first annual Black Awareness Awards went much farther than honoring people for their contribution in the black community.
Organizers are hoping to set a trend for future youth.
Community leaders were given 42 awards for promoting black entrepreneurship, activating youth activity, being vital to the current generation, a lifetime of greatness, dedication to improving the community, achieving excellence and outstanding citizenship.
Event co-organizer Cortay Edwards said with all of the negative events coming into focus recently in Lima, it was time to give youth some positive examples. The event was held at UAW Local Hall 1219 in Lima.
“We need to show our youth their are some positive examples,” Edwards said. “It is a hard battle, and we need to keep them motivated. We need to show them there are ways to get your name in the paper besides shooting someone.”
Edwards said he understood the need for the public to be aware of negative events going on in the community. However, he said it was just as important to promote the positive things.
“If we promote the positive, maybe people will try to outdo each other,” Edwards said. “It is going to take a village. No one person can do it alone.”
Lewis Shine, who was awarded a Vital to Our Generation Award with his work involving the Lima Express basketball team, said the awards were another great step in taking back the youth in the community.
“It is another great effort to improve our community,” Sharp said. “I think it important that black youth seeing people be successful.”
Lima councilman Derry Glenn, who was given the “Dedication to Improving the Community” award, said it was crucial to plant positive seeds in the community.
“This is something we needed,” Glenn said. “When you recognize folks, you are showing that there are role models doing something positive.”
Leandra Johnson, who recently opened the revamped Fresh N Faded salon in downtown Lima, was awarded for promoting black entrepreneurship.
“This shows our future that with hard work, dreams really do come true,” Johnson said. “If the youth need help, we help them, or we search to find them that help.
Greg “Radar” Williamson and Quincey Simpson were given the top awards of the night, “The Icon Award” for a lifetime of commitment to the community.
Reach Lance Mihm at 567-242-0409 or at Twitter@LanceMihm