2019 CFUL Empowerment Award Winners!

On February 22 and 23, the Central Florida Urban League will proudly honor the contributions of a number of individuals and businesses for their significant impact on the people of Central Florida.

Joining the CFUL to mark the weekend will be two prominent political figures: Governor Ron DeSantis and Congressman Hakeem Jeffries.

Governor DeSantis will kick off the 2019 Urban League Weekend by delivering the keynote speech at the organization's annual Policy Breakfast and on Friday afternoon, Congressman Jeffries will take part in an exclusive gathering with local community leaders.

Beginning with the CFUL’s annual Policy Breakfast, the CFUL will present empowerment awards to corporations who have made significant contributions in the following categories: Economic, Personal, Youth and Health.

The winners are:
Health: True Health Centers (Ms. Latrice Stewart, CEO)
Economic: Orlando Business Journal (Ms. Donna Dyson, CEO)
Personal: CareerSource of Central Florida (Ms. Pam Nabors, CEO) 
Youth: Early Learning Coalition (Ms. Karen Wills, CEO)

At the CFUL’s exclusive screening of The Green Book: Guide to Freedom (February 22, 6:00 pm) at the Orlando Museum of Art, the CFUL will present empowerment awards to individuals who have made significant contributions in the following categories: Economic, Personal, Youth and Health.

The winners are:
Health: Mr. Bakari Burns, CEO - Orange Blossom Family Health Center
Economic: Ms. Joyce R. Odongo, FL and AL Community Development Officer - Bank OZK
Personal: Ms. Nadine Mentor, Sr. Vice President - Samuel A. Ramirez
Individual: Ms. Allison Kirby, Principal - Jones High School 

Four awards marking individual contributions to the betterment of Central Florida will be presented during the CFUL’s annual Cornerstone Awards and Gala on February 23 (6:30 pm) at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel.

Receiving the 2018 Lifetime Legacy Award will be Representative Geraldine F. Thompson. Representative Thompson has dedicated her life to the people of Florida since moving to the state in 1955. Through her public service, she has championed the cause of the Groveland Four and was instrumental in the years of advocacy which led to their recent pardons.

The Dorian Boyland Community Service Award, which recognizes those who selflessly donate their time and talent to empower and uplift others through service to the community will be presented to Marva Johnson from Charter Communications. As the Chairwoman of the State Board of Education, under Ms. Johnson’s leadership, the youth of Florida are more prepared than ever for higher education. In 2018, 55.9 percent of Florida’s high school graduates took at least one Advanced Placement exam, the highest rate in the country. Additionally, out of those students, 31.7 percent scored a three or higher, the third highest rate in the country.

The Dick Batchelor Public Service Award, which recognizes public service members including politicians, law enforcement and other public service personnel who have demonstrated a dedication to improving the lives of those in the community will be presented to Byron Brooks, former Chief Administrative Officer, City of Orlando and current Chief Administrative Officer, Orange County. During his 14-year career with the City of Orlando, Brooks was instrumental in overseeing the economic transformation of the city and his leadership played a significant role in the aftermath of the Pulse tragedy and multiple natural disasters.

The Wesley Harris Faith and Service Award, which recognizes a member of a faith community who selflessly gave of their time to develop and operate programs in Central Florida to help achieve social and economic equality will be presented to Dr. Joel Hunter from the Community Resource Network. Dr. Hunter served as a spiritual advisor to President Barack Obama as well as sat on the President's Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. He advised President Obama on substantive policy issues including interfaith relations, strengthening the role of fathers in society and reducing the number of abortions.