The International Civil Rights Center & Museum will hold its annual gala and banquet in the Imperial Ballroom of the Koury Convention Center on Saturday, Feb. 2 beginning at 5 p.m.
The theme is “Celebrating Our Victories As We Honor Our Past” and Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole, director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African Art, will receive the 2013 Alston-Jones International Civil and Human Rights Award.
The Alston-Jones Award is ICRCM’s highest citation. It is named in honor of the Museum’s co-founders,Melvin “Skip” Alston and Earl F. Jones. The citation is awarded to one whose life work has contributed to the expansion of civil and human rights.
Prior to assuming her current post, Cole – a distinguished educator, cultural anthropologist and humanitarian – served as the president of Bennett College. She is also a former president of Spelman College.
The Museum will also honor Dr. Joe Dudley Sr.,co-founder of Dudley Products, with the Trailblazer Award and Gladys Shipman,proprietor of Shipman Family Care, with the Unsung Hero Award.
For their courageous actions, ICRCM will bestow Sit-In Participant Awards upon Roslyn Cheagle of Lynchburg, Va.; Raphael Glover of Charlotte; and Mary Lou Blakeney and Andrew Dennis McBride of High Point.
Their actions, like those of protestors in other parts of the country, were conducted in the wake of the Feb. 1, 1960 sit-in protest by four North Carolina A& T College freshmen at the F.W. Woolworth store in downtown Greensboro. The A&T Four, as they came to be known, included Franklin McCain, Joseph McNeil, Ezell Blair, Jr. (now Jibreel Khazan) and David Richmond (deceased). The Museum is housed in that former Woolworth store.
The three surviving sit-in participants, their family members, and the family of Richmond will attend the gala celebrating the 53rd anniversary of this watershed event that shaped the course of the civil rights movement and changed the nation.
Robert Brown, CEO of B&C Associates, and Larry Audas, president and GM of WFMY TV, are the event’s co-chairs. WFMY anchor Tracey McCain will emcee the event, while Kerry Charles, a news anchor at WGHP, will host the gala’s dance.
Individual tickets are $125, and sponsorship tables are also available.
For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Pamela Glass at 336-274-9199, ext. 235, or visit www.sitinmovement.org.