The award recipients, Marcus Arbery, Harry Dunn US Capitol Police Officer, Eugene Goodman,US Capitol Police Officer, Sgt. Aguillino Gonell US Capitol Police Officer (Retired), Lifetime, Achievement Award recipient, Barbara Arnwine, Byron Evans US Capitol Police Officer, The Corporate Award, Social Responsibility recipient, Shamika Hoyt from Sun Life Insurance Co., Daryl Jones, Esq., Bishop Tavis Grant and Rev. Stephen A. Tillett, III, Pastor, Asbury-Broadneck UME Church. (Robert R. Roberts/The Washington Informer)

Concerned Black Men of America (CBM) hosted a stellar 47th annual awards dinner honoring inspirational Black figures working to protect the lives and liberties of vulnerable youth and others across the country.  

Held at The Hotel at Arundel Preserve, President and CEO of CBM, Dr. Karen McRae, graciously highlighted those Black entrepreneurs, lawyers, and leaders including Attorney Benjamin Crump, Lawyer Anita Hill, the Capitol Hill officers who fought against the January 6 insurrection, and more.  The organization additionally provided a special honor to the Ahmad Arbery family, as his father spoke life into the room while accepting the CBM Chairman’s Award.

“Right is right, and wrong is wrong.  When something is wrong, it is all of our business,” Marcus Arbery, Sr. said.  “We have all got to live together, love, and respect each other. That’s why it is important to vote.  We need [people] who are going to treat us equally because we all bleed red.  And when the world realizes that, it will be a better place.”

“Thank you all for sticking by my family as you did.  God is a good God; He’s awesome.  He showed me, and my family that, because we were worried – [we had] an all-White jury, [against] one Black?  And found three White men guilty?  My God is good,” Arbery, Sr. concluded.

Attorney Daryl D. Jones, Esq. detailed his journey representing the grueling case of Ahmad Arbery’s murder. 

Capitol policemen Sargent Aquilino Gonnell, Officer Harry Dunn, Sargent Eugene Goodman, and officer Byron Evans, reflected on their efforts to serve, while briefly highlighting their courage to speak out regarding the January 6 attack in the U.S. Capitol.  

“We were just doing our job,” said Officer Dunn “We weren’t seeking recognition or appreciation – we were just doing what we were supposed to do.” 

“As a Black person, we continually love this country and it doesn’t appear to show us love back,” Dunn continued. “But we don’t let that affect us showing up because it’s about our morals, it’s about doing what’s right.  I am speaking out for what I went through, and if it resonates with people, then I am honored.”

Concerned Black Men of America works to uplift Black youth and men across the country through programs and mentorship that aim to build identity, achievement, self-esteem, and empowerment.  The organization operates a total of 33 chapters nationwide, including in D.C.

Lindiwe Vilakazi reports health news for The Washington Informer, a multimedia news organization serving African Americans in the metro Washington, D.C., area. Lindiwe was a contributing editor at Acumen...

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