The NNPA honored six individuals for excellence and leadership in the Black community during the NNPA's recent Leadership Awards. (Courtesy of NNPA Newswire)
The NNPA honored six individuals for excellence and leadership in the Black community during the NNPA's recent Leadership Awards. (Courtesy of NNPA Newswire)

Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Congresswoman Cori Bush (D-Missouri), Dr. James Hildreth, Dr. Ebony Hilton and Olympic record-setter Allyson Felix each received recognition during the National Newspaper Publishers Association’s (NNPA) Annual Leadership Awards for excellence and their commitment to the Black community.

“Thank you to Black Press of America and the National Newspaper Publishers Association for this gracious award and, to my brother Dr. Benjamin Chavis, Chair Karen Richards, National Correspondent Stacy Brown and the countless others who do the important work to keep our communities informed, engaged and motivated through these unprecedented times,” Warnock said.

“This award is not about me but the millions of Black Americans in Georgia and across the country who continuously display their courage, perseverance and fortitude as we navigate increasingly challenging times in our communities and throughout our world. Know that I will continue to do my part in the United States Senate to uplift Georgia voices in the continual march towards what Dr. King called the beloved community,” the senator concluded.

Dr. Hilton, who has led the fight against misinformation about the coronavirus and who has become a leading advocate for transparency surrounding COVID-19, said there’s still much work to do.

“I cannot begin to tell you how honored I am to be considered. But, I have to be honest, it’s difficult to think of my efforts as worthy when there is so much left to do,” Dr. Hilton said. “One thing I can promise is to continue trying my best and showing up in hopes of truly deserving this prestigious recognition.”

While Felix, who won a record-setting 11 gold medals during the Olympic Games, couldn’t attend, other awardees proudly acknowledged the well-deserved recognition.

“I am humbled to receive a National Leadership Award from the NNPA/Black Press of America. As we know, Black journalists have been denied a platform in this country for far too long,” Bush said.

“The excellence of Black journalism should never be taken for granted. From the incredible writers in St. Louis to the journalists pushing for equality abroad, I am deeply honored to be in the company of such dedicated individuals who lead our campaign for a better future for every human being, starting with those who have the least,” she said.

Sen. Booker remarked that he also felt humbled by the honor.

“I’m humbled and honored to be honored by the National Newspaper Publishers Association. The members of the NNPA provide an invaluable service to their communities, shining a light on issues that affect Black Americans and our families,” the New Jersey senator proclaimed.

“I stand with the NNPA and its membership in their efforts to inform, educate and advance their mission of promoting a more just, equal society,” he said.

Dr. Hildreth, the president and CEO of Meharry Medical College, also expressed appreciation.

“I am honored to be recognized by the National Newspaper Publishers Association and Black Press USA as one of this year’s National Leadership Award recipients,” said Dr. Hildreth, a member of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Board that approved the COVID-19 vaccines.

“I am humbled to be named among such a prestigious group of honorees who have impacted so many lives through their work,” he added. “I am grateful to NNPA, its member newspapers and the Black Press USA for their efforts to serve as trusted sources of information for people all across the country.”

NNPA Chair Karen Carter Richards, NNPA President Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr, and New Orleans Data News Publisher Terry Jones hosted the awards reception.

The reception included conversations with singer Regina Belle, actress Gabrielle Union and actor Louis Gossett, Jr.

Produced by NNPA News Director Norman Rich, the program garnered praise from viewers and the NNPA’s executive board.

“Amazing production,” Carter Richards wrote in a text message.

“It was an awesome reception,” added NNPA National Secretary Jackie Hampton, publisher of the Mississippi Link.

Click here to view the NNPA National Leadership Awards Reception.

Stacy M. Brown is a senior writer for The Washington Informer and the senior national correspondent for the Black Press of America. Stacy has more than 25 years of journalism experience and has authored...

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