PLBC presents MLK Civil Rights Awards

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 22 – State Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown, D-Phila., chairwoman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, announced that the PLBC hosted its 2015 Civil Rights Achievement Awards ceremony last weekend in Philadelphia.

The second annual awards ceremony was held Saturday evening during a gala at the African American Museum in Philadelphia.

The 2015 honorees were:

  • Dr. Charles Blockson, historian and author;

  • Michael Coard, attorney and community leader;

  • Christine Brown, social servant and community leader;

  • the Rev. Dr. Robert P. Shine, faith leader and community activist; and

  • Dr. Joi Spraggins, diversity expert and community leader.

More than 200 people attended the gala. Special guests included Kim Crabbe, the first African-American member of the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team; Starr Robbins, Miss Black Pennsylvania USA; and Judge Arthur Louis Burnett Sr., the first African-American to hold the position of United States magistrate judge and a longstanding champion for equality and social justice.

"This weekend celebration is an important reminder that many of the ideas and principles that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. endorsed 50 years ago remain strong today," Brown said. "These honorees continue to make a difference in their own communities and the larger community as well."

In addition to the Saturday evening events, the PLBC hosted a Friday evening social gathering, as well as movie screenings on Saturday morning of short films recognizing the Sydney King School of Dance; "The Story of Eden Cemetery," which celebrates the oldest African-American-owned cemetery in the United States; and "The Story of the Neighborhood: The Square at 58th St."

The weekend concluded Monday afternoon with a screening of the theatrical motion picture, "Get on Up," the story of acclaimed musician James Brown.