Toni Braxton and six other women honored by the Urban League of Greater Atlanta
Crowd of 700 attends elegant dinner; Saxophonist Mike Phillips performs “We Are One”
Atlanta GA (Dec. 8, 2014) – Six-time Grammy award winner Toni Braxton thanked the Urban League of Greater Atlanta and her family as she received an award as one of seven women honored at the 53rd Equal Opportunity Day Dinner at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis on Dec. 6.
“It is such an honor to be here… I have gone through so many struggles and I’ve survived and succeeded, and one of the reasons … is because of my family,” Braxton said. “I would like to thank the Urban League for honoring me. I would like to thank all of the women who inspire me. I hope that my life is an inspiration for those who follow me. My mom is here and she is the woman who helps us feel confidence in ourselves. She said there is nothing greater than you but God.”
The ULGA also honored Jocelyn Dorsey, who was presented the award by Deborah Thomas, senior vice president, Human Resources, Cox Media Group; Victoria Williams Jenkins, presented by Dr. DeRetta Cole, vice president, Human Resources, First Data Corporation; Pat Lottier, presented by Myra Reeves, manager, Diversity & Inclusion, The Home Depot; Patrise Perkins-Hooker, presented by Dr. Jabari Simama, president, Georgia Piedmont Technical College; Alicia Philipp, presented by Pam Cross, vice president, Community Development/Atlanta Market, Wells Fargo, and Adrienne Green , presented by Ken Hodges, shareholder, Polsinelli, P.C.
The Urban League of Greater Atlanta was stunned and saddened on December 3, 2014 to hear that a Grand Jury in New York decided not to issue an indictment in the chokehold death of Eric Garner by police in Staten Island in July. This news compounds disappointment we felt over the Grand Jury decision not to indict the police officer who took the life of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
The Urban League of Greater Atlanta joined Michael Brown’s family and hundreds of thousands of people across our country and beyond who had reasonable expectations of an indictment in Brown’s death. The lack of indictment in Garner’s death has sparked similar sentiments from officials and the general public.
We join the Brown family, the Garner family, local civil rights and community leaders, the National Urban League and President Barack Obama in asking for peaceful protest, not violence, as we commit to advocating for changes in the criminal justice system and police-community relations statewide and throughout the nation. We commend President Obama for setting aside money for police departments to issue body cameras for officers as one step in the process toward accountability and justice. We must not let our momentum fade.
All too often, black parents have lost an unarmed son in an encounter with police during an incident we struggle to understand, and the person responsible for the death does not go to trial. The nation, once again, is forced to examine issues of race and apparent inequities in the application of law enforcement while at the same time maintaining respect for the law.
We share the pain of the families whose loved ones have been killed, and we vow to continue to work alongside our civil rights, youth/young adults and community leaders, elected officials, police, prosecutors and others in law enforcement in our region to influence positive changes.
We must do what we can to prevent more such loss of life and to promote equal and just treatment for all people. We also stand firm in our ongoing commitment to continue and expand our work to bring educational and economic opportunities to the youth, adults and families we serve.
Urban League of Greater Atlanta
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