10-24-2016  12:06 am      •     
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The Zeta Sigma Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. held its 25th Annual Emerald Awards Dinner, Saturday Nov. 10.

 "A Silver Lining:  Saluting Our Heroes - Embracing Our Past" honored 10 African-American men who have made a significant contribution to the Portland community. It was held at Oregon Health and Sciences University Center for Health & Healing in Portland.

Emerald Award Winners:

Health Education: Dr. Charles R. Thomas, Jr.
An oncologist at OHSU, Dr. Thomas is a research leader who focuses on translating science into treatments, and on the patient's experience of treatment.

Education: Keith Dempsey Ph.D.
Clinical director in the graduate department of  counseling at George Fox University, Dempsey is also a longtime youth mentor and a researcher with expertise in culturally specific counseling.

Entrepreneurship: John Jackson
A business leader through his work at Norwest Bank, First Bank and State Farm Insurance, Jackson has expanded opportunities for African Americans in the insurance business. He also works with several nonprofits to support success for Black youth.

Lifetime Achievement: Harold Williams, Sr. (posthumous)
Among his many achievements, Williams served on the board of Portland Community College for more than 20 years. Williams contributions included volunteer service with the Urban League of Portland,  St. Mary's School for Boys, the Black Leadership conference and Success Academy. His work helped many youth succeed.

Public Service:  Terrell Brandon
A two-time NBA All Star, Brandon is the CEO of Tee Bee enterprises, which includes Terrell Brandon's Barber shop, TB's cigar bar and the Too Black music label. Brandon has mentored many youth through his free basketball camps and clinics.

Youth Services: Nathaniel Golden
Golden directs programs for REAP Inc., a nonprofit that helps empower students to succeed in education and become leaders, through dropout prevention, cultural education and coaching.

Business: A.R. Skip Collier
Collier is an entrepreneur, educator and community activist, as well as the owner of Professional Training Systems, a company that creates business assistance programs for minority entrepreneurs. He has taught business at PCC and PSU, and he has worked with the MESA program that mentors youth in math engineering and science.  Collier is active with the Vancouver NAACP and the Coalition of Black Men.

Government: Bruce Broussard
Publisher of Oregon Voters Guide and The Portland Observer, Broussard has served on numerous boards that benefit youth and also small businesses.  He has also served in the roles of president and treasurer  for the Buffalo Soldiers, Pacific NW Chapter.

Youth services: Franklin Johnson
A mentor in Delta Sigma Theta's EMBODI program, Johnson founded the education and consulting company Teachable Moments. His career as a design and project engineer took him to the World Bank, and the USDA.  Johnson is committed to the "relentless pursuit of excellence."

Outstanding Youth: Kovenant James
A sophomore at Central Catholic High School, James  is a football player who maintains a B+ grade point average. He is an active mentor at Maranatha church and in the EMBODI program. He volunteered in Haiti last summer.

All proceeds from the evening will benefit the Roberta C. Vann Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarships to African-American women attending a 4-year college or university.

Vann, who died in 2003, helped charter Oregon's first chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.,  and served, as a former president of the Urban League of Portland.

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