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NOIRE's 2021 Kwanzaa Honorees

 

UMOJA/UNITY

REV. WILLIAM BARBER II, Co-Chair, Poor People's Campaign

Rev. Barber first gained national prominence in 2013 when he began his Moral Mondays protests and rallies, where he brought together a rainbow of volunteers, advocates and activists, representing every single walk of life, ethnicity and income range. Barber addressed and fought against any measure of social injustice, including voter suppression, cutting social programs, environmental hazards and policies that supported poverty conditions.

Now, as the President and Senior Lecturer at Repairers of the Breach, he is also co-chair of the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, carrying on a movement that was started by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Also a National Board Member of the NAACP, his 14 point anti-racism, anti-poverty, anti-war agenda has a multicultural coalition of followers and warriors for justice.

 

LATOSHA BROWN, Executive Director, Black Voters Matters

 

KUJICHAGULIA/SELF-DETERMINATION

STACEY ABRAMS, Author, Community Activist/Organizer, Georgia Gubernatorial Candidate

Abrams was not one bit deterred when she lost the 2018 Georgia Gubernatorial race by narrow and controversial margins, but has gone on to build several powerful coalitions and institutions that appears to be sending one clear message: do not wait for anyone to liberate you, grab liberty yourself.

Through the establishing of several organizations such as Fair Fight, Southern Economic Advancement Project (SEAP) and the New Georgia Project, she has also been fostering a growing movement to fight voter suppression and empower grassroots communities to build their own economic base, infusing the courage to dare to build, the work ethics to build brick-by-brick and the leadership to inspire others to collaborate with her.

After all, that is all about what Self-Determination is about.

 

UJIMA/COLLECTIVE WORKS AND RESPONSIBILITY

DEION “COACH PRIME” SANDERS, Head Coach, Jackston State University Football

As depicted in Noire’s “Can You Smell What Coach Prime is Cooking?” series, head football coach Sanders is taking a lead in raising the bar for not only Jackson State Football, but the whole state of Mississippi, SWAC and HBCU athletics altogether, during his run for a Black National Championship, which fell just short this season at the Celebration Bowl. Undaunted, he continues on this mission and more people are buying into it.

COLETTE PICHON BATTLE, Attorney, Environmentalist

Battle has become an Environmental General in the war against Climate Change and Environmental Racism. She leads or is deeply involved with an Environmental Justice Coalition that includes the Gulf South for a Green New Deal (GS4GND), the Red Black and Green New Deal (RBGND) and the Gulf Coast Center for Law and Policy (GCCLP).

 

UJAMMA/COOPERATIVE ECONOMICS

DANIEL AND GENARA MORRIS, CO-Publishers, NOIRE

When Danny and Gigi Morris decided that they wanted to start Noire, it was just a thought, an idea. Now, it is blossoming into a viable online publication that scopes the Black and multicultural community from a cutting-edge perspective. But Noire is more than just a Black-owned business trying to make a profit, but also a highly dynamic source of providing high standards of the informational, social, financial, spiritual and community elements that the Black and People of Color community yearn for, with all the elements cooperating to become a major force of pride and presence for all African Americans. Thus, the principle, “Cooperative Economics.” UJAMMA salutes this new Dynamic Duo of Media.

ROBIN'S NEST IN THE PASS, Pass Christian, MS

Robin's Nest is a Pass Christian, Mississippi-based gallery gift shop owned by Dorothy Roberts and named after her sister, Good Morning America broadcasting icon Robin Roberts and strongly. The store collaborates with independent artists and designers on a consignment program that promotes other small businesses.

 

NIA/PURPOSE

LEBRON JAMES,  NBA Player, Film Producer, Investor

Aside from being one of the greatest basketball players in the history of the game, LeBron James will also go down as one of the greatest athletes who gives back to his community. He has poured millions of his own dollars into building the I PROMISE school (K-8), located in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. He has also executive produced numerous educational films and documentaries like Dreamland: The Burning of Black Wall Street, What’s My Name: Muhammad Ali and More Than Just a Game, along with his remake of Space Jam. He knows his purpose and he is passing it down to help others know theirs.

NIKOLE HANNAH JONES, Author, 1619 Project

To know where you are going, you have to know where you have been. Writer/reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones started from the beginning, writing the Pulitzer Prize winning 1619 Project while overcoming adversities from every angle. Now, it is our turn to help shape the future.

 

KUUMBA/CREATIVITY

DR. KIZZMEKIA CORBETT, Immunologist, COVID-19 Vaccine Producer

When the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, Dr. Corbett dove into the virus, as opposed to running away. She relied on her studies and research of past forms of coronavirus diseases and collaborated with a team of other immunologists. They created a formula for a vaccine, then partnered with Moderna for the manufacturing, testing and essential approval of the vaccine for public use. All was achieved in record time compared to the usual timeline to make a vaccine. The highly renowned Dr. Anthony Fauci, Chief Medical Advisor to President Joe Biden, said: "Kizzy is an African American scientist who is right at the forefront of the development of the vaccine… has "been central to the development of the Moderna mRNA vaccine and the Eli Lilly therapeutic monoclonal antibody that were first to enter clinical trials in the U.S. Her work will have a substantial impact on ending the worst respiratory-disease pandemic in more than 100 years.”

Dr. Corbett and her team’s “creation” of the mRNA-1273 Moderna vaccine continues to save millions of lives today.

AMANDA GORMAN, Poet

This creative sensation emerged before the world reciting her “The Hill We Climb“ poem at President Joe Biden’s and Vice-President Kamala Harris’ inauguration. She is now internationally recognized for her influential and provocative words of art.

ZAILA AVANT-GARDE, Spelling Bee Champion

Zaila became the first African American in several decades to win the National Spelling Bee and has further wowed the nation with her incredible skills in simultaneously dribbling several basketballs and hitting long range shots.

 

IMANI/FAITH

PASTOR FREDDIE HAYNES, Friendship West Baptist Church, Dallas, TX

Easily one of the fieriest spiritual orators in the nation, Pastor Haynes’s passion of delivering highly emotional and soul-lifting sermons is matched by his aggressive platforms on social justice, primarily in the African American community. While there’s no doubt that his parishioners get their spiritual needs met, Pastor Haynes also toils to make sure that Friendship West provides the valuable resources to assist them in meeting their health, financial, social and community agendas as well.

PASTOR DANNY M. DONALDSON, SR., Rose Hill Church, Baton Rouge, LA

Pastor Donaldson has earned a distinct reputation as the humble yet charismatic pastor at Rose Hill Church of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He is also a teacher, businessman and community leader, who effectively teaches the spiritual conviction, moral aptitude and practical wisdom to restore people to God. Pastor Donaldson’s dynamic presentations break concepts down to a level that any listener can relate to while identifying with his unique blend of style, enthusiasm.

PRISCILLA SHIRER, Minister, Actor

Shirer is a minister, Christian book author and noted actor in faith-based movies like War Room and Overcomer. She is the daughter of nationally renowned minister Dr. Tony Evans.

NOIRE will continue to profile our "2021 Kwanzaa Honorees." as they will be showcased on each day of Kwanzaa, according to the day and principle, through NOIRE's social media family.


[Updated on December 23, 2021]

 
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Gordon Jackson
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