Record number at King dinner
Rev. Jesse Jackson told attendees at the CEA 33rd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Awards Dinner that teachers are among the most important members of society. “Strong minds break strong chains,” he said.
As the keynote speaker at the Jan. 12 event held at the Hyatt Regency, Jackson addressed a record crowd of more than 800 attendees. Jackson reminisced about his days of traveling with King, leading up to the message that education is the key to success. He spoke of teachers who influenced his life, and of his grandmother, who sacrificed her own comforts to ensure that her grandchildren had every educational advantage she could muster.
Emceed by Tracy Townsend of WBNS-TV, the event honored two community members and a CEA member who have lived Dr. King’s ideals. The Rev. Dale Snyder, Senior Pastor of Bethel AME Church, received the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award for his efforts toward sustainable change throughout Columbus’ urban neighborhoods. Snyder recalled the tradition of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, rooted in civil rights struggles since 1787.
Priscilla Tyson, member of Columbus City Council, also received the King Award. Tyson, an Eastmoor HS graduate, has never stopped giving back to the community, serving in a number of public capacities, including as founding executive director of City Year Columbus.
Jimmie K. Beall, a guidance counselor at Monroe MS was also honored. She received the Helen Jenkins Davis Award. Beall filed what would be a landmark discrimination lawsuit against London City Schools in which a federal judge ruled that gay men and women are entitled to fundamental rights and protections in the workplace. She has continued her work in CCS, educating staff about tolerance and helping gain acceptance and equality for GLBT staff and students.