On Saturday, Oct. 24, the Concerned Black Clergy of Metropolitan Atlanta will host their annual Salute to Black Mothers, themed “Wind Beneath Our Wings,” at the Atlanta Marriott Gateway Hotel.
This year’s honorees include commissioner Pota Coston, the First African American elected to the Fayette County Commission, who died from breast cancer this summer. Her Political Award will be presented by Georgia Legislative Black Caucus chairman Rep. Dee Dawkins Haigler and accepted by her son, Bernie Coston, and members of Delta Sigma Theta East Point College Park Chapter.
A victim of horrific domestic abuse measures, Christy Sims will be honored for her courage in empowering women who are victims of domestic violence with the Community Empowerment Award. Sims was doused with acid by her former boyfriend, Andrew Fordham, and sustained disfiguring injuries. She testified in court against him and he was found guilty and sentenced to 20 years in prison for the attack. She founded the Christy Sims Foundation to advocate for domestic violence awareness.
Other awardees include, Evelyn Hawkins Hood, past international president of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. (Education Award); Lisa Nicole Cloud, Women’s Empowerment Network (Business Award); Pam Cross, Wells Fargo (Corporate Award); Rev. Betty Holland, Holland Institution (Distinguished Merit Award); Patricia Russell McCloud, Russell McCloud & Associates (President’s Award); and Rev. Wendy Smith Martin, Greater Victory Christian Center (Religion Award).
Gloria Neal, Morning Anchor for WGCL TV CBS 46 is the emcee. Here, Sophia Burns, CBC’s office manager, shares insight on why this event is important for the community.
Why is it important for the CBC to honor these women?
The Annual Salute to Black Mothers has been the trademark of Concerned Black Clergy of Metropolitan Atlanta for over 20 years. This luncheon is designed to recognize and celebrate the positive contributions of African American women. In additional to those women in our community, we will also be saluting the strong women in our church in the categories of “Woman of the Year” Young Woman of the Year” and Overcoming Woman of the Year.”
How does this event align with the CBC’s mission?
The salute serves as a key fundraising initiative to yield the funds necessary to support the mission and goals of CBC; our vision/mission is to be the Primary, Proactive, Principle-centered organization in Atlanta providing leadership, advocacy and service to the homeless, helpless and hopeless.
How do the work these women do for the communicate align with CBC goals?
We hereby affirm the power of African American women to transform our churches, communities and cities through diligent service and faithful participation in a number of professions, trades, community organizations and their families.
These women being honored are examples of a much larger pool of African-American women who have strong family values, entrepreneurs, community advocates, they have moral character, a good work ethic and a concerned commitment to being role models for younger women. It is simply an afternoon of honoring mothers and women.
Check out the photo gallery of honorees below.