OKLAHOMA CITY -- The 28th Annual Black Heritage Celebration will be held on Feb. 15, 2013 at the Metro-Technology Center, 1900 Springlake Drive in Oklahoma City, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The theme of this year’s celebration is “Bringing a Generation Into Focus.”
The goal of the event is to celebrate the diversity of cultures in Oklahoma and promote mutual respect for different experiences, beliefs and perspectives.
Ed Lake, Director of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS), will be the featured speaker. “As we recognize our diversity, we also must recognize our common compassion and humanity,” says Lake. “When we celebrate together, we learn that quite often we are more similar than different. Our differences can indeed be strengths, and knowledge leads to understanding. All in all, that ultimately leads to acceptance and unity.”
The festivities will include entertainment from a variety of groups including traditional African drummers and a modern swing dance demonstration.
The highlight of the celebration will be the presentation of the following awards:
• The Meritorious Service Award will be presented to Tony Bryan, OKDHS Inspector General. The OKDHS Office of Inspector General oversees and preserves the integrity of OKDHS programs and services through prevention and detection. The office vigorously prosecutes fraud, waste and abuse by OKDHS clients, vendors, employees or the general public.
• The Trailblazer Award will be presented to Dr. Lester V. LeSure. LeSure spent his career in public relations and radio and television production. He was also a journalism instructor at Langston University and served as general manager of the campus radio station, KALU.
• The Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Loretta Y. Jackson, a longtime advocate for women, minorities, and the elderly in Oklahoma. She is a past recipient of the OKDHS Lifetime Volunteer Service Award and the Kate Barnard Social Activist Award. Jackson was the first woman in the state appointed to the Oklahoma State Banking Board and the first African American woman to serve as chair of the Board of Regents for the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma (USAO) in Chickasha.
The Black Heritage Celebration is co-sponsored by the OKDHS Office of Civil Rights, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, the Oklahoma Historical Society, and the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.
For more information about the Black Heritage Celebration, contact Anetta Cooper at (405) 819-8320 or Vicki Pettiford at (405) 522-1611.