100 Black Men guided by Love

Men's organization plans celebration of women's achievements:

One founded a volunteer effort that distributes free school supplies to thousands of needy children each year. Another continues an enviable record in both higher education and local government, while still another left the political scene to become an entrepreneurial role model on the city's south side. They're among eight women of accomplishment to be honored Dec. 6, by the 100 Black Men of Syracuse Inc. Interest Group at Onondaga Community College.

The women will be feted during the non-profit organization's inaugural honors dinner-dance "Celebrating Women Making a Difference," a fund-raising event that begins at 5:30 p.m. at OCC's Gordon Student Center Great Room. Among the other honorees are the co-founder of Syracuse's first African-American pre-school, a television news anchor who has become a local broadcast institution, and a senior financial planner.

"Our selection committee felt that each one of these women has demonstrated in their own particular way the type of achievement and community activism that young people can emulate," said 100 Black Men President Vincent Love. "It is our desire to honor their commitment, determination and dedication to making this a better community."

Love said the 3-year-old group, which is seeking to become a local chapter of 100 Black Men of America Inc., would use the annual event as an opportunity to "acknowledge elements in our community that work toward improving quality of life and enhancing educational and economic opportunities. Besides individuals, we'll recognize businesses, public and private agencies, as well as other civic organizations."

For more information about the honors banquet or to arrange interviews, contact Vincent Love at love@nscsd.org or call him at 443-8749.

Honorees are:

Vicki Brackens, senior financial planner, Brackens Financial Solutions Network

Bea Gonz lez, Syracuse Common Council President and Dean at Syracuse University's University College

Linda Littlejohn, associate vice president of Chancellor's Initiatives, Syracuse University

Mary Nelson, founder, Youth Day Barbecue school supply giveaway program

Jackie Grace-Rasheed, co-founder and co-director of Grace Children's Academy and principal, Roxboro Road Elementary School, North Syracuse

Jackie Robinson, WSTM news anchor

Sharon Jack-Williams, executive director, Dunbar Center

Amatullah Yamini, owner, Salina Shoe Salon, and real estate developer

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