Black Community Foundation Honors Exemplary Community Service Providers at 30thAnnual Gala
SAN BERNARDINO, CALIF. The 30th annual Black Rose Awards Gala held on Saturday, February 4, at Cal State San Bernardino’s Santos Manuel Student Union North Hall drew more than 250 attendees to recognize the 2023 recipients.
The Black Culture Foundation sponsors the annual event and its mission is “to bridge the cultural differences through nurturing, educating and encouraging the building of lasting, respectable communities.”
Robert Nava, Cal State’s Vice President for Advancement and Executive Director for the CSUSB Philanthropic Foundation, welcomed the guests and honorees to the celebration.
Pastor Raymond W. Turner Sr., D.Min., of Temple Missionary Baptist Church gave the Invocation, followed by the presentation of the American and California colors and the Pledge of Allegiance led by San Bernardino Mayor Helen Tran and the City of San Bernardino Police Department Honor Guard.
JhuMaani Chess then sang a stirring National Anthem. Makeda Fransico then led the attendees in the singing of the Black National Anthem. With opening agenda items done, honorees and guests enjoyed an Italian-themed dinner.
World-famous Black artist Charles A. Bibbs donated limited edition prints of his work to the Black Rose awardees, along with his signed original work to Foundation co-founder Jim King.
“This year’s Award Gala is held in honor of Rosa Parks’ birthday,” said Black Rose Committee Co-Chair Jim King.
The Foundation paid tribute posthumously to four stalwarts of community contributions that had passed away since the last in-person Gala before the pandemic: Dr. Margaret Hill and Senior Black Rose Kings Don Griggs, Jimmy Jews, and Jess Nichols.
Black Rose Committee members Erika Johnson and Terrance Stone then presented the newly renamed Dr. Margaret Hill Black Rose Young Adult Inspiration Awards and scholarships to Liyah Belvins, a student at California Baptist University majoring in psychology, and Prince Ogidikpe, a recent graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Cal State San Bernardino, now working with Assemblymember Eloise Reyes.
“The Black Cultural Foundation prides itself on having presented more than 125 scholarships to students over the years,” said Black Rose Committee Co-Chair Kristine Scott.
The Foundation recognized its 2023 Black Rose Awards honorees: Gloria Macias Harrison, co-founder of the El Chicano newspaper and Board of Trustees member for the San Bernardino Valley Community College District; Deborah Robertson, Mayor of the City of Rialto with 22 years of service to the City of Rialto; and Linda D. Wright, veteran nonprofit organization leader.
Black Culture Foundation co-founder and past president Jim King then presented the Jim King Black Rose Corporate Award to Dignity Health Community Hospital of San Bernardino. Roz Nolan, the hospital’s Chief Nursing Officer, and Dr. Ruby Skinner, Chief Medical Officer, accepted the award.
Christie “Mirraje” Malone treated the audience to another musical interlude, singing an original composition that had the crowd moving with her rhythms.
Mirraje’s experience singing with the likes of Stevie Wonder and Salt and Pepper shone brightly as she brought people to their feet in appreciation.
Rose Mayes received the 2023 Juanita H. Scott Humanitarian of the Year award. Mayes is the Executive Director of the Fair Housing Council of Riverside County and her passion and commitment to promoting fair opportunities for all, regardless of race, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability have born noteworthy results.
Mayes’s contributions include being co-founder of the Eleanor Jean Grier Leadership Academy, co-founder and past president of the Riverside Black Historical Society, and co-founder and co-chair of The Group, a grassroots public policy advocacy forum addressing community issues affecting Riverside’s people.
Black Culture Foundation President Arlington Rodgers Jr. delivered the epilogue to the event, noting the Foundation’s achievements and continuing aspirations, a fitting summary, and a conclusion to an entertaining and successful event.
To join or for more information go to: https://sbbcfoundation.org
About the Black Rose Awards
The Black Rose Awards are a complement to Black History Month. The awards are sponsored by the San Bernardino Black Culture Foundation, a nonprofit founded in 1968 by a small group of people who were concerned that, “…nationwide, our school systems have not yet incorporated Black history studies into regular school curriculums. Thus, all students miss the opportunity to learn more about a vital part of this country’s history.”
The Foundation’s purpose “…is to foster an interest and a greater understanding of Black culture, to heighten community awareness of the accomplishments of Black people, past and present, and to plan, coordinate and direct an annual Black History Month parade and related cultural activities…[and] bridge the gaps that exist across cultural lines by bringing the local community together to celebrate this event in the spirit of unity and brotherhood.”
The Black Rose Awards are the Foundation’s showcase cultural event.