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Montgomery County Council to Commemorate Black History Month on Feb. 27 at 11 a.m.

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Montgomery County Council to Commemorate

Black History Month

On Tuesday, Feb. 27 special program highlights the importance of preserving the past and educating for the future 


ROCKVILLE, Md., February 23, 2018—The Montgomery County Council will hold a special program on Tuesday, February 27 at 11 a.m. to commemorate Black History Month.  The Council will discuss the importance of preserving African- American history and its connection to education.  The program will include a video segment and a panel discussion.  Panelists include Christine Clarke, former County liaison to the African-American community and resident of the Village of Jerusalem in Poolesville; Gwen Reese, founder and president of the Sugarland Ethno-History Project; and George McDaniel, Ph.D., president of McDaniel Consulting and executive director emeritus of Drayton Hall.  

In previous Black History Month commemorations, the Council has heard from African-American residents who traced their family histories in the County back for generations. This year’s program will focus on the importance and urgency of preserving this history and archiving historic documents to create a robust community resource for the education of future generations.    

The ceremonies will include a video segment featuring Vikram Akwei, founder of the High School Success Program; Kevin Beverly, president and CEO of Social & Scientific Systems Inc. and board chair for CollegeTracks; Anita Neal Powell, president and CEO of the Lincoln Park Historical Foundation; and Michael Williams, co-founder of the Minority Scholars Program. Susan Kenedy, public information specialist and producer, and Mike Springirth, audiovisual production specialist, created the video.  

“Montgomery County’s African-American history is not only the story of our community but also has regional and national importance,” said Council President Hans Riemer.  “I am tremendously excited to hear from our panel of experts and discuss the opportunity to create an archive of documents, photographs, records, and other materials necessary to preserve an important component of our County’s history.”  

“It is pivotal that we accurately discuss the unspeakable truths of our past, while celebrating the resiliency and spirit of our African-American community,” said Council Vice President Nancy Navarro. “In Montgomery County, we have an extraordinary history, and have designated historic sites throughout the County to recognize the importance of archiving our history.

“Our County’s African-American community is one of our most dynamic,” said Councilmember Roger Berliner. “During Black History Month, we celebrate and honor not only the rich history of our African-American community, but also their immeasurable contribution to our County through their accomplishments in every aspect of life in Montgomery County.”   

“The history of African-Americans in this country and in Montgomery County is well worth noting and commemorating,” said Councilmember Marc Elrich.  “But we must continue the work of the citizens and leaders of this community by supporting policies and services to achieve the promise of equality.”    

“We have an extremely rich African-American history here in Montgomery County,” said Councilmember Nancy Floreen.  “We must always work to recognize and preserve this meaningful heritage, and continue to build upon it in ways that make our County a great place to live for everyone.”  

“Every year, Black History Month is a time to honor the invaluable contributions of African-Americans to our County and our nation—even in the face of discrimination and oppression,” said Councilmember Tom Hucker.  “It's a time to reflect on the progress we've made as a nation, and a time to re-dedicate ourselves towards building a truly just society.”  

“I look forward to our annual commemoration of Black History Month because it always affords me the opportunity to learn more about the important history of and the historical figures in Montgomery County,” said Councilmember Sidney Katz.  “The preservation of history and historical documents is of paramount importance.”  

“As Council President in 2015, I initiated these Council commemorative ceremonies as a small way for us to honor African-American community leaders and to celebrate their achievements.” said Councilmember George Leventhal. “It’s also a way for the Council to be made aware of deeper social issues affecting this community. I’m proud that an outgrowth of these conversations led to the creation of a registry of historic African-American buildings and places.”  

“Our children will lead us into the future,” said Councilmember Craig Rice. “We have faith and trust in them. We must provide a clear-eyed and thorough history to educate and prepare them. Then our children and our children’s children can have the future we dream for them.”  

The Black History Month commemoration will be part of the Council meeting that will take place in the Third Floor Hearing Room of the Council Office Building at 100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville. The meeting will be will be televised live by County Cable Montgomery (CCM), which can be viewed on Cable Channels 996 (high definition) and 6 (standard definition) on Comcast; Channels 1056 (HD) and 6 (SD) on RCN; and Channel 30 on Verizon. The session also will be available live via streaming through the Council web site at .


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Release ID: 18-054
Media Contact: Sonya Healy 2407777926, Juan Jovel 2407777931