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Press Releases - County Council

Montgomery County Council to Hold Black History Month Commemoration on February 7 at 11:30 a.m.

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, January 31, 2023

The theme for this year’s commemoration is Black Resistance

The Montgomery County Council will host its annual commemoration for Black History Month, which is celebrated nationally every February, on Tuesday, Feb. 7 at 11:30 a.m. This year’s commemoration will focus on Black Resistance through faith, education, activism, political representation, and Black fraternities and sororities. 

The commemoration will include a proclamation presentation and video interviews highlighting Black leaders who have made strides locally and nationally through different forms of resistance.

This year's commemoration will recognize Rev. Timothy B. Warner, pastor of Emory Grove United Methodist Church, Carolyn Taylor, former resident of the historic Emory Grove community, Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Monifa B. McKnight, Michelle McNeil Gill, president of the Theta Omega Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Kenneth Clark, former president of the Iota Upsilon Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Willie Pearl Mackey King, civil rights activist, and Councilmembers Will Jawando and Laurie-Anne Sayles. 

“We honor residents in our community who have engaged in political activism and challenged the status quo to achieve more fair and equitable representation in Montgomery County,” Council President Evan Glass said. “Resistance has always been a powerful tool in the democratic process, particularly in the fight for racial equity and social justice. This fight for justice continues.” 

“This year’s Black History Month theme is Resistance and could not be more appropriate for this moment in history,” Councilmember Jawando said. “As only the second Black person elected to the Council At-Large, I know how important political representation is to ensure all voices are heard in our policy and budgetary decisions. When we have a seat at the table, we can create the change we want to see in our community and address the disparities that have had a stronghold on communities for generations.” 

"The COVID-19 pandemic magnified everything we knew and everything we thought we knew about the challenges our diverse populations face,” Councilmember Sayles said. “Nonetheless, Black people remain resilient and determined to overcome overwhelming circumstances. As the first Black Councilwoman elected countywide, I am living my ancestor's wildest dreams as I celebrate and honor the significance of Black History Month. I stand on the shoulders of the brave men and women that paved the way for me to serve our diverse community by working with my colleagues on the County Council to address the inequities that Black residents have systematically endured in Montgomery County and across the globe.” 

The Council has been hosting commemorative events to honor Black History Month since 2015. Last year’s commemoration focused on Black health and wellness in Montgomery County. 

The commemoration will take place in-person at the Council Office Building. Residents can stream the commemoration live or after the fact on the Council’s YouTube and Facebook pages. The commemoration will also be televised on County Cable Montgomery, cable channels 996 (high definition) and 6 (standard definition) on Comcast; channels 1056 (HD) and 6 (SD) on RCN; and channel 30 on Verizon.

Release ID: 23-021
Media Contact: Genevieve Kurtz 240-777-7805, Benjamin Sky Brandt 240-777-7884