Friends of Yates hosted their 40th Annual Black Men & Women of Distinction Program in observance of Black History Month on Sun., Feb. 23, at Forest Grove Baptist Church, KCK.

The 2020 Black Men and Women of Distinction Awards were presented to individuals who have worked relentlessly for their individual success, as well as their community. The recipients were: Edwin Birch, Dana Bostic, Darrell Calhoun, Ashley Campbell, Rev. Charles E. Cofield, Jr., Joy Cofield, Ludelia Block Cowan, Dr. Khiara Drew, Susie Gordon, Kenya Hicks, Jeffrey Hollinshed, Dionne King, Dianna Howard Kolen, Bridget Locke, Dr. James McIntosh, Dr. Mallory McIntosh, Rebecca Hill McKeel, Adrianne Perry, Barton T. Richardson, Linda Robins, Geoffrey Sanders, Patricia Sevier, Gia L. Smith, Khadejah McIntosh-Taylor, Kendra Tyler, LaMonica Upton, Reginald Watkins and Rev. Dexter W. White.

The Donald D. Sewing Distinguished Service Award was presented to Dr. Marvin McIntosh and Mrs. Angela Hobson Hamilton. As Clinical Case Manager for Truman Medical Center, Mrs. Hobson-Hamilton became aware of the limited community resources devoted to serving children and youth effected by violence and homelessness. So, in 2016, she started Compassionate Partners KC, a non-profit that partners with community agencies to offer self-esteem building services to children and youth experiencing family trauma and homelessness.

Dr. McIntosh, MD, MPH is the Medical Director of the Community House of Wellness, Inc., instructor at the University of Linguistics and Future Learning and Instructor at the University of Phoenix. The Community House of Wellness Inc., combines western medicine with herbal medicine creating an integrative form of medical options for community members to consider.

2020 Portrait of a Black Man and Portrait of a Black Woman Awards were presented to Carl Roland Jr. and Mrs. Lagracella Roland. Carl, a Kansas City native, moved to Los Angeles at age 20, where he became a successful real estate investor, music producer, composer and multi-instrumentalist with releases ranging from R& B, Pop, Dance and Smooth Jazz. His musical success earned him multiple Gold and Platinum Recording Industry Association of America certifications, one most recently for the hit “You” performed by Jesse Powell.

Lagracella is a native of Las Vegas, with training in Classical piano, clarinet, opera, jazz, and ballet. She ultimately became a professional Los Vegas show girl lead dancer, international model and actress. Her most notable honor was being the first African American to be crowned Miss Nevada USA, which earned her a spot traveling the world with the Bob Hope USO Tour. Under her stage name KLEO, she is lead singer, writer and arranger for a band, Dustyy Lane, that she formed with her husband.

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