Everidge and Janice Cade, Ralph C. Johnson, CPA, and Bernice Meeks were the top honorees at the 39th Annual Black Men and Women of Distinction Award Ceremony held Sun., Feb. 24, at Friends of Yates, 1418 Garfield Ave., Kansas City, KS.

For the past 39 years, during Black History Month, the Friends of Yates has recognized individuals making a difference in our community, society and the world. This year, the program also honored 25 outstanding examples of determination, commitment, hard work and relentless drive for positive change and equality with the Black Man or Woman of Distinction Award.

The standing room only event was emceed by Cynthia Newsome of KSHB TV 41.

The program was followed by a tasty buffet dinner. prepared by the Friend of Yates cooks. More than 100 Years old, the Friends of Yates is a beacon of hope for victims of domestic violence. will be presented to Everidge Cade, Jr. and Dr. Janice Cade. Both have demonstrated a life-long commitment to education and learning. Everidge, continues his personal advocacy goal of promoting STEM education and helping youth to achieve at high levels.

Dr. Janice’s focus is also on preparing teachers and principals for success. She serves as managing partner for Smart Start Solutions, LLC and as an educational consultant to the National Alliance of Faith and Justice where she has oversight responsibility for the Pen or Pencil Mentoring Program.

The Cades have been married for 43 years and their awards will be presented by their son and daughter, Attorneys Shannon and Steven Cade.

Ralph C. Johnson and Benice Meeks will be presented the “2019 Donald D. Sewing Service Award” for their outstanding service and contribution to the community. Johnson is the president/CEO of the 47-year-old Ralph C. Johnson & Company, P.C., Certified Public Accountants.

Even though Meeks has been employed at several Fortune 500 companies, she has really found her calling as the first African-American Director of Finance at the Kansas City, Kansas, Housing Authority. The highlight of her work has been seeing the excitement of individuals when they move into their first apartment, or hearing senior’s express appreciation for the care the Housing Authority provides them.