The historic AP Randolph Pullman Porter Museum will honor four Chicago legends with the A Philip Randolph Gentle Warrior Awards. The presentations will take place during the Museum's 18th anniversary “A Philip Randolph Gentle Awards gala,” which takes place Sunday, February 17 at the Marmon Grand, 2230 S. Michigan Avenue from 5 to 9PM.
According to David Peterson, president, the A. Philip Randolph Gentle Warrior Awards are bestowed upon deserving African Americans who “push gently, yet forcefully, against the boundaries of conventionality with a warrior spirit, in much the same manner as A. Philip Randolph did throughout his career.”
The four awardees, said Peterson, reflect the spirit of the award because they have heroically worked to advance the mission they are charged to lead.
The honorees are:
o Karen GJ Lewis - NBCT - President, Chicago Teachers Union
As President of the Chicago Teachers Union, Karen GJ Lewis leads over 260,000 members. She is also Vice President of the more than 1.7 million-member American Federation of Teachers and Executive Vice President to the 70,000 member Illinois Federation of Teachers. She is committed to excellence in the teaching/learning experience. To that end, she is an ardent advocate for equal quality education for all students, and protects the rights of educators throughout the state of Illinois. Hailed for her inspiring style, courage and vision, Mrs. Lewis successfully led a ten-day strike against the Chicago Board of Education, where, in addition to winning a fair and equitable contract for CTU members, the district agreed to implement many of the Union's recommendations to enhance the learning process. She also inspired the publication of the “The Schools Chicago's Students Deserve,” a blueprint for enhancing education by returning classes such as world languages, art, music and physical education. Mrs. Lewis' leadership ascension caps a remarkable career as a teacher and union leader.
o Everett Rand - President/CEO - Midway Wholesale Beverage, Inc.
In addition to heading Midway Wholesale Beverage, Inc., Everett Rand serves as a Trustee on the City Colleges of Chicago Board. He is part owner of Midway Airport Concessions, a Chicago-based management company that operates the food and beverage program at Midway Airport. The operation includes the Harry Carey's restaurant in the Concessions Triangle and six popular Chicago restaurants at Midway Airport. Additionally Rand hosts the Chicago Football Classic to promote higher education and support Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
o Timothy Rand - President/CEO - Midway Airport Concessionaire
Tim is the Founder and Majority Owner of Midway Airport Concessionaires at Midway International Airport and serves as its President. Mr. Rand serves as a Principal of Airport Restaurant Management. He is a Co-Founder of the annual Chicago Football Classic. His community service and civic activities involve organizations whose emissions embrace education: Chicago Urban League, Make a Wish Foundation, Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, DuSable Museum and the Council on Chicago Public School Partnerships. Mr. Rand is a graduate of Southern Illinois University.
Everett and Timothy, who are twins, are both renowned in the hospitality industry. Their devotion to their business pursuits is matched by their commitment to the community and to youth.
W. “BILL” WILLIAMS, JR., CMP-Vice President, Diversity/Sales - Choose Chicago.
Bill is recognized nationally as a leader in the cause of furthering racial equality and opportunity in the convention and tourism industry. He is also the senior African American in the U.S. in the convention bureau industry. In addition to his professional career in the industry, he is recognized as a mentor to many people who are interested in the hospitality industry. He has had a tremendous impact on the economic growth and development of Chicago's hospitality industry in his promotion of cultural diversity in the meeting industry. Bill is extremely involved in a number of professional, social and community organizations and has received numerous awards for his professional accomplishments and for his commitment to the community. Born and raised in Morgan Park, he continues to uplift the community through his activism and commitment to economic development. As an entrepreneur he founded the Morgan Park Shoe Repair and Shine Parlors (now K & J Shoe Repair & Shine Parlors) in addition to the E&B Restaurant, along with his business partners. These enterprises provide part-time employment for more than 30 people.
“We are honored and humbled to be saluting these legends,” declared Dr. Lyn Hughes, founder of the Museum. “They are forces who have impacted their respective industries through their excellence, commitment, passion and resolve. In setting to their mission, they have achieved excellence in a quiet - yet effective manner befitting that of A. Philip Randolph. Based on their achievements, it is our privilege to be presenting them with this prestigious honor.”
The event will provide a platform for communicating the Museum's message, chronicling its progress, and showcasing its history.
Proceeds from the celebration will go toward launching the Museum's new youth program, Museum 44 “Where Hip Hop Meets History,” a unique program environment that uses media as a tool, where character development and social consciousness building takes place.
For more information and to purchase tickets for the event, log on to aprpullmanportermuseum.org and follow the link for the event.
For photos of all honorees, contact Melody McDowell at email@example.com or via phone at 773-888-6881