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Black History Month Luncheon

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Later on Wednesday, February 28th,  we went with our colleague, Mr. George Koussa, to the Rotunda in Cleveland City Hall to attend the Crowning Ceremony of Cleveland's Black History Month where we were proud to note that the program notes showed "Margaret W. Wong & Associates" as a Bronze Sponsor.

Much of the event was devoted to honoring the life and legacy of Mr. Dwayne Browder who passed in December of 2017 due to illness. Mr. Browder was a community activist who devoted his life to helping others especially children. In her keynote address, Cleveland City Councilperson Phyllis Cleveland who worked with Mr. Browder on numerous projects over the years said that he was her great friend and that they had a very special relationship.

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Councilperson Cleveland said that Mr. Browder was a person who didn't do what he did to get attention; he did what he did to address problems and get things done for the benefit of all concerned. Thus, he was loved and respected by all that knew him. She said that Mr. Browder was a person who "aimed for the skies" and accomplished a lot.

Other tributes for Mr. Browder were given by Mayor Frank Jackson who knew Mr. Browder since he was a teenager and City Council President Kevin Kelley who said that he felt that really missed a lot by not knowing Mr. Browder even better than what he did.

Among the other speakers was Mr. Robert Durham, Director of Scholarship Services and Financial Aid, from "College Now Greater Cleveland". We shared a table with Mr. Durham and his colleague, Ms. Stephanie Spencer, who explained to us that "College Now..." has conducted an essay contest for the last several years in which scholarships are awarded to students who have written particularly thoughtful essays about the person being honored during Black History Month.

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Thus far, seventeen scholarships have been awarded including five for this year as the students wrote about Mr. Browder. In past years, they have written about U.S. Congressperson Stephanie Tubbs Jones, U.S. Congressperson Louis Stokes, Mayor Carl Stokes, and civil right activist and political strategist Mr. Arnold Pinkney.

Perhaps the most telling recollection about Mr. Browder was shared with us by Councilperson Cleveland. She said that as his health was fading, Mr. Browder told her that "I will continue to do everything I can for this community as long as I can."

And in the eyes of all who knew him, he certainly did.

 

Michael Patterson

Community Liaison,

Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC