ATLANTA HAWKS CELEBRATE BLACK HISTORY MONTH WITH RECOGNITION OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN TRAILBLAZERS
Decorated News Anchor, Women’s Activist and Coca-Cola Executive Among Honorees
ATLANTA -- During February home games, the Atlanta Hawks will be honoring influential African-Americans who have made significant contributions to a variety of industries as part of this year’s celebration of Black History Month. Beginning with the Hawks vs. Bulls game on Saturday, February 2, the Hawks will honor individuals who are each revolutionary in their contributions to their industries and to the city of Atlanta.
The first honoree, Ryan Cameron, will be recognized during the February 2 game against Chicago. As an actor, comedian, radio personality, and community advocate, Ryan Cameron is a media force. By day, Cameron is the number one morning drive personality in the southeast on radio powerhouse W-VEE V103 Atlanta. Ryan has been recognized by his peers as Air Personality of the Year, Best Character Voice, Best Show, as well as being nominated for the prestigious Marconi award for excellence in radio broadcasting. When he's not on the radio, you can catch Ryan at the Atlanta Hawks home games as the official Public Address Announcer (the first African American announcer in the history of the Hawks franchise) or hard at work in the community with the Ryan Cameron Foundation. He has been honored by the city of Atlanta with two Phoenix Awards and his own Ryan Cameron Day.
During the February 6 game against Memphis, the Hawks will acknowledge Monica Pearson for her distinguished career with WSB-TV. Pearson moved from her hometown of Louisville, Kentucky to join the Channel 2 Action News staff as Atlanta’s first woman and first minority to anchor the daily evening news. During her nearly four decades on the air, Pearson was also the first woman president of the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Awards for high school basketball players and the first minority to serve as chair of United Way of Greater Atlanta. Since announcing her retirement in July of 2012, Pearson has received a Proclamation from the City of Atlanta and was honored by Georgia lawmakers for making history in the state and for her dedicated service to Atlanta for the past 37 years.
On February 8, vs. the New Orleans Hornets, the Hawks will salute Dr. Michael Lomax, President and Chief Executive Officer of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF). Since 2004, Dr. Michael Lomax has been president and chief executive officer of UNCF, the nation’s largest private provider of scholarships to African American students. Throughout his career, Lomax has strived to provide educational opportunities for under-represented Americans, overseeing 400-plus scholarship programs every year. Under his leadership, UNCF has fought for education reform in the media, reaching all the way to Capitol Hill. With roots in Atlanta, Lomax has also served as chairman of the Fulton County Commission, the first African American elected to this post.
The Hawks will honor Ingrid Saunders Jones on February 20 vs. the Miami Heat. As the senior vice president of Global Community Connections for The Coca-Cola Company and chair of The Coca-Cola Foundation, Jones is a role model to women everywhere through her leadership of initiatives that help to make a positive difference in communities around the world. Under Jones’ leadership, she has led the Company’s philanthropic global outreach, focusing resources on strategic initiatives for water sustainability, active healthy living, community recycling and education. In June 2012, Jones was elected Chairman of the National Council of Negro Women, a position that fuses her passion for service and leadership together to mentor the next generation of African-American women leaders. Jones’ other honors include the Jackie Robinson “Robie” Humanitarian Award in 2011, the Executive Leadership Council’s Achievement Award, and honorary degrees from Spelman College and Michigan State University.
During the Hawks game on February 22 vs. the Sacramento Kings, the Hawks will recognize Lisa Williams, founder of Living Water for Girls. Like the young women she now provides refuge for, Williams’ childhood was plagued with abuse, leaving her abandoned and homeless, by the age of 12. In 2007, she launched Living Water for Girls, a residential, educational and therapeutic safe refuge for young American girls who have been exploited from life on the streets. Living Water for Girls is an outlet for Williams’ core passion of helping others escape a life that they don’t deserve. It is this supreme passion that has earned her national accolades for her work, including being honored as a Ford Motor Company “Ford Freedom Unsung Award” Winner and receiving a Proclamation from the City of Atlanta.