Amtrak and Wizards Continue Partnership for Pioneer Award

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Washington Wizards and Amtrak are together honoring community leaders with the Pioneer Award. This year’s presentation will take place during the game against the Detroit Pistons on February 27 at 7:00 p.m. The Amtrak Pioneer Award was created to recognize African Americans within the Washington, D.C., metro area who, through resolve and perseverance, have positively impacted their community.

The following community leaders will be recognized: Fabian Barnes, Founder and Artistic Director of the Dance Institute of Washington, an organization that strives to improve the lives of underserved children through dance; Dr. Jeffery M. Johnson, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Partnership for Community Leadership, a non-profit organization that has implemented two of the nation’s largest social welfare research projects and, as a result, has served over 6,000 men; and Roxanne J. Williams, the Founder and President of Urban Ed, Inc., whose mission is to provide District of Columbia children, youth and adults with technology education.

“Amtrak is excited to continue our partnership with the Washington Wizards and present the Amtrak Pioneer Award to deserving individuals who have made a difference in their communities. Their dedication and hard work is inspiring and a great example of how we can all make a difference,” said Kecia Babb-Jordan, Director of Sales and Marketing, Northeast Corridor Amtrak.

Past recipients include Terri Freeman, President of the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region; Peggy Cooper Cafritz, Founder of Duke Ellington School of the Arts; and Natalie Randolph, Head Coach of the Coolidge High School varsity football team.

“We are honored to be partnering with Amtrak to recognize these extraordinary community leaders”, said Monumental Sports & Entertainment Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Joe Dupriest. “We truly appreciate all of their hard work in improving the lives of those within our community.”

About the Washington Wizards:

The NBA’s Washington Wizards are owned and operated by Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which is one of the largest integrated sports and entertainment companies in the country with one of the most diverse partnership groups in all of sports. The company also owns and operates the NHL’s Washington Capitals, the WNBA’s Washington Mystics and Verizon Center, the premier sports and entertainment venue in Washington, D.C. Monumental Sports & Entertainment also oversees the management of Kettler Capitals Iceplex, the training facility for the Washington Capitals and the Patriot Center arena at George Mason University.

About Amtrak:

Amtrak is America’s Railroad®, the nation’s intercity passenger rail service and its high-speed rail operator. A record 31.2 million passengers traveled on Amtrak in FY 2012 on more than 300 daily trains, at speeds up to 150 mph (241 kph), that connect 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian Provinces. Amtrak operates intercity trains in partnership with 15 states and contracts with 13 commuter rail agencies to provide a variety of services. Enjoy the journey® at or call 800-USA-RAIL for schedules, fares and more information. Join us on and follow us at