The Washington Wizards and Amtrak® Recognize Leaders of Three Community Organizations in Honor of Black History Month.
In celebration of Black History Month, the Amtrak Pioneer Award was created by the Washington Wizards and Amtrak to honor African Americans in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area who have made outstanding contributions to the greater D.C. community. During halftime at the Wizards vs. Philadelphia game on Friday, February 5, the Wizards and Amtrak will award the following recipients: Eloise Greenfield, author; Linda Goler Blount, President and CEO of Black Women’s Health Imperative; and Selvon Malcolm Waldron, Executive Director of Life Pieces to Masterpieces. They are each pioneers in their own right, and their ongoing efforts to uplift their communities continue to enrich the Washington, D.C. area. Congratulations to this year's recipients, on behalf of the Washington Wizards and Amtrak!
Eloise Greenfield was born in Parmele, North Carolina, in 1929, and moved as an infant with her family to Washington, D.C., where she still lives. She graduated from Cardozo High School and attended Miner Teachers College for two-and-a-half years, joining Delta Sigma Theta Sorority there. Later, as a young wife and mother, working as a clerk-typist, she decided to become a writer and began to study the craft of writing.
Throughout the 1960s, Ms. Greenfield’s short stories and poems were published in magazines. Her first book was published in 1972. She now has forty-five children’s books. Her poem, “Harriet Tubman,” from Honey, I Love and Other Love Poems, has been set to music by African American composer, Rollo Dilwoth.
Ms. Greenfield’s mission is to write books that nourish the spirit. She has received many awards and honors, including the Coretta Scott King Award for Africa Dream, and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Award for Childtimes: A Three-Generation Memoir, written with her mother, Lessie Jones Little.
Other honors include the Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children from the National Council of Teachers of English and induction into the National Hall of Fame for Writers of African Descent.
Ms. Greenfield continues to write and perform, including reciting her poem, “Nathaniel’s Rap,” in a YouTube video entitled “Grandma Rap Eloise Greenfield.”
Linda Goler Blount
Linda Goler Blount is the president and Chief Executive Officer of the Black Women’s Health Imperative, a nationwide organization devoted solely to advancing the health and wellness of America's 20 million Black women and girls. As president and CEO, Linda oversees the strategic direction for the Imperative and leads the organization forward in its mission to achieve health equity, reproductive and social justice for Black women across the lifespan.
Before joining the Imperative, Linda served as the vice president of Programmatic Impact for the United Way of Greater Atlanta, where she lead a team focused on achieving transformations in health, income, education and housing stability. She was also the first-ever national vice president of Health Disparities at the American Cancer Society and provided strategic vision and leadership to the Society and its 12 geographic divisions for nationwide health equity policy and social determinants initiatives.
Linda is a sought-after speaker and is a member of several organizations, including the American Association of Cancer Research, American Public Health Association and National Association of Health Services Executives. She serves on the Emory University Center for Ethics Advisory Board, and Morehouse School of Medicine, Public Health Program Advisory Committee among other board service work.
Selvon Malcolm Waldron
Selvon Malcolm Waldron is the Executive Director of Life Pieces To Masterpieces (“Life Pieces”). Recognized by the College Board with the 2014 Dr. Asa G. Hilliard Model of Excellence Award and the 2005 Ossie Davis Award for Spirited Arts Activism award, Life Pieces To Masterpieces uses artistic expression to develop character and leadership, unlock potential, and prepare African American boys and young men from ages 3 to 25 to transform their lives and communities. Selvon joined Life Pieces in February 2012 as Director of Development and Grants and immediately began to implement the organization’s 3-year Resource Development Plan. Under his leadership, Life Pieces solidified its organizational sustainability, increase its revenue by 22%, diversified its funding streams, and strengthened its financial procedures, allowing the organization to both grow its programs locally and spread its impact nationally. Prior to joining Life Pieces, Selvon was a United Nations Association Graduate Fellow, where he worked with a cohort of 18 Washington area graduate students from 5 DC colleges to analyze the impact of the United Nation's Human Rights and Environment programs and evaluated the success of the Millennium Development Goals.
Selvon has a long professional background as a contract and project manager, having sourced and managed over $40 million in federal and local government funds in support of human development and/or environmental programs. He has also completed training as a Citizen Diplomat proctored by the Civic League of Washington, DC. Selvon remains an active member of the United Nations Association and the National Forum for Black Public Administrators. He was a member of the 2013 cohort of Leadership Greater Washington's Effective Leadership Institute and the 2014 cohort of Leadership Sanctuary, and he currently sits on the Advisory Board of the University of the District of Columbia School of Business and Public Administration. Waldron has completed graduate course-work in Applied Economics at the University of Maryland-College Park. Waldron earned both his BBA in Management and his MBA with a concentration in International Business from the University of the District of Columbia.