By Ashley M. Brownlee
The Minority Media and Telecommunications Council (MMTC) hosted its annual Hall of Fame Reception and Awards at the Georgetown Westin in Washington D.C.to recognize individuals and organizations for their commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion in media and telecommunications.
The online news magazine Politic 365 sponsored the reception, while musician Marcus Johnson’s Three Keys Music and FLO Brands provided music for the evening.
At the reception, MMTC presented the Everett C. Parker Lifetime Achievement Award to the Honorable James E. Clyburn, a United States Congressman representing South Carolina. MMTC also announced its 2012 MMTC Hall of Fame Inductees: David Grain, the Founder and Managing Partner of Grain Management, LLC and Louisianan State Senator Sharon Weston-Broome who also serves as the President of National Organization of Black Elected Legislative (NOBEL) Women.
FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, Congressman Clyburn’s daughter, presented the award, explaining that her father’s life epitomizes the definition of public service.
After accepting the award, Congressman Clyburn challenged the audience to think about Everett Parker and his activism in media and telecommunications as they carry out their civic duties in the next weeks and months leading up to the election.
“I hope that my work is a good sermon to others,” said Congressman Clyburn.
The award is designed to commemorate the legacy of Parker, who through his media advocacy work during the civil rights industry, is credited with setting precedent that gave the public the right to challenge a broadcast license through the FCC if it did not serve the public interest.
Since 1998, the Everett C. Parker Lifetime Achievement Award has been conferred to notables such as Andrew Jackson, Marie Johns, Marc Morial, Johnnie Cochran, and Cathy Hughes.
MMTC’s Executive Director and President David Honig presented Hall of Fame Inductee David Grain with his award, remarking on the telecommunications entrepreneur’s outstanding career. Grain said it was a privilege to be honored the same night as Congressman Clyburn and maintained that there are unprecedented opportunities to participate in wireless expansion, encouraging the audience to become involved in those efforts.
U.S. Congressman Cedric Richmond presented the Hon. Sharon Weston-Broome with her award. Richmond thanked Weston- Broome for taking him under her wing and mentoring him. Weston- Broome accepted the award sharing a lesson she teaches to her students at Southern University: “Don’t allow the advancement of negative stereotypes in media. Be an advocate in your own right.”
At the close of the reception, attendees were invited to a post awards discussion hosted by the National Association of Multicultural Digital Entrepreneurs (NAMDE). This informal session examined barriers to entry for female and minority entrepreneurs.