National Congress of Black Women honors five outstanding community leaders
BATON ROUGE – Members of the National Congress of Black Women honored community leaders during the Louisiana Legends Gala, Saturday evening.
Rep. Barbara C. Carpenter served as the events guest speaker and honored the late Sadie Roberts Joseph, Alma C. Stewart, Rep. Patricia Haynes Smith, Collis Temple Sr., and Leroy Helire for their outstanding work in the Baton Rouge community.
Sadie Roberts Joseph was the founder of the Baton Rouge Odell S. Williams Now & Then Museum of African-American History and a non-profit organization called Community Against Drugs and Violence (CADAV).
Joseph was also well-known in the capital city for organizing a yearly Juneteenth Celebration to commemorate the emancipation of slaves in the south.
Baton Rouge lost Joseph in July of 2019, and since her death, members of Joseph's family and closest friends have worked to continue her endeavors on behalf of the community.
Alma C. Stewart is the founder and president of the Louisiana Center for Health Equity, a nonprofit organization that addresses disparities in health and health care. Stewart uses her experience as a registered nurse, former career state civil servant, and entrepreneur to give back to the community. She’s established an annual Youth Peace Olympics program in Baton Rouge as a way to prevent youth violence as well as an initiative called Family Ties, which is designed to serve as a family reunification program for children with disabilities. Stewart is also the host of Today's Health Topics, a weekly radio show on WTQT 106.1 FM.
Rep. Patricia Haynes Smith is a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives for District 67 in East Baton Rouge Parish and uses her experience as a teacher and public relations liaison to advocate for people of color and provide resources to members of the community.
Collis Temple Sr. is a nationally recognized civil rights activist who lived in the south during segregation and succeeded in his educational and career goals while facing extreme racism. Temple worked as a school administrator and later, a principal. He is also the father of a well-known basketball star, Collis Temple Jr.
Leroy Helire founded Northdale Magnet Academy in 1986 as Louisiana's first diploma bound alternative high school. Helire served as Northdale’s principal until his retirement in 2014.
The National Congress of Black Women (NCBW) was founded in 1984 with the goal of encouraging “women of color to seek elective office at all levels of government.” The organization's Baton Rouge chapter used Saturday evening to recognize some of the capital city's most dynamic community activists.
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