On Thursday, August 20, the National Forum for Black Public Administrators (NFBPA) held its Annual Beverly M. Whitehead Scholarship Banquet at the Savannah Civic Center. During the banquet the NFBPA presented scholarships to three deserving students.
Recipients were Ciarra M. Callis, who is working on a master’s in Urban Studies at Savannah State University, Shannon A. Holman, who is working on a graduate degree in Human Resources Management at Webster University, and Whitney C. Parker, who is pursuing a Master’s in Urban Studies at Savannah State University.
The group also presented the Mark of Excellence Awards, in which they recognize the work and accomplishments of community leaders in the Public Service, Health Care, Non Profit, and Private Industry arenas. The Public Service Award went to Mayor Otis Johnson, Health Care Award went to Dr. Paul Bradley, Non Profit Award went to Dr. Priscilla Thomas, and the Private Industry Award was presented to Calvin Mason.
A high point of the evening was the Keynote Address delivered by Attorney Thomas N. Todd. Todd is an activist, widely known for his oratorical skills. And what a dynamic speech he delivered! His main objective was to encourage children to continue on a path of academic excellence. Todd told the audience to tell the children that “long after Beyonce looses her wiggle, and 50 Cent is no more than a nickel, education will still be the way to go!” “Technology is great, but you can’t download freedom”, he went on to say.
The banquet is held in memory of Beverly Whitehead, who served as the first Human Resources Director for Chatham County Government. Whitehead was the first African American Department head in Chatham County history. She passed away in 1998.