Black Women for Positive Change announces 2021 Elizabeth Keckley Honorees


(FOX21) — Black Women for Positive Change has announced the Honorees of the 2021 Elizabeth Keckley Awards.

The Keckley Awards are part of the Tenth Annual Month of Families, Non-Violence and Opportunities, October 1-31, 2021 and is an event that honors individuals who have demonstrated lives of public service and dedication to building and expanding the American Black Middle/Working Class.

“We are honored to highlight the accomplishments of this year’s honorees. We believe it is important to provide youth and adults with role models in different industries, that they can emulate, as they develop their personal walks of life,” said Honorable Jan Perry, Social Action Chair and Attorney Carthenia Jefferson, Committee Co-Chairs of the Keckley Awards, organized by Black Women for Positive Change.

The Keckley Awards are free although donations are appreciated. Guests can register for The Keckley Awards at

This year’s honorees inlcude:

  • Attorney Benjamin Crump, Black America’s Attorney General: Attorney Crump is being honored for his outstanding leadership as a lawyer who fights for civil rights, and challenges law enforcement for violence against Black Americans.
  • National Black Nurses Association (NBNA), represented by Dr. Martha Dawson: The NBNA is being honored for the tireless work of Black Nurses during the Covid-19 pandemic and their commitment to protecting the health of Black America.
  • William “Mickey” Stevenson: A behind-the-scenes powerhouse at Motown Records, who produced culturally relevant songs with Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder and many others that promoted love, understanding and social justice.
  • Rev. Dr. Barbara Reynolds: A pioneer with the White House Press Corps, Journalist and author of the biography of Coretta Scott King.
  • Mary Bernadette Tolson: A key staffer for five Mayors of the District of Columbia, and served community activist who helped hundreds of youth and adults find employment, to improve their lives. 

The Elizabeth Keckley Award underscores the importance of seeking achievement, while at the same time engaging in public service and providing pathways to opportunities for Black Americans.

Elizabeth Keckley was born enslaved, worked to buy freedom for herself and her son, and became a seamstress/designer for President Abraham Lincoln’s wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, and wives of U.S. Senators. She was a dedicated Abolitionist, who worked closely with Frederick Douglas and helped enslaved people escape to freedom and to start new lives as free people. 

Past honorees include Attorney General Eric Holder, Congresswoman Karen Bass (CA), Congresswoman Frederica Wilson (FL); Playwright Tazewell Thompson, Publisher John “Jake” Oliver, and many more. 

The Month of Non-Violence is organized by Black Women for Positive Change, and includes a range of free, virtual events that promote violence prevention, de-escalation of violence, stopping law enforcement violence against communities of color, family violence, gang violence and community violence. 

Over the past ten (10) years members of Black Women for Positive Change have helped to organize over 162 events, in 27 U.S. cities, the United Kingdom, and Republic of Congo and their efforts have reached over 162,000 people.

To sign up for the Tenth Annual Month of Non-Violence and Keckley Awards go to 

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