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25 Local Women to Be Honored During 27th Annual Fannie Lou Hamer Awards Reception Oct. 2

(Annapolis, Md. – September 19, 2022) — Chosen from across Anne Arundel County, 25 trailblazing women will be honored during the 27th annual Fannie Lou Hamer Awards Reception, held from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2, at the Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Annapolis, Md. Known for impacting their community — whether through social justice or advocacy — each woman has made a lasting mark on Anne Arundel County. This year’s honorees — Phyllis “Tee” Adams, Angelia Brown, Monique Brown, Lynda Davis, Claudia DeGrate, Mary Grace Gallagher, Glenda Gathers, Erica Griswold, De Lorma “Dee” Goodwyn, Denise Henderson Hector, Laticia Hicks, Delegate Dana Jones, Gabrielle Martinez, Heidi May, Dr. Tawana R. Offer, Councilwoman Lisa Rodvien, The Honorable Dana Z. Schallheim, Mitchelle Stephenson, Alderwoman Eleanor Tierney, Dr. Joanna Tobin, Darla Watts, Jacqueline V. Wells, Marion “Murnie” Wenn, Ethel Leon Wirth, and Jane Zanger — join the ranks of more than 100 notable women, including former Sen. Barbara Mikulski, Administrative Law Judge Tracey Warren Parker, and former Annapolis Mayor Ellen Moyer, who were nominated in years past.

Mayor Gavin Buckley, County Executive Steuart Pittman, and Jackie Coleman, executive director of the Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, will provide remarks during the event. The evening will also feature a one-woman performance of “The Fannie Lou Hamer Story,” written and performed by Mzuri Moyo Aimbaye, award-winning playwright, actress, and internationally acclaimed vocalist. A reception with heavy hors d’oeuvres will follow the program. The event is sponsored by the Martin Luther King Jr. Committee of Anne Arundel County. For more information, go to MLKJrMD.org or call 443-871-5656 or 301-538-6353.

“The Fannie Lou Hamer Story” received Best Actor, Best Play, and Best Producer during the 2015 Atlanta Black Theater Festival, and the Best Solo Performance for the 2002 Audelco Viv Award. Hamer’s courage and compassion inspired Aimbaye to write the one-woman play, which follows Hamer’s rise from Jim Crow’s Mississippi to the halls of Congress as a powerful voice in the 1964 voter’s rights movement. She has performed this play for more than two decades. Aimbaye has also performed in small productions in the New York/New Jersey area and was cast in the role of Lucy for the first Black African American film depicting a slave revolt, “SANKOFA,” which was recently re-released on Netflix.

  Fannie Lou Hamer, 1917-1977, was an American voting rights activist, civil rights leader, and philanthropist. The awards that bear her name recognize women from various racial backgrounds who, while not necessarily household names, have excelled in their chosen fields while working diligently to improve civil and human rights in the region.

“We congratulate all of the recipients of the Fannie Lou Hamer Awards, whose commitment to social justice is seen in the work that they do daily,” said Carl Snowden, chair of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Committee. “These women run the gamut. They are legislators, activists, and they are committed to making America better and not bitter.”

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