The Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., retiring senior pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ, keynotes the Cook County Bar Association’s 94th Annual Awards & Installation Banquet, June 19 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago Hotel. Wright will be introduc

The Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., retiring senior pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ, keynotes the Cook County Bar Association’s 94th Annual Awards & Installation Banquet, June 19 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago Hotel. Wright will be introduced by his good friend, Rev. Dr. Michael Pfleger, pastor of the Faith Community of St. Sabina.

During the celebratory event, Zeophus J. Williams, deputy supervisor of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office in the Public Interest Bureau of the Child Support Enforcement Division, will be installed as CCBA’s 62nd president. Her theme for the 2008-2009 Bar year is “Rising to New Heights & Focusing On Our Youth: Education & the Juvenile Justice System.” Williams represents the Ill. Dept. of Healthcare and Family Services in child support enforcement and related matters.

CCBA’s outgoing president, Carl K. Turpin, senior associate at the law firm of Greene & Letts, will be saluted for having led CCBA attorneys in many activities to benefit the community, including the inaugural CCBA “Call-A-Lawyer Day,” the first Cook County Bar Foundation Community Expo; CCBA’s Adopt- A-School and Lawyers-in-the-Classroom programs at Calhoun North Elementary School; the CCBA Expungement Project and the judicial evaluation of candidates seeking appointment or election to the bench. Several CCBA attorneys, along with notables in the legal community and community at large, will receive special awards: Judges Yolande Bourgeoise, Robert F. Harris, D. Adolphus Rivers, Diane Shelley and Marcus Salone, Attys. Lionel Jean-Baptiste, John Fairman, G. Flint Taylor, Kenya Jenkins-Wright and Roma Stewart; and Cong. Danny K. Davis (D-7th), Eddie S. Read and Howard Wright. Tickets, at $125 for the reception and dinner, can be reserved by calling Yolanda Cannon, CCBA administrative director, (312) 630-1157, option No. 4.

The Cook County Bar Association, the oldest association of Black lawyers and judges in the nation that has given service to the legal profession and the community for some 93 years, is an affiliate of the National Bar Association, the largest national organization of predominately African American lawyers and judges in the U.S. Milestones.

Happy golden wedding anniversary wishes (that’s 50 years, folks!) to a duo of retirees, Mr. and Mrs. Melvin Bell (Mary), parents of Carol Bell, Defender’s chief financial officer, who celebrated with kin and friends at a luxury resort in Mesa, Ariz. Melvin spent 20 years as a district store manager for Jewel (American Foods) then moved on to Dominick’s and retired as a regional operations manager. His “bride” retired in 1995 from Spiegel after 35 years of service. With the Bells were former Chicagoans, Marcie and Abe Thompson Sr., who now reside in Arizona.

Clarabelle Claiborne was surprised at a festive 90th birthday celebration hosted by her “sisters” in the Chicago Chapter of The Moles Inc., whose motto is “Enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think!” The evening of good music, seafood gumbo, dancing, games and non-stop champagne toasts was held in the Hyde Park home of Nemi Johnson, whose b’day was only a few days away. Sharing in the celebration: Clarabelle’s family, Blanche Reed, sister; Kay Reed, niece; and Brandon Reed, grandnephew. Kudos to Nemi, Verna Watts Shannon, Kim Carmen, Maude Lightfoot and Irby Fields Bray for planning such a lovely party. Charlie Cole, the ever-spry former owner with his late wife, Mary, of the popular landmark restaurant, Army & Lou’s, marked his 96th year with cake, champagne and fellow residents in his South Shore hirise: Juanita Passmore, Shirley Tucker, Marie Cleamens, Lois Jones, Richard Mann Jr., JoAnn Apley, Mary Ann Weathers, Donnetta Charles, Amena Dickerson and Julian Roberts.

Benin Preview–ABC 7’s Leah Hope along with the Art Institute of Chicago’s Leadership Advisory Council hosted a reception to preview the once-in-a-lifetime exhibition, Benin—Kings and Rituals: Court Arts from Nigeria, that will run July 10–Sept. 21, in AIC’s Regenstein Hall, Michigan Avenue and Adams Street, and to drumbeat for the opening, “A Royal Gala,” on July 8. Thursday’s reception was held at Gallery Guichard. The royal bronze and ivory sculptures from the Benin Kingdom in south-central Nigeria are among the most spectacular and sophisticated icons of African art. These forms, representing the people and events that shaped the kingdom from the 14th century to modern times, record and re-tell the history of Benin. The divine king (or oba) and queens, priests, warriors and Portuguese envoys are prominently portrayed. The Art Institute will be the only North American venue for this landmark exhibition that features some 220 of the greatest works of Benin art.

Honored guests at A Royal Gala will include representatives from the Court of Benin and the Nigerian Commission on Museums and Monuments. Tickets at $200 are limited, so Leah encourages early purchase. Contact or call (312) 499-4165. Proceeds will support a professional development exchange between the Art Institute of Chicago and Nigerian cultural institutions, as well as local programs for the Benin exhibition and future LAC initiatives. LAC is a volunteer committee committed to encouraging diversity at the Art Institute.

For Scholarships–Actor-brothers, Christopher and Kyle Massey, were special guests/keynoters at Friday’s luncheon sponsored by The Barden Gary Foundation, established by Don H. Barden, owner of Majestic Star Casinos & Hotel. Christopher, 18, plays Michael on Nickelodeon’s hit series, Zoey 101, and Kyle, 16, stars as Cory Baxter in the Disney Channel’s hit series, "Corey in the House." Kyle also played Corey in the long-running hit series, "That’s So Raven."

The luncheon honored Gary High School seniors who participated in the scholastic program during the 2007-08 school year with $100,000 and gifts. Recipients were selected from high schools from the Gary Community School Corp., based on academic performance, attendance and involvement in community service. Two scholarships were also awarded to Indiana University and Ivy Tech College. Students’ merits were reviewed by a selection committee in partnership with the Gary Literacy Coalition. This is the second annual scholarship luncheon presented by the foundation that encourages students to reach their full scholastic potential by providing them with educational incentives and a program for obtaining positive reinforcement from teachers, parents, counselors and mentors.

______ Copyright 2008 Chicago Defender. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Also On The Chicago Defender:
comments – add yours