2012 Gala

For 107 years, the Chicago Defender has been a powerful force in unifying African American and African communities across the globe. They have initiated and supported some of the most massive movements in the United States including the Great Northern Migration in the early 1900s to the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 60s to the 2012 Election.


In addition to informing and educating the black community about federal, state, and local laws, policies and issues that impact them, the Defender spotlights Black people doing great things in the community that would be otherwise unknown. This is why they prize their annual Newsmakers Awards & Scholarship Gala.

This year’s honorees include people in different industries who have influenced lives near and far, directly and indirectly.

Pastor Corey Brooks of New Beginnings Church ~aka~ the Rooftop Pastor will receive the Newsmaker of the Year award for his commitment to camping out on the roof of the downtrodden motel which he intends to replace with a community center for 90 days.

Retired Chicago Sun-Times Columnist Stella Foster, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for her journalistic contributions.

Other honorees include:

Val Warner – Journalist and Television Host, Windy City LIVE
Larry Huggins – Acting Chairman, METRA
Jean-Claude Brizard – Former CEO, Chicago Public Schools
Karen Lewis – President, Chicago Teachers Union
Karen Freeman-Wilson – Mayor, Gary, Indiana
Tio Hardiman – Director of CeaseFire Illinois
Steve Harvey – Multi-Multimedia

The 2012 Gala will be held in the Regency Ballroom at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, 151 East Wacker Drive. Entertainment will be provided by renowned jazz vocalist Maggie Brown.


Persons interested in attending the Gala should ask for Merry Green of MGPG events at the door.

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