After a brief hiatus, the New Pittsburgh Courier will once again celebrate 50 of the city’s most stellar African-American men at its 2014, 50 Men of Excellence Awards Reception to be held Thursday, July 24 at 6 p.m. in the ballroom of the Fairmont Pittsburgh Hotel, located in Downtown Pittsburgh. The event honors exceptional men, who through their time and talents are making a difference in their communities.
“The New Pittsburgh Courier is pleased to present another outstanding array of men who exemplify the standards of excellence in their individual endeavors,” Rod Doss, editor and publisher of the New Pittsburgh Courier, said. “We salute them on their varied accomplishments and invite you to join us on July 24 when we honor the 2014, 50 Men of Excellence at our awards ceremony.”
This year’s reception, which will be emceed by Lynne Hayes-Freeland, KDKA-TV news reporter and producer/host of “Lynne Hayes-Freeland Show,” will also pay homage to two outstanding men, the Hon. Livingstone Johnson and Hon. Justin M. Johnson, the 2014 legacy awardees. The brothers are the first dual awardees to receive this honor.
Livingstone Johnson is a retired senior judge of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, which he served from 1982-2007. The Howard University graduate earned his juris doctorate from the University of Michigan Law School in 1957. Along with his judicial duties, Livingstone Johnson has also served as the assistant solicitor for Allegheny County; the chief negotiator of the United Negro Protest Committee; was the first African-American appointed to the Allegheny County Bar Association’s Board of Governors; and so much more. He also served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War as a “double headed monster,” flying in 58-night combat bombing missions, and was awarded with the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Commendation Medal and more. He is also a charter member of the Allegheny County Hall of Valor.
Like his older brother, the background of the Justin M. Johnson is just as impressive. Justin Johnson retired in 2007 after serving 27 years as a Pennsylvania Superior Court judge. His appointment in 1980 made him the second African-American to be appointed to the Pennsylvania Superior Court.
Prior to his judicial duties, the University of Chicago graduate who earned his juris doctorate in 1962, practiced alongside his father, Oliver Livingstone Johnson, and his brother, at the firm Johnson, Johnson & Johnson. In addition to serving as a judge, Justin Johnson has served as the assistant solicitor and assistant secretary for the Pittsburgh and Mt. Oliver Boards of Education; an adjunct professor at the Duquesne University Law School; a chairman of the Pennsylvania Board of Examination; and as a trustee for a host of organizations. Like his brother, Justin Johnson served his country in the U.S. Air Force from 1956-1959 as an aircraft commander and in 1963-1973 as a major.
The two have received many awards for the achievements and were inducted, as a part of the first class, into the Wilkinsburg High School Wall of Fame in 2010.
Along with the Johnson brothers, the other 2014 Men of Excellence recipients are: Emmai Aliquiva, Hip-Hop on L.O.C.K.; Caster Binion, Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh; Cecil Brazos III, Bayer Material Science LLC; Reginald Brown, F.A.H.M., Colonial Life; Councilman Rev. Ricky Burgess, Pittsburgh City Council; Bishop Otis Carswell, Potter’s House Ministries; Winford Craig, Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh; Paradise Gray, activist and rapper; Elwin Green, Luminaria Productions LLC; Jeffrey Grubbs, Pittsburgh Symphony; Paul Terrance Harper, PhD, University of Pittsburgh; Eugene Harris, Harris Consulting; George Howard, UPMC Health Plan; Melvin Hubbard El, Pennsylvania State House of Representatives; Lance Hyde, EQT; Billy Jackson, NOMMO; Charles Chernor Jalloh, University of Pittsburgh; Kevin Jenkins, Pittsburgh Foundation; Rev. Thomas Johnson Jr., The Neighborhood Academy; Rev. Cornell Jones, State Correctional Institution of Pittsburgh Prison; Darryl Jones, Pittsburgh Fire Bureau; R. Blaine Jones II, Esq., Blaine Jones Law LLC; Abass Kamara, The Carey Group; Brandin Knight, University of Pittsburgh; Robert McCall, chef; Everett McElveen, Life’s Work of Western PA; Nate Mitchell, Natural Choice Salon and 720 Music Café; Richard Morris, Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh; Josifani Munyika Moyo, Bidwell Training Center Inc.; K. Chase Patterson, Corporate Diversity Associates LLC; Dr. Chentis Pettigrew Jr., University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine; Clyde Wilson Pickett, Community College of Allegheny County; Curtiss Porter, PhD, City of Pittsburgh Mayor’s Office; Richard Portis, XXI-C Industries LLC; James Reid, Brothers and Sisters Emerging; Gregory T. Rogers, JD, Point Park University; Charles Saunders, Boys & Girls Club of Western PA; Pastor Michael Smith, Destiny International Ministries; Eric Strong, Strong Cleaners; J.T. Thomas, Black-N-Gold Cheesecake Company; Page Thomas, Empty Space Design Inc.; Frank Walker II, Frank Walker Law; Wayne Walters, Barack Obama Academy of International Studies; Homer Walton, Esq., Tucker Arensberg Attorneys; Jesse Washington, AP writer; Derrick Wilson, Wilson Group LLC; Ralph Watson, Classic Events; and Reginald Young, Allegheny County Department of Human Services.
“Pittsburgh has an amazing history of powerful men that have dedicated their lives to the empowerment of our communities and our people…I am honored to be chosen along with these amazing men,” Rev. Jones said. “I hope (this) event brings awareness of the different levels of freedom fighting that people are doing.
Whether it is in the prisons, streets or in the boardroom, we all have to be builders for our future. My 7-year-old son should be looking at me and saying that when he grows up he would like to be a Men of Excellence too. Lets Set The Standard!”
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