HOMER S. BROWN DIVISION SPIRIT AWARDEE—Rashad Byrdsong, center, with his family. (Photos by J.L. Martello)

Rashad Byrdsong, president and CEO of Community Empowerment Association, was the 2017 recipient of the Homer S. Brown Spirit Award at the Annual Black History Month celebration given by the Homer S. Brown Division of the Allegheny County Bar Association on Feb. 28.

This award is presented to an individual or organization who has exhibited leadership qualities, as well as a commitment to the promotion of equality and the advancement of justice among the African American community.

The Spirit Award allows the HSBD to seize the opportunity to honor accomplishments of those who have positively affected African Americans in every area of endeavor throughout history.

HSBD YOUNG LEADER AWARD—From left: Patti Oliver, mom, holding baby Kiaros Horn, honoree Tyra Oliver and Samson Horn.

Byrdsong is nationally known for his innovation in building coalitions. An advocate for social justice, he is devoted to generating tangible benefits for African American communities where a vast number of the underserved population suffers from violence and crime victimization, poverty, poor health, and other systemic racial disparities and discrimination.

His effective leadership stems from his experiences in the civil rights struggle, combat service in Vietnam, and membership in the Black Panther Party. He has a long history of working with youth who are seriously at risk for imprisonment or death—providing street mentoring services, conflict resolution, negotiating peace treaties, family reunification and connecting these youth to appropriate services to put them on a more positive life track.


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