February 17 - 23, 2010
McLaughlin Honors Black Leaders
for Dedication to Social Change
From the Globe News Desk
During the City Council meeting Tuesday night, Richmond Mayor
Gayle McLaughlin delivered her 2010 State of the City address.At
the Richmond City Council meeting on Tuesday night, Mayor Gayle
McLaughlin presented proclamations to four local leaders, acknowledging
their past and ongoing commitment to positive social change
The four recipients — Eula Averhart, Courtland “Corky” Booze,
Lillie Mae Jones and Rev. Phil Lawson — have worked in the
community over many years to activate, unite, organize, educate
and mobilize for a better future for all the residents.
Averhart has been active locally for over 50 years and has
served as president of the Coronado Neighborhood Council. She
was instrumental in launching Richmond’s Community Development
Commission over 25 years ago to ensure community input on the
allocation of HUD-funded Community Development Block Grants.
She served on the commission until 2009.
Booze for decades has been on the front lines as a grassroots
activist, advocating for African-Americans in Richmond who
have been disproportionately affected by violence. Booze has
advocated on the behalf of seniors and youth and worked to
build bridges between African-American, Latino, Asian and white
Jones, a leader in community renewal efforts for decades,
was at the forefront of the successful effort to set aside
former railroad property running through central Richmond and
transform it into the Richmond Greenway. She also helped with
the creation of the community garden and art display at Harbor
Way and Macdonald Ave. Jones founded the organization CYCLE,
which provides training and mentorship to youth in community
gardening and building sustainable neighborhoods.
Lawson, a member of the Fellowship of Reconciliation for over
50 years, has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to building
peace. He has advocated and organized for uniting and empowering
the poor and disenfranchised in Richmond through his past ministry
at Easter Hill United Methodist Church, his leadership in the
Greater Richmond Interfaith Program, Richmond’s Just Cause
Coalition, East Bay Housing Organizations and the Black Alliance
for Just Immigration, an immigrant rights organization he co-founded.