2023 African American Leadership Awards

The Annual African American Leadership Awards (AALA) recognize the accomplishments and achievements of individuals in our community who have made significant contributions to the City of Omaha in the following categories:

Business • Community • Education • Faith • Government • Health • Youth (ages 16 to 18) • Young Professional (ages 21 to 39) • Someone Special

When choosing an individual to nominate for an African American Leadership Award, please consider the criteria below. This criteria will help the AALA Selection Committee determine who the honoree will be for each of the respective categories.

  • Nominee should have dedicated time and talent to efforts within the African American community.
  • Nominee should be distinguished in his/her chosen profession or work and/or academic life.
  • Nominee exhibits a high degree of commitment both professionally and civically.
  • Nominee must demonstrate/provide strong, effective leadership and service in the community.
  • Please provide any community and/or volunteer activities and involvement (include name of organizations and approximate number of volunteer hours).
  • For persons nominated in the Youth category, nominees must possess a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.0 or greater.

2023 AALA Nomination Form

Please fill out a form for each nominee

The applications are now closed.

Save the Date

Join the Urban League of Nebraska along with honorary chair Othello Meadows. for the 2023 AALA on Thursday, November 2, 2023.

We apologize in advance for any errors on this listing. If you have a correction, please contact Megan Moslander 402-669-0061 or megan.moslander@urbanleagueneb,org

*Denotes deceased


Bertha Calloway* (Community)
Mildred D. Brown* (Community)


Rowena G. Moore* (Community)
Charles B. Washington* (Community)


Katherine Fletcher* (Education)
Eugene W. Skinner* (Education)


Robert L. Armstrong (Community)
Mary Dean Pearson* (Community)


Brenda Council (Community)
James Hawes III (Business)


Herman Cain* (Business)
Dr. Gladys Styles Johnson (Education)
Rev. James C. Wade, Sr.* (Faith)


Thomas L. Harvey* (Education)
Frank L. Hayes (Business)
Edwardene Armstrong (Education)


Michael Green (Business)
Carole Woods-Harris (Community)
Joanne R. Harrell (Business)


James Beatty (Business)
Rev. Negil McPherson (Faith)
Alcurtis Robinson (Community)
Kathy J. Trotter (Education)


Dr. Don Benning* (Education)
Jean Edmundson (Community)
Joe Edmundson* (Community)
Alvin Goodwin* (Business)
L.C. Meanyweather Woods* (Faith)


Charles Hall* (Business)
Steve Hogan* (Community)
Edmae Swain* (Education)
Rev. John Whittington* (Faith)


Steva Franklin (Community)
Jim Swoopes* (Business)
Rev. Maurice Watson (Faith)
Warren Taylor* (Education)


Bob Boozer* (Community)
Dick Davis (Business)
Dr. Carol Mitchell (Education)
Rev. Dr. Everett Reynolds* (Faith)


Eric Butler (Business)
Michael Maroney (Community)
Rev. Jermiah McGee (Faith)
Dr. Mary Mudd (Education)


John Beasley* (Community)
Gene Haynes (Education)
Terri Jackson Miller (Business)
Rev. Bobby McCallister* (Faith)


Rev. Charlotte Abram (Faith)
Calvin Dunn (Business)
George Dillard (Community)
Z. Clarence Barbee* (Education)
Avoca Mason (Someone Special)


James Freeman (Education)
Sharon Davis* (Business)
Teela Mickles (Faith)
Ernest White (Community)
Ben Gray (Someone Special)


Dr. Joyce Buckner (Education)
Tommie Wilson (Community)
Rev. Dr. Thomas Smith (Faith)
Marshall Taylor* (Business)
Sonny Foster* (Someone Special)


Apostle Vanessa Ward (Faith)
Omaha Public Schools Greeter (Education)
Thomas H. Warren, Sr. (Community)
Faye Hobley (Business)
Sybil Myers* (Someone Special)


Rev. Dr. Leroy Adams (Faith)
Valda Ford (Health)
John Ewing (Community)
Angela Jones (Business)
Willie Barney (Someone Special)
Janice Gilmore (Education)


Rev. Dr. Selwyn Q. Bachus (Faith)
Teresa Hunter (Community)
Josh Jones (Young Professional)
Yvonne Method-Walker (Business)
Walter Brooks (Health)
Freddie J. Gray (Education)
Brittney Buder-Rencher (Youth)
Chris Rodgers (Government)


Elmer Crumbley (Education)
Velma Crumbley* (Education)
Pat Davis (Community)
Dr. Rubens Pamies* (Health)
Judy Pearl-Lee (Business)
Rev. Dr. Cedric Perkins (Faith)
David Smiley (Youth)
Chris Wiley* (Someone Special)


Rev. Dwight Ford (Faith)
Mary E. Thomas* (Someone Special)
Karnetta Thomas (Business)
Dr. Mary Goodwin-Clinkscale (Community)
Dr. Jerry Bartee (Education)
Dr. Sade Kosoko-Lasaki (Health)
Judge Vernon Daniels (Government)
Taylor White-Welchen (Youth)


Dr. Richard L. Brown (Health)
Sherrye L. Hutcherson (Business)
Rev. Ralph B. Lassiter, Sr. (Faith)
Judge Darryl R. Lowe (Government)
John E. Pierce (Education)
James Smith (Community)
Jhone’ White-Lucas (Youth)


Tim Clark (Community)
Ira D. Combs (Health)
Senator Tanya D. Cook (Government)
Dr. Minnie R. Dacus (Education)
Cydney Franklin (Young Professional)
Othello H. Meadows (Business)
Ashley L. Swift (Youth)
Bishop Robert D. Taylor* (Faith)


Rev. Portia A. Cavitt (Faith)
Wesley R. Dacus (Young Professional)
Chief William H. Johnson (Government)
Sherri Nared-Brooks (Health)
Dr. Cynthia Gooch (Education)
Jaqueline White (Business)
Vicki Quaites-Ferris (Community)
Dr. Marquerita Washington *  (Someone Special)


Maxwell Richard Ambris (Faith)
Melvin A. Clancy (Education)
Doris Govain Lassiter (Health)
Dr. Mark Foxall (Government)
Terrence Mackey (Community)
Dr. Herbert Rhodes* (Business)
Richard J. Webb (Young Professional)
LaTeya Broadway (Youth)


Jami Anders-Kemp (Community)
Cort Bonner (Business)
Wayne Houston (Health)
Dr. Amber Williams (Education)
Jaden Wrightsell (Youth)
Rev. Kenneth Allen (Faith)
Honorable Wadie Thomas, Jr. (Government)
Jason Fisher (Young Professional)


Rev. Jon Lucas (Faith)
Rianna Gunter (Youth)
Dr. Sandra Hodges (Education)
Captain Wayne Hudson (Government)
Kenny McMorris (Health)
Arvin Frazier (Community)
Chandra Henley (Business)
Aja Anderson (Young Professional)
Lonnie Mcintosh* (Someone Special)


Pastor Terry Arvie (Faith)
Sanjaya Bolton (Youth)
Wesley Dacus (Education)
Barry Thomas (Education)
Judge Derek Vaughn (Government)
Marvin Stancil (Health)
Viv Ewing (Community)
Winsley Durand III (Business)
I Be Black Girl (Ashlei Spivey and Jay Warren-Teamer) (Young Professional)
Dr. Danita Webb* (Someone Special)


Carmen Tapio (Business)
Doris Moore (Community)
Dr. Janice Garnett (Education)
Pastors Eric & Cynthia Butler (Faith)
Dr. Sheritta Strong (Health)
Dominique Morgan (Young Professional)
Emilio Haynes (Youth)
Rev. Ronald Parker (Someone Special)

History of the AALA

In the summer of 1988, an invitation was extended to Mr. James R. Beatty to join and serve on the board of the Western Heritage Museum (now the Durham Museum). He accepted and became the first African American elected to the board.  At that time, the board was comprised of numerous business and civic leaders, such as Del Weber (chancellor of the University of Nebraska Omaha), Ken Power (president of US West, which is now CenturyLink), the president of the Omaha Royals, to name just a few, who were dedicated to the concept of presenting, preserving and celebrating the history of Omaha and its people.

However, in the mind of Mr. Beatty, history meant all people, and he was inclined to ask the board chairman, “What were the museum’s plans to celebrate Black History Month?”  The answer was that nothing was planned and, to Mr. Beatty’s surprise, nor had anything ever been done in the past at the museum to recognize Black History Month.

Mr. Beatty and the museum director devised a plan to have the museum serve as a platform to showcase the accomplishments and achievements of Black people who have made significant contributions to the City of Omaha.  These accomplishments include Sports, Business, Civic, Religion, Education, and Politics.  The presentation of Mr. Beatty’s ideas was accepted, and the decision was made to recognize and memorialize individuals through a formal ceremony held at the museum and open to the public.

In 1989, the first ceremony was held in the museum’s main lobby, with about 50 to 60 people in attendance.  The ceremony honored Mildred Brown, founder, and publisher of the Omaha Star, and Bertha Calloway, founder of the Great Plains Black History Museum.  Each honoree received a plaque commemorating their achievements, and a copy remained at the museum for public display.

In 2009, the Urban League of Nebraska became the coordinating agency to host this annual event, and the ULN Guild, an auxiliary group of the League, now presents the event.  The ULN is dedicated to continuing the legacy of preserving the history of Omaha and is proud to recognize the honorees at this distinguished commemorative event.