Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (CT-05) recognized the outstanding work of African-American community leaders in central and northwest Connecticut at the second annual Standing on the Shoulders of Giants Black History Month program.
   “During Black History Month, we rightfully pay tribute to the giants of the Civil Rights Movement such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Thurgood Marshall, and John Lewis, but today we have the opportunity to recognize the heroes in our own backyard,” Esty said. “The accomplished educators, veterans, and community leaders we honor today have devoted themselves to public service and have improved the lives of their neighbors in central and northwest Connecticut through countless acts of courage, kindness, and selflessness.”
   Esty hosted the Standing on the Shoulders of Giants Black History Month program today in Veterans Memorial Hall at Waterbury City Hall. High school students, educators, local NAACP presidents and members, community activists, and local and state elected leaders were also in attendance at the event.
The following individuals received awards in recognition of their outstanding contributions to their communities:

  • Jahana Hayes, 2016 Connecticut Teacher of the Year, Wolcott resident
  •  Sam Beamon, Vietnam veteran, Wolcott  and Waterbury resident
  • Gladys McFarland, Executive Director of Amos House, Danbury resident
  • Ebenezer Bassett (posthumous), the First African-American graduate of New Britain Normal School, the founding institute for Central Connecticut State University
  • Concerned Black Clergy of Waterbury (CBCCW) faith leaders, including:
  • Pastor Shirley A Brown, Inner Cities Outreach Ministries, Inc.
  • Pastor Rodney Wade, President CBCCW, Long Hill Bible Church
  • Pastor F. Lydale Brown, Burning Bush Family Life Center
  • Pastor Pamela Hughes, Vice President CBCCW, Faith Generation Ministries      
  • Pastor Royal Moore, Family Worship Center COGIC
  • Bishop Lionel French, Gospel Tabernacle Ministries
  • Pastor Alfred Warren, Chaplin CBCCW, New Deliverance COGIC
  • Bishop Raymond Berger, Rehoboth Church of Christ Jesus
  • Pastor Daniel Edwards, Secretary CBCCW, Macedonia Church of the Living God
  • Pastor James Tillery, Treasurer CBCCW, Victory Christian Center ll
  • Bishop T.C. Brantley, Restoration Springs Interdenominational Church