At a recent Council meeting, Mayor Matthew Robinson presented a City proclamation to Community Enrichment Commission chairperson Helena Smith declaring Feb. 2018 as “Black History Month” in the City of Hazelwood. The framed plaque “urged citizens to celebrate our diverse heritage and culture and continue efforts to promote a just, peaceful and prosperous world for all.”
The Community Enrichment Commission (CEC) is one of 11 Boards and Commissions comprised of residents appointed by City Council members and the Mayor to volunteer their time and serve on these committees to help make Hazelwood a better place to live and work. The directive of CEC’s Human Relations component is to eliminate prejudice and promote culture diversity through education and understanding. For 16 consecutive years, the CEC has fulfilled this directive by hosting the Annual Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on the weekend in January right before his birthday.
This year’s event was held on Sunday, January 14, at Civic Center East in Hazelwood. Nearly 200 people attended and heard brief speeches by Hazelwood Mayor Matthew Robinson and The Honorable Steve Stenger, St. Louis County Executive. Hazelwood’s City Manager Matthew Zimmerman was the Master of Ceremonies for the program who introduced the following speakers: Miss Gwen Moore, Missouri History Museum Curator; Miss Trinity Lynn Cross, 2018 North County Churches Uniting for Racial Harmony and Justice (NCCU) Oratory Contest Winner; and keynote speaker Reverend Freddy Clark, Pastor and Founder of Shalom Church City of Peace. Entertainment consisted on praise dances performed by the Coleman-Wright C.M.E. Church Angels of Praise. The program ended with a special candlelighting ceremony honoring the life and legacy of Dr. King as everyone sang and lighted each other’s candle around the room.