“We have no time to waste.”
Georgia Supreme Court Justice Verda M. Colvin gave that call to action to the 100 Black Men of Southeast Georgia and their mentees during the group’s first banquet in three years Saturday night, April 15, at the Lee Street Resource Center.
The banquet has been cancelled the last few years due to the threat of COVID-19.
A capacity crowd attended the banquet. Theme was “What They See is What they Will Be.”
Justice Colvin built her remarks around that theme relating she had participated in a career day at two Macon area high schools and asked students there what they most needed.
“The students told me they needed adults to show up and be there for them,” she said.
Colvin issued that challenge to the 100 Black Men and those gathered encouraging everyone to get involved.
“We shouldn’t have just one career day per year at school,” she said. “Students need us to be involved and engaged. Our children make up 22 percent of the population in the United States and — 100 percent of our future.”
Justice Colvin pointed out all children needed to have good role models and needed to be able to see people just like them who have excelled in various career fields.
“I challenge you to not wring your hands and say ‘something must be done’, but rather say ‘I must do something’,” she said.
Justice Colvin pointed out she has hired one of the Lee Street mentees, Brianna Hayes of Baxley, as one of her law clerks in the next term.
Justice Colvin was given a standing ovation after her remarks.
Hayes introduced Justice Colvin at the event.
Justice Colvin was appointed to the Supreme Court July 20, 2021, by Gov. Brian Kemp. She is the first African-American female appointed by a Republican governor to the state’s high court.
Terrence Lott was recognized as Man of the Year by the 100 Black Men organization and Connie Prater was recognized for her efforts in organizing a Farmers Fair at the center. The fair drew farmers from all over the area helping participants learn about how to get into farming or make their existing farm operations better.
Topics included opportunities for veterans in agriculture, tips on avoiding common farm loan mistakes, applying for federal agriculture grants, how to avoid heirs property problems with farmland and marketing produce to local school districts.
Music was provided by Waddell Taylor, Reginald Taylor, Dr. Andrew Jackson and Vera Shider, accompanied by Tanja Edward. Music was also provided by D.J. Record Shop of Jacksonville, FL
Remarks were also given by Charles Broady, Elder Troy Jackson, Melvin Johnson and Lott.
Prayers were offered by Elder Deland Bailey and Pastor Lorenzo Young Jr.
The meal included roast beef, fried chicken, rice and gravy, green beans, baby carrots, rolls, dessert and tea.
The 100 Black Men of Southeast Georgia is a civic organization, founded in 1998. The organization’s goal is to provide for the intellectual, economic, family, and spiritual development of youth.
Members of the 100 Black Men include T. Jackson, Dr. A. Jackson, Taylor, Johnson, Bailey, Clarence Billups, Broady, Leonard Burse Jr., Gerald Copeland, William Croom, Christopher Danford, James Deen, John Fluker, Glenn Harris, Tyrone Harris, Dywane Johnson, Tyler Johnson, Terence Lott, Theodore Mackey, Waymon Mood, Jeffery Muhammad, Jamie Paulk, Ralph Terry, Tony Reynolds, General Rhem, Shawn Sanders, W. Taylor, R. Taylor, Swails Turner, Jerry West and Young.