Urban League to honor 5 ‘Distinguished Warriors’

Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News

Detroit — Their accomplishments and commitment to human and civil rights are many, and they represent professionals and leaders with diverse backgrounds, say the organizers of a Michigan human services and advocacy group.

Now they are being honored by the Urban League of Detroit and Southeastern Michigan’s 36th annual Salute to Distinguished Warriors Dinner for their human and civil rights contributions to the local African-American community as Distinguished Warriors.

Five 2015 Distinguished Warriors will be recognized for their dedication to strengthening the community:

Former Michigan Gov. James Blanchard was cited by the Urban League for his “success in turning around Michigan’s finances, working with the private sector to attract business investment and trade” during eight years in office, beginning in 1983.

■Angelo B. Henderson, the late Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, community activist and radio talk show host of “Your Voice with Angelo Henderson.” Henderson became associate pastor of worship, vision and emerging ministries at Hope United Methodist Church in Southfield. Seven years later, he was named director of evangelism and outreach at Triumph Church in Detroit, which included “overseeing the church prison ministry, My Brothers Keepers and the creation of a monthly food drive serving over 300 families,” according to a news release from the league. Henderson was a co-founder of the Detroit 300, a crime-fighting citizens patrol group.

■Haifa Fakhouri, president and CEO of the Arab American and Chaldean Council, is credited with developing and implementing employment and training programs through her organization. She also is being honored for a $36 million development project that revitalized a struggling neighborhood.

■The Rev. James C. Perkins, pastor of Greater Christ Baptist Church, “believes the church has a responsibility to serve both the temporal as well as the spiritual needs of the surrounding community.” He is being recognized for establishing numerous business enterprises that support the community. In 2006, Providence Place, a $10 million residential development, was constructed for low- and middle-income families as part of Perkins’ projects.

■Maribodine Busey Robinson, a 105-year-old active in the civil rights and women’s suffrage movements, obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacy from Ohio State University in 1930 and a master’s degree in chemistry in 1932. She worked briefly as a research assistant doing work on penicillin at Receiving Hospital and volunteered in many local civic and social organizations.

The five will be honored at a dinner March 26 at the Detroit Marriott Hotel in the Renaissance Center.

The contributions of such leaders continue to be an important part of the African-American community, said N. Charles Anderson, president and CEO of Urban League of Detroit and Southeastern Michigan.

“Here at the Urban League, we touch lives of thousands of individuals each year to help them establish their own success stories ... ,” said Anderson.

The Urban League was founded in 1916 to help families and individuals though programs for employment, youth and educational achievement, organizers said, and to improve socioeconomic conditions.

Tickets for the event, which begins at 5:30 p.m., are $200 per person.

For information, call (313) 832-4600, Ext. 15532.

bwilliams@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2027