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AROPI Call for Nominations for The Village Ball Awards


The Akron Rites of Passage Institute is seeking nominations for awards to be presented at The Village

Ball on Saturday, August 17, 2024: namely: 1) The Marcus Mosiah Garvey Award (Trailblazer); 2) The

Sojourner Truth Award (Activist); and 3) The John Brown Award (Of our Kin) Award. A fillable nomination

form is available at Afrocentric.Info/AVB along with all other related information concerning The Village


Nominees for awards should be an individual living in the greater Akron area who embodies many of the

character, principles and/or beliefs of the person named in the award.

Marcus Mosiah Garvey Jr. was a Jamaican political activist. He was the founder

and first President-General of the Universal Negro Improvement Association--

UNIA and African Communities League. Ideologically, a Black nationalist and Pan-

Africanist, his ideas came to be known as Garveyism. Marcus Garvey and the

UNIA form a critical link in Black America’s centuries-long struggle for freedom,

justice, and equality. Garvey’s legacy continues to instill pride and inspiration

among many African American people throughout the diaspora. Some of his

characteristics include:

 Organizer

 Black Cultural Economic Success

 Entrepreneur

 Orator

 Pan Africanist

 Self-reliant

 Pan African mindset approach

 Resilient

 Philanthropist/charitable

 Iconic Figure

 Advocated Self-Sufficiency in Black Communities

 Used his own resources to accomplish his goals

 Creative, i.e. RBG flag

Sojourner Truth was an American abolitionist and activist for African-

American civil rights, women's rights, and alcohol temperance. Truth

was born into slavery in Swartekill, New York, but escaped with her

infant daughter to freedom in 1826. A formerly enslaved woman,

Sojourner Truth became an outspoken advocate for abolition,

temperance, and civil and women’s rights in the nineteenth century.

Her Civil War work earned her an invitation to meet President Abraham

Lincoln in 1864. In 1851, Truth began a lecture tour that included a women’s rights conference in Akron,

Ohio, where she delivered her famous “Ain’t I A Woman?” speech. In it, she challenged prevailing notions

of racial and gender inferiority and inequality by reminding listeners of her combined strength (Truth was

nearly six feet tall) and female status. Some of her characteristics include:

 Abolitionist

 Advocate for women’s rights and social justice

 Bold, Courageous, Audacious

 Orator

 Feminist

 Spoke for equality; equal treatment

 Original

 Strong woman of faith, self-educated

 Resilient, Strong

John Brown was a prominent leader in the American abolitionist movement in the

decades preceding the Civil War. First reaching national prominence in the 1850s for

his radical abolitionism and fighting in Bleeding Kansas, Brown was captured, tried,

and executed by the Commonwealth of Virginia for a raid and incitement of a slave

rebellion at Harpers Ferry in 1859.

An evangelical Christian of strong religious convictions, Brown was profoundly

influenced by the Puritan faith of his upbringing. He believed that he was "an

instrument of God", raised to strike the "death blow" to American slavery, a "sacred

obligation". Brown was the leading exponent of violence in the American abolitionist

movement, believing it was necessary to end American slavery after decades of

peaceful efforts had failed. Brown said that in working to free the enslaved, he was following Christian

ethics, including the Golden Rule, and the Declaration of Independence, which states that "all men are

created equal". He stated that in his view, these two principles "meant the same thing". Some of his

characteristics include:

 Abolitionist

 Strategist

 Courageous, bold, radical, revolutionary

 Fought for rights

 Invested in the cause

 A friend to the idea of liberation

 Willing to confront his own community about racial injustice

 Strong moral conviction

 Sacrificed his life for the cause

Nominations may be submitted to: AROPI—Akron Rites of Passage Institute

The Village Ball Awards

P. O. Box 22315

Akron, OH 44302

OR, online at: http://Afrocentric.Info/AVB or http://Afrocentric.Info/AkronAfricanVillage/Ball.html. 

There you will be able to find information on the many ways to support our efforts to raise $10,000

towards the Legacy Building Project.

Nominations must be postmarked/received no later than June 30, 2024.

If there are questions or need for additional information, please direct inquiries to Elder Beverly Woolridge

at or 330.608.2480.


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