Last night at the 43rd Annual NAACP Image Awards, gospel singer Yolanda Adams took the viewing audience to church with an emotional tribute to the late Whitney Houston. Backed by a choir, Adams sang “I Love The Lord”, a song Houston performed in one of her last films in 1996, The Preacher’s Wife. It’s safe to say there wasn’t a dry eye in the house by the time Adams walked off the stage.
Watch performance below:
What say you readers? did Adams do Houston justice in her performance?
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Ellen Zucker, the attorney who represented three women who accused the City of Cambridge of civil right discrimination was recognized last weekend by the NAACP (the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) at its annual Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Breakfast.
Zucker, who is a partner at Burns & Levinson LLP, received the NAACP’s Drum Major Award for Justice award for her work representing former city of Cambridge workers Mary Wong, Linda Stamper and Malvina Monteiro and in recognition of her work advancing civil rights in the pursuit of social justice.
the award was presented at the annual breakfast held by the Cambridge NAACP on February 11th at the Marriot Hotel in Cambridge. the event honors individuals whose life and work exemplify the mission of the NAACP and the vision of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Cambridge City Councilors, David Maher, Tim Toomey, Minka vanBeuzekom, Leland Cheung, Denise Simmons, Marjorie Decker and Ken Reeves attended the breakfast, but according to Zucker, both Toomey and Maher left as she took the stage.
according to Councilor Maher, he did not leave and remained for the entirety of Zucker’s speech.
“when you take a case because you think it’s the right thing to do, and it works and is acknowledged in court what your client went through, it’s gratifying,” she said. “Winning feel great but the victory is incomplete. we need people to know these are issues in Cambridge and we need to address them.”
in a press release, Zucker said she felt lawyers are fortunate when they get the chance to represent an individual whose integrity they trust and whose cause is just.
“we are not the heroes; our clients are. it is they who are courageous; it is they who shine a light on discriminatory and unlawful practices that all-too-often go unchallenged,” she said in a press release. “With this award, the NAACP honors not my journey but my clients’. I thank the NAACP – and my clients for trusting me and allowing me the opportunity to assist them in seeking justice.”
Zucker served as lead trial and appellate counsel in Monteiro v. the City of Cambridge, where she argued that the City of Cambridge had “engaged in a systematic campaign to punish” its employee, Malvina Monteiro, for having filed a Charge of Discrimination with the Massachusetts Commission against Discrimination and pursued her legal rights. the jury, the trial court and the Appeals Court agreed.
in August of 2011, the Appeals Court affirmed the jury’s verdicts, including the award of $3.5 million in punitive damages for conduct found to be “outrageous.” after a decade of litigation, the City of Cambridge was ultimately obliged to pay a judgment over $8 million to Monteiro.
the City then resolved the claims of Wong and Stamper, represented by Zucker, who had, along with Monteiro, filed claims of discrimination and retaliation against the City.
“It’s truly a blessing that I found an Attorney like Ellen Zucker,” said Malvina Monteiro. “I have never seen an attorney work so hard. Her loyalty and commitment to the case; her everlasting patience and determination; and her deep knowledge of the law made us stay in the road. I am grateful for her careful counseling, for her unyielding availability throughout these long years, and for her precious legal advice, which in the United States is truly invaluable.”
Editor note: the original story incorrectly stated that Councilor David Maher left the breakfast when Ellen Zucker took the stage. Maher said he did not leave.
The woman who heads the Lake Elsinore/Southwest Riverside County Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and a man who leads an environmental action committee for the Sierra Club and is an outspoken opponent of the local Liberty Quarry project were both honored this past weekend by the Democratic Club of Southwest Riverside County.
Mary Venerable and Fred Bartz were honored by the club as “Volunteers of the Year” in recognition of their community activism. the honors were presented at the club’s annual awards dinner Feb. 4 at Harveston Community Center in Temecula.
Also honored at the event for their volunteer service to the community were Brenda Phillips of Lake Elsinore and Nick Shestople of Temecula. among other things, Phillips serves as secretary of the local NAACP branch and has volunteered her service to the California State Federation of Chapters of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association. Shestople, among other things, is an active supporter of the local temple Chabad Jewish Center in Temecula and serves as president of the NARFE Southwest Riverside County Chapter #478.
For her part, Venerable has been a longtime presence in Lake Elsinore. she helped found the Lake Elsinore/Southwest Riverside County Branch of the NAACP in 1997 and is currently serving as its president. Since 2005 she has been a member of the Citizens Advisory Committee to the Riverside County Transportation Commission. A retired Federal employee, Venerable is also active in the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, and in 2008 was selected as the organization’s first National Service Officer of the Year.
Bartz is a member of the Sierra Club Santa Margarita Group of the San Gorgonio chapter. he is also a member of the Save our Southwest Hills organization and as such has been an outspoken leader in the opposition to the Liberty Quarry project.
“A recent arrival to the Temecula Valley after retiring from Chrysler-Mercedes Benz, Bartz told the group that he never anticipated being a community activist but couldn’t just sit by and let the Liberty Quarry despoil the local environment,” according to a news release from the Feb. 4 event.