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The National Organization of Black County Officials (NOBCO) wrapped up their 37th annual economic development conference on Sunday with a gospel and prayer breakfast led by author, film & television producer Devon Franklin. (The conference was held at The Westin on October 18th-22nd.) Three trailblazers from the community were honored during NOBCO’s awards luncheon on Friday. Mecklenburg County Commission Chair George Dunlap stated that the goal was to honor leaders who had made an impact beyond the Charlotte community.  Receiving awards were:

  • Dr.  Bertha Maxwell Roddey-first chair of the Afro-American and African Studies Department at UNC-Charlotte, co-founder of the Harvey B. Gantt Center, and national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc (1992-1996)
  • Bishop George Battle(retired)-84th Bishop of the AME Zion Church, founder of the Greater (formerly Gethsemane) Enrichment Program, 2015 United Negro College Fund Legacy Award honoree and Charlotte Post Luminary Award recipient
  • Attorney James Feguson-prominent civil rights attorney, founding partner of Ferguson, Stein, Chambers, Gresham and Sumter, P.A., helped to launch the first integrated law firm in North Carolina in the ’60s (with Attorney Julius Chambers)

Attorney Ben Crump participated in a fireside chat about African American community issues and environmental racism on Thursday. Award winning actor Hill Harper spoke about voter apathy in the black community on Friday. Some other sessions included a fireside chat that focused on men’s mental health, empowering HBCUs with local county government, financial literacy and its effect on promoting generational wealth, and more.

According to its website, NOBCO is “one of the largest and most influential caucuses of African American officials” in this country. The organization, headquartered in Washington, D.C, provides “an organizational structure for networking, information, and resource sharing.” The conference was originally scheduled for June 21st-25th in Miami-Dade County, Florida.  However, NOBCO says the location was changed “in solidarity with the NACCP’s May 20th travel advisory for the state of Florida.”