Civil Rights Institute hosts community banquet - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Civil Rights Institute hosts community banquet

ACRI hosted a banquet to honor community organizations (Source: WALB) ACRI hosted a banquet to honor community organizations (Source: WALB)
WALB-TV recieved an award (Source: WALB) WALB-TV recieved an award (Source: WALB)
Chief Meteorologist Yolanda Amadeo (Source: WALB) Chief Meteorologist Yolanda Amadeo (Source: WALB)
Frank Wilson (Source: WALB) Frank Wilson (Source: WALB)
Rutha Harris (Source: WALB) Rutha Harris (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

The Albany Civil Rights Institute recognized two south Georgia organizations for their service to the community.

WALB-TV and the Albany Freedom Singers were Friday night's recipients at the Boyd-Grant Community Service Dinner. The annual fundraiser provides money to keep the facility open.

Music kicked off the third annual Boyd-Grant Community Service Dinner at the Albany Civic Center, to recognize trailblazers in the community.

"It recognizes individuals or businesses that have done great things in changing the landscape for civil rights in Southwest Georgia," said ACRI Executive Director Frank Williams.

WALB's very own Chief Meteorologist Yolanda Amadeo received an award on behalf of the station. 

Wilson says WALB-TV was a leader among integration in the deep south.

"They were the leaders in integrating their staff. Having hired John White as a news anchor on the weekend back when African Americans were not on television," said Wilson.

When called upon, they performed music of the civil rights movement and delivered the message of the civil rights movement.

The next recipient was the Albany Freedom Singers, who used their voices for equal rights, traveling 50 thousand miles during the Civil Rights Movement.

"It makes me feel wonderful because I've been doing this since I was 21 years old and I am so happy that they choose the group to get the award tonight," said Freedom Singer Rutha Harris.

The speaker for the event was Reverend Carolynne Williams, the daughter of the late Reverned E. James Grant, who spoke about growing up in Albany during the days of segregation.

"It allows us to continue our work in bringing the story of the Civil Rights era and to make sure that our children and our children's children will remember that history," said Wilson.

The event has grown each year and is vital to the institute's work.

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