NCNW Bethune Recognition Luncheon Honorees: (l-r) Ms. Carrie Harris Allen,Mrs. Fabian R. Wesson and Ms. Melanie D. Perry (photo by Candice C. Montgomery)
In celebrating it’s 38th annual Bethune Recognition Luncheon the National Council of Negro Women, Inc. of Southern California Area made special honors to community leaders who’ve made a difference. The community based sections of NCNW Southern California hosted the BRL on October 20, at the Doubletree Hotel Penthouse in Torrance, CA. Members described it as “an afternoon of great food, great entertainment and a marvelous ambiance.” Hosting Sections were: Athens Westmont, Compton, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Bethune, View Park, Santa Monica and Ruth A. Sykes
1935 was the year that Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune collaborated with 28 National African American Women’ Organizations to create a unity that would last a life time. History was in the making as Dr. Bethune and a strong conglomerate of women from all walks of life, built a relationship to help promote and solidify family, faith, values, leadership and the will for self-reliance. Dr. Bethune founded NCNW; she founded Bethune-Cookman College; she was a consultant to USA Presidents; The original NCNW National Council Headquarters is made a National Historic Site in Washington, D. C. and Dr. Dorothy I. Height was appointed chair by Dr. Bethune whereby continuing the quest of establishing NCNW as a great organization bar none.
This year’s recognition of exemplary community leaders consisted of: Distinguished Community Leader – Ms. Fabian R. Wesson; Outstanding Business Leader – Ms. Melanie D. Perry; and Distinguished Educator – Ms. Carrie Harris Allen. The Bethune Recognition guests also received a special reminiscence by former Congresswoman Diane Watson of congressional actions needed by her for Dr. Dorothy I. Height to receive the “Congressional Medal of Honor”, the highest award given by the United States to a civilian. NCNW Members also applauded Congresswoman Watson for being elected to NCNW National Board of Directors and Ms. Margo Wade elected as NCNW Board Member-at-Large.
Mrs. Fabian R. Wesson is the Senior Advisor with Senator Darrell Steinberg – President Pro Tem, which she serves as liaison to the African American community in Los Angeles. As an active member of her community she is involved with Pop Warner Football, Little League, PTA, Women4EWomen, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission as a Commissioner, California Science Center Board of Directors and California Science Center Foundation as a Trustee, just to name a few. Mrs. Wesson is the wife of Councilman Herb (Wesson, Jr. and the proud mother of four sons, Douglas, Patrick, Herb III and Justin. She is also the proud grandmother of Patrick Jeremiah, Maileah Sunshine and Tatyana Sky Wesson.
Ms. Melanie D. Perry is an Author and Financial Advisor/Certified Planner. She graduated from the University of California at San Diego with a Bachelor of Science degree in Quantitative Economics. She’s helped numerous people retire comfortably, have adequate funds to send children to college or to start a business to protect their family from financial ruins.
Ms. Carrie Harris Allen is currently serving in the Los Angeles Unified School District as the Principal of East Valley High School in North Hollywood. While serving her fifth principalship over the past 30 plus years, Ms. Allen spent 12 years at Marshall Fundamental in Pasadena and 12 years at Claremont High School in Claremont. Other schools Ms. Allen has served in are Compton Centennial High, Crenshaw High School and as a Department of Defense Teacher. Ms. Allen is a graduate of Tennessee State University, she holds two Master Degrees and she is pursuing her PhD from the School of Education at the Claremont Graduate University. Her professional discipline is elementary foreign language acquisition. Ms. Allen is a member of FAME Church and she’s served as an usher since 1994. Her role models are her parents; Dr Mary McLeod Bethune and TSU track coach Ed Temple.
2012 Life Members are: Dorri Robertson and Shamara L. McFarland. 2012 Bethune Recognition Achievers are: Octavia T. Scott, Denise L. Cook, Beulah D. Dexter, Carol LeBeau-Cooper, Hazel L. Royal, Othetta W. Glover, Stephenie Wright, Mary M. Jones and Carolyn McGruder. The oblations from these sisters will aid in the many programs/projects implemented by NCNW Headquarters for it’s 42 nationwide community based sections.
The 38th Annual Bethune Recognition Luncheon Committee is: Chair, Carlin Smith and Co-Chair Pamela Wall. The other Committee Members are: NCNW Southern California Area State Co-Convener – Mrs. Othetta Glover, Denise L. Cook, Lady Cage-Barile, Joan Jackson, Octavia Scott, Susan Adams, Carolyn Carter, Anita Weatherspoon, Yolanda Lathern, Mae Taylor, Carmen Taylor Jones, Bertha Carter, Audrey LeGohn, Davette Peoples, Mary Jones, Stephanie Wright and Carolynn Martin. Special thanks to the eloquent Mistress of Ceremony Mrs. Denise L. Cook. Sisters of all walks of life are invited to become a member of NCNW. Visit NCNW Council House located at 3720 West 54th Street, Los Angeles, California 90043, (323) 299-9751 or visit NCNW National website: www.ncnw.org