The Alan Blueford Foundation hosted their Champions of the Community Awards Ceremony and Banquet at Mingleton Temple Church of God in Christ in Oakland last Saturday. KTVU broadcaster Paul Chambers emceed the event, which featured keynote speaker Reverend Germaine Anderson of The Gathering People’s Missionary Baptist Church in Oakland.
Co-founded by Adam and Jeralynn Q.T. Blueford, the organization honored civic leaders, businesses, organizations and mothers taking the lead. Civic honorees included Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-13), Oakland City Council Member Desley Brooks (D-6) and Oakland Police Captain Bobby Hoofin. Community honorees included Dr. Doris Limbrick, Girl Talk, Inc.; Douglas Butler, Cypress Mandela; Geneva Ashley, of HER SHE Circle, Inc.; Pastor Stephanie Burrell-Hammer, Women With A Vision; Pastor Wanda Johnson, Oscar Grant Foundation and Pastor Mustafa Muhyee, BASIC Ministry. Co-founders of the Love Not Blood campaign, Cepheus X. Johnson and Beechie X. Keeton and Pastors Brandon and Maria Reems of Center of Hope Church were also honored.
In 2013, Jeralynn and Adam Blueford sought to create change after their 18-year-old son, Alan Dwayne Blueford, was murdered by a police officer. Through a variety of programs, workshops and outreach, the Blueford’s have turned their pain into purpose.
“We believe that we will enhance the quality of life in our communities, making it a better and a more productive place to live,” said Jeralynn Blueford. “Today we honor those whose purpose and commitment seeks to uplift the community.”
The event both memorialized the many lives lost to gun violence and those making a difference. Educators Dr. Darlene Willis, CEO of Concerned Parents Alliance; Rosia Horne, Patton Academy and Kelly Larkin-Watts, Studs Smart Insights were recognized. Business leaders included Tracy Bell-Borden, Exotic Link; Carl Vinson and Mollie Costello, Alan Blueford Center 4 Justice. Vanessa Russell was honored for her work combating human trafficking and Kishana Harley was recognized for her work with homeless.
Champion mothers who lost loved ones to violence were also honored, with special recognition to Dr. Jerry Brown-Bennett, the grandmother of Alan Blueford. Champion mothers included Brenda Grisham (Christopher L. Jones); Jasmine Hardison (David McDaniel, Jr.); Dinyal New (Lee Weathersby and Lamar Broussard); Venus Noble (Elliott Noble); Michelle Davenport (Ian Irby); Louri Valdez (Antonio Guzman Lopez; Angelique Paige (Vernon Eddings); Dionne Smith-Downs (James Rivera); Heydi Cherry (Kenneth Cherry, Jr.). Beechie Keeton performed a special tribute, “Blessed and Highly Favored.”
“This event was an amazing way to honor the memory of Alan Blueford and uplift the many people making a difference in our community,” said Dr. Doris Limbrick, CEO of Girl Talk, Inc. “When we turn tragedy into action we can rebuild and heal our communities.”