Last Friday, a group of high school students from Summit Sierra, a public charter school located in the heart of downtown Seattle, honored four local influential African American leaders at an inaugural Black Excellence Gala.
The event, organized by member of the school’s Black Cultural Club and drew over 115 members from the community, honored Dr. Thaddeus Spratlen, founding faculty director of the Consulting and Business Development Center at the University of Washington Foster School of Business; Dr. Maxine Mimms, founder of Evergreen State College’s Tacoma Campus; Melba Ayco, director of the Northwest Tap Connection and Jerrell Davis, a local youth advocate and activist.
“On behalf of my peers, I am honored to welcome our distinguished guests to Summit Sierra,” said Ndalo Mwamba, a junior and president of Summit Sierra’s Black Cultural Club. “This year’s Black Excellence Gala is a major first step in what will be an annual event designed to showcase African American profiles of excellence throughout the city.”
In addition to the honorees, the inaugural event, which was originally scheduled as a Black History month event in February but had to be rescheduled due to the snow, featured speakers, Black artistic traditions of excellence, food and music.
“Celebrating Black history is something that extends far beyond our classrooms and into the greater Seattle community,” said Malia Burns, founding executive director of Summit Sierra. “I am so proud of our students led by Assistant Principal Ayanna Gore for spearheading the planning of our Inaugural Black Excellence Gala and for the honorees’ lasting contributions to our city.”