Originally published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on February 21, 2024

More than 400 guests helped to raise over $400,000 for the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh’s programs and services during the 28th annual Ronald H. Brown Leadership Awards dinner at the Rivers Casino, Friday night.

The dinner was chaired by second lady of Pennsylvania Blayre Holmes Davis and Bryan Iams. After a cocktail reception and a chance to check out the silent auction, the chairs thanked everyone for their support.

Faith Otey opened the main portion of the dinner with a rendition of “Lift Every Voice.” Artist Kyle Holbrook created a painting that went for $1,700 at the live auction.

“It was a representation of the youth of Pittsburgh,” he explained.

WTAE’s Andrew Stockey was the evening’s emcee.

This year’s awardees for service to the community and fostering racial justice and inclusion were Leah Lizarondo (community), Alexandra Jones (emerging leader) and Derrick Tillman and Carmen Anderson (civic leadership). Anderson was joined by her husband, David, and her son, Cameron.

“The four dynamic leaders here this evening have addressed pressing societal issues that create a more equitable region for African Americans and other marginalized communities,” said Urban League president Carlos T. Carter (with Marcia).

Supporters included Lt. Gov. Austin Davis, Esther Bush, Mayor Ed Gainey, Audrey Russo, Rozanna Thomas and Chris Schulman, state Rep. Napoleon Nelson, Jackie Dixon, Demeatria Boccella, Sally Wiggin, Kathy Humphrey, Ron Lawrence, Danielle and Wayne Mundekis, Jennifer England and Rob Herschenfeld.