By Vivian Shipe
KNOXVILLE, TN — The evening was very special. People had traveled by cars and vans to be present at the 12th annual Distinguished African American Professional and Student Awards (DAPS). The awards were held the first Saturday of December in Knoxville along with the fourth annual African American Hall of Legacy and the H.R. Mills Black Cultural Awards.
AHERN Magazine, which is distributed across Tennessee and 15 states, has a mission of reaching outside one community and touching other communities, and during the banquet the magazine recognized several individuals and organizations.
Businesses of the Year went to Dockery- Senter Funeral Home and Jarnigan’s Mortuary. Jarnigan’s was also recognized as the oldest business in Knoxville Tennessee with over 135 years of service.
Ministry of the Year went to The Faith Leaders Church Initiative for vaccinating over 60,000 people of color and the Director of the Year went to Reverend Dr. Harold Middlebrook. Reverend Dr. Kenneth Calvert of Shiloh Baptist Church in Kingsport was recognized as Pastor of the Year
The student of the year, Kania Hutchinson was from Austin East, the education award went to U.T. Community Diversity and Relations Chair Tyvi Small, the Black Culture Award went to the Douglass Alumni Association and the Reporter of the Year award went to Vivian Shipe.
Hallerin Hilton Hill keynote speaker spoke about Hope becoming a habit which was well received by those in attendance.