HOPE: A piece by Fears-Perez on how an autistic child sees the world was also placed in the auction.

 By Vivian Shipe

KNOXVILLE, TN — The response to the Awards ceremony held at the Bearden Banquet Hall was a hint that next year’s event would need a bigger venue.

Voting was done online with the people of Knoxville and Knox County voting for those leaders and nonprofit grassroots organizations they felt were most deserving of recognition. All the names came from the community. Many of the thirty-one nominees like the honorable Mae Blanche Moore, who ran the Crutcher Youth Enrichment Center in the inner city for over 28 years, have served the community for decades; never seeking the limelight, only seeking to serve.

Yolanda Robinson, founder of Inspirational Moments, created the awards ceremony. Her vision: create a way to celebrate Black excellence. Thus, was birthed the idea of letting the people speak and honor those who serve as community business owners, entrepreneurs, influencers, pioneers, visionaries, entertainers, and leaders that are creating Black History in Knoxville. The evening itself was a creation of Black excellence with a red, black and green color theme, a silent auction with several pieces donated by one of Knoxville’s leading Black artists, a full buffet, dancing and music. During the awards ceremony, the winners received trophies and gift bags.

Among the winners honored throughout the evening were three nonprofits and young community leaders who are making an impact. Martinus Settles, known as Fiveftgiant , a local hip hop artist won the Entertainment award, Wraquel  Spencer Brown, grief specialist received the Community Leader award, and Shenedra Matthews, an entrepreneur who has a YouTube program called “Lets dig Deep” and founded SEA Portraits Magazine and Destined Magazine, was honored with the Entrepreneur Award.

Planning for next year’s awards ceremony will begin in April. For information on the 2024 event please contact Yolanda Robinson at lonny4465@gmail.com.