Dwight Lewis

NASHVILLE, TN — If you haven’t heard about Les Gemmes’ 13th Annual Literary Luncheon, then read up. You don’t want to miss this amazing event. The event will be Saturday, February 22, 2020 at 11 am. at the newly renovated Renaissance Hotel in Downtown Nashville and it is slated to be the best yet. In addition to the authors and speakers, Dr. Beverly Bond of the University of Memphis and Founder of the I Can Fly Network, Roderick Glover, Mr. Dwight Lewis and Ms. Marie Sueing will be honored.

Mr. Dwight Lewis

New to the program this year is the Rosetta Miller Perry Literary Award. This award is reserved for an individual or organization in the community who has made a significant contribution in the literary field. Veteran journalist and author, Dwight Lewis, will be the inaugural recipient of this year’s award during the luncheon. 

Mr. Lewis is an award-winning journalist who retired in September 2011 as editorial page editor and op-ed page columnist for The Tennessean.  In addition to his 40-year work at The Tennessean, Mr. Lewis has also authored, co-authored and contributed to many literary

Dwight Lewis

works including the book A Will To Win, the Tennessee Encyclopedia of History & Culture, the book Thinking Black: Some of the Nation’s Best Black Columnists Speak Their Mind, and more recently, the book Temple’s Tigerbelles: An Illustrated History Of The Women Who Outran The World. In addition to books, Mr. Lewis has written articles for many magazines including Gospel today and Ebony and he has been interviewed on the ABC television program, Nightline, and has also appeared on numerous other television and radio broadcasts.

Interesting enough, Mr. Lewis has a bit of acting in his background as well as he portrayed a journalist is the movie, “Marie,’’ which was released in the fall of 1985 by MGM/United Artists Entertainment Company.

Mr. Lewis has also had the honor of serving as a Pulitzer Prize juror and meeting with Presidents Bill Clinton and Barak Obama on various matters.

In addition to receiving the Rosetta Miller Perry Literary Award, Mr. Lewis has been acknowledged and honored by the National Association of Black Journalists, the Oasis Center of Nashville, the Unique Gents, his alma mater Tennessee State University, the Gamma Phi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi and the American Civil Liberties Union to name a few.

Mrs. Marie Sueing

Marie Sueing will receive the Dr. Evelyn Fancher Community Award in recognition of her work in the community.  Mrs. Sueing is the Senior Vice President of Multicultural Community Relations for the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation (NCVC). In this

Marie Sueing, vice president of
Multi-Cultural Community Relations with the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp.

role, her efforts include increasing convention and tourism sales for the city and enhancing community relations and perception by promoting Nashville’s diverse offerings through product development and events. Over her thirty-year hospitality career, she has served in multiple positions in Atlanta, Memphis and Nashville. Prior to joining the NCVC in 2006, she worked with Marriott International, Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, and Starwood Hotels Worldwide.

A member of the National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals and Religious Conference Manager Assn, Marie also serves on the boards of the National Museum of African American Music (serving on several committees), the Nashville Children’s Theatre, the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and From the Heart International Education Foundation. Her community engagement, support and committee work on behalf of the NCVC is extensive, including (but not limited to) organizations and events such as the NAACP Freedom Fund Banquet (NAACP Life Member), Urban League of Middle TN Equal Opportunity Day Luncheon, Nashville Jazz Workshop Diversity and Inclusion Committee, Fisk Jubilee Singers Annual Spring Sing, St. Jude Spirit of the Dream, and a variety of cultural festivals that take place around the city throughout the year. She serves on TSU’s John Merritt Classic, Women of Legend and Merit Gala and Homecoming committees, in addition to assisting and promoting other HBCUs in various efforts. Her focus in these areas allow her to continue to help develop and promote new initiatives that further highlight Nashville’s diversity to visitors and locals alike.

Over the years, Marie has served in a variety of personal organizations including Jack and Jill of American Inc., Nashville Chapter, where she served on the executive board, implemented new educational experiences for the teen group, and served on a variety of committees to further the work of the organization. She recently graduated out of Jack and Jill and has joined the Associates group with plans to give back in a meaningful way to the organization and community. She is also currently an engaged member of both the Nashville chapters of The Girl Friends, Inc. and Circle-Lets, Inc.

The Literary Luncheon serves as the organization’s preeminent fundraiser to support the program “Lighting the Path for Girls.”   The fundraiser provides scholarships to the Jewels, the young ladies who are mentored in the program, who are graduating from high school and plan to engage in post-secondary education.  Funds raised also go to support the monthly activities provided for the Jewels.

Sponsors: Advance Financial, Scholarship  Sponsor for 13 years; Contributors: American Baptist College, Assessor of Property Vivian Wilhoite, Atty. Tillman Payne, Beards Landscaping, Citizens Savings Bank & Trust, Councilwoman Berkley Allen, D3 Entertainment Group, First Horizon Bank, Former Councilwoman Erica Gilmore, Former Judge and Councilman Nick Leonardo, Gayles Winery, LLC., Investments R.E. Developers & Builders, Judge Amanda McClendon, Judge Jennifer Smith, Judge Mark Fishburn and wife, Claudette Fishburn, Judge Philip Smith, Lifestyle Entertainment, Mayor John Cooper, Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp., Nashville General Hospital, Nashville Wraps, Pastor Howard E. Jones, Jr., Representative Bill Beck, Trustee Parker Toler, The Tennessee Tribune, The Law Firm of Manson, Johnson, and Conner  and Vice Mayor Jim Shulman.

Tickets are $75.00 and include complimentary valet parking. You may purchase tickets on Eventbrite or through a member of the organization. You may also call 615-496-1849 if you are interested in purchasing tickets, being a sponsor or would like additional information about the event. Contact Rene’ Whittaker for Vendor information 615-838-6164.