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Metro Detroit Leaders Gather to Honor Supporters from Staff, Business & Labor at the  6th Annual African American Leadership Awards


The African American Leadership Awards celebration is a unique event that honors those unsung heroes who labor behind the scenes to advance the policies and causes that empower the community. They were created to salute public servants, business leaders, and community leaders for their contributions to the African-American community, either locally, regionally or statewide.

This year’s event is Friday, February 22 from 5:30 p.m. – midnight at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, 315 East Warren Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201.

  1. 1. VIP/Afterglow tickets - $100 and include a 5:30 p.m. pre-reception plus afterglow from 9 p.m. to midnight
  2. 2. VIP tickets - $75 for preferred seating at the 7 p.m. awards ceremony 
  3. 3. General Admission tickets - $45 for the 7 p.m. awards ceremony

Tickets can be purchased at the door or online at

Event emcees are Detroit Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley and WXYZ Channel 7 editorial/public affairs director Chuck Stokes. The keynote speaker is Gail Perry-Mason, senior director of Investments at Oppenheimer & Co., Inc.

AALA alumni awardees, elected officials, celebrities, special guests and the selection committee will honor nominees in these unheralded categories: ANNETTE RAINWATER GRASSROOTS ORGANIZER OF THE YEAR; POLITICAL PIONEER, honoring a retiree; BOB MILLENDER POLITICAL STRATEGIST OF THE YEAR, for mentoring candidates and championing causes; EMERGING BLACK LEADER, award for a leader or organizer under 35; JOHN CONYERS JR. BLACK LEGISLATOR OF THE YEAR; LABOR LEADER OF THE YEAR; LEAR CORP BUSINESS LEADER OF THE YEAR, honoring a retiree; BRUCE FEASTER STAFFER OF THE YEAR, for going beyond the call of duty to serve constituents.

The awards are produced by veteran political strategist Al Williams, the founder and president of the African American Leadership Institute, who said the genesis of this event was when “Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence discussed pulling together African-American community leaders, business leaders, and African-American elected officials to ensure we are united and working together on issues that affect all of us!”

In line with the theme of honoring those who give of themselves for the greater good, proceeds from the event benefit Best for Vets, a 501c3 non-profit organization that focuses on bettering the lives of U.S military veterans. For more information, see:

The event is sponsored by the Michigan Legislative Black Caucus, Greektown Casino, and PNC Bank. For more information on the organization or awards event, contact African American Leadership at (313) 420-9345 or

Media contact:  Melanie Williams – Bowers, GURU Public Relations Events & Concierge and GURU Communications at For more information regarding the event or sponsorship request please contact Sunni Jones of Conversations Media Group LLC at 888.682.9510 ex 1



In 2014, at the 1st Annual African American Leadership Awards, over 300 people were in attendance including 53 African-American elected officials from across the state of Michigan. In 2015, over 400 people attended including 73 African-American elected officials and over 200 community leaders, labor leaders and business leaders. The 3rd Annual African American Leadership Awards in 2016 saw over 500 people attend, with live streaming to over 1000 viewers.

Since the beginning, Lear Corporation, Laborers Local 1191, Detroit International Bridge Co., Diggs Group, Rickman Enterprises have all come together to ensure the African American Leadership Awards Ceremony continues to be an experience that inspires and salutes the many accomplishments of African Americans. From Detroit Mayor Coleman A. Young to Flint Mayor Floyd McCree, accomplishments made by African American leaders from around the state deserve recognition. From Bob Millender of Detroit to Greg Eaton of Lansing, African Americans have contributed to improving the quality of life for all Michiganders.