African American community leaders honored as Chicago treasures

February 27, 2014 (CHICAGO)

Clerk of the Circuit Court Dorothy Brown's Black History Month celebration featured entertainment by the legends of Chicago hip hop, delivering a tribute to Nelson Mandela and sending out a message of peace.

The event celebrated the work and important contributions of 10 honorees, calling them African American community treasures. Valerie Warner, co-host of the Emmy Award-winning talk and entertainment show Windy City Live seen on ABC7 Chicago, wowed the crowd.

"To be standing side by side with such an outstanding and distinguished group of African American treasures is a moment I will keep close to my heart and I will not forget," said Warner.

Warner's colleagues and the ABC7 President and General Manager John Idler were on hand to support her.

"I just think of me as Val, not as anyone doing anything special," said Warner.

Rev. Charles Jenkins, Grammy Award-winning songwriter and pastor of Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church, graciously received his award.

"To be a part of this celebration today is a reminder of what I need to be doing," said Rev. Jenkins.

Walt Whitman, founder, president and musical director of the world renowned youth performance group, Soul Children of Chicago, a group that has toured internationally.

"It is a great honor to be considered a treasure," said Dr. Whitman. The diverse group of honorees who have made a contribution throughout the entire year. They are truly Chicago's treasures.

"We need to honor people throughout the year because there are so many people who have done wonderful things," said Brown.

These African American community treasures are also Chicago legends. Many say their work is never done.

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