Birmingham Field Office Celebrates
African American History Month

[Photo: Cindy and Chief Judge Clemon]
Birmingham Field Office Director, Cindy Yarbrough expresses her appreciation to Chief Judge U.W. Clemon for his participation in Birmingham Field Office African American History Month Program.

On Tuesday, February 9, 2004, employees of the Birmingham Field Office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development celebrated African American History Month. The program was developed on the theme of "Celebrating Success Through Education", in recognition of the role education has played in the advancement of the African American community.

Our speaker for the program was a man nationally recognized as a foot soldier of the Civil Rights movement, as one of the leading legal minds of his time, and as a man who used education as a step ladder to high achievement; Judge, U.W. Clemon, the Chief Justice for the Northern District of Alabama. Judge Clemons is one of nine children born to Mississippi share croppers who migrated to Fairfield, Alabama two years before his birth to seek work in the steel mills. From these humble beginnings he would go on to complete an undergraduate degree at Miles College and then a law degree at Columbia University Law School in New York City. While in law school he worked part time for the NAACP Legal Defense Funds on civil rights cases, some of which he would later handle as a lawyer. He has received awards and national honors too numerous to mention.

For his remarks at the Birmingham Field Office African American History Program Judge Clemon prepared an outline of the significant legal milestones that have empowered African Americans to participate more fully in American educational opportunities. His presentation was mesmerizing, as he wove a tale that he knew from both research and personal involvement. Every employee in attendance left the room with a better understanding of the struggles of the African American community to participate in the American education system and the kinds of sacrifices that have been made to help open the doors of opportunity.

In addition to Judge Clemons' presentation, participants also enjoyed wonderful singing by the Fisher Family Singers, a poetry presentation by Sean Nelson and a potluck lunch soul food buffet. Debra Pippen Johnson, Public Housing Revitalization Specialist, served as the Mistress of Ceremonies for the event. Donna Crane, Director, Multifamily Program Center, served as chair of the planning committee and Glenda Gray, Equal Opportunity Specialist, was recognized for her special contributions in beautifully decorating the room for the event. Field Office Director, Cindy Yarbrough offered a welcome to all visiting guests and gave closing remarks on the significance of the occasion. Other members of the African American History Month Program committee included; Vera Clemmons, Operations Specialist; Andrea Hendricks, Project Manager; Sharon Law, Program Assistant; Bobbie Mosley, Chief, Multifamily Housing Production Branc, Vicky Pippen, CPD Representative; and Carrie Saudners, Equal Opportunity Specialist. The Program was well attended and greatly enjoyed by all who participated.

Content Archived: July 11, 2011