Dominion Energy and the Library of Virginia are recognizing the achievements of six African-American leaders as part of the tenth annual “Strong Men & Women in Virginia History” awards. The awards honor prominent African Americans past and present who have made noteworthy and admirable contributions to the commonwealth, the nation, and their professions.

“This year’s honorees have dedicated their lives to serving their communities. We are honored to acknowledge their achievements and all they have done to improve the lives of others,” said Bill Murray, senior vice president of Corporate Affairs & Communications, Dominion Energy. “Through activism and rising to be leaders in their fields, these six honorees have uplifted and inspired. Their leadership has provided an example for others, and their contributions have left positive and lasting impacts on society.”

“The Library of Virginia is proud to partner with Dominion Energy in recognizing the accomplishments of Black Virginians from the past through the present day,” said Dr. Sandra G. Treadway, Librarian of Virginia. “This year’s honorees join a long list of distinguished men and women who have served the Commonwealth and the nation in important ways, serving as role models for us all — especially for today’s students.”

This year’s honorees are:
– Christy S. Coleman – Williamsburg Public Historian
– Samuel H. Clark* – Roanoke Labor Leader
– Robert L. Dandridge – Norfolk Hall of Fame Basketball Player/Coach
– Rev. Dr. B.H. Hester* – Fredericksburg Minister, Civil Rights Activist
– Christyl C. Johnson – Woodbridge Engineer
– Samuel W. Tucker* – Richmond Civil Rights Attorney
*Posthumous honor

The honorees will be celebrated at a program in Richmond on June 16.

High school students are also invited to participate in an essay contest highlighting past honorees and highlighting their own personal values and experiences.  Four winning essays will be chosen, one from each of the four regions in the state. Submissions are open through February 28.