Home Lifestyle Black History A.G. Gaston Conference Seeks Unsung Community Heroes for A.G. Gaston Community Service...

A.G. Gaston Conference Seeks Unsung Community Heroes for A.G. Gaston Community Service Award


Bob DickersonBIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The. A.G. Gaston Conference is seeking unsung community heroes for the 2015 A.G. Gaston Community Service Award. Nominations will be accepted through January 25 on the conference website, www.AGGastonConference.com. The award will be presented during the 11th annual conference, to be held Tuesday and Wednesday February 17-18, at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.
Ideal candidates will exemplify the characteristics of the late Black millionaire A.G. Gaston: active in their church, involved in philanthropic activities, and creating an impact in the metro Birmingham business community. Nominations are being accepted from candidates and persons seeking to acknowledge deserving members of their community.
The A.G. Gaston Conference was founded in 2005 by Bob Dickerson of the Birmingham Business Resource Center and Gaynelle Adams-Jackson of Advanced Planning Services. Dickerson said of the A.G. Gaston Community Service Award, “It is important for us to not only recognize the business leaders in our communities, but also the unsung heroes who are making a difference but barely acknowledged.”
Finalists for the award will be notified by Feb. 1. The winner will be announced during the A.G. Gaston Legacy Luncheon on Tuesday, February 17. The two-day conference will be moderated by Randall Pinkston, a former White House correspondent for CBS. Registration for the conference and a listing of the agenda is available at www.AGGastonConference.com.
The A.G. Gaston Conference draws business leaders from across the Black community, along with a diverse group who gather to honor Gaston’s legacy, discuss current trends in business and lessons today’s Black businesses can learn to cultivate the next generation of Black millionaires committed to serving the community.
Dr. Gaston, named by “Black Enterprise” magazine as the Black Entrepreneur of the 20th Century, built a multi-million-dollar empire that included radio stations, a funeral home, business school, motel, and construction, insurance and banking industries. He was the J.P. Morgan and Andrew Carnegie of Alabama’s Black community. Gaston amassed wealth that provided hundreds of jobs and economic opportunities for African-Americans across Alabama over much of the 20th Century, allowing his legacy to live on past his death in 1996 at age 103.
Gaston recognized the importance of using his wealth to support social justice. During a time when many African-Americans were turned away from hotels practicing Jim Crow segregation, Gaston opened the A.G. Gaston Motel to welcome Black visitors, and allowed civil rights leaders like the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth and Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to hold meetings in his downtown office.

Previous articleGerald Anderson “Jerry” Lawson
Next articleDo You Know Your History?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here