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The 2018 honorees have been announced for the fourth annual Black History Persons of the Year and Youth of the Year Dinner, which is set for 6 p.m. Saturday in the Parish Hall of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 512 Champagnolle Road.

The annual dinner is presented by Meet Me at the Court and The Bailey Family.

The event is free and open to the public.

Attire is formal/Sunday best, said Veronica Bailey, chief executive officer and founder of Meet Me at the Court.

Bailey said the purpose of the dinner is to celebrate Black History Month with “food, fellowship and togetherness.”

“We want to come together as one and not let — there’s so much important history out there, we just don’t want it to go unlearned,” Bailey said.

The dinner recognizes notable people, children and adults, who make an impact on the community in a variety of capacities.

The Rev. Roy “Brother Roy” Williams will deliver the keynote address. Williams is the student success coach for the Upward Bound program at South Arkansas Community College.

Williams has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management, with a minor in finance, from Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia.

He is pastor of Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church in Camden. He and wife Diane have four children, Daphne, Ebony, Corey and Kingston.

During the dinner, winners will also be announced for the 2018 Black History Poster/Collage/Essay Contest, also sponsored by Meet Me at the Court and The Bailey Family.

Also in its fourth year, the contest is open to area students in grades K – 12.

Bailey said sponsors were pleased to see more participation this year from students outside El Dorado, noting there was a large showing from Strong-Huttig and Smackover schools.

Prizes will be awarded to first-, second- and third-place winners in each category. Prizes include monetary gifts, gift cards and trophies.

Recipients of the 2018 Black History Persons of the Year and Youth of the Year awards are:

• Arionna Brown, 16, an 11th-grader at El Dorado High School. Brown is a member of PRIDE, the EHS girls track team, Upward Brown, South Arkansas Arts Center and Meet Me at the Court.

As a member of Victory Church, Brown serves as a Sunday School youth leader and a member of the Launch Youth Ministry.

She is the daughter of Latoyla Smith and Vincent Smith and the late Quangrell Brown.

• Andrell Brown, 15, a 10th grader at EHS. Like her sister Arionna Brown, Andrell Brown is a member of PRIDE, the EHS girls track team, Upward Bound, SAAC, and Meet Me at the Court. She is also a youth Sunday School leader and a member of Launch at Victory Church.

• Carmelo Brown is in the eighth grade at Barton Junior High School, where he serves as eighth-grade class president, a member of Student Council and vice president of FBLA. He is also part of SAAC and involved in Launch at Victory Church. He is the brother of the Brown sisters.

• Daniel Frazier, a fourth grader at Retta Brown elementary school. Frazier is a member of SAAC, and he attends Victory Church, where he is part of the Awana Youth Ministry. Frazier is also the son of Latoyla Smith and Vincent Smith.

• Victoria E. Davis, a first-year medical student at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

Davis is a 2013 graduate of EHS, where she was the first African American valedictorian.

In December 2016, she graduated with honors from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro with bachelor’s degrees in biology and chemistry.

At ASU, Davis served as vice president of Minorities in Healthcare Professions and secretary of Zeta Phi Beta, Inc. Davis is a member of Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church, No. 2.

• Jeanette Brown, a professor in the Physical Therapist Assistant Program at SouthArk.

Jeanette Brown is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association and the Union County chapter of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Alumni Association.

She has one child, two grandchildren, and two great grandchildren.

• Destinee Rogers, head coach of the EHS girls basketball team.

The Strong native holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in health science from the University of Central Arkansas in Conway.

As a basketball player at Strong-Huttig and Camden Fairview, Rogers won a total of four state championships.

She also won two Southland Conference championships as a player and assistant coach at UCA.

Last year, in her first season at EHS, Rogers guided the team to the 6A state championship semi-finals.

She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Rogers. Ronald Rogers is head coach for the girls basketball team at Little Rock Christian Academy.

Tia Lyons may be contacted at 870-862-6611 or

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