Williamson Daily News

Earlier this year, a series of events were sponsored during Black History Month / Harmony 365 in partnership with Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College (SWVCTC).

The 2019 national theme, "Black Migration," emphasized the movement of people of African descent to new destinations and subsequently to new social realities. It was released by the Association for the Study of African-American Life and History, founded by Dr. Carter G. Woodson (1875-1950), the "Father of Black History" week, now month, who at one time was a resident and educator in Huntington.

Highlighting that NAACP program at the Logan Street Baptist Church in Williamson, Rev. Gerald Dotson, host pastor, presented special awards to several people, recognizing them for their contributions to the betterment of the community.

The NAACP presented "Community Achievement Awards" to recognize local business professionals who have made a significant difference in the Williamson community and surrounding areas by positively impacting the quality of health and well-being, thus of life, of the people they serve. The outstanding recipients of this "first-time" award presented by the Branch were Christopher D. Beckett, DO, and Alan K. Vance, DDS.

Dr. Dino Beckett, with 19 years of experience in the Williamson community, was recognized for his outstanding achievement in creating the Williamson Health and Wellness Center, a federally qualified health center. Beckett's award stated that "we applaud you for returning to your home to improve conditions in your community. We appreciate your goal to improve individual lives as well as the community. Through hard work, dedication, and courage, you have made a difference in the lives of many, not only in your community, but by other states and some countries who have sought to use your model for improving the health of a community."

Alan K. Vance, DDS, family and cosmetic dental services, was recognized for his outstanding achievement in dentistry. He has served the Williamson community since 1985, traveling from Charleston for 34 years.

The award stated "we commend you for returning to your home in an area, southern West Virginia, that is sorely in need of your services. We are proud of the honors you have received: Clinical Professor of Rural Dentistry for West Virginia University School of Dentistry and the first minority professor at West Virginia University of Dentistry 1981."

For more information, contact Willene H. Moore, program chairman, at mwm048@hotmail.com.