2019 Black History Month Honorees

February 13, 2019
Press Release

In honor of Black History Month 2019, U.S. Congressman Darren Soto will hold a ceremony recognizing eleven individuals in Central Florida for their accomplishments. The honorees’ biographies were submitted into the Congressional Record and they will receive official Congressional Certificates.

“As we celebrate Black History Month, I’m ecstatic to recognize the following individuals from our community and acknowledge their achievements. These leaders – ranging from teachers, politicians, veterans, athletes, to activists – have made countless contributions to Central Florida. We thank them for their hard work and enriching our community,” stated Rep. Soto.

The honorees will be recognized by Rep. Soto in a ceremony taking place on Tuesday, February 19th at the Kissimmee District office (804 Bryan Street) from 6:00PM – 7:30PM.

Deloris McMillon

President of the Osceola County Branch NAACP, retired educator and administrator. Her commitment to educating children and community service are among her greatest gifts and strengths. For full video, click here.

Anna M. Pinellas

Founder of Osceola Visionaries, Inc., which celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Helped secure federal funds for various projects in Central FL area. For full video, click here.

Beverlye Colson Neal

President of the Orange County Branch NAACP. Former Executive Director for the Florida State Conference NAACP. Has spent most of her life in the struggle for Civil Rights, beginning in her early child hood as a member of the Jacksonville Youth Council of the NAACP.  For full video, click here.

Johnnie Walker

Labor activist, advocate and trainer. National Representative for the American Federation of Government Employees working for and with federal employees. Represents federal government employees and provides advocacy, community support and outreach to the thousands of union members he represents. For full video, click here.

Gail Paschall-Brown

Reporter for WESH 2 News, covering central Florida for over 21 years, Winner of the Broadcaster of the Year award, covered countless stories including Trayvon Martin and Casey Anthony, and Polk County’s Alejandra Juarez’s deportation to Mexico. For full video, click here.

Cynthia Downing

Haines City NAACP President, She is most proud of instituting the Black History program, Black history essay contest, quarterly mission projects, a scholarship program and the Drum Major for Justice Award. For full video, click here.

Anthony Gordon

Former professional baseball player, Owner of Jarrett Gordon Ford – Philanthropist, Ordained Minister at New Zion Temple Holiness Church. For full video, click here.

Wayne Gandy

Retired NFL player - Polk County Hall of Fame Recipient. Founder of  The Wayne Gandy Foundation, organized exclusively to promote the development of leadership, social responsibility and excellence through programs that build healthy spirits, bodies and minds of at-risk teens. For full video, click here.

Lemuel Geathers 

Winter Haven’s first Black Commissioner, World War II Navy veteran, hospital board member, congressional aide, and Polk County teacher of 28 years who helped in the establishment of Polk State College. For full video, click here.

George Brooks

US Air Force Vietnam Era veteran. One of the first few African American men to attend electronics school, and went on to be an electronic technician for the Department of Defense. For full video, click here.

Orrett Davis

Growth marketer, startup advocate, and technology enthusiast.  Currently serves as the Director of Marketing at SightPlan, an Orlando-based technology company providing cutting edge solutions for the nation’s growing multifamily industry. For full video, click here.