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Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism Presents 2022 Black History Month Leadership & Service Awards

Annual Awards Ceremony Recognizes Excellence in Mentorship, Engagement and Helping Others

Annapolis, MD – The Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism today announced the eight recipients of the 5th Annual Black History Month Leadership & Service Awards at the Banneker-Douglass Museum. The awards ceremony recognizes Maryland-based, African American (or of the African diaspora) individuals or organizations that are founded upon and exemplify exceptional service to Maryland communities. 

“The Black History Month Leadership & Service Awards honors individuals and organizations who embody the spirit of community in Maryland,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “We are so grateful for the incredible people who step up with their own time and resources to help others.”

The eight honorees have made great contributions to Maryland, including inspiring a new generation of entrepreneurs, giving children the opportunity to read through book donations, and building upon generations of living history through teaching and art.

“This year, as we look back at the life of Harriet Tubman 200 years after her birth, we can recognize that she forged a path to freedom, not only for enslaved individuals during her time, but for the generations that came after,” said Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford. “The Black History Month Leadership and Service Awards highlight the gifted individuals and groups that are building upon her courage and promises of the American Dream, while leaving a legacy of their own. We applaud them for their dedication to serving others, and impacting their communities in a positive way.”

The 2022 honorees are: 

Luke Cooper (Baltimore City)

Mr. Luke Cooper is partner at Preface Ventures, Founder and CEO of Latimer, and an entrepreneur-in-residence at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business. In 2021, Mr. Cooper recognized a dearth of black entrepreneurs and founded Latimer to elevate the experience of black tech entrepreneurs. Latimer provides training curriculum and advisory services to Black, Indigeounous and People of Color (BIPOC) founders.

Nicole Y. Drew (Montgomery)

Ms. Nicole Y. Drew is a labor and employment attorney for the federal government, but her service to the public extends beyond her job. Ms. Drew actively serves on the Montgomery County Commission for Women, the Silver Spring Chapter of The Links, Inc., Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and the J. Franklyn Bourne Bar Association. As chair of the Montgomery County Delta Alumnae Foundation Inc. (MCDAF), Ms. Drew led the foundation’s efforts to partner with the Montgomery College Foundation to create Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) scholarships.

Food 4 Thought Community Outreach Services, Inc. (Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Baltimore City)

The Food 4 Thought Community Outreach Services, Inc. (F4TCOS) mission is to provide individuals and families with assistance in the following areas: homelessness, nutrition, mental health, and job training. Over the last two years, F4TCOS has prepared over 4,000 cold and hot meals for the community, serving more than 125 people each week. 

Four Generations of Copperville’s Moaney-Henry Women (Talbot, Wicomico)

The Moaney-Henry women represent the founding African American families of Maryland. Mrs. Tissier Moaney, Mrs. Brenda Henry-Moaney, Mrs. Candace Henry, and Ms. Gabrielle Henry continue to build upon their families’ legacies through the Water’s Edge Museum in Oxford. They are also active in many organizations and programs, including Head Start, disability services at Salisbury University, the Talbot County School Board, the former Copperville AME Church and the Waters AME Church.

Shawnise G. Smith (Baltimore, Baltimore City, Howard)

Ms. Shawnise Smith created My New Book, Inc., in 2019 with the mission of inspiring children with limited or no access to books and resources outside of school to use their creativity, develop confidence and cultivate the love of reading by providing them with new books. She also provides new books to Little Free Libraries in Maryland, California, New Jersey, and Illinois, and continues to mail personalized book packages to children across the USA.

Angela H. Spencer (Frederick)

Ms. Spencer serves through ministry, volunteerism, advocacy, career services and advocating for change. As the former co-chair of the Frederick County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council, Ms. Spencer was instrumental in initiating the “White Ribbon” campaign and the “Walk A Mile in Her Shoes” program. She also founded “The Faith Striders,” which focuses on public health, cancer awareness, support and education. 

Carolyn V. Sterling (Washington)

Mrs. Sterling founded the senior group “Coffee, Chat & Bingo” after recognizing a need for seniors in the community to come together and connect with one another.  She volunteers with and serves on the Board of Directors of the Robert W. Johnson Community Center (RWJCC). Mrs. Sterling also volunteers with the Hospice DoveTales in Hagerstown to help children who have lost their parents or loved ones. 

Victims’ Rights Foundation (Baltimore City, Frederick, Montgomery, Prince George’s)

For the past 26 years, the Victims’ Rights Foundation (VRF) has worked  on behalf of domestic violence victims and child victims of sexual assault (sometimes by a family member). The Victims’ Rights Foundation was established in response to the murders of  killings of three women: Tamika Black, 19; Tanji Jackson, 21; and Mishan Chinn, 23. Their families were the first recipients of support, which includes assistance throughout the perpetrator’s arrest, trial, and conviction.

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Recipients of the 5th Annual Black History Month Leadership & Service Awards


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