By Myisha Washington, Diversity & Ethics Chair
February is not just the shortest month of the year; it’s also Black History Month, a time to commemorate the rich tapestry of Black achievement and contributions to society. From groundbreaking scientists and artists to courageous civil rights leaders and everyday heroes. Black history is American history, and its lessons and triumphs deserve to be celebrated and learned from every single day.
Black history is filled with stories of trailblazers who shattered barriers and defined limitations. Not only is Black History about individual achievements, it’s also about the collective struggle for equality and justice. Black communities have faced unimaginable challenges with dignity, resilience, and unwavering belief in a better tomorrow. The legacies of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and countless others who marched, protested, and spoke out against discrimination serve as a powerful reminder that progress, though often slow, is always possible.
While Black History Month is a vital time for reflection and celebration, it’s important to remember that Black history is not confined to a single month. We must continue to amplify Black voices, celebrate Black excellence, and challenge systematic inequalities throughout the year.
Let’s make February, and every month, a time to honor the rich legacy of Black achievement, acknowledge the ongoing struggles for equality, and commit to building a future where Black voices are heard, respected, and celebrated.
Here are some additional ways to celebrate Black History Month:
- Visit the Amon Carter Museum of American Art: Celebrate Artful moments in Black History through artwork, conversations, hands-on activities, stories and experiences.
- Read books and articles about Black authors
- Watch documentaries and films about Black history and culture
- Attend a Black History Month event in the community: https://www.fortworth.com/discover-diverse-fort-worth/african-american-heritage/black-history-month/
FORT WORTH — In a tight competition amongst 23 Worthy award winners for strategic Public Relations programs and tactics, boutique agency HOLLAND collective took home the Best of Show honor for its Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival: A Campaign of Integrated Success at the Greater Fort Worth Chapter of PRSA Worthy Awards competition.
More than 130 PRSA members and guests celebrated successes at the Fort Worth Zoo for their 10th Worthy Awards gala November 3.
“For a decade, the Worthy Awards have showcased the most strategic, creative and successful campaigns achieved for both local and global clients by world-class PR professionals who call Fort Worth home,” said Jessamy Brown, APR, president of the Fort Worth Chapter.
In addition to the competition, two community members were honored for their contributions to Fort Worth: Dr. Opal Lee, longtime activist and grandmother of Juneteenth, received the Communicator of the Year Award, and Matt Zavadsky, Chief Transformation Officer for Medstar Mobile Health, received the Douglas Ann Newsom PR Professional of the Year Award.
The Worthy Awards competition received a total of 63 entries in multiple categories ranging from websites and editorials to crisis communications and reputation management. Awards of Achievement, Excellence and the top-rated Worthys are bestowed based on a weighted point system assessing research, measurable objectives, execution and evaluation of results.
Judges were members of the Hoosier, Indiana Chapter of PRSA. Worthy Awards committee co-chairs were GFW Chapter board members Kim Brown, APR and Abigail Hoover, co-founders of Story and Strategy PR.
About Greater Fort Worth Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America
The Greater Fort Worth Chapter of PRSA is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the profession of public relations by promoting the professionalism of its members, as well as the public perception of the value of our contribution to the betterment of the community.
The Public Relations Society of America, based in New York City, is the leading professional organization serving the communications community through a network of more than 400 professional and student chapters in the U.S., Argentina, Colombia, Peru and Puerto Rico.
Fort Worth, Texas (October 9, 2023) – The Greater Fort Worth Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) is honored to announce Opal Lee, the ‘Grandmother of Juneteenth,’ as the 2023 Communicator of the Year and Matt Zavadsky, the chief transformation officer at MedStar, as the 2023 Douglas Ann Newsom PRSA Professional of the Year.
Opal Lee is a community leader and activist who has dedicated her life to fighting for justice and equality. She is best known for her tireless advocacy for Juneteenth, a holiday that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. In 2016, at the age of 89, Lee embarked on a 1,400-mile walk from Fort Worth to Washington, D.C. to raise awareness of Juneteenth.
She made this walk annually, calling for Juneteenth to be recognized on a national scale. In 2021, Lee’s dream finally came true when Juneteenth was officially designated as a federal holiday. Her advocacy helped to educate millions of Americans about the importance of Juneteenth and to ensure that this historic event is never forgotten.
Matt Zavadsky serves as the spokesperson for MedStar Mobile Healthcare, an agency providing advanced life support ambulance services across 436 square miles of North Texas. As Public Information Officer at MedStar, Zavadsky is a key figure in coordinating with media and partners, providing crucial information about MedStar’s roles and activities in the community.
Often the first responder at tragic events, Zavadsky’s composed and sympathetic demeanor underlines his exceptional qualities as a spokesperson. With 42 years of experience in EMS, a master’s degree in Health Service Administration, and co-authorship of the book “Mobile Integrated Healthcare – Approach to Implementation,” Zavadsky embodies excellence in public relations and health care communication.
Opal Lee and Matt Zavadsky will be honored at the 10th annual Worthy Awards ceremony on Nov. 3, at the Fort Worth Zoo. The event begins at 6 p.m. and tickets are on sale now.
About the Communicator of the Year Award
The Communicator of the Year award is presented to a community member who has demonstrated significant leadership and communications ability in the greater Fort Worth region.
The recipient must be a role model for communicators and must have made a significant contribution to the community through their communications work.
About the Douglas Ann Newsom PRSA Professional of the Year Award
The Douglas Ann Newsom PRSA Professional of the Year Award is presented to a public relations professional in North Texas who has made significant contributions to the advancement of the public relations profession. The recipient must have demonstrated excellence in public relations practice, leadership, and service to the community.
About the Greater Fort Worth Chapter PRSA
The Greater Fort Worth Chapter of PRSA is an organization dedicated to enhancing the profession of public relations by promoting the professionalism of its members, as well as the public perception of the value of our contribution to the betterment of the community.
PRSA creates a professional environment, serving the needs of its members by providing educational, networking, mentoring and social opportunities for professional growth and development. Learn more at fortworthprsa.org.
Jessamy Brown, APR President of GFW PRSA