Richard Allen Coalition Gala to feature racial literacy professor

GEORGETOWN – The fifth annual Richard Allen Coalition Gala on Saturday, Feb. 1 will feature keynote speaker Dr. Howard Stevenson, a renowned professor who has been recognized for his work in promoting racial literacy.

Tickets are on sale for the event to be held at the CHEER Community Center, 20520 Sand Hill Road, Georgetown. The gala starts at 4 p.m.

This year’s theme is “Celebrating Our Rich Heritage.”

The 2020 honorees include Bernice Edward, Dr. Reba Ross Hollingsworth, Marlene Hall, Martina Williams, Peggy Trott and Lorraine Morris.

Dr. Howard Stevenson

A Sussex County native and graduate of Cape Henlopen High School, Dr. Howard C. Stevenson is the Constance Clayton Professor of Urban Education, Professor of Africana Studies, in the Human Development & Quantitative Methods Division of the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania.

Recognized numerous times for his work, Dr. Stevenson is the executive director of the Racial Empowerment Collaborative (REC) at Penn, designed to promote racial literacy in education, health, community and justice institutions.

Backed by a $12 million grant from the Robert Wood Foundation and based at REC, Dr. Howard also directs Forward Promise, a national philanthropic office that promotes a culture of health for boys and young men of color, to help them heal from the trauma of historical and present-day dehumanization, discrimination and colonization.

The Richard Allen School in Georgetown opened in the 1920s. One of 80 schools built for African-American children in Delaware by philanthropist Pierre S. DuPont, it served as the heart of the African-American community for over half a century.

When desegregation was implemented, it became part of the Indian River School District, which decided to close the school 12 years ago.

In 2014, a diverse group of men and women came together to form the Richard Allen Coalition with the goal to restore the school so it can once again be a cultural, civic and educational center.

In 2015, the Delaware General Assembly passed a bill which deeded the building to the Richard Allen Coalition. The coalition continues its work to make the vision a reality. Throughout the year, programs have been held on the grounds of the school.

The U.S. Postal Services issued a Forever Stamp Feb. 2, 2016, to commemorate Richard Allen, an important figure in the U.S. abolitionist movement and the founder and first bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

The coalition seeks assistance to help keep the doors open at the Richard Allen School and make sure the progress continues in 2020.

Supporters can purchase an ad, become a sponsor or purchase a ticket.

Gala tickets cost $40 per person or $400 for a table of eight. Table sponsors will be recognized in the program and with a table plaque. Tickets will not be sold at the door.

To purchase tickets, contact Brenda Milbourne at 302-362-0353.

For more information, contact Betty Deacon at 302-644-4303 or email betty.deacon@gmail.com; or Jane Hovington at 302-258-7182, jehovahrohi@aol.com; or Diaz Banville at 302-528-2265 or Diaz122455@aol.com.