LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — You remember your teachers, and some of the Black community’s most revered educators were honored Saturday at the Historic Westside Legacy Park.

A ceremony to induct 20 new honorees on plaques at the park honored political leaders, doctors and clergy, but teachers were the common thread. During photo sessions, former students and colleagues were welcomed to join group pictures to commemorate the event — small reunions that came with smiles and hugs.

Educators including Dr. Linda Young, Ruby Collins, Eva Simmons and Henry Moore, Sr., were among the honorees. Community activist Marzette Lewis, a strong voice for equal rights and education who died March 14, was recognized and her family took part in the ceremony.

The 20 new inductees join the original 36 from 2021, all honored with plaques on display at the park at 1600 Mount Mariah Drive, just southwest of Lake Mead Boulevard and Martin Luther King Boulevard:

  • Q. B. Bush
  • Rev. Donald Maurice Clark
  • Eugene and Ruby Collins
  • Louis Conner, Sr.
  • Cranford Crawford, Jr.
  • John Edmond
  • Ida Gaines
  • Marzette Lewis
  • Dr. Beverly Mathis
  • William McCurdy, Sr.
  • Henry J. Moore, Sr.
  • Harvey Munford
  • Claude and Stella Parson
  • Dr. Anthony and Diane Pollard
  • Eva Simmons
  • Dr. Lonnie Sisson
  • Odis “Tyrone” Thompson
  • Roosevelt Toston
  • David and Marcia Washington
  • Dr. Linda E. Young

Las Vegas City Councilman Cedric Crear and Clark County Commissioner William McCurdy II delivered opening remarks. U.S. Rep. Steven Horsford also spoke at the event.

McCurdy’s father, a former Las Vegas Township constable and political consultant, was inducted Saturday. He s currently a Parks & Recreation Advisory Commission member.

“Really, there are no words that can explain the feeling of being able to have my dad here with us while we honor him,” McCurdy II said. “We often hear, ‘Give them their roses while they’re with us,’ and I’m so thankful that he was able to get his roses. I’m so thankful For all the other honorees who have blazed the trail, for myself, to continue to carry that baton forward. And I’m just so proud of my dad for all that he’s accomplished in his life. It’s a beautiful occasion, a beautiful day. The weather’s great, and it’s been a beautiful ceremony.”

McCurdy Sr. vowed to continue his work to revitalize the Westside.

The ceremony was emotional on many levels — the joy of reunions, the pride of community and the loss of those who weren’t alive to receive their honors.

China Hudson of the West Las Vegas Arts Center offered an inspiring reading during the event:

Today, we honor the leaders, the activists, the ones who stood, the ones who dared, the ones who stared obstacles and oppression in the face and said, ‘No.’

The ones who gave us hope. The few who held the line. Our elders whose shoulders are wide, their backs carried the weight. their hearts are full of love for this community. They are our mothers, the fathers, our aunts, our uncles. They are the best of the West.

The ones who would knuck if you buck, the ones who stuck out their necks for us all. The ones who are not to be played with when it comes to the 8, the 9, the 1 or the 6. Your names are now etched in stone. Your names will be carried on. We are grateful for you: Our leaders, our activists, our mothers, our fathers, our aunts, our uncles, our best. This day belongs to you.

The roots that you have planted are deeper than any tree. And today, you will see that you are now historic. Historic in our hearts, historic in our minds. We, the West side, are now full of pride because of you. As we honor truth, as we honor love, as we honor courage, today we honor you: The legacy.

China Hudson, West Las Vegas Arts Center