LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — As Black History Month approaches, the City of Las Vegas honored several people in the Las Vegas community for their work and dedication to the valley.

The Las Vegas City Hall was full of cheer and hope during the award ceremony to honor those who are truly trailblazing through our community.

“Although Black History Month is celebrated next month, I celebrate it 365, 24/7,” Councilman Cedric Crear, representing Ward 5, said.

The Trailblazer Award Ceremony celebrates five people who have been pioneers in their own unique paths. This year’s theme was resiliency.

This year’s Business and Economic Adavnacment Award went to Melvin Greene, founder of KME Architects. Green’s notable projects include the restoration of the Historic Westside School. Prior to co-founding KME Architects, Green owned and operated as MGA, Melvin Green Architect, LLC since the early 1990’s. He has designed various small and large projects including high-rise hotels and educational facilities.

“KME motto is we listen, we create, and we deliver,” Green said.

2023 Trailblazer Award recipients (Credit: City of Las Vegas)

The Community Activism and Politics Award went to Temeka Henry who is described as a champion of underserved communities. She serves as a director for Oboda Collective, ending multi-generational poverty with resources and an urban farm on the Westside.

“I do the work because I want to be who I needed when I was at my lowest,” Henry said. “We will have access to fresh produce on the Historic Westside for our families.”

The Educator Award went to Q’shaundra James, whose passion for the arts inspires her students. James is currently pursuing her master’s degree in education and is an award-winning portrait artist who rebels against the objection, struggle, and otherness commonly associated with Black portraiture. She currently works with middle school students at Somerset Academy helping students find their artistic voice.

The Tyrone Thompson Emerging Leader Award went to author and poet, Vogue M Robinson, who had already received a Trailblazer award before. She is the director of development of the Left of Center Art Gallery where she is committed to serving as an advocate for the arts in public education. In 2016 Robinson co-founded Poetry Promise, Inc. as a non-profit organization to advocate for the arts and provide a support system for poetry. In 2022, she was the first Black woman to receive the Silver Pen award from the Nevada Writers’ Hall of Fame

“I’ve always felt encouraged and inspired by this community by the people who show up for me in the best ways they possibly can,” Robinson said.

The Spiritual Community Award went to Rev. Dr. Naida M. Parson. In 2022, with five other female ministers, she founded Church girls Rule/ Christian gents Reign (CGR) Leadership Camp as well as Kingdom Leadership Training. She also mentors pastors in Las Vegas through the Fellowship of Independent Churches and Ministries.

The closing remarks ended with a standing ovation to the many generations that came before these trailblazers.

During the ceremonies, Crear announced the next group of honorees will be installed in the Historic Westside Legacy Park during the 2023 Juneteenth Holiday.