Black Excellence Award winners honored at banquet

Black Excellence Award winners
Black Excellence Award winners(SWLA Center for Health Services)
Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 2:36 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, La. (KPLC) - Five members of the community were honored with Black Excellence awards at the Calcasieu Marine Bank Thursday evening.

The banquet kicked off SWLA’s Juneteenth Freedom Festival by recognizing Black excellence in healthcare, education, community service, justice and music.

The SWLA Center for Health Services presented the following awards:

  • Healthcare: Tennille Handy-Harmon. Handy was born and raised in Lake Charles, and she is the executive director of CHRISTUS Hospice and Palliative Care St. Patrick.
Tennille Handy
Tennille Handy(SWLA Center for Health Services)
  • Education: Tony Johnson. Johnson is a graduate of South Cameron High School and McNeese State University. He coaches and teaches at St. Louis Catholic High School.
Tony Johnson
Tony Johnson(SWLA Center for Health Services)
  • Community Service: Makeitta Darbonne-Citizen. Darbonne-Citizen was born and raised in Lake Charles, and she is the director of community engagement at the SWLA Credit Union.
Makeitta Darbonne-Citizen
Makeitta Darbonne-Citizen(SWLA Center for Health Services)
  • Justice: Judge Charlotte Bushnell. Judge Bushnell is a summa cum laude graduate from Grambling University and Southern University Law Center. She is a retired Workers’ Compensation District Court Judge.
Judge Charlotte Bushnell
Judge Charlotte Bushnell(SWLA Center for Health Services)
  • Music: Gladys McKnight. McKnight is a native of McComb, Mississippi. She is a retired choir director and piano instructor from the Calcasieu Parish School System, where she worked for 47 years.
Gladys McKnight
Gladys McKnight(SWLA Center for Health Services)

Students from three parishes were also presented with scholarships at the banquet. The recipients include Levi LeJeune and Kallie Pitre of Allen Parish, Alonnie Celestine and Mattie Duhon of Calcasieu Parish, and Ivian Taboada Fuentes and Jordan McDaniel of Lafayette Parish.

We have information on the upcoming Juneteenth events in Lake Charles HERE.

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