Community Reformers nab Social Justice Awards
By Joycelyne Fadojutimi
The City of Longview Partners in Prevention recently recognized two reformers who embody peace, diversity and unity. The honorees LaDelle Kay and Kasha Williams demonstrate that unity and diversity are important components of a flourishing community. Besides, a city is stronger together-when no one is left out for any reason. The importance of the award cannot be overstated because it is a lifetime award for social justice.
LaDelle, the last of 15 children has worn many hats. Her non-profit experience started in Massachusetts, then to Greensboro North Carolina before arriving to Longview in 2001. She has volunteered for several organizations including Hope for Youth, East Texas Anti-Trafficking Team, and Women in Longview Day to mention a few. She will always be remembered as a “connector of people.” Though she retired from Greater Longview United Way, LaDelle is still out in the community volunteering and connecting people to the services they need.
Friends and co-workers describe LaDelle as “exceptional, passionate, connector, provider of information for marginalized population, team builder and more.”
She expressed her gratitude, “I am very humbled by this award. All I can say is thank you.” Her dream is to see a Longview where everyone has a chance to be what God has called them to be. LaDelle’s theological background compels her to be a servant leader. Her operative scripture is: “But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do, what GOD is looking for in men and women. It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, and don’t take yourself too seriously— take God seriously. (Micah 6:8 MSG).
Kasha Williams’ foundation is firmly rooted in the scriptures. By the way, she is a 6th generation member of St. Mark CME Church. A graduate of Prairie View A&M, Kasha got an early start in leadership from two loving parents, Cathy and Cedric. They allowed her to be inquisitive, speak freely and take charge if needed. It is no wonder, she became a City Councilwoman and the first woman to run for Gregg County Commissioner in District 4. But that is not all. She has been known to stand for unpopular issues for the benefit of her constituents.
Friends and associates describe Kasha as “a strong woman, someone who makes a difference in the community, leader who came back to Longview, embraces diversity and unity, believes everyone is important and more. Kasha after thanking the nominating committee advised her listeners to “get an education, then get your platform.” Since Jesus Christ is her role-model, she charged everyone to “love one another, build bridges instead of walls.”
Furthermore Vance Freeman of Silver Grizzly Espresso and Kevin Hawkins of Divine Catering received special recognition for their work in the community.