A reception to honor the recipients of the 10th annual Fannie Lou Hamer Awards will be held at 7 p.m. today at the Banneker-Douglass Museum, 84 Franklin St. in Annapolis. Admission is $25 at the door; proceeds will help build a memorial to Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in Anne Arundel County.
The award is named for the Mississippi sharecropper who was a leading activist for voting rights in the 1960s. The award honors local women of all races who have helped keep Hamer's legacy alive by working to make a difference in their communities.
The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Awards Committee this year is recognizing six winners for their professional accomplishments and social contributions to Anne Arundel County:
Del. Virginia P. Clagett (D-Anne Arundel), was selected for her contributions to politics and government. Del. Clagett has been an advocate for environmental conservation, agricultural preservation, education and women's rights.
Judge Nancy Davis-Loomis, of the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court, was selected for her contributions to the judiciary. Davis-Loomis has been involved with several local organizations including the United Way and the Anne Arundel County Commission for Women and its Women's Health Network.
Edith M. McDougald, a second-grade teacher at Hilltop Elementary School in Glen Burnie, was selected for her commitment to children and education through her involvement with community, state and national organizations including Annapolis Business and Professional Women and the Teachers Association of Anne Arundel County. McDougald is an executive board member of the Anne Arundel County NAACP.
DeMorris D.C. Palmer, a retired nurse and member of the North County Political Forum, was selected for her dedication to her patients and the medical community. Palmer currently works with Alzheimer's patients in Anne Arundel County.
The Rev. LaReesa Smith, chaplain of the Black Chamber of Commerce of Anne Arundel County and pastor of Metropolitan United Methodist Church in Severn, was selected for her contributions to economics and religion. Smith is a member of several local organizations, including United Black Clergy of Anne Arundel County and the National Baptist Preachers' Conference, and is a tutor with after-school study groups.
Ann Marie Wood, catering manager for La Fontaine Bleu in Glen Burnie, was selected for assisting many groups with fundraising events. Wood is a supporter of the American Diabetes Association and the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade.
For more information about the reception tonight, call 410-267-7723.
-- Lauren Wiseman