By Mark F. Gray, Special to the AFRO,

Two distinguished alumni from Bowie State and Howard University are among the six-member class who will be presented with HBCU Alumni Awards September 20 as the DC Metro HBCU Alumni Alliance holds its annual gala to honor outstanding contributions by local Historically Black College and University graduates.

Eunique Jones Gibson, a 2007 Bowie State University graduate, and Howard University alumnus Rosie Allen-Herring will be recognized during the ceremony at the 3rd Annual HBCU Alumni Black Tie Gala at the National Museum of Women in the Arts during the Congressional Black Caucus weekend.

Jones Gibson is described as a creative visionary, cultural architect, and social activist. She will be honored with the HBCU Alumni Media and Communications Award, which recognizes print and media professionals and journalists in radio, television, social media, and print publications.

Gibson has previously directed commercials featuring NBA all star Kevin Durant and R&B artist Jennifer Hudson. Her online advertising career began with Microsoft and she has worked with Nickelodeon and the Green Bay Packers as well.

Gibson has been noted for developing advertising and promotional campaigns that spark conversation. She has also used her talent to address timely and relevant issues impacting a variety of communities. After the death of Trayvon Martin in 2012, Gibson created her first photo awareness campaign, “I AM Trayvon Martin,” which spread through news and social media inspired the public to use it’s voice to highlight social injustices and the need for change in their neighborhoods. 

In February 2013, Gibson launched the award-winning, “Because of Them We Can” photo campaign in time for Black History Month.  The campaign featured photographs of children, leaders, activists, and celebrities. It has evolved into a platform for the next generation to honor the legacy of their ancestors.

Last year Jones Gibson, a Maryland native, launched the Dream Village in Hyattsville. Dream Village is a co-working space that hopes to build a supportive community in both physical and virtual spaces.  The Dream Village opened in February 2018.

Rosie Allen-Herring is President and Chief Executive Officer of the United Way of the National Capital Area and will be honored with the HBCU Alumni Community Involvement Award which recognizes outstanding engagement in community programming for citizens and/or youth, and selfless volunteerism.

She has been recognized as one of the most powerful business women in the District three times since 2011, when she earned Washington Business Journal’s “Women Who Mean Business Award”.  In 2013 Allen-Herring was named Washingtonian Magazine’s “Most Powerful Woman” and Washington Business Journal’s “Most Influential Business Leader”. 

Allen-Herring holds leadership roles with several business and civic organizations including: the Greater Washington Board of Trade, District of Columbia Chamber of Commerce, Washington Area Women’s Foundation, and Girl Scouts of the Nation’s Capital and Raise DC.

Raise DC is a partnership of more than 250 organizations   throughout the District and across public and private sectors working toward “cradle-to-career” goals in education and the workforce.   It’s programs are designed for all students to earn a postsecondary credential and for those who aren’t in school to receive the education and training that will prepare them for a sustainable career.

North Carolina A&T’s Iris Wagstaff earned the HBCU Alumni Education Award.  James McNeil, from Alabama State, the Founder, CEO and President of McNeil Technologies, Philandrophy, is being honored with Alumni Business Award. Former Senior Health Science Adviser to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Dr. William E. Bennett, from The Lincoln (PA) University class of 1950, will receive the HBCU Alumni Public Policy Award.   Leah M. Williams, Supply Chain Analyst from Delaware State earns the Young Alumni Award.