GDL Presents Black History Month Honorees


Created in 2002 by Genesee District Library, the Black History Month Brunch is one of Genesee County’s premier events. It provides an opportunity for the community to come together to celebrate the contributions of African Americans to world history. The brunch also inspires residents to reach their full potential and to make a difference in our community, state and nation.

The 2020 event took place on February 1 at the Genesys Banquet and Community Center. A portion of proceeds from this ticketed event helps support the GDL’s Summer Reading Challenge that reaches over 10,000 children and their families, annually. The achievements and contributions of the following people were recognized.

Melinda Anderson

A retired teacher who served 44 years in the public-school system, Anderson worked in community education programs for 12 years through Flint Community Schools before retiring in 2010. She is the founder and volunteer program director at the Community Outreach for Families and Youth Center’s New Beginnings Literacy Program for adults and children. In addition to coordinating the efforts at New Beginnings, Anderson supports the broader coalition by developing free community-wide trainings for volunteers and providers, as well as facilitating onsite visits and lending expertise to partners interested in advancing adult literacy.

Anderson attended Western Michigan University and is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority-Flint Alumni Chapter, an active member of the New Jerusalem Full Gospel Baptist Church usher board and serves as secretary for the New McCree Theatre board of directors. She has four grandchildren.

The New Beginnings Literacy Program is run on a tight budget with its first program supplies coming straight out of Anderson’s basement “teacher stash.” She has an uncompromising commitment to addressing and eradicating adult learning barriers. As a member of the Council of Champions, Anderson is a strong advocate for children, their parents, and adults challenged by low-literacy.

Recco Santee Richardson,
Ph.D., LPC

Dr. Richardson pioneered Recco S. Richardson Consulting, Inc. in 2005. The multi-faceted human services agency provides mental health services, seminars and research and currently serves over 500 people per month through two offices in Flint and one in Clarkston.

In 1990, he began implementing human services programming, supervision and program management duties within the workplace. He has mentored some of Genesee County’s most outstanding counselors, case managers, supervisors and directors.

A King/Chavez/Parks Future Faculty Graduate School Scholar and a King/Chavez/Parks Future Faculty Doctorial Studies Fellow, Dr. Richardson has over 25 years of counseling experience, 20 years of clinical supervision and 15 years of college adjunct faculty experience. He travels extensively through mid-Michigan performing Limited Licensed Professional Counselor group supervision sessions.

Dr. Richardson holds a bachelor’s degree in business from Ferris State University, a master’s degree in counseling education from Central Michigan University and a doctorate in professional psychology from Walden University.

A licensed minister since 1987, he was ordained an elder in 1992. He has held several positions in the church including youth pastor, janitor, associate pastor, singles minister and outreach coordinator. In 2011, he received the Ferris State University Alumni Pacesetters Award for contributions to his field of study and community.

Karen W. Weaver Ph.D.

Elected the first female Mayor of the City of Flint, Dr. Weaver served from 2015 until 2019. She is currently owner of Shea Lavelle Boutique, a specialty store for natural skin, hair and body care products.

Dr. Weaver served as Director of Behavioral Services at Mott Children’s Health Center, and was the Chief Operating Officer of Ennis Center for Children. She also served on the Hurley Board of Managers, the Community Foundation of Greater Flint, Priority Children, the Flint Institute of Arts and was the Flint NAACP Freedom Fund Chair, as well as past president of the Pierians Inc., Flint Chapter. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Zeta Beta Omega Chapter, and a lifelong member of Vernon Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Dr. Weaver holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Tougaloo College in Tougaloo, MS, a master’s degree from Long Island University in Brooklyn, NY and a doctorate in clinical psychology from Michigan State University.

She received the Special Recognition Award from the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, the Living Legend Award from the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc., Gamma Delta Chapter, and the Flint Branch NAACP Volunteer Award.

Dr. Weaver has been married to her childhood friend, Dr. Wrex A. Weaver, for 28 years. They have three children.

(Front L-R) Shirley Wilson Johnson, Treasurer; Barbara Wesley, Chair Emeritus; Beverly Walker-Griffea, Ph.D., Chair; Sarah Hunter-Jackson, Vice Chair; Bonnie Newby (Back L-R) Phyllis Jones, Cleora Scruggs-Debose, Rachelle Greene, Property Manager; Georgia McCall, Dellisa Wynn, Alfredia Holmes, Financial Secretary; Lauren Perkins, Brenda Duckett-Greer

The Ivy House

This nonprofit organization was established in November 2003 by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Zeta Beta Omega members, to provide programs and activities that address and increase public awareness of quality of life issues, while promoting change for the economically disadvantaged in the areas of education, health, civic duty and family commitments.

The Ivy House members are financially active Zeta Beta Omega members and are governed by a 14-member board of directors. Recently, members responded to the community during the Flint water crisis by serving as a distribution site for water, food and other necessities. Duffle bag distributions are organized annually and an Alzheimer’s caregiver support group hosts monthly meetings at the site. The organization’s signature program, College Application Process (CAP), provides local high school juniors and seniors with help completing college and scholarship applications.

The legacy of serving the economically disadvantaged lives on as members work with excellence to alleviate factors that affect the community they serve.

Photo provided by Genesee District Library

Photography by Kayce McClure


Comments are closed.