The City of South Bend is pleased to host the 8th Annual Black History Month Awards Ceremony honoring local Black leaders at 6p.m. at the Charles Black Community Center, 3419 W Washington St., South Bend, Indiana 46619.
The City of South Bend has announced the list of the 2023 Black History Month Awardees, who are being honored for their service and leadership in our community. The recipients are:
Solomon is a lifelong resident of South Bend and a graduate of John Adams High School. He furthered his education at the University of Northern Iowa where he earned his BA in Communications/Public Relations and later obtained his Master of Business Administration from Indiana Wesleyan University.
While at Adams, Solomon was a stand-out athlete in basketball and Track-N-Field. In fact, he still owns the school record for the 800-meter run. He was voted captain of the track team while at UNI and was a member of several MAC Championship teams.
After graduating from UNI, Solomon returned to South Bend where he served as a substitute teacher in the South Bend Community School Corporation (SBCSC).
He has been employed at 1st Source Bank for 25 years and is currently an Assistant Vice President (AVP) and Branch Manager at the Portage Avenue Banking Center.
During the pandemic, Solomon assisted more than 100 businesses, customers and non-customers apply for the Payment Protection Program (PPP) grant through the SBA (Small Business Administration).
He serves on the board of the NNRO (Northeast Neighborhood Revitalization Organization), NENC (Northeast Neighborhood Council), SBHF (South Bend Heritage Foundation) and is a past advisory board member for the RCLC (Robinson Community Learning Center) where he was awarded the Renalda Robinson Award for outstanding commitment as a community volunteer.
Further, he was recognized by the South Bend Human Rights Commission for his contributions in the field of housing.
2022 recipient of the Spirit Award by the NNRO in recognition for exemplary service to the Northeast Neighborhood Revitalization Organization.
Solomon is proud to have served as a mentor in SBCSC and still maintains contact with his mentee 20 plus years later. He is driven by helping people, specifically, young people make sound financial decisions.
Darryl Buchanan toured the globe for over 25 years as a musician. While growing up in South Bend, Indiana, at age 17 during his senior year at Lasalle High School, he was discovered one fateful day by hearing the sound of music coming from a building on Western Ave across from what is now the Kroc Center.
His curiosity led him into a room where he would meet legendary Motown recording artist Jr. “Shotgun” Walker.
Darryl started doing world tours in the early 1980’s. Throughout his 42 year music career he has toured with many legendary groups including, The Temptations, Grammy Award winner vocalist Richard Street, former legendary James Brown band director Trombonist Fred Wesley of the JB’s, and the Motown Revue.
His last touring performance was in Dubai in the early 2000’s. In 1993 while a member of the Jr. Walker’s band, Darryl had the honor to perform at President Bill Clinton’s Inaugural Ball with Jr. Walker.
Darryl has also performed on numerous TV shows including NBC’s Saturday Night Live and has performed at the world famous Apollo Theatre in Harlem, NY.
Growing up in a family of talented singers and musicians, Darryl first started playing the bass and guitar at age 12. Influenced by musician legends like Prince, James Jamerson and Carlos Santana and George Benson, Darryl’s explosive bass and guitar solo’s became a crowd pleaser! His musical gifts and stage persona has earned him popularity with diverse crowds.
In 1985 Darryl signed his first recording contract as an artist with former Marvin Gaye promoter, manager Freddy Cousaert in Belgium. His smooth vocal style fits the legendary sounds of artist like Smokey Robinson and Al Green.
Darryl Buchanan is currently still producing R&B, Pop and Gospel music with various artists. In 1999 Darryl Buchanan became the owner his own music publishing Co. “Planet Love Music Publishing BMI.”
On August 29, 2009 Darryl was presented a proclamation by then City of South Bend, IN Mayor Stephen J Luecke for his decades in music and his accomplishments.
Darryl continues to perform as a soloist and with his talented music groups. Also, Darryl Buchanan’s Soul Motown Allstars features former Marvin Gaye drummer Doni Hagan.
Darryl is a member of South Bend’s Abundant Faith Family Ministries where he displays his musical gifts and teaches guitar lessons to the youth.
Dr. Redgina Hill
Dr. Redgina Hill, aka Dr. Gina, is an award-winning thought leader, scholar, author, philanthropist, and trailblazer who is passionate about social justice, education, and women’s empowerment. With over 17 years of experience as a higher education administrator, Dr. Gina is the Inaugural Vice President for Inclusion and Equity at Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana. In this capacity, she leads strategy, innovation, and employee engagement, and solves problems through the lens of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice for the entire campus. She also provides vision for offices that both serve students of today and orient them towards the future, as well as the Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative, which empowers creatives, entrepreneurs, and businesswomen through personal and professional development conferences, workshops, and seminars.
Dr. Gina received her Bachelor of liberal studies from Indiana University Bloomington, an MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University, and earned a Ph.D. in Higher Education from Azusa Pacific University where she was the recipient of the 2015 Social Justice Fellowship. She has keynoted and presented at numerous national and international conferences, co-authored articles as a member of the Race & Justice in Higher Education research team, and her dissertation research was featured in Forbes Magazine in 2020.
Dr. Gina is an active member of her community and serves on boards such as the History Museum and South Bend-Elkhart Regional Partnership Diversity & Inclusion board. She is Vice President of the Southold Dance Theatre board and President of Transformation Ministries as a way to give back to the community that has shaped her. Recently, she was named to the 2022 class of the South Bend Regional Chamber 40 under 40 for her community service and professional achievements. She is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, INC., and a minister at Faith Alive Praise &Worship Center.
Coach Steven Reynolds Jr.
South Bend Washington High School Girls Basketball, Head Coach, Steven Reynolds Jr. is the only child of Steven and Patricia Reynolds Sr.
Coach Reynolds is married to Marcy Reynolds, wife of 20 years and they are parents to seven children: Mila, 19, Amiyah 18, Kira, 16, Steven III, 15, Jordan 12, Aubrey 11, and Tristan, 7. He is currently the Career Guidance Specialist at Washington High School, South Bend.
Coach Reynolds will be completing his 9th year as Washington Girls Basketball Head Coach this year with an overall record of 146 -81 (65%). Before accepting the job in 2014, Coach Reynolds served as the Panthers Freshman Head Coach and JV Head Coach in back to back years. Under Coach Reynolds leadership, the Washington Girls Basketball program has achieved much success despite the odds. In the 2020-21 season, Washington made their first appearance in an Indiana girls basketball state final since 2009. The Panthers would go on to be beat by Silver Creek, 48-54. The following year, the Panthers would avenge the previous years loss in historic fashion with a 58-point win in the IHSAA’s first ever class 3A state championship game rematch vs. Silver Creek, 93-35.
Coach Reynolds Panthers squad set seven Indiana State Championship Game records while becoming the 1st African American Head Coach to win an Indiana 3A State Championship in Indiana girls basketball history, and only the 2nd ever African American Head Coach to win a Indiana State Championship (Coach Stacey Mitchell, Warren Central). Also, Coach Reynolds is the only African American Head Coach to win a state championship in South Bend, Indiana’s illustrious sports history for any sport. Coach Reynolds team is currently on a 33-game win streak dating back to the 2021-22 season, and seeking back to back Indiana State Championships. A feat that has never been done by a team in their success factor year from 3A to 4A.
In the last 9 years, Coach Reynolds has coached 2, Top20 ESPN nationally ranked teams and has won the Northern Indiana Conference championship three times. He was named South Bend Tribunes area Coach of the Year for the 2021-2022 season.
Under Reynolds tenure, thirteen girls have gone on to play basketball in college under scholarship. Of those thirteen student-athletes, there are four Indiana All-Stars, three Indiana Miss Basketball finalist, three State and National Academic All-Americans, and two NIC MVPs.
“Development is success” has been Coach Reynolds motto since being hired as head coach in 2014. He has prided himself on building a program that would engage its student-athletes with a holistic approach, setting out to develop all who would come through the program physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
For the past 9 years, Coach Reynolds has engaged the community through many avenues including but not limited to dozens of free basketball camps and trainings, to inspiring initiatives like the “I Dream Tour” after 2021’s state championship appearance in which the Washington girls basketball program visited a dozen South Bend Community School Corporation elementary and middle schools with a message of hope and perseverance.
In all, Coach Steve Reynolds has endeavored to serve the City of South Bend, IN and let his light shine to those who are looking for hope.
“I thank God for giving me the coaching and leadership platform to impact lives. I thank God for my wife, whom I love very much, and whose support and behind the scenes work truly is the backbone of all my successes. God bless the City of South Bend, IN as there is much work to do. Ever Onward!”
Charan Richards is a daughter, wife, mother, and grandmother. Charan is a lifelong resident of South Bend, Indiana, and a proud product of the South Bend Community School Corporation.
Charan graduated from LaSalle High School and earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work at Ball State University. She continued her educational career by obtaining her Master’s of Science in Education in Counseling and Human Services at Indiana University.
Ms. Richards has always had a passion for working in the field of education and most importantly being a positive reflection in the community that deposited richly into her life.
Currently, Charan serves as a Guidance Director at James Whitcomb Riley High School. Charan Richards is compassionate and deeply driven when it comes to making a difference in the lives of young people.
Pushing youth to their full potential is her number one priority and daily motivation.
Charan is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and at Mount Carmel Missionary Baptist Church.
A graduate of the former LaSalle High School, and Bethel University, excluding a seven-year sojourn in New Orleans, Trina Robinson has been a lifelong resident of South Bend.
In 2001, she was elected the youngest President for the South Bend branch of the NAACP. Prior to becoming the NAACP’s President, Trina was the Education Chair for the NAACP and was most noted for rallying the community together to oppose the re-structuring of the South Bend Community School District and Plan Z.
Serving as president until 2011, when she moved to New Orleans, she was commended for establishing working relationships with the South Bend Police Department, Prosecutor’s Office, the County Jail and the Mayor’s office, just to name a few. Trina received recognition for her leadership from the Martin Luther King Foundation, AM General, and the South Bend Common Council. The highlight of her presidency was being the recipient of the President’s Award from the Indiana State Conference of the NAACP and receiving the key to the City of South Bend from Mayor Stephen Luecke.
Trina has spoken at churches, schools and community forums. She was also a member of South Bend’s Ceasefire and a facilitator for the Human Rights study circles on racism. In 2016, Trina returned to South Bend and currently is the NAACP’s president, board member of the Community Forum for Economic Justice, president of Café (Community Action For Education) and a member of the Kiwanis Club of South Bend.
While her work with the NAACP has forged her commitment to assuring that all individuals have equal rights without discrimination based on race, religion, origin, sexual orientation, or gender, Trina is equally proud of her 30 year tenure as a Administrative Compliance Manager at Crowe LLP. and, she could never accomplish all that she has without the support of her siblings, two children, and four grandchildren and one great grandchild.
Shane Williams (WUBS) – Obama Award for Outstanding Volunteer Contributions in Community Service
Shane Williams currently serves as a broadcast producer at WUBS Radio Station, which is celebrating 30 years of broadcasting this year! As a music producer and songwriter, music and inspiration is his lifeline and passion. “I’ve been in love with music from an early age. Music is the universal language and it speaks the voice of every culture!” Shane has served at WUBS from the beginning since breaking the silence on the airwaves in 1993. You can check it out locally on Wubs 89.7 or listen globally online.
Shane serves as a director with the Violent Free Campaign, established in 1993 to help be a voice for peace in our community. VFC has held many rallies and campaigns down through the years to take a stand against violence. Most recently the VFC pumped peace back into the city by pumping free gas in targeted areas as a symbolic gesture of hope and peace pumping back in the neighborhoods. Be it known that the violence ceased for 14 straight weeks credited to this program and other valuable programs in the city targeting violence.
He also is Executive Director for UBS Outreach, which is a production company that spreads positive content thru music, spoken word & video. DJ Suga Shane has Executive Produced many uplifting releases which can be found on all digital platforms. Just to name a few: Gospel Rap artist G Nutty, the highly sought after Gospel Soul artist Carla B, The motivational project: Gentlemen And Scholars Soundtrack to the Movement Vol. 1 and countless others.
Shane also serves as Director Of Fine Arts with Gentlemen & Scholars Master Mentoring Group, which is another one of his favorite passions! Helping people change the narrative through mentorship to bring a more productive life! Learn more at gentlemenandscholarsinc.com!
You can find Mr. Shane all over the community Staying Positive and Promoting Peace & Love wherever he goes and to whomever he meets!
Jordan Richardson – Leaders Under Forty Award
Jordan Richardson manages the investment and development arm of Property Bros, LLC.
He began investing in real estate in 2016 by investing in his first home, a triplex in South Bend, IN after receiving his bachelor’s degree in finance from Indiana University.
Jordan’s passion for fast-paced development stems from his career as a business development manager for Inovateus Solar, where he developed utility and municipal-scale solar assets. His focus was primarily within the Midwest municipal utility sector and was responsible for managing the development of more than $50M in development.
In 2020, Jordan decided to leap into the real estate business for himself after the realization that ownership of real estate by African Americans was a leading cause of the wealth gap in the US and by providing quality homes for those who are less fortunate, he could create an impact in his community.
Richardson is a passionate community partner, son, and brother.
Two Little or Known Secrets about Jordan:
- Jordan started his clothing brand, Jungle Rose Cartel after graduating college. His fashions have been worn on Hollywood red carpets, and by noticeable celebrities like FUBU creator Daymond John.
- Jordan is a Dancer who enjoys Salsa, Bachata & Kizomba.
Washington High School Girls’ Basketball Team – Special Tribute
(The Washington High School Girls’ Basketball Team “Lady Panthers” are receiving a Special Tribute for contributing to South Bend’s rich history and culture on and off the basketball court).
The South Bend Washington High School Girls’ Basketball team, under the direction of Head Coach, Steven Reynolds Jr., avenged their 2021 3A State Championship loss to Silver Creek with a historic 58-point win in last year’s 3A State Championship game by outscoring Silver Creek 93-35 in Indiana’s 1st ever 3A State Championship game rematch. With a combined record of 77-9 (90%) over the last 3 years and while currently enjoying a 34-game win streak, the Panthers have reached new heights locally and nationally.
Last years, 3A State Championship run included a 28-win season which is tied for 1st in Washington High School girls basketball history. The 58-point win in the 3A State Championship game saw the Lady Panthers break 7 Indiana state championship game records including most points in a 3A championship game, largest margin of victory, and an individual record of 24 rebounds set by then Freshman Kira Reynolds, which is the most rebounds in a game for any state championship game in Indiana girls basketball history.
The Panthers finished last year ranked #19 nationally by ESPN, and are currently ranked #7 nationally and #1 in the state and currently in the midst of chasing back to back Indiana state championships. In the last 2 years, the team also boast 3 Indiana All-Stars and 3 Indiana Miss Basketball finalist. The Panthers are also currently on a 28-game win streak in the Northern Indiana Conference and has also won the last two NIC league championships.
Along with stellar play on the court, the Panthers own a 3.1 GPA over the last 3 years and have participated and volunteered in numerous events in the city of South Bend that include, but are not limited to, area basketball camps, “I Dream Tour” which served 12 South Bend Community School Corporation elementary and middle schools, Food Bank distribution, grounds clean-up, sneaker give aways, and much, much more.
In February of 2022, the Lady Panthers were given the Key to the City by Mayor James Mueller in recognition of winning the Indiana 3A State Championship and their positive impact on the community of South Bend, IN. That state championship run has since been featured in a full-length motion picture docufilm called PANTHERS: Pride of the Westside which is headed to the Sundance Film Festival in the coming months.