Cleveland Urban News.Com interviewed now President Barack Obama one-on-one when he was campaigning for president. As to the Obama interview,
CLEVELAND URBAN NEWS.COM, CLEVELAND, Ohio- Cleveland activist and journalist Kathy Wray Coleman, among others, received the 2016 community service award from outgoing President Barack Obama from 9th Congressional District Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, a Toledo Democrat whose congressional district stretches to Cleveland, Ohio, and the longest serving woman in Congress.
The awards, handed out at Kaptur's Cleveland district office following recommendations from community leaders Renata Jakupca and her husband, David Jakupca, come as the president will give his farewell speech at 8 pm CST at McCormick Place at his adopted hometown of Chicago, Illinois. (Editor's note: The president officially leaves office on Jan. 20).
"I am pleased to hand out these awards on behalf of President Obama," said Kaptur,
The President's Volunteer Service Award (PVSA) is a premiere award given annually for exemplary volunteer and civic service and was derived in 2003 by executive order of then president George W. Bush, and following the "9-11 attacks."
A former 14-year Cleveland schools high school biology teacher who trained for 17 years as an investigative journalist for the Call and Post Newspaper in Cleveland, Ohio, and who now edits Cleveland Urban News.Com and the Kathy Wray Coleman Online News Blog.Com, Ohio's most read Black digital newspaper's, Coleman leads the Cleveland-based Imperial Women Coalition and received a women's leadership award in March from Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson.
Coleman has fought against violence against greater Cleveland women, including the victims of serial killer Anthony Sowell and the late serial rapist and teen kidnapper Ariel Castro.
She is also a champion of equity for Cleveland school children and has rallied in Cleveland against police abuse and arbitrary Cleveland police killings of Black and other people, and women.
She led a rally last summer on Public Square during the Republican National Convention in Cleveland against violence against women and police killings, nationally, against Black women and Black people in general.
In accepting her Obama award from Congresswoman Kaptur, Coleman, who attended the ceremony with community activists by her side, including Ada Averyhart, Marva and David Patterson, Cleveland African-American Museum Executive Director Frances Caldwell and Genevieve Mitchell, thanked the Jakupca's, President Obama and greater Cleveland community activists.
Coleman called Obama "one of the nation's great presidents." She said the president is a world class leader who will be sorely missed in the White House and that he has been a jewel for Black America and others.
And she thanked Congresswoman Kaptur, saying it was an honor to receive the president's award through "the longest serving woman in congress."
She said that activists want ''the Ohio State Legislature to revise its unconstitutional school funding formula."
Others that saluted Coleman that day at a luncheon in Cleveland held before the award's ceremony at Kaptur's office include Carnegie Roundtable President Charles E. Biib Sr., Jane Sheets, who is the former executive director of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, Shaker Heights Precinct Committeewoman B.J. Tucker, Charles Shepherd, Cleveland NAACP President Michael Nelson Sr., Holly Seawright, and community activists Mary Seawright, Dion Carmichael Thomas, Amy Hurd, Betty Mahone and the Rev Gwendolyn Pitts.
The complete list of award award recipients is as follows:
Joseph Bailey, Marty Cephas, Kenneth Maxwell, Dr. Joseph Wendel Kathy Wray Coleman, Patrick Cahill, Marty Allen, Abdul Jabbar, Brohi Eugene Schiopota, Leonard May, Don Bryant, ed the awards cerMarianne Quasebarth, Joseph Kocab and Robert and Mary Bennett. (Editor's note: Not all of the recipients attend the award ceremony at Kaptur's office due to prior engagements where bad weather in Cleveland caused it to be re-scheduled to December 19, 2016)
The oldest recipient of the 2016 PVSA handed out by Kaptur after recommendation from the Jakupca's , was 90-year-old Gene Schiopota
"What an honor," said Schiopota after accepting his award.
The Jakupka's. of greater Cleveland, lead the World's Children Peace Monument (WCPM) group and the International Center for Environmental Arts (ICEA).
The WCPM and the ICEA are the impetus for the President's Volunteer Service Award, which, according to the White House, "enables community organizations as certifying and leadership organizations to amplify their gratitude by joining with the president of the United States to thank their most dedicated volunteers."
"All recipients of the president's service award are role models for all Americans," said Renate Jakupca.
(Editor's note: The World's Children Peace Monument (WCPM) is located at Coe Lake Park in Berea, Ohio. An original idea conceived during EXPO 2000, the Worlds Fair held in Hannover, Germany. It was designed and built by Environmental Artist David Jakupca at the historic ARK in Berea as a project of the International Center for Environmental Arts (ICEA) in cooperation with the United Nations 2000 Culture of Peace Program. The project is to encourage positive community participation through the establishment of site-specific works of public art, through cultural education and entrepreneurial training to children around the World).