Park Is A Place To Experience The History Of The Westside
Las Vegas City Councilman Cedric Crear and Clark County Commissioner William McCurdy II invite the public to join them for the induction of the second group of honorees to be enshrined at the Historic Westside Legacy Park, Saturday, June 3, at 8:30 a.m.
The park is located at 1600 Mount Mariah Drive, and the event will feature an induction ceremony, music, and food trucks. The Historic Westside Legacy Park is a partnership between the city of Las Vegas and Clark County and opened in December 2021 with 36 honorees.
The 2023 honorees include:
- Aaron Williams, the first African American to be elected to the Clark County Commission in 1972.
- Alice Key, former executive director of the local NAACP.
- Omiyale Jube, an educator and administrator in the Clark County School District for more than 30 years.
- Dr. Claude Perkins, the first African American school superintendent in Nevada, overseeing the desegregation of the Clark County School District.
- E. Lavonne Lewis, a 50-year resident of Las Vegas, director of Business for The Salvation Army Clark County and former vice president of Human Resources for EG&G, Inc.
- Franklyn G. Verley III, who developed Like It Is Radio, which provided him an opportunity to speak truth to the community and create supportive events, such as Kemet in the Desert, Men Who Cook and Emancipation Circle.
- Hannah M. Brown, the first African American and female station location manager for Western Airlines and Delta Airlines, and former president of the Urban Chamber of Commerce.
- Jackie Brantley, native Las Vegan who pioneered the way for professional African American women in Las Vegas, working in publicity and promotions at the Desert Inn.
- Lucille Bryant, a pillar of the Zion Methodist Church, serving in multiple ministries, as president of the Senior Usher Board for 41 years and instructor and director of the children’s choir for 20 years.
- Mary Wesley, who served in the welfare rights movement locally and engaged in the statewide lobbying effort for increased benefits for women and children.
- Reverend Dr. Sylvester S. Roger, who worked for the Clark County School District as a Human Relations counselor for 16 years, as well as a pastor/counselor with the Metropolitan Police Gang Force and Safe Village for gang victims.
- Robert Fortson, master carpenter and educator whose company, R.L. Fortson Construction, was responsible for constructing many homes, buildings, and churches in the Historic Westside.
- Sam Smith, fire inspector and deputy fire marshal for Clark County Fire Department, was instrumental in the recruitment of many Westside residents to the Las Vegas Fire Department.
- Sammie “Sam” Armstrong, was the first person of color hired at Pepsi-Cola Company as a lineman and was then promoted to water treatment specialist. Later he partnered with Douglas Ray McCain and founded Ray & Ross Transport, Inc., which grew to become the largest black-owned business in Nevada.
“There are so many leaders and icons deserving of enshrinement at the Historic Westside Legacy Park, and it is an honor to welcome the class of 2023,” Councilman Crear said. “The park is a beautiful place where people can stroll and experience the history of the Westside and remember all who have paved the way for future generations in the community.”
“The 2023 Legacy Park honorees are a powerhouse group of individuals who have one similarity: they have made a lasting impact in our community and the lives of individuals in the Historic Westside,” Commissioner McCurdy II said. “Our future leaders are fortunate to have the rich history of these individuals to look up to and hopefully build upon in their lifetimes.”
The community submitted nominees and a panel of community volunteers selected the honorees. The announcement of the Legacy Park honorees was part of the annual African American Trailblazer Service Awards Program earlier this year. For more information on the honorees, visit www.lasvegasnevada.gov/LegacyPark.
Legacy Park is a tribute to the many trailblazers who have led the community through the years. The park incorporates unique elements, such as a timeline of the Historic Westside and an interpretive walking trail. It also includes public artwork and stories of the Westside, along with trees, landscaping, and a playground.
Clark County Contact: Stacey Welling, Senior Public Information Officer, 702-455-3201
City Contact: Jace Radke, Public & Media Relations Supervisor, 702-229-2207
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