2018 Awards Dinner Honorees


Rev. Dee Dee M. Coleman, recipient of the Daniel Hart Krichbaum Visionary Civic Leader Award

Reverend Dr. DeeDee M. Coleman, a native New Orleanian who now resides in Oak Park, Michigan, is the Pastor of the Russell Street Missionary Baptist Church. In November 1999, Russell Street, which is the oldest church on the North End of the city of Detroit, stepped out on faith and for the first time in its history, called Reverend DeeDee M. Coleman as its first female pastor. Over the last 15 years, Pastor Coleman has given her spiritual gifts of preaching, teaching and administration to Russell Street, with one objective – to equip the Church community, that God calls us, and to love and help one another, whether it be home or abroad. Reverend Coleman has been in the ministry since 1963 and was ordained as a Deacon in October 1988; granted her license to Preach in October 1990; and received Full Ordination to the Ministry in July 1993, all under the leadership of the Reverend Dr. Charles G. Adams, Senior Pastor of Hartford Memorial Baptist Church, Detroit. Pastor Coleman is an international preacher and humanitarian; she has preached and/or taught in the Bahamas, Canada, Africa, Scotland, Israel, France and London, England. She is a national leader; she was honored to be the morning plenary preacher for the Progressive National Baptist Convention, August 2014 on President’s Day. In August, 2013 Pastor Coleman was selected to travel with the International Fellowship of Christian and Jews to witness an airlift (Operation Dove’s Wings) of 450 Ethiopian Jews making their ALIYAH (the returning home to their homeland of Jerusalem) from Africa to Israel – a prediction in the Bible over 2,000 plus years ago coming true. She is an entrepreneur and owns her own business, The Wings of Faith, Inc., where she implemented a one-stop resource center for ex-offenders, as well as an economic development initiative Day Labor Program known as The WorkForce. Dr. Coleman also implemented “The Mentors of Faith” where she provided mentoring services for serious and violent youth offenders from the ages of 14-21. She currently provides national reentry consulting services and training throughout the country. Dr. Coleman has been awarded many accolades for her boldness in speech and proclamation of uplifting the name of Jesus. She has been noted to preach with a No-nonsense approach to the Gospel. Dr. Coleman received the 2007 Edwin T. Dahlberg Peace Award for outstanding work in prison ministry and reentry services to this country. The Dahlberg Peace Award is the highest award granted by the American Baptist Churches, USA. This Peace Award is true to Dr. Coleman’s heart, with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. being the first recipient of this honorable mention. She serves on various Boards throughout the Country including the Chair of the Progressive National Baptist Convention’s Commission on Social Justice and Prison Ministry. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Alumni Chapter, Detroit, and has taught as an adjunct professor at the Ecumenical Theological Seminary teaching “From the Pulpit to the Pew – Grassroots Prison Ministry.” Currently Pastor Coleman holds the position of President of the Council of Baptist Pastors of Detroit and Vicinity; she is a national speaker and National Council Member for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC); and an appointee of Past President Jimmie Carter as the Co-Chair of the The Social Justice and Prison form Ministry Committee for the New Baptist Covenant. Rev. Dr. Deedee M. Coleman has a B.A. Degree in Business Administration from William Tyndale College, Farmington Hills, Michigan; a Masters of Arts Degree in Pastoral Ministry from Marygrove College, Detroit; and a Doctoral Degree from The United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, majoring in Intercultural Communications. When asked what her motto is, she simply says, “If I can help somebody along the way, then my living won’t be in vain”.

Luther Keith, Executive Director, ARISE Detroit, recipient of the Community Service Award

Luther Keith is the executive director of ARISE Detroithttps://www.arisedetroit.org/! and a former award-winning editor and columnist for The Detroit News. A native Detroiter, Keith served in many roles for the newspaper before retiring in 2005. Keith worked as a general assignment reporter before becoming a sportswriter in 1973. In 1979, Keith worked as the state capital bureau correspondent specializing in economic and budget issues and writing periodic columns on state legislative issues. He was also a frequent commentator on the “Off the Record” television program. Keith was appointed assistant city editor in 1982 where he directed local coverage in the criminal courts and directed a five-person news team. Taking a two year leave of absence, from 1985 to 1987 Keith served as founding director of Wayne State University’s Journalism Institute for Minorities, now called the Journalism Institute for Media Diversity. The institute is a program to recruit and train minorities for careers in the media. He returned to The Detroit News as assistant city editor in 1987 and night city editor in 1988. From 1988 to 2005, Keith worked in a number of positions for The Detroit News, including features writer, copy editor, business editor, assistant managing editor, public editor, senior editor and columnist. Keith has received several awards including, Distinguished Faculty Award from Wayne State University, Ameritech Living the Dream Trailblazer Award, Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame Award, and most recently the 2016 Michiganian of the Year Award from The Detroit News. In 1993, Keith created On Detroit, a weekly grassroots mini newspaper that ran until 2003. He was honored with the Excellence in Urban Media Award from the Detroit Chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists in 2001 and Wayne State’s Helen Thomas Diversity in Journalism Award in 2005.   In many of Keith’s roles he developed and coordinated stories and special reports on quality of life issues affecting Detroit such as crime, education and neighborhood revitalization. Keith considers his work with ARISE Detroit! a logical extension of the many issues he wrestled with as a  journalist. He is passionate about motivating people to help them create the kind of community we all want. Keith is the former vice-president with the Detroit Chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists and holds board memberships with the Rosa Parks Scholarship Foundation and the Detroit Blues Society.

Interfaith Award: Plymouth Canton Interfaith Community Organization

PCICO began when Dr. Mahmood Hai, of the Muslim Community West (MCWS), asked Father Richard Perfetto of Resurrection Catholic Church, what they could do to bring their faiths together in service, two days after September 11, 2001.  The first projects included clothing and food drives.  The group was again moved to service in numbers at the tenth anniversary of 911.  Members of the group approached township officials, police, faith leaders and the community, asking for a commitment to begin working in service together as a community.  Moving forward as a community to heal was important to many and this event helped to begin a strong bond between the many cultures and faiths living in Canton and Plymouth. The group has since continued over the years with monthly service projects including clothing drives, food drives, game nights with local shelters, bell ringing, community dinners, youth movie nights, and spoken word contests to name a few.  ICO has also lead walks of support in the face of many tragedies facing our interfaith families and communities throughout the country. We have comforted each other and held each other up through many trials facing our faith communities and families. ICO also received a public testament for our work from our State Representative Kristy Pagan, and the state of Michigan for this work.  We have spent years teaching over 18 other school districts about the various cultures in our community but we were not invited into our own local school district. We tenaciously spent 6 years (and 3 superintendents) pushing the Plymouth Canton Community Schools to offer the Religious Diversity Journeys (RDJ) classes to our own schools.  Our group collected almost 1000 signatures as well as providing testimonials of the bullying of some of our minority cultures.  This fall, PCCS finally relented and is offering RDJ to our first classes!   Throughout 2017, ICO spent over a year creating an interfaith quilt to demonstrate our bonds and sameness, while celebrating our diversity.  Many quilting sessions over food, laughter, and tears were spent to show how much stronger we are together, rather than apart.  The quilt found its permanent home at the Canton Public LIbrary, where it is an example to others of what our community represents.  The librarians say that the kids love it and often play under it while staring at the symbols of faith and love.  

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