For Black History Month, and every day of the year, V-103 & WAOK takes pride in saluting past, present and future history makers within the African-American community! Join us in celebrating our 2021 roster of honorees, great men and women whose efforts gallant efforts are making a positive change in our community.
2021 Voices of Influence Honorees
Stacey Abrams - @FairFightAction
V-103 and Ambetter from Peach State Health Plan salute the HISTORIC voice of Stacey Abrams! Stacey Abrams is a politician, lawyer, author and voting rights activist. In 2018, she founded the Fair Fight Action, an organization to fight voter suppression. During the 2020 presidential campaign Stacey Abrams and The Fair Fight Action helped voters to get out and vote turning Georgia Blue while influencing voter turnout in other major states. She has continued to stand for the people. We Salute the HISTORIC voice of Stacey Abrams!
Yamiche Alcindor - @YAMICHE
V-103 and Ambetter from Peach State Health Plan salute the STRONG voice of Yamiche Alcindor! Yamiche Alcindor is the White House correspondent for the PBS NewsHour and also a contributor for NBC News and MSNBC. Previously, Alcindor worked as a national political reporter for The New York Times where she covered the presidential campaigns as well as Congress. Before joining The Times, she was a national breaking news reporter for USA Today and traveled across the country covering stories including the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., the death of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla. and the police-related protests in Ferguson, Mo. and Baltimore, Md. Alcindor’s overall goal is to be a civil rights journalist and she was inspired by the late PBS NewsHour anchor Gwen Ifill. We salute the STRONG voice of Yamiche Alcindor!
Black Enterprise Magazine – @BlackEnterprise
V-103 and Peach State Health Plan salute the ICONIC voice of BLACK ENTERPRISE MAGAZINE. Black Enterprise Magazine was launched in 1970 by the recently deceased businessman and publisher, Earl G. Graves. Black Enterprise was built from a single-magazine publishing company 50 years ago, to a diversified multimedia business spreading the message of financial empowerment to more than six million African-Americans through print, digital, broadcast and live-event platforms. Black Enterprise Magazine served as instruction and inspiration to generations of African-Americans. Throughout the past five decades, Black Enterprise served as the biggest advocate for the financial and economic empowerment of African-Americans as well as the elimination of barriers deterring access to equal opportunity. We salute the ICONIC voice of BLACK ENTERPRISE MAGAZINE!
Clark Atlanta University - @ClarkAtlantaUniversity/@CAU/@CAU1988
V-103 and Ambetter from Peach State Health Plan Salute the EXCEPTIONAL voice of Clark Atlanta University. Established in 1988 after combining Clark College and Atlanta university, Clark Atlanta University was created. It is a private historically black university with over 4,000 students today that offers over 40 degrees. Clark Atlanta is the largest of the four institutions apart of the AUC. Clark Atlanta is home to notable graduates such as civil rights leader Ralph David Abernathy, Writer Kenya Barris and producer Bryan Michael-Cox who have all paved a way for generations to come. We salute the EXCEPTIONAL voice of Clark Atlanta University! “VOICES OF INFLUENCE!” BROUGHT TO YOU BY AMBETTER FROM PEACH STATE HEALTH PLAN, HEALTH CARE THAT FITS YOUR BUDGET AND V-103
Essence Magazine - @Essence
V-103 and Ambetter from Peach State Health Plan Salute the CREATIVE voice of Essence Magazine. Established 50 Years ago in 1970, Essence Magazine is a black owned publication created as a lifestyle magazine. The publication continuously grows housing topics like entertainment, hair care, fashion, celebrity, and more. Essence magazine also produces the nation's largest annual gathering of African-American talent, called Essence Festival. The three-day event once brought in more than 400,000 people while honoring, and celebrating true black brilliance such as Oprah Winfrey, Ava Duvernay, Tracee Ellis Ross & Debbie Allen. Essence Magazine continues to highlight black excellence year after year. We salute the CREATIVE voice of Essence Magazine!
Front Line Health Care Workers
V-103 and Ambetter from Peach State Health Plan salute the ENDURING voices of Front Line Health Care Workers! The trials of the pandemic brought a heightened acclaim to Front Line Health Care Workers. Doctors, nurses, medical technicians and other staff have been deemed "front-line heroes" for quickly adapting, many working tirelessly and risking their own lives as the novel coronavirus spread in waves and continues to overwhelm the health care system and workforce. Nearly all, for the first time treated patients with an illness they knew nothing about, fearing for the safety of their patients, families and themselves. And they've borne the brunt of the pandemic in multiple ways. We are forever indebted for the sacrifices, strength, tenacity, and grace our Front Line Health Care Workers have shown during this Pandemic and we lift you up as your forge on and care for our loved ones. THANK YOU!! We salute the ENDURING voices of FRONT LINE HEALTH CARE WORKERS!
Vice President Kamala Harris - @KAMALAHARRIS/@VP
V-103 and Ambetter from Peach State Health Plan salute the GROUNDBREAKING voice of VICE PRESIDENT KAMALA HARRIS! Salute to the first African-American & Asian woman elected as Vice-President of the United States of America. The California senator's history-making win also represents the millions of women -- often overlooked, historically underrepresented and systematically ignored -- who are now the recipients of that new power for the first time in our country's 200-plus-year history. As the former California Attorney General and U.S. Senator, Vice-President Kamala D. Harris will be the highest-ranking female elected official in U.S. History. Throughout her career, Harris has been a tireless advocate for the most voiceless and vulnerable. Harris will continue to work hard for equality and justice for all Americans. We salute the GROUNDBREAKING voice of Vice President Kamala Harris!
Jemele Hill - @JemeleHill
V-103 and Ambetter from Peach State Health Plan salute the COURAGEOUS voice of Jemele Hill! Jemele Hill has been a journalist for over 10 years and has worked with EPSN, The Undefeated, and currently writes for The Atlantic. In 2018, Jemele Hill was named journalist of the year by the National Association of Black Journalists. Jemele Hill is now co-host of hit show "Cari & Jemele Won’t Stick to Sports" on Vice TV. As a one-woman media empire, Jemele is now building a podcast network to elevate black women’s voices. We Salute the COURAGEOUS voice of Jemele Hill!
Howard University - @HowardU/@Howard1867
V-103 and Ambetter from Peach State Health Plan Salute the EXCELLENT voice of Howard University. A prestigious historically black university located in Washington, DC. Founded in 1867, the university holds 13 schools and colleges with the largest gathering of Black scholars in education, social reform, and government. Graduates such as Mayor Kasim Reed, Thurgood Marshall, Toni Morrison, the late Chadwick Boseman, and Madam Vice President Kamala Harris are all excellent products of Howard University who exude true change in our community. We salute the EXCELLENT voice of Howard University!
LeBron James - @KINGJAMES
V-103 and Ambetter from Peach State Health Plan salute the SUCCESSFUL voice of LeBron James! At only 36 years old, LeBron James is among the greatest basketball players of all time; on and off the court. Playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, and currently the Los Angeles Lakers, James is the only player in NBA history to have won NBA championships with three franchises as Finals MVP. From his relationship with his family to successful business investments and philanthropic contributions, he seems to continually find ways to dominate in every area of his life. In 2018, the living legend shocked the world when he announced his "I Promise School." This public elementary school was created in partnership with the LeBron James Family Foundation, to help school students who are struggling to stay in school. In 2020, James wrote his first children’s book sharing his motivational message with the masses. We salute the SUCCESSFUL voice of LeBron James!
Van Jones – @VANJONES
V-103 and Ambetter from Peach State Health Plan salute the INSTRUMENTAL voice of VAN JONES! Van Jones, a three-time New York Times Best Selling Novelist,” hosts two shows on CNN: “The Van Jones Show” and “The Redemption Project.” Best known as the former green jobs advisor to President Barack Obama, he has been a leader in the fight for criminal justice reform for more than 25 years. To achieve his goals, Van co-founded a series of social enterprises, including: Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, ColorOfChange.org, GreenForAll.org, Rebuild The Dream and the Dream Corps. Today, Van is the CEO of the REFORM Alliance, an initiative founded by Jay-Z, Meek Mill and six billionaires to transform the criminal justice system. We salute the INSTRUMENTAL voice of Van Jones!
Michael Render AKA Killer Mike - @KillerMike/@KillerMikeGTO
V-103 and Ambetter from Peach State Health Plan Salute the OUTSPOKEN voice of Killer Mike! Michael “Killer Mike” Render is an Atlanta Rapper turned activist who is ultra-vocal about social equality, police brutality, systemic racism as well as assisting in government campaigns to get out and vote. Killer Mike is also a strong advocate for black financial empowerment. He recently established a Black and Latin-x owned digital banking platform called “Greenwood” launching in 2021 with friend and businessman Ryan Glover to respond to the importance of banking Black. We salute the OUTSPOKEN voice of Killer Mike!
Tamika Mallory – @TamikaDMallory
V-103 and Ambetter from Peach State Health Plan salute the ADVOCATING voice of Tamika D. Mallory! Mallory is co-founder of the Women’s March, the largest single day protest in American history and a staunch advocate for women’s rights. Spending most of her life in the trenches of political organizing, Mallory was the youngest executive director of the National Action Network and helped plan the 50th Anniversary of the historic March on Washington. This grassroots organizer encourages others to be engaged in the political process and worked closely with the Obama Administration on gun control legislation. We salute the ADVOCATING voice of Tamika D. Mallory!
Morehouse College - @Morehouse1867/@Morehouse
V-103 and Ambetter from Peach State Health Plan Salute the PRESTIGIOUS voice of Morehouse College. One of the largest colleges for Men and home of Morehouse School of Medicine, Morehouse college is a private historically black college in Atlanta, Georgia established in 1867. For over 150 years Morehouse College has produced leaders, businessmen and pillars of the community. Graduates such Martin Luther King Jr., Spike Lee, Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson, and newly appointed Senator Raphael Warnock have all walked the grounds of Morehouse College to lead us all into a new vision. We salute the PRESTIGOUS voice of Morehouse College!
President Barack Obama - @BarackObama
V-103 and Ambetter from Peach State Health Plan salute the HISTORIC voice of President Barack Obama. Making history in 2009 as the first African-American to become the 44th President of the United States, President Barack Obama served for two terms ending in 2017. Barack Obama continues to be an example of a great leader taking on projects to educate us all. Barack Obama has continued his leadership with the Obama Foundation addressing challenges that young men of color face. The foundation provides support through mentoring, education, job training and more. In 2020, he also released his New York Times Best-selling memoir titled “A Promise Land” where he goes in depth to his time as President. We salute the HISTORIC voice of President Barack Obama!
Michelle Obama - @MichelleObama
V-103 and Ambetter from Peach State Health Plan salute the EXTRAORDINARY voice of MICHELLE OBAMA! After President Barack Obama made history in 2009 as the first African-American to become the 44th President of the United States, Harvard Educated Attorney Michelle Obama graciously took on the role as First Lady. Michelle Obama focused her attention on supporting military families, helping working women balance career and family, encouraging national service and healthy living with her “Let’s Move” campaign. In 2018, Michelle Obama released her highly successful memoir, “Becoming” and she also co-founded, When We all Vote, a non-profit non-partisan organization on a mission to increase voter participation in every election for all Americans. Michelle Obama is also credited as a Fashion Icon as her sense of style is inspirational as we just witnessed at the 2021 Presidential Inauguration. We salute the EXTRAORDINARY voice of Michelle Obama!
Racial Justice Organizers
V-103 and Ambetter from Peach State Health Plan salute the POWERFUL voices of Racial Justice Organizers! With the plight of black lives at an all-time high, we salute Racial Justice Organizations who have continued to highlight the inequalities done to Black and Brown communities. Organizations such as Black Lives Matter, Fair Fight Action, Black Votes Matter, Until Freedom and more have all done an excellent job in holding everyone accountable for their actions and being the voice for the voiceless. We Salute the POWERFUL voices of Racial Justice Organizers!
Shonda Rhimes - @ShondaRhimes
V-103 and Ambetter from Peach State Health Plan salute the VISIONARY voice of Shonda Rhimes! Shonda Rhimes is a television producer, screenwriter and author best known for hit TV Shows – “Scandal,” “How to Get Away with Murder” and hit book, "Year of Yes.” Shonda Rhimes is founder of her production company "Shondaland" that is producing exclusive content for Netflix beginning with her new successful series “Bridgerton.” Shonda Rhimes holds honors from the Golden Globes, The Peabody Awards and the Writers and Producers’ Guilds. She is continuing to tell stories that inspire people every day. We salute the VISIONARY voice of Shonda Rhimes!
Herman Russell – @HJRussellCo
V-103 and Peach State Health Plan salute the PIONEERING voice of Herman J. Russell! Herman J. Russell, an entrepreneur and philanthropist, founded the H.J. Russell & Co., in 1953 headquartered in Atlanta, GA. H.J. Russell & Co., the largest minority-owned real estate and construction company in the U.S., today is a multi-faceted company run by the Russell family and is committed to urban renewal and community development with deep roots in the City of Atlanta and the nation. In honor of the late Herman J. Russell’s legacy, the Russell family founded the Russell Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in 2019. The center serves as a collaborative, co-working ecosystem connecting Atlanta’s top entrepreneurs from communities of color and other underrepresented communities to business resources, access to capital and corporate partners. We salute the PIONEERING voice of Herman J. Russell!
Spelman College - @SPELMANCOLLEGE
V-103 and Ambetter from Peach State Health Plan salute the OUTSTANDING voice of Spelman College! Founded in 1881 as the Atlanta Baptist Female Seminary, this historic black college and global leader in the education of women of African descent would become known as Spelman College in 1924. With more than 2,100 students from 43 states and 10 foreign countries, Spelman is dedicated to academic excellence in the liberal arts and sciences and the intellectual, creative, ethical and leadership development of its students. Some of Spelman’s distinguished alumni include Pearl Cleage, Marian Wright Edelman, Keshia Knight Pulliam, LaTanya Richardson and Avery Sunshine who stand proud as part of the strong Spelman College Global alumnae network. We salute the OUTSTANDING voice of SPELMAN COLLEGE!
Bubba Wallace - @BubbaWallace
V-103 and Ambetter from Peach State Health Plan salute the BRAVE voice of Bubba Wallace! Bubba Wallace is a professional NASCAR driver and activist who is deemed as one of the most successful African-American drivers in the history of NASCAR. He is the first African-American in 50 years to win NASCAR’s Top three (3) National touring series. Bubba Wallace has continued to use his voice in the NASCAR space pushing for equality, and inclusion. He also played a part in the banning of the confederate flag at all races. Keep creating a space for those behind you. We Salute the BRAVE voice of Bubba Wallace!
U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock – @ReverendWarnock/@RaphaelWarnock
V-103 and Ambetter from Peach State Health Plan salute the TRAILBLAZING voice of Raphael Warnock! Congratulations Rev. Raphael Warnock, the first African-American Senator elected in the state of Georgia. Raphael Warnock is a product of Savannah, Georgia, a cum laude graduate of Morehouse College who then earned his Master of Divinity, Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from Union Theological Seminary. He was appointed Senior Pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, Martin Luther King’s former congregation and is the fifth and the youngest person to serve as Ebenezer's senior pastor since its founding. Rev. Warnock came to prominence in Georgia politics as a leader in the campaign to expand Medicaid in the state and championing voter registration for all. We salute the TRAILBLAZING voice of U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock!
Oprah Winfrey - @OPRAHWINFREY
V-103 and Ambetter from Peach State Health Plan salute the LEGENDARY voice of Oprah Winfrey! Dubbed as the “Queen of All Media,” Oprah Winfrey is best known for her talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, which was the highest rated television program of its kind from 1986 to 2011. In 2007, Oprah Winfrey established the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa. And, she has also given over 400 scholarships to Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2013, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama and honorary doctorate degrees from Duke and Harvard. Not only is Winfrey a force in the media world but she is also a pioneer on the television and movie scene becoming the first African-American woman to create a television network called OWN. Winfrey has also starred in several film and TV projects including “The Color Purple,” “The Women of Brewster’s Place,” “The Butler,” “Selma,” “Greenleaf” and “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.” We salute the LEGENDARY voice of Oprah Winfrey!