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Cheryl Boone Isaacs recieves Horizon Award; Munson Steed honored by Urban League; Jesse Owens medal up for auction

African American news for the week of Dec. 2, 2013.

Juliana Norwood | 12/5/2013, midnight

Nevada

The Las Vegas Urban League held its annual fundraiser Equal Opportunity Day (EOD) Community Luncheon recently at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino. Las Vegas Urban League’s President and CEO Kevin E. Hooks honored entrepreneur and visionary Munson Steed with the Innovator of the Year Award. Steed is the CEO of Steed Media Group, a multimedia company that includes the 15-year-old publication, Rolling Out—the largest chain of free African American-owned weekly newspapers in the country. “Munson Steed was given the Innovator Award for his accomplishments in transforming his company from a single newspaper into a full-fledged media content development company. Steed has taken a newspaper product and transformed it from one newspaper into an entire chain. As technology advanced, he transformed Rolling Out from a national print publication to the largest transformed web destination for a print publication conversion, while still reaching two million people a month at RollingOut.com,” explained Las Vegas Urban League president Kevin Hooks.

New Jersey

An ornate red brick house on West State Street in Trenton, that has stood empty for years, will become the new headquarters for the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey. Chamber President John Harmon said the business group is looking forward to renovating the 5,000-square-foot space and moving offices from down the street, where the chamber has been renting space since 2007. The move is expected in January. The larger offices at the West State Street property will leave room for the chamber to lease out rooms to members as “incubator office space” to help growing businesses, said Harmon. He added that the chamber has received interest from three different members looking to relocate into the historic building, including an architecture firm that is attempting to grow its presence in New Jersey. “This really solidifies our presence and our commitment to our community,” Harmon said. “We are here to stay.”

National

An Olympic gold medal won by African American track-and-field legend Jesse Owens is being auctioned off, the Associated Press reported. The medal, won at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, is currently held by SCP Auctions, one of the largest auctioneers and private sellers of important sports memorabilia, and represents a significant part of African American-and world-history. When Owens broke the world record for the 100-yard dash, it destroyed the Nazi myth of Aryan supremacy, the AP notes. The medal was obtained from the estate of one of Owens’ friends, entertainer Bill “Bojangles” Robinson. Overall, Owens won four medals—for the 100- and 200-meter, the 400-relay and the long jump—during the games, which Nazi leader Adolf Hitler had hoped would showcase his people’s superiority. SCP Auctions has already confirmed that the medal is legitimate. “We just hope that it’s purchased by an institution where the public could have access to it, a museum or something like that,” Owens’ daughter said. The Robinson family reportedly plans to use the funds to pay for college and to donate to a charity. The auction closes Dec. 7. Individuals can bid online at www.scpauctions.com

Compiled By Juliana Norwood.