The Uncrowned Queens Institute will present its Cultural Keeper Awards and introduce its new program, Uncrowned Queens and Kings in the Wings: Emerging Community Builders, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the MES Lounge, 228 Franklin St.
The new initiative follows the institute's publication of three volumes of "Uncrowned Queens: African American Community Builders of Western New York" and one volume of “Uncrowned Queens of Oklahoma," a monthly online newsletter. Institute founders Peggy Brooks-Bertram and Barbara A. Seals Nevergold also published “Go, Tell Michelle: African American Women Write to the New First Lady” in 2009.
Thursday's event will honor Jennifer J. Parker, founder of the Black Capital Network and owner of Jackson Parker Communications; community leader Derrick M. Byrd Jr.; and Crissie Castro, founder of the Sankofa Heritage Collective. Tickets are $20.