Lavern J. Chatman, president and CEO, Northern Virginia Urban League; The Honorable William D. Euille, mayor of Alexandria, Virginia; Honoree Nia Perkins, owner of Paws, Purrs & Exotics Animal Hospital; Honoree Erick King, co-founder and executive director of Capital Youth Empowerment Program, Inc.; and Pamela Perkins, president, Northern Virginia Urban League Young Professionals Network
Northern Virginia Urban League Young Professionals Network Hosts Black Opal Gala Supporting Scholarship and Community Empowerment Programs
Alexandria, VA - April 27, 2011 - Last month, young professionals from Northern Virginia and the greater Washington, DC area gathered for Black Opal: Celebrating the Next Generation of Leaders, a fundraising gala hosted by the Northern Virginia Urban League Young Professionals Network (YPN). More than 200 guests dined and danced at the historic George Washington Masonic Memorial in Old Town Alexandria. YPN honored two young professionals who have reached exemplary heights in their fields and have been of service to Northern Virginia. The honorees included:
Nia Malika Perkins, DVM, owner of Paws, Purrs & Exotics Animal Hospital, the first African-American owned veterinary hospital in Alexandria. Recently, Perkins hosted Paws for the Cause 2010, a project where she asked the public to bring donations for rescue organizations with whom her practice works closely. Two human service organizations were recognized, The Christ House in DC and Community Lodgings in Alexandria.
Erick King, co-founder and executive director of Capital Youth Empowerment Program, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing the Northern Virginia area with a Fatherhood and Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program.
The Honorable William D. Euille, Mayor of Alexandria, praised YPN for its service to the Northern Virginia community and acknowledged the historic nature of the evening. “For many years, African Americans could not enter the George Washington Masonic Memorial,” said Euille. “So it is remarkable that this evening we are gathered here to recognize the Young Professionals Network for their decade of service to the community.”
Lavern J. Chatman, president and CEO of the Northern Virginia Urban League, spoke about service to the community. “YPN is an organization that brings much pride to the Northern Virginia Urban League and the entire community,” said Chatman. “And as each of you continue to advance and enjoy success, keep in mind the importance of empowering others through service.”
Black Opal attendee Laurie Rowe; Barton J. Taylor, national president, Urban League Young Professionals; Pamela Perkins, president, YPN; and Black Opal guest Carla Howard
“This is what we do,” said Pamela Perkins, president of YPN. “YPN makes an indelible mark on Northern Virginia by taking part in a movement that pushes the African-American community towards social and economic empowerment. And this event moves us a step further to accomplishing that goal.”
“The Northern Virginia Urban League YPN is definitely a model for other young professional groups within the Urban League’s movement,” commented Barton J. Taylor, national president, Urban League Young Professionals. “Northern Virginia continues to raise the bar and events like Black Opal are a testament to their spirit of excellence and service to the community.”
Guests enjoy an evening of dancing with DJ Blaze
About The Northern Virginia Urban League Young Professionals Network (YPN)
The Northern Virginia Urban League Young Professionals Network (YPN) is an auxiliary organization of the Northern Virginia Urban League. YPN was founded in 1999 as a way to identify and develop future leaders of the community. Through a variety of programs and community service initiatives, YPN supports the mission of the Northern Virginia Urban League and fosters young professional development, social consciousness and civic involvement.
Photo Credit: Karima Evans Photography