By D. Van Rensalier-Warren

On Friday, January 12, 2018, Rev. Dr. John Warren was awarded a Martin Luther King, Jr “Unsung Hero Award” by the California State Legislature. Assemblymember Shirley Weber nominated Dr. Warren for exemplary community leadership in San Diego, which the legislative body approved.

Dr. Warren was one of ten honorees. He received his award on the floor of the California State Assembly, where the well-being of all Californians rests in the hands of 81 elected officials. Guests and legislative representatives from throughout the state put their hands over their hearts, pledged allegiance to the California and United States flags, and brought the session to order in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.

As elected officials made tribute after tribute honoring Dr. King, it immediately became apparent how fitting it was for Dr. Warren, publisher and owner of San Diego Voice & Viewpoint, to also be honored on that day. Dr. Warren has a long history in championing San Diego’s African American and African citizens. His newspaper, San Diego’s largest African American newspaper, has over a 30-year legacy of Dr. Warren reporting community news, stories, and events other publications often ignore. It is truly San Diego’s Black history book, a Black voice from the power of a Black perspective.

The stately California Assembly room was respectfully silent as officials made elegant tributes in remembrance of Dr. King. But the 79th District’s Assemblymember Dr. Shirley Weber gave the most memorable speech. In the marbled assembly outer hall, a 7-foot display behind glass held pictures and biographies of each honoree. When the time came, the ten awardees stood expectantly beside their nominating assembly member along the back of the large chamber, awaiting their turn to ceremoniously walk down the center isle of the large room. When Dr. Warren’s name was announced, he gentlemanly offered his arm to Assemblymember Weber and walked side by side with her down the long central isle as the resolution honoring him was being read. Light bulbs continuously flashed and legislature members stood in ovation as Dr. Warren graciously accepted the Legislative Assembly’s Unsung Hero Resolution.

The San Diego Voice and Viewpoint celebrates its 58th Anniversary Gala on Friday, February 2nd at 7:00 pm at the Jacobs Center in honor of local unsung community leaders. A black-tie affair, the San Diego Voice & Viewpoint Gala plans to uplift the San Diego community in style.

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