Breaking Barriers Spotlight Awards Ceremony Returns Post Pandemic

The in-person ceremony will celebrate those who assist to make the equable for people with disabilities

(Louisville, KY) The Metro Disability Coalition cordially invites you to attend their 21st Annual Breaking Barriers Spotlight Awards on Friday, March 31st from 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. at the Rudd Heart & Lung Center located at 201 Abraham Flexner Way.

There will be a reception prior to the ceremony for special guests, honorees and those participating in the program. We will also honor our 2020 recipients. Due to the pandemic, we were unable to celebrate them previously. 

This year’s guest speaker is April Bridgeman Morrow.  Currently, she is a substitute teacher for Jefferson County Public Schools as she completes her doctorate degree in K-12 leadership.  The former ‘Outstanding Teacher of the Year’ by the East Chicago, Indiana Public School District. Morrow is a graduate of Valparaiso University. Her career spans over 30 years in education. She even founded a private Christian school with grades K though 6th in Merrillville, Indiana that quickly grew to 12th grade.  As a music teacher, Morrow’s students have performed all over the U.S. from contests in the Midwest to Disneyworld in Orlando, Florida.   

The awards ceremony is for the community’s unsung heroes and community leaders in their various fields from service workers, educators to youth who go above and beyond the call of duty to assist those in need. We are excited to announce this year’s honorees several of which are from Jefferson County Public Schools, (JCPS).    

Here is a list of this year’s Breaking Barriers Spotlight Award honorees:

 Leslie Jones

Lifetime Achievement Award

Theo Hamilton

Merit Award

Mary Payton

George McEwing

Teri Kiper

Cathy Spalding

Joann Orr

Certificate of Merit

Omega Psi Phi Fraternity

Community Honoree

Breaking Barriers Spotlight Student & Teacher Awards recipients: 


Jayden Hernandez Mendoza

Hazelwood Elementary

De’Von Jones

Kammerer Middle School

Michael Washington-Cox

Waggener High School


Deedra Njuguna

Special Education Teacher

Binet School (Elementary)

Julie Fox

MSD Teacher

Lassiter Middle School

Tara Conner

MSD Teacher

Doss High School

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The VIPP Report: MELANnaire Marketplace heads to the Russell neighborhood showcasing Black-owned businesses in a pop-up mall

Founder, Nachand Trabue will be honored in an awards ceremony

(Louisville, KY) The MELANnaire Marketplace and Old Walnut Street presents the Black Walnut Marketplace with a pop-up mall as part of West Louisville’s 5th Annual Economic Mobility Summit. It will be held on Friday, October 22nd at the Louisville Central Community Center, 1300 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd. The pop-up mall opens at 12:00pm and closes at 9:00pm.

The summit will also recognize six Louisville entrepreneurs with the inaugural Sam Watkins Jr. ‘Light the Way’ Awards Ceremony where MELANnaire Marketplace founder Nachand Trabue will be honored for entrepreneurial excellence. The program is scheduled to begin at 6:00pm.

Trabue says “This is a true honor to be recognized by my peers. I have tried to find ways not only be a successful entrepreneur but to assist other Black-owned businesses find a way to promote and sell their products and services. Entrepreneurship as we’ve learned is a labor of love. So, many have had to close their doors over the past two years while some decided to make a career change and open a business. I try each and every week to give businesses a place where we can work together as a community to generate wealth. I’m truly humbled to be recognized along with the other recipients.”

If you would like to be a vendor and/or be a sponsor, please contact MELANnaire Marketplace at
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“Where Black Businesses Matter”
Follow us on social media and take photos using the following hashtags so we can share your experience #MELANnairesLou, #BLACKbusinessesMatterLOU & #MELANnaireMarketplace.
Instagram: @melannairemarketplace

The VIPP Report: Lady Veterans Connect Dedicate Anna’s House For Women Veterans


(Winchester, KY) As Kentuckians works to get back on track due to the pandemic. Lady Veterans Connect is dedicated to changing the lives of women veterans by giving them a safe place to stay as they heal and transition back into society.

On Saturday, June 12th at 1pm you are invited to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony and dedication of our Winchester facility located at 11400 Irvine Way.

According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development female veterans are two to three times more likely to be homeless than any other group in the United States adult population? [LVC is committed to changing these statistics by providing a safe place to heal and become the proud women they were while serving our country.] Kentucky is the home to over 24,000 women veterans with that number expected to double in the next five-years?

Phyllis Abbott, Executive Director says “This transitional housing [program] is vital for women who maybe dealing with PTSD and other forms of trauma. We had to postpone the celebration but our services were needed more than ever.  This ribbon cutting symbolizes the support we have received from sponsors, volunteers and the community who made this possible. By taking a few minutes to say thank you for helping make this dream a reality.” 

To apply for transitional housing and/or to be a volunteer for the Lady Veterans Connect visit our site at

If you plan to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony please RSVP at

To setup an interview please contact VIPP Communications at


Lady Veterans Connect is an organization created to provide high quality, comprehensive services to assist female veterans in transitional support and preventing homelessness. Founded in 2012 under the name Sheppards Hands by Phyllis Abbott, LVC was officially renamed in 2016 and opened the first transitional healing home, the Thurman-Abbott House, for female veterans in Kentucky. Since then, LVC has connected over 500 lady veterans in Kentucky with needed resources.


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