Black History Month Part 2: Recognizing Local Leaders

Black History Month Part 2: Recognizing Local Leaders
By Senator Aaron D. Ford
February 19, 2015

kelvin atkinsonLast week, I wrote a blog reflecting on Black History Month. I concluded by urging all Nevadans of all backgrounds to take the time to learn more about African-American history. As I reflected on my statements from last week, I realized I missed the opportunity to make a crucial point. It’s not enough to just celebrate African-American history by looking at the past. We must also make an effort to celebrate the accomplishments of African-American leaders who are creating history TODAY. 

With that goal in mind, I want to applaud my colleague, Senator Kelvin Atkinson, who just recently made history when he was elected as the National Chairman of the Council of State Governments (CSG) at their 2014 Annual Conference. The position runs in a four-year rotation: Vice Chairman in 2015, Chairman Elect in 2016, Chairman in 2017, and Immediate Past Chairman in 2018. This is a tremendous accomplishment – not only because he will be representing Nevada on the national stage, but also because he is the first African-American to be elected to this position since CSG was founded in 1933. 

The importance of Sen. Atkinson’s milestone accomplishment cannot be discounted. This is not only a personal achievement for Kelvin, but it’s also an indication of progress towards greater representation for the African-American community. As the father of four sons, I am personally grateful that my boys now have one more local leader they can look up to.

To that end, I offer one more challenge for my fellow Nevadans.  As you learn more about Black history this month, and every month, I urge you to pay close attention to our local African-American leaders in Nevada who are blazing the trail and creating history TODAY. 


Here are a few ways you can help make a difference.