BTW Society Event Highlights
Note: In the early years, founder Ron Court travelled around the country, raising awareness of Booker T. Washington's life and legacy, while using the road time to focus on creating a message that would reach all young Americans (regardless of complexion) so that, through BTW's example, they would choose to be better and not bitter.
Events of local Affiliated Booker T. Clubs and adult 'boosters' can be found here
March, 2016: Tuskegee Rotary Club
After recovering in Pensacola, I spoke at the Montgomery Sunset and Tuskegee Rotary clubs (both in Alabama). The Tuskegee members were especially welcoming and immediately stepped up to sponsor a Booker T. Club Essay contest at their local Booker T. Washington High School! Pictured (l.): Roland Vaughan
, President, Rotary Club of Tuskegee.
(trust me... Mr. Vaughan is way more charming than this quick picture may indicate!
March, 2016: Laid up in Pensacola, FL
(No pictures of any events here, because I was stuck in a motel room for ten days with a particularly virulent version of some bug that left me totally exhausted and with laryngitis... not exactly helpful for a fellow whose main 'job' today is talking!
Feb, 2016: Shreveport, Louisiana: Booker T. Club Essay Contest Winners
Pictured below: Oak Park Elementary School
Booker T. Club Essay Contest winners. The contest was co-sponsored by the Riverbend-Shreveport Rotary Club
. Standing (left): Principal Julia Smith-ONeal. Rotarians (in purple shirts): Essay Cmte Ch., Bill Geaslin, and Riverbend-Shreveport Rotary President, John Smith.
Feb, 2016: Mesquite, Texas: New Hope Baptist Church Youth Group
A chance meeting with Rotarian (and Youth Leader) James Huckaby, provided Ron Court with the opportunity to speak before several young men and women of New Hope Baptist Church
. We look forward to the potential for Booker T. Club to be 'planted' at New Hope.
Feb, 2016: Tulsa, Oklahoma: North Tulsa Rotary Club
North Tulsa Rotary Club President Dr. Ronald Petty (left) receives a Home Club banner from fellow Rotarian Ronald Court, who spoke on how Booker T. Clubs can benefit youths in the Greater Tulsa area. The North Tulsa Rotary is co-sponsoring a Booker T. Club Essay Contest at the Monroe Demonstration Academy (middle school, grades 6-8) this Spring.
Feb, 2016: Indianapolis, Indiana: The Glick Peace Walk
Below: Peace Walk section honoring Booker T. Washington.
Below: Plaque recognizing the Glick Family's donation
in Indiana - Bloomington Kiwanis Club
I had the distinct pleasure of speaking before the Bloomington Kiwanis Club which met on the Indiana University campus Thursday, Feb. 4. The opportunity to speak before some college students as well as Kiwanians who were also faculty (some retired) was a real treat for me. I especially look forward to continuing a dialogue, begun over lunch and before I spoke, with two IU students who were in attendance. (I didn't get their emails, so it will be up to them to contact me.)
Pictured above (rt): Bloomington Kiwanis President, Thomasina O'Connor
at Metro Atlanta Kiwanis Club on MLK Jr. Day
What a distinct pleasure it was to address members of the Metro Atlanta Kiwanis Club. Especially significant in that Dr. King, born and raised here, also graduated from Atlanta's Booker T. Washington High School!
More importantly, a bond between members of Metro Atlanta and the Society has been forged that I believe will soon blossom into our organizations together working to accomplish great things to benefit children throughout Atlanta.
Shown below, Metro Atlanta Kiwanis Club President, Harriett Holley, upon presenting me with a famed Atlanta Braves Tomahawk.
Fall, 2015 Road Trip
continuing to Build & Develop Booker T. Clubs
Here's a rough route of my 10+ week Mid-West/South swing this past Fall.
Departed: September 4
1st stop: for Redemption Christian Academy (RCA) in Northfield MA
then to Thomas Jefferson Knowledge Institute (Cleveland, OH area)
>> Evansville IN: Club Coach Training + initiate a new BT. Club-Lincoln School.
>> Springfield, MO... >> Bentonville, AR >> Tulsa, Dallas, Shreveport, Houston, New Orleans, Mobile, Pensacola, ... Atlanta... Charlotte NC, New Bern, NC, Arlington VA (and home)
Along the way, a nice gesture, from the Kiwanis Club of Cy-Fair:
Spring, 2015 Trip:
The route we travelled last Spring: ... roughly 7,000 miles over 13 weeks.
Itinerary by Month (with Scheduled Public Talks below)
January: Leave Essex Junction, VT, January 13, for Trenton and Camden NJ, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington DC, Arlington, Richmond and Norfolk VA.
Wednesday, Jan 14, 7PM: Levittown Bristol Kiwanis
Bucks County Technical High School, 610 Wistar Rd., Fairless Hills, PA
(meet) Mon-Tue, Jan 20, : w/ founder of New Jersey Orators
Somerset, NJ (An outstanding organization - looking forward to meeting Mr. James Hunter.)
Thu-Fri, Jan 22-23, : Booker T. Washington Middle School
Baltimore, MD (No response - school admin. passed)
Fri & Sat, Jan 30-31,:
Greater Washington D.C. Christian Education Conference
College Park, MD
February: Raleigh and New Bern NC, Atlanta GA, Tuskegee, Montgomery and Birmingham AL, Pensacola FL, New Orleans, Shreveport and Baton Rouge LA.
Sunday, February 1, All day: SUPER BOWL !
with son Barnaby & Jamie (his spouse), Morrisville, NC.
Tuesday, February 3, 12:30PM: Garner Mid-Day Rotary
Logans's Roadhouse, 1000 Timber Dr. East, Garner, NC.
Wednesday, February 4, 7:30AM: Neuse Sunrise Rotary
Bridgeton United Methodist Church, 510 B Street, Bridgeton NC.
Wednesday, February 4, 12:30PM: (apt) Principal, Grover C. Fields Middle School
2000 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., New Bern, NC.
(mtg) Friday, February 6: Carroll Magnet Middle School
(mtg) Monday, February 9: Kiwanis Club of Buckland
@ Landmark Diner, 3652 Roswell Rd. NW, Atlanta, GA.
(mtg) Tuesday, February 10, noon: w/ Marcus Smith, mentor
(tent.) Wednesday, February 15, 7 am: Trussville Sunrise Rotary
3230 Edwards Lake Pky., Birmingham, AL.
Tuesday, February 17, 12 Noon: Milton Rotary
@ Grover T's BBQ, 5887 Hwy 90, Milton FL.
Thursday, February 19, 6pm: Kiwanis Algiers
@ Aurora Tennis & Swim Club, 5244 General Meyer, New Orleans LA.
Tuesday, February 24, 6pm: Kiwanis Club of New Orleans
@ Lakeview Harbor, 911 Harrison Ave., New Orleans LA.
Thursday, February 26, 7am: Rotary Club of Metairie Sunrise
@ Landmark Hotel, 2601 Severn Ave., Metairie LA.
March: Houston, Marshall, and Dallas TX, Tulsa OK, Springfield and Kansas City MO.
Tuesday, March 3, Noon: River Oaks Rotary Club
@ Shanghai River Restaurant, 2407 Westheimer, Houston, TX.
Thursday, March 5, 7:15am: Rotary Club of West University
@ Skeeter's Mesquite Grill, 5529 Weslayan St., Houston, TX.
Sunday, March 8, : (travel to Shreveport)
(@ BT Club at Donnie Bickham MS., Shreveport LA).
Tuesday, March 10, 5:30pm: River Bend Rotary of Shreveport
@ Superior Steakhouse, 855 Pierremont Rd., Shreveport, LA.
Monday, March 16, 12 noon: Dallas Trinity Rotary Club
@ Infomart,Rm 7004, 1950 Stemmons Fwy., Dallas, TX.
Tuesday, March 17, 12 noon: East Dallas Rotary Club
@ Crossroads Diner, 8121 Walnut Hill Lane, Dallas, TX.
Tuesday, March 23, 12 noon: Kiwanis of Tulsa
@ First Methodist Church, 1115 S. Boulder Ave. W., Tulsa OK.
(meet) Wednesday, March 24, 9am: Edison Prep Middle School
2906 East 41st St., Tulsa OK.
Thursday, March 25, 6:45 am: Tulsa Sunrise Rotary
@ Marriott Tulsa Southern Hills, 192 E. 71st Street, Tulsa OK.
April: St. Louis MO, Evansville IN, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Parma Heights OH, Pittsburgh PA... and HOME!
Thursday, April 9, 12 noon: Rotary of Warick County
@ Rolling Hills Country Club, 1666 Old Plank rd., Newburgh IN.
Saturday, April 11,: CELEBRATE ! Booker T. Washington's Birthday
with Booker T. T.E.A.M. Club of Evansville IN.
(March 24, 2014) Dr. Norrell, author of several critically acclaimed books, is being honored for his work on his biography of Booker T. Washington, Up From History.
Asheville, NC - Ronald Court, BTWS President (left, below) is presenting the Elizabeth D. Wright Award to Dr. Robert J. Norrell, holder of the Bernadotte Schmitt Chair of Excellence and Professor of History at UTenn-Knoxville.
Due to his meticulous chronicling of Booker T. Washington’s life, Dr. Norrell was awarded the Wright Award in 2010. At the time, however, Dr. Norrell was living in Germany and teaching at the University of Tübingen.
Today, however, he is back home and teaching again at the University of Tennessee. So it was with great honor, and appreciation for his work, that Ron was finally able to personally present the Elizabeth D. Wright Award to Dr. Norrell.
The Booker T. Washington Society, Wright Award is presented to only one individual annually who has demonstrated a “long and continued passion for preserving the vision, values, and virtues of Dr. Booker T. Washington.”
In today’s turbulent times, Booker T. Washington's common-sense philosophy, grounded in a practical education, personal responsibility and economic independence, holds as much promise for
individuals, and our nation, today as it has for the past century. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Norrell, for helping to keep the teachings of Booker T. alive.
February 1, 2014 The first group of 'adult boosters,' initially known as the Booker T. Boosters of Evansville, was formed on this date. Archie Carter and Sean Kuykendall, of the YMCA, were the driving forces behind this group. Today, it is now known as, the Booker T. Washington Society of Evansville.
October 24-26, 2013 Ron attended the Character Education Partnership conference in Washington, D.C. with other organizations like Character Counts, ReachTV, and the Leadership Program.
September 16, 2013 Ron did a radio interview with Rob Roper about the Society.
August 13, 2013 Ron was interviewed by Linda Kirker on Vermont Public Television about the Society.
Fall, 2012 Pres. Ronald Court is on the road again.
First stop: speaking at the Youth Entrepreneurship Summit in Sanford, Florida.
Then on to meetings in Tallahassee
(Sept 26) and Pensacola
(Sept 27), on route to Louisiana: New Orleans
(Sept 28-9) and Shreveport
(Oct 1-2). It's all to assist local "BTW Boosters" with organizing and establishing Booker T. Clubs (for middle schoolers) and Chapters (for high schoolers.
Spring, 2012 BTW Society Pres. Ronald Court spent 10 weeks traveling throughout the South to meet with community leaders and speak to local service organizations such as Rotary and Kiwanis.
The purpose was to generate interest in establishing character-based Booker T. Clubs (for middle schoolers) and BTW student Chapters (for high schoolers).
The map below highlights some of the stops Ron has visited over the last two years. Local Booker T. Boosters are making plans to form their own Booker T. Clubs and Chapters.
(August 2-5, 2010) - Pres. Ronald Court flew to Oakland, California to meet Dr. Ben Chavis and his middle school students at the American Indian Public Charter School (AIPCS).
Dr. Ben Chavis is the Founder and first Principal of the school, and also author of his autobiography, Crazy Like A Fox. Dr. Chavis is an enthusiastic supporter of Booker T. Washington's methods and points to the rapid climb in his school's rankings as proof of their validity today.
(July 20, 2010) - The transaction took place in broad daylight in the middle of a New Jersey parking lot, but there was nothing clandestine about it. Artist Peter Ambush presented Ron Court with his gracious donation of an oil painting he did of Booker T. Washington.
(July 15, 2010) - East Orange NJ: Ron had lunch with Vanessa Jean-Louis, an extraordinary singer and blogger he met while attending the Frederick Douglass Foundation's Annual Meeting in Washington DC several months ago. For her interesting and incisive 'take' on today's events, visit her blog.
Ron spent the day in NY City with Herman Amos, a fan of both Booker T. and Theodore Roosevelt. They travelled to the historically famous Abyssinian Baptist Church, once pastored by Adam Clayton Powell Sr., and who declared that Booker T. Washington's Tuskegee-trained masons were the only ones he could find with the skills to do the work.
Mr. Amos introduced Ron to Training & Recruitment specialist, Mr. Hector Torres, President of HLT Occupational & Training Services. He, with Mr. Amos, are organizers and charter members of the Booker T. Club of New York City.
June 7-9, 2010 - Ron Court's assistant, Jennifer Faulkner, travelled to Washington, D.C. to attend the Public Relations School at The Leadership Institute, The Public Relations School, encouraged people to maximize their "Media Mindset". It was an intensive 'hands-on ' workshop, with topics such as: Writing an effective press release, Building valuable media relationships, and How to create attention-grabbing media events.
October 14, 2008 - President Ronald Court spoke at a breakfast forum of the Lincoln Institute for Research & Education, hosted by Mr. J. A. (Jay) Parker at the University Club in Washington DC. Mr. Court discussed the life and legacy of Booker T. Washington and focused on the lessons his philosophy has has for us all today. For info: click here.
April, 2007 - The Society's Celebrate BTW '07 Conference was held April 12-15 in the Washington DC area. Students from several New Orleans public high schools joined in panel discussions, workshops and banquets and visited George Washington's Mt. Vernon Plantation, the AA Soldiers of the Civil War Memorial and the International Spy Museum. (Read their comments here)
December, 2006 BTWS President Ronald Court flew to New Orleans to see for himself what Katrina wrought and to personally offer BTW Society Ambassador Scholarships to students there who would accept his challenge to enter the Society's Essay Contest.
He met with teachers, administrators and students in six high schools over two days and subsequently delivered over 200 copies of Up From Slavery and Character Building to those schools. (While there, a guidance counselor graciously lent him his FEMA trailer to stay in.)
June, 2006 President Ronald Court delivered a commencement address to the 2006 Graduating Class of BTW High School in Terre Haute, Indiana.
May, 2006 The Memorial Day Parade in Essex Junction, Vermont chose "Honoring History" as its theme for 2006. Members of the BTW Society entered a "float" featuring the New Alpha Missionary Baptist Church Chorus and music team singing spirituals and hymns from "way back in the day."
April, 2006 The nation's first 3-Day Sesquicentennial Celebration honoring the birth of Dr. Washington was held in our Nation's Capital by the newly-formed Booker T. Washington Society as its inaugural "Celebrate Booker T" event. (Click to download the Society's first flyer and first brochure.
This Celebration was an unforgettable experience for the 'BTW Ambassador' high school students from around the country and for their accompanying parent or mentor/teacher. They met and mingled with nationally-known speakers and authors who discussed the impact--then and now--of Dr. Washington's legacy and values in panel discussions and debates. It was held during the height of the Cherry Blossom Festival, so naturally, a tour of Washington DC was included.
A highlight of the Celebration was the presentation of scholarships to the Booker T. Washington Ambassadors, for whom the Celebration (indeed the Society) was conceived. Each student attending, representing their Booker T. Washington High School, received a Society Scholarship to further their post-high school education.
This 1st celebration concluded with the announcement of the creation of the Society's Annual Wright Award to recognize individuals who have worked tirelessly to keep the flame of Booker T. Washington's life and legacy alive.