BY: WANDA LOCKRDIGE
On the evening of Thursday, July 29th, the DC Public Library and the William O. Lockridge Community Foundation (WOLCF) brought together close to 100 individuals to celebrate the life, work and legacy of a true champion of Ward 8, the late William O. Lockridge.
The gathering and related panel discussions took place at the William O. Lockridge/Bellevue Library and the moderator for both panels was Denise Rolark Barnes, Publisher of the Washington Informer and the newly elected President of the National Newspapers Publishers of America (NNPA).
What a not only wondrous, but also enjoyable program it was for all in attendance. The evening was full of laughter, reflections, memories as well as a sense of rededication by all to continue William’s unfinished work in our community.
Working persistently to improve the lives of all Ward 8 residents, my late husband led the community by example each and every day. Whether serving as Vice President of the D.C. State Board of Education, teaching in the public schools or mentoring youth in his community, William always showed his love and concern for the lives of the less fortunate, especially our children and young people.
The first panel, which focused on William’s work in the DC educational system, including his position as the Ward 8 Representative on the DC Board of Education/State Board of Education work and his community activism/advocacy, included: Mary Cuthbert, (ANC Chair 8C); Phillip Pannell, (Executive Director, the Anacostia Coordinating Council); Mark Jones (Ward 5 Representative on the D.C. State Board of Education) and Sally Schwartz (Founder and Executive Director of Globalize DC).
Speaking on the second panel about their family ties, friendship and mentoring with William were; Joy Majied (sister and Associate Minister, Twelfth Street Christian Church); Willie J. Toney (Vice Mayor, Dumfries Va.), Emily Washington (Educator, DC Public Schools); and Trayon White (former D.C. State Board of Education Member for Ward 8 and City Council candidate).
And although William’s and my beloved son, Stefan, could not be present due to a prior commitment, he wrote a very touching tribute to his Dad which I had the pleasure of reading on his behalf.
In part, Stefan wrote: “Not until my father left this earth did I realize how great of a man he was and how important his legacy is. Big Lock as they called him was true to his community. And although we bumped heads, I loved and respected my father because he always had my back. I’m proud to be a Lockridge and strive to be as great of a man as my father was.”
Let me again thank our moderator, each of the panelists, the WOLCF Board of Directors, the DC Public Library, Maria Perry (Manager, William O. Lockridge/Bellevue Library) as well as her staff, and everyone in attendance for all that you did to make the evening of July 29th the memorable one it was.
In addition, William was also honored on August 6th by the Unity Amongst Friends and Family (UAF) at its Community Festival, which was held at Hart Middle School. Don Wright, the Co-Founder of UAF, spoke fondly of William in an interview, stating that they first met shortly after Don decided to return to the community with a desire to have a positive impact. William was one of the first individuals that he turned to for counsel.
The mission of UAF is to promote peace in our community and to make certain that it has the social, financial and political resources it needs to ensure a better quality of life for all local residents.
For more information on the WOLCF, please visit www.WilliamLockridgeCommunityFoundation.org or contact us at info@WilliamLockridgeCommunityFoundation.org and be sure to like us on FB at WilliamLockridgeCommunityFoundation