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Pride Awards celebrates 25 Years

The Pride Awards are an extension of Pride Magazine, a voice for Charlotte's African-American Community and beyond.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- With music, singing, images, and passionate discussion, the Pride Awards celebrated 25 years inside a Westin Hotel Ballroom Friday. The Pride Awards are an extension of Pride Magazine, a voice for Charlotte's African-American Community and beyond.

"Our magazine has filled a void in this city." said publisher Dee Dixon. "From great to small, we have been a vehicle for showcasing the vast depth and breadth of people of color with regard to accomplishments in business, medicine, finance, philanthropy, public service and more."

Victoria Watlington was awarded for efforts as a member of the National Society of Black Engineers and for leading programs to support African-American students enrolled in engineering programs at University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Johnson C. Smith University, North Carolina State University and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.

"Whatever it is that you're passionate about that you want to give your time to, start today," Watlington said as she accepted her award.

A conversation with the generations then took the stage. Righteous Keitte, a junior at Phillip O. Berry Academy, represented Generation Z. Carrie B. Cook, executive director of GreenLight Fund Charlotte represented millennials. Patrick C. Graham, president of Charlotte Works, represented Generation X. Congresswoman Alma Adams represented the Baby Boomers.

The panel was light-hearted at first but turned to serious and frank talk about Charlotte being named in a national study as one of the worst cities for people in poverty to rise above it.

"It's going to get fixed, trust me," said Keitt.

"We knew we weren't doing right by all of our community, most of us. Now, for some folks, there was an awakening." added Cook.

"Everybody's watching," added Adams.

"We see you not looking," said Graham.

NBC Charlotte helped sponsor the Pride Awards. Anchors Sarah French and Rachel Brown hosted the festivities.

Attendees were encouraged to share their experience on social media using the hashtag #PRIDEturns25.