Military success stories featured at Black History Month event
Published 7:00 am Saturday, February 18, 2017
The Boyle County community will have a chance to hear two local military success stories at a Black History Month event Monday.
The event, which begins at 6 p.m. at the Boyle County Public Library, will feature a pair of speakers:
• Dwayne Walker, a Danville native who spent nearly six years in the U.S. Army with the 101st Airborne Division; and
• Michelle Carter, an eight-year veteran of the U.S. Army who works as director of Student Support Services at Bluegrass Community and Technical College — Danville.
The event is built on a theme of “Education, Opportunity and Success” and has been organized by the Boyle Landmark Trust, the Danville-Boyle County African-American Historical Society and the Boyle County Genealogical and Historical Society.
The event is being held to “celebrate Black History Month” and to promote the the idea that it’s possible to get a good education and be successful, said Mike Denis, president of the Genealogical and Historical Society.
“The military has provided real opportunities for these two speakers. We wanted to show there is a way to get a good education and serve your country as well,” Denis said.
Barbara Hulette with the Boyle Landmark Trust said the organization has been helping organize educational Black History Month events for the past five or so years.
“It started as a small little seed and has blossomed into some very interesting stories” about the local history of African-Americans, she said.
“A lot of times, these things aren’t featured,” Hulette said. “I’m just really in favor of the young people learning about their opportunities — how some of them can get a wonderful education and then give back through service to their country.”
Walker was raised in Danville “by his single mother, Rosie Mae Walker, along with his three older sisters,” according to bio provided by Boyle Landmark Trust.
“He demonstrated an early interest and aptitude in learning and athletics and went on to excel through the years academically and athletically,” the bio reads. “He also gained a strong work ethic, spiritual, emotional and physical backbone as a result of the stern guidance and love bestowed upon him by his mother and his sisters.”
Walker eventually attended the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York, then served in the 101st Airborne, “one of the most prestigious and decorated divisions in the U.S. Army,” according to the bio.
“He achieved the rank of captain while in the military and then left the military to pursue his interests in the business world,” the bio reads. “Dwayne went on to obtain several key sales and sales management positions with numerous companies ranging from billions to millions of dollars in revenue.”
Walker works as manager for sales and and distribution for a manufacturing company; he has lived in southern California for more than 20 years.
Carter is a native of Lexington who joined the Army after one year of college and served eight years, traveling to New Jersey, South Carolina, Ft. Knox, Georgia, Korea and Germany.
“Michelle is passionate about education and returned to Kentucky and to college as a non-traditional student while working full-time, maintaining her family and studies,” according to her bio. “… She earned her associate’s degree from Bluegrass Community and Technical College, where she currently serves as the director of the Student Support Services program on the Danville campus.”
Carter sponsored the charter chapter of the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority at Georgetown College in Georgetown, Kentucky. It is the first and only African-American sorority at the college, which is a “predominantly white institution,” according to the bio.
IF YOU GO
A Black History Month event on the theme of “Education, Opportunity and Success” is scheduled for Monday at the Boyle County Public Library.
A meet-and-greet with snacks will begin at 6 p.m. and the guest speakers will begin at 6:30 p.m.
The event is being organized by the Boyle Landmark Trust, the Danville-Boyle County African-American Historical Society and the Boyle County Genealogical and Historical Society.