2019 Kente Awards, Sponsored by the Florida Lottery, Honor Community Leaders Robert P. Blount III and Ernest Boger

May 13, 2019

TAMPA, Fla. — The 2019 Kente Awards and Scholarship Luncheon at the University of South Florida, sponsored in part by the Florida Lottery, recognized seven scholarship recipients and two community leaders. All proceeds from this annual event, which was held on April 17 at the Marshall Student Center Ballroom, benefit diversity scholarships at USF.

The Florida Lottery has been the Gold sponsor for this event for the last two years. The Florida Lottery is committed to enhancing education in Florida, contributing more than $1 billion annually and enabling 800,000 students to attend college through the help of a Bright Futures Scholarship since 1997. Ten Bright Futures scholars were in attendance at this year’s Kente Awards.

The Kente Awards, presented by the African-American Advisory Committee, Black Faculty/Staff Association, Institute on Black Life and Ruth and Jerry Bell, recognize leadership in resolving educational and social problems as they relate to individuals of African-American heritage.

Two community leaders were recognized at the event: Robert P. Blount III with the Joyce Russell Kente Community Leader Award and Ernest Boger ’65 with the Joyce Russell Alumni Award.

Blount has served as president of Abe Brown Ministries since 2002. With a core focus on prison ministry, reentry services and criminal justice reform, he continues to quietly transform the Tampa Bay community through his faith-based, hands-on leadership and community collaboration. Under Blount’s leadership, Abe Brown Ministries worked together with the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County, Big Brothers Big Sisters and Florida Kinship Care Center at USF to establish Children in Hillsborough of Incarcerated Parents (CHIPS).

Boger, a Tampa native, is USF’s first black graduate. He earned his MBA from the University of North Texas, received doctoral credits in international management from Nova Southeastern University and earned a Doctor of Management as a Sodexo USA Corporate University Fellow, via the Canadian School of Management-Revans University and International Management Centres Association of Buckingham, England. Over the past 50 years, Boger has been instrumental in the hospitality/tourism industry.

Seven students received scholarships at the event, including the Africana Studies Passport Scholarship, Black Faculty Staff Association Endowment Scholarship, the Dr. Israel “Ike” Tribble Jr. Endowed Scholarship and the Ruth and Jerry Bell Endowed Scholarship.

The keynote speaker was Dr. Jacqueline Copeland Carson, president of Copeland Carson and Associates and founder of Black Philanthropy Month.

The Gold sponsor for the second year in a row was the Florida Lottery. Green sponsors included AMGEN, WUSF Public Media and MOSAIC. Silver sponsors were the LifeLink Foundation, the Rooms to Go Foundation, the USF Alumni Association and the USF College of Arts & Sciences. Bronze sponsors included Joyce Russell, Donald Odom, Esq., Sharon Ayers-Thomas and H&A Complete Auto Repair.

For more information, contact Luz Randolph, assistant director of development for diversity initiatives, at ldrandolph(at)usf.edu.