PHOTO COURTESY OF GINA FONTANA, 2020
West Palm Beach, Fla. – Frank Hayden, director of the Ofﬁce of Equal Opportunity for the City of West Palm Beach, was honored with the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Award for an Individual at the Palm Beach State College awards program Jan. 16.
Hayden received his award at the 21st Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Celebration, which featured keynote speaker Paula Williams Madison. The popular program also recognized a PBSC alumni, faculty/staff, student and nonproﬁt organization.
Hayden was celebrated for furthering King’s legacy of economic justice during his 40-plus-year career helping women, minorities and small business owners gain equal access to government contracts in Detroit, Michigan, and in South Florida.
He has led efforts to identify disparities in the awarding of government contracts and then to correct those disparities by creating programs where minority, women and small business owners can compete with greater equity. His efforts have led to more transparency and greater involvement on the part of the City of West Palm Beach to do business with people of color and women.
Upon accepting his award, Hayden gave thanks to God, shared his happiness and then let the audience know that he shared a common bond with them.
“For 12 years I served as a trustee and chairman of the Wayne County Community College in Detroit, so I have a special place in my heart for institutions such as these,” he said. “From a poor Eastsider from Detroit, thank you for this honor.”
Both Hayden and Madison represented different paths from the lower echelons of the socio-economic spectrum to the upper class, where they reside today, representing the wide range of the African-American experience.
Madison spoke to the audience of her humble upbringing in Harlem, NY, on government assistance and with immigrant parents from Jamaica. Despite her beginnings, Madison said she was always reminded that she was the dream that Dr. King spoke of, a child of parents who worked so that she could do and be more.
Best known for her illustrious career in journalism, Madison is now chairman and CEO of Madison Media Management LLC, an L.A.-based media consultancy company, and founding partner with The Group LLC, a high-level strategy, marketing and communications consultancy.
“Know the difference between ‘being a dream’ and ‘chasing a dream’,” she said. “You are the dream of many generations who came to America, fleeing wars, on luxury liners or stowed away on a cargo ship with false papers.”
Also honored at the celebration were alumni Denise Cotman Albritton, student Rocio Montero-Mask, faculty/staff Dr. Chandra (Sankaranarayana Chandramohan) and organization Youth Speak Out International.
To learn more about contracting opportunities with the City of West Palm Beach Procurement Department, visit wpb.org/procurement or call 561-8222100.