The Phoenix Metropolitan Area is in its prime time. While the Midwest braces for snow and California battles fires, Arizona’s 75
degrees and sunny attracts innumerable conferences, festivals, brunches and othervevents from November through March. There was one event on November 1, 2019, that was important, but may not have received the exposure that outdoor activities do.

The Phoenix Metro Chapter of 100 Black Women held its fourth annual Legends Brunch at the Renaissance Downtown Phoenix. The special guest and recipient of this year’s Civic Engagement Legend Award was Omarosa Manigault Newman, known to most
Americans as simply “Omarosa.”

Of course, most people remember her as the stand-out contestant in Donald Trump’s “Apprentice” reality show. The audience gasped (and most Americans would) when Omarosa pointed out that her appearance on that show was in 2003: 16 years ago. She pointed out how powerful the media can be in creating and shaping images, and how persistent those reputations can be.

It is particularly challenging, she said, for people of color. While a Mel Gibson can be back in the movie business and Donald Trump can be elected president after the Access Hollywood bus ride, women, and especially people of color, seldom get a second chance.

Omarosa still receives, and will probably forever get, grief from all sides about her reality show stints, her support for Trump’s election, her time in his administration, and her sudden early exit from the Trump administration. Obviously an intelligent, educated woman, Omarosa gave sound advice to the audience about the need for everyone to participate in this “most important election in our history;” to not just register people, but to get them to the polls; and for more Black women to run office. She stressed that people of color must be “in the room” to make changes.

Now, Omarosa is an author, professor, ordained minister, philanthropist, education and veterans advocate, and happily married to Pastor John Allen Newman.

Others who were honored at the event by Chapter President Charlene Tarver included Dr. Eula Saxon Dean (Education Legend); Thelma Hall Williams (Health Legend); Cynthia Roberts (Economic Empowerment Legend) and Denise Meridith (Strategic
Alliances Legend).

“In an era where a still-seated Congressman can publicly profess that ‘subgroups of people [non-whites]’ have made no contributions to civilization,” says Denise Meridith, CEO of The World’s Best Connectors, “recognitions like 100 Black Women’s Legends Awards are important to document that ‘Yes, we have’ and ‘Yes, we do.’”