The Roanoke Branch NAACP invites you to join in its 19th Citizen of the Year Awards Program, a Freedom Fundraiser, on Friday, May 5.
The exciting evening will start with a reception from 6-7 pm with a bar of hor d’oeuvres. The Roanoke Times Paparazzi will also be taking photographs. The donner program will start promptly at 7 pm.
The distinguished guest speakers will be Dr. John W. Boyd, Jr and Mrs. Kara D. Brewer Boyd.
John Wesley Boyd, Jr. (born September 4, 1965) resides in Baskerville, Virginia with his wife Kara. He is a fourth-generation farmer, civil rights activist and founder of the National Black Farmers Association (NBFA). He owns/operates a 300-acre farming operation growing soybean, corn, wheat and produce in addition to raising beef cattle, American Guinea Hogs, Nigerian Goats & Chickens. For 14 years Boyd was a chicken farmer in a Perdue Farms breeder program. He was also a tobacco farmer for many years.
John formed the NBFA, a Virginia-based non-profit organization, in the early 1990’s. In his role with the NBFA, Boyd has worked closely with national leaders in government, agriculture organizations and rural groups nationwide as well as internationally. Boyd was appointed by then-Virginia Governor-elect Tim Kaine to serve as co-chair of his Policy Committee on Agriculture and Forestry during the transition period. In 2000, he was appointed by President Bill Clinton to serve on his administration’s tobacco commission. Prior to that, he was appointed by then-Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore to serve on the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission. In 2000, Boyd was the Democratic nominee for election to Virginia’s 5th congressional district.
He was an early supporter of Senator Barack Obama during the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries and played an important role organizing African American voters in the critical South Carolina primary. During the primaries Boyd also organized supporters and spoke at events in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio, Texas and Mississippi.
John Boyd was named ABC World News Tonight’s Person of the Week on November 21, 2003. The next year he was featured in the CBS Evening News Eye on America report. He has appeared on CBS’s 60 Minutes, Nightline, CNN and other television networks. He has also been named one of the “100 Most Influential Black Americans and Organization Leaders” by Ebony magazine several times and featured in Jet magazine numerous times.
He was vetted to be a contender to serve in President Obama’s Cabinet as Secretary of Agriculture. Although some members of the Congressional Black Caucus supported Boyd. However, the position ultimately went to Tom Vilsack of Iowa.
Kara Boyd is an enrolled member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. She and her husband, civil rights activist Dr. John Wesley Boyd, Jr. have 4 children. She is also a caregiver and provider for her 12-year-old niece. The North Carolina native now resides in Virginia on Boyd Farms.
Mrs. Boyd received her Bachelor’s degree of Religious Education in Biblical Studies, Christian Counseling and Pastoral Ministries (Double Concentration in Pastoral Ministries and Leadership) graduating Magna Cum Laude from Heritage Bible College, Dunn, NC. Since graduating from high school, she has been an active and visible advocate for American Indians and the preservation of American Indian culture, chaired by Representative Sutton to address and change Indian Children Welfare laws and concerns of American Indian Families. She also has served as a Board Member of the United Tribes of North Carolina and Tribal Liaison for a USDA 2501 grantee serving New, Beginning, and Socially Disadvantaged Farmers in North Carolina.
As time permits she travels across the United States representing Native America and providing consultative services to students, families, farmers, ranchers, community organizations, tribes, non-profits, universities and local/state/federal governmental agencies. She and her husband co-founded the Association of American Indian Farmers to provide advocacy, outreach and technical assistance to all American Indian Farmers and Ranchers. She also serves as the Program/Event Coordinator for the National Black Farmers Association along with her husband, Founder and President.
Her accomplishments include founding the Native American Christian Academy and Spirit Warriors, a nonprofit organization that provided domestic and international humanitarian aid and relief to disadvantaged people.