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News Release
March 4, 2004

DEA Detroit Celebrates Black History Month

Bates Academy Choir entertains audience Former Detroit Fire Commissioner Harold Watkins Sr.
Bates Academy Choir entertains audience
Former Detroit Fire Commissioner
Harold Watkins Sr.

MAR 4—Detroit, MI-On February 25th, 2004, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) held its annual Black History Month program at the Rick Finley Building commemorating the 50th Anniversary of “Brown vs. The Board of Education of Topeka”. Special Agent in Charge John P. Gilbride, Detroit Field Division, opened the program by welcoming the distinguished guests and DEA personnel that were in attendance. SAC Gilbride emphasized the importance of celebrating Black History Month and personally thanked Assistant Special Agent in Charge Jimmy Fox for organizing the event.

The emcee for the Detroit Black History Month program was Rhonda Walker, news anchor for the local NBC affiliate WDIV – TV 4 who led the program. The program included songs presented by children from the Alonzo Bates Academy for Gifted and Talented Students in Detroit and the inspirational poem, “The Old Violin” recited by DEA Diversion Investigator Wayne Groves and the invocation and benediction by Reverend Mr. Wyatt Jones Jr. from the Precious Blood Parish Church. The keynote speaker was former Commissioner of the City of Detroit Fire Department Harold Watkins, Sr.

SAC John Gilbride and ASAC Jimmy Fox recognize Retired Detroit Fire Commissioner Harold Watkins Sr. NBC's Rhonda Walker addresses the audience
SAC John Gilbride and ASAC Jimmy Fox
recognize Retired Detroit Fire Commissioner
Harold Watkins Sr.
NBC's Rhonda Walker addresses the audience

Mr. Watkins was one of the first African Americans to serve in the City of Detroit Fire Department. He discussed the many obstacles he had to overcome, including racism, in his climb to the top of that organization. Mr. Watkins said that hard work and self-confidence, combined with treating others respectfully, is the key to success in any endeavor.

After the ceremony, a luncheon was held for all participants. The luncheon consisted of a variety of ethnic foods prepared by employees of the Detroit Division Office.

 

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