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4 AUGUST 10-16, 2011


NEW PITTSBURGH COURIER Patricia Prattis Jennings is 2011 Legacy Honoree

by Rebecca Nuttall Courier Staff Writer

The New Pittsburgh Courier

is pleased to recognize and in- troduce the 2011 50Women of Excellence, nominated by our readership. This group of women represents a caliber of professional advancement and community commitment far outweighing that of most others. They are the matri- archs of our city, serving as the positive role models so many of our young girls need. To highlight the achieve-

ments of all African-American women and their impact throughout history, the Courier has selected Patricia Prattis Jennings as it’s first female Legacy Honoree. Jen- nings was the first African- American woman ever to be awarded a full contract by a major American symphony or- chestra. Jennings was the principal

keyboardist for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra before retiring in 2006 after more

than 40 years. She is the daughter of the late Courier editor P.L. Prattis and even spent time working for the Courier in her youth. Throughout her ca-

reer, Jennings has per- formed in countries around the world in- cluding China, Japan and Scotland. She also previously served as the editor and pub- lisher of the newsletter “Symphonium,” which covered the accom- plishments of African- American symphony musicians in the United States. Jennings has received

several awards, includ- ing being honored as a Distinguished Daugh- ter of Pennsylvania. She has also served on the boards of the Pitts- burgh Youth Symphony and the Pittsburgh Concert Soci- ety. However, Jennings is only


one of several trailblazers on this year’s list.Many of the se- lected honorees have reached career milestones their moth-

ers and grandmother never thought possi- ble. Others open doors for future generations of women through their work in educa- tion and community service organizations. Though their career

paths vary greatly, the women on our list are related in their ability to shatter the “glass ceiling” through hard work and determina- tion. They have estab- lished the foundation for what all women and men should strive toward. The women on our

list represent the vic- tories on the civil rights and feminist movement.While they spend their days in corporate offices, class- rooms, and churches,

they use their spare time to mentor young women so that they may one day stand to- gether as colleagues.

Vocalist Ryan Patrick

Parker will return to the Westin Convention Center Hotel, following his perfor- mance at last year’s lun- cheon. When he’s not delight- ing audiences with his voice, Parker serves as director of Health Sciences Diversity at the University of Pittsburgh. Earlier this year, Parker joined the ranks of fellow honorees when he was recog- nized as one of the Courier’s Fab 40 Under 40. This year’s luncheon will be

held at theWestin Convention Center Hotel Aug. 11 from 12- 1:30 p.m. Our sponsors in- clude Bayer, Children’s Hospi- tal of Pittsburgh, Duquesne Light,Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield,UPMC,Univer- sity of Pittsburgh, PNC Bank, Pittsburgh Community Ser- vices, and the Pittsburgh Fed- eration of Teachers. We congratulate this year’s

honorees on their many achievements and urge them to continue fighting for ad- vancement for all women.

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