Elaine Wilson, Director of Cultural Diversity for Somerset Community College, along with the SCC Diversity Initiative Team, chose to recognize a member of the community at large that advances the cause of diversity in his or her community. Since 2008, Diversity Awards were given to faculty and staff members but this was the first year that nominations were taken for a community member.
The 2011 Community Diversity Award winner is John L. Perkins.
John L. Perkins, lifelong resident of Pulaski County, is well-known to most people
in our city and county. He was educated in the Somerset City Schools and is a graduate
of Somerset Community College.
Perkins began his career as a mail carrier and was later promoted to the Somerset Postmaster where he served the citizens of this area for many years. Upon retirement, Perkins became a private business entrepreneur when he opened, owned, and operated, along with his family, the Johnny Bs Restaurant - the best barbeque in the south.
A firm believer in the importance of education, he has served on both the Somerset Board of Education and the Somerset Community College Board of Directors. During his tenure on SCCs board he led the community-wide effort to recognize former Somerset resident, Robert Todd Duncan, a world-renowned star of opera and Broadway, who broke down segregation barriers around the world in the 1930s. His effort resulted in Mr. Duncans induction into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame, the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame, and the Wall of Great Black Kentuckians.
Perkins led a group of community leaders that resulted in the renaming a stretch of street in Somerset now known as the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard. He also has long played a leadership role in the local Dunbar Alumni Association and several other organizations in his community.
Elaine Wilson commented on Perkins community involvement, With all his civic pursuits, he has done none of this to bring honor to himself. But used all he did to help others and bring diverse people together for a common goal.
Most recently, Perkins served as a leader with the KCTCS Super Sunday initiative that was held at Davis Chapel AME Church in February, 2011. Perkins volunteered his church and his time getting the church ready for the College Fair. He also served as the liaison between the SCC Super Sunday Committee and the pastor at Davis Chapel. Wilson added, He went above and beyond to make sure that the first Super Sunday event was a success. He garnered the support of his church members as well as members of other churches and the community to support this initiative.
Wilson further commented, There has been much to do in our community as far as diversity is concerned and John Perkins has been the beacon that guides many to follow his lead in championing this cause. He has led the larger community to embrace diversity through his efforts.
For more information about the Diversity Awards or the diversity initiatives at Somerset Community College, contact Elaine Wilson at (606) 451-6915 or email@example.com.