Legendary Gospel Recording Artist Yolanda Adams and R&B Classic Crooner and Actress Freda Payne received Lifetime Achievement Awards at the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis’ Salute to Women in Leadership Gala on June 9, 2017 at the Marriott St. Louis Grand Hotel. Howard Hewitt, renowned Grammy Award-winner and former lead singer of Shalimar, entertained the audience at this star-studded event which also featured Actor Richard Gant, of The Nutty Professor fame, as announcer.

The Salute to Women in Leadership Gala was created nearly 14 years ago by Michael P. McMillan, president and CEO of the Urban League, when he served as Chairman of Board of the St. Louis Community Empowerment Foundation. To date, over 100 women across various professions have received this honor.  “We are proud to recognize women who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to serve their communities. The Urban League is proud to give recognition to outstanding women who embody the mission of our organization to help create opportunities for disadvantaged and overlooked individuals and communities,” McMillan said.

Other women honored at this year’s festivities included: Dr. Alice Prince, Amelia Bond, Arnisa Samuel, Cathy Daniels, Dr. Germaine Smith-Baugh, Jacqueline Avery-McMillan, Senator Jamilah Nasheed, Jovita Foster, Michele Brown, Nagwa Abdelghfour, Peg Weathers, Peggy Lewis LeCompte, Susan Stith and Tamiko Armstead.