Meet your 2021 Jacksonville Image Awards finalists

It was all smiles Feb. 29 at the inaugural Jacksonville Image Awards held at the Ritz Theater, which celebrate pioneers in the African American community. (WJXT 2020)

There’s less than a week to go until the 2021 Jacksonville Image Awards.

This annual awards show, presented by the Porter Firm, recognizes milestones in Jacksonville’s African American community, whether they’re lifelong educators who have found innovative ways to reach students or young people who have demonstrated they can leverage their social media followings into real-life action.

Once again, there will be awards up for grabs in seven categories — the ‘Be The Change’ award, the Pinnacle award, the ‘One To Watch’ award, the Music Excellence award, the Innovator Award, the Education Excellence award, and the Trailblazer award. But, as you might imagine, there will be noticeable changes to this year’s format.

Perhaps the biggest difference is that the 2021 Jacksonville Image Awards will be a virtual experience. This will allow finalists and their families to take part in the event from the safety and comfort of their own homes. This event is set for Feb. 27, so stay tuned for more details as we near the date of the awards show.

Without further ado, here are your Jacksonville Image Awards finalists:

The ‘Be The Change’ Award: This award recognizes individuals who, having succeeded against immense odds, herald change and prosperity to enhance and enrich the world. They overcome obstacles to show that, through hard work and humility, societal change is possible.

  • Nominees: Quiana Malone, Chandra Ford (Lady C), Dr. Tiffanie Williams

The Pinnacle Award: This award recognizes those who have achieved professional accomplishments throughout an extensive career and are role models for others to attain similar success.

  • Nominees: Darnell Smith, LaTanya Wynn-Hall, Dr. Irvin “PeDro” Cohen

The ‘One To Watch’ Award: This award recognizes individuals who are quickly establishing themselves and making an impact in their particular field or industry.

  • Nominees: Winston Seabrooks, Desiree Corley Jones, Bernadia Samuels

The Music Excellence Award: This award recognizes individuals for their exceptional achievements in music, having made a tremendous impact with their creative works that have helped shape the local music scene.

  • Nominees: Ulysses Owens, Jr., Carlos Spencer, Kayla Cummings (Kay C)

The Innovator Award: This award recognizes individuals who creatively challenge the norm by introducing mainstream culture to avant-garde ideas and making a social impact in their respective industry.

  • Nominees: Shawana Brooks, Dante Buckson, Laurence Walden

The Education Excellence Award: This award recognizes outstanding commitment to the academic development and improvement of a system or community in an effort to enhance the lives of future generations.

  • Nominees: Santrice Grayer, Dr. Sonia Maria Balevre, Kevin Dunbar

The Trailblazer Award: This award recognizes pioneers who inspire others to follow their path to greatness with innovative ideas that challenge the status quo.

  • Nominees: Lynn Sherman, Tan Mayhew, Sonya Dunbar