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PITTSBURGH, PA – WQED Multimedia and Duquesne Light partner once again to showcase the extraordinary accomplishments of those who positively affect the success of the African-American community in Western Pennsylvania.

The Duquesne Light African-American Leadership Awards honor four outstanding individuals or organizations in four categories: arts, culture, and recreation; civic, community and humanitarian; business and government; and education. Four outstanding local high school students with exemplary academic and community service achievements are also honored with scholarships from Duquesne Light.

Over the past fifteen years, the Duquesne Light Black History Month Celebration has honored over 100 leaders and has given thousands of dollars in scholarship monies to area African-American youth to empower and nurture future community leaders. WQED Multimedia has served as media sponsor for the awards since 2001.

The 2005 Duquesne Light African-American Leadership Awardees are:

Oliver Byrd Senior Vice President, Mellon Financial Corporation (Arts, Culture and Recreation)
In addition to his role as Senior Vice President of Mellon Financial Corporation, Oliver Byrd has a long-standing connection with the United Way and various arts organizations in Pittsburgh. A leader with an impressive record of accomplishment in both his profession and the local community, Mr. Byrd is a man of significant influence.

Dr. William Truehart
President and CEO, The Pittsburgh Foundation
(Civic, Community and Humanitarian)
Before joining one of the largest community foundations in the country, Dr. William Truehart served as President and CEO of Reading is Fundamental, Inc. Not only did Dr. Truehart head two of the largest community organizations of their kind in the country, he was also the first African-American to head a four-year private college in New England. Dr. Truehart is the embodiment of hard work and dedication.

Rod Doss
Publisher, New Pittsburgh Courier
(Business and Government)
As Publisher of the New Pittsburgh Courier, Rod Doss is always abreast of the latest news in Pittsburgh, particularly issues pertaining to the African-American community. Not only is the New Pittsburgh Courier an excellent vehicle for relaying news, it also uplifts and enlightens by positively portraying and representing the African-American community. Rod and the Courier play a vital role in the success of African-Americans in the region.

Dr. Jack Daniel
Vice Provost Academic & Student Affairs, University of Pittsburgh
Educator, author, leader, and role model are just a few of Dr. Jack Daniel’s many attributes. Dr. Daniel is a well-seasoned professor, who in addition to serving as chair of the Department of Africana Studies, contributed directly to the formation of numerous student scholarships. For more than three decades he has played key roles in designing, implementing, and assessing the University of Pittsburgh’s diversity programs. He has gained national attention with the recent publication of his book We Fish, which he co-authored with his son.

The 2005 WQED/Duquesne Light Scholarship Awardees are:

Danaysia Hall is a senior at Aliquippa High School. In addition to being a varsity cheerleader, she’s a three-year member of the National Honor Society. She combines an after-school job with volunteer efforts in her community reading to and coaching children. Danaysia plans to pursue a career in nursing.

Nykia Thomas is a senior at Schenley High School. A member of the track & field team, she also spends time on the planning committee and her class’ graduation project. Outside of school activities, Nykia also volunteers by assisting elderly patients. She is studying accounting and hopes to someday manage her own business.

Desiree Bentley is a senior at Beaver Falls High School. She is captain of the varsity cheerleaders and active in many clubs including the National Honor Society. Desiree combines an after-school job with a busy volunteer schedule through her church, and the Lend-A-Hand program. She hopes to pursue a career in Sports Medicine.

Vanessa Thomas, a senior at Clairton High School, is active in many areas including student council, prom court, the National Honor Society, and the JROTC and Penn State Talented Search programs. She also holds down a part-time job and participates in powder puff football. Vanessa hopes to someday become a pediatrician.

The awardees will be honored at

The 15th Annual Duquesne Light Black History Month Celebration

Wednesday,February 23 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Awards and Reception

WQED Multimedia Studios in Oakland

and will be featured in television messages on WQED tv13, in February’s PITTSBURGH magazine, on the WQED website at and in a segment of OnQ magazine.

Duquesne Light President and CEO Morgan O’Brien and WQED Multimedia President and CEO George L. Miles Jr. will present the awards. Chris Moore (Black Horizons host and OnQ co-host) will interview the awardees live from the studio during the reception for that evening’s OnQ live broadcast at 7:30 p.m. on WQED tv13.

For more information about the awards, interviews and photo opportunities, contact Gigi Saladna.

About Duquesne Light Company
Duquesne Light Company is a leader in the transmission and distribution of electric energy, offering superior customer service and reliability to more than half a million customers in southwestern Pennsylvania.

WQED Multimedia provides educational, cultural and informational products and services that enhance and engage the community. It is the parent company of WQED tv13, WQEX – your America’s Store channel, WQED fm89.3, WQEJ fm89.7/Johnstown, a publishing division that includes PITTSBURGH magazine, local and national television and radio productions, and the WQED Education and Community Resource Center.

For additional information, please e-mail:

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