Celebrating Black History: Together We Rise

NBC Universal, Inc.

All year long, NBC4 is profiling local artists, activists and trailblazers making a difference and inspiring change in the African American community.

Meet Ventris C. Gibson, the first African American to lead the Mint. She tells News4’s Jummy Olabanji how she’s leading the charge to roll out quarters that honor trailblazing women like Maya Angelou.

NBC4's Jummy Olabanji spoke to the deputy director of the U.S. Mint, Ventris C. Gibson. She's the first African American to lead the Mint, the bureau of the Department of Treasury responsible for producing U.S. coins.

Gibson is also leading the way to roll out quarters that honor trailblazing women like Maya Angelou.

Members of Concerned Citizens of DC share what motivates them to help the community and fight for political change, plus how their diverse interests help form a more powerful collection.

We also spoke to a group of young activists, Concerned Citizens DC, inspired by past leaders but motivated to create change in their own, unique ways.

Angel Barreto is the executive chef at the Korean cuisine restaurant, Anju. Barreto has won several awards from Food & Wine best new chef to recently being a finalist for the emerging chef award from the James Beard Foundation. NBC4's Eun Yang talks to Barreto about his culinary roots and journey.

NBC4's Eun Yang spoke to award-winning, Afro-Latino chef Angel Barreto, the executive chef at Korean restaurant Anju. Barreto has won many awards, such as Food & Wine Best New Chef. He’s also a semi-finalist for the James Beard Foundation Emerging Chef award.

Libraries across the country have become a political battleground, but it's a sanctuary at Bell High School in Columbia Heights.  The school's award-winning librarian, Christopher Stewart, is among the 7% of librarians who are black in a field that is nearly 87% white, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Stewart shows NBC4 the space he created for students to not only read books and study but dream big and feel loved.

Award-winning school librarian Christopher Stewart —who is among the 7% of librarians who are Black, in a field that is nearly 87% white — spoke about why his library is not only a place for students to read books and study but a sanctuary to dream big and feel loved.

D.C. area photographer Lauren Sweet explains how the mother figures in her life inspired a moving photo project.

Photographer and Howard University professor Lauren Sweet was inspired by Black women and royalty to create her new photo series, "Black Queen Mother." Alexandria's first African-American poet laureate, KaNikki Jakarta, also shares the inspiration behind her powerful, written words.

She’s only in the fifth grade, but Zyah Brown, also known as Fly Zyah, is using her musical abilities to be a voice for change. News4’s Shawn Yancy caught up with Fly Zyah after she was honored by the Kennedy Center.

Looking ahead to the next generation, a 10-year-old rapper, Fly Zyah, made the Kennedy Center's "Next 50."  This young lyricist tells NBC4's Shawn Yancy the change she wishes to see in D.C. and the world.

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