Starr recognized for community contributions

2017-09-09 | St. Joseph News-Press

Sept. 09--City Council Memeber Joyce Starr is the recipient of the Kelsy Beshears Racial Justice award.

The award is given in the spirit of the late community icon and activist Kelsy Beshears who fought for civil rights and social justice in St. Joseph for several years beofre her death in 1999.

The local YWCA and NAACP jointly sponsor the award, that will be given during the 21st annual Day of Commitment to Eliminate Racism on Sept. 21.

Ellen Kisker, YWCA prevention educator, said the award selection committee felt Starr deserved the award this year because of her tireless work in the community.

"Joyce has long been active in our community and served all populations very well," Kisker said. "She's been involved with city government. She's been involved with church activities. She's been involved with school activities. Anywhere you go in the community, you see Joyce Starr participating in a positive manner and we're very honored to recognize her for this special award."

Starr said she was honored but also shocked and surprised that she was chosen for the award.

"I know it's a very special award and I want to try to live up to it but I've got a lot of family and friends that stand beside me, work with me and asssit me in doing the things I try to do. I have many, many people surrounding me to help me do things and I appreciate them so actually this award is theirs too, not mine alone," Starr said.

Starr has served the community in many ways besides being a city council member. She has served with Youth Alliance, Open Door Food Kitchen, Central Assembly of God's children's ministry, victim's rights committee, prison ministry and elementary school mentor and paraprofessional.

She was a YWCA Women of Excellence Volunteer of the Year nominee in 2015, she is a David Berger Community Service award recepient, a recepient of the YMCA Service to Youth Award, Black Archives Wall of Fame inductee among many other recognition.

"I don't think I'm so deserving because I don't do anything special," Starr said about receiving the Racial Justice award.

"I just do me, get up every morning, thank God I have another day here on earth and then I go do whatever needs to be done."

The 21st annual Day of Commitment to Eliminate Racism breakfast will be held at 7:15 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 21 inside the YWCA Terrace Room on 304 N. Eighth Street.

RSVPs are requesting for those wishing to attend the buffet-style breakfast which was donated by Grace Evangelical Church.

Dr. Bill Church, author of the book "In Their Own Words" and Moses Hicks one of the people interviewed in the book on St. Joseph black history will be the guest speakers.

For more information or to RSVP for the event call 816-232-4481.