Birmingham’s own Odessa Woolfolk was honored at the Magic City Classic AWAKEN event, Oct. 29

city of birmingham, odessa woolfolk
The City of Birmingham honored Odessa Woolfolk for her work to build the beloved community. Photo via Tira Davis for Bham Now

Mayor Randall Woodfin and the City of Birmingham honored Odessa Woolfolk, Birmingham civic activist and educator, at the Birmingham Museum of Art Friday, October 29 at 10AM. Keep reading for more can’t-miss details about the event and Woolfolk’s impact on The Magic City and beyond.

Who is Odessa Woolfolk?

city of birmingham, odessa woolfolk
She is an activist that holds many accolades and achievement awards. Photo via Tira Davis for Bham Now

The Birmingham community celebrated the legacy and life work of Odessa Woolfolk during the annual AWAKEN event at the Birmingham Museum of Art today, Friday, October 29. AWAKEN is a celebration of the legacy of longstanding community leaders and activists who have shaped the city of Birmingham.

Several Birmingham leaders have been honored at this reoccurring event including Dr. Richard Arrington, Jr. Now, it is Woolfolk’s turn. Odessa Woolfolk is a noted activist and educator who led the creation of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Woolfolk is also the former Director of Urban Affairs at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

“She (Woolfolk) is a model for growth, impact and leadership, and I’ve been fortunate to serve with her on many projects. She is a true servant leader. Instead of people working to serve her, she serves people—truly a rockstar.”

Samuetta Nesbitt, Senior Vice President of Public Relations & Community Affairs, United Way of Central Alabama

The city has plans to honor Woolfolk in various ways

city of birmingham, Richard Arrington Jr.
Former Mayor Richard Arrington, Jr. had a few words to say about Ms. Woolfolk. Photo via Tira Davis for Bham Now

At AWAKEN, Mayor Woodfin and the community applauded Woolfolk for all the work she has done—as he says—to make Birmingham a better and brighter place. He also presented Woolfolk with the “Putting People First Award’,” an award he created in 2019.

A few past “Putting People First Award” recipients include:

Dr. Richard Arrington, Jr. was a guest speaker at the event, along with DeJuana Thompson, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute President. Ashley M. Jones, Alabama’s first Black Poet Laureate, performed as well and a few others including performing arts students from Huffman High School.

How has Odessa Woolfolk’s community involvement and work shaped your life? Tag us on socials @BhamNow and let us know.

Tira Davis
Tira Davis
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