You Have The Power
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
You can go anywhere from where you are.
Imagine beautiful accomplishments.
Leap into the unknown.
Everything Xernona Clayton has accomplished testifies that she has the tools on which Atlanta Women’s Network is based: She is able, she has the skills and she has certainly changed the future. Ms. Clayton will share valuable insights and information regarding her tools with attendees at Atlanta Women’s Network’s June luncheon meeting.
A pioneer in initiating positive change, not only for Black Americans, but for women of all races, she consistently succeeds in emotion-triggered situations, by calmly analyzing and negotiating. “I can make that happen” seems to be the cornerstone of her life’s achievements in bridging cultures and promoting equality.
Xernona Clayton, guiding hand of the Trumpet Awards and founder of its Foundation, has been a civic leader and pioneer in Atlanta for the past 40 years. A confidante and close supporter of Martin Luther King, she has walked with American Presidents and members of Atlanta’s street gangs. She continues to mentor at-risk minority teenagers.
The Trumpet Awards, a prestigious annual event highlighting African-American accomplishments and contributions, initiated in 1993 by Turner Broadcasting, is distributed to more than 185 countries.
When Ms. Clayton began her television career in 1967, she broke ground on two fronts -- she became the south’s first Black person to host her own television show, and she was a woman in an industry where women were not particularly welcomed. The Xernona Clayton show survived, to become a regular feature on WAGA-TV, the Fox affiliate in Atlanta.
Employed at Turner Broadcasting System for nearly 30 years, serving for much of that time as Corporate Vice President for Urban Affairs, she directed internal and external projects for TBS and facilitated relationships between Turner Broadcasting (TBS SuperStation, CNN, Headline News, TNT, Atlanta Braves and Atlanta Hawks) and civic groups in Atlanta and across the country. Ms. Clayton was one of the highest-ranking female employees at Turner Broadcasting System.
Ms. Clayton moved to Atlanta in 1965 where she joined with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, working closely with the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and Coretta Scott King.
Dedicated to promoting racial understanding, Xernona Clayton stands with other civil rights leaders in initiating change, both of ideas and of practice; she has spearheaded a number of far-reaching civic projects.
In 1966, she coordinated the activities of Atlanta’s Black doctors in a project called Doctors’ Committee for Implementation, which resulted in the desegregation of all hospital facilities in Atlanta and throughout the Southeast. This project served as a model and a pilot for other states throughout the country and received national honor from the National Medical Association for its impact.
Her persistent fight against prejudice and bigotry was never more apparent than in 1968, when she calmly, logically influenced the Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan to denounce the Klan and embrace principles of non-violence.
Although her awards and recognitions are numerous, her scholarships will contribute to the influencing of future generations. In 1987, in recognition of her contribution to broadcasting, her community and the nation, the American Intercultural Student Exchange (AISE) created a scholarship in her honor.
For this scholarship, each year Ms. Clayton chooses an outstanding minority high school student to spend a year living abroad with a European family, all expenses paid. The Xernona Clayton Scholarship is dedicated to increasing open relationships, internationally, through this global high school student exchange program.
Additionally, the Atlanta Association of Black Journalists named its scholarship in her honor, annually presenting the AABJ Xernona Clayton Scholarship to a student pursuing a career in communications.
In private life, married to Judge Paul L. Brady, she is a member of historic Ebenezer Baptist Church and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.