Thursday, February 23, 2017
By Bruce Walton
Dr. Rodney E. Hill, a Youngstown obstetrician/gynecologist, is the honorary chairman for the Black Diamond Brunch event Saturday.
Dr. Hill will be honored among more than 50 black men and boys at 10 a.m. at the event at Antone’s Banquet Centre, 8578 Market St. The Youngstown Chapter of The Links Inc. will sponsor the awards.
The men and boys were nominated by friends, family members, employers, peers, pastors, teachers and organizations. The nominators were asked to complete in-depth profiles listing accomplishments, community service and core values promoting love, respect, community harmony and being a law-abiding citizen.
The event recognizes black male youth and males in Mahoning County in three age groups: Diamond Chips, age 8 to 18; Rough Diamonds, age 19 to 40; and Polished Diamonds, age 40 and older.
Ruthie King, president of the Links local chapter, said the organization chose Dr. Hill as the honorary chairman for two reasons. First, Dr. Hill has been a honorable example of a successful black man and attended a historically black college.
Secondly, he has been an important part of the Youngstown community. He is owner of Associates in Women’s Health of the Mahoning Valley Inc., which he opened in 2005. He also gave his expertise as an obstetrician/gynecologist to the topic of the high infant-mortality rate among black babies in Ohio at the Ohio Commission on Minority Health Medical Expert Panel Series in 2015.
The first event was in 2013 to build a positive image on black men in the area after the honorees finished a two-year program, which includes service to youth, the arts, health and human services and national trends that impact the underrepresented.
King said she’s received many thanks from the community for the annual event. She recalled someone who said to her: “It’s nice to see someone honoring men that have gone through the fire and still come out shining like a diamond.”