2:56 PM / Sunday February 5, 2023

27 Oct 2017

Unity Community Center Celebrates 34 years, SUN publisher Catherine Hicks, State Rep. Joanna McClinton and more to be honored

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October 27, 2017 Category: Local Posted by:

Unity Community Center Celebrates 34 years at Annual Banquet Oct. 29.

SUN Publisher Catherine Hicks, State Rep. Joanna McClinton among honorees

By Monica Peters

Robert and Wanda Dickerson, founders of the Unity Community Center in Camden. Photo:

The Unity Community Center is holding its annual awards fundraising banquet on Sunday, October 29 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Clarion Hotel Philadelphia International Airport.

The festivities will celebrate 34 years of the center serving the Camden community and region with the theme of “We Must Save the Children Now–the Children, the Future.”

“The purpose of our once-a-year annual banquet is to showcase the young people to their parents and to promoters who may be looking for performing arts programs throughout the year,” said Wanda Dickerson who co-founded Unity Community Center with her husband Robert.

The evening will feature performances from the center’s acclaimed performing arts groups such as the world champion UPK Pasha Generals, the internationally renowned Universal African Dance & Drum Ensemble, the Universal Pasha Karate School & Demonstration Team, the UCC Music Ensemble & Brass Band; and the UCC Praise Dance Ministry who won first place at the McDonald’s Gospel Fest.

Universal African Dance & Drum Ensemble, a signature program of the Unity Community Center, will perform at the banquet

Additional performances for the evening include R&B group The Ebonys, jazz by Nasir Dickerson & the Renaissance Messengers and Alfie Pollitte and Friends. 16-year-old Yarkira Watson from Camden will showcase her talents singing At Last as a tribute to the late R&B icon Etta James.

SUN Publisher Catherine Hicks will be an honoree at annual banquet

“We saw the plight of the youth in Camden, they didn’t have a place to exert their energies. So my husband and I, we looked around, and said we should start a community center,” said Dickerson of the program which began in 1983 and became a non-profit organization the following year.

Honorees for the evening are: State Vanessa Lowery Brown, State Rep. Joanna McClinton, Philadelphia Sunday SUN publisher Catherine Hicks, Pastor Keith Davis, Razakhan community activist, Mama Atiola and husband Baba Komi, Imam Kenneth Nuriddin, community activist Vida Neil, Maryam Munir, Principal Dana Y. King, Leo Robert Gadson and Kenneth A. Salaam aka Freedom Smitty.

“We are honoring them for their belief in working in the community, saving our young people and being positive role models for young people.

Professor Griff from hip hop group Public Enemy will be the keynote speaker and his wife Sole will be in attendance.

Sunday October 29, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Clarion Hotel Philadelphia International Airport, 76 Industrial Highway, Essington, PA. Doors open at 4 p.m. Tickets are $65 and $50 for seniors and children. Tickets can be purchased at or at the door.

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