Tuesday, December 20, 2011

NAACP honors Hermina Hendricks for community service

Earlier this month, the Lynchburg Unit of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People honored a Randolph College staff member for her service to the community.

Hermina Hendricks, the College’s multicultural student services director and a music instructor, received the organization’s Citizen Achievement Award, an annual award that recognizes people who have contributed much to the community.

Hendricks said she was surprised to learn that she would receive the award, but it recognized that she had met a long-held goal. “One thing I always wanted to do was make a difference in my community,” she said.

Hendricks has served the community in numerous ways while teaching music in the public schools, and working at the College since 1997.

She has served on grant review panels for the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. She has held leadership positions in the Lynchburg Chapter of the Links, Project LEAD, National Committee for Services to Youth, Lynch’s Landing, the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities, and more.

She recently conducted a choir for a holiday concert benefitting the Dunbar High School Memorial Wall Committee. She is conducting research on the life of Clarence Seay, who worked for 30 years as principal of Dunbar, Lynchburg’s African American high school in the days of racial segregation.

The endless service came naturally to Hendricks. “One thing led to another. When I was asked to serve on a committee or board, I would just say yes and try to give my time, my talent, my energy, or my voice, to whatever the community needed,” she said.

At the College, Hendricks teaches music history classes, such as jazz history and popular music in America. She also plans multicultural programming and leads initiatives to strengthen diversity on campus.

A few years ago, she was one of the organizers of Lynchburg’s first Get!Downtown Festival, an annual event that draws thousands of people, including many local college students. She said the idea came about as she and others were trying to help more people get to know Lynchburg.

“I wanted people to like the city and to see the city the way I see it,” she said.