DECATUR, Georgia. –Newton County civil rights pioneer Forrest “Preacher” Sawyer Jr. will be honored posthumously by U.S. Representative Hank Johnson, D-Stonecrest, as part of Johnson’s annual Unsung Heroes Awards program today, February 22, at 6:30 p.m.
The awards honor select residents of the 4th Congressional District who are “everyday citizens and community leaders who go above and beyond to make our communities better places to live, work and play – and lead with integrity,” according to information from Johnson’s office.
A total of 27 district residents from the four counties will receive prizes.
Sawyer, who died in February 2020, made history as a member of the ‘Newton Six’ who was imprisoned after leading a protest march in 1970.
He was a founding member of the Newton County Voters League and an active member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). He was also a member of Covington City Council from 1981 to 1993.
Other Earls of Newton to be rewarded include:
• Kimya Motley, District Diamond Award.
Motley is director of communications for A Call to Men and CEO of Haven of Light International, a crisis intervention program.
• Keelyn Harper, Community Activist, Champions of the Fourth Award.
• Gwen Cattledge, President of the Newton County Branch of the NAACP, Pillars of Power Award;
• The Rev. James Walden, Newton County Sheriff’s Office Staff Chaplain, Pillars of Power Award;
The event is accessible via Zoom and viewable on Johnson’s Facebook page.
It will be reposted on Congressman Johnson’s Facebook page @RepHankJohnson or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RepHankJohnson/.
The program is free and open to the public. To view, register on the Zoom link https://ushr.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_PcS9L7qTTeSU9thgNl-9FQ/.