SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – In recognition of his extraordinary contributions to the Inland Empire as a publisher and philanthropist, Hardy Brown will be recognized by the California State University and California State University, San Bernardino with an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters.
The ceremony will take place during the CSUSB College of Arts & Letters commencement on Saturday, June 14 at 11:45 a.m. in Coussoulis Arena.
“It is truly an honor to recognize Hardy Brown. He and his wife Cheryl are iconic members of our community, celebrating the contributions of our African American community through the Black Voice newspaper and their many community partnerships,” said CSUSB President Tomás D. Morales.
A true patriarch in the Inland Empire’s African American community, Hardy Brown Sr. co-founded Brown Publishing Company to produce a weekly community newspaper, Black Voice News, which focuses on local news in Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
The Browns, married for 50 years, have been recognized as the only living publishers to be included in the 175th anniversary of the Black Press of America. Their names were added to such historic publishers as Frederick Douglass, Ida B. Wells-Barnett and Carlotta Bass – all of whom overcame great obstacles to publish the truth and to give a voice to the disenfranchised. Black Voice News now reaches over 10,000 readers per edition.
In 2001, Mr. Brown co-founded California Black Media (CBM), a network of African American media owners across the state of California. CBM has served as a statewide initiative to better inform and educate the African American community about key issues that affect their lives. California Black Media consists of 22 African American newspapers across the state. Hardy Brown Sr. was awarded the Alice F. Page Award for nonviolence in 2009.
In addition, the Black Voice News also initiated the “Building Better Communities” program, which works with local companies, organizations and agencies to improve neighborhoods.
Through its efforts with California Black Media, the Foundation is able to promote the merits of the Black Press across the state of California. The California Black Media project hosts annual issue forums that address concerns in African-American communities throughout the state.