Dr. Bill Lawson Receives 1st Honorable Chief Chairman Award at SHAPE’s 50th Anniversary

By TJ Baker
Photo credit: Earlie Hudnall

It’s more than a family affair, it’s a community involvement, and it’s a cultural on-going movement! Shape’s 50th Homecoming, “Come On Home – Founder’s Day” Celebrates Dr. Bill Lawson, who received the 1st honorable Chief Chairman Award.

Of course, I was surprised as to why Dr. Lawson would receive this award! Well, my surprise was because I didn’t know the beginning history of the SHAPE Community Center. Little did I know that it all started in the home of Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church, where Dr. Marcus Colby is now the current building pastor of this trailblazing – Holy Ghost – sanctified – angel stomping – phenomenal 3rd ward community corner church!

I was able to finally catch up with Mr. Deloyd T. Parker Jr., before the 50th Anniversary and he set me straight with fire and brimstones in his voice, when I asked him, “How have ‘YOU’ been able to hold this on-going inspired fort down?”

Deloyd Parker’s response was, “The most unique thing about our 50th anniversary, as with all of our anniversaries, it that it’s always in the community. Because we are the community, by no means why would we take our celebration outside of the community and give the money to somebody that does not resemble us over there and not have our best interest at heart? So we keep it in the hood – in the community and we have done that since day one and this celebration will take place on the new ground of the Emancipation Park. But that will just be phase one… SHAPE will be continuing to do their 50th Anniversary celebration all the way up until October/November. Family strengthening and empowerment, that what’s it’s all about. And let me get you straight right now, we are a family – I don’t have an ego to stroke! I don’t do it and I don’t let anyone else do it to me, because again we are a family, a team, just like a functional body. You can have a heart, but you have to have blood pumping into that heart, and the brain can’t do what it’s designed to do without the other functional parts of the body. So it’s not just me; it’s SHAPE’s triumph over – undivided teamwork and donated financial contributions from ten dollars to ten-thousand dollars that have kept SHAPE alive!”

I’m glad that I did attend the 50th Anniversary of the SHAPE Community Center because I mingled with a lot of dignitaries such as Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee. She gave me an awesome commentary and shared more light on what had unfolded – along with that Five-Thousand dollar contribution that she brought in with her. “I’m walking among the history of the ancestors – SHAPE Community Center has been one step, based on community organization that has reminded us about connecting it to the continent in the Pan Africanism of African Americans. At the same time, it is installed and instilled in the young community the preciousness of their history, giving them the strength to carry on in the midst of sometimes very difficult issues in our community. This has produced through its strength and investment in young people, more than twenty-five thousand young people across the nation who will feel this indoctrination of positiveness. I am very grateful that SHAPE has produced such wonderful leaders and they were confident in their own history. They started caring and sharing and went willing forwardly to go out and help others who were misfortunate or whose voices can’t be heard. I am one of those leaders from SHAPE and I will continue to manifest my political goodness on helping the injured, those who suffer injustice, and the weak.”

Here’s what State Representative, Ron Reynolds, District 27, had to say on this memorable anniversary event. “I am proud to be here, sharing the celebration of Fifty phenomenal years of The SHAPE Community Center! I’ve always been a big supporter because SHAPE has been so much for the greater Houston community. Community lives have literally been changing and transforming people right there on Live Oak St, where SHAPE has been sitting for over forty years. Deloyd Parker has been responsible for the beautiful instrumental notes in Third-Ward of Houston, Texas. So it’s my pleasure to give personal thanks from Fort-Bend County all the way to the greater area of South-Houston. Without SHAPE a lot of people would not be standing on their own today. Without SHAPE a lot of people would not have hope or a purpose to live. Without SHAPE our community heritage in the State of Texas would be lost! So why not give people their flowers now – while they can still smell the roses. Deloyd Parker, from the bottom of my heart – thank you very much!”

City Council Dwight Boykins is a politician who doesn’t mess around when it comes to his community – not even the outskirts of his community – especially in keeping up with Texas Southern University political affairs. “Of course, I’m here to give my respect for this great and much-needed event and that is speaking of honoring Dr. Lawson. You see, a lot of folks don’t know that Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church started at Texas Southern University and was the strong voice of leading the way when it came to passing a lot of civil right laws back in the day. So Tj that’s another reason why you should be proud of TSU your alma-mater! From there a lot of programs were put in place, which is why SHAPE is humble of the accomplishments it has been able to triumph over.”

Speaking of Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church, Dr. Marcus Cosby shared this with African American News & Issues… “Tonight was very important for all of us to come together as a loving and honored community. We are celebrating not only Fifty years of accomplishments but loyalty also with on-going loving hands such as those belonging to Dr. Reverend Lawson. Fifty long years is a long time and our ancestors and today’s supporters are very proud of SHAPE and SHAPE will continue to embrace our youth to give them a sense of cultural community pride. This is how we as a people of color will not be broken; this is how we can never be shaken. Fostering and Promoting is the way of the longevity of goodness, morality, and success. This is how our legacy will continue!”

Last, but not least, let’s give a shout out to Mayor Turner for the Proclamation that SHAPE received. Deidra Ward, formerly of KTSU was the MC/Mistress of Ceremony for the event. Also, a shout out to the Honorable Judge Zinetta Burney and Playwright Thomas Meloncon with his beautiful wife for over forty years still by his side.

Latest Articles


Search our archive of past issues Receive our Latest Updates
* indicates required

October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit www.edwardsforhouston.com

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

Scroll to Top