Residents honored for community service

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published February 14, 2018

 Roger Goolsby, center, poses with Total Living Commission Chair Veronica Leonard and Mayor Ken Siver after accepting the 2017 Greg Kennedy Community Service Award.

Roger Goolsby, center, poses with Total Living Commission Chair Veronica Leonard and Mayor Ken Siver after accepting the 2017 Greg Kennedy Community Service Award.

Photo provided by the city of Southfield

SOUTHFIELD — The city of Southfield and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Task Force recently recognized two residents for their work in the community. 

Mayor Ken Siver and Total Living Commission Chair Veronica Leonard presented resident Roger Goolsby with the 2017 Greg Kennedy Community Service Award. 

Goolsby was nominated by the TLC to receive the award, and the City Council confirmed that decision at a meeting. 

In 2016, the city reintroduced the Greg Kennedy Community Service Award, named after the late resident who had a passion for serving the community. 

Originally established in 1999 to honor the legacy of Kennedy, a community activist, the goal of the award is to encourage residents to engage in public service. 

Siver offered a few words before presenting Goolsby with the award. 

“For many years we had the Greg Kennedy Service Award, but for some years the award was not presented. For the last couple years, we’ve made sure to present the award to recognize someone who has gone above and beyond in our community and has been in longtime service in support of our great city of Southfield,” Siver said. 

Siver said he’s known Goolsby since Goolsby’s four children were little and attended Adler Elementary School. When Goolsby’s kids started at the school, Siver said, Goolsby became PTA president. 

“After they finished school Roger didn’t give up on Adler, and he’s still a volunteer at Adler,” Siver said. 

According to a news release from Community Relations Director Michael Manion, Goolsby currently serves as president of the Southfield Community Coalition, a nonprofit organization of neighborhood and condominium associations and residents citywide. 

He is also active with the MLK Task Force, having served as president in 2010-11. Goolsby served on the Southfield Public Schools Board of Education from 1995 to 2004, and he continues to volunteer at Adler Elementary School, where he mentors children and assists staff with special programs.

He was a member of the city’s Total Living Commission for four years. The TLC focuses on the quality of life of Southfield residents. During his employment at the Chrysler Trenton Engine Plant, he co-chaired its Clothe-A-Child Program for over 20 years.

“Growing up in River Rouge, I had the pleasure of having instructors who would go to the South and help with voter registration. Little did I know, they were Freedom Riders,” Goolsby said. “I was young, but with examples like those, I don’t have a choice. I can’t sit home and not volunteer.”

During the annual MLK Peace Walk and Celebration Jan. 15, resident Rosemerry Allen received the 2018 MLK Community Service Award. 

The task force honors one person each year who best exemplifies the qualities of King, according to a news release from Manion. 

Nominees must be committed to the advancement of human and civil rights, active in community service, and reside or work in Southfield or Lathrup Village.

Manion said Allen is known for her extensive community service and humanitarian efforts throughout Southfield and nationally.

A longtime MLK Task Force member, Allen created a space for nonprofit organizations to showcase their services and resources at the annual MLK Peace Walk programs. 

Allen said she was delighted and humbled by the award. 

“This award is really not about me. It’s about the struggle, the movement. It’s about our trials, our tribulations and our triumphs,” Allen said. “When I say our future looks great as we pass the torch, I mean it. We have spent countless hours training and investing in our young people. I feel confident they will take the torch to the next level, and this is their time.”