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The 2013 Sustainability Awardees are Darryl Perkins, a part of the development team responsible for Green the Block, the environmental awareness campaign initiated by the Hip Hop Caucus. He currently serves as the community engagement director for Dreaming Out Loud and as a partner for Broccoli City, and Gina Dennis, a green energy strategist, attorney and the CEO of Relerience, a company responsible for advising the District of Columbia on the LEED green building process. Both awardees are community and business leaders that are at the forefront of sustainability. Other nominees included: Jessica Brunson, an architectural artist and community liaison for transportation alternatives. She promotes green alternatives to the community through awareness-based initiatives including vertical gardening, recycled-reusable artwork, and cooking with local products. Lisa Seyfried, the founder of Redefining Eco, a blog that discusses green living for women, and is currently an executive board member of DC EcoWomen. Jason Flakes, a distinguished designer and award winning architectural photographer based in Washington DC. His multi-media and industrial design company, Nomoi Designs, focuses on ergonomic design, green products and photography of LEED Certified architecture. Chris Bradshaw, the founder of Dreaming Out Loud, an organization responsible for several initiatives and community partnerships centered on urban food sustainability and other environmental issues unique to the urban environment.

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2013 Black Opal: Celebrating New Generation of Leaders

The Northern Virginia Urban League Young Professionals Network held its awards ceremony on April 6 at the Artisphere. Black Opal, an awards gala/black-tie reception, serves as the primary fundraiser for the organization. The funds raised by Black Opal support its programs including College Survival, Political Forum, and Opportunity to Thrive.

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