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MAJOR Motivation: Empowering the Masses anniversary gala reinvigorates spark for assisting communities

By Eva D. Coleman
Lifestyle & Culture Editor

Empowering the Masses Founder and 
Executive Director Tammy Johnson 
poses with award recipient during 5th 
Annual Gala
Empowering the Masses Founder and Executive Director Tammy Johnson poses with award recipient during 5th Annual Gala

Saturday evening, February 11 was MAJOR fun! The Empowering the Masses 5th Anniversary Gala, A Night of Love and Empowerment, was a movement of sorts that was emotionally charged and reinforced the mission of this non-profit to advocate for, and provide resources and training to underserved communities.

The gala, held at the Double-Tree by Hilton hotel on Mock-ingbird Lane in Dallas, Texas, featured performances by soul singer MAJOR, who performed songs “Even More” and his iconic “Why I Love You,” and harpist Jess Garland.

The night’s theme of empowerment permeated the event in its entirety.

“Far too big is the sky for one great bird to fly,” MAJOR said, referencing the African proverb that reminds us that the world is large enough for all to share and be successful.


The keynote address was delivered by Dr. Michael W. Waters, founder and lead pastor of the Abundant Life A.M.E. Church in Dallas. Dr. Waters wove the words of many revered thought leaders throughout his speech with a cadence of spirituality that pierced the soul as he reminded the audience to be empowered and “never lose your spark.”

Executive Director Tammy Johnson
Empowering the Masses Founder and Executive Director Tammy Johnson poses with
award recipients during 5th Annual Gala

“What we do should be the loudest voice in the room,” Dr. Waters said; emphasizing action over words.

Empowering the Masses founder and executive director Tammy Johnson spoke briefly about her journey and determination to end the cycle of poverty that had engulfed her upbringing. Her comments were brief, demonstrative of her desire to not have the spotlight on herself, but to uplift and empower others. The event was emceed by Urban One / 97.9 The Beat’s Jamie “Jazze” Maxie who kept the evening flowing with her social charm and warm appeal. She often complimented the crowd who were dressed up for the occasion that celebrated love.

MLK Center director Pamela R. Jones led the awards presentation that rounded out the event, saluting many who do the work of empowering communities. Executive Director Johnson handed awards to recipients followed by hugs, smiles and photos.

It was highly emotional as MAJOR’s lyrics “This is why I love you” pierced the ears of the few hundred that gathered. Hopefully, it provided the charge for all to keep going for others.


“There is a power that will empower us to keep our spark,” Dr. Waters said.

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