Strong Men & Women in Virginia History

Dominion Energy Virginia and the Library of Virginia present Strong Men & Women in Virginia History. This program honors distinguished African-American leaders in Virginia, and features a student writing contest.

The 2020 awards ceremony was held on February 6 at the Richmond Marriott. (View a news release.) This year marks the 30th anniversary of the "Strong Men & Women" series. The 2020 honorees made great advances in the fields of engineering, sports, law and activism:

  • Kaci M. Easley, Government Official, Charles City County
  • Penny J. Franklin, Community Activist, Montgomery County
  • Joycelyn S. Harrison, Chemical Engineer and Mentor, Hampton
  • Torrey Smith, Super Bowl Champion & Philanthropist, Westmoreland County
  • Marcus D. Williams, Judge and Civic Leader, Fairfax


Student Writing Contest


High school students in Virginia are invited each year to honor outstanding African Americans by participating in Dominion Energy Virginia and Library of Virginia's Strong Men & Women in Virginia History student writing contest. Four winning essays are chosen, one from each of the four regions that Dominion Energy Virginia serves (central, eastern, northwest and southwest). Get details about the essay contest.

The winners of the 2018 Strong Men & Women in Virginia History student essay writing contest:

  • Kallie Berry - Gate City High School, Gate City
  • McKenzie Bryant - Maury High School, Norfolk
  • Angie Muguruza - West Potomac High School, Alexandria
  • Rashad Seaborne - Maggie Walker Governor's School, Richmond