Curtis Owens Inducted into the Central State Achievement Hall of Fame
Curtis Owens the Executive Senior Advisor to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will be inducted into the Central State University Achievement Hall of Fame on March 6, 2012. Owens who is a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania said “this is a real honor for me and my family. To be inducted at the 125th Anniversary Ceremony makes this even more special. I have dedicated my entire life to serving the people and community’s I have lived in and I’m truly thankful that my work has been recognized by my piers from Central State. Certainly, many of the skills I use each and every day of my life, I derived from my years at Central”.
Owens, who graduated from Central State in 1962 and later received his M.P.A. from Temple University, has been working here in the Los Angeles community for the past 30 years. He has served the African American Community in particular for most of this time. In 1983 he served as the President of Universal Management Corporation before moving on as President of the African American Unity Center. As President of the Unity Center, Owens was instrumental in providing emergency rescue services to residents of South Central following the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, as well as partnered with the Brotherhood Crusade to establish successful job training programs like the waiter waitress school which trained students with the skills necessary to enter into the waiters union and obtain jobs in some of Southern California’s most luxurious hotels and restaurants.
Owens also opened South Centrals first Construction Apprenticeship School to train African Americans to enter into the construction trade unions, historically one of the most segregated unions in Los Angeles.
Danny Bakewell, Sr., Chairman of the Board of Brotherhood Crusade and Executive Publisher of The Los Angeles Sentinel had this to say about Owens induction “Curtis is a very humble person and there is no one more deserving of this honor. He has represented his alma mater, and his community with pride, dignity, honor and respect and this is a very proud day for him, his wife Edna who is also a Central Alum and all of his family”.
Mr. Owens is also the founder of Positive Partners a non-profit organization which emphasizes an ethnic approach to business development and human service program. He has also served as Trade Bureau Director for Operation PUSH under the Reverend Jesse Jackson as well as was President and CEO of Watts Health Foundation.
Curtis Owens is a retired veteran having served in the U.S. Army and is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. He pledged Kappa Alpha Psi as an undergraduate student at Central State University. He is also a member of LEARN (Los Angeles Educational Alliance for Restructuring NOW) and the Los Angeles City Council Ad Hoc Committee on Gang & Juvenile Justice.
The Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place in the Paul Robeson Cultural and Performing Arts Center on the campus of Central State.