HOUSTON — Five Houstonians who have made a positive impact on the community are being honored as the city gears up to host the Final Four this year.
Those five people are being recognized as the 2023 Legends and Legacy Community Award recipients, as named by the NCAA. They include Bernard Freeman, who you may know as "Bun B," Lucy J. Bremond, Charlotte Kelly Bryant, Jessica Castillo-Hulsey and Peggy Turner.
The NCAA wants to recognize those who use their time and influence to make their communities better.
“It is an incredible honor to acknowledge and celebrate the dedication and passion of these recipients,” Felicia Martin, NCAA senior vice president of inclusion, education and community engagement, said. “Each honoree has a unique approach to how they have served the greater Houston area. Each recipient’s list of civic accomplishments is in essence their love letter to their neighbors and to their beloved city.”
Honorees will be recognized at a luncheon, will get a commemorative plaque and will be honored on the court during a Final Four game.
Bun B has earned national recognition for his musical talents, but it's what he has done in the streets that caught the attention of the NCAA. He joined the faculty at Rice University as a lecturer and taught courses on hip-hop and religion. He also worked with the University of Houston to talk about Black culture. He keeps finding new ways to give back to the community for the next generation to thrive. He has released a children's coloring book and also has been involved in reading events. He helped organize Hurricane Harvey relief efforts and was instrumental in helping low-income housing building projects in Houston.
Bremond runs Bremond Consulting Services and was the first executive director of the Emancipation Park Conservatory. She also served as senior manager of community engagement at HISD, leaving a positive impact on students across the district. Bremond is an advocate for women and Black people in her community and was named to the Greater Houston Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame.
Bryant founded the Blue Triangle Multi-Cultural Association, which created the first YWCA in Houston to open its doors to African-American women and girls. She also partnered with other local organizations to raise money to offset repair costs after Hurricane Harvey. She's a retired Houston ISD educator and has also been honored for her business expertise.
Castillo-Hulsey has been involved in Houston's East End and Second Ward for more than 30 years, doing what she can to improve the area. She is a founding member of the Oaklawn-Fullerton Civic Association and has organized community events to clean up Eastwood Park. Her efforts helped the area get recognized by the mayor. She has also advocated for safer neighborhoods and partnered with the Houston Police Department to address drug activity and crime. She also led the charge to build an early childhood education center and pushed for the demolition of derelict buildings. She also helped establish a program to get seniors and other families in the community access to fresh food.
Turner has worked with athletes with disabilities for more than 30 years. She has worked to promote inclusion using sports as the platform. Her work encourages young people and adults with physical disabilities to find competitive and recreational outlets to play sports, such as wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby, hand cycling, wheelchair softball and wheelchair racing. She created and managed Houston's first adaptive sports and recreation program for youth and adults.