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Washington, D.C. – Today, in celebration of Black History Month, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), honored the work of five Black community leaders, advocates, and trailblazers in Pennsylvania—Edgar and Barbara Farmer (State College), Loretta Claiborne (York), Donta Green (Pittsburgh), and Lurline Jones (Philadelphia)—at his 18th annual Black History Month event. This year’s theme, “Voices Empowering Generational Change,” featured these five honorees who have worked to provide people in their communities with the skills and confidence they need to achieve future success. Senator Casey was joined by Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor Austin Davis and Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Joanna McClinton.

“These five honorees represent the very best of Pennsylvania. Their work uplifting the next generation by nurturing the confidence and ability already within them will leave a lasting impact on our Commonwealth,” said Senator Casey. “Their decades of steadfast service and civic engagement is nothing short of inspirational and I am grateful for their contributions and dedication.”

More on the Honorees:

Edgar and Barbara Farmer, of State College, are longtime advocates for education and diversity. Edgar is a Vietnam War veteran and professor emeritus of education at Penn State University. He previously served as a professor of Workforce Education and Development and professor-in-charge of the Workforce Education and Development Program. Barbara taught business classes at various schools in North Carolina and Virginia before serving as the State College Area School District’s first ever black principal and director of multicultural affairs for the College of Information and Sciences and Technology at Penn State. Together, they served on Penn State’s Policing People of Color Task Force and are members of Community & Campus in Unity, which focuses on diversity in State College. They established the Edgar Farmer Enhancement Fund in Penn State’s College of Education to support the development of faculty and students in education, psychology, and workforce education and development.

Loretta Claiborne, of York, is an accomplished speaker, advocate and athlete. Over the span of her life, Loretta has learned to communicate in four languages including American Sign Language, and has received honorary doctorate degrees from Quinnipiac University, Villanova University, and York College of Pennsylvania. Loretta holds a 4th degree black belt in karate, has completed 26 marathons, twice finishing the Boston Marathon amongst the top 100 women, and has won numerous medals in the Special Olympics including 7 gold medals. In 1996, she was the recipient of the ESPY Arthur Ashe Award for Courage. Loretta has been inducted into the Women in Sports Hall of Fame and the Special Olympics Pennsylvania Hall of Fame.

Donta Green, of Pittsburgh, is the Executive Director at the Trade Institute of Pittsburgh (TIP) and a successful head football coach at Westinghouse Academy. At TIP, Donta works to empower men and women with significant barriers to employment through skill building, career opportunities, and a workforce housing program, including many formerly incarcerated individuals. As a head football coach, he works with and mentors young people and tries to be a facilitator of excellence in others wherever he goes. He led the team in 2019 to its first city league championship in 26 years and in 2022 to the state championship for the first time in school history.

Lurline Jones, of Philadelphia, is a local civil rights trailblazer in Philadelphia and the surrounding counties and legendary basketball coach within the School District of Philadelphia for 52 years with more than 300 of her students going to college on athletic scholarships and three to the WNBA. In September of 2019, Jones was featured in People Magazine’s and Heroes Among Us.