Shelley Stewart, founder of o2ideas, broadcaster and philanthropist, has received the Rosa Parks Award for Leadership, Commitment to Civil Rights, Voting Rights and Civic Service, presented by Saint Paul A.M.E. Church in Montgomery.
“I am deeply honored and humbled to receive this award from Saint Paul A.M.E. Church,” said Stewart. “I can vividly remember Rosa Parks and also the vast army of people it took to support her and the overall Movement. I still feel there is much work to do in bringing people together to advance human rights for all people.”
Stewart spent his early career as a broadcast journalist. As a radio personality in the 1960s, he used his media voice to broadcast coded messages to black listeners in Birmingham to provide information about human rights protests, meetings and other events.
In 1967, he co-founded an advertising agency, now called o2ideas, which grew to serve national brands. And in 2007, he launched the Mattie C. Stewart Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to reducing the high school dropout rate.
He has received numerous awards including the Footsteps to Freedom Award from the 16th Street Foundation in 1999, the Community Service Award from the National Association of Black Journalists in 2013 and the World Conference of Mayors’ Outstanding People of the World Award. He was named a Pioneer of Radio Inductee by the Smithsonian Institute and inducted into the Black Radio Hall of Fame.