Photos by Mark Mattos

(L – R) Adilah Muhammad, Julian Rowand, Carla Hunt, Georges Budagu Makoko, Claude Rwangnje, Amran Osman, Quincy Hentzel, Jill Duson, Janine “JG” Georgette, Julia Hazel, John Ochira, and Nathan Davis

The Third Place awarded the 2023 Maine Black Excellence Awards to ten individuals and organizations this year at an event held at Caswell Farm and Wedding Barn in Gray. The awards recognize talented, committed individuals and institutions from across Maine that are integral in creating an equitable quality of place in support of Black social and cultural infrastructure in Maine. 

Awards and those accepting the awards

  • Nicole Mokeme Place Maker Award: Janine “JG” Georgette 
  • Winward Community Trailblazer: Maine State Senator Jill Duson
  • Community Wayfinder: Amran Osman
  • Compass Career Champion: Julia Hazel
  • Community Navigator Award: Claude Rwaganje
  • Bow & Stern Award: John Ochira
  • Active Ally Award: Julian Rowand; Carla Hunt, Quincy Hentzel
  • Economic and Community Builder: Georges Budagu Makoko
Georges Budagu Makoko
Adilah Muhammad; Director, The Third Place
Friends enjoying the event
A bonfire provided added ambience before a sudden downpour literally dampened the proceedings
Award designer Ebenezer Akakpo, Akakpo & Co.; and Mufalo Chitam; ED, Maine Immigrants’ Rights Coalition
The catering crew from Bab’s Table take a brief pause after serving dinner