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About Of Interest in Montgomery County

Valerie Bonk is a multimedia reporter and community engagement specialist with Montgomery Community Media as well as a dance teacher, choreographer and proud former homeschooler. Her blog will uncover the untold stories of Montgomery County and introduce diverse people and businesses of interest in the community. She can be reached... Read more

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Black History Month Profile: Julian Norment

In honor of Black History Month we’re profiling influential African-Americans who are giving back to the communities of Montgomery County. JN Photo

Read below to learn more about Julian Norment, the African-American Community Liaison in the Montgomery County Office of Community Partnerships.

What is your role in the community?

“As a community liaison, I meet with residents and listen to the issues concerning and effecting residents of Montgomery County.  Because I am the African American Community Liaison, my emphasis is on engaging the county’s African American communities and finding out how county government, business and/or nonprofit resources can make their lives a little bit better.  Within this broad goal, I try and encourage communities to work together as much as possible because there is strength in numbers as well as embodying the true meaning of community building and enhancement.”

What inspires you?

“I am easily inspired from stories of people displaying toughness and determination in order to accomplish their goals–whatever those goals may be.  Because I played college football and have always taken my academics and work seriously, it takes a certain toughness and determination to overcome adversity and reach your goals.  When I say toughness, many assume being tough is mainly a physical trait but if you are mentally and emotionally tough, you never have to worry about whether you are physically tough.  That will simply be a byproduct of the first two traits.”

What do you think needs to happen most in Montgomery County?

“Montgomery County is one of the most diverse counties in the nation.  Roughly a third of the county population is foreign born so that makes living and working here that much more unique and amazing.  However, as progressive as the county is in many aspects, human nature is to perceive people who are different from you–racially, culturally, economically, etc.–negatively.  People tend to not be as comfortable outside of their racial and cultural comfort zone but our younger residents–the Generation X and Generation Y populations–do a great job of breaking through the racial and cultural barriers that might happen to divide fellow residents.  We must continue to follow the lead of the younger residents to be comfortable and embrace our differences.  That is what makes our county so great.”

What does Black History Month mean to you?

“Black History Month is a time for me to reflect on the history of a people overcoming very long odds, experiencing blood sweat and tears and fighting painful laws and stereotypes along the way to marvel at how America has been influenced by this history.  As a “Generation X” county resident, I include the many musical and social influences, namely hip hop and its culture, as a part of Black History Month.  It is impossible to discuss American history without Black History.  I begin celebrating Black History Month in January because the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday and all of the historical references surrounding his life and accomplishments, begins my period of recognition.”

Valerie Bonk

About Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk is a multimedia reporter and community engagement specialist with Montgomery Community Media (MCM).


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