Montgomery Serves Awards 2020

Congratulations to the 2020 Montgomery Serves Awards honorees. These individuals, businesses, and groups have demonstrated remarkable commitment to service and volunteerism in our community, earning them Montgomery County's highest recognition for their contributions.

Roscoe R. Nix Distinguished Community Service Award 

Honoring extraordinary contributions to the quality of our community

Anita Neal PowellAnita Neal Powell

Lifelong Montgomery County resident Anita Neal Powell is a community activist, advocate, researcher, historian, and public speaker. She received a Bachelor of Public Administration degree from the University of the District of Columbia and a Certificate of Leadership from Montgomery College’s Nonprofit Leadership Institute. Her career with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services spanned 50 years. 

As the Founding President and CEO of the Lincoln Park Historical Foundation and the Leroy E. Neal African American Research Center, she is committed to researching, documenting, preserving and sharing the rich cultural heritage of historically Black communities in Montgomery County and other parts of the state. 

Anita is the expert to turn to for information about Black history in the county. She is the author of several publications, a frequent keynote speaker, and has been featured in documentaries, talk shows, and television interviews. 

Anita has played a major role in coordinating projects with the Montgomery County government, collaborating on activities like Black History Month, Juneteenth, the Maryland Civil Rights Bus Tour, and Tracking the Footprints of African Americans. As a voting rights advocate, Anita served as a Montgomery County precinct chair and helps conduct voter registration for local, state, and national elections. Since COVID-19, she has been hosting webinars on the importance of voting and encouraging others to become involved in voter registration. 

The list of Anita’s civic contributions is long.  She has served in leadership positions on the Rockville Historic District Commission, the Montgomery County Fire and Emergency Services Commission, the Maryland State Harriet Tubman Statue Commission, the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture, the Montgomery County NAACP, the Maryland NAACP, Montgomery College Alumni Association, and Blacks in Government. 

She was recognized as one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women in 2007 and was inducted into the Montgomery County Human Rights Hall of Fame in 2006. Anita also has been honored by the Maryland NAACP and the Montgomery County NAACP, the Montgomery County African-American Chamber of Commerce, the Montgomery County Chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, and others. 

Through her activism, Anita Neal Powell has enhanced community pride by focusing on the contributions made by African Americans. By encouraging community participation and facilitating communication between diverse groups, she has helped Montgomery County become a more just place and a model of tolerance and forward thinking. 

See all of this year's honorees