By Tim Jimenez
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Philadelphia Black Public Relations Society named an award after the late Karin Phillips, former KYW Newsradio Community Affairs reporter.
Inside the PECO building dozens of the organization’s members celebrated its annual ‘Milestones’ event honoring women in communications. For the first time, the Karin A. Phillips Excellence Award (K.A.P.E) was presented.
Darisha Miller, PBPRS Vice President, says Karin was a panelist at last year’s event. The organization wanted to remember Karin in some way following her passing.
“Karin is a “she-ro.” And when you think of Karin, you have to think about excellence,” Miller said. “I’m just happy that we were able to put this together.”
Romona Riscoe Benson, President and CEO of the African American Museum in Philadelphia, said Karin played a pivotal role in the museum’s success.
“Karin was right there from the beginning,” she said. “Covering all of the events that happened with the museum and always being available for the good news that we had to share with the public. She was there for all the openings, all the major events. She never said no.”
The organization plans on giving out the K.A.P.E award every year to a woman who, in the spirit of Karin’s work, gives voice to the people and organizations that make a positive impact on the community. The inaugural winner is Loraine Ballard Morrill, News and Community Affairs Director of Clear Channel Philadelphia. She said Karin influences her every day.
“In the back of my head I’m thinking, ‘This is what Karin would think or this is what Karin might do,’ because she really has been and was an inspiration for me,” she said.
Morrill, emotional as she accepted the award, spoke of once being able to nominate Karin for a human relations award that the late reporter eventually won.
“I feel so happy that I was able to allow the world to acknowledge her in that way, especially now that she’s not with us,” Morrill said. “At least at that time she was given the kind of appreciation and acknowledgement that she richly, richly deserved.”
But on this night it was Morrill receiving the appreciation and acknowledgement, along with an award bearing Karin’s name.