Originally published on syracuse.com by Timia Cobb
To honor decades of his work in community affairs as an activist and journalist, local radio host George Kilpatrick has been awarded the 2023 Pioneer Public Service Award by the Concerned Citizens Action Program.
Kilpatrick created his radio show, “Inspiration for the Nation,” 20 years ago. Kilpatrick said he started the show to share the positive and celebratory stories of Black people that are sometimes overshadowed by too many negative ones.
Kilpatrick said he never thought his show would last two decades.
“I felt that it was necessary to show a side of our community that many of us interact with every day but don’t see those images reflected,” Kilpatrick said. “So I created that show because I wanted folks in our community to have a place where the identities, their heritage and their history was affirmed.”
Kilpatrick was nominated for the award by Vicki Brackens of Brackens Financial Solutions Network. Along with the considered successes from his radio show, Kilpatrick is an active community member. The former570 WSYR radio host has received numerous recognition for his journalism, including work that focuses on HIV and AIDS in Central New York. He is also a spokesperson for Jazz in the City, a public concert series hosted by at Syracuse Community Health.
On “Inspiration for the Nation,” Kilpatrick has interviewed many influential Black figures and activists, such as Gladys Knight, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Johnnie Cochran and the Rev. Al Sharpton.
Kilpatrick talks about Black issues on the show. He explains how Black people navigate the world, introduces methods for finding a job and discusses how to work through mental health issues and trauma. Kilpatrick does all this while boosting local resources and acknowledging how Syracuse’s Black community continues to uplift each other by lending a helping hand.
He received his award at the annual CNY Jazz Black History Cabaret on Feb. 26. He was also presented with proclamations that acknowledged his award by Assemblywoman Pamela Hunter, (D-Syracuse) and state Sen. Rachel May, (D-Syracuse). Kilpatrick said receiving the award was exciting and appreciative to learn his community believes in his work and its meaning.
“It was one of the biggest moments, I would say. I was being affirmed by my community, specifically, for the work I’ve been doing,” Kilpatrick said.
Inspiration for the Nation Sunday morning at 9 AM ET power 620: the iHeartRadio app and wherever you get your podcast.