TULSA, Oklahoma - An award-winning writer and community activist received the Sankofa Freedom Award Saturday, February 8 at the Rudisill Regional Library.

Susan L. Taylor is perhaps best known as the former editor-in-chief of "Essence" magazine. She has authored several books including "Lessons In Living" and "In the Spirit: The Inspirational Writing of Susan L. Taylor."

She is also the only African-American woman recognized by the Magazine Publishers of American with the Henry John Fisher Award and the first to be inducted into the American Society of Magazine Editors Hall of Fame.

Her main focus in the present is the National CARES Mentoring Movement which pairs adults with at-risk children with the goal of increasing high school graduation rates among African American students and reducing violence and incarceration rates in African American communities.

The Sankofa Freedom Award is presented every other year in recognition of a nationally acclaimed person dedicated to educating and improving the African American community. It includes a $7,000 cash prize and engraved medallion.

"Sankofa" means remembering the past as we embrace the future.