What a grand affair as the Forward Times’ own CEO and Publisher celebrated her 60th Birthday in style in the backyard of her longtime home in Almeda Plaza in southeast Houston.
Karen Carter Richards celebrated her milestone birthday and was joined by several dignitaries, community leaders, family and friends, for the joyous occasion.
In attendance and sharing remarks at the celebration included: Mayor Sylvester Turner; Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee; Vice Mayor Pro Tem Martha Castex Tatum; State Representative Ron Reynolds; HCC Trustees Rhonda Skillern Jones and Dr. Reagan Flowers; former Houston City Councilmember Dwight Boykins; Justin Jordan; David Edwards; her children—Jesse and Nykala; and many more.
Many other close invited guests were in attendance. Attendees also enjoyed the sounds of DJ Supastar.
As stated, Karen runs the Forward Times Publishing Company, Inc., a multimedia company that publishes weekly, and is the largest Black owned and independently published newspaper in the southern region. She is the daughter of the late Julius P. Carter and Lenora “Doll” Carter, original Founder/Publishers of the historic publication which has served the community since 1960. Karen has continued the iconic legacy of her parents and after more than thirty years of working in the family business in various administrative and managerial positions, she has taken over the helm and transitioned the business into one of the leading multimedia companies in the country. As a second-generation publisher, Karen has creatively expanded the mission of the Forward Times and has continued her family’s publishing legacy to ensure that it remains the strongest information vehicle and most trusted voice for African Americans in the city of Houston and throughout the southern region. The Houston Forward Times has never missed a week of print.
Following the untimely death of her mother in 2010, Karen launched “The Julius and Lenora Carter Scholarship & Youth Foundation” which supports students by granting scholarships and internships to those who aspire to have a career in journalism and communications. The Foundation benefits low-to-moderate income high school seniors and college students who reside within the Greater Houston area. The Foundation has effectively partnered with local school districts, colleges and universities to offer internship opportunities to students which allow them to be exposed to various career options in the journalism and communications industry. The Foundation has provided over $35,000 in scholarships.
Because of her commitment and dedicated service, Karen has received numerous awards for her outstanding contributions, including the Texas Executive Women, “Women on the Move Award” Class of 2016, Tri-County Black Chamber of Commerce Living Legend ICON Award, “Top 25 Women of Houston,” International Financial Leadership Summit Award, National Council of Negro Women’s Mary McLeod Bethune Impact Service Award and many more. She serves on the Board of Directors for Greater Southeast Management District and the Houston Texans YMCA.
Karen served as First Vice-Chair for the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) from 2015-2019. She was also selected as NNPA Publisher of the Year in 2018. In June 2019 Karen was overwhelmingly voted as the new Chairman of the Board for the National Newspaper Publishers Association (The Black Press of America). NNPA is a trade association of the more than 200 African American-owned community newspapers from around the United States. She was unopposed and once again re-elected as Chair this past June.
Karen is a Senior Fellow with the American Leadership Forum (ALF) Class 48. Karen is currently serving on Texas Southern University School of Communication Advisory Board. Karen is also an inaugural member of the International Women’s Forum (IWF) – Houston Chapter, a singularly unique organization comprised of more than 6,000 dynamic women leaders in thirty-three countries and seventy-four forums around the world. In 2016 Karen served as the Chairperson of “Go Red Girlfriend” an African American Awareness Initiative for the American Heart Association. Karen served on the transition team for Mayor Sylvester Turner as a member of the Economic Opportunity Committee, which focused on increasing job opportunities and closing the income inequality gap in the City of Houston. Karen is a member of This Woman’s Work, Stepping into Strength (SIS) Mentoring Program which builds and develops young girls in the community to become resilient, fearless, educated and empowered.
Karen is the proud mother of three children: Jesse, Chelsea and Nykayla.
Happy 60th Birthday and many more Karen!