A handful of community leaders were recognized for their contributions as Lehigh County launched its celebration of Black History Month.

An event was held Monday afternoon to honor members of the African American community.

The honorees were chosen by members of the Rising Sun Initiative as part of Lehigh County's bicentennial festivities.

Awards were handed out for excellence in the business, civic and academic sectors and for community service and leadership.

Organizers said it's a great way to start Black History Month.

"To build up people and to continue to impact in a positive way, kids and even adults. It's the right thing to do. It's the right thing to lift them up, to edify them.  It's their moment," said Fred Montgomery.

WFMZ's Jaciel Cordoba was named honoree in the media industry by the Rising Sun Initiative.