Xernona Clayton Headshot
Report a problem with this profile
[email protected]

Xernona Clayton      

Civil Rights Leader, Broadcast Executive, Founder, President & CEO of the Trumpet Awards Foundation

Xernona Clayton is the Founder, President and CEO of the Trumpet Awards Foundation, Inc. and Creator of the Foundation’s Trumpet Awards. The Trumpet Awards is a prestigious event highlighting African American accomplishments and contributions. Initiated in 1993 by Turner Broadcasting, the Trumpet Awards has been televised annually and distributed internationally to over 185 countries around the world.

Ms. Clayton began her television career in 1967 and became the south’s first Black person to have her own television show. The Xernona Clayton show was a regular feature on WAGA-TV, CBS affiliate in Atlanta.

Xernona Clayton was employed at Turner Broadcasting for nearly 30 years where she served as a corporate executive. In 1988, Xernona Clayton was appointed Corporate Vice President for Urban Affairs with Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.

Ms. Clayton moved to Atlanta in 1965 where she accepted a position with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and worked closely with the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dedicated to promoting racial understanding, Xernona Clayton has been a leader in civic projects and civil rights activities for several years. In 1966, she coordinated the activities of Atlanta’s Black doctors in a project called Doctors’ Committee for Implementation, which resulted in the desegregation of all hospital facilities in Atlanta.

Her persistent fight against the dragons of prejudice and bigotry was never more apparent than in 1968, when the Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan denounced the Klan and credited Ms. Clayton’s influence with his change.

“The Peaceful Warrior” a biography of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. authored by her late husband Ed Clayton and co-authored by Ms. Clayton in the revised editions, has been published in several languages. Xernona Clayton’s autobiography, “I’ve Been Marching All the Time”, was published in 1991.

NAMIC (the National Association of Minorities in Cable) presented, to Ms. Clayton, its highest award, the Mickey Leland Award, which honors the late United States Congressman. Ms. Clayton, along with former Congressman Kweisi Mfume and the late Commerce Secretary Ronald Brown, was awarded the 1996 Distinguished Leadership Award by NAFEO (The National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education) at impressive ceremonies in Washington, D.C. She also received NAFEO’s 2003 Corporate Award. She has received Honorary Doctorate of Letters Degrees from Clark Atlanta University, Tennessee State University and Alcorn State University. A school was recently named in her honor in Ghana, West Africa. Along with her other honors, she has received the first Coretta Scott King Award from the SCLC (Southern Christian Leadership Conference) the Madam C. J. Walker Award from EBONY’S Outstanding Women in Marketing and Communications and the Outstanding Corporate Professional Award from the PowerNetworking Family. The Atlanta City Council honored her by naming a street and a park in downtown Atlanta.

In private life, she is married to Judge Paul L. Brady.

Related Speakers View all


More like Xernona