Crump, Haymaker to receive Baton Rouge humanitarian award

Maxine Crump and Richard Haymaker are to be honored Thursday with the 34th annual Powell-Renznikoff Humanitarian Award by the Baton Rouge Council on Human Relations.

Since 1978, the award has been a way to recognize those residents who have worked to eliminate prejudice and discrimination in Baton Rouge, according to the council’s website.

Crump is the executive director of Dialogue on Race Louisiana, an educational movement that aims to end racial divides in the community. She has served as board president for YWCA and worked as a broadcast journalist.

Crump, who began her broadcast career as an announcer with WXOK and WFMF radio stations, served 15 years at WAFB-TV. She also worked one year at BET News and eight years at Ascension Parish Television, where she produced “Ascension on the Move.”

“I’m hoping that I got the award for the work that I’ve done and to motivate me to continue the work and to inspire others to know that there is meaning and need for this kind of work,” Crump said.

Crump said she is inspired to do humanitarian work through Dialogue on Race Louisiana because she finds there is still a “vivid” racial divide in Baton Rouge.

“People who come in to visit Baton Rouge often speak about how visible the racial divide is and how shocking it is to them and how normally people react to it here,” she said. “It shouldn’t be normal. We definitely need to be a city that stands up for that and speaks up for that.”

Haymaker, a retired LSU physics and astronomy professor, said he has worked with the Baton Rouge Council on Human Relations for more than 20 years, including a three-year stint as its president from 2002 to 2005.

“Twenty years ago, I saw A.Z. Young, the great civil rights activist from Bogalusa, win the award,” Haymaker said. “Of course, I never dreamed that I’d ever be in that category.”

In 1992, Haymaker and his family hosted Japanese exchange student Yoshihiro “Yoshi” Hattori, who was shot and killed in Central after stopping at the wrong house while trying to find a Halloween party.

After Hattori’s death, Haymaker and his wife, Holley, became outspoken gun control activists.

The Haymakers met with then-President Bill Clinton about gun control strategies and pushed for Congress to pass the assault weapons ban in 1994.

In 1993, the Haymakers shared the Wade Mackie Peacemaking Award, given by the Bienville House Center for Peace and Justice to recognize Baton Rouge residents who have helped foster peace with justice.

He earned a Brij Mohan distinguished professorship at LSU in 2001.

Haymaker said he decided to join the Baton Rouge Council on Human Relations in June 1993 after he was invited to speak to council members about gun violence.

“My feeling is that there are many ways to work against gun violence, and one way is to build effective, strong communities,” he said.

The award ceremony dinner will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Wesley Foundation of Campus Ministry at 748 Harding Blvd.