Mignon Richmond, D.H. Oliver and Green Flake are names that may sound unfamiliar now. But thanks to the Utah Statehood Centennial Commission, they won't be next year.

Richmond, Oliver and Flake were black Utahns who achieved community firsts. First to graduate from Utah State University, first to practice law in the state and first to trek with Mormon pioneers in 1847, respectively.With grants in the amount of $5,000 to the Governor's Office of Black Affairs and $1,500 to Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.'s "Project Cherish," Utahns - African-American and otherwise - will be better-versed on the contributions and history of blacks in the Beehive State.

Kim Burningham, executive director of the Utah Statehood Centennial Commission, noted that 141 grants have already gone out to various ethnic, arts, education and restoration programs. Those grants range from a low of $500 to a high - to the Utah Symphony - of $30,000. Grant monies come courtesy of sales of centennial license plates. Burningham said a little more than $2 million has been raised from sales of the commemorative plates.

Betty Sawyer, director of the Governor's Office of Black Affairs, said her office will use the funds to complete an hourlong video for public television broadcast and a traveling exhibit for private reserve with scholastic study guides.

Tracy Henderson, treasurer of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, said her group will use its funds to restore and/or resurrect burial sites of "black people who had an impact on the state of Utah." The Deltas will also install brass plate markers on buildings of historical significance to blacks throughout the state, while indicating them on a color trail map in conjuntion with the Governor's Office of Black Affairs. This project, called "Project Cherish," is a year-old program started by the national chapter of Delta Sigma Theta.

"(The grant is) an added bonus," Henderson said. "It's a mandate from our sorority, along with the other four (participant) states. We were going to do it anyway."

According to Henderson, a one-year-resident of Utah, blacks' contributions somehow "got lost some-where in the shuffle." Sawyer, a 20-year resident, noted that this is black Utahns' chance "to tell our story."

Sawyer had the idea for the video project 1 1/2 years ago after viewing a similar documentary produced in 1988 by KUED and KSL.

"One video in 100 years is not sufficient. We are much more talented than one video could begin to address," Sawyer said. "It was a great start, but there is a lot of information we don't know. We want to open up the archives . . . and make it available to all."

The Governor's Office of Black Affairs wants Utahns and visitors to know, for example, that the Marshall White Community Center in Ogden was the first state building named after an African-American (Marshall White was a slain police officer). And that Calvary Baptist Church, in downtown Salt Lake City, is the state's oldest African-American church. Or remind them that a section of Fort Douglas Cemetery, near the University of Utah, is the final resting place of Buffalo Soldiers from the 9th U.S. Cavalry and 24th Infantry.

"These sites should be cherished. They're to uplift and preserve (our culture)," Henderson said. "A lot of people don't realize there is anything here. For a lot of people, (the centennial projects are) going to be quite an eye-opener."