Michael Walker The Director of Black Male Student Achievement is Today’s Honoree

OBMSA Sept 10Michael Walker was selected as the Director of the Office of Black Male Student Achievement to lead efforts on behalf of the school district to eliminate the achievement gap between black male students and their MPS peers.

Mr. Walker’s history of working with young people as a coach and mentor will allow him to thrive in this new role.

The Office of Black Male Student Achievement is a new department created specifically to address the needs of the largest demographic group within MPS. It represents an equitable approach to tackling the challenges that exist for the school district’s black male students. Some of the stated goals for the department and the young, black men it will serve include reducing chronic absenteeism, remedying the disproportionate suspension and expulsion rates, raising persistently low graduation rates and increasing the number of students in advanced placement and honors courses.

Walker brings a career focus on youth development and helping black youth achieve success. He earned his undergraduate degree in physical education from Southwest Minnesota State University and his master’s degree in education from the University of Wisconsin – River Falls. From 1998 to 2006, Walker served as community outreach, program and youth development director at the YMCA of Greater St. Paul and Minneapolis, where he developed programs for social, academic, athletic and employment skills for youth and served as the coordinator of the Black Achievers program, an academic achievement and career development initiative for middle school and high school youth and teens.

Walker worked as a career and college coordinator for AchieveMpls at Roosevelt High School from 2006 to 2009 before serving Minneapolis Public Schools as Roosevelt’s dean of students from 2009 to 2011 and assistant principal from 2011 to the present.

Walker is a product of MPS, having attended Holland Elementary, Franklin and Sanford middle schools and Roosevelt High School. He and his wife have three children, two of whom are school-age and attend MPS.

Why have an office to help black boys?OBMSA Sept 8th v3

The degree to which racial disparities continue to persist in MPS is unacceptable. Native-born African American males consistently perform at or near the bottom on nearly all performance indicators in MPS. We must focus on supporting black male students in more aggressive and effective ways.

Walker is quick to note that his first job will be outreach. “We need to be engaging the community broader stakeholders,” he says. “I need to connect with black fraternities, churches — to have some extensive community engagement.

“We need to start talking to students as well,” he adds. “The one thing I don’t want to do is go out and start up initiatives and programs without talking to youth.”

Visit Michael Walker for more information.

Posted in Award, honoree, Recognition | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Beehive Foundation Co-Founder Michael Spiteri is Today’s Honoree

In September 2011, Mark and Michael Spiteri, fellow committee member of the Berwick Junior Football Club, and Di Ashton, Head of HR at Cardinia Council met up and developed the plan to formally establish the Beehive Foundation.  Over the next 6 months they shared the Beehive vision with parents and sporting associations alike, with interest and support spiralling at a significant rate.  Over 30 parents attended a planning session in July 2012, the event making the front cover of the local paper, and in August 2012, the Beehive Foundation was formally incorporated.​

A youth art show organised in just 5 weeks, opened in September 2012 by the City of Casey Mayor, with councillors from both Casey and Cardinia in attendance, over 150 people at the opening, and over 1000 visitors during the exhibition put the Beehive Foundation well and truly in minds of Casey community, as well as raising huge awareness of youth issues.

The Beehive Foundation is about providing Youth Support Through Sport .We are a new non-for profit organisation aimed at implementing structured programs to help our youth in the ages of 15 – 21 by developing coping strategies, and help develop self esteem & confidence through life skills that focus on work ethic, motivation, and goal setting. Beehive’s primary focus will be on Australia’s 3000+ junior sporting organisations – with over 1 million teenagers playing sport, supported by just under 1 million parent helpers.

We aim to make a huge difference! Our innovative programs will give youth the edge they need to meet challenges head on in sport, study, and life in general. We also aim to build awareness and understanding among parents who run sporting organisations whether it be in committee roles, coaching roles, team manager roles, or any role in a junior sporting club.

Visit The Beehive Foundation for more information.

Posted in Award, honoree, Recognition | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

City Of Atlanta Ethics Officer Nina Hickson is Today’s Honoree

NinaHicksonNINA R. HICKSON is the Ethics Officer.  Ms. Hickson provides leadership and direction for the administration in the areas of advice, training, public education and outreach, financial disclosure, and enforcement process. She has over 20 years experience in the legal field, including private practice, in house counseling, and governmental experience.

As the former City Attorney for the City of East Point, Ms. Hickson was responsible for a three million budget and had legal oversight and overview of the city’s activities; she also served as Interim Human Resources Director and Acting City Manager, performing the duties of General Counsel and successfully representing the City on various legal matters.

Prior to that, Ms. Hickson was the Presiding Judge for the Juvenile Court of Fulton County for several years where she handled the largest caseload in the State of Georgia, initiated a pilot adoption program which brought National Adoption Day to the State of Georgia, and brought a one million grant to the Juvenile Court to address the exploitation of children in Georgia.

Her community involvement is widespread, and she has received several awards for her commitment to child and human rights advocacy. Ms. Hickson has made several noteworthy television appearances including 20/20 Primetime and the Oprah Winfrey Show.  Ms. Hickson is barred in Georgia.

Visit Nina for more information.

Posted in Award, honoree, Recognition, women | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Northern Illinois University Associate Athletics Director Monique Bernoudy is Today’s Honoree

MoniqueBMonique Bernoudy enters her eighth year as Northern Illinois Associate Athletics Director and Director of NIU’s CHAMPS / Life Skills Programs and 16th year overall on the DeKalb campus.

Bernoudy is the life skill and community service liaison for Huskie Athletics, within the campus and community, while overseeing the support services program for student-athletes. She was previously responsible for the student-athlete academic programs, and developed a continuing education program for Huskie athletic staff and coaches. Bernoudy is currently pursuing her Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration at NIU.

This is Bernoudy’s second stint at NIU, as the Detroit, Michigan native served as an Assistant Director of Admissions from 1984-86 and an Academic Counselor in the College of Business from 1987-1992, while earning her masters degree in adult education.

Prior to her return to DeKalb, Bernoudy was the Director of Diversity Affairs at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business from 1996-99. While in Hyde Park, Bernoudy assisted with the recruitment and retention of under-represented candidates for MBA and Ph.D. degrees and served as a liaison for corporate relations and student support services.

Following her first tour of NIU, Bernoudy was the Director of Multicultural Programs at Valparaiso University. She collaboratively developed university Diversity and strategic plans.

Bernoudy, a 1983 graduate of Spelman College, played two years of collegiate basketball and lettered for the University of Michigan from 1978-80.

Visit Monique for more information.

Posted in Award, honoree, Recognition, women | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Leisa Dewy of Don’t Bully is Today’s Honoree

bulliesLeisa Dewy founded Don’t Bully to raise awareness about the issue of bullying and to campaign for putting in strategies to prevent bullying.

Don’t Bully® is passionate about getting its core message out in to the greater community. We believe that through awareness and education we can and will make a difference.

Anti bullying is our passion, not our pastime. Our goal is to educate this generation so future generations learn and know that it is not ok to bully.

Don’t Bully is a Registered Not4Profit.


• By generating awareness, opening discussions, evaluating current mindsets and attitudes towards bullying.
• Our aim is to address bullying and cyber bullying head on by promoting safe and responsible behavior within the Community and on-line. Don’t Bully® takes its awareness educational program into;

o Schools,
o after-school programs,
o sporting clubs,
o workplaces,

Basically anywhere bullying has an impact with our society. And of course our Mascot-“Bob” the Bull can also be there upon request.

Visit Don’t Bully for more information.

Posted in Award, honoree, Recognition, women | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Attorney Antavius Weems is Today’s Honoree

antavius-suitBefore working with Fulton County, Antavius Weems was an attorney with the City of Atlanta, representing the City in criminal preliminary hearings and trials. Mr. Weems also served as the liaison from the City Solicitor to the State Legislature, focusing on legislation that impacts the City’s legal standing in the criminal area.

Antavius is from Atlanta, Georgia, having graduated from G. W. Carver High School in Southeast Atlanta. He remains very active in his community, serving on several community boards and as the current President of his Homeowner’s Association.

Mr. Weems is very active in the Georgia Bar; He has served on the Board of Directors for the Young Lawyers Division of the State Bar of Georgia, as Co-Chair of the YLD Judicial Liaison Committee of the State Bar of Georgia, Co-Chair of the Aspiring Youth Program of the State Bar, Co-Chair of the Judicial Liaison committee of the YLD/State Bar, as well as a Vice President of Gate City Bar Association, and member of the American Bar Association, National Bar Association, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Minorities in the Profession Committee of the YLD section of the State Bar of Georgia, and the Atlanta Bar Association.

Currently Mr. Weems serves as the ninth President of the Georgia Alliance of African American Attorneys, which is a statewide Bar Association for minority lawyers in Georgia. He is also Board President of Keeping My Kids, Inc, and serves on the Board of People TV Atlanta.

While a student at Michigan State University School of Law, Mr. Weems served as the President of the Wolverine Student Bar Association/Black Law Student Association. In his term as President, he was very instrumental in re-establishing the connection with African American alumni of the school after the school moved from Detroit to East Lansing, by beginning the African American Alumni reception to honor alumni of the school.

It remains one of the more popular events for the law school. Mr. Weems also spearheaded a very successful fund-raiser, dubbed “Rumble in the Jungle,” wherein Law Professors competed against each other in a “moot-court” style competition that was judged by students. After his presidency, Mr. Weems went on to be elected as Vice Chair of the Midwest Region of the National Black Law Students Association, which is the largest region for the organization.

Mr. Weems graduated from Michigan State University-Detroit College of Law in June 2001, having received numerous awards, including the Wolverine Bar Association Award, the Judge Damon Keith Award from the Wolverine Bar Association and the Lansing Black Lawyers Scholarship. Antavius was also a member of the ATLA Civil Trial Advocacy Moot Court Board

Mr. Weems earned his B.A. from Clark Atlanta University in 1995 and also earned a Masters Degree in Social Work from the Whitney M. Young, Jr. School of Social work at Clark Atlanta University in 1998.

Professional & Bar Association Memberships

  • President, Georgia Alliance of African American Attorneys
  • 2004-2005 Executive Board, State Bar of Georgia Young Lawyers Division
  • National Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • American Trial Lawyers Association


  • One of Georgia’s “Super Lawyers”, 2005 Atlanta Magazine
  • 2005 “Rising Star” Top 40 Lawyers under 40, Fulton County Daily Report

Visit Antavius Weems for more information.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Entertainer Ozone Mayweather is Today’s Honoree


Ozone Mayweather aka 02DaZoneBabie is a 24 year old Senior Criminal Justice Major at Fort Valley State University. Ozone is originally from Buena Vista, GA who is an inspiring music artist who has been rapping for over a decade now. OM is a two time B.E.T. Black College Tour Freestyle Champ at Fort Valley State Univeristy.

“Ozone Mayweather” has a mixtape on Livemixtapes right now and his hit single “All I Want” is on Itunes & Amazon.com.

The pursuit of success has put Ozone in position to open up for multiple celebrities such as 2 Chainz, Pastor Troy, Rich Kidz, Stuey Rock, and Oj The Juice Man.

The goal of this future star after graduation is to find a job in the criminal justice field and use that opportunity to further his career in music.

Visit Ozone Mayweather for more information.

Posted in Award, celebrity, honoree, Recognition | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment