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Tag: Inspo

2021 Feb. Mag

Dr. Karen Patricia Williams

Meet this trail-blazer, visionary, and thought-leader.

Dr. Karen Patricia Williams is a Nursing Distinguished Professor of women’s health at The Ohio State University College of Nursing and director of the Martha S. Pitzer Center for Women, Children and Youth. She is also a member of the Cancer Control Program at the OSUCCC – James, where her research focuses on cancer prevention and control within cancer disparities. 

The Martha S. Pitzer Center for Women, Children and Youth at The Ohio State University College of Nursing is internationally renowned for the discovery of new knowledge and its translation into real world settings to optimize health and wellness outcomes in infants, children, adolescents and women through health promotion and risk reduction. 

In her role as director, Dr. Williams is charged with thought leadership within and outside of the Center. This includes faculty recruitment, development and management, education, research, and expanding the Center’s footprint throughout the community engagement. Her goal is to help foster the Center’s vision to align with the College of Nursing as well as the goals of the university.  

In addition to leading the Martha S. Pitzer Center for Women, Youth, and Children, Dr. Williams is deeply involved in her own research that she has passionately pursued over several decades; The Kin Keeper which focuses on breast and cervical cancer prevention and control. 

With funding from the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Williams developed the Kin Keeper Cancer Prevention Intervention to address, in part, the continuous cancer burden carried by disenfranchised women of color and women with limited resources. Targeting breast and cervical cancers, the Kin Keeper Intervention has been implemented and tested with Black, Latina and Arab women. Her area of expertise is in community-based participatory research and women’s health policy. She has been involved in the evolution of women’s health research from fragmentation to the transition of bench to bedside to barrio (community) with mixed methodology, quantitative and qualitative to address health disparities.

Currently, Dr. Williams and her team are workingto identify factors and cofactors in the mechanistic and multilevel pathways of resilience and allostatic load that serve as protective and/or predictive factors of cardiovascular disease risk among Black women across the lifespan. Additionally, they are investigating the intersection of female cancers and cardiovascular disease risk in Black women.

Dr. Williams is a fierce advocate of women being seated at the table. She works tirelessly to expand the voices of women and our community in the boardroom. She believes that representation in various sectors will help drive corporate decisions that will empower leadership roles at the C-Suite level. Dr. Williamsserves in leadership roles in several national civic organizations that specifically focus on meeting the needs of women — Delta Sigma Theta, The Links Incorporated, Michigan Women’s Foundation, the YWCA, and others. Fueled by her faith, “To much is given, much is required,” is embedded in her mission to pay it forward and give back to various scholarships and endeavors that empower women and girls. Her advocacy for women, especially women of color, has been recognized by several organizations.

A graduate of Temple University (Philadelphia, PA) and Michigan State University (East Lansing, MI), Dr. Williams’ work has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals, including Contemporary Clinical TrialsStatistics in MedicineWomen’s HealthJournal of Cancer and Journal of Urban Health. A former journalist, Dr. Williams has been featured in several national publications including Huffington PostInside the OfficeMSU TodayStar TribuneWalker’s Legacy, and  Circulation to name a few. As a trailblazer and a visionary thought leader, she is a sought-after conference speaker and media spokesperson.

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2021 Jan. Mag

2021 Jan. Mag.

Denise Smith is a creative and passion driven leader and a dedicated volunteer to her community and public education.

Denise Smith is a creative and passion driven leader with over 29 years of non-profit and volunteer experience who uses her carefully honed people skills in fund raising, event planning and program development. A dedicated volunteer to her community and public education, she has worked to implement positive change for students of all ages. She studied Fashion Merchandising and Design and puts the skills learned from her past career in store management to use in volunteering. She has lived in six states and has enjoyed calling each one home.

She is currently a resident of northern California’s Bay Area and is married to her high school sweetheart and husband of 33 years and is the mother of two sons (ages 29 and 23). After Denise retired from retail to raise her sons, she began volunteering in their public schools and parent organizations. She quickly became a community leader and school activist, working closely with school boards and administrations in fund raising and district operations. Denise continues to use her skills in problem identification and solving and is experienced with directing large volunteer and student populations of diverse ages and backgrounds to help her community.

She is a proud member of The Links, Incorporated and The Girl Friends, Incorporated. Denise is concentrating on bringing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S.T.E.M.) learning virtually to students within the Western Area for the Links, Incorporated in a broader reach during the pandemic. Denise has also rediscovered a love of painting with oil on canvas.

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2020 Dec. Mag

2020 Dec. Mag.

April Lieberman is a rotarian on a mission!

April Lieberman is Rotary District 6760’s Governor for 2020-2021. April is the fourth woman to serve in this role in the 106-year history of her District, which serves 61 Rotary clubs across Middle and West Tennessee. She is one of 535 District Governors leading Rotary International in over 200 countries, representing 1.4 million Rotarians and Rotaractors in over 46,000 clubs.

In discussing her goals, “Rotary’s theme this year is ‘Rotary Opens Opportunities.’ When my class left the Rotary International Assembly in San Diego in late January, we couldn’t have imagined how much the world would change in just a few short weeks. Yet with the unprecedented needs presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, we also have great opportunities for service.”

“I am challenging our Rotarians to find those community needs which are not currently being met, and pull resources together and rally to launch new club service projects. Whether organizing mobile food pantries, sponsoring medical equipment and protective gear, or supporting our frontline healthcare providers, I want our communities to know Rotary is there.”

“My other call to service for 2020-2021 is for Rotarians to be peacebuilders in our communities. It is unacceptable for my friends to live in fear that their children might not come back home at night because they live in Black skin. I want Rotary to do what it does best and pull together community leaders to discuss these issues of racial injustice and help forge solutions.”

“We talk about race, but usually only with our close friends or family, who probably look a lot like us. We rarely talk about race across racial lines. For the most part, we worship separately—there are Black churches and White churches. We socialize separately. We might live in different neighborhoods. We talk about each other, but we seldom talk to each other.”

“Rotarians can play a unique role. In Rotary, we welcome members of every race, gender, ability, sexual orientation, and religion. We bring together community leaders of every background, creed, and ideology, putting our energies into championing those issues on which we can agree, one of which is Peacebuilding and Conflict Resolution. But peace isn’t just something that is needed in warzones overseas. I am challenging our members to be peacebuilders right here in our own town squares.”

“We Rotarians live by the ideal of the Four-Way Test of the things we think, say, and do–valuing truth, fairness, and building goodwill and better friendships for the benefit of all. It is our charge to ensure that we treat all with basic fairness, not just in our actions as individuals, but collectively as a society. This is not a matter of politics; it is a matter of basic human rights.”

“We cannot have peace until we have equal justice for all. But to address the problem, we must admit the underlying truth—that Black Americans for too long have been systematically discriminated against and brutalized by our institutions. It is time for us White Americans to stand with our Black friends and neighbors and say, ‘We’re not going to have this anymore.’”

“Anyone who feels that we all deserve fair treatment should come on over and join us in Rotary and be part of the solution. Anyone who feels helpless watching the devastating effects of this pandemic in the media, come join in the relief efforts in your community, or start your own Rotary club to serve those most in need. We are People of Action, and we welcome you.”

April Lieberman is a Yale Law graduate and former appellate attorney. She served as a federal judicial law clerk to the Honorable Rosemary Barkett of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and was admitted to practice before the District of Connecticut, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second and Eleventh Circuits, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

April played Division I college basketball at Austin Peay State University. She graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Vanderbilt University in 1991 with an A.B. degree in Philosophy.

She discovered her passion for service after joining Rotary in 2013, serving as Club President, Assistant Governor, Newsletter Editor, Public Image Coordinator, and now District Governor. She supports the work of The Rotary Foundation as a multilevel Paul Harris Fellow, member of the Paul Harris Society and the Bequest Society.

District 6760 honored April as Rotarian of the Year in 2018-2019 for launching #ItsTimeRI, an international campaign advocating for women to lead in all levels of Rotary International. She is incredibly proud that Jennifer Jones of Canada, recently selected as RI President for 2022-2023, will be the first woman to lead Rotary International in its 115-year history.

April’s older daughter Tennessee is a Middle Eastern Studies major at Tel Aviv University in Israel. Her younger daughter, Willie D, is studying European History at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. April spends her free time renovating her 1850s Gothic Revival home, which happens to be Northwest Tennessee’s most infamous haunted house.  

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2020 Nov. Mag

2020 Nov. Mag.

Celebrated business leader, philanthropist, and entrepreneur, Latanya Boatwright is a woman with a mission.

Celebrated business leader, philanthropist, and entrepreneur, Latanya Boatwright is a woman with a mission. Although she is a native of Georgia, Latanya has had the opportunity to live across the globe while growing up in a military household. She earned a dual Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering and Mathematics from Clark Atlanta University and received a Master of Business Administration degree in Finance from Keller Graduate School of Business. Additionally, Latanya obtained a certificate of Financial Analysis to further elevate her skills.

For more than twenty years, Latanya has excelled in employment opportunities in Corporate America with Major Fortune 500 Companies. Her leadership skills and team spirit have played a significant role in transforming the cultures where she has worked. Presently, she works closely with corporate executives to help identify financial risks and opportunities while providing sound fiscal advice.
Latanya is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. She currently serves as the President of the Legacy of Pearls Foundation, Inc., the philanthropic arm of the Sigma Omega Omega Chapter of the sorority. As a board member of Legacy of Peals Foundation, she has played a significant role in community programs and securing scholarship funds for our youth. As a respected leader in the community, Latanya sits on several nonprofit boards and is an active member of other community organizations.

Always ready to face a new challenge, Latanya recently launched a natural, organic body care product line, Body by Shambre. Her additional business interest includes real estate. In fact, she is a member of an African American real estate association whose goal is to become a premier real estate investment group with holdings throughout the country.

While navigating her busy schedule, you will frequently notice Latanya wearing Cerese D Jewelry.

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2020 Oct. Mag

2020 Oct. Mag.

Vashti-Jasmine Saint-Jean has a heart for transforming inner-city ministry and helping ministries flourish beyond the status quo.

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A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Vashti-Jasmine Saint-Jean has a heart for transforming inner-city ministry and helping ministries flourish beyond the status quo.

Bringing a variety of experience to the church, Pastor Jasmine utilizes the skills garnered from being in the television and live entertainment business along with her Administration of Justice background having served as an officer and a agent for Justice and National Security.

Jasmine is a graduate of Howard University and Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary as well as holds a certificate in Youth and Theology from Princeton Seminary.

She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and a member of the Collin County Alumnae Chapter. She is also a lifetime member of Alpha Phi Omega Fraternity and has served on various Board of Directors.

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2020 Sept. Mag

2020 Sept. Mag.

Eula Lewis-Spivey is keeping learning alive!

Eula Lewis-Spivey is a native of Minden, Louisiana with 31 years of continuous leadership and service as an educator for DeKalb County School District in Stone Mountain, Georgia. She received her Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Since 1989, she has enthusiastically taught several grade levels at Fairington Elementary School. Currently she is the English to Speakers of Other Languages Teacher (ESOL) for Kindergarten-Second Grade Students. She is wholeheartedly dedicated to serving the students, cohorts, parents, and other stakeholders at Fairington Elementary School and within her diverse community.

She is a dedicated wife of 22 years to Mr. Clarence Spivey and the proud parent to seven spirited children and five energetic grandchildren. She’s an avid doll collector and an antique thrifting junkie in her spare time. She is a member of the Ray Hope Christian Church, where she serves as an esteemed member with the Daughters of Destiny, a part of the Women’s Ministry where she develops, provides and promotes holistic ministry opportunities to women of the Ray of Hope Christian Church and the surrounding community.

She has been a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. for 33 years; she is currently a member of Stone Mountain-Lithonia Alumnae Chapter (SM-LAC) in Lithonia, Georgia, where she has served in various leadership roles and currently serving as the Recording Secretary since 2017. She is a Southern University Federation Life Member and serves as the Treasurer for the Southern University Alumni Atlanta Chapter. She serves as a Georgia team member with Delta Research Educational Foundation’s Teachers Advocating to lead Great change (TAG) 2.0 (Washington, DC) where she is responsible for creating and distributing marketing communication via social media. She also serves as the 2 nd Vice President for the National Council of Negro Women, Inc. (NCNW) Dekalb. As the 2 nd Vice President Mrs. Lewis-Spivey is responsible for membership recruitment, retention and reclamation of members. She is the Professional Learning Liaison (PLL), BETA and Girlz Sparkles’ sponsor at Fairington Elementary School. Because of her dedication and hard work, she was selected as one of the presenters for Grades 1-3 ACCESS 2.0 Speaking training. Most recently she was accepted into the Junior League of Atlanta and Hands on Atlanta Civic Leadership programs.

As an educator/parent she has worked tirelessly as: a mentor, a Teacher Support Specialist, a grade chairperson, a P.T.S.A. Recording Secretary (Fairington Elementary), the Sunshine Committee Chairperson (Fairington Elementary), the P.T.S.A. President (Rockbridge Elementary), the P.T.S.A. Treasurer (Stone Mountain Middle and High School), Teacher of the Year (2009), Gifted Teacher Endorsement Participant, Georgia Association for Gifted Children member, Delta Teacher Efficacy Campaign/Teacher Efficacy Academy Participant, ESOL Endorsement Participant and a member of National Educator Association.

Within our community Mrs. Lewis-Spivey has exhibited leadership roles such as a Girl Scouts Troop Leader, Central DeKalb Cheer Coach, OUTCHAMIND Mentor for At-Risk Youths, INC., Stone Mountain High School Varsity Cheer Team Mom, Wade Walker Park Executive Board Member-At-Large, Windy Ridge Board Member, Windy Ridge HOA Secretary, Executive Board Member for SM-LAC, Educational Development Committee Chair for SM-LAC, a member of the National Council of Negro Woman, Inc. (NCNW), Assistant Corresponding Secretary for the NCNW DeKalb and a Decatur YMCA Board Member.

As you see Mrs. Lewis- Spivey is a fervent leader that has a proven track record in leading within her school and community, setting vision, and strategy, and driving results that shows how she has proactively made a difference by disseminating knowledge and educated all she’s encountered in her 30+ years of service.

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2020 Aug. Mag

2020 Aug. Mag.

Daphne Ferguson-Young, DDS, MSPH, FACD, FICD has spent over forty years as a General Dentist and Academician.

Daphne Ferguson-Young, DDS, MSPH, FACD, FICD has spent over forty years as a General Dentist and Academician. She is the current national President for the American Association of Women Dentists – this organization is 100 years old and she is the 100th President as of 2020 – 2021. She is also a full-time Professor in the Division of Surgical Sciences at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee where she has been a faculty member for a quarter of a century. Currently, she is the Director of the General Practice Residency program. At Meharry, she participates on several college committees and has served in numerous leadership capacities.

Daphne Ferguson YoungShe started her dental career as a staff dentist at a FQHC which led her to a career in public health dentistry. Prior to her academic appointment, Dr. Ferguson-Young maintained a private practice, practiced as a staff dentist at Matthew Walker Community Health Center and was a contract dentist for Indian Health Services. No stranger to wearing multiple hats while leading, Dr. Ferguson-Young served 12 years in the United States Army Reserves. Her transition from classroom to the sands of the Middle East made the front page of the Tennessean and was reported in newspapers around the country when she was deployed to Iraq in 2004. She retired from the Army at the rank of Lt. Colonel with many awards and accolades for her dedication, bravery, and commitment.

Her service to our country and her undeniable military leadership skills made Dr. Ferguson-Young the perfect candidate to serve as Meharry’s liaison to Hawler Medical College, School of Dentistry in Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq to assist with their curriculum committee. Her firsthand knowledge and experiences with the culture and the people were invaluable and made the collaboration between the two institutions a great partnership.

No stranger to humanitarian missions and a firm advocate in building partnerships that further dental health around the globe in underserved communities, Dr. Ferguson-Young for nearly a decade has accompanied the D3 dental students on a Jamaican dental mission trip, sponsored by the Jamaican Awareness Association of California (JAAC). Each year, dental students of Meharry devote a week providing dental services to hundreds of patients. Dr. Ferguson-Young has served as Co-Director of the dental team. JAAC provides medical, educational, mental health, and technology services to underprivileged areas of Jamaica. In addition to serving with JAAC-Meharry’s yearly mission, Dr. Ferguson-Young has traveled to Jamaica to provide dental services to school age children with The Links, Incorporated in the last several years.

Dr. Ferguson-Young’s hands-on philanthropy and compassionate leadership has been known around the globe. But she is also nationally and locally recognized as well. She served for 10 years on the Governing Board of Matthew Walker Community Health Center, a local community health center that provides affordable care for underinsured and uninsured Middle Tennesseans. In 2011, she completed The ADEA Leadership Institute as a scholarship Fellow. The ADEA Leadership Institute is a year-long program designed to develop the nation’s most promising individuals at academic dental institutions to become future leaders in dental and higher education. In 2013, she was inducted into the American College of Dentists in New Orleans. An invitation only organization, the American College of Dentists members are selected by their exemplified excellence in leadership through outstanding service and contributions to dentistry and society.

Dr. Ferguson-Young has also made history in her leadership roles. In 2020, she became the fourth African American woman to lead the American Association of Women Dentists, a 99-year-old professional organization that is a leading “resource for advancing, connecting and enriching the lives of women dentists.” Prior to becoming President of the nationally distinguished dental organization, Dr. Ferguson-Young has served on the AAWD’s Board of Directors in the capacities of Director of Federal Services, Vice-President and President-Elect. She has also served and held leadership roles in the National Dental Association, PanTN, and Capital City Dental Society. She is a member of the American Dental Association, Tennessee Dental Association, and Nashville Dental Society.

Dr. Ferguson-Young received her BS degree from North Carolina A & T State University and her DDS and MSPH degrees from Meharry Medical College. Raised to be an active participant in her community, she is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha and The Links, Incorporated. In the 2020, she was an Athena 2020 nominee, nominated by the Parthenon (TN) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated.

When she is not serving or leading others, she travels extensively for adventure and reads with abandonment. She is a patron of the arts. She avidly collects and encourages young African American artists. She is the proud mother of recording artist and songwriter, Spree Wilson.

Daphne Ferguson Young

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2020 July Mag

2020 July Mag

Meet Phyllis L. Jones, a visionary leader and trail blazer who is detailed to the core!

Phyllis L. Jones is a visionary leader and trail blazer for innovative service and programs. She strives to instill the values of leadership through service, lifelong learning and social inclusiveness for all mankind.

Phyllis has proven success as an administrator and consultant in the health care field for over 35 years. She has worked in non-profits, specialty centers and multi-million dollar organizations. She developed strategies in the management of billing, personnel, budgeting, marketing, contracting, and operation improvement resulting in increased revenues and multi-state expansions.

She is a notable event designer and her work includes weddings, luncheons, galas, corporate events, and national conferences. Her attention to details coupled with her ability to be task-oriented, afforded her the opportunity to serve as the lead designer of social occasions for local, regional and national dignitaries.

Phyllis volunteers her time and energy motivating and inspiring youth to become productive citizens and world leaders. Volunteer activities and collaborations include: The Melvin Jones Foundation, Inc., Pearls of Service Foundation, Inc. (IVY L.E.A.G.U.E.), Rotary Youth Leadership Association, Performing Arts Academy for Youth and the West Tennessee Kidney Foundation. She consistently works toward the betterment of human relations.

She has received honors, awards and recognitions for her Community service from the Tennessee House of Representatives, Tennessee Economic Business Council, YWCA, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and the Tri-State Defender.

Phyllis currently serves as the At Large Director on the Alpha Kappa Alpha Educational Advancement Foundation, Inc. Board, Former South Eastern EAF Regional Coordinator of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. She is a Life Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Former President and charter member of Phi Lambda Omega Chapter, visionary for the chapter’s Pearls of Service Foundation, Inc., and Former President of Pearls of Service Foundation, Inc.

She is a native Memphian and a graduate of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville with a Bachelor and Master’s Degree in Public Health Administration. She is a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator.

Phyllis is married to Reginald Jones and has one son Reginald, II (Angela).

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2020 June Mag

2020 June Mag.

Meet Bev Johnson: The Queen of Talk Radio!

Bev Johnson, Memphis native and veteran radio show host, made history by shattering glass ceilings when she became the first African American woman inducted into the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame. 

Born Beverly Elaine Johnson to the parents of the late William Van Johnson and Atlas Danner Johnson.  A 1970 graduate of Ann Arbor Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Bev received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Rust College in English Literature 1975, and Master of Science Degree in Educational/Media Technology in 1979 from Jackson State University. 

Bev’s broadcasting journey began in 1976 at WJSU Radio which eventually lead her to WOKJ, WJMI, and WKXI Radio stations in Jackson, Mississippi working as disc jockey, programming assistant, public affairs director, and news director. In 1981, the journey continued to Memphis, Tennessee  working at WLOK, WMQM, WWEE/WLVS, and now the legendary WDIA Radio, America’s first Black Radio station, where she has been employed for 37 years, and continues to host “The Bev Johnson Show,” in its 33rd year.  Bev has been in radio broadcasting for 44 years and is known affectionately as “The Queen of Talk” around the country.

Always civic minded, Bev received a certification degree in Substance Abuse Counseling from Southwest Tennessee Community College as well as certification in Drug Court Counseling from the Drug Court Institute in Nashville, Tennessee in 2003. Community conscious and engaged, Bev continues to live out her motto, “As You Treat Yourself, You Will Treat Others” by serving and giving back to others. She has served on the boards of The Rock N Soul Museum, Memphis Area Planned Parenthood, and The National Black Programmers Coalition and Memphis City Beautiful.  Bev has been a hands-on mentor for the Gordon Elementary School girl’s program, a chairperson for the NAACP’s Annual Radiothon, a former auctioneer for WKNO Television’s Action Auction and the Memphis Chapter Coalition of 100 Black Women and a devoted volunteer for the Stax Museum, the Museum of American Soul Music. Bev is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., and a chartered member of the Shelby County (TN) Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, where she served as 2nd Vice President for two years.

Bev is a shining star in radio broadcasting and is the recipient of numerous awards and accolades including 1989, 1991, 1992 and 1996 News/Public Affairs Director of the Year by the National Black Programmers Coalition, UNCF Outstanding Alumnus Award 1996, National Association of Broadcasters Marconi Award Personality of the Year Nominee 1993, 1994, and 1995.  In 1996, Bev was Billboard’s Personality of the Year.  She has been honored by the Tennessee General Assembly House of Representatives for her tenth and twentieth year hosting “The Bev Johnson Show,” the Memphis City Council, and the U.S. House of Representative for “The Bev Johnson Show” on WDIA Radio. Bev was named the Memphis Music Commission’s 2013 Emissaries of Memphis Music and received the Jus Blues Foundation 2013 Jack “The Rapper” Gibson Radio Pioneer Award. In 2020, Bev received the Trailblazer Award from the Memphis Heritage Trail and the keys to the City of Memphis by Mayor Jim Strickland.

Bev is a faithful member of the Mt. Pisgah C.M.E. Church and Co-collaborator of Heart 2 Heart Counseling Services. As a passionate educator, Bev has shared her love of radio by raising up the next generation of broadcasters. She was a radio instructor at Rust College in Holly Springs, Mississippi for eight years. Presently, Bev is an instructor at Southwest Tennessee Community College where she teaches Speech and Writing. Bev has taught at Southwest for 30 years. A sought-after motivational speaker, Bev’s oral history was chronicled by The History Makers Media Division and is housed in The Library of Congress.

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2020 May Mag

2020 May Mag.

Jannifer Fisher Banks is a Guidance Counselor who loves to help empower students.

Jannifer Fisher Banks  ~ “I love Cerese D Jewelry and it has been an inspiration to me”. I can truly say I am an ordinary human being with one passion on this side–pleasing my Lord and Savior. I am mother of two beautiful souls, son, Marshall Channing, 21, a student at Jackson State University, Jackson, MS and my daughter, Jannifer Katelin, 15, who is a sophomore at Vicksburg High School, Vicksburg, MS. I am the wife of a Retired Colonel, Marshall D. Banks and we have been married for 26 years. I enjoy my family, my church and my love for my job as a Guidance Counselor at Warren Central High School in Vicksburg, MS. My favorite thing about being a school counselor is that I can be there for students in their moment of need. I love being able to be the one that helps empower students to face their problems and grow as individuals. As counselors, we get to be there for students in crisis – and connect families with resources when they are in need. There is no greater feeling in the world than having a career that allows you to leave such a positive impact on so many people.

I am also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, initiated in 1992 at Alcorn State University, Gamma Phi Chapter. I am proud to say I have over 25 years as an Alpha Woman and is a Life Member. God has blessed me with a gift through song. I have sung all over the states and has been invited to sing in several regional conferences (South Eastern) as well as Boule. I love the freedom of singing, it is the most natural form of expression. Each voice is unique, and to explore and use it, I think is very therapeutic for the soul. I am just an humble servant of God doing his will and his way. Love to all and I pray that we all are in good health in the weeks, months years to come. Blessings!

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