4th Black History Month Leadership & Service Awards
The Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism is proud to partner with the Banneker-Douglass Museum to capture a snapshot of the African Americans who are trailblazing in service and volunteerism.
Thank you for joining us in celebrating and recognizing the 2021 Black History Month Leadership & Service Awards honorees on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube! Learn more and get inspired by clicking any of these links or reading about the honorees below.
Pamela Zeigler (Harford)
Black History Month Leadership & Service Honoree Principal Pamela Zeigler is a remarkable educator, who has been a champion for children for more than 30 years with Harford and Baltimore County Public Schools. She quotes famous educator Rita Pierson to describe her core belief, “every child deserves a champion, an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.” At Joppatowne High School, adults do just that. At the start of the pandemic, Principal Zeigler adapted, advocated, and assisted with organizing hundreds of laptops, school supplies, protective equipment, and messages of encouragement to support students in a digital learning environment. What hasn’t changed is her commitment and belief in each student, which translates to community partnerships to create more learning experiences and opportunities, and personal conversations with families to help students create a roadmap for their own future and access necessary resources. Hear from Principal Zeigler herself on YouTube, here.
Wayne Long, Jr. (Carroll & Harford)
Black History Month Leadership & Service Honoree Wayne Long, Jr. enriched and broadened student life as the National Pan-Hellenic President and the Chapter Secretary of the Omega Psi Phi College Chapter.
The Omega Psi Phi Chapter created a community for African-American fraternity brothers to translate their highest ideals and ambitions into collective action. Long’s leadership engaged chapter members, as well as the student population to create voter registration initiatives, tutoring and academic mentoring support, and a mental health awareness panel.
Their service and volunteerism also extended beyond the campus and into the greater community, with chapter members and students supporting the Eastside Family Shelter in Rosedale and a highway clean-up of Route 715.
His exceptional leadership is especially influential as the first and only African-American fraternity to be established.
Want to learn more about the voter registration initiative? Check out this Baltimore Sun article.
Want to learn more about Omega Psi Phi and how it influences diversity? Read this Odyssey article.
Honoree Wayne Long Jr. and the Omega Psi Phi College Chapter Members clean up Route 715 by adopting-a-highway.
Honoree Wayne Long Jr. and Omega Psi Phi College Chapter Members serve food at Eastside Family Shelter.
Honoree Wayne Long Jr. and the Omega Psi Phi College Chapter Members serve food and clean up East Side Family Shelter in Rosedale.
Chosen Community Development Corporation (Harford)
Black History Month Leadership & Service Honoree Chosen Community Development Corporation leads through service by taking a holistic approach to nurturing and serving entire families. This organization seeks to enhance and empower the lives of disproportionately underserved families, individuals, children, and seniors through direct engagement, educational services, job resources and training, health and wellness, financial education, and enrichment programs that encourage the development of self-sustaining lifestyles for today and tomorrow.
Chosen was established in May 2020, to create support for families and extended families to thrive together. Manning and Lamb indicates that adolescents have higher levels of academic achievement and fewer problem behaviors in school when their family needs are met.
To meet this goal, Chosen engaged 85 volunteers in various programs, one of which includes a global pathway education program that mentors young men and women through STEAM initiatives, led by college students. Chosen also collaborated with the Maryland Food Bank to serve over 130,000 pounds of food and beverages to over 20,000 individuals. Volunteers also served over 800 families with the Christmas Package Initiative–providing essential winter gear and food. Chosen also organized two financial town halls, partnering with Freedom Bank and the Kelly Group, to provide training to nearly a hundred individuals.
During the pandemic, Chosen also made masks and delivered food, toiletries, perishable, and non-perishable items to the elderly and those with underlying conditions. Watch their acceptance video, here:
Visit their website: www.chosencdc.org
Chosen Youth Team Leaders
Chosen Leadership Academy Pathway to Success
Chosen Community Snacks for Veterans
Chosen Youth and Leadership Academy with President Brandi Dingle
Water’s Edge Museum (Talbot)
Black History Month Leadership & Service Honoree The Water’s Edge Museum shares the empowering story of the daily life and spiritual beliefs of the Founding Black Families of Maryland– Black farmers, sailmakers, military figures, musicians, watermen, and crab pickers. “These Founding Black Families harnessed their power and placed it into the hands of their descendants.”
The Water’s Edge is home to historic figures such as Harriet Ross Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Ayuba Suleiman Diallo, Charles Albert TIndley, and Waters Edward Turpin, and is a vital component of the long and rich African American history in Maryland.
The Water’s Edge Museum shares visual and written accounts interwoven with an artistic, literary, and musical chronicling of people of African descent, set against the maritime backdrop of the Chesapeake Bay. Everything is managed by a team of volunteers, who invest 160 hours of service each week, including their pivot to a virtual opening of the Water’s Edge Museum during the pandemic.
The impact of Water’s Edge includes helping “the young people of today find their place in history and identify their own positive and unique voice when facing contemporary issues and challenges. In short, it offers the experience for [Marylanders] to witness how people of color on the Eastern Shore lived and how their lives mattered.”
Watch their “Welcome to the Water’s Edge | Virtual Opening on February 1, 2021”
The team at the Water’s Edge Museum includes, but is not limited to, Paulette and George Albury; Emily Bakemeier; Will Baker’ Bradford, Janice, and Brittany Brooks; Colonel William and Dr. Dennis DeShields; Justine Flora; Hugh Freund; Bruce Glover; Brenda Henry; Kentavius Jones; Nina Khrushcheva; Tilghman Logan; Theodore and Betty Mack; Annie Miller; Kenneth Milton; Jaelon Moaney; Jeffrey Moaney; Olivia Moaney; Tish Moaney; La Fleur Paysour; Dominique Sessa; Clara Small; Dave Wheelan; and John Wesley Wright.
Visit their website at watersedgemuseum.org
Lauren Poteat (Prince George’s, Montgomery)
Black History Month Leadership & Service Honoree Lauren Poteat is an award-winning journalist who reports from radio, television, and print platforms. Covering news stories for publications including the historic AFRO American Newspapers, the Washington Informer, and Black Press USA, Lauren’s work has been recognized through the Society of Professional Journalists with their prestigious “Dateline Award.”
Dedicated to the needs of the African American community, Lauren also serves as the Washington, D.C. Chair for Women In NAACP and was recognized as a Scholar of Excellence through the NAACP Nextgen Program for her hard work. Chair of Outreach for Dress for Success-Washington, D.C., a local Board Member to the Washington School for Girls, a National Board Member to the National Council of Negro Women, and an active member of Iota Phi Lambda Sorority Incoporated, the first African American business and professional sorority established in 1929, Lauren was also recognized through the Prince George’s County Chapter of Jack & Jill Incorporated with their “Young Visionary: Catalyst Award”
Ambitious and smart, Lauren also won the title of Miss Black America Maryland and this past year, became a children’s book author with her debut book, “Giraffes Don’t Talk to Ants,” which has already seen over 600 units sold.
Morgan Cruise (Baltimore City)
Black History Month Leadership & Service Honoree Morgan Cruise is not only an accomplished dancer and ambassador for the arts, but she has also been a leader in service as a volunteer assistant coordinator for the Stillmeadow Community Food Pantry.
Cruise volunteered over 1,000 hours to deliver over 300,000 pounds of food during 2020. The pandemic has resulted in increased food insecurity, and Cruise reacted by volunteering nearly every day each week to pick-up, pack, deliver, and serve food, while balancing her responsibilities as a student, performer, mentor, student-teacher, and Ambassador for Brown Girls Do Ballet and Russian Pointe.
“Volunteering is important to me because it gives me the opportunity to make a difference in my community and the families that we serve,” said Morgan Cruise. “I enjoy learning about how our community work has impacted so many lives, and I hope to continue impacting others.”
Hear more from Morgan Cruise herself, here:
Ayyub Hanif (Baltimore City)
Black History Month Leadership & Service Honoree Ayyub Hanif is an accomplished registered nurse entrepreneur and professor, with the belief that “service is a core tenant of being human, and that the social good truly is a responsibility upon all of us.” He is also the CEO of INGE Benevolent Ministries and co-founder of Muslimat Al-Nisaa, a health and social services nonprofit that provides shelter to homeless Muslim families and social support to the community at large.
During the early days of the pandemic, Hanif utilized his position at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing to access the most up-to-date research on COVID-19 to purchase and distribute thousands of quality cloth (with filter), PM2.5 Surgical, and N95 face masks to anybody he could find that needed them (at the time individuals were selling numerous fake products at excessive prices to the needy). Recognizing the serious health implications of misinformation coupled with the lack of administrative infrastructure to withstand a health emergency of this magnitude, he reallocated a large portion of our budget towards direct community and social support. According to him, the initiative would require him to “rapidly retool, repurpose, and reallocate our human resources because we aren’t prepared to respond to a domestic emergency of this magnitude for this long.” Being a nurse he purchased a MERV13 air purifier for the front lobby of his condo and gave masks to the frontline staff and guests for free. Additionally, he distributed and gave food to houseless people, cash grants to the homeless, transportation support, and information to families in need. To him the mission was clear, the time it would take to respond to an unknown virus that we are just learning about would be too long and people would suffer as we figured it out.
As 2020 concluded, Hanif’s pandemic response shifted to centering domestic humanitarian relief framework and building a FEMA-esque volunteer action network. Specifically, issues of domestic violence, food and nutrition, diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, healthcare education, direct healthcare services, housing and shelter services, nonprofit and volunteer management, domestic humanitarian aid and relief (particularly for rural areas), environmental sustainability, literacy and learning, community grant-giving, business administration and support services, and COVID-19 vaccine, testing, and information campaigns.
Hanif is also a social venture capitalist and brand consultant. He is equipped with over 20 years of demonstrated experience in startup development, entertainment, and brand management. Hanif’s health care experience includes past positions as a Registered Nurse in Transplant Surgery, a Certified Clinical Transplant Coordinator, Program Manager of Care Coordinator, and Adjunct Faculty at Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. He became a Registered Nurse to better the human condition and subsequently leverage his nursing skillset, media background, and business acumen as an adept social entrepreneur.
Hanif stated, “my nursing background is in transplant surgery and care coordination, specifically looking at the transition of care and how people fall through the cracks. So really the issues that COVID presents turned right into my field of view and my work with entrepreneurship lets me respond with multiple interventions quickly to the consumer.”
Hanif received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master’s degree in Health Services Leadership and Management from the University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON). Subsequently, he received his Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Baltimore and is currently working towards a Doctorate of Nursing Practice.
Hanif considers himself a change architect who focuses on utilizing upstream thinking to create venture partnerships that address unresolved community problems.
Marva Jo Camp (Prince George’s)
Black History Month Leadership & Service Honoree Marva Jo Camp, Esq. has dedicated countless hours of volunteer service to develop educational programs and advocate for the Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center (PGAAMC). She has also played a key leadership role in the areas of governance and professional coaching museum staff. This year, Marva Jo is leading the museum building expansion and the addition of affordable artist housing, Marva Jo never says no to making herself available to push the mission and visibility of PGAAMCC forward. Her nominator stated, “Marva Jo is dedicated to serving and preserving Prince George’s Black history and is a true county gem.”
Marva Jo Camp is an attorney in private practice. Her specialties include governmental relations, real estate transactions and land use, not-for-profit governance, small, minority, and women-owned business, governmental agencies, and trade associations. Ms. Camp has worked on the local, state, national and international levels. Her current and past work includes serving as counsel for several large mixed-use developments, Counsel for the Citizens Complain Oversight Panel, Maryland Board of Property Review, Tax and Staff Counsel for the United States Congress, member of a Presidential Transition Team, Consultant to the African Development Bank, and Director of Government and Community Outreach for Bowie State University. Marva Jo has also represented Prince George’s County Council and served as Of Counsel for a national law firm specializing in affordable and public housing and on the Maryland States Roads Commission.
Ms. Camp is very involved in community service. She serves as Pro Bono Counsel for a number of community organizations, including the Prince George’s Tennis and Education Foundation. She also serves as Chairperson of Leadership Prince George’s, Vice-Chair for the Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation, Census Count Co-Chairperson, Chairperson for SPICE, Trustee for Maryland Citizens for the Arts, Board Member for the Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center, and Panel Member for Arts in Public Places. Marva Jo previously served as Chairperson of the Prince George’s Arts and Humanities Council and both an elected member and General Counsel for the Democratic Central Committee.
Marva Jo has been recognized on several occasions for her service. Her recognitions include inclusion in the book, “Outstanding Women of Prince George’s County”, recognition in Ebony Magazine, Forty Leaders Under Forty, 2019 Omega Psi Phi Citizen of the Year Award, Prince George’s Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Service Award, Mission of Love Charities Humanitarian Award, Volunteer of the Year, Prince George’s Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Service Recognition, Leadership Prince George’s Chairman’s Award, Dr. William A. Welch Award, and the YMCA Distinguished Community Service Award.
Marva Jo grew up in Suitland Maryland and currently lives in Mitchellville. Her mother was a school teacher for over forty years and her father an administrator at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital. Marva Jo is a graduate of the Eleanor Roosevelt High School, the University of Virginia, and the University of Virginia School of Law. She is the mother of Jordan Alexandria and Taylor Jonai both graduates of Spelman College. Marva Jo’s memberships include Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., The Links, Inc., Jack & Jill of America.
Hear from Marva Jo Camp, Esq. directly and her passion in serving Prince George’s County:
Watch the opening remarks here from Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism Director Nicki Fiocco and Banneker-Douglass Museum Executive Director Chanel Compton.
Want to learn more about Black History Month and this year’s theme, the Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity? Visit Banneker-Douglass Museum’s free virtual events!