Past Calendar Honorees

2021 - The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity

Eugene Lamb (President's Award)

Eugene Lamb Bio

Eugene Lamb, Jr. is a native son of Gadsden County. Born and raised in Midway, Florida, he is the son of the late Eugene Lamb, Sr. and the late Marjorie Parker Lamb. Eugene attended public schools in Gadsden County until graduating from Northside High School in 1966 where he was an outstanding member of the high school basketball team. After graduating, he attended Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama for two years, subsequently transferring to Dillard University, in New Orleans, Louisiana where he earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Health and Physical Education in 1971. While earning his degree, Eugene was a member of the Dillard’s Blue Devils Basketball team, serving as captain his senior year. He was named to the All-Conference team with an average of 25 points per game and was drafted by the Harlem Globetrotters. Dillard University honored Eugene Lamb, Jr. on January 30, 2015 with the Legacy Award. After graduating in 1971, Eugene returned to Gadsden County to reside and began his professional career as a teacher in the Leon County School System. He educated thousands of students throughout the Big Bend area for more than 30 years where he taught Health and Physical Education at Cobb Middle School and served as junior varsity basketball coach at Leon High School. His experience and passion for sports led to his selection as Head Boys Basketball Coach at Godby High School. He coached basketball for over fifteen (15) years combined in Leon, Gadsden, and Volusia Counties. He retired from coaching to serve as teacher/athletic director at Bellevue Middle School until he retired after over 30 years of service in 2004. Eugene also worked in several capacities with the Tallahassee Parks and Recreation Department for over 35 years. He served as a member of the Midway City Council and was Mayor of the City of Midway in 1986. He was appointed by the Board of County Commissioners to serve as chairperson of the Gadsden County Committee on Recreation. His service on the Gadsden County Planning and Zoning Board and City of Midway Planning and Zoning Board allowed him to have an official voice. He served as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Miracle Hill Nursing and Rehabilitation Center for 12 years and a member of Old West Florida Primitive Baptist Association. He is a member of Greater Mt. Zion Primitive Baptist Church and served as Chairman of the Deacon Board. Lamb served as Superintendent of the church school for 18 years for the Church School Convention with the Old West Florida Association. He served as President of Havana Kiwanis Club and is a member of Havana Lions Club. He is also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.He was elected as County Commissioner District 1 in 2004 and he was re-elected in 2008 to serve a second 4 year term, serving as Chairman of the Board from 2008-2010. He also served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Florida Association of Counties. He is a member of Tallahassee Community College Board of Trustees and served as Chairman in 2010, 2014, 2019. He was appointed by the Secretary of Education to the Florida High School Athletic Association Board of Directors in July 2014. In 2015, he was appointed by Governor Rick Scott to serve on the Commission for Health Care and Hospital Funding for the State of Florida and later appointed by Governor Ron DeSantis to serve on the committee for high school athletics back to school program. He was voted coach of the year twice in Leon County, won the Black Educator Achievement Award in Leon County, and was recognized by his high school for his achievements in basketball. He was inducted into the Gadsden County High School Basketball Hall Of Fame in August 2018. He was drafted by the United States Army and served a short term before receiving an honorable discharge in 1972. Eugene’s tireless efforts and civic responsibility has brought about improvements in the community of Midway and Gadsden County. In 2003, the Midway Recreation Center was dedicated in his name by the City of Midway. Brian Lamb, his son, founded the Eugene Lamb, Jr. Foundation, Inc. in 2003 and named it in honor of his father. Gadsden County Commissioners named the Community Park at Rich Bay in Havana in his honor. Funds raised through the foundation have been used to construct a Sports Complex at the City of Midway Park and the Eugene Lamb, Jr. Community Park at Rich Bay in Havana for youth recreation and sports.Eugene is married to Deloris N. Lamb and they have two children, Rolanda D.L. Walton of Jacksonville, Florida and Brian D. Lamb of Mason, Ohio.



Jayla Nickeo (Student Highlight)

Jayla Nickeo Bio

Jayla Nickeo is a sophomore at Tallahassee Community College (TCC) and plans to graduate with an Associate of Arts degree from TCC by Fall 2021. She then plans to transfer to Florida A&M University to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Child Psychology. Her interest in this degree began in the 7th grade after losing both of her paternal grandparents a week apart, noticing the grief that was associated with such a loss. During this time, she realized that children need a champion to help them through the different struggles they might face along the way to adulthood.

Jayla currently serves as a Peer Leader at TCC, which allows her the opportunity to help others. In this role, she found pride in re-building Talon’s Market, the college’s food pantry to aid students with food insecurities. With all her hard work and dedication to get the market up and running, she earned the title of student manager. Jayla was also instrumental in creating the “Talon’s Market: Data Report and Budget Proposal”, which was a major asset in securing funding for the market.

In 2020, she accomplished many accolades such as being promoted to Peer Leader Captain, a 2020 TCC Eagle Award recipient, National Society of Leadership and Success inductee, and selected to attend the United Way - Women United Seminar. Additionally, she is listed on TCC’s Honors List, an active member of the TCC2FAMU Club, and a Certified Peer Educator. Furthermore, Jayla was chosen by TCC’s President Jim Murdaugh to serve on the President’s Commission on Race and Equality Board.

In the community, Jayla is very active in her church, where she works with the Children’s Ministries, and assists with back-to-school and food drives. She also volunteers with community organizations, such as Comcast Cares. On a personal note, Jayla is the eldest of four and plays a significant role of being their biggest cheerleader. In her spare time, Jayla enjoys hanging out with her friends, baking, and playing softball.



Talethia O. Edwards (February)

Talethia O. Edwards Bio

Talethia O. Edwards’ dedication to the black family starts first with her commitment and dedication to her own family. She is a stay at home mother turned community advocate; she muses about it with the hashtag #MoreKidsThanArms. She believes that the key to strengthening the black family is restoring its voice. Empowering those who have yet to recognize their voice is powerful. Talethia’s commitment to the black family reaches statewide as she serves as a consultant and facilitates a statewide group of parent leaders advocating for things like Medicaid expansion and examining the fiscal cliff and its impact on families with limited income. She has spoken on state and national platforms amplifying the value in family and ways to engage them in the process to effect system change.

Talethia has received numerous awards and recognition for her work in the community and is a member of Leadership Tallahassee Class 37. Talethia knows that “Failure is not an option” for herself, her family, or her community; therefore, she founded and serves as the executive director of the H.A.N.D Up Project, an Anti-Poverty Organization that assists and advocates on behalf of under resourced communities. The HAND Up Project’s mission is to educate, equip, and empower individuals in the City of Tallahassee and the State of Florida to reduce poverty and low aim.

Talethia O. Edwards is wife to Harold Edwards, II and mother to their eight children. Talethia is a TEDx speaker, writer, community leader, coalition builder, and statewide family advocate. Talethia spends her days strategizing ways to educate and empower the community in order to change the patterns of poverty and low achievement. She serves as the founder and President of the Greater Neighborhood Association where, under her leadership, the community created the Neighborhood First Plan and was awarded $6.4M to add impact and value for the residents through revitalization projects.



 Dr. Donald Elisha Sheppard (March)

Dr. Donald Elisha Sheppard Bio

Dr. Donald Elisha Sheppard was born the youngest of five children to the late Bishop Elbert Lee Sheppard and Floria Chavers Sheppard in Quincy, Florida. He succeeded his father as Pastor of the Watson Temple Institutional Church of God in Christ. For twenty-two years, he has served as a mentor, builder, family counselor, and community leader.

Alongside his pastorate, he is an accomplished art educator. Dr. Sheppard was a Design Artist for nine years at Homes & Land Publishing Corporation where he served as Chairman of the Employee Assistant Program. He taught art for 15 years at Griffin Middle School where he was the Minority Educator of the Year and District Finalist. He has been teaching art at Montford Middle School for over 10 years.

His academic accomplishments include graduating third in his high school class at James A. Shanks High School. He has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Columbus College of Art and Design (Columbus, OH) with a major in Industrial Design and minor in Advertising Design. He earned a Master of Science and Ph. D. degrees from Florida State University in Art Education. His dissertation entitled “Constructing Community: The Glenn Brothers, Art Education, and Tallahassee’s Frenchtown 1957-1967” chronicles the role of the family and art education in the African American community.

Dr. Sheppard’s other involvement includes: FDOE and FTCE Art K-12 Standard Setting and Competencies Development Council, FSU Museum of Fine Art Council of Educators, ”Inspiration in the Word” Broadcast 95.3 FM 7pm weekly, Black History Program Speaker, State Sunday School Superintendent - Western Florida Jurisdiction COGIC, Urban League (Lifetime Achievement Award 2019,) Frontline Pastors Action Council, Holiness Ministerial Alliance, National Association for the Preservation of African American History and Culture (Chairman,) COGIC International Sunday School Department (Writer and Southeast Regional Worker,) Western Florida Ordination Board, and National Art Education Association.

Dr. Sheppard has been married to the beautiful and talented Sarah Rivers Sheppard for 32 years. They have one adult daughter, Donarah.



Dexter Hogan (April)

Dexter Hogan Bio

Dexter Hogan has been an educator in Leon County for 15 years. He started his teaching career in 2006 at the Academy of Academics & Technology on Lively Technical College’s campus, teaching history to students who were working on their GED. From 2007-2011, Dexter taught History and credit retrieval to at-risk youth at Ghazvini Learning Center. Dexter has excelled in mentoring at risk youth, was runner up for teacher of the year for a number of years, and became Coordinator of the Young Black Male discovery program. Dexter became a history teacher at James S. Rickards High School in 2012 and taught World History, American History, African American History, and Economics. Dexter’s abilities to relate and motivate students was noticed and he was asked to start teaching a program that was developing at Rickards called AVID, a college prep program that prepares students to be successful in college, military, or trade school. Rickards’ AVID program is recognized as one of the best in the state of Florida.

For a decade, Dexter has coached football; he was the Defensive Coordinator for Nims Middle School for one year; later, he became the Defensive Coordinator & Defensive Backs coach, Assistant Track Coach, and Head Wrestling Coach at James S. Rickards High School.

Dexter obtained his master’s degree in Educational Leadership in 2016. Dexter became a 21st Century Site Coordinator for Bond Elementary School in 2016, a position he held for four years, and was awarded Site Coordinator of the Year for his exemplary work. Since 2017, Dexter has been the Dean of Student Affairs and Attendance at Bond Elementary, and he was awarded the Glenn Howell Distinguished Educator of the Year for Bond Elementary in 2020.

Dexter is very active in his church, Mt. Pleasant P.B. Church, was President of the youth for ten years, and has been President of the Usher Board for the past ten years. Dexter is the son to Dilcy Hogan and the late Daniel Hogan, and has one daughter, Dream Hogan.



Deborah Lloyd (May)

Deborah Lloyd Bio

As a founder and Executive Director, Deborah Lloyd operated the area’s first African American social services agency (Community Intervention Center Inc.) for home and community-based interventions, securing more than a million dollars in state, local, and federal grants, and Medicaid funding.

As a dedicated professional with more than 30 years of experience in non-profit administration, program development/management, and organizational leadership, Deborah has a wealth of knowledge, skills, and experience in community education and advocacy for underserved and marginalized individuals and communities.

During her career, Deborah served as a staunch community advocate for the healthy and equitable treatment of Black youth and a key stakeholder in the development of the 1999 Juvenile Justice Strategic Action Plan. In 2001, she also participated in the development of Florida’s Strategic Plan for Infant Mental Health. As agency administrator, she provided oversight to the communities’ first Disproportionate Minority Over-Representation grant administered by the Department of Juvenile Justice.

In 2006, Deborah joined the local Battered Women’s shelter, and furthered the agency’s mission to provide direct services to battered women, their children, and sexual assault survivors, with a focus on the elimination of the conditions in society that allow violence to continue. During her tenure, Deborah successfully spearheaded a task force focused on a community coordinated support for sexually assaulted and exploited women and girls, she promoted annual community education and awareness campaigns for Domestic and Sexual Violence, and participated in multiple local and state conferences and workshops as a presenter on topics promoting healthy individual, relationships, battered and exploited women, and sexual violence.

Ms. Lloyd’s accomplishments include executive leadership of a local faith-based organization serving the hungry, homeless, and seniors living in isolation. Her most recent position has been with Voices of Florida (VFF) as the Housing Liaison supporting trafficking survivors.

A native of Durham North Carolina, Deborah Lloyd received her bachelor’s degree from Florida State University and Master’s in Social Work from Florida A&M University.



 Myioshi Walker-Brinson and Stephen Brinson (June)

Myioshi Walker-Brinson  and Stephen Brinson Bio


As an educator for over 27 years, teaching and leading is Myioshi Brinson’s passion, but being a dedicated, loving and nurturing mom, stepmom, and wife is her life! Born in Tuskegee, Alabama to Mahala and Jefferson “Chief” Walker, Myioshi moved to Florida in 1986 from Frankfort, Kentucky. Myioshi attended Florida A&M University and received a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. She also received a master’s degree in Special Education and a specialist’s degree in Reading/Language Arts and Educational Leadership from Florida State University. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, Bond Elementary Schools SAC, TPD Citizens Advisory Council, Shiloh Apostolic Church and volunteers on various committees. Myioshi ensures her family stays spiritually connected to God and teaches them resilience, patience, dedication and perseverance.

Stephen Brinson, a Walmart Associate and native of Greenville, Florida, was born to Barbara Brinson Reynolds and Everett Evans. Stephen is a passionate and supportive father, stepfather, and husband. Stephen has dedicated his life to making sure he protects and supports his family in all of their endeavors and provides for them emotionally, mentally, physically, and financially. Stephen is known to the neighborhood kids as Mr. Knowledge because he is always sharing his wisdom and knowledge with everyone so they won’t make mistakes and go down the wrong path like he did when he was younger. He tells them to learn from his mistakes. Stephen tries to instill in everyone to be confident, swift, and have values. His favorite quote is, “You can make your mouth fry chicken, but your actions show it all!”

Myioshi and Stephen make a difference in so many people’s lives and they work hard to preserve and nurture their family and others. Together, they own The New Speed’s Grocery Store, Volunteer Coach and Mentor-always giving back to the community. The Brinson’s are the epitome of what a true blended family stands for; they are the backbone that keeps their family and others together!



Monica Smart-Gainous (July)

Monica Smart-Gainous

Monica Smart-Gainous received a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from St. Leo University and is currently an In-Home Family Consultant with Boys Town North Florida. Born and raised in Gadsden County, Florida, her community and family interest is focused on bringing about change through volunteering and working with organizations dedicated to the mission of positive change and restoring families. Monica has never been a stranger to hard work, dedication or service, nor is she a stranger to meeting the needs of any person she encounters. Her love for the betterment for the lives of the families and youth within the community is the core of her demonstrated work.

Monica has spent over 25 years involved in the community where she resides by organizing food drives and distributions, school supply drives, blanket drives for senior citizens, volunteering within the school system, and being present in the community by putting her boots on the ground to ensure she is involved in making a difference, as well as bringing awareness to human trafficking in the community. Monica, along with Survive and Thrive Advocacy Center, organized and hosted her 1st Human Trafficking forum in Gadsden County in January 2018 and continues to do so.

In addition, she serves as a Board member to Sow A Seed Foundation, Survive and Thrive Advocacy Center, Gadsden Second Chance Re-Entry, and was honored in 2019 with the Alpha Spirit award for her contributions to community service.

Monica is also a wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and a staple in the community. “The work in community is not done.” Father Flanagan said it best; “The work will continue, you see, whether I am here or not, because it is God’s work, not mine.” --Servant of God, Father Edward J. Flanagan, Boys Town Founder (1917).



 Kara Palmer Smith (August)

Kara Palmer Smith

Kara Palmer Smith has spent her entire career working to improve communities. Her experience in workforce, economic, community, and educational development organizations has allowed her to serve the black community through creating jobs and sharing tools and resources. She currently serves as Chief Operations Officer for Early Learning Coalition (ELC) of the Big Bend Region, where she is paying it forward by supporting the community’s youngest citizens.

In her role, she is responsible for providing leadership and management ensuring the organization has proper operational controls, administrative procedures, and people systems in place to provide the effective delivery of programs and services. She also provides oversight, support, and guidance of the Customer Service, Communications, Community Relations and Human Resource teams.

Most recently, she was Senior Director at CareerSource Capital Region (CSCR). During her time at CSCR, she successfully developed and created Leaders Evolve and Develop (LEAD), a leadership training program, Industry Sector Roundtables and Hiring Fairs. Kara also managed five grant projects totaling over $4 million dollars in awards - helping hundreds in the community. Prior to CSCR, Kara was an economic developer, where she was responsible for project and business development, management of seven industry sector roundtables and International Business Development.

Kara holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and a master’s degree in sport management from Florida A&M University. She currently serves on the Board for the Capital Area Community Action Agency and Big Bend SHRM. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated’s National Strategic Partnership Taskforce, where she leads the Career Fair. She is a member of Leadership Tallahassee Class 37 and was recently named one of "25 Women You Need to Know”.

Originally from Jamaica, Kara was surrounded by successful black families and that has served as the compass for her life’s work. She has volunteered to help youth in the community through sports as a coach, speaker, and workshop presenter. She is married to JB Smith, a local business owner.



 Paula DeBoles-Johnson (September)

Paula DeBoles-Johnson

Paula DeBoles-Johnson, MPA and CCM, has a distinguished 30-year career on both statewide and national levels. She serves in dual capacities as the Employee Engagement and Performance Manager with Leon County Government where she is responsible for fueling the engagement and performance of Leon County employees. She is also the Founder and Executive Director of the Capital City Youth Development Corporation – a local nonprofit established in 2003 to ensure the well-being of youth through education, community service, and training.

As a national trainer, advocate, and coach, Paula has provided her expertise to numerous organizations to include the National Governors Association, Administration for Children and Family Services, Leon County Schools, Department of Transportation, Department of Children and Families, the Corporation for National and Community Service, Hillsborough Education Foundation, Keiser and Tallahassee Community Colleges, and many others. Her D&I, conflict resolution, leadership and professional development workshops are continuously requested by organizations nationwide. She has been featured numerous times in several mediums including radio, television, podcasts, and print.

Paula commits countless hours of her time, resources and talents to numerous organizations including their family’s foundation, the DeBoles-Johnson Foundation, Tallahassee Human Relations Council, TPD Citizens Advisory Committee, New Leaders Council Advisory Board, WCS Best and Brightest Committee, Southern Scholarship Foundation, and Leadership Tallahassee. She has been a longtime, active member of Celebrate New Life Tabernacle Church.

She is the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions including the United States Presidential Volunteer Service Award, Tallahassee Democrat’s 25 Women You Need to Know, Girl Scouts Woman of Distinction, Tallahassee Community College Women’s History Month Trailblazer Award, Where Are My Sistas Phenomenal Woman Award, FCSW Spirit of Community Awardee and America’s Service Commission Innovation Award finalist because of her longstanding commitment to service.

Paula is married to her college sweetheart, Captain David L. Johnson (Retired). The couple have two adult daughters, Zemoria and Zenani, who are already phenomenal change agents within their individual communities. She believes “nothing that you ever do for children is wasted!”



 Julian Earl White, Ph.D. (October)

Julian Earl White, Ph.D.

Dr. Julian Earl White, retired Professor of Music, Director of Bands, and Chairman of the Music Department at Florida A&M University, graduated from Florida A&M University. He later received a master’s degree from the University of Illinois, and doctorate from Florida State University.

The internationally acclaimed “Marching 100” rendered performances at three Super Bowls, Grammys, ESPY’S, and the Inaugural Parades for Presidents William Clinton and Barack Obama.

Dr. White served as Drill Designer for the McDonald’s All-American High School Band. His drill creations were featured in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, The Tournament of Roses Parade, the Fiesta Bowl, and the Bastille Day Ceremony in Paris, France.

Dr. White has received every teaching award given by the University, including Teacher of the Year, Advanced Teacher of the Year, University Superior Teacher, three-time recipient of the ROTC Teacher of the Year, Rattlers of the Century, Department of Music Gallery of Distinction, and the Athletic Hall of Fame. Dr. White was a recipient of the Florida A&M University National Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award. He received the Kappa Kappa Psi Band Fraternity, Inc. National Service Award, the highest award bestowed upon a member. Dr. White is a member of the prestigious American Bandmasters Association. He is a United States Music History Marker, the video of his interview is a permanent part of the Music History Makers Collection housed in the Library of Congress.

Moncrief Road in Jacksonville, Fl. was renamed the “Julian Earl White, Ph.D. Parkway,” and Raines High School’s music suite bears the name “Dr. Julian E. White Fine Arts Complex.”

Dr. White is listed as a Legacy with the Florida Bandmasters Association and the Midwest National Band Clinic. He is also in the Florida Bandmasters Hall of Fame.

He is married to the former Dennine Mathis and they have one son, Julian Earl White, II. Dr. White has two daughters Tonja Mathews and Phaedra White, and two grandchildren John Burt and Mallory Mathews.



Dr. Judy Mandrell (November)

Dr. Judy Mandrell

Dr. Judy Mandrell is the host of her own radio show, “REAL TALK WITH JUDY LIVE RADIO SHOW” and the Founder of “REAL TALK SISTER GIRLS NETWORK,” designed to bring women from different ages, ethnicities, political affiliations, and economic statuses together. She is the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of Dream Builders Greatness Center, Inc., a NONPROFIT 501C(3), which encompass the Dream Builders Greatness Youth Leadership Summer Camp, afterschool program, Leaders and Navigators Academy, and the Family Affairs Program designed to strengthen the family system and to help families to make “HOME SWEET HOME” again. All the programs are designed to empower, motivate, inspire, and help the individual and the family to bring forth the greatness and gifts they possess and to help them dream and work the process of making their dream a reality.

Dr. Mandrell is in partnership with the Tallahassee Peacemakers, South City Foundation, The Life Center, The Tallahassee Police Department, The Leon Sheriff Department, Life Changers Church of God in Christ, and other organizations for the betterment of Tallahassee and the awesome people in the community. She is a renowned speaker in both the religious and social community. For 20 years, she worked for the Florida Department of Children and Families.

Dr. Mandrell graduated from Florida A & M University with a Bachelor of Social Work, received a Master of Executive Leadership, and Doctorate of Christian Leadership from Clarity International Christian University. She’s a certified John C. Maxwell, Coach, Teacher, Trainer and Speaker; a graduate of Leadership Tallahassee Class 36, and a 2019 Tallahassee Democrat’s 25 Women You Need to Know. She’s a member of Tallahassee Branch of NAACP, serving on the Executive Board of Directors and Women in the NAACP Committee Chair, the Big Bend Homeless Coalition Board of Directors, Spiritual Advisory Committee for the Tallahassee Healing Prayer Ministries, and Tallahassee-Leon County Commission on the Status of Women and Girls. She’s married to Dr. Gerald Mandrell for 39 years.



Dana & Sharon Dennard (December)

Dana & Sharon Dennard

A serendipitous meeting in the summer of 1985 resulted in a lifelong commitment to each other, family, and community. Clinical Psychologists and entrepreneurs, Drs. Dana and Sharon Dennard have been on a mission for over 30 years to honor their mantra of leaving the Tallahassee community in a better place than they found it.

Since graduating from Florida State University, they have done just that and are far from being done. Their journey of service began with the Aakhet Center for Human Development, a community based mental health center specializing in prevention, intervention, and treatment of children, adults, couples, and families. Amen-Ra’s Bookshop and Gallery was created to teach the community about the history and cultural contributions of African people on the continent and throughout the diaspora. These enterprises were followed by Sakkara Youth Institute Independent School, an African-centered academy serving grades Pre-K thru 8, Amen-Ra’s Internet Café, which was designed to bridge the digital divide, and Nefetari’s Fine Cuisine & Spirits, a fine dining and event venue serving authentic international fare and live entertainment. Their newest ventures include, a digital educational platform serving grades Pre-K thru 5, telehealth services including therapy, assessment, yoga, meditation, weight management classes, parenting webinars, and more.

As advocates of education and entrepreneurship, the Dennards have collaborated and partnered with numerous civic organizations and local entrepreneurs seeking to launch services and businesses that benefit the community. They have also served on numerous local, state, and national boards and organizations. As lovers of the arts, to date, they have written two books, written, directed, and produced two independent films and three mystery dinners.

Despite their busy schedules, the Dennards managed to carve out time to raise four wonderful children: Eve, Nefetari, Nzinga, and Malek. Leisure time is spent traveling to broaden their exposure and understanding of communities throughout the world. “Knowledge is life a garden, if it is not cultivated, it cannot be harvested and shared.”



 Dr. Deborah G. Barnes (January '22)

Dr. Deborah G. Barnes

Dr. Deborah G. Barnes, a long-time author, counselor, leader, and teacher, was raised in Wakulla County. She is a life coach who guides others to their human destiny, financial wealth, and spiritual greatness. Currently, Dr. Barnes works as an Assistant Principal of Curriculum and Attendance at James S. Rickards High School. She has over 32 years of educational experience in K-12 public schools, colleges, and universities. By faith, she believes, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). For four years during college, Dr. Barnes worked three jobs, each for 20-hours a week. She purchased her first home at the age 22 and worked her way through school by taking 15-18 credit hours a semester. As a result of her resilience, Dr. Barnes earned a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership (2006); MS in Public Administration (1989); BS in Business Education in (1987), from Florida A&M University, and earned an Educational Specialist Degree in Higher Education (1994), from Florida State University.

Dr. Barnes has been influential in reforming K-12 education nationwide. Additionally, she fosters black families by donating 10-percent of her income to help less fortunate students and the elderly with basic needs and tuition costs. As a result of her counseling, five former students were drafted into the National Football League. She is a noted speaker who has presented at the local, state, and national levels. Dr. Barnes’ book, Great Counselors Are Different: A Spiritual Transformation of the Heart, is available now for pre-ordering on her website and coming soon to Amazon, Kindle, and bookstores.

She is a member of Delta Kappa Gamma. Dr. Barnes has been married for 28 years to her soulmate, Dana Barnes, Sr. and they have three college-graduates: Dr. Dana, Jr., Debbora, and Demani Barnes. Dr. Barnes is the daughter of Frankie Dawson and the late Lee Dawson. She shares a special bond with her siblings: Sharon Durig, Angela Denson, and Calvin Dawson. She also shared a special bond with her deceased brother, Alphonso Dawson.

2020 - A Vote of Confidence

  • Dr. Malinda Jackson-James
  • Commissioner Dianne Williams-Cox
  • Dean Anthony Jones
  • Dr. Andrea Friall
  • Mutaqee Akbar, Esq.
  • Nicole Everett
  • Roy Moore
  • Royle King
  • Pastor James Mack
  • Dr. Michelle Gayle
  • Dr. Willie Williams
  • Robert Bowen
  • President's Award - Dr. Eliane Bryant


2019 - The Great Migration | Celebrating The Arts, Business & Religion

  • Tommy Mitchell
  • Christic Henry
  • Rita Brown
  • Pastor L.J. Jenkins
  • Pastor Gregory James
  • Dr. Audra Pittman
  • Pastor Quincy Griffin
  • Benny Bolden
  • Akin Akinyemi
  • Samantha Vance
  • Rasheen J. Richardson
  • Dr. Julius McAllister Jr.
  • Terrance L. Barber
  • L. Yvonne Mitchell
  • Dr. Kathleen Rodgers
  • President's Award - Sean Pittman

2018 - African Americans in Times of War

  • Willie Gardner
  • Robert M. Butler Jr.
  • Ronald M. Joe Sr.
  • Halbert Andrews
  • Michael Jackson
  • Henry Thomas
  • Tulani Honablew
  • Albert Wynn
  • Robert Brantley
  • Eddie Oliver
  • Joseph Henderson
  • Wilson Barnes

2017 - African American Champions of Education

  • Isaac Manning
  • Sonia Clark-Rosier
  • Wilburt Butler
  • Iris C. Wilson
  • Bishop Titus B. Deas
  • LaMonica Butler
  • Desmond Cole
  • Vivian Wright Wilson
  • Tamika Jenkins
  • Lenita Joe
  • Cynthia Gaines
  • Karlisa Johnson
  • April Knight (Honorable Mention)
  • Lillie Jackson (Honorable Mention)

2016 - Tallahassee Community College: 50 Years of African-American Memories

  • TCC Black Student Union
  • Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club of Tallahassee
  • Tallahassee (FL) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated
  • Mount Pleasant Primitive Baptist Church
  • Tallahassee Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
  • National Association of University Women, Tallahassee Branch
  • Tallahassee Area Coalition Center of Excellence (TACCOE)
  • National Hook-Up of Black Women, Inc. Tallahassee Chapter
  • Capital City Garden Club
  • The Less Fortunate Still Matters Foundation
  • Recycle Without Borders
  • Alpha Upsilon Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority

2015 - Sustaining the Dream, Inspiring the Future

  • John G. Riley Center
  • National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE)
  • Elizabeth Popular Springs Primitive Baptist Church
  • Tallahassee Urban League
  • MLK Foundation of Florida
  • Distinguished Young Gentlemen of America, Inc.
  • Franklin Academy, Inc.
  • Pineview Elementary School
  • Tallahassee Community College Black Male Achievers
  • 2nd Infantry Regiment United States Colored Troops Living History Association
  • Jacob Chapel Baptist Church
  • Delta Kappa Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

2014 - Civil Rights' Unsung Heroes: Great By Choice

  • Mrs. Colleen Skipper-Mitchell
  • Ms. Queen Webster
  • Mr. Jerome Maples
  • Atty. Marilyn Holifield
  • Mr. Vernell Ross
  • Dr. Evangeline Bryant
  • Mrs. Irene Perry
  • Mr. Tommy Mills
  • Judge June McKinney
  • Ms. Doby Flowers
  • Mr. Harold and Erica Uzzell
  • Mr. Keith Dowdell
  • Carolyn Colson 

2013 - At the Crossroads of Freedom and Equality: 150 Years of Progression and Advancement

  • Mr. Ernest Sneed
  • Dr. Clarence Jackson
  • Rep. Alan Williams
  • Mr. Vincent Irving
  • Mr. Spencer Ingram
  • Dr. Larry Robinson
  • Ms. Everline Brown
  • LTC. Robert Rollins
  • Mr. Roland Gaines
  • Dr. Irene Gaines
  • Ms. Dilcy Hogan
  • Mr. Delaitre Hollinger
  • Rev. Rudy Ferguson, Sr.
  • Mr. Michael Edwards

2012 - African-Americans in American History and Culture

  • Ms. Franzlyne Jean-Louis
  • Mr. Bernard Jackson
  • Mr. Troy Harris
  • Mrs. Geneva Westley
  • Ms. Eunice Cofie
  • Dr. Mary Young
  • Ms. Annie Thompson
  • Dr. Jane Marks
  • Judge Nina Ashenafi Richardson
  • Mr. Eric Hinson
  • Elder Renson Thompson
  • Dr. Juanita Williams
  • Dr. Valencia Matthews
  • Dr. Patricia Green-Powell
  • Mr. Ken & Dr. Debra Austin
  • Dr. Alma Littles
  • Mr. George W. Pittman, Sr.

2011 - Serving and Making a Difference: Civil War to Present

  • Ms. Jacquell “The Apostle” Lawson
  • Mr. Breyon Love
  • Mr. L. Bradford Johnson
  • Ms. Priscilla Hawkins
  • Mrs. Lillian Johnson
  • Elder F. R. Rush
  • Mr. John E. Lawrence
  • Ms. Brenda Holt
  • Dr. Charles Evans
  • Mrs. Shirley Washington
  • Mrs. Beulah Gregory
  • Mrs. Anita Davis
  • Mrs. Patrice Minor-Floyd
  • Mrs. D. Edwina Stephens
  • Ms. Annie Johnson
  • Sheriff Morris Young
  • Dr. Anne Richardson Gayles-Felton

Honorary Members: Dr. T. K. Wetherell, Dr. Debra Austin, Ms. Marjorie Turnbull, Dr. William D. Law Jr., Dr. Barbara Sloan and Dr. Jim Murdaugh

Special Veterans Honored: Pvt. 1st Class Clenton Wooten, Sr. and Col. Willie Jenkins

2010 - Economic Empowerment and the African-American Experience

  • Dr. Nickie Beasley
  • Mr. Howard A. Roberts
  • Mr. Jerrod W. Holton
  • Mr. Freeman D. Lawrence
  • Mr. Gallop Franklin, II
  • Dr. Carolyn J. Ryals
  • Ms. Glenda L. Thornton
  • Rev. O. Jermaine Simmons, Sr.
  • Ms. Minnie Lucile Wynn Williams
  • Judge Errol H. Powell
  • Ms. Mary M. Mitchell
  • Ms. Claudette D. Cromartie
  • Dr. Robert R. Bradford
  • Dr. Edward G. Tolliver
  • Mr. Adner Marcelin
  • Mr. Darren Mason

2009 - The American Journey from a Dream Deferred to a Dream Realized

  • Mrs. Sevilla Burney Tillman
  • Mrs. Nancy E. Mosley Russell
  • Mr. Laymon A. Hicks
  • Mr. Andrew Collins
  • Mr. Louis Dilbert
  • Mr. Henry C. Hunter
  • Dr. Na’im Akbar
  • Ms. Shonda Knight
  • Ms. Lesa Crosby-Harley
  • Mr. Allen D. Stucks, Sr.
  • Mr. Joe Nell Thomas
  • Ms. Charee Williams
  • Mrs. Lyn Stanfield
  • Mr. Eugene Lamb, Jr.
  • Dr. Frances Stallworth
  • Dr. Marvin Henderson
  • Mr. Gregory Turner
  • Ms. Brenda Scott
  • Dr. Howard F. McMillan
  • Mr. Hinton “Goo” Battle
  • Elder Michael R. Moore
  • Mr. Leonard L. Inge
  • Rev. Evelyn Jackson Corbin
  • Dr. David Jackson
  • Mrs. Doris Maloy
  • Dr. Henry Lewis, III
  • Mr. Ronald E. Henry, II
  • Mr. Edward E. Acoff

2008 - The Mis-Education of the Negro: Re-Educating and Empowering 75 Years Later

  • Mrs. Mary Lee Hill
  • Dr. Oliver Jones, Jr.
  • Dr. Rosalie Hill
  • Mr. Zachery Richardson
  • Rev. Dr. R. B. Holmes, Jr.
  • Rev. Dr. John Frank Green
  • The Honorable John R. Marks, III
  • The Honorable Delores Madison
  • Dr. Sybil Mobley
  • Dr. Freddie L. Groomes-McLendon
  • Mrs. Sandra Kay Collins
  • Mrs. Lessie G. Sanford
  • Col. Willie E. Jenkins
  • Dr. Herbert G. Parker
  • Mr. Darryl Jones
  • Mr. Eddie Randolph
  • Rev. Canon Laughton D. Thomas
  • Rev. John White, II
  • Dr. James H. Ammons
  • The Honorable Augustus D. Aikens
  • Dr. E. Murell Dawson
  • Dr. Anthony Viegbesie
  • Mr. Charles Atkins
  • Dr. Helena Barrington
  • The Honorable Sherrie Taylor
  • Dr. MaKeba Earst
  • Mrs. Carolyn Alfreda King
  • Mr. Sterling Hollingsworth
  • Ms. Danyell Shackelford
  • Ms. Tycia Foster
  • Ms. Monique Gillum
  • Mr. James Bland
  • Mr. Clifford Counts
  • Mr. William Hawks

2007 - From Trials to Triumph

  • Dr. Jessie Furlow
  • Attorney Benjamin L. Crump
  • Attorney Daryl D. Parks
  • Mr. Joseph Bullard
  • Ms. Kathleen Baker
  • Mr. Wilmoth Baker
  • Ms. Lucille Holliday Brown
  • Mr. Christopher S. Evans
  • Mr. Phillip B. Agnew
  • Mr. Dexter Martin
  • Ms. Carmen Cummings-Martin
  • Ms. Pam Laws
  • Dr. William R. Jones
  • Rev. Rosalind Tompkins-Whiteside
  • Mr. Errick Farmer
  • Mr. Roosevelt Wilson
  • Mr. Reginald C. James

2006 - A Tribute to 40 Years of Excellence and Achievement

  • Ms. Gwendolyn O. Parker
  • Dr. M. Rony Francois
  • Dr. Vera L. McIntyre
  • Mr. Freddie Franklin
  • Ms. Syreeta Bromfield Kemp
  • Ms. Kelli Hall Wilson
  • Mr. James W. Lockley, Jr.
  • Mr. Ed Dixon
  • Mr. Al Dennis
  • Mr. Timothy Lamar Tooten
  • Ms. Kimberly Moore
  • Mr. Perry L. West
  • Attorney Neil Rambana
  • Mr. Lorenzo Alexander

2005 - Then and Now: The Struggle for Achievement

  • Mr. Ramon Jermain Alexander
  • Mrs. Georgia "Joy" Bowen
  • Mr. Stephen Beasley
  • Mrs. Dorothy Inman-Johnson
  • Rev. Ernest Ferrell
  • Ms. Eva B. Mannings
  • Dr. Larry E. Rivers
  • Ms. Linn Ann Jones Griffin
  • Honorable Eleanor Mitchell Hunter
  • Mr. Lee R. Colson
  • Dr. Robert H. Bryant
  • Mr. Earle Lee, Jr.​

2004 - Brown vs. Board of Education: Liberated to Learn/Free to Succeed

  • Mrs. Maggie B. Lewis-Butler
  • Ms. Anita R. Favors
  • Mr. Edward Howard
  • Dr. Nicholas Edward Gaymon
  • Representative Curtis Richardson
  • Commissioner Andrew D. Gillum
  • Senator Alfred “Al” Lawson Jr.
  • Mr. Larry O. Rivers
  • Mr. Harry Jacobs
  • Mrs. Alice Clotelle Peacock
  • Mr. Chriss Walker-TCC ALUMNI
  • Mr. Fred H. Flowers

2003- A Century of Soul: A Black Retrospective

  • Bishop Adam J Richardson, Jr.
  • Dr. George W. Gore, Jr.
  • Justice Leander J. Shaw, Jr.
  • Dr. Alexander D.J. Brickler, Jr.
  • Former U.S. Representative Carrie Pittman Meek
  • Attorney Harold M. Knowles
  • Robert “Bob” “Bullet” Hayes
  • Mr. James R. Ford
  • Professor James Nathaniel Eaton, Sr.
  • Elder Raleigh Noble Gooden
  • Dr. LaSalle D. Leffall, Jr.
  • Mrs. Cherry Hall Alexander—TCC ALUMNI

 2002- United We Stand: Have Past Events Erased the Color Line?

  • Althemese Barnes
  • Reverend Bernyce Hall Clausell
  • Dr. Devurn Glenn
  • Fred D. Lee, Sr.
  • Reverend Herbert Clarke Alexander
  • John Gilmore Riley
  • Dr. Leonard H.B. Foote
  • Mamie Johnson Strong
  • Nathaniel Carlyle Adderley
  • Robert Pete Griffin- “Coach Pete”
  • Thomas  DeSaille Tucker
  • Walter A. McNeil

2001- Celebrating the African American Community in the 21st Century

  • Aquilina Howell
  • Dr. Doris H. Clack
  • Dr. Charles U.Smith
  • Alonzo “Jake” Gaither
  • Dr. William P. Foster
  • Willie Galimore
  • C.K. Steele
  • Julian Adderley
  • Irene O.C. Edmonds
  • Dr. Russell Anderson
  • J.R.D. Laster
  • Moses G. Miles