Congratulatory Announcements 

January - May 2022

New York Theological Seminary Welcomes Rev. Dr. Cecelia Williams Bryant and Bishop John Richard Bryant as New Adjunct Faculty members.

This Course will be Virtual!


Bishop David Rwhynica Daniels, Jr. and Supervisor Irene M Daniels’ youngest daughter, Iesha M. Daniels was elected as the 83rd Miss Howard University 


In Fall 2021, Bishop David Rwhynica Daniels, Jr.  and Supervisor Irene M Daniels’ youngest daughter, Iesha MArdea Daniels was elected as the 83rd Miss Howard University. She is a Senior Acting Major, Playwriting Minor. She is a proud member of Alpha Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. Iesha loves to make people laugh, meet new people, and artistically collaborate. She was an actress, assistant director, and writer for the Tony Award-Winning Theater, Arena Stage. She has also performed at Howard University as Guhahamuka in Children of Killers by Katori Hall. Iesha's ultimate goal is to become an actress, director, and social impact producer where she aims to dismantle the negative stereotypes of black women in the entertainment industry, especially colorism. She is currently an intern at Jordan Peele’s Academy Award-winning film company Monkeypaw Productions. Iesha is proud to be a 2021 Graduate of the Academy Gold Rising program hosted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 

Iesha is also passionate about her Howard community. She was the 2018 - 2019 Miss Freshman and the 2020-2021 Miss College of Arts and Science. For her current role as Miss Howard University, she ran on the platform, “It’s Giving!”, which highlighted inclusivity and connectivity as Howard University readjusted having its first year back on campus after 3 virtual semesters. This past semester Iesha has had the opportunity to host many events on campus: She partnered with UGG and @winxlex to educate on sustainable fashion and gave out over $500 worth of free UGG merchandise. She partnered with @HBCUBuzz to host conversations around new upcoming films and series that highlight Black art: Horror Noire on AMC or Amazon Prime Video and the reboot of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air on Peacock. She was a student ambassador for Chase Bank and Kevin Hart’s financial literacy workshops on campus for young Black artists and investors. She has also partnered with the National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda to give out free menstrual products to students on campus and to educate them about menstruation as a means to destigmatize periods. Lastly, Iesha and her Mister Howard University, Ro, threw a holiday film screening on The Yard and served hot chocolate as their final send-off before winter break commenced. 

 Iesha is blessed to be in this role. She is excited to finish as strongly as she started, and even more excited to launch her postgrad career in Los Angeles, CA.



*Detroit native Jamal Simmons (AME PK) hired as communications director for Vice President Kamala Harris –

The Reverend Larry Harris is pleased to announce that his son, Jamal Simmons has been appointed to serve as Vice President Kamala Harris’ Communications Director. Jamal Simmons is a member of both Baber Memorial AME in Detroit where Reverend Simon serves as Pastor, and Metropolitan AME in Washington DC.

Jamal has worked on a number of presidential campaigns, including those of Bill Clinton and Al Gore, and he was an adviser to the Democratic National Committee for the 2008 race. He also has appeared on Hill.TV and NPR’s Hear and Now and was founding editor of The Beat DC and hosted their weekly podcast. He has a bachelor’s degree from Morehouse College and a master’s in public policy degree from Harvard University.

A Detroit, Michigan, native, he arrived in Harris's office with decades of political communications and campaign experience, including on former President Bill Clinton's traveling press team during his 1992 presidential campaign and as deputy communications director for Al Gore's presidential campaign.

News link:

Please keep Jamal lifted in prayer.

Congratulatory messages can be email to proud father, Rev Larry l Simmons Sr., of Pastor:


The Reverend Veda Stewart Pastor of Barnes Temple AME Church, Elsmere KY successfully defended her dissertation

The Reverend Veda Stewart, Pastor of Barnes Temple AME Church, Elsmere, KY, successfully defended her dissertation entitled “Special Considerations Process in Gifted Identification: Increasing Access and Equitable Practices for Underrepresented Population in an Urban School District” and now holds a EdD in Educational Policy and Leadership from Eastern Kentucky University.

Congratulatory Messages may be sent to: Dr. Veda Stewart at


Dr. Teresa Fry Brown, Historiographer / Executive Director, Department of Research and Scholarship, celebrates the birth of her first grandchild Jonathan David Perr

Dr. Teresa Fry Brown, Historiographer / Executive Director, Department of Research and Scholarship, celebrates the birth of her first grandchild Jonathan David Perry on February 9, 2022, at 10:23 AM to her daughter Dr. Veronica Perry and her son-in-law Mr. Jonathan Perry.
Congratulatory messages may be sent to:
Dr. Teresa Fry Brown
938 Olivia Drive
Snellville, GA 30039


Dr. Christina Dickerson Cousin, Ph.D., the daughter of Ret. General Officer  Dennis C. Dickerson, Sr., Ph.D. and Mrs. Mary A. E. Dickerson has published BLACK INDIANS AND FREEDMEN



Dr. Christina Dickerson Cousin, Ph.D., the daughter of Retired General Officer Dennis C. Dickerson, Sr., Ph.D. and Mrs. Mary Anne Eubanks Dickerson, has published BLACK INDIANS AND FREEDMEN: THE AFRICAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH & INDIGENOUS AMERICANS, 1816-1916 (Urbana, University of Illinois Press, 2021). She is married to Reverend Steven A. Cousin, Jr., the pastor of Bethel AME Church in New Haven, Connecticut and they are the parents of two sons, Steven III and Samuel. She is Assistant Professor of History at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut and a member of the editorial board of METHODIST HISTORY. She received the B.A. (Summa Cum Laude) in history from Spelman College where she was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. While at Spelman, she studied for a semester at the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom. She earned the M.A. and Ph.D. in history from Vanderbilt University.   


*Rev. Dr. Emilygail Dill appointed to the Senate of Bermuda, the upper house of the island's Parliament and also appointed a junior government minister in the Ministry of Transportation and National Security

The Progressive Labour Party is pleased to welcome Rev. Dr. Emilygail Dill to our Senate team to serve as Junior Minister for Transportation & National Security.

Senator Rev. Dr. Dill was educated at The Berkeley Institute and Sandys Secondary School. Her Bachelor of Arts was in English and Secondary Education from the esteemed Spelman College in Atlanta, with a minor in Music and Theater. She later obtained her Master's Degree from the Interdenominational Theology Center in Atlanta with a concentration in Leadership Development and Pastoral Counseling. Senator Rev. Dr. Dill completed her Doctorate in Leadership Development and Organization Dynamics from the United-Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, and her Human Resources Director Certification from Cornell University.
Senator Rev. Dr. Dill is an ordained Minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. She has worked in the Bermuda Public School System as a teacher, an Educational Therapist and as a Counselor. These skills sets will be of great value in her new role as the Junior Minister of National Security and Transport.
Premier David Burt said:” I welcome Rev. Dr. Emily Gail Dill to the Senate and congratulate her on her appointment as a junior minister. She has answered a call to serve at an important time in Bermuda and I am grateful for her willingness to embark on this new facet of her already extensive public service.
She brings to her appointments as Senator and Junior Minister considerable strengths in the arts, education and ministry and a genuine empathy for the needs of others. Her record of work and success with Bermuda's youth through the Alternative Education programme will add to the dedicated team at the Ministry of National Security who are focused on tackling the root causes of gang violence.
I am grateful to her for accepting this challenge and I look forward to her reasoned contributions to debates and her strong voice in support of this Government’s legislative agenda.”
Senator Dill is married to Rev. Howard Dill, the Senior Pastor at Allen Temple AME Church, Sandys.
The PLP is confident that the Senator's education, community service, and professional experience, will be a valuable asset to our Senate Team as they work on behalf of all Bermudians.

Premier’s Remarks - The Appointment and Swear-in of Rev. Dr. EmilyGail Dill

Rev. Dr. Emilygail Dill is a member of the National Association of Parliamentarians. She is the recent former 1st Episcopal District WIM President, Dean of the Ministerial Institute of the Bermuda Annual Conference,  married to Presiding Elder Rev. Howard Dill, Senior Pastor of Allen Temple AME Church, Sandys where she serves as Assistant Pastor.

Congratulatory messages to Rev. Dr. Emilygail Dill can be emailed to:


*Bishop Francine A. Brookins, 141st Elected and Consecrated Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Presiding Prelate of the 18th Episcopal District is the Newly Elected Vice Chair of the Pan-Methodist Commission.


The Rt. Rev. Francine A. Brookins, Esq

 Francine Angelique Brookins is the 141st elected and consecrated Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.  She is a builder of buildings and of people, a licensed attorney in the State of California, a skilled mediator, and an experienced and beloved Pastor. Bishop Francine Brookins (141) is the biological daughter of two social activists: The Rt. Rev. Hamel Hartford Brookins (deceased) (91st elected and consecrated Bishop in the AMEC) and the Rev. Carole Nelson Ingram (Ret.). She is also the dog-mom of Zumme.
Bishop Brookins (141) earned her B.A. from Georgetown University in 1993, her Juris Doctor (J.D.) from The George Washington National Law Center in 1996, and her Master of Divinity from Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA in 2002. As a practicing attorney in the State of California she has represented litigants in the areas of civil rights, criminal defense, family law, personal injury, church property, and conflict resolution. She has served as mentor for students matriculating through the Doctor of Ministry program at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, GA.
Bishop Brookins has been committed to the liberating and reconciling ministry of the AMEC from an early age.  As a child she sang in the choir and was a junior stewardess and usher.  In later years she collaborated in drafting and passing the revised policy on clergy sexual misconduct for the AMEC and helping to train its constituents. In 2008 she was elected and served as one of nine members of the Judicial Council, and as the 2nd Vice President of Women in Ministry in charge of legislation and bylaws. She is the recipient of numerous community service and leadership awards.
Bishop Brookins (141) is a dynamic, thought-provoking, soul-stirring, and powerful preacher and teacher who loves God, loves the AME Church, and loves you. She is faithful to the cause of Jesus Christ of Nazareth and dedicated to the work of caring for all of humankind.  She is determined to expand the family of God using her special abilities to see and cultivate the gifts and calling in those who others sometimes overlook.

Congratulatory messages can be emailed to:


*The Reverend Dr. Jonathan C. Augustine Member of the Judicial Council of the African Methodist Episcopal Church-  New Book Interview -


An Interview with Jay Augustine, Author of 'Called to Reconciliation'

Called to Reconciliation: How the Church Can Cover Justice, Diversity and Inclusion,” was released on February 8th by Baker Academic. It is available wherever books are sold. Click on the link or on the picture below to listen to the interview.

The Reverend Dr. Jonathan C. Augustine

Jonathan C. Augustine (a/k/a “Jay Augustine”) is a pastor and professor, as well as an author and advocate. He is part of a group of national social justice leaders who speak for the equality of all human beings, while advocating for policies of diversity, inclusion, and belonging. 
 A Pastor for All People
​As a pastor, Dr. Augustine has earned a well-deserved reputation for bringing the church into the community and community into the church, in addressing pressing social issues. Since May 2019, he has served as the senior pastor of St. Joseph AME Church (Durham, NC), while simultaneously serving, since January 2017, as the general chaplain of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Since his appointment to St. Joseph, new ministries have been birthed and many new members have joined the congregation, as it developed an outward-facing social justice focus. In addition to Dr. Augustine’s powerful prophetic preaching, under his leadership, St. Joseph has welcomed numerous social justice icons
Prior to serving St. Joseph, Dr. Augustine was senior pastor at Historic St. James AME Church, in downtown New Orleans, the city’s first predominately Black, Protestant church and the denomination’s oldest congregation in the Deep South.
 Professor and Scholar
Augustine is also a law professor and reconciliation scholar. Prior to his current service, at North Carolina Central University Law School, he taught as an adjunct professor at Southern University Law Center. His scholarly publications, on issues like immigration reform, environmental justice, and voting rights, appear in journals including the Connecticut Public Interest Law Journal, Hastings Race and Poverty Law Journal, Louisiana Law Review, Loyola Law Review, and the Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal. His writings have also been cited by the Louisiana Supreme Court in published opinion. Dr. Augustine currently serves as a missional strategist with the Duke University Center for Reconciliation
As the author or editor of four books, Augustine is currently under contract completing When Prophets Preach: Leadership and the Politics of the Pulpit (Fortress Press, 2022). His current book is Called to Reconciliation: How the Church Can Model Justice, Diversity and Inclusion (Baker Academic, 2022). His first book was The Keys Are Being Passed: Race, Law, Religion and the Legacy of the Civil Rights Movement (ROM Publishing, LLC, 2014) and, in his capacity as general chaplain of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., during the COVID-19 global pandemic, he also edited Leadership in Times of Crisis: Alpha Phi Alpha’s Minister’s as Prophets, Priests and Kings (ROM Publishing, LLC, 2021).     

An Accomplished Advocate 
Prior to becoming a law professor, Augustine served as a nationally noted civil rights litigator. He successfully litigated and settled one of the oldest school desegregation cases in the United States, originally litigated by Thurgood Marshall, before his appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court. In working as of counsel with the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, Augustine also co-authored an amicus curie brief filed with the United States Supreme Court in Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee (2021), a case brought under the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He is a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association, and admitted to practice law before several federal courts, including the United States Supreme Court.
Nationally Recognized Leader 

Augustine is the recipient of many notable awards, including President Barack Obama’s Lifetime Achievement Award (2016), the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. “Outstanding Alumni Brother of the Year” Award (2017), Ten Outstanding Young Americans Award (2004) and Ebony Magazine’s “30 Leaders of the Future” (2001). He earned a B.A., in economics, from Howard University, before serving as a decorated, active-duty infantry officer in the United States Army. Immediately after his military service, Dr. Augustine earned his law degree from Tulane University and served as a law clerk to then-Associate Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson at the Louisiana Supreme Court. After holding publicly elected and gubernatorially appointed office in Louisiana, he accepted the calling to ordained ministry and earned his Master of Divinity from United Theological Seminary, before completing a fellowship for further study at Princeton Theological Seminary. Augustine also earned his doctorate from Duke University.
Dr. Jonathan C. Augustine serves as an elected member of the Judicial Council (Supreme Court) of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and is married to Michelle Burks Augustine. Together, they have two children.       

Congratulatory expressions can be emailed to:, Reverend Dr. Jonathan C. Augustine


*An Episcopal Centenarian Birthday Salute 

 *Bishop Frederick Calhoun James Celebrates his One Hundredth Birthday, April Seventh, Two Thousand Twenty-Two

*Bishop Frederick Calhoun James the Ninety-Third Elected and Consecrated Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church; the oldest living Bishop in Methodism in the USA still lives holding “True to his Christian Social Action Legacy”

Ecumenical theologian, advocate for fair and decent housing, proponent of civil rights, political leader and public servant are only a few of the characteristics of Bishop Frederick Calhoun James, the Ninety-Third Elected and Consecrated Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. 

Bishop Frederick Calhoun James was born on April 7, 1922, in Prosperity, South Carolina, the son of Edward and Rosa Lee James. He graduated from Drayton Street High School, Newberry, South Carolina. He graduated from Bettis Junior College with an Associate of Arts Degree and earned his B.A. degree in History/English from Allen University (1943), and his Master of Divinity degree from the Howard University School of Religion (1947). He also studied at Union Theological Seminary in New York. He married Theressa Gregg on December 30, 1944.                              

As a champion for civil rights, Rev. James became a community and state social and political action leader. In 1960, he was elected Consultant/Director of Social Action of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. In this position, he formed a close relationship with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In 1963, he became President of the Effective Sumter Movement of Sumter, South Carolina, a historic chapter in civil rights. In 1967, as pastor of Mt. Pisgah A.M.E. Church, Rev. James led the sponsorship of the first 221(d) Rent Supplement Housing Project in South Carolina. In 1969, he initiated the first 221(h) Home Ownership Project in the state. He was South Carolina’s first African American Congressional District member of the Department of Alcohol and Drug Abuse and the Department of Social Services. He was the first African American to serve on the Board of Directors at NBSC (National Bank of South Carolina), now SYNOVUS, the first African American member of the Greater Sumter Chamber of Commerce and the first A. M. E. Bishop elected from a South Carolina A. M. E. Church pulpit. From 1987 to 1992 he was a member of the Columbia Housing Authority and served as vice chair. He also served as Vice President of the S. C. Christian Action Council.

In 1972, he was elected to the AME Bishopric and was assigned as the Presiding Bishop of the AME Church in South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Swaziland, Namibia, and Mozambique. Headquartered in Cape Town, South Africa, he established schools, a publishing house, churches, and other institutions. Bishop James later was assigned bishop in Arkansas and Oklahoma (1976). He formed a lifelong friendship with then Attorney Bill Clinton. In 1984, he was assigned to the 7th Episcopal District, State of South Carolina. In each of these positions, he built housing projects, strengthened schools and led two colleges to full accreditation; Shorter College, N. Little Rock, Arkansas in 1981 and Allen University, Columbia, South Carolina in 1992. In 1992, Bishop James was assigned Ecumenical Bishop and Chaplaincy Endorsement Officer of the African Methodist Episcopal Church International. In 1993, he was given major fiscal and reconciliation duties as Bishop of the Second Episcopal District (Maryland, Washington, D.C., Virginia, and North Carolina) of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the district was stabilized in many ways.





(Click on each link below to see photos.)

In 1972,  he was assigned as the Presiding Bishop of the AME Church in South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Swaziland, Namibia, and Mozambique. Headquartered in Cape Town, South Africa, he established schools, a publishing house, churches, and other institutions.

*A glimpse of the work in Districts Fifteen and Eighteen: 


In 1976, Bishop James was assigned bishop in Arkansas and Oklahoma. He formed a lifelong friendship with then Attorney Bill Clinton.  He built housing projects, strengthened schools and led Shorter College in Little Rock to full accreditation in 1981.

*A glimpse of the work in the Twelfth District:

   The Twelfth_District.pdf

In 1984, he was assigned to the 7th Episcopal District, State of South Carolina. He  built housing projects and strengthened Allen University to full accreditation in 1992. 

*A glimpse of the work in the Seventh District:


In 1993, he was given major fiscal and reconciliation duties as Bishop of the Second Episcopal District (Maryland, Washington, D.C., Virginia, and North Carolina) of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the district was stabilized in many ways.

*A glimpse of the work in the Second District:


*A glimpse of the Second District tours to the 15th, 17th, 18th and 19th Districts:


In 1994, he was selected by President Clinton as an official member of the delegation to attend the inauguration of South African President Nelson Mandela, and in 1998 he was again chosen to accompany President and Mrs. Clinton on an official visit to South Africa. 

The poem penned by Bishop Frederick Calhoun James, "Flying Home From The Nelson Mandela Inauguration" May 1994; aboard Air Force Two, and a portion of the delegation:

Bishop James is a former member of the White House Advisory Board on Historical Black Colleges and Universities, the U.S. State Department’s Advisory Board on Religious Freedom, and National Vice President of the Interfaith Alliance. A life member of the NAACP, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, and a 33-degree Mason, he was inducted into the South Carolina Black Hall of Fame (1991) and the Columbia Housing Authority Wall of Fame (1994). In January of 2003, Bishop James was awarded the state’s highest honor, The Order of the Palmetto, for his significant contributions to South Carolina. 

He retired from active duty in 1996 and he and Dr. Theressa Gregg James, Episcopal Supervisor returned to live at their home in Columbia, South Carolina.

Episcopal Supervisor Retired, Dr. Theressa Gregg James transitioned Monday, January 25, 2021, in Columbia, South Carolina.  Dr. Theressa Gregg James and Bishop James had celebrated seventy-six years of wedded bliss on December 30, 2020.

Bishop James Honored and in the News:

 Voices of Rosenwald: Bishop Frederick C. James Dreams Big for Howard Junior High, Feb 21, 2013,  Voices of Rosenwald: Bishop Frederick C. James Dreams Big for Howard Junior High where he attended Howard Junior High School

Politics & Government – The State Newspaper APRIL 15, 2019
97-year-old Bishop rises from wheelchair to honor Ernest Hollings

News 19 Columbia 

Columbia man's lifetime of civil rights work, ministry honored
Bishop James, 98, served on the White House and State Advisory boards, including being a dignitary at the signing of the Voting Rights Bill in 1965.

South Carolina African American Heritage Commission Honors Bishop F. C. James -Jul 23, 2020


The Printed Words

"To God Be The Glory" by Rev. Dr. Mankekolo Mahlangu-Ngcobo, brilliant Author, Teacher, Preacher
"Forward In Faith" by Bishop Frederick Calhoun James
"African Methodism in South Carolina A Bicentennial Focus" by Bishop Frederick Calhoun James

Bishop James wishes for his Legacy to be“He majored in Righteousness in the Sight of God.”        

Congratulatory messages can be emailed to:

*Meet the  psychologist drawing from the Black church to reshape mental health care

Thema Bryant PhD, an ordained minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church

Thema Bryant,  an ordained minister and daughter of Bishop John R. Bryant and Supervisor Rev. Cecelia W. Bryant, is taking over leadership of the American Psychological Association at a critical turning point for the field.

BALTIMORE — The day after the American Psychological Association’s newest leader pitched her vision for the organization to dozens of her colleagues in D.C., she walked into Maryland’s oldest Black church and stepped up to the wooden pulpit where her father and grandfather used to preach.

“Hallelujah,” Thema Bryant, 48, said, smiling as her voice boomed through the century-old sanctuary at the Bethel AME Church in West Baltimore. “It’s good to be home.”

Bryant, who was elected in December to lead the nation’s largest organization for psychologists, grew up in these pews. It was here she first met people who were hurting — from racism, gun violence, addiction — and saw how they could recover.

“You all raised me,” Bryant said, addressing the all-Black congregation for the first time since the pandemic started. “And let me tell you, I’ve not forgotten.”

A tenured professor at Pepperdine University in Los Angeles, Bryant is an ordained elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, an outspoken survivor of sexual assault, a daughter to two ministers and a sister to a popular Georgia pastor who recently went on a hunger strike for voting rights. She spent part of her teenage years in Liberia, where she witnessed the start of its first civil war.

Bryant represents a different future for psychology, her colleagues say, at a turning point for the field where both providers and recipients of care have long been disproportionately White.

President Biden recently pledged more mental health support for “Black and Brown communities” the pandemic, though a rash of high-profile suicides over the last year suggests the issue is deeper and more intransigent than officials anticipate. Even before the pandemic, rates of suicide were rising among Black adolescents faster than any other racial or ethnic group.  Demand for culturally sensitive and accessible mental health services has surged in the face of worsening depression among Black and Latino people, though according to the 2019 censuses data, fewer than one in five psychologists are people of color and fewer than one in 30 is Black.

Those pushing to remake the field see Bryant as a key figure with potential to make a tangible difference.

She has spent her career studying trauma recovery and was among the first psychologists to assert, about two decades ago, that racism can be traumatic.  She’s unapologetic about working outside staid conventions, whether that means breaking out in song while delivering keynote speeches, talking about her recovery from sexual assault on her podcast, or going on Instagram as “Dr. Thema” to discuss Black liberation with her 306,000 followers.

Thema Bryant was elected in 2021 to lead the American Psychological Association. A specialist in trauma recovery, Bryant has long called for the field of psychology to recognize and treat the trauma of racism and to be more inclusive toward people of color.

Bryant represents a different future for psychology, her colleagues say, at a turning point for the field where both providers and recipients of care have long been disproportionately White.

Now, she’s preparing to head up the 130,000-member APA, an influential organization that among other things, sets guidelines for psychological treatment and practice, promotes research, and provides expertise that shapes legislation and court decisions. Bryant, who will take over in 2023, says her goal is to bring “psychology to the people.”

She wants to host a conference in Washington that focuses on practical ways to cope with trauma, inviting laypeople — instead of just licensed psychologists — to speak and participate. She wants to craft codes on “decolonizing psychology,” showing mental health professionals how to use song, dance, and other forms of culture in their treatment. And she wants to produce a documentary highlighting psychologists of color and what they’re doing to expand access to care.

The people Bryant grew up around at Bethel were often skeptical of the medical establishment and almost never spoke openly about mental illness, she said. But they had their own ways of dealing with suffering. They’d find catharsis singing Gospel songs or dancing to soul and hip-hop. They’d grieve at healing circles or confide in her father, Pastor John Bryant. Her first exposure to mental health came mixed in with discussions on art, justice, and work — and now, as a clinical psychologist, she’s made this approach her trademark.

So, who does the field leave out if it dismisses religion? Who misses out if deep, rigorous mental health care is thought only to occur inside the four walls of a clinic?

“The things she says sometimes, I want to run for cover,” her father, John Bryant, said one recent afternoon. Retired in Baltimore with his wife, he sometimes feels his heart race, he said, when he watches his daughter talking about the trauma of white supremacy to an auditorium full of White people in Mississippi.

“Oh, but she always does it with a smile,” Cecelia Williams Bryant replied. “She speaks the truth with love."

Congratulatory messages can be emailed to

*Marvin Frank Curtis Zanders Juris Doctorate Candidate

The Dean, Faculty and Staff of the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University College of Law announce the hooding of Marvin Frank Curtis Zanders a Juris Doctorate Candidate at the annual Hooding Ceremony on Saturday, May Seventh, Two Thousand and Twenty-Two at 10 o’clock in the morning; Hyatt Grand Cypress , One Grand Cypress Boulevard , Orlando, Florida.

Larger view

The journey continues……..

Upon completion of the Florida Bar, Zanders will relocate to New York to acquire a Master of Law (LLM) degree in Taxation from the prestigious New York University.

Marvin Frank Curtis Zanders is the son of Bishop Marvin Clyde Zanders II, the 140th Elected and Consecrated Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and Mrs. Winifred Houston Zanders; Presiding Prelate and Supervisor of the Sixteenth Episcopal District; Guyana/Suriname, Virgin Islands, European, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, and Windward Islands.

Ways to Congratulate the Graduate:


Zelle –

By Mail: 4003 Eagle Landing Parkway

Orange Park, Florida 32065

Thank you for your love and support!

Congratulatory messages can be emailed to: (Bishop Marvin C. Zanders, II and Supervisor Winifred H. Zanders ).

*How a LSU professor is impacting those battling cancer through his passion for swimming

(From left to right) Senior vice president of principal gifts and CFRE Ann Marie Marmande helps present the Kuumba Community Service Award to Rev. Dr. Herman Kelly of Bethel Ame Church alongside vice provost for diversity and chief diversity officer Dr. Dereck J. Rovaris at the Clarence L. Barney, Jr. African American Cultural Center (AACC) Jazz Brunch on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, in the LSU Club at Union Square.

LSU professor Herman Kelly, an African American Studies instructor and pastor, raised over $11, 000 last year for the Hematology and Oncology Clinic of Baton Rouge to financially support patients going through cancer treatment, including his late wife of 37 years, Linda. Dr. Herman O. Kelly, Jr., is the pastor of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Kelly partnered with Coach Nan Fontenot of Crawfish Aquatics to host a swim fundraiser event, called “Swim for Life”. This year he is calling the event “Swim for Linda”. This is the name of the scholarship that “Swim for Life” created in his wife's honor. The scholarship is given to students who are cancer survivors themselves and Kelly has a say in who receives the scholarship.

Linda Kelly first battled breast cancer in 2014, and then went into remission in 2019. The cancer returned and while she was going through treatment, Kelly found his passion for swimming once again.

“I would go to the pool at 4 in the morning, and that was my therapy,” Kelly said.
In one of these early morning sessions, Kelly believes God spoke to him and gave him the idea to participate in “Swim for Life” events to raise money for cancer patients. Kelly was also told by one of Linda’s doctors that many people can’t afford these kinds of treatments and his main goal in participating in these events was to raise awareness around this issue.  

“God spoke to me and said, ‘I want you to raise money for oncology and those going through cancer treatment,’” Kelly said. 

Linda Kelly herself, against the advice of her husband, attended a “Swim for Life” event after one of her treatment sessions. Kelly said the fondest memory of his wife was when they would hang out together and she would cheer him on at his swimming competitions. He said she always pushed him to be the best person he could be.  

Swimming has been a passion of Kelly’s for most of his life but his wife’s recent battle with cancer has renewed his love for the sport. The sport of swimming has created a path for him to improve his own health as well.  

Kelly is preparing to go to Fort Lauderdale to represent Louisiana in the National Senior games. He swam competitively in college and high school. He has also won multiple state titles in senior swimming events in Louisiana.  

“Swimming has been a purpose through the pain I am going through. As I struggle with the loss of my wife, I have a purpose, and part of my purpose is swimming,” Kelly said. His wife passed away from breast cancer on August 7th, 2021. 

Kelly said, “She was my best friend, and I could talk to her about anything. She was a gift from God.”  

He created the “Swim for Linda” idea while his wife was battling cancer but hopes to continue helping other cancer patients with the financial burden that comes from expensive medical treatments.  

When Kelly struggles to find daily motivation, he remembers his wife, his faith, and the children they had together. He wants to establish a Linda Kelly Swimming Foundation in her memory and is in the process of doing just that.

Kelly recommends that other people who may have lost a loved one to cancer find a purpose for their grief and look for people who truly care about them.  

“My connection with the LSU community has given me a platform to do something good with my passion," Kelly said. "I am a students’ professor, and I am gifted that my students love me just as much as I love them. I always wanted to teach, and as a pastor of 24 years, I see this as an extension of my ministry.” 

This year’s fundraiser took place on Saturday, April 16th at Crawfish Aquatics in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Kelly hoped LSU swimmer Brooks Curry, an Olympian and National Champion, would make an appearance.  

Contributions for assisting Herman Kelly in raising money for cancer patients can be found below. 

“Find something in the community that you’re passionate about,” Kelly said. “I happen to be passionate about helping people who are less fortunate, children who don’t know how to swim, people who are going through cancer treatment. I want to help people going through this, because it's a lot of money, and they need support.”  

The LSU swimming community has rallied around Kelly’s passion for this event. They have participated in and raised money for the fundraiser in the past. His colleagues at LSU admire him for turning the pain from his grief into a constructive hobby and being a role model to everyone who is lucky enough to meet him. 

Responses can be emailed to: 
(Dr. Herman O. Kelly, Jr.)

*AME Minister Reverend Dr. Dee Dawkins-Haigler candidate for Georgia Secretary of State receives Noble Peace Prize Nomination for Global Leadership

Dee Dawkins-Haigler, Democratic Party is running for election for Georgia Secretary of State. Dawkins-Haigler is on the ballot in the Democratic primary on May 24, 2022.  Dawkins-Haigler (Democratic Party) was a member of the Georgia House of Representatives, representing  District 91.  Dawkins-Haigler assumed office in 2008.  Dawkins-Haigler left office in 2017.
The Honorable Roysdale A. Ford, Member of Parliament in Guyana and one of her nominators for the Peace Prize, states "Dr. Dee Dawkins-Haigler has been instrumental in the fight for Afro Guyanese gaining full access to government and global resources. She has been an ally in trying to ensure that equitable sustainable economic development is achieved for all Guyanese, which would level the playing field and get many Afro Guyanese people back to work and out of poverty."

The Honorable Dee Dawkins-Haigler is a champion for women and girls empowerment and continuously works on behalf of assisting vulnerable populations throughout the global village states Representative Laura Hall, (AL) President-Elect of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL), who recently presented a resolution to Dawkins-Haigler in the Alabama House of Representatives. Representative Hall has accompanied her to countries such as Nigeria, Guyana and United Arab Emirates and knows firsthand the work she does to eradicate poverty by providing for orphans and empowering widows with micro-grants to help them start small businesses with proceeds from two of her literary works - A Message to Our Daughters: Turning Trials in Triumphs and Empower Her: Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Development.

Dawkins-Haigler, a Goodwill Ambassador and Global Connector, not only travels extensively throughout Africa and the Caribbean, she also facilitates visits from world leaders to visit Georgia, New York and Washington DC to further build diplomacy and trade. Dr. Ken Giami, publisher of African Leadership Magazine, the largest and most respected publication centered around global leadership in the world, states it best, the Honorable Dee Dawkins-Haigler has a unique way of making everyone feel that we are truly a global village by bridging the gap between those on the continent of Africa with those living in the diaspora. She has been an ally as it relates to diplomacy and creating strategic economic partnerships to help close wealth gaps for people of African descent.

She dedicates her life to fighting for social justice and human rights issues that promote peace and economic stability. She is hailed as a champion and catalyst for systemic change by working with various world leaders and political regimes throughout Africa and the Caribbean, throughout Africa and the Caribbean, assisting them with tangible ways of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) outlined and approved by the United Nations. Her work has focused on the eradication of poverty, gender equality, affordable and clean energy and quality education to just name a few.
Dee is the Founder/President of the Organization of World Leaders (OWL) a consortium of leaders in Government, Law, Business, Health, Finance & Politics dedicated to working together to build alliances for economic sustainability and growth in Africa and the diaspora. She is also the Chief Ambassador to the United Nations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) for the Center of Economic Leadership and Development (CELD) in New York, Geneva and Vienna. She is the Founder of One Georgia which is dedicated to bringing together clergy, elected officials, social and civic groups, civil rights organizations and fraternities and sororities for the collective purpose of promoting issues salient to the African American and Hispanic communities with a special emphasis on economic justice and parity.  In addition to the above work, Dee is the Organizer of the Minority Cannibas Coalition (MCC), an organization dedicated to promoting equity and access in the cannabis industry.  

Dee is an advocate in the fight against human trafficking, domestic violence and teen dating violence which led her to produce the documentary/drama “Black Girls Die Too: The Back Page Murders”, which chronicles the death of Fourteen Black Women murdered as a result of using online human/sex trafficking websites such as Back Page.  Dee is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Top Ladies of Distinction, National Council of Negro Women, and the Order of Eastern Star. She is a past Regional Officer for Jack and Jill of America and is President of the East Metro Orchids. Dee resides in Lithonia Georgia. She is married to her college sweetheart Colonel David  Haigler Jr. and they have four children Christopher, Christyn, Hannah and Joshua, and two grandchildren Amari and Kingston.  

She is an ordained elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, celebrating 25 years in ministry, and serves at First Saint Paul AME Church, Lithonia, Georgia,  in the 6th Episcopal District, the Rev. Dr. Marvin Crawford, pastor.


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Messages of commendations and congratulations can be emailed to:

Dr. Herman O. Kelly, Jr. named a game changer by Humana at the 2022 Senior National Games in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Dr. Herman O. Kelly, Jr. was named a game changer by Humana at the 2022 Senior National Games in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida he was one of 12 named and one of two swimmers named for this award. The award is given every two years at the Senior Games to persons who work toward healthy living and community Service. Dr. Kelly has competed in two Senior games, and he has an annual fundraiser for Cancer, entitled Swim For Linda.
Presently, he is seven-time state Champion in Louisiana Senior Games. This prestigious award is given to persons 50 and over who work hard toward exercise and healthful living.
Dr. Kelly is the pastor of Bethel AME Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.


Congratulatory comments can be emailed to:

*The Rev. Dr. Mark L. Griffin honored by the Step-by-Step 4 Help Foundation, Inc.

Congratulations are extended to the Reverend Dr. Mark L. Griffin on the occasion of being honored by the Step-by-Step 4 Help Foundation, Inc. with their 2022 Community Hero Humanitarian Award at their Shades of Green Inaugural Gala held on Sunday, May 22, 2022, at the Schultz Center in Jacksonville, FL. Dr. Griffin serves as the servant leader of Wayman Temple AME Church (ONE Church - TWO Locations), Jacksonville,  Florida  (East Conference - 11th Episcopal District). 

Congratulatory messages may be sent to:

Dr. Mark L. Griffin


On behalf of Social Action Commission Chair, Bishop E. Anne Henning Byfield, and  Mrs. Jacquelyn DuPont-Walker, Director/ Consultant  Social Action Commission, we extend congratulations as you praise God for the Joy of these significant milestones. 

Ora L. Easley,

International Administrator