March 22, 2019
Award Winning Journalist
Rod Carter is an award-winning journalist who anchors News Channel 8’s weekend evening newscasts at 6pm and 11pm. Rod also anchors News Channel 8 at 8 on Great 38 weekend evenings.
He is a proud graduate of Florida A&M University in Tallahassee. He is the president of the Tampa Bay Association of Black Journalists (TBABJ) and a member of the Tampa chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity.
Rod is very active in the community as an emcee, speaker, and moderator of many community events throughout Tampa Bay. Rod also enjoys volunteering his time in the community. He is on the Community Leadership Board of the American Diabetes Association, a member of the Swope, Rodante Vanguard Award Selection Board (selecting outstanding student athletes throughout the Bay area), the FAMU School of Journalism Board of Visitors, a Life Member of the FAMU National Alumni Association, and a member of Beulah Baptist Institutional Church in Tampa.
March 21, 2019
Trailblazing Journalist and Editor
Nancy Ancrum was named the Miami Herald's Editorial Page Editor in December 2013, and she joined the paper’s board in 1990. In her new position she is committed to encouraging the community's engagement in making South Florida a better place to live, one where everyone has an opportunity to pursue — and realize — their dreams. She has covered and written editorial opinions on municipal government, healthcare, education policy and many other subjects, and she is working to enhance the Editorial Board's presence online, including on social media.
She joined the Miami Herald in 1983, as an editor. Before that, she was an editor for the then-new and trendsetting newspaper USA Today, in Roslyn, Va. There, she worked in the Life section, editing stories on health, dining and entertainment.
A native of New York, Nancy is a graduate of New York University, where she earned a degree in journalism. Upon graduation, she started her career as an editorial assistant at the Baltimore Evening Sun, now closed, before becoming a copy editor there.
During her tenure at the Miami Herald, Nancy held several positions before joining the Editorial Board, including assistant city editor. In addition to her responsibilities on the board, she wrote stories exploring food and culture, including a biweekly column, The Cultural Kitchen, and she has produced food-related stories for WLRN radio.
March 19, 2019
Kim V. Heard
Illustrious Public Health Warrior
This year marks a phenomenal milestone in Kim’s life. She celebrates 23 years as a breast cancer survivor after being diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer at the age of 38. She was diagnosed early and is living proof that “Early Detection Helps Save Lives.” Through her incredible journey Kim discovered God’s purpose for her life and is passionate about serving her community, educating women on breast health literacy, and the importance of screening. Kim realized the disparities in health care and became an advocate and activist for underserved women in our community as well as working on lung and colon clinical trials and prostate cancer initiatives through the Morehouse School of Medicine for many years. Recognizing that the African American community is rooted in the church, Kim has put an emphasis on focusing her outreach in the faith-based community as well as educating local pastors about the high mortality rate for breast cancer in our community.
She is Chair of the Susan G. Komen Worship in Pink Committee, facilitating educational programs at local churches, and screening women on site via a mobile mammography van free of charge. Kim was selected by FORD as a Warrior in Pink for the FORD Models of Courage Campaign. She has also received numerous awards for her work with the Susan G. Komen Foundation. During her service with Komen, Kim has touched the lives of nearly 12,000 women in the same way by affording uninsured women in our community the opportunity to receive lifesaving care and treatment. Kim served on the Board of Directors for the Susan G. Komen Miami/Ft. Lauderdale Affiliate for 8 years, educating the community on breast health literacy/resources, and volunteering for Komen for the last 20 years. She also served as Board President, Board Governance Chair, and Race Chair in 2018. While serving as Board President, Kim played a key role in providing mammograms to over 2,900 women, providing more than 1,500 cancer treatments, educating more than 5000 women on breast health literacy, and granting over $126,000 to research in 2017. She also served as state co-chair of the NBLIC (The National Black Leadership Initiative on Cancer-Morehouse School of Medicine) for 10 years and co-facilitated a breast cancer support group for more than 10 years.
Kim has a degree in Business Administration from Miami Dade College and is a licensed Cosmetologist having owned two successful salons in Miami and Dania for more than 30 years. She along with her sister Karen enjoy operating their business called Get Peace of Mind (helping clients get their affairs in order) after seeing many families torn apart when a loved one passes away. She is an active member of New Ark Covenant Church where she leads the Seniors Ministry, is a member of the Intercessory Prayer group, and the Alter Ministry.
March 18, 2019
Dr. Harold L. Nixon, Ph.D.
Visionary Excellence in Strategic Leadership
Dr. Harold Nixon, Ph.D. is a native of Smithfield, North Carolina. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Biology from Fisk University, his master's degree in Student Development and Guidance from North Carolina Central University, and his Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also completed the Educational Management Institute at Harvard University.
His vast work experiences include being a Dishwasher, a Cross-Country Truck Driver, a Transportation Entrepreneur, a Research Biologist for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Washington, D.C.
He has also provided leadership in higher education for more than 38 years. For 21 of those years, Nixon served as vice president at three universities with student bodies ranging from 900 to over 42,000. During those years, he either awarded directly or supervised the awarding of nearly $1 Billion in student-financial aid and scholarships.
At the University of South Florida, in Tampa, Fla., he was recognized for bringing a remarkable housing growth initiative to the campus totaling almost 950,000 square feet of space at a cost of nearly $200 million. Recognition for his contributions and the contributions of his team to USF was best described in the University's 2000-2007 Strategic Plan which states in part: "the Division of Student Affairs is leading one of the most extraordinary campus transformations in the nation." In addition, Nixon established the University of South Florida’s master’s program in student affairs administration. This academic program has grown to become one of the largest degree programs in the College of Education.
Throughout his 38 years in higher education, his planning acumen and leadership were evident. His vision led to education programs and facilities that enabled students to benefit from a more comfortable learning and living environment. At two of the universities where he served, he was the first Black person to hold the title of vice president. He has published numerous articles in journals, co-authored book chapters, and he has written two books. Dr. Nixon retired from public service in 2007. To this day, he continues to possess the same entrepreneurial spirit that he demonstrated as a public servant. Today, he is a land developer and builder of residential homes.
March 15, 2019
Distinguished Radio Personality
Dayle Green came to Tampa in 1972 and became one of the first African-American on-air talents at Fox’s WTVT-Channel 13. He has the distinction of being the first black news anchor in the area. Green also hosted a public affairs show for Cox Radio, "Black Contact" with Martha Mackey, and eventually moved into the station's advertising sales department.
In retirement, Greene remains active as a volunteer at Abe Brown Ministries, helping citizens with workforce readiness. He also hosts an internet radio show called “Issues and Answers” on N’Touch Radio.
Today, you can also hear Dayle on WWRM-FM 94.9 where he hosts a community affairs show, "Spectrum," every Sunday morning. Dayle's daughter Tiffany is currently following in his footsteps as a play by play broadcaster on ESPN.
March 14, 2019
Nancy S. Dawkins
Pioneer Community Leader
At age 94, Nancy S. Dawkins’ service to the community never ends and she remains a tireless advocate for the underprivileged in the South Florida community. She is the widow of the late former Miami-Dade County Commissioner Miller Dawkins. Ms. Dawkins is also the Founder/President Emeritus of AARP Northwest Miami Chapter #4686 (the largest chapter in Miami Dade County). She has been instrumental in helping local residents get access to government services, and in influencing local officials to base parks and offer social service programs and other benefits in her community. Ms. Dawkins also helped found what has become the Theodore Gibson Oratorical Project, a program helping to prepare students for public speaking, now active in 150 Florida schools.
Ms. Dawkins plays a key role in the community and currently serves as a trailblazer in many organizations: Charter Member of the Hadley Park Homeowners Association; Life Member of the National Council of Negro Women, Metropolitan Dade County Section; Charter Member and Past President of Business and Professional Women; Life Member of the American Association of University Women, Tamiami Branch; and Golden Life Member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
In recognition of her decades of service to the community as an activist, political organizer and public-school teacher, local officials passed a resolution to name the street where she resides in her honor. The street is now named, “Nancy S. Dawkins Way.”
March 13, 2019
Unsung Hero and Foster Youth Advocate
Shamele Jenkins has served youth in foster/kinship and adoptive care for over than 36 years. She has served as both a foster parent of more than 300 youth and as a single adoptive parent of five children. In New York, Shamele was not only a foster and kinship parent but an active member of Toy Knights of America which was one of the strong links to The U.S. Marine’s Toys for Tots. When Shamele moved to Florida in 1992, she was introduced and connected to DCF. Shamele was a special liaison to the Florida Department of Children & Families for 21 years. Since 2011, Shamele has served as President of Miami Dade County Foster & Adoptive Parent Association (MDCFAPA).
Shamele works to keep youth safe while creating harmony and normalcy with clarity so that families can stay together whenever possible while assisting to rescue those that are in distress. Shamele advocates and educates on behalf of the more than 2,600 youth in foster care in Miami Dade County and the more than 3,000 adopted and in kinship care.
During her service in Florida Shamele has made a tremendous impact connecting the corporate world to the nonprofit world of foster care. In 2011 MDCFAPA was presented with the title “Best FAPA in the State of Florida!” In October 2017 Shamele received the “Congressional Angels in Adoptions Award.” She spoke before Congress and received this award with 20 others from around the country for her distinguished service. Shamele’s philosophy is ‘You Are Not Alone.”
Shamele is dedicated to ensuring parents network and support each other in and outside of the foster village and takes them to workshops and conferences where parents can connect with their counterparts.
Shamele is the President of The Nubian Sistahood ("TNS") which is a 10-year-old women's empowerment group which hosts bi-weekly meetings on wellness, health, tai chi, and financial planning all in the name of betterment for women and families. She is also an internationally recognized touring poet and storyteller and motivational speaker who brings her gift of gab to the masses, performing and lecturing across the globe. Shamele’s motto is – “there’s a line that’s chasing your behind with numbers before and after it.” Shamele believes that line speaks your purpose.
March 12, 2019
Linnes Finney, Jr.
Distinguished Legal Pioneer
Mr. Linnes Finney Jr. earned his J.D. from the University of Florida, where he served as President of the Black Law Students Association and earned the UF College of Law Student Leadership Award. Finney is a past president of the National Bar Association, the oldest and largest national association consisting of predominately African-American lawyers and judges.
Mr. Finney was also the Southern Province Polemarch of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., serving as the fraternity’s regional representative for Florida, Alabama, the Bahamas, Virgin Islands, and Panama. He serves as a board member and general counsel for the Kappa Alpha Psi Foundation, the fraternity’s philanthropic affiliate. He is a frequent lecturer on various substantive areas of the law and has mentored countless young attorneys. In addition to his legal practice, Mr. Finney has consistently given of himself by carrying out leadership and membership responsibilities with an array of community organizations.
March 11, 2019
Dr. Tonjua Williams, Ph.D.
Visionary Higher Education Leader
Tonjua Williams, Ph.D., became St. Petersburg College's seventh president on July 3, 2017. A St. Petersburg native, Dr. Williams began her tenure with the college in 1986, rising through the ranks in a variety of academic and administrative roles.
Prior to becoming President, Dr. Williams was Senior Vice President for Student Services from 2013 to 2017. She has served in nearly every area of the college: Provost, Associate Provost, Director of Special Programs, Program Coordinator, Academic Advisor, Recruiter, Senior Accounting Clerk and Adjunct Faculty.
Dr. Williams earned a Ph.D., in Higher Education Administration from Barry University, a master's degree in Counselor Education from the University of South Florida, and bachelor's degrees in Business Administration and Humanities from Clearwater Christian College.
In 2016, Dr. Williams was awarded the prestigious Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence, making her part of the inaugural class of the Aspen Presidential Fellows. She is a graduate of Leadership Tampa Bay, Leadership St. Pete, the Chancellor's Leadership Program, and the Executive Leadership Program at the University of Florida.
March 8, 2019
Charles G. Bethel
Inspirational Educator and Athletic Coach
Born on November 26, 1943, to the late Charles Bethel and Margaret Riggs, Charles G. Bethel was the eldest of six children. His father was a career army officer, and the family traveled with him when possible. Throughout his childhood, Bethel attended numerous schools in Miami, in cities across the country, and around the world.
A graduate of Peabody High School in Petersburg, Virginia, Bethel continued his education at Virginia State College, where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Health and Physical Education with a minor in Biology. He then went on to receive a Master of Science Degree from Nova University.
Throughout his teaching and administrative career, Bethel served in many schools across the Miami Dade school district including elementary, middle, and high schools. Enjoying an illustrious high school sports coaching career while at Miami Senior High, Coach Bethel was also a board member of the Florida High School Athletic Association.
Upon retiring from Miami-Dade Public School System, he worked as a K-12 Consultant for the Florida Department of Education. He also served as Principal of Gibson Charter School Coconut Grove, participated in the Superintendents Urban Principal Initiative (SUPI), and served as a Board Member of Mavericks Charter Schools.
On March 10, 2018, C. G. Bethel Senior High School in North Miami Beach was named in his honor. Charles was a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. His life and legacy can be summed up in the following words: “May the work I’ve done speak for me.” Charles was married 52 years to his wife Leatha, and they have one daughter, two sons (one deceased) and one granddaughter.
March 7, 2019
Carolyn House Stewart
Visionary Global Servant Leader
Attorney Carolyn House Stewart of Tampa, Florida is the 28th International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority (2010-2014). Under her leadership, members volunteered 6 million hours of service and impacted the lives of 26 million people in communities all over the globe. More than 15,800 middle school age girls were enrolled in their Emerging Young Leaders (EYL) program, and 85,000 new voters were registered through the International Connection Committee activities. In her time as President, Stewart also focused on retention and reactivation of members resulting in the reactivation of nearly 18,000 members, and active membership reached historic numbers of more than 58,600.
In partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation, Stewart initiated the Arbor Day Ambassador program with paid internships for undergraduates where participants planted 119,000 trees. Under Stewart’s leadership, Sorority members also fought poverty in local and global communities through a myriad of programs implemented under the theme Global Leadership through Timeless Service.
In addition, Stewart and members travelled to Kenya and the Afro Ecuadorian Communities with Heifer International, donating $450,000 thorough the partnership. Her 46-year record of service and commitment to Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority began when she was initiated at the University of South Florida in 1972.
Attorney Stewart is formerly Of Counsel and former shareholder in the law firm of Macfarlane Ferguson & McMullen, one of Florida’s oldest law firms; she was with the firm since 1994. She handled cases in the firm’s civil litigation, casualty, and eminent domain and labor law sections. She was managing attorney for Carolyn House Stewart, P.A. and represented the City of Tampa Florida’s Civil Service Board and serves as litigation defense counsel for Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART).
Her 40-year legal career began after graduating with a Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina Law Center. She was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1978, and she has practiced before the U.S. District Courts for the Middle and Southern District of Florida and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th and 5th Circuits.
Attorney Stewart is also licensed to practice before the United States Supreme Court. She was also the CEO of Stewart Consulting Group, Inc., which specialized in management consulting for diversity, inclusion and cultural competency, strategic partnerships and community relations.
Her professional achievements have earned her numerous awards including the 2006 Florida Commission on the Status of Women “Achievement Award,” and The National Bar Association Presidential Award. The National Bar Association also honored Stewart with the Gertrude E. Rush Award in 2012 – one of its highest honors. She was recognized by the Trumpet Awards Foundation with its High Heels Award.
Stewart also received the UNCF National Alumni Legacy Award for her support of education. She has also been honored with many awards and commendations for her dedication and outstanding service to Alpha Kappa Alpha. The South Atlantic Region named its Diamond, Golden, and Silver member recognition event in her honor. She has an endowed Leadership Scholarship with the AKA Educational Advancement Foundation. Stewart has served on the Executive Committee and Scholarship Committee and is Chairman of the Executive Committee for USF Women in Leadership and Philanthropy. She was awarded a Congressional Record Citation by Congresswoman Kathy Castor for her leadership and service to the community and recognized as a Trail Blazer by the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida in 2018.
In April 2018, she was one of 7 inductees into the inaugural University of South Florida Fraternity and Sorority Hall of Fame. In August 2018, she was inducted into the National Bar Association Hall of Fame for her commitment to advancing justice and civil rights and exemplary service to the legal profession for 40 years. Carolyn’s Video Oral History interview was completed for the History Makers to be housed in the digital files of the Library of Congress. She was selected for induction into the 2019 Hillsborough County Women’s Hall of Fame for leadership and impactful community service. In addition to her law degree, Attorney Stewart holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and Social Science Education from the University of South Florida. She is married to Attorney Delano Stewart. Their daughter Delsha graduated from law school in January 2018.
March 6, 2019
Honorable Gwendolyn “Gwen” Miller
Trailblazing Servant Leader
Gwendolyn “Gwen” Miller has always felt that public service was the best way to give back to her community. Born in Tampa, Florida, she attended Hillsborough County Public Schools, graduating from Middleton High School. Miller attended Florida A&M University and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education. She was employed in the Hillsborough County Public School System for 37 years where she inspired students to work hard to improve their futures. After retiring from teaching, she continued working to impact her community.
Miller was elected to the Tampa City Council, District 5 in 1995, and she served in that position for eight years. In 2003, she was elected to the Tampa City Council, District 1 City-Wide seat, becoming the first Black person to be elected to a City-Wide Council seat. She served in that position for an additional eight years.
Miller served as Chair of the Council for four years. Once again, Gwen was the first Black person to ever serve in that position. During her career, she established a reputation of being innovative and working toward compromise and cooperation to improve the lives of her constituents and City of Tampa residents.
Miller’s sense of challenging work, compassion, and fair play has been publicly recognized through numerous awards and honors including: Florida A&M University Distinguished Alumnus Award; induction into the Florida State Fair Wall of Fame; induction into the Hillsborough County Commission on the Status of Women’s Hall of Fame; naming of the Gwendolyn Miller Community Center and the Gwendolyn Miller After School Program; United States of America Track & Field Florence Griffin Trailblazer Business Award; and the City of Tampa and the Mayor’s Challenge Fund Partnership for Outstanding Commitment to the Revitalization of Tampa Award.
Miller is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; Past National President of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Silhouettes, Inc.; Past National President of The Charmettes, Inc.; and a member of the Multicultural Board of Visit Tampa Bay. She is married to Lesley “Les” Miller, Jr., and they are the parents of four children and six grandchildren. She is a member and Deaconess at the New Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church of Tampa, Inc. She and her husband have established The Honorable Les Miller, Jr. and Honorable Gwen Miller Scholarship at the University of South Florida, in conjunction with the University of South Florida’s Black Leadership Network.
March 5, 2019
Dr. Christie Ogbu Sabir, Ph.D.
AT&T African American History Calendar Co-Founder
In 1993, a group of approximately fifteen civic-minded AT&T (then BellSouth) black managers was searching for a signature community project. They were members of the Community Relations Team (CRT) – company employees who spent much of their spare time representing their employer by volunteering to mentor youth and serving as business role-models for students at Charles Drew Elementary, Charles Drew Middle and Miami Northwestern Senior High School. While the team had already championed numerous small impactful projects, then CRT Chairman, Wilbert “Tee” Holloway, challenged the group to come up with a project that could have a significant and lasting effect on the students at each of the schools.
Christie Ogbu Sabir, a firm believer in youth knowing their roots and history, suggested providing the students with a calendar highlighting historic and noteworthy people, places, and events in Miami-Dade county’s black history. The CRT members immediately embraced the idea. Holloway said that he was confident that he could find the financial support and noted that the company already published a black history calendar for the city of Jacksonville, Florida and for the state of Georgia. However, he conceded that nothing of this nature and magnitude had been undertaken by the employees specifically for the benefit of school children. Holloway did indeed garner leadership support for that year and did so continuously for decades to come.
Sabir, who was passionate about the project, researched and wrote the biographical and historical sketches for the entire calendar for the first few years. With the assistance of Dr. Dorothy Jenkins Fields, founder of the Black Archives and Research Foundation, the list of who and what to include each year was determined. Sabir spent countless hours poring through boxes of materials at the Joseph Caleb Center in Liberty City where the Black Archives was located at the time. When possible, Sabir interviewed living relatives to supplement the documentation.
The 1994 calendar was the first calendar produced and was so well received, that principals and teachers began using it as a teaching aid. The demand grew so much that the second year, AT&T provided a copy of the calendar to each school in Miami-Dade County to be placed in the school library for reference – a practice that continued for 24 years. In the second year, Sabir suggested featuring artwork from a local black artist on the cover of the calendar. The calendar truly became a collector’s item as works from local artists such as Oscar Thomas, Sofia LaCroix, and C. J. Latimore graced the covers. As a result, the annual calendar “unveiling” became a social and civic event that was greatly anticipated by AT&T employees as well as by the Miami-Dade County community at large.
Holloway, known to frequently wear African garb and Sabir, whose father is Nigerian, grew up frequently wearing native attire, suggested that the CRT members wear African attire at the calendar presentation. Additionally, vendors were encouraged to display and sell their Afrocentric wares prior to, and following, the presentation for many years. Eventually, the calendar was changed to run from February through January in order to be presented during black history month. Both the calendar and the presentation of the calendar have become a part of the fiber of Miami-Dade County’s rich multicultural fabric.
Sabir says that she’s extremely proud that, while not a native Miamian, she has left her indelible mark on preserving its black history by coming up with a small idea and by being willing to put in the hard work to help bring it to fruition. She credits Dr. Holloway for his many years of dedication to this project and also AT&T for keeping the vision going while continuously providing this much-needed historical information to the youth in the community.
Sabir, originally from Delray Beach, Florida, moved to Miami in 1977 after graduating from the University of Florida to work in the banking industry. In 1980, after graduating from the University of Miami with a master’s degree in business administration, Sabir was immediately hired as an Assistant Manager with AT&T (then Southern Bell) in the customer service department. Being a civic-minded corporate employee, she promptly joined the CRT, an organization that came about largely as a result of the 1980 Arthur McDuffie riots. AT&T made a commitment to be a visible partner within the local black community.
An excellent writer, Sabir was commissioned in 2000, to write a children’s book on the life of musician Scott Joplin that was published as part of a national black history library series. After a twenty-four-year career with the Bell system, Sabir became a Curves for Women franchisee for several years. The consummate learner, Sabir continued her education by earning a PhD in Liberal Studies in 2015 and currently works in admissions administration for Purdue University Global. She is married to local immigration attorney, Nashid Sabir. They have three adult sons, Ahmad, Jamal and Rashid Sabir.
Sabir is a member of the Universal Truth Center for Better Living (UTC), Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated - Gamma Zeta Omega Chapter, The Links, Incorporated – Greater Miami (FL) Chapter and was a founding member of the Greater Miami Coalition of 100 Black Women.
March 4, 2019
Tori Renee Woods
Trailblazing Servant Leader
Philanthropy being her passion, in May of 2018, Tori Renee Woods made history becoming the first African American President of the Junior League of Pensacola. Tori’s love for service goes back to her days of attending Mount Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church, as a child with her grandparents, Henry and Geneva Copeland, every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. Tori’s passion for health and wellness and education shows in the current community events she leads. Receiving numerous awards and accolades from several organizations, her current involvement with Humana, PTA, the City of Pensacola Parks and Recreation, Junior League, and the AWKO Law Firm have fostered a three-year collaboration that has fed more than 4,000 families in need.
In addition to serving as the Junior League of Pensacola’s President-Elect, Tori is also President of the Escambia County Council PTA, the 1st Vice President of the McArthur Elementary PTA, West FL Tech High School PTSA Board Member, Florida PTA Board of Directors member and Health and Wellness Committee member, Achieve Escambia Board Member, Escambia County School Board Foundation Board Member, Escambia County School Health and Wellness Committee Member, Head Start Health and Education Advisory Committee Member, and AWKO Hungry for Justice Advisor.
Born and raised in Pensacola, Fl., Tori is a Community Management Professional and nurse with Humana. She is married to Frederick Woods Jr., and is the proud mother of Angel Love and Frederick Woods III. Tori is also an active member of Marcus Pointe Baptist Church, where she volunteers in the food pantry and Vacation Bible School. Tori previously served as Escambia County Council PTA 1st Vice President; an active member of the United Way, Healthy Start Escambia County; and the Escambia County Education Foundation. She is an alumnus of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, where she received her degree in Psychology with a minor in Sociology. She later attended nursing school and is a Licensed Practical Nurse.
March 1, 2019
Honorable Carimenia Felecia Hampshire
Trailblazing Servant Leader
Born and raised in the beautiful city of Green Cove Springs, the Honorable Carimenia Felecia Hampshire became the city’s first African American female mayor in 2009. She faithfully served the community she loves as a member of the City Commission from 2006-2014. The proud daughter of Lillie Jean Sanders (deceased) and Willie P. Plummer, who resides in Durham, NC, Mrs. Hampshire had her first experience in the Civil Rights movement, when she was moved from the all black R.C. Bannerman Elementary School to the integrated Charles E. Bennett Elementary School at age seven. While it was a very confusing time for Felecia, she learned an important lesson from her parents’ decision, one which served as a driving force behind her commitment to equity and excellence: ALL children deserve a quality education.
A member of the Florida Education Association, she previously served on the Executive Cabinet, and was also a member of the Program and Policy Council for the American Federation of Teachers in Washington, DC. She is the former president of Clay County Educational Support Professional Association (CESPA) - Local 7409 from Clay County, and for six years served as Board of Directors member for the National Education Association in Washington, DC., where she lobbied on behalf of public education. Currently, she is serving as the Southeast Regional Director for the National Council of Education Support Professionals in Washington, DC., which covers, Florida, Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee and Louisiana. She has traveled the country and has gone as far as Germany participating in workshops and conferences and sharing the importance of protecting the rights of all children to receive a fair and quality public education.
Married to Clarence L. Hampshire, Sr. for 38 years, this proud wife, loving mother of five children and grandmother of seven, is also the founder of the Green Cove Springs Soul Food Festival, which is held each year on the first Saturday in October. The festival, now in its 18th year, not only brings some of the most talented performers to the small Florida city, but offers its residents an opportunity to showcase their culinary talent. Mrs. Hampshire majored in English at Bethune Cookman College (now Bethune Cookman University) in Daytona Beach, where she attended on a basketball scholarship. She also studied at Santa Fe Community College in Gainesville, Florida, where she received her Certification to teach Head Start for the Putnam/Clay Head start Program in Green Cove Springs, FL and St. Johns River Community College in Drs. Inlet, Florida. She is a member of The Lord’s Church Ministries in Jacksonville, FL., where she is active in many church functions, including singing in choir.