WE ARE MOREHOUSE A MONTHLY PUBLICATION FROM THE MOREHOUSE COLLEGE YOUNG ALUMNI ENGAGEMENT PROGRAM
PRESIDENT AND C.O.O. OF BEYONCE'S PARKWOOD ENTERTAINMENT CREATES CULTURE, LIVES ON-TREND AND GIVES BACK
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WE ARE MOREHOUSE MONTHLY > FROM THE EDITOR
PARADIGM SHIFT I don't know about you, but I grow increasingly tired of the all too convenient boxes that society in general and
supposed know-it-alls place Morehouse Men in.They really think they can easily define us as a school for 'XYZ', when in reality, Morehouse Men are doing countless different things on nearly every continent across the world. And many of those alums are creators of some sort. It dawned on me that rarely if ever do we take the time to highlight the work of and moreover the fact that we have alumni who are truly gifted artists. They make art for the sake of making art, and they see the world through an entirely different prism rooted in creativity, but altered by their experiences as Morehouse Men. Their work can be seen in galleries and museums, or heard on Tidal, or watched on television in award winning and critically acclaimed television shows like 'Atlanta', 'Insecure', 'Greenleaf ', 'The Breaks' and 'Ballers' among others. To me, it's no coincidence that even those who didn't study this area in school, were bold and brave enough to follow their passions such that the world could not and would not dictate their ability to create and share their talent with the masses. With alumni talent as diverse as poet, writer, producer, singer and activist Saul Williams '94 to visual artist Sanford Biggers '92 to NBC Nightly News White House Correspondent Geoff Bennett '02 and this month's cover story, Steve Pamon '91, COO of Parkwood Entertainment, all of thse talented men and countless others are creating, influencing society in beautiful ways and giving us something that we didn't have before. And for that, I am very grateful. I hope that you enjoy reading this month's issue, and I hope that you consider setting up your recurring giving today (giving.morehouse.edu). True Forever, Joe
Joseph S. Carlos, III '04
Associate Director of Alumni Engagement email@example.com Instagram: @weare.morehouse; @joecarlos
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JULY 2018: CONTENTS
Letter from the Editor 5
Steadfast, Honest, True: News & Notes 16
Emile Thompson ’06 20 - COVER STORY
Steve Pamon ’91
Helming a massively influential entertainment company may be daunting to some, but it's all in a day's work for this seasoned pro who creates balance and seizes opportunity to grow and improve. 28 - FEATURE
PHOTO BY ANDREW WHITE FOR PARKWOOD ENTERTAINMENT
A collection of artisans and links to their social media pages so that you can follow them and support their art. Featured alumni include: Chuck Lightning, Nate Wonder, Saul Williams, Jonathan Howard, Jinx Jenkins, Jimmy King, Metro Boomin, Derek Watkins, Chad Foster, Chad Sanders, Donovan Ramsey, Henry Connerway, Brian Tyree Henry, Vincent Berry, Jamal Dedeaux, Mark Anthony Green, Sanford Biggers, Brandon Lawrence, Elliot McDaniel, Ben Jones, Jason Dirden,Brandon Dirden, Clark Jones, Marcus Blackwell, Derek Fordjour, Rhonney Greene, Seith Mann, PJ Morton, Tishuan Scott, Kennard Garrett, David Bernard Jones, Hilton Wright, Jireh Holder, Stephon Bristol, Y'Lan Noel, Dwayne Dugger, John David Washington, Julius Pryor, IV, Marttise Hill, Kameron Corvet, Vann Newkirk, Matt Jackson, Alex Jacke, Dave Helem, Justin Henderson, Cam Kirk, Scooter Whalum, Ross Oscar Knight, Steven Victor, Carron Phillips, Panama Jackson, Kameron Whalum, Will Cobbs, Terrance Brown, Vince Ferguson, Melvin Jones, Gatsby Coram, Julian DeShazier, Zebulon Ellis, Tope Folarin, Geoffrey Golden, Stephen Rider, Wale Jones 53
Arrivals COOL, CALM AND COLLECTED
Steve Pamon '91 pauses backstage in Paris while working with the creative production team during rehearsals for the On The Run II tour. Read more about Steve's journey on page 20.
Dessie Lee Opal Bellamy Duke Thurmond Brown Roderick Cruz Davidson Veda Ann Gadsden Lenox James Wood
Cover photo by Andrew White for Parkwood Entertainment
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STEADFAST, HONEST, TRUE NEWS & VIEWS FROM YOUNG ALUMNI >
SOLE 'SURVIVOR'! Wendell Holland ’06 used cunning, strength, intelligence and some charm to win the CBS TV show "Survivor Ghost Island" in May Holland bested 19 other contestants and was declared the winner of the hit show’s 36th season. Holland and his cast-mates were on Fiji’s Mamanuca Islands for 39 days. The Villanova, Pa., native earned his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Pennsylvania and is also a master craftsman. His custom home furnishings are sold at Beve Unlimited, Holland’s Philadelphia-based company specializing in furniture made from reclaimed wood. Read more about Holland’s journey in next month's issue of We Are Morehouse Monthly.
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STEADFAST, HONEST, TRUE: NEWS & VIEWS F. DuBois Bowman '92 Named Dean of the University of Michigan's School of Public Health "The next dean of the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health will be Dr. F. DuBois Bowman, a distinguished researcher whose scholarship focuses on improving mental health and neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and depression. "Dr. Bowman will become the school’s 12th dean." "Currently, Dr. Bowman is the chair and the Cynthia and Robert Citrone-Roslyn and Leslie Goldstein Professor of Biostatistics at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. Under his leadership, the department has expanded and refined its education programs, increased grant revenue, and made significant gains in philanthropy. Dr. Bowman also is a member of the executive committee of the Columbia University Data Science Institute. "He began his career in the academy as an assistant professor in the Department of Biostatistics in the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. As he rose through the ranks at Emory, becoming a professor in the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics in 2013, he was also a visiting scholar at Carnegie Mellon University in 2000 and a visiting assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University in 2005. From 2007-2013, he was the founding director of the Center for Biomedical Imaging Statistics at the Rollins School at Emory, the first center of its kind internationally. Dr. Bowman served as president of the Eastern North American Region (ENAR) of the International Biometric Society and is an elected Fellow of the American Statistical Association. "Dr. Bowman’s research has helped to reveal brain patterns that reflect disruption from psychiatric diseases and detect biomarkers for neurological diseases. Additionally, his research seeks to determine threats to brain health from environmental exposures, to determine more individualized therapeutic treatments, and to optimize brain health in aging populations. "As a principal investigator, Dr. Bowman has received seven National Institutes of Health grants. Additionally, he is the co-investigator on an even greater number of federally sponsored grants. Recently, he led research under the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Parkinson’s Disease Biomarker Program, which may have major implications for early detection of Parkinson’s disease and for forecasting disease progression. He also has been an integral collaborator on an international research project led by the Michael J. Fox Foundation. "Dr. Bowman recognizes the critical need for diversity and has worked to foster it within biostatistics; public health; science, technology, engineering and math fields; and in research careers more generally. He has mentored minority undergraduate and graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and faculty. He also served on advisory boards of NIH programs that target underrepresented minority undergraduate students at historically black colleges and universities and currently leads two NIH diversity pipeline training programs at Columbia University as a co-principal investigator. Dr. Bowman earned a BS degree in mathematics in 1992 from Morehouse College, where he was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. He earned an MS degree in biostatistics from the University of Michigan in 1995 and a PhD degree in biostatistics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in 2000." - Lauren Love for the Universty of Michigan School of Public Health (https://sph.umich.edu/news/home-releases/dean-071918.html)
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Adewole Adamson '05 Named Assistant Professor Adewole Adamson, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist, has been named an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin’s Dell Medical School. Dr. Adamson received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in a joint program with Harvard's Division of Health Sciences and Technology. He also earned a Master of Public Policy degree in health policy analysis from the Harvard Kennedy School. Adamson completed his residency in internal medicine at the Mount Sinai Health System in New York, and his dermatology residency at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. He has also worked as an assistant professor and research fellow at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The Rev. John J. Cox '03 Named Pastor of Historic Church The Rev. John J. Cox ’03 has been named the seventh pastor in the 152-year history of Vermont Avenue Baptist Church in Washington, D.C.
B. Fontenot Johnson '02 Named Director of Community Engagement Attorney and community leader B. Fontenot Johnson '02 was named Director of Community Engagment for the City of Birmingham by Mayor Randall Woodfin '03. In this role, Johnson “will work as the mayor’s liaison for initiations projects that involve public safety, violence reduction and police/community engagement.” “Mayor Woodfin’s decision to create this position will provide an unprecedented opportunity for residents of Birmingham to be substantive partners in making their city a safer place to live, work and play...I’m honored and humbled to serve and support residents’ rights and equality.” Johnson said. Johnson earned his juris doctorate from Depaul and his B.A. in political science. Prior to joining the Woodfin administration, Johnson practiced law and served as director of policy for the Westside Justice Center in Chicago. He also worked as executive director of the Washington Park Consortium, a principal with Catalyst Global Strategies, a senior consultant at Flinn Consutlants, and a project manager for “Reconnecting Neighborhoods” work the Metropolitan Planning Council. He also served as a policy analyst in the Illinois General Assembly.” - The Birmingham Times
Dr. Cox, who received his bachelor’s degree in philosophy and religion from Morehouse, has been serving as a young adults minister at the Church Without Walls in Houston. The Birmingham native earned his doctor of ministry degree at Baylor University's George W. Truett Theological Seminary, and his master of divinity degree from Vanderbilt University. Cox’s installation service was held on Sunday, July 29, 2018, at the Vermont Avenue Baptist Church, 1630 Vermont Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20009.
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Adriel A. Hilton ’03 Named Dean of Students, Diversity Officer Adriel A. Hilton ’03 has been named dean of students and diversity officer at Seton Hill University. Hilton will coordinate efforts that support Seton Hill’s Catholic mission, co-curricular learning, and the university's four pillars of welcoming, learning, celebrating, and serving. He will also lead efforts to support a vibrant and engaged campus climate for students, and provide leadership for comprehensive, inclusion-oriented experiences and initiatives for the university community, in collaboration with campus partners. Before his work at Seton Hill, Hilton served as director of the extended campus for Webster University Metropolitan in Myrtle Beach. Hilton acted as the chief administrative officer for the campus in South Carolina, implementing programs and policies to achieve the university’s goals and objectives. Before working at Webster, Hilton served as: chief of staff and executive assistant to the president at Grambling State University; assistant professor and director of the higher education graduate program at Western Carolina University; assistant vice president for inclusion initiatives at Grand Valley State University; and executive assistant to the president, assistant secretary to the board of trustees, and chief diversity officer at Upper Iowa University. Hilton was also a public policy fellow for the Greater Baltimore Committee, a leading business advocacy organization. He earned a doctorate in higher education administration from Morgan State University, a master’s degree in public administration from Florida A&M University, and a bachelor’s degree in business administration–finance from Morehouse.
Hernando Carter '01 elected to Alabama Medical Association Board Hernando Carter, M.D., assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, has been elected to the Alabama Medical Association Board At-Large, Place No. 3. Dr. Carter is a board-certified internal medicine physician with experience in hospital medicine, primary care, longterm care, and palliative care, with a special interest in the care of geriatric patients. He is a graduate of the University of Alabama School of Medicine and did his internship at Caraway Methodist Medical Center, where he specialized in internal
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medicine. Carter completed his residency in internal medicine at Physicians Medical Center Carraway (as the chief internal medicine resident), and at Baptist Health Systems. He serves as a board member for the Jefferson County Medical Society and the Jefferson County Board of Health. Carter is also a member of the American College of Physicians, the Jefferson County Medical Society, and the Medical Association of the State of Alabama.
Duke Bradley III ’98 Named Principal of the Year Officials at Fulton County Schools in Georgia have named Banneker High School Principal Duke Bradley III ’98 the Principal of the Year. Dr. Bradley is the principal of Banneker High, where teachers and administrators strive to make education “more useful and relevant,” Bradley writes in his blog at BannekerPride.com. “Although the academic development of our students remains a priority, it has become abundantly clear that our work as a school community must be more dynamic. Our work now extends to providing supports for the whole child. More importantly, this shift is birthed out of a moral duty that we are deeply committed to.”
Brandon J. Dirden ’00 Elected to Actors Equity National Council Award-winning stage and screen actor Brandon J. Dirden ’00 was recently elected by his peers to the Actors’ Equity Association’s National Council. The 105-year-old organization is the U.S. labor union that represents more than 51,000 actors and stage managers. Dirden starred recently in the fourth season of FX Networks’ “The Americans,” reprising his role as Dennis Aderholt, and in the Netflix drama, “The Get Down,” playing Leon.
This year’s top employees received special recognition banners and other gifts of appreciation from Fulton County Schools Superintendent Jeff Rose. School board members also praised the teachers and administrators for their dedication to students and passion for education. Each year, employees are invited to nominate outstanding employees based on teacher, staff, and parent input. These employees are then evaluated through an application process with essays and interviews. Teacher of the Year and Principal of the Year nominees also have their leadership and classroom skills evaluated during school visits.
Dirden also portrayed Martin Luther King Jr.—a 1948 graduate of Morehouse—in the Tony Award-winning Broadway production of Robert Schenkkan’s “All the Way.” A Morehouse and University of Illinois graduate, he made his Broadway debut in "Prelude to a Kiss". He has since appeared regularly both on and off Broadway in plays such as "Clybourne Park", "The First Breeze of Summer" and "Detroit 67". In 2012, he was awarded an OBIE Award, AUDELCO VIV Award and a Theater World Award and was nominated for The Drama League and Lucille Lortell awards for his portrayal of Boy Willie in the Signature Theatre's revival of August Wilson's "The Piano Lesson".
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Maurice Cooper ’01 named CMO of Wingstop Veteran marketing executive Maurice Cooper ’01 was recently named the chief marketing officer of Dallas-based Wingstop Restaurants, Inc. Previously, Cooper served as vice president for the Global Holiday Inn Brand Family at InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG). At IHG, he was also vice president for Americas Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Resort, and Holiday Inn Club Vacations.
PHOTO BY ROGER S. HUMPHREY
Prior to IHG, Cooper worked at The Coca-Cola Co. in a variety of positions, including: general manager/venture leader, Venturing & Emerging Brands at Coca-Cola; senior brand manager, Coca-Cola Zero; brand manager, Sprite TM—Coca-Cola North America; associate brand manager, My Coke Rewards; and associate brand manager, Coca-Cola Classic. He has also worked at the Boston Consulting Group, as well as General Mills: Pillsbury. Cooper earned his MBA from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, and his bachelor’s degree in marketing from Morehouse.
Archie Jones ’93 Honored by Hub Magazine Hub Magazine has named Archie Jones ’93 to its Innovator and GameChanger in Financial Technology list for 2018. Jones, CFO of the NOWaccount Network Corp., earned his MBA from the Harvard Business School, and his B.A. in accounting from Morehouse. Jones directs the capital funding engine behind NOWaccount®—an innovative new payment system designed to replace the $1.2 trillion B2B and B2G trade credit that small businesses hold on their balance sheets with a simple transaction that pays the selling company within days, for a one-time flat fee of 3-3.5 percent, according to company officials. “NOWaccount helps small businesses completely eliminate the burden of carrying and managing accounts receivable so they can stop being a free bank to their customers and grow. NOW Corp. serves businesses across the United States. In Georgia alone, NOW Corp. clients have retained almost 3,000 jobs because they no longer have to wait to get paid.”
Dacari Middlebrooks ’06 Launches Debut Book Dacari J. Middlebrooks ’06 drew from his own battle with depression to write “The Depressed Millennial: Surviving Unmet Expectations,” published by CreateSpace in June 2018.
For more on "The Depressed Millennial," visit https://tinyurl.com/y9eskchf
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The book takes readers on a journey through a battle with depression from a Millennial state of mind. Middlebrooks discusses, for example, how PTSD, severe depression, and significant losses exacerbate what he calls mental disruption—a loss of the capacity to believe and think positively about life. “It is the author's hope that those battling with depression, particularly Millennials, will find inspiration in his story, seek treatment, and survive the unmet expectations levied against them," Amazon says. After graduating from Morehouse in 2000, Middlebrooks earned a Master of Divinity degree from Vanderbilt University.
STEADFAST, HONEST, TRUE: NEWS & VIEWS Johnson, Merritt Named to ‘40 Lawyers Under 40’ Alex Johnson ’02 and S. Lee Merritt ’05 have been named to the National Bar Association’s “Nation’s Best Advocates: 40 Lawyers Under 40” list for 2018-19. Johnson is program director for The California Wellness Foundation, and president of the Los Angeles County Office of Education. He earned his Juris Doctor degree at American University’s Washington College of Law, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Morehouse. Merritt, the founder and principal of the Merritt Law Firm, is emerging as an influential new voice in the fight for U.S. civil rights. Known for his passion for social reform and commitment to addressing inequities, Merritt earned his Juris Doctor degree at Temple University’s James E. Beasley School of Law, and his bachelor’s degree in history at Morehouse. Juan Thomas ’92 has served as 75th president of the National Bar Association.
Morehouse Men Named to Network Journal's ‘40 Under Forty’ List Thomas L. Davenport II ’02, Howard Franklin ’01 and Adriel A. Hilton ’03 were among the recipients of The Network Journal’s 2018 “40 Under 40” list of dynamic achievers. The annual award recognizes outstanding young African-American professionals who are reaching for higher goals in their careers while remaining committed to developing their communities. Davenport is the director of investment banking at Sikich in Chicago. He holds an MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a Master of Public Administration degree from Baruch College. Franklin is a corporate lobbyist and a partner at the Thompson Victory Group in Atlanta. He also founded Ohio River South, a high stakes strategy firm led by professionals from the highest levels of government, business, and politics. Dr. Hilton is dean of students and diversity officer for Seton Hill University. He holds a doctorate from Morgan State University, an MBA from Webster University, and a Master of Applied Social Science degree from Florida A&M University.
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STEADFAST, HONEST, TRUE: NEWS & VIEWS
Raymond Perkins ’13 earns Princeton Doctorate Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude graduate Raymond Perkins ’13 recently completed his doctorate in operations research and financial engineering from Princeton University. Perkins’ doctoral research focused on a class of stochastic optimization algorithms for making sequential decisions under uncertainty. Perkins has accepted an offer to be a quantitative researcher with the Multi-Assets Group at T. Rowe Price, the asset management firm, in Baltimore, Md.
Morgan C. Williams Jr. ’11 Earns Doctorate in Economics Morgan C. Williams Jr. ’06 recently earned his Ph.D. in economics from the City University of New York’s Graduate Center. Williams is an assistant professor/faculty fellow in the NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service under the NYU Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Morehouse, and a master’s degree in public health from Columbia University. Williams’ research interests, he says, span the fields of labor and health economics—utilizing both empirical and theoretical techniques within applied microeconomics to examine important topics of social inequality. His current research addresses the economic consequences of crime and incarceration policy in the United States. In his recent work examining the differential impact of gun control policy liberalization in Missouri, for example, Williams provides evidence suggesting that the repeal of a “permit-to-purchase” law led to a sharp increase in gun proliferation in the state, and an disproportionate increase in firearm homicide among young black Missourians in urban areas. Williams’ research also investigates how criminal history disclosure laws influence labor markets, and the role of incarceration policies on household economic behavior. Williams is a recipient of the National Bureau of Economic Research Predoctoral Fellowship in Aging and Health Research, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Predoctoral Fellowship, and a U.S. Fulbright Scholar Program award.
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STEADFAST, HONEST, TRUE: NEWS & VIEWS Chris Hollins ’07 is Finance Vice Chair for Texas Democratic Party
Said Sewell ’92 Named Morehouse Senior VP
Houston-based attorney Christopher Hollins ’07 is serving as the vice chair for finance for the Texas Democratic Party.
Said Sewell, Ph.D., a 1992 graduate of Morehouse College, has been appointed senior vice president of student development at Morehouse.
The lifelong Democrat earned his Juris Doctor degree from Yale Law School and his MBA from Harvard Business School, after he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science at Morehouse, with Phi Beta Kappa honors. Prior to owning his private practice, Hollins worked for the Obama Administration and McKinsey & Co.
Joe Hines ’08 Named Principal at Henry Ford Academy Veteran educator Joe Hines ’08 has been named the principal of Detroit's Henry Ford Academy: School for Creative Studies. Hines was previously the dean of students at Henry Ford and also worked as the school's restorative justice specialist. Trained among Teach for America’s Detroit Corps, Hines earned his master’s degree in secondary education and teaching from the University of Southern California. The Detroit native earned his B.A. in health and physical education.
Sewell is a veteran educator and respected administrative leader. He has held several positions in higher education, including: provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Lincoln University in Missouri; assistant provost for academic affairs and dean of undergraduate studies at Kent State University; and acting assistant vice president for academic affairs/executive director of the Academic Success Center at Fort Valley State University. At Morehouse, Sewell now oversees the Offices of Residential Life, Greek Life, Campus Security/ Police, Student Services, Student Health, Career Counseling, Athletics, and Athletics Compliance. Sewell, who earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Morehouse, holds a master’s degree in public policy from Texas Southern University, and a doctorate in political science from Clark Atlanta University.
Learn more about Henry Ford Academy by visiting http://hfascs.org
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STEADFAST, HONEST, TRUE: NEWS & VIEWS Kuran Williams '02 Recognized as Role Model, Leader Kuran Williams ’02 has been selected by the Financial Times as an Ethnic Minority Role Model and Future Leader of 2018. Williams is the HANA Enterprise Cloud Launch Advisor for SAP (System Applications Products), and a leader within SAP’s black employee network. He has created virtual programming to further develop, educate, retain, and enhance opportunities for the upward mobility of ethnic minority employees. Topics he has addressed include: creating development plans, having a development conversation with your manager, assessing your skills and gaps, and positioning yourself for a promotion. Williams helped organize a recent community service event with the KIPP Atlanta Collegiate High School (Knowledge is Power Program). Thirty minority students visited SAP’s Buckhead office in Atlanta, and worked with SAP software to create, and pitch, a value proposition that would improve their school. Kuran has mentored many ethnic minority employees and women within SAP. Kuran is also a STEM advocate within the African American community. He has told his story to a group of MBA and undergraduate students at Delaware State University, and mentored students from Morehouse College. In 2018, Kuran was the recipient of the 2017 North America Leadership in Diversity and Inclusion award at SAP.
Rep. Cedric Richmond '95 Pitches Democrats to Another Win in Congressional Game U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond, a former standout pitcher at Morehouse, dazzled on the mound and at bat in the 57th annual Congressional Baseball Game for Charity on June 14. Arguably the best pitcher in the 57-year-history of the charity game, Richmond led the Democrats to a convincing win in the annual summer classic. This year's 21-5 win over the Republicans marks Richmond’s seventh straight win on the mound. He was outstanding in the field as well—hitting a triple and scoring on an error while only giving up 11 hits. The bipartisan game has raised millions of dollars for various charities, including the Washington Literacy Center, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation, and the United States Capitol Police Memorial Fund. Richmond has served Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District since 2011.
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STEADFAST, HONEST, TRUE: NEWS & VIEWS Lyndon Carter ’07 named Senior Associate Counsel Orlando-based attorney Lyndon Carter ’07 was recently named senior associate counsel for development law and director for property law administration for Darden Restaurants Inc. Darden brands include Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, Yard House, The Capital Grille, Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze, and Eddie V’s. Carter earned his Juris Doctor degree from Duke University School of Law after graduating with Phi Beta Kappa distinction as an English major at Morehouse.
BAKARI SELLERS '05
EPISODES AVAILABLE AT APPLE PODCASTS We Are Morehouse Monthly|Page 15
WE ARE MOREHOUSE MONTHLY > VOWS
Emile Thompson â€™05 + Diana Banks LO C AT I O N : ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC CHURCH WASHINGTON, DC D AT E :
APRIL 15, 2018
On April 15th, 2018, Emile Thompson â€™05 married Diana Banks at the St. Augustine Catholic Church in Washington. The wedding party included Morehouse Men: Charles Thompson, III '03 Several Morehouse Men were among the well wishers including: Jarrod Loadholt '05, Christian Nwachukwu, Jr. '04, Thompson is an assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia. He earned his J.D. from Wake Forest University. Diana graduated from Stanford and received a law degree from Harvard. She is a senior counsel at the American Bankers Association in Washington. She was previously a deputy assistant secretary of defense during the Obama administration. The couple resides in Washington.
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PHOTO BY ANDREW WHITE FOR PARKWOOD ENTERTAINMENT
Formation Entertainment industry heavyweight and influencer Steve Pamon '91 is the Chief Operating Officer of Beyonce's Parkwood Entertainment.
Pamon shared his thoughts on success, career, family leadership and a host of other topics in this month's cover story. All photos by Andrew White for Parkwood Entertainment We Are Morehouse Monthly|Page 21
Entertainment industry heavyweight Steve Pamon ’91 is currently the president and chief operating officer of Beyoncé’s Parkwood Entertainment. Pamon is “helping to shape the trending culture on a daily basis” with his work with Parkwood founder, Beyoncé Knowles Carter. Before his work with Parkwood, Pamon headed sports and entertainment marketing for JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPMC), where he led a team responsible for the negotiation and activation of the Global JPMC sponsorship portfolio, which includes Chase Field (home of Major League Baseball’s Arizona Diamondbacks), and Madison Square Garden Properties, such as the New York Knicks, New York Rangers, Radio City Music Hall, Chicago Theater, and the Los Angeles Forum. Pamon was the vice president of strategy and new business development for the National Football League, and the senior vice president and general
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manager of HBO’s Digital Distribution and Business Development team. He is also an active board member with the New York Road Runners, a non-profit organization that produces more than 100 sports events each year, including the New York City Marathon. Pamon graduated from Morehouse in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a concentration in finance. He later earned an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
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PHOTO BY ANDREW WHITE FOR PARKWOOD ENTERTAINMENT
PHOTO BY ANDREW WHITE FOR PARKWOOD ENTERTAINMENT
WAMM: How do you measure success? STEVE PAMON: - As someone once told me, “You want someone to recite more than your resume at your funeral.”"
Criticism: What do you do with the energy that comes from critiques? "At the end of the day, there’s three things: You have to learn from it; you have to use it a measuring stick to get better every day from it; and last but not least you have to learn how to hear everybody, but not necessarily listen to everyone."
What's one mistake you made early on? "Not transitioning from being an individual contributor to being a team leader fast enough. You can be the most talented individual in the world, but if you don’t know
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Steve Pamon '91, with members of the creative and production teams in Paris, during rehearsals and production preparations for OTR ll
how to take advantage of a team and the people around you, then you won’t have success."
How do you stay in forefront of what's hot or on-trend? How do you keep up? "I truly believe that intellectual curiosity and enthusiasm are keys to life. You have to consume what you are selling and constantly put yourself in the mindset of an emerging consumer / fan. You shouldn’t have to stay in the forefront, you should be the forefront."
What was the hardest lesson you learned in your first year of business and the hardest lesson you learned in the past year of business? "First year of business: How business is conducted versus how
business is taught. Business is conducted through relationships and shared experiences, business is taught through observation and learning. Both must be mastered. "Past year of business: Again, it’s all about people. You can have the best business acumen in the world but if you can’t motivate and drive people, then you won’t accomplish your goal. It is much easier to change the people who work with you, then to change how those people work."
How should a business leader approach innovation and why? "It’s about controlling fear. The fear of failure. Where there’s no risk there’s no return."
What's your proudest accomplishment in your business? "Being present long enough to watch my colleagues, mentees, friends, and especially my Morehouse brothers grow and prosper, and seeing them go off and do great things; Knowing that people who I hired, are now hiring other people. As Drake would say, “And they don't have no award for that"."
What have you learned about yourself running your business? "Learning is a continuous process. I know that if I’m not motivated, it’s hard to motivate other people. I know that what motivates me is actually making change and making a difference, as opposed to money."
What have you sacrificed for success? "A lot of time spent with myself and spent with others I love, but at the end of the day it’s all worth it because hopefully we are making a better way for them."
Whom do you admire as a business leader? "There’s so many – Bob Iger (Walt Disney), Steve Jobs (Apple), John Johnson (Ebony), among others. But the single most impactful business person, I have observed is Dick Parsons. I had the pleasure of working with him as he led Time Warner when they were the largest media company in the world. Based on his leadership at Dime Savings Bank to Time Warner, Citigroup, and selling the Clippers for 2 billion dollars, I don't think I can name a more accomplished executive. But more importantly, I saw him invest his time and energy into the careers of countless people (especially people of color), while handling the pressures of being a CEO with style and grace."
Why should Morehouse Men support Morehouse College?
believe that black people are an important part of the world’s culture, so it is a natural conclusion that the education of black men is something that is important for the world. Given that Morehouse is uniquely qualified in the education of black men, I would hope everyone would support the College in some way."
"Success is much more about impact than activity. It’s ultimately measured in putting out positive feelings versus obtaining economic wealth."
"On a micro level, as a Morehouse Man, I owe a huge portion of my life to the benefits of the institution, so I think my support is a requirement. On a macro level - I
STEVE'S PATH TO PARKWOOD ENTERTAINMENT
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WE ARE MOREHOUSE
Robbie Robinson â€˜98 lives a life of relentless purpose, defined
by meaningful choices that have shaped him along the way through today. The former political science major is currently a Partner at BDT & Company, a merchant bank that provides advice and long-term capital through its affiliated investment funds to help family- and founder-led businesses pursue their strategic and financial objectives.
A trusted and respected leader, Robinson also spent nine years at Goldman Sachs prior to his role at BDT, working in several roles including advisory, principal investing and real estate financing.
A lecture series focusing on Alumni sharing their experiences with love, loss, In addition to his work at BDT,defeat, success, change and more. triumph, Robinson spent last year working exclusively with President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, advising them on the creation and strategy of their family office. Also, Robinson is an active supporter of a variety of worthwhile causes. He is the Vice Chairman of the Board of After School Matters, a member of the Morehouse College Board of Trustees and also serves as a trustee of the George Lucas Family Foundation.
Conversations surrounding young alumni achievement with topics and guests that run the gamut of the depth and breadth of the Reflecting on 20 years since he Morehouse experience. graduated from Morehouse and the purpose-filled life that he continues to successfully build, Robinson shares his thoughts on a range of topics surrounding his (Continued on page 42) experiences and opportunities, while providing pertinent professional and personal advice.
As you think about the 20 years since you graduated from Morehouse, tell us the story
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Owned by Jon Gaffney â€™07
C R E A T O R S
CHARLES 'CHUCK LIGHTNING' JOSEPH '02 PRODUCER, RECORDING ARTIST, CREATIVE @chucklightning
Despite the prevailing sentiment that alumni of Morehouse do not excel in the arts— Spike Lee ’79 and Samuel L. Jackson ’72, aside—scores of alumni are making innovative and groundbreaking creations in several different facets of the arts. On the following pages, several artists and creatives are featured, with links that you the reader can click to learn more about their work. As more people learn more about the work of young alumni that are in this field, perhaps the belief about Morehouse alumni being monolithic will dissipate. But even if the notion about Morehouse Men never changes, these alumni will continue to—successfully— do what they do. Among this group of artists are activists, non-conformists, rule breakers, line-crossers, innovators, dreamers, doers, thinkers and, above all, creators. If you have the opportunity to support the art of these Morehouse alumni, please do so.
Icon Key Instagram Internet Movie Database LinkedIn Twitter Website
NATHANIEL 'NATE WONDER' IRVIN, III '03 PRODUCER, RECORDING ARTIST, CREATIVE
Click on the social media links under each alum's name to follow
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SAUL WILLIAMS â€™94
POET, ACTOR, WRITER, ACTIVIST, SINGER, THINKER @saulwilliams @saulwilliams saulwilliams.com
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JONATHAN HOWARD ’00
CO-PRODUCER, "NICKY RICKY DICKY AND DAWN" @extralargetall https://imdb.to/2LL0Yg6
JAMES KING ’06
TRUMPETER, BRUNO MARS HOOLIGANS @itsjimmyking @itsjimmyking
BRANDON 'JINX' JENKINS ’09 EDITORIAL PRODUCER, COMPLEX MEDIA @jersey_jinx @jersey_jinx
AWARD WINNING MUSIC PRODUCER @metroboomin
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DEREK WATKINS â€™96
WRITER, SINGER, PRODUCER,SARTORIALIST, INFLUENCER @fonzbentley @fonzbentley
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MANAGER, CONTENT PARTNERSHIPS, SPOTIFY @_cfoster
DONOVAN X. RAMSEY ’10 JOURNALIST, WRITER @idxr @idxr
CHAD SANDERS ’10
FOUNDER & CEO, ARCHER GENIUS MANAGEMENT EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, WRITER, ENTREPRENEUR @chadsand
HENRY CONERWAY ’06
PERCUSSIONIST, BANDLEADER, COMPOSER @thehc3 thehc3.com
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PHOTO BY ROGER S. HUMPHREY
CHAD FOSTER ’13
BRIAN TYREE HENRY ’04 EMMY NOMINATED ACTOR, "ATLANTA" @briantyreehenry
VINCENT BERRY ’08 AWARD WINNING SONGWRITER @vincentberry2
MARK ANTHONY GREEN ’10
WRITER, FILM DIRECTOR, GQ STYLE GUY, SARTORIALIST @markanthonygreen emaygee.com
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JAMAL DEDEAUX ’02
FILMMAKER, DIRECTOR, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, WRITER @jamaldedeaux https://imdb.to/2AannSH
SANFORD BIGGERS â€™92 VISUAL ARTIST, ORIGINAL, BADASS @sanfordbiggers sanfordbiggers.com
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GEOFF BENNETT â€™02
WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, NBC NEWS @geoffrbennett @geoffrbennett
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BRANDON LAWRENCE ’08 AGENT, CREATIVE ARTISTS AGENCY @bdotlaw
BEN CORY JONES ’05
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, SCREENWRITER, SHOWRUNNER
ELLIOT MCDANIEL ’02 RHYME CURATOR
JASON DIRDEN ’02 ACTOR, ARTIST, STORYTELLER
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CLARK JONES ’05 COMEDIAN, WRITER
MARCUS BLACKWELL ’09
ENTREPRENEUR, FOUNDER, MAKE MUSIC COUNT @makemusiccount makemusiccount.com
DEREK FORDJOUR ’01 VISUAL ARTIST, EDUCATOR
RHONNEY GREENE ’01
COSTUME DESIGNER, SARTORIALIST
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SEITH MANN â€™95
TELEVISION AND FILM DIRECTOR @gatelife https://imdb.to/2LlmQ5S
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PJ MORTON â€™03
MAROON 5, RECORDING ARTIST, WRITER, PRODUCER @pjmorton pjmortonmusic.com
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ACTOR, ARTIST, ACDEMICIAN, AGRICULTURALIST @tishuanscott
KENNARD GARRETT ’01
MUSIC PRODUCER, EDUCATOR, TECHIE, ENGINEER @steadystate
HILTON 'DEUCE' WRIGHT, II ’08 PLATINUM RECORD PRODUCER, SONGWRITER COMPOSER @deucewt hiltonwright.com
BERNARD DAVID JONES ’07 FILM AND TELEVISION ACTOR @bernarddavidjones https://imdb.to/2LIqJ4g
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PHOTO BY ROGER S. HUMPHREY
TISHUAN SCOTT ’02
JIREH HOLDER ’12
AWARD WINNING PLAYWRIGHT
STEPHON BRISTOL ’11 AWARD WINNING FILM DIRECTOR
DWAYNE DUGGER ’06 CREATIVE/MUSICIAN @dugerii
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ACTOR, SCENE STEALER https://imdb.to/2OfQreE
JOHN DAVID WASHINGTON â€™06 ACTOR, PRODUCER, SCENE STEALER @johndavidwashington https://imdb.to/2v59tf4
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JULIUS PRYOR, IV ’09 MARTTISE HILL ’09
FILM DIRECTORS, PRODUCERS, SCREENWRITERS @juliuspryoriv @marttisehill
VANN R. NEWKIRK, II ’10 JOURNALIST/WRITER, THE ATLANTIC @fivefifths https://bit.ly/2LUAeKl
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KAMERON CORVET ’
BRANDON DIRDEN ’00 AWARD WINNING ACTOR, DIRECTOR @brandonjdirden @demdirdens brandonjdirden.com https://imdb.to/2NK6K26
HEAD OF FILM AND ACQUISITIONS, THE MARK GORDON CO. https://bit.ly/2OgFfhV
DAVE HELEM ’04 COMEDIAN
PHOTO BY ROGER S. HUMPHREY
MATT JACKSON ’96
MUSICIAN, PRODUCER @alexjacke
JUSTIN HENDERSON ’02
GRAMMY AWARD WINNING PRODUCER/SONGWRITER @hennythabiz
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CAMERON KIRK ’10
PHOTOGRAPHER, TREND SETTER, DOCUMENTARIAN
KENNETH WHALUM ARTIST, MUSICIAN
STEVEN VICTOR ’02 VICE PRESIDENT, A&R, DEFJAM @stevenvictor
ROSS OSCAR KNIGHT ’01
PHOTOGRAPHER, STORYTELLER, YOGI, ENTREPRENEUR @rossoscarknight rossoscarknight.com
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GEORGE A. PETERS, II ’03
CREATIVE, ACTOR, WRITER, PRODUCER, ARTIST, DIRECTOR @twopointoh
DANIEL PATTERSON ’04 AWARD WINNING CINEMATOGRAPHER https://imdb.to/2Ab7Ou7
CARRON PHILLIPS ’06
WRITER, JOURNALIST, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS @carronjphillips https://nydn.us/2LPC0zs
PANAMA JACKSON ’01
WRITER, FOUNDER, VERYSMARTBROTHAS.COM @panamajackson verysmartbrothas.com
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MUSICIAN, ARTIST, BRUNO MARS @kameronwhalum
WILL COBBS ’04 ACTOR, KICKBOXER @wcobbsiv https://bit.ly/2JXOMXZ
TERRENCE BROWN ’05
MUSICIAN, ORIGINAL, BANDLEADER, PIANIST, ARTIST
VINCE FERGUSON ’04 MUSICIAN, GUITARIST, WRITER
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MELVIN JONES ’01
MUSICIAN, COMPOSER, ARTIST, BANDLEADER, EDUCATOR @melvinjonestpt
JASHOD BELCHER ’99
FILM PRODUCER, ENTREPRENEUR, ORIGINAL @jashodmorehouse
JULIAN DESHAZIER ’05
MUSICIAN, WRITER, PASTOR, ORIGINAL @jkwest
ZEBULON ELLIS ’07
MUSICIAN, SINGER, ARTIST, COMPOSER, WRITER @zebulonellis
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TOPE FOLARIN ’04
WRITER, AUTHOR, INTELLECTUAL, THINKER @topefolarin
STEPHEN RIDER ’01 ACTOR
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GEOFRREY GOLDEN ’16 ARTIST, SINGER, MUSICIAN @geoffreygolden
WALE JONES ’02
DESIGNER, CREATOR, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR @ikirejones
WE ARE MOREHOUSE MONTHLY > ARRIVALS Dessie Lee Opal Bellamy
WE ARE MOREHOUSE JULY 2018 Volume 1, Number 8 EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Joe Carlos, III ’04 Associate Director of Alumni Engagment Morehouse College CONTRIBUTING EDITOR D. Aileen Dodd Interim Executive Director of the Morehouse College Office of Strategic Communications COPY EDITOR Peggy J. Shaw Morehouse College Office of Strategic Communications 2018© Morehouse College, Atlanta, GA All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, includingphotocopying, recording, or information storageor retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
WE ARE MOREHOUSE, is published monthly by the Morehouse College Office of Alumni Engagement and the Morehouse College Office of Strategic Communications 830 Westview Dr., SW Atlanta, GA 30314-3773
Brian Bellamy ’02 and his wife Ashley are the proud parents of a daughter, Dessie Lee Opal, born on January 6, 2018 in New Haven, CT.
Duke Thurmond Brown Kevin Brown ’04 and his wife Carmen (Spelman '01) are the proud parents of a son, Duke Thurmond, born on July 25, 2018 in Atlanta.
Roderick Cruz Davidson John R. Davidson ’03 and his wife Megan are the proud parents of a son, Roderick Cruz Davidson, born on May 31, 2018 in Los Angeles.
Veda Ann Gadsden Gibran Gadsden ’99 and his wife Rebecca (Spelman '02) are the proud parents of a daughter, Veda Ann, born on June 30, 2018 in Philadelphia
Phone: 470.639.0925 www.wearemorehouse.com Letters, comments and suggestions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lenox James Wood Henri Wood and his wife Lola (Spelman '04) are the proud parents of another son, Lenox James, born on May 21, 2018 in Los Angeles.
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The Serenity Lifestyle experience gives you direct VIP access to all of the beauty and wonders of Puerto Plata Dominican Republic. MORE ACCESS, MORE OPTIONS The Serenity Lifestyle experience offers access to more than 28 VIP gourmet restaurants, five majestic private beaches, 12 swimming pools and 33 bars as well as two entertainment centers and a range of amenities and activities for vacationers craving rest and relaxation or a non-stop party in paradise.
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Establish your recurring gift TODAY to support Morehouse's future for Lealon Miller, Class of 2036 GIVING.MOREHOUSE.EDU