Black History Month
Black History Month is a remembrance of important people and events in African-American history that has been celebrated annually in the United States in February since 1976.
The remembrance has its roots in 1926 by United States historian Carter G. Woodson. Woodson chose the second week of February because it marked the birthdays of two Americans who greatly influenced the lives and social condition of African Americans: former President Abraham Lincoln and abolitionist and former slave Frederick Douglass.
The Wizards and Amtrak are proud to honor the great and countless contributions of African-Americans. In addition to events throughout the community the Wizards will spotlight and produce video vignettes honoring various African-Americans making a positive difference in their communities. These video vignettes will air during the first 6 Wizards home games in February. During the 7th and final Wizards home game of Black History Month the Amtrak Pioneer Award will be awarded to three individuals who made outstanding contributions to their communities.
The Wizards will primarily be honoring individuals that are making a difference in the fight against hunger and homelessness, who are helping support our active duty military personnel and veterans, who are working to promote health and fitness, who are driving and positive forces in youth basketball and who are helping others educate themselves. If you know someone in your community who you feel should be recognized, nominate them here (link to nomination form).
Watch the latest videos below to learn more about our honorees and be sure to check back here throughout February to learn more about all of the Black History Month honorees.
Know someone in your community who you feel deserves to be recognized, please click here to complete the form.
Terris Andre King II
At the dawn of his career Mr. Terris Andre King II delivers rays of progress, change, and hope to people through his various ventures. The humble service oriented roots of Mr. King’s journey began with his studies as a Semester at Sea student. While traveling the world his perspective on cultures, society, and the relationship between the two was greatly impacted. An impact so prominent leading Mr. King to what he believes is the pillar and foundation of a healthy society, education.
Mr. King obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Morehouse College, in Atlanta, Georgia. He continued his higher education by receiving his Master of Arts in Elementary Education from Lesley University, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. While attending Lesley University, his year round teaching apprentice positions were not only learning experiences, they were also opportunities to explore the more underdeveloped aspects within the education system. During the 2009 to 2010 school year, while working at the Haggerty School and the Shady Hill School, Mr. King developed and presented the first Citizens of the World (COW) Symposium. The COW Symposium is a series of workshops for African American boys and their parents, to promote self-worth, positive self-identities, and responsibly aware citizens. Mr. King was recognized for this innovative symposium series as the youngest presenter at the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) 2010 People of Color Conference.
Mr. King’s initiative of delivering education and his compelling need to serve his community is manifested in his continual involvement with his family church. In 2008 Mr. King founded the Liberty Grace Church of God Summer Fun Camp. The camp is comprised of summer enrichment, supplemental education, health & fitness, and artistic development programs. In 2010 Mr. King jumped at the opportunity to work as a Kindergarten teacher at the Bishop Walker School for Boys, in Washington, DC. Mr. King was named a Klingenstien Fellow from Columbia University’s Teachers College in 2012. Mr. King has taken on a new challenge in the classroom teaching preschool at the Park School of Baltimore where he serves as a Pre Kindergarten teacher. He also serves as the Executive Director of The Black Man Can Institute, which organizes forums to bring African American male youth together to experience dynamic programming. Mr. King is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Pi Omega Chapter in Baltimore, MD. Pi Omega Chapter runs the overall operation of the Easterwood Recreation Center, where he serves as a Program Director. He has been featured in the Bay State Banner newspaper in the following article “Where are the black teachers?”; and CNN’s “Black male teachers a rare bread”.
Christopher Howard is a graduate of Hampton University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. An Army Veteran of 14 years Christopher is currently a Consumer Safety Officer for the Food and Drug Administration and a Commander with the United States Public Health Service. During the year Christopher participates in community health fairs and outreach activities that focus on diabetes, hypertension and the importance exercise and proper nutrition. Annually on Veterans Day Christopher along with the men of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Lambda Gamma Gamma Chapter spend a day with our Nation's Heroes at the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Washington DC to show appreciation for their life long service and sacrifices for defense of our freedoms and way of life.
Wanda Holmes, Director of the Children’s Program and Bridge Program since September 2008 has more than 18 years of experience working with children and youth and developing and implementing educational/developmental programs that produce tangible results. Before joining Martha’s Table, she was the Director of Education at the Darrell Green Youth Life Foundation where she was responsible for shaping the overall vision of the after school programming of youth between the ages of 5-18, engaging key stakeholders, providing organization and facilitation of training for staff and assisting in the capacity building efforts of the organization.
Responsible for establishing, directing and implementing the overall educational activities of the Children’s & Bridge Programs servicing nearly 120 children ages 4-13 years as well as the management and supervision of a (12) member teaching staff daily. Also responsible for the design and implementation of the day-to-day operations, assuring compliance with all applicable codes and regulations as required for maintaining licensing under District of Columbia Regulations and program accreditation. Also, build and maintain relationships with various government agencies, community organizations, schools and program donors, to enhance program capacity. Responsible for the development and enhancement of a data reporting structure that captures the academic and enrichment impact that the program has on the students that it serves. Also coordinate special events and programs yearly. Represent Martha’s Table at various outside conferences and speaking engagements. Develop and implement programs, trainings and meetings for parents in an effort to keep them informed of their children’s progress.
Jodi Evans is an active 3rd grader from Bowie, Maryland. Along with being a medalist in the USA Taekwondo 2012 Junior Olympics, Jodi is passionate about inspiring her peers to live healthy.
She is a proud member of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Youth Advisory Board, one of the only youth-led advisory groups in the country focused on childhood obesity issues.
Jodi was motivated to join the Youth Advisory Board so she could have a platform to teach youth how to be healthy in fun and creative ways. She believes it’s important for youth to have a voice in the fight against childhood obesity because youth influence each other. As the youngest member of the Alliance’s Youth Advisory Board, Jodi has made significant impacts in her local community of Bowie. To date, Jodi has created a health & fitness display at Prince George’s County Bowie library, created a Sports4Life program for 4th graders at her school teaching students the benefits of sports to their health and wellness and finally, this spring Jodi is partnering with the Mayor and City Council of Bowie to organize a community-wide Walk/Run.
At only nine-years-old Jodi is one of the most vocal and passionate members of her community fighting childhood obesity.
Iyabo AlliIyabo Alli, is a graduate of Hampton University with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. She is an Engineer for the Patent & Trademark Office, as well as a Health Coach and has been the Assistant Coach for Oxon Hill Middle School Girls Basketball Team in Oxon Hill, Maryland. During the summer of 2011 her team participated in a tournament at the Verizon Center before the Mystics game that evening. Iyabo enjoys giving back to her community by helping youth stay on the right path in every aspect of their lives, whether she is coaching, tutoring or mentoring them on building their confidence. She also makes her players aware of the importance of being an overall great athlete in school and on the court. She also tries to instill proper nutrition as an athlete with her players, who are starting to understand the importance of proper nutrition and no fast food celebrations after games.
She recently received a coaching honor for assisting lead her girls to an undefeated 2012-2013 season in the Sky High Middle School League, which an interview was done on both coaches and the team in Finest Magazine (www.finestmag.com); she believes in not changing her schedule because empowering and helping the youth in our community is more important to her.