The African American Male Initiative (AAMI)-Elite Scholars is a leadership development program dedicated to academic excellence, setting career goals and cultivating the talents and abilities of Black male students.

African American Male Initiative Summit

The African American Male Initiative (AAMI) Summit is open to all staff, faculty and students of all races, genders and identities. This event unites GGC’s campus community with discussions of Black male experiences and support of AAMI Elite Scholars.

Registration is closed for the 2024 AAMI Summit.

Past AAMI Summit Speakers

    Gilbert Young (keynote speaker), artist, muralist, conservator

    Gilbert Young is an internationally renowned artist, muralist and conservator who served 27 years as director and conservator of the University of Cincinnati’s vast, fine art collection beginning in the 1960s. He relocated to Atlanta in 1995 to serve as artistic director for the Paint Pals International Youth Art Competition in conjunction with the 1996 Olympics. Young has been recognized in numerous editions of “Who’s Who in Black Atlanta” and was inducted into “Who’s Who in America” in 2012. He has received the Heritage Award for Outstanding Visual Arts (2001) from the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York; the Pallet Award for Lifetime Achievement (2004); a Resolution from the Georgia House of Representatives naming him State of Georgia Artist of the Year (2011); the Phoenix Award from the city of Atlanta Mayor’s office for outstanding contributions to the arts (2013); the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus Citizen’s Award for outstanding artistic achievement (2015); a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Barack H. Obama Foundation (2019); a Resolution (351) from the Georgia House of Representatives (2021); the Tower of Strength Award from Morris Brown College, 2022; and the Dr. Ruth Hodges Award for Distinguished Achievement in Art, 2022. Young has received keys to numerous cities including one from Cambridge, Massachusetts after speaking at Harvard University.

    Young is the only artist to paint a portrait of an American President that is signed by the subject. The portrait of Barack Obama is titled “History + Hope = Change.” He was commissioned by the Congressional Club of Washington, DC to create a portrait of Michelle Obama in 2014 that was presented to her during the annual First Lady’s Luncheon.

    Monumental murals of Young’s work can be found in Cincinnati and Atlanta including a four-story installation of Young’s iconic “He Ain’t Heavy” image on Memorial Drive near the Georgia State Capitol. In 2019, his mural on Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard in Atlanta received the Atlanta Urban Design Commission Award for Outstanding Work of Public Art.

    Artwork by Young can be seen in movies and on television; on music CD covers; book covers; in magazine and news articles; and in galleries throughout the United States and select cities around the world. His work is featured in many private and corporate collections. Young lives in Atlanta with his wife L. Winfrey Young. They have three sons, Matthew, Bart and Gilbert Montana.

    Gilbert Young | GGC AAMI Summit Speaker

    Dr. Brandon Lewis, GGC associate professor of curriculum and instruction

    Dr. Brandon Lewis is an associate professor of curriculum and instruction in the School of Education at Georgia Gwinnett College. Lewis’s twenty-year teaching experience includes teaching K-12 and college students, and working with his youth program Stepping Toward Educational Progress (STEP). 

    As a graduate of Fort Valley State University, the University of Minnesota and Georgia State University, Lewis 's academic credentials underscore his dedication to lifelong learning and professional development. Beyond the academy, Lewis’s commitment to social justice advocacy and culturally responsive teaching is evident in his pedagogical efforts both inside and outside the classroom.  Lewis brings a comprehensive understanding of educational theory and practice to his role, which he uses to enrich the academic experience of his students and community.

    Lewis is deeply involved in scholarship, community engagement and mentorship. He currently directs the African American Male Initiative (AAMI)-Elite Scholars and is the founder of Stepping Toward Educational Progress (STEP), a youth program that utilizes the art form of stepping to develop the holistic person.

    Dr. Brandon Lewis

    Allen Clarke, GGC assistant director of the Student Center

    Allen Clarke serves as assistant director of the Student Center and helps direct the African American Male Initiative (AAMI)-Elite Scholars at Georgia Gwinnett College. Clarke is a higher ed professional, poet/MC, writer, teaching artist and social entrepreneur. His work with AAMI-Elite Scholars includes mentoring, coaching, programming assistance, recruitment and onboarding. He is co-creator of the AAMI Chop Shop, an engaging intergenerational discussion for Black men in a safe, nonjudgmental environment. He has over 25 years of experience in education serving students in higher ed, K-12, afterschool and juvenile justice. He is versed in Hip Hop history and has co-taught Hip-Hop classes at the high school and college levels. He has facilitated and organized Hip Hop workshops at Rikers Island Detention Center and in various community centers and public schools throughout New York City and Atlanta. Clarke has been involved in various social justice causes, including early childhood literacy, housing insecurity, educational equity, foster care and mental health, through his work at Morehouse College and Georgia Gwinnett College, and his partnerships with Hopes of Honorable Youth and the National Youth Advocate Program.

    Allen Clarke

    Dr. Brian Williams, scholar, author, speaker, educational advocate

    Dr. Brian Williams is a scholar, author, speaker and educational advocate. He has over 25 years of experience working in schools and other educational communities. He currently serves as the executive director of The Bob Moses Research Center for Math Literacy Through Public Education at Florida International University in Miami, Florida. His work is situated at the intersection of science education, urban education and education for social justice. More specifically, he is interested in the ways in which equity issues related to race, ethnicity, culture and class influence science teaching and learning, and access to science literacy. His scholarly work has been published in Democracy and Education, Science Education, School and Community Journal, Negro Ed Review, and International Journal of Social Research Methodology, and his research has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and the United States Department of Education.

    In addition to his research, Williams has over 20 years of experience in supporting the professional development of pre-service and in-service teachers. He has taught courses on topics ranging from science methods and culturally responsive pedagogy to teachers in the United States and other countries around the world. In addition to his work with teachers, he has also developed science and mathematics curricula, served as an educational adviser to various schools and professional organizations, and taught science to both middle and elementary school students. Before joining the faculty at Florida International University, Williams served as the director of the Alonzo A. Crim Center for Urban Educational Excellence at Georgia State University in Atlanta. While at the Crim Center, he was responsible for implementing service programs, conducting research and providing technical assistance aimed at cultivating excellent educational experiences for children living in urban communities.

    Because of his extensive work in the fields of science education, multicultural education and urban education, Williams has also served as a consultant to organizations such as the National Science Foundation, the Educational Development Center, Quality Education for Minorities and the Children’s Museum of Atlanta. He also serves as a board member for the Tapestry Public Charter School and the Children’s Museum of Atlanta. He holds degrees from Emory University (PhD, 2003), Georgia Institute of Technology (MS, 1996), and Norfolk State University (BS, 1994) and is a former Ford Foundation Fellow and Spencer Fellow. He is married to Dr. Rhina Fernandes Williams. They have two children, David and Kaya.

    Brian Williams | GGC AAMI Summit Speaker

    Dr. Kendrick Savage, GGC associate professor of mathematics

    Dr. Kendrick Savage is a native of Oxford, Mississippi. He earned a BS in mathematics from the University of Mississippi. He went on to earn an MS in mathematics, an MA in teaching and a PhD in mathematics education from Mississippi State University. Savage is currently an associate professor of Mathematics at Georgia Gwinnett College where in his short time there he has been nominated for Georgia Gwinnett College’s Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award twice, the Student Engagement Award, and the Outstanding Scholarship and Creative Activities Award. He has published several articles and book chapters on topics ranging from mathematical motivation to mathematics for social justice.

    Prior to becoming a professor, Savage was a high school mathematics teacher, where he received the STAR teacher of the year award. He is the author of his recently published book, A Few Steps in the Right Direction: Give Yourself the Chance You Deserve, a book about inspiration, lessons from his life and giving yourself a chance.

    Savage enjoys strength training, spoken word poetry and spending time with his family. He is a husband and a father to three beautiful little girls. His primary goal in life is to take the gifts God has blessed him with and work not only to touch the lives of those he encounters, but to also make the world a better place.

    Kendrick Savage | GGC AAMI Summit Speaker

    Lyndon B. Earley, managing partner and lead facilitator of Noble Man Enterprises

    Lyndon B. Earley is the managing partner and lead facilitator of Noble Man Enterprises, a seminar company that specializes in teaching, training, personal and employee development. Earley was born and raised in Los Angeles and has resided in the state of Georgia for approximately 25 years. Earley was labeled a gifted student at a young age. He had a strong interest in sports, excelling in football and track. He was offered scholarships from University of Southern California and San Diego State University (SDSU). His passion for football compelled him to accept a scholarship to SDSU. Things seemed fine until his senior year when as a pre-season all Western Athletic Conference candidate he was removed from the team for disciplinary reasons. Despite everything he had going for him, bad judgment, pride and negative influences began to surface, and life took a downward turn. Earley lost total focus. His bullheadedness fueled his out-of-control reputation with friends, local law enforcement and the community at large. Once Earley got his priorities in order and pointed his life in the proper direction, he graduated from college and began to methodically place his past vices and weaknesses behind him. He now holds a BA degree in speech communication from San Diego State University; a Certificate of Entrepreneurship; a Lean Six Sigma Certification and Project Management Certificate, both from Villanova University; and he acquired his MBA from Strayer University, while maintaining a 3.91 GPA. He has dedicated his life to helping people discover their life’s purpose and maximize their careers and success. His youth work includes coaching football for over 20 years, and becoming a youth mentor and church elder. Most recently Earley started the Faith-Based Noble Mentees: Kings in Training Program aimed at building the self-esteem and character of African American Males from third grade to sixth grade. He is a 2023 graduate of Leadership Gwinnett and a Kappa Alpha Psi National Speaker’s Fellow. He has amassed more than 600 students in his Purpose Finders Online Academy, a group he created to help others to discover their God-given motivational gifts and learn how to live an enjoyable life while on earth.

    Lyndon B. Earley | GGC AAMI Summit Speaker

    Aric Johnson, family man, social worker, counselor, motivational speaker, mentor

    Aric Johnson is family man with a devotion to God, his beautiful wife, his two children, and is a licensed social worker, counselor, motivational speaker and mentor who is passionate about helping people live lives to their fullest potential. Drawing from his own personal experiences related to drug addiction, incarceration and various other struggles, Johnson allows his life to be an “open book” showing that it is truly possible to achieve positive life transformation… one quality decision at a time.

    Johnson specializes in providing hope and direction to those who have lost their way, and bringing peace of mind to those who find themselves in the middle of crisis situations. He has had the privilege of serving disadvantaged populations such as homeless men and women, individuals suffering with mental illness, those recently released from incarceration and at-risk youth, including those already involved with the criminal justice system. As a social worker, Johnson is committed to community activism and social justice, especially advocating on behalf of those affected by poverty and discrimination.

    Johnson holds a Bachelor’s degree in sociology from Georgia State University, a Master’s of social work from Kennesaw State University, and is a certified anger management specialist and founder of One Eighty Counseling and Coaching. Johnson currently holds a position of senior field advisor for National Network for Safe Communities. In his free time, Johnson enjoys all things sports-related, especially football, and is a huge Georgia Bulldog fan.

    Aric Johnson | GGC AAMI Summit Speaker

    Dr. George Darden, GGC assistant professor of educational foundations

    Dr. George Darden is an assistant professor of educational foundations at Georgia Gwinnett College. Over his twelve-year tenure, he has taught several classes in the School of Education, including foundations courses and social studies methods courses for students in the Educator Preparation Program. Prior to completing his PhD at the University of Georgia in 2011, Darden was a high school teacher, spending the bulk of his career in the Atlanta Public Schools. He has varied research interests related to diversity, inclusion and equity.

    Dr. George Darden, IV

    Dr. Jamie Lewis, GGC associate professor of curriculum and instruction

    Jamie B. Lewis, PhD is an associate professor of curriculum and instruction at Georgia Gwinnett College. She received her PhD in social foundations of education from the University of Georgia. She completed both a JD and MA in urban multicultural education from the University of Tennessee and a BA in political science from Hollins University. Her scholarly work has been published in the peer-reviewed journals of Educational Studies, Critical Education, the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, and Qualitative Inquiry. She is a co-author of Philanthropy, hidden strategy, and collective resistance: A primer for concerned educators. Her areas of interest are the legal history of school desegregation, the intersections of life histories and genealogical research, and the history of Native American education. In addition, her research explores issues related to the sociocultural and political contexts of education with regard to the current legal terrain of accountability and the privatization of schooling in the United States.

    Dr. Jamie Lewis

    Dr. Dymaneke Mitchell, GGC associate professor of curriculum and instruction

    As a researcher, consultant, educator, administrator and life-long learner, Dr. Dymaneke Mitchell has helped individuals better understand knowledge construction, learning styles, pedagogy, curriculum and instruction as well as responsible professional practice across various higher education contexts through innovative educational and professional experiences. She strives to prepare professionals to continuously value and demonstrate reflective leadership and ethical decision-making through respecting diversity, honoring differences, supporting equity and promoting social justice.

    Dr. Dymaneke Mitchell

    Marvin Leon DeWitt, Jr., GGC undergraduate education coordinator

    Dr. Marvin Leon DeWitt, Jr., MAEd is a native of Richmond, Virginia. He received his Bachelor’s degree from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in business management and his Master’s degree in urban education with a concentration in community counseling and higher education counseling from Norfolk State University. He is also a member of Pi Lambda Theta Educational Honor Society and Golden Key International Honour Society (graduate Level), and formerly served as a graduate advisor for the North Carolina A&T fellowship gospel choir. He prides himself on having experience in individual counseling and group counseling. He worked as a rehabilitation counselor for the Virginia Department of Corrections, a family counselor for Youth Villages, a qualified professional for Behavioral Health Wellness Care Services, and community outreach for Youth and Family Services of Georgia. In 2013, he transitioned into higher education as an instructor of First-Year and Transitions studies at Atlanta Metropolitan State College. He has served in administrative capacities in academic advising and student success at both AMSC and Kennesaw State University. Currently, he serves as the undergraduate education coordinator at Georgia Gwinnett College. DeWitt is currently a doctoral student at Valdosta State University pursuing a doctorate in educational leadership.

    Marvin DeWitt | GGC AAMI Summit Speaker

    Dr. Gwendoline Ayuninjam, GGC associate professor of curriculum and instruction, Special Education and Social Foundations Department chair

    Dr. Gwendoline Ayuninjam earned a BA (honors) in English with a minor in theatre art from the University of Yaoundé I, Cameroon; an M.Ed. in English Education from Ecole Normale Supérieure, University of Yaoundé I, Cameroon; and a Ph.D. in Higher Education with an emphasis on the sociocultural study of higher education from the Department of Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation, University of Kentucky. She has also held North Carolina and Kentucky teaching licenses in English and English as a second language.

    Ayuninjam has been at Georgia Gwinnett College since August 2016. She is an associate professor of curriculum and instruction and teaches primarily educational foundations courses. She also provides field supervision to Teacher Certificate Program candidates as needed. She presently chairs the Department of Special Education and Social Foundations. Her background is in secondary English, English as a second language, educational foundations, and field and clinical experiences. Prior to coming to Georgia Gwinnett College, she directed the Office of Field and Clinical Experiences at Winston Salem State University and Western Carolina University respectively. She also coordinated the Teacher Education Model Programs project at the University of Kentucky, and taught at Kentucky State University and the Washington International School respectively.
    In her spare time, Ayuninjam enjoys spending time with family and friends, taking long walks in parks, listening to music, traveling, and engaging with social and cultural groups.

    Dr. Gwendoline Ayuninjam

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