Black History Month
History. Tradition. Community.
February is Black History Month.
Since 1926, and the creation of Negro History Week by Carter G. Woodson, the accomplishments of persons of African descent have been recognized each February. The Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights is proud to present Future History Makers, a profile series featuring emerging leaders from the Twin Cities African American community who share our ideals of advancing civil rights and removing barriers to equity.
Honoring The Legacy
“Dr. Reatha Clark King is a chemist whose long scientific career includes breakthroughs in fluoride research that advanced the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) space program. She devoted the second half of her career as an educator and administrator to expanding opportunities for education available to students from poor backgrounds. Dr. King’s early life centered around the institutions of church and school, although the family was so poor that she often had to leave school to pick cotton or tobacco for $3 per day.
Dr. Kings says, “My reasons for leading were not centered on my needs but on the needs of my people, of women, and of my community. The question is, what do people lead toward? I’m leading toward a cause: to get more opportunities for people. It is in my blood to remove unjust barriers and to help people appreciate themselves and be who they are.”
Dr. King has received more than a dozen honorary doctorates from institutions of higher institutions, been named one of Ebony magazine’s Top 50 Black Executives, and received a Lifetime Achievement in Philanthropy Award from the National Center for Black Philanthropy. She was named Twin Citian of 1988 for Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota.”
Source: The History Makers, 2016
Celebrating The Future
Today’s Future History Maker understands the commitment and dedication of Dr. King. He also is dedicated to educating and empowering community. He is Dr. Abdul M. Omari.
Dr. Abdul M. Omari is the CEO and founder of AMO Enterprise. AMO Enterprise is a firm, which helps people better connect in individual and team settings through leadership seminars, keynotes, and mentoring. The biracial son of two immigrant parents raised in South Minneapolis, as a child Dr. Omari was exposed to various cultures and diverse experiences. He is determined to use his perspectives to help people connect and recognize the value of lived experiences. Dr. Omari helps his clients understand how their life experiences affect their personal leadership styles and relationships with others.
Dr. Omari holds a B.A. in global studies, a master’s of public policy from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, and a PhD in comparative and international development education from the University of Minnesota. His research is focused on the perceptions of mentoring and the role of Cultural Intelligence within mentoring relationships. For several years, he has taught leadership courses for college students. Dr. Omari is an elected member of the Board of Regents at the University of Minnesota. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the YMCA Greater Twin Cities, AchieveMpls, and Civic Eagle.
What Motivates You
I am inspired by situations. My parents’ meek beginnings motivated me to finish my PhD program and pay off previously accumulated student debt before graduating. Today, their meek childhoods, coupled with my own, continue to drive me to be a good financial steward and work to change the mentality about wealth within communities and my younger family members.
Most Rewarding Work Experience
I am most proud when I facilitate a seminar or deliver a keynote and audience members email me examples of how their personal discoveries have impacted their leadership capabilities as well as other aspects of their lives.
Because I am on several boards, I am intertwined with policy and its impact. Too often there is a physical disparity between who’s in office and on boards and who is most affected by policy. My work, in many ways, is to bridge the space between those in the boardroom and those impacted by the decisions within the boardroom. Now, more than ever, it is critical to understand that we cannot move forward as a society without that bridge. True relationships are at the core of it all.
Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs
Start with “why” you want to start a business. When you focus on the why, and allow passion to be your compass – everything else will fall into place. I highly recommend the book “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek.
- South Minneapolis, Minnesota
- University of Minnesota, B. A., MPP, Ph. D