Oracle Atlanta Toastmaters Launches Youth Leadership Program at Dunwoody High School

ATLANTAApril 25, 2023PRLog — The Youth Leadership program is an informal course in the arts of communication and leadership. This program is being led by Oracle Atlanta Toastmaster’s Club President, Shavonne Reed as a capstone project to earn her Distinguished Toasmasters designation during the 4th period block exploratory class. Ms. Phillips, 9th grade literature teacher says, “It is important to expose her students to real-life skills that will help
them thrive as they mature into young adults.”

The program will focus on developing the student’s ability to clearly express their thoughts to others so they are heard and understood. According to Reed, “This is critical in becoming successful in life and just about every career path students choose to pursue. Many of my peers have found their voice by participating in Toastmasters and have expressed an interest in supporting a united community effort to give back to the youth in our community.” Shavonne Reed is the founder of a marketing agency and the Future Health NOW Foundation whose mission is to foster education, information, and experiences to help the next generation to thrive and make healthy life choices.

According to Marcus Felder, “I was thrilled to learn about the opportunity to support Shavonne with her DTM project as our company supports community service projects and encourages us to be active within the community. Working with the kids is very exciting, and I’m happy to share what I’ve learned with them because I wish I had learned speaking skills earlier in life.” Felder is a State Farm employee based in Dunwoody.

The program participants will learn skills they will be able to use the rest of their life, including:

● Overcoming the nervousness everyone feels when asked to speak before an audience
● Organizing and presenting ideas logically and convincingly
● Listening carefully to others’ ideas
● Offering advice that will help others improve their speaking and leadership skills
● Participating in and even leading group discussions and meetings

Bernard Assaf, Vice President of Membership, stated, “It is always good to introduce Toastmasters as soon as possible, as this helps to increase self-confidence in a fun, safe learning environment and is a good way to make new friends and prospective future members for our club someday.” The program will culminate in an awards ceremony where the students will be able to showcase their newly learned
communication and leadership skills with friends, family, and the community.

About Oracle Atlanta: Oracle Atlanta Toastmasters Club #4640768 is an open community Toastmasters Club. The Club Mission statement is to provide a supportive and positive learning experience in which members are empowered to develop communication and leadership skills, resulting in greater self-confidence and personal growth. Currently, Oracle Atlanta has 26 active members, and many have been with the Club for several years. Members join on a six-month base, pay dues, and complete learning pathways to grow their speaking and leadership skills. This Club offers virtual meetings every Thursday at noon and hybrid experiences once a month at the State Farm Parklink Community Center. The Club has been able to maintain consistency throughout the Pandemic and has held more than 380 meetings since being founded in 2015 by Oracle employees. Learn more about Oracle Atlanta here:

ElevateMeD Nonprofit Returns to Atlanta for Ignite Atlanta Scholarship Event on May 12th

ElevateMeD's 'Ignite Atlanta' Scholarship Event

ElevateMeD’s ‘Ignite Atlanta’ Scholarship Event

ATLANTAApril 25, 2023PRLog — ElevateMeD returns to the heart of Atlanta in celebration of its fourth anniversary with  Ignite Atlanta, the organization’s multi-city scholarship fundraising event. Ignite Atlanta will take place on Friday, May 12, 2023 at the Georgia Aquarium (225 Baker St NW Atlanta, GA 30310) from 6:30 pm to 11 pm. Proceeds raised will support tuition-based scholarships and leadership development for diverse medical students through the ElevateMeD Scholars Program. Event information and tickets can be found at

After paying off their combined $500,000 in medical school debt, Dr. Alyx Porter Umphrey, a Spelman College graduate, and co-founder husband Dr. Gregory Umphrey, a graduate of Howard University College of Medicine, founded the organization to give back to the next generation of diverse physician leaders. Since its inception in 2019, the Scottsdale-based nonprofit ElevateMeD has provided support to over 30 underrepresented medical students from across the country, awarding over $1,000,000 in scholarships and support through its Scholars Program.

“The energy, the vibe, the commitment to sustained excellence, Atlanta is the city where ideas become concrete and dreams come into fruition.  Fueled by the fire of a community of leaders united in purpose, ElevateMeD returns with Ignite Atlanta to gain continued momentum as we work together to make the dreams of underrepresented medical students a reality.”- Dr. Jeshenna Watkins, ElevateMeD Board Member and Ignite Atlanta Event Chair

The 2022 Ignite Atlanta scholarship event was successful, capturing an audience of 150 physicians, professionals, sponsors and students who believe in the organization’s mission to increase diversity in medicine. That evening, the organization successfully raised over $120,000 towards the ElevateMeD Scholars Program. In celebration of its fourth anniversary in 2023, the organization is excited to return to Atlanta to host over 200 guests and share its newest cohort of ElevateMeD Scholars.

“This ElevateMeD experience feels different from other experiences. It’s not just about getting a scholarship, this is about intentional exposure to a community of people who look like me, who want to support me, who want to teach me how to be a successful physician who can also give back to the community and the students who come behind me.” – Arrix Ryce, Emory School of Medicine ’23 and ElevateMeD Scholar

This year’s celebration will herald a memorable night at the Georgia Aquarium featuring:

  • Pre-event networking hour with open bar
  • Dinner provided through Wolfgang Puck Catering  
  • Musical entertainment by DJ Tron
  • An exciting live and silent auction
  • An exclusive ‘Battle for Bey’ raffle featuring Two First Level Front Row Renaissance tickets and a $500 gift card for the Omni hotel  (limited tickets available for purchase at
  • Presentation of the 2023 Trailblazer Award to Dr. Fatu Forna
  • Keynote address by ElevateMeD Scholar Arrix Ryce, Emory School of Medicine ’23.
  • Scholarship award presentation to Emory School of Medicine and Morehouse School of Medicine Scholars Program recipients

Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are available online through May 1, 2023, at

Atlanta Mom Tamika Parrish Lives Her Dream of Acting, Guest Stars on Starz Hit TV Show “BMF”

 After having children, many moms begin to wonder if their hopes and dreams must be put on hold while raising their children. Tamika Parrish, an Atlanta mom and actress, refused to allow motherhood to dim her dreams of continuing to work in television and film. Tamika is represented by Sol Talent Agency and auditions for TV & Film projects regularly in the Southeast region. After years of auditions, self-tapes, callbacks, holds and getting cut on the editing floor, Tamika’s dream of working with the best talent on the best projects came true when she landed the role of Saundra “Sister,” the baby sister to Goldie, who is played by Academy Award winner Monique on STARZ hit TV show “BMF.”

“Being a mom is hard work. Being an actor is hard work. But once I made up my mind that both will be who and want I am, I asked God for grace and patience, so that I continue to have the resilience and the peace of mind to do both well and with great joy. Many doors have opened up for me once I decided to jump. It’s not easy, but I’ve learned that ‘making the time’ and not trying to ‘find the time’ is the only way to make things happen.”

The “BMF” TV series is inspired by a true story of two brothers, Demetrius and Terry Flenory, from Southwest Detroit in the late 1980s, who created one of the most influential crime families in America.

The show is executive produced by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Detroit native Randy Huggins and interim showrunner and executive producer Heather Zuhlke. Anthony Wilson and Anne Clements are also executive producers on the series.

“BMF” Season 2 now streaming on STARZ.

For more information, visit

Tamika Parrish
(678) 325-3468



  • Television

Atlanta Realtors® Association Makes Historic Progress Towards Diversity and Inclusion

The Association Embraces Local Multicultural Realtor® Associations And Establishes Active Voting Rights for All Members

ATLANTAAug. 5, 2022PRLog — The Atlanta REALTORS® Association (ARA) recently enhanced its partnership with select local multicultural real estate organizations by approving voting rights for each through a comprehensive and inclusive memorandum of understanding (MOU). The organizations include: Empire Board of Realtists (local branch of NAREB – National Association of Real Estate Brokers), National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, Asian American Real Estate Association of America, Women’s Council of REALTORS®, and the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance in response to improving DEI engagement and representation amongst its multicultural membership base.

In late 2020, newly installed National Association of Realtors® (NAR) President Charlie Oppler formally apologized for the association’s past policies that contributed to segregation amongst REALTORS® and racial inequality related to property ownership in America.

In June 2021, in efforts to promote healing and begin reconciliation, the Atlanta REALTORS® Association (ARA) acknowledged their contributions to an exclusionary history and issued a Letter of Apology.

ARA is the largest real estate association in Georgia and is considered one of the strongest and most successful REALTOR® Associations across the nation. They took several steps and established committees dedicated to diversity and inclusion. They pledged to be the voice and driving force of change to ensure all members feel welcomed, supported, heard and valued.

With a historical appointment in 2022 as the first Black woman President of ARA, Karen Hatcher, CPM®, and the first Black-owned brokerage to hold the office, pledged to continue the ‘dance’ from diversity initiatives to making intentional inclusion part of the DNA of the association.

In Hatcher’s inaugural “Let’s Dance” speech, she declared the first order of business was to create “seats at the table” and launched her presidency by creating a task force to explore and create a more comprehensive and inclusive MOU between ARA and local multicultural associations.

“Within the first six months of my presidency, ARA has began to make historical strides towards its promise on inclusion.” Hatcher states. “We are doing the work. It’s not easy, and there are many layers. But, our association and leadership team is committed to progress and ensuring all members have a seat at the table.”

The Empire Board of Realtists, Inc. (EBR) President Bilal Shareef states, “EBR is pleased to now have a voting seat on the Atlanta Realtors Association (ARA) Board of Directors for the first time in its 112-year history. I’m optimistic that ARA will continue to expand diversity in leadership and advocate for actionable policies and legislation that will continue to positively impact the rate of minority homeownership.”

ARA hired its first-ever Community Engagement and Diversity Director, Geilia Taylor, in December 2021. “Having worked in the diversity field for over twenty years, I knew how difficult it would be to implement new policies into an existing system.” Taylor continues, “Convinced of their sincerity and commitment to doing the work necessary to achieve their goals, I was pleased to join the ARA team.”

“This executive role ensures that DEI is a part of our culture and not just a trend,” Karen says. “As presidents’ platforms change from year to year, DEI will remain part of ARA’s DNA.”

Hatcher notes the most impactful change to date was converting the non-voting seats of Multicultural Association representatives on ARA’s Board of Directors to voting seats. This allows the underrepresented constituents a true and full seat at the table on issues impacting communities today, such as housing affordability, equity, and inclusion.

Another recent policy change ensures that all ARA members who actively participate on committees can impact decisions by having a vote. “ARA committees will no longer have voting and non-voting members. All committee members will have the right to vote as long as they meet the attendance guidelines. Motions pass by majority vote,” Karen explains.

“AREAA commends the Atlanta Realtors Association for their commitment towards ensuring that underrepresented groups have a seat at the table,” shares Asian American Real Estate Association of America Metro Atlanta Chapter President Dan Park. “We look forward to working together as industry leaders in DEI.”

Other voices of the multicultural association echo that sentiment; Eboni Killian, President of the Women’s Council of REALTORS®️ Atlanta Network and Sebastian Riveros, President of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals Metro Atlanta Chapter, applaud these efforts.

Riveros explains, “NAHREP Atlanta is very proud to join forces with ARA in promoting diversity and inclusion, not only with our clients but also within the real estate industry. Thanks to the vision of President Karen Hatcher, our mission has expanded, and our voices have been magnified throughout Atlanta Realtors Associations.”

“We are excited to be included in ARA’s steps to enhancing diversity and inclusion within the association – working together to achieve our goal to be an inclusive association where all of our members feel welcomed,” shares Killian.

Justin Ziegler, President of the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance Atlanta Chapter, also shares, “I commend the leadership of ARA. By creating board positions for members of the multicultural organizations, they are not only practicing inclusion but ensuring the voices of our diverse membership are heard and are part of the decision-making that guides the direction of the organization.”

ARA hopes these changes will increase membership engagement and opportunities for all members to have a voice, feel welcomed, respected, reflected, and expected to be an active part of ARA.

To read the ARA apology letter, click here (…). To become a member of the Atlanta REALTORS® Association, click here (

All media inquiries should be directed by T.MORRISON GLOBAL COMMUNICATIONS.

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Atlanta, GA Author Publishes Post-Apocalyptic Survival Novel

WatchDogs: Abnormal Beginnings: Book 1, a new book by Mike L. Junior, has been released by Dorrance Publishing Co., Inc.

The Apocalypse has come and gone. 99% of the world’s population has died. The survivors regroup in Georgia but as the years become decades, the people become less united by tragedy and more divided by self-interests. Those who remain succeed into 5 new nations. That 1% soon begins to expand with time; it also evolves. Their ancestors who survived the Apocalypse only did so because of their mutated genes and those genes only multiplied with each generation, until today’s descendants begin showing signs of abnormalities. These abnormalities give people ungodly abilities, abilities that are discriminated by the masses, so much so that Abnormals have to form guilds to have a sense of family.

In WatchDogs: Abnormal Beginnings: Book 1, we join Cole as his guild has been stripped from him, and he has been left for dead. Who is the culprit of such a heinous crime? His brother. Join Cole on his epic journey of vengeance as he crosses a wasteland of a planet to get revenge from the man he trusted most. What lies ahead? Will Cole get his revenge? Can he get back what he lost? Is his journey as simple as it seems? Find out in WatchDogs: Abnormal Beginnings.

About the Author
Mike L. Junior has always wanted to be a writer, but it seemed like a daunting task. He wasn’t sure he would be a talented writer or storyteller until his senior year of high school, during which his class was asked to make senior memoirs in which they were to recall stories from every year of their school journeys up until that point. Anyone who knows him knows his memory isn’t the best, so he found himself making up stories for the assignment and not only was his teacher pleased, but he found himself having a great time weaving a fable together. Now that he knew he had an interest, he still wasn’t sure he could do it as up until that point the most he wrote was about 20-30 pages for the assignment he was given over a month to complete. He was nervous but all the comics, anime, and superhero cartoons he’d watched over the years had him bubbling with ideas for stories.

WatchDogs is one of the first incomplete ideas Mike had about a decade ago. After a little inspiration from a friend to pursue his dreams and a bit of early approval from his parents, who at that point had never read anything he’d written, he was ready to follow his dreams. He did outline after outline and the story changed drastically, and after a while he realized he was just procrastinating, so from there he took the leap, and while he had to write inbetween his everyday work he managed to finish his first book and he is so proud of the result.

WatchDogs: Abnormal Beginnings: Book 1 is a 304-page paperback with a retail price of $20.00 (eBook $15.00). The ISBN is 978-1-6386-7061-2. It was published by Dorrance Publishing Co., Inc of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. For members of the press, to request a review copy, visit our virtual pressroom at or to buy the book visit our online bookstore at