African American Graduation Celebration

The 30th Annual African American Graduation Celebration

Key Note Speaker

Dr. Joseph E. Marshall Jr.Dr. Joseph E. Marshall, Jr. received his Ph.D. in psychology from the
Wright Institute in Berkeley California, his M.A. in Education and B.A
in Political Science and Sociology from San Francisco State University.
He is an author, lecturer, radio talk show host, and community
activist. He is the founder of the Alive & Free Movement dedicated to
eliminating violence worldwide, which is active in the United States,
Canada, South Africa, Haiti, Botswana and Thailand.

Dr. Marshall is the co-founder and Executive Director of Alive &
Free/Omega Boys Club, a youth development and violence prevention organization
headquartered in San Francisco, California. The organization emphasizes academic
achievement and nonviolence. Alive & Free was founded in 1987 and has produced 184
college graduates, all supported by the Omega Scholarship Fund. Another 56 Omegas are
currently enrolled in college.

Dr. Marshall is a social entrepreneur who redefined youth violence as a disease and
developed the successful Alive & Free Prescription violence prevention methodology.
His work has informed the US Surgeon General, the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, and the Annie E. Casey Foundation. As Executive Director of the Alive & Free/
Omega Boys Club, he oversees the Omega Leadership Academy for academic and life
skills education, the Alive & Free Training Institute on Alive & Free violence prevention;
Street Soldiers Violence Prevention, and he is co-host of the nationally syndicated radio
talk show Street Soldiers.

Dr. Marshall is a recipient of numerous awards, these include: Honorary Doctorate of
Humane Letters from Morehouse College; Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from
the University of San Francisco; White House salute for success in fighting drugs and
crime in the community; Human Rights Leadership Award, Harvard University Alumni of
San Francisco, Ten Most Influential African Americans from City Flight Magazine; Candle
in Community Service Award from Morehouse College, HERO Award for outstanding
contribution toward Equity in Education from the San Francisco Human Rights
Commission and Genius Award from the MacArthur Foundation.

Dr. Marshall also has numerous publications and is subject of award winning public
television documentary Street Soldiers, Voice of America’s America Profile of the week
with the title “Former Teacher Keeps at-Risk Kids on Right Track,” and the national
broadcast of “Omega Boys Club giving kids new hope.” He serves on San Francisco
University State Alumni Hall of Fame, Loyola High School, Los Angeles Alumni Hall of
Fame, and as a commissioner on San Francisco Police Commission, City and County of San
Francisco. He also served as member of the Planning Board for the 2001 Surgeon General’s
Report on Youth Violence and is a Trustees Emeritus of University of San Francisco.

African American Graduation Celebration 2015

Key Note Speaker

Dr. Ramona E. BishopDr. Bishop graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in Richmond and received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Berkeley.  She earned her teaching credential from the University of San Francisco where she was student of the year.  She earned her Master's Degree and administrative credential from California State University, Hayward.  She was awarded a doctorate in educational administration from the University of Pacific.

Prior to becoming Superintendent of Vallejo City Unified School District, Dr. Bishop served as Associate Superintendent for Educational Services in the Twin Rivers Unified School District.  Her professional career also includes teaching, serving as principal, director, assistant superintendent and superintendent in several urban school districts.

Colleagues and community members have recognized Dr. Bishop for her excellence in education.  She has received several awards including:

  • 2010 National Alliance of Black School Educators - Ida B. Wells Risk-Taker Award
  • 2008 Region 3 Superintendent of the Year, Association of California School Administrators
  • 2007 Distinguished Educator, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated
  • 2000 Governor's Performance Award, California Department of Education Teacher Education Student of the Year, University of San Francisco

Dr. Bishop was chosen as Superintendent of Vallejo City Unified in February 2011 after a nationwide search which resulted in more than three dozen applicants.  Her first official day in the District was April 1, 2011.  Since then, with the support and leadership of the VCUSD Board, she has led the district team on an aggressive reform agenda.  Vallejo City Unified School District is implementing:

  • Full Service Community Schools
  • Positive Youth Justice School Climate Initiatives
  • Innovative Elementary and K-8 Programs
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics Middle Schools
  • Wall-to-Wall College/Career Academies at the Comprehensive High Schools

The goal of the district is to ensure that all students in the Vallejo City Unified School District achieve at high levels and are prepared for success in college and career.

28th African American Graduation CelebrationEbony S. O'neal-Randolph

Key Note Speaker

Judge Arthur L. BurnettJudge Arthur L. Burnett, Sr. (Retired) is the National Executive Director, National African American Drug Policy Coalition, Inc. He is a graduate from Howard University Summa cum laude with a major in political science and minor in economics.  In his junior year he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He then attended New York University School of Law in a six-year college-law combination program, receiving his college degree in October 1957 after finishing Howard’s four (4) year requirement early by attending summer classes, receiving his law degree in June 1958 from New York University, graduating in the top 10% of his class and as a Founders’ Day Award Recipient. 

Throughout his 55-year professional career, he has received numerous awards. While working as an Adviser directly to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, in 1963 he received the Sustained Superior Performance Award for his work in keeping the Attorney General advised of developments in major government corruption cases and in monitoring the Martin Luther King Civil Rights Movement.  In December 1978 he was awarded the Distinguished Civil Service Award for his work in advising the old U.S. Civil Service Commission and the President of the United States in securing the passage of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978.  Served as President of the U.S. Magistrate Judges Association (1983 – 1984, then called Council of United States Magistrates. In 1985 he was recognized by the American Bar Association’s National Conference of Special Court Judges as the Most Outstanding Special Court Judge in America. In 1999 he was recognized as being one of the three (3) Most Outstanding General Jurisdiction Judges hearing all types of cases in America by the American Bar Association’s National Conference of State Trial Court Judges for his judicial performance on the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.


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