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The 2019 Honorees


Addonis Parker

Arts & Culture

The trials and tribulations Addonis Parker has faced have only made his faith and pursuit of a higher calling that much stronger. During his early days, he was the epitome of a struggling artist, trying to make ends meet while pursuing his passion. When a chance meeting with a stranger led to his first studio, Addonis was inspired to not only create art that engages the senses, but to also use his gift to lift the spirits of others. He’ll say his greatest accomplishment ‒ beyond all the bright, colorful and thought-provoking city murals ‒ is his ability to guide young students on their own path of self-expression and discovery through art.


James Thomas

Business & Entrepreneurism

James Thomas has always mirrored the qualities of his role models. His father instilled in him an unfailing work ethic, his grandmother taught him to always do his very best, and his faith in God inspires him to give of himself for others. While serving in the U.S. Army, James discovered his true calling: radio. His career has spanned several decades and all facets of the industry. Starting as an on-air personality, he took on growing responsibility as program director for 99 JAMZ and eventually launched his own 24-hour gospel station in partnership with Cox Media Group. Along the way, James has remained committed to sharing his blessings, and many familiar voices on the radio can credit the mentorship they received from him as an integral part of their own success stories.


Jasmin D. Shirley

Community Service

Jasmin D. Shirley is a Fort Lauderdale native who comes from a long line of healthcare professionals, and her sense of caring for others is deeply rooted in her every action. During the HIV/AIDS epidemic of the early 1980s, Jasmin found her purpose and took a stand when no one else would. She advocated for government funding, which now totals $136 million annually, to establish Broward County’s first network of home health providers, outpatient clinics, school prevention programs, and hospice agencies for victims of the disease. Thanks to her diligence, patients in South Florida now have access to the quality care they need and are living longer, more fulfilled lives.


Webber J. Charles


Webber J. Charles challenges our community to embrace one simple, yet powerful vision: a child’s economic status and zip code have no bearing on his or her potential. Unlike moves in the game of chess, which Webber has coached for years, his path to teaching was not calculated. He now finds himself as Director of Student Achievement for Breakthrough Miami, where he helps students from low-income, under-resourced areas of Miami-Dade County overcome barriers to academic success. Through a unique bond that blurs the lines between coach, mentor and supporter, Webber shines a light on what makes each child special in a way that brings out the hidden talent within.

African-American Achievers