Bladensburg Mayor Takisha James, Council Member Carletta Lundy, and First Gentleman Walter James led the walk portion of the Fifth Annual Walk and Rally for Bullying Prevention and Child Safety on Saturday, October 5. The rally was led by Dr. Clifford Thomas, the host, who thanked the leaders of the walk and the other special guests--Senator Malcolm Augustine, Delegate Julian Ivey, Jocelyn Route (candidate for Bladensburg council member for Ward I), and Jerry Mclaurin (People for Change Coalition) and Romuladus Azuine (Global Health and Education Projects), both representatives of We Lead By Example, Inc., partnership organizations. He also acknowledged Jeremy Weiss, Director, and Melanie Turpin, Activities Director, of the Maryland-National Capital Parks and Planning Commission's Bladensburg Community Center. Refreshments were provided by Wegmans at Woodmore Town Centre in Lanham, Maryland.
Dr. Clifford Thomas and Ms. Susan McCutchen represented We Lead By Example, Inc., at Senator Joanne C. Benson's (District 24) Annual Bull Roast. Senator Benson has been a longtime supporter of the work being done by our organization and has participated in several of our activities. We sincerely thank her for all she has done for us.
Uncaptioned photos taken by photojournalist Bobby Jones. See his linked article for the descriptive captions.
Scanned, captioned photo taken by Michael A. McCoy, freelance photographer.
The event was reported by award-winning photojournalist Bobby Jones, Andrews Gazette, in a November 14 article entitled "Fourth Annual Walk and Rally for ‘Bullying Prevention’ and Child Safety engage community support" in SoMdNews (Southern Maryland Newspapers Online).
Michael A. McCoy's Capture the Momentphoto appears on page 10 of the November 15 Washington Informer.
On Tuesday, July 17, Dr. Thomas and three of his advanced-belt students provided a safety and self-defense seminar for a group of young ladies as part of a free summer school hosted by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) at Elizabeth Seton High School in Bladensburg, MD. The IRC serves refugees and asylees who have been forced to flee their homes due to violent persecution and war to help them as they relocate and adjust to life in the United States.
Dr. Clifford Thomas was a panelist at a Town Hall Forum about Child Safety and School Security held at the Laurel Boys and Girls Club on Monday, November 6. He spoke about his personal and professional experience related to child safety, focusing on child sexual abuse. He called on the Prince George's County School Board to pay attention to the urgent need for programs to train children how to avoid predators in the school setting. Currently, the primary emphasis is on training teachers and administrators--the adults--how to discern potential and actual problems. Dr. Thomas emphasizes a more proactive approach, starting with teaching the children themselves to know what to do to not become victims in the first place.
Dr. Clifford Thomas attended a fundraising event for Delegate Diana Fennell (District 47B) in October 2017. Among the notable attendees was Wanda Durant, Kevin Durant's mother. Well-known in her own right, she and Delegate Fennell talked with Dr. Thomas about the importance of his work in the community and took a photo with him.
Andrews Gazette's September 1 print e-edition online is found at this link and as seen in the print edition at this link (page 1) and this link (page 5). The article and photos are by photojournalist Bobby Jones.
Lt. James Flynn, Bladensburg Police Department, accepted a Leading By Example Award from Dr. Clifford Thomas, on January 11, 2017. Lt. Flynn is not only an outstanding police officer who has served in that capacity for almost 40 years. He has also collaborated with other Bladensburg staff members on many Town of Bladensburg grants, including weatherization (with Bladensburg managing these grants for all of Prince George's County) to assist homeowners in saving hundreds of dollars and funding to significantly improve and beautify the park next to the Police Department and Town Hall. We applaud him and his excellent work! Shown in the photograph are Lt. Flynn, Dr. Thomas, and Ms. Alison Miller, who works closely with Lt. Flynn.
Mr. Bobby Jones was presented with our Leading By Example Award on Saturday, November 5. He is a highly-respected photojournalist at the Andrews Gazette and a true leader in our community. Mr. Jones has written several articles about We Lead By Example, Inc., underscoring our positive news of interest to the local community--bullying and child abuse prevention; senior safety and self-defense; award presentations to law enforcement, elected, and other public officials in the DMV and in Prince George's County; and students who have attained high academic achievement. We very much appreciate his work and the Andrews Gazette, a news source that publishes stories that are both fit to print and informative for its readers. Read the November 10 online article that appeared in the Andrews Gazettehere and in the print edition on page three at this link (scroll to the bottom of the page). Photos by editor Hannah Troyer.
Soggy was the word for the day, but we valiantly weathered the storm and had a great day at our second annual Walk and Rally for National Bullying Prevention Month on Saturday, October 1. The walkers were led by the Town of Bladensburg Mayor Walter James, his wife Kisha, and their daughter Imani. They were accompanied through Bladensburg by Officer Audrey Hedgepesth-Calloway of the Bladensburg Police Department. Back at the Bladensburg Community Center gym, the weary walkers ate some sorely-needed snacks, provided by our community-supportive Wegmans store at Woodmore Town Centre, and we finished the event with a rally.
Go to this link to see a video of Mayor Walter James leading the Tae Kwon Do Ramblers, their families, and the community in the walk.
Special guests included several individuals presented with our Leading By Example Awards because their outstanding dedication and leadership provide a positive role model for our country and for today's youth.
--State's Attorney Angela D. Alsobrooks (accepted on her behalf by Terry Bell)
--Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (accepted on her behalf by Ryan Middleton, Esq.)
--Dr. Kevin M. Maxwell, CEO, Prince George's County School System (acccepted on his behalf by Dr. Leon Washington)
--Senator Barbara Mikulski (accepted on her behalf by Isiah Horton)
--Purnell Hall and Eric Watson, Department of Public Works, Town of Bladensburg. They accepted awards on behalf of their colleagues, Ronald Alston Jr., Gary Turner, Awner Fuentes, and Gabino Cardozo)
Other attendees included Malcolm Augustine (WMATA Board), Delegate Diana Fennell (with staff Rick Bailey and Maliek Harding), Delegate Jimmy Tarlau, and Kendall Wade (Young Democrats of Maryland Public Safety Caucus). Lieutenant Governor Boyd Rutherford sent "his best wishes for all and thanks everyone for their concerns and efforts in 'busting bullying'." Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker III sent his regards and wished us "an enjoyable event and continued success."
Delegates Fennell and Tarlau surprised We Lead By Example, Inc./Tae Kwon Do Ramblers Self-Defense Systems with a Maryland General Assembly Official Citation "in recognition of their 2nd Annual Walk and Rally for National Bullying Prevention Month," signed by Senator Victor Ramirez and Delegates Fennell and Tarlau. Dr. Clifford Thomas received their Official Citation "in recognition of his outstanding work and dedication in the community against bullying." Ms. Susan McCutchen received an Official Citation "in recognition of her outstanding and distinguished service with the Tae Kwon Do Ramblers." The Ramblers, Dr. Thomas, and Ms. McCutchen were overwhelmed with these honors and truly appreciate being recognized by Senator Ramirez and Delegates Fennell and Tarlau, past recipients of our Leading By Example Award. They have supported the community work of our organization for many years and can always be counted on when we need them.
Other awardees who could not attend were President Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe and Second Lady Jill Biden, Delegate Darryl Barnes, Anthony Brown, Robert Burton (ABC-7 News Anchor), Curtis Crutchfield (Prince George's Community Television), Leon Harris (ABC-7 News Anchor), Congressman Steny Hoyer, Bobby Jones (Andrews Gazette), Glenn Ivey, Jimm Rhee, and Delegate Carlo Sanchez.
First Lady Michelle Obama sent her regards and said she would "keep your [our] invitation should we be able to schedule a visit in the future."
Congressman Steny Hoyer sent a video marking the Ramblers' second annual Walk and Rally for National Bullying Prevention Month on October 1, 2016. He thanked Dr. Thomas and We Lead By Example, Inc./Tae Kwon Do Ramblers Self-Defense Systems for giving him the Leading By Example Award for his outstanding dedication and leadership and for being a role model for the country and for today's youth.
What an outstanding 20th annual celebration at Port Towns Day on Saturday, September 17! Revelers gathered on this last Saturday of the summer to appreciate the rich and complex multiracial, multicultural, and multigenerational fabric of the Bladensburg, Colmar Manor, Cottage City, and Edmonston communities. Local residents and other visitors were treated to an endless variety of great foods, information and vendor tables, entertainment (singers, dancers, bands), and other fun activities. The Rambler students and families who came out to support this community event and represent the Ramblers enjoyed the festivities and the good weather. Dr. Thomas thanks students A. Hernandez, E. Hernandez (younger), E. Hernandez (older), K. Hogue, D. Jenifer, A. Martinez, A. Palacios, M. Rudd, M. Senatus, M. Smith, H. Spence-Romero, and J. Tolver for performing basics, open-hand forms, and weapons forms for the appreciative crowd gathered at the Pavilion Stage. Check out the official YouTube video of the event at this link and look for the Ramblers midway through.
Dr. Clifford Thomas presented Leading By Example Awards and Rambler tee shirts to several law enforcement and other community leaders on Saturday, August 27, on behalf of We Lead By Example, Inc./Tae Kwon Do Ramblers Self-Defense Systems. These awards were given to individuals who have led by example by working tirelessly to keep our communities safe. He also acknowledged WMATA and the Metro Transit Police Department who are working diligently to improve Metro and make it safer for passengers. As an organization concerned with personal safety and self-defense and community safety, We Lead By Example, Inc., wanted to show our appreciation for all the contributions by these individuals because they are often criticized and their positive efforts are not sufficiently praised. The most important part of this awards ceremony was to recognize the over 25 of our organization's students who made the honor roll all four advisories during the 2015 - 2016 school year. They are our future leaders and their accomplishments should be noted. Our organization is concerned with developing leadership skills and this begins with the children. We thank the following award recipients and guests (in alphabetical order):
--Malcolm Augustine (member of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Board), who accepted the award on behalf of Ronald A. Pavlik, Jr., (Chief, Metro Transit Police Department).
--Jason L. Fisher (Captain, City of Seat Pleasant Police Department).
--Elliott W. Gibson, Sr. (Chief, City of District Heights Police Department) and Jack C. Sims (Mayor of District Heights).
--Takisha D. James (First Lady, Town of Bladensburg) and Walter James (Mayor, Town of Bladensburg).
--Jimmy Rhee (Special Secretary of the Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs)who accepted the awards on behalf of Governor Larry Hogan and Lieutenant Governor Boyd K. Rutherford.
--Henry Stawinski III (Chief, Prince George's County Police Department).
--Lt. Tracy D. Stone (Acting Chief, Town of Bladensburg Police Department), who also accepted the award on behalf of Chief Charles L. Owens (ret.).
--Paul J. Wiedefeld (President and CEO, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority).
An article about this big event was published in the September 2 Andrews Gazette article by Bobby Jones. For the print edition, on page 8, go to this link, and for the e-edition, go to this link where Mr. Jones' photos can be viewed.
Dr. Thomas presented this We Lead By Example, Inc./Tae Kwon Do Ramblers Self-Defense Systems award to the Honorable Chris Van Hollen at a meeting in his office at Longworth House Office Building in Washington, D.C. The certificate honors him because of his dedication and commitment to the citizens of Maryland and because of the positive role model his leadership provides for our youth.
We Lead By Example, Inc./Tae Kwon Do Ramblers Self-Defense Systems participated for the second year in the GHEP annual health fair on Saturday, May 14. The Ramblers performed an exciting show of basic techniques, open-hand katas, weapons katas, and board-breaking by several students. We certainly drew a crowd! We join the GHEP in its commitment in addressing health and education issues in Prince George's County and bring our own longstanding commitment to county (and statewide) residents to the table by providing safety and self-defense for children and adults of all ages. Read all about it in Bobby Jones' article in the May 20 Andrews Gazette; the e-edition (with additional photos) can be found at this link.
Led by first-brown belt A. Seemangal, Ramblers A. Hornberger, D. and D. Jenifer, A. Martinez, A. Mendez, A. Palacios, D. Romero, and H. Spence-Romero performed for a crowd of about 100 Port Towns Day celebrants. This event is a community tradition and one for the Ramblers organization as well. The students showed basics and performed empty-hand and weapons katas, including using a bo and a cane. We always look forward to coming out for this event that brings together the Port Towns--Bladensburg, Colmar Manor, Cottage City, and Edmonston. Check out the official YouTube video of the event at this link and look for the Ramblers' demonstration near the end of the video.
Pictured above are Dr. Clifford Thomas and Maryland Senator Victor Ramirez with students who were on the honor roll all four quarters of the 2014-2015 school year. They received $20 each from We Lead By Example, Inc./Tae Kwon Do Ramblers Self-Defense Systems.
Above is a photo from this first annual event held at Fletcher Field in Riverdale, Maryland. We Lead By Example, Inc./Tae Kwon Do Ramblers and Self-Defense Systems participated in the event and are shown in photos provided by the sponsor, Global Health and Educations Project, Inc. (GHEP).
Online News Coverage: Access the GHEP article at this link. Below is a group photo provided by the GHEP; additional selected photos will be added as they become available.
Above are photos taken by photojournalist Bobby Jones (Andrews Gazette) for his June 12 article covering the Ramblers free workshop provided for seniors 55 years old and better at Bladensburg Community Center, Bladensburg, Maryland. They are reprinted here with his permission.
Online and Print Newspaper Coverage: The first-published article is featured online in All About Martial Arts news at this link and on page 5 of the Andrews Gazette print edition at this link. A pdf document can be downloaded here.
Above are photos taken by photojournalist Bobby Jones (Andrews Gazette) for his April 10 article covering the Ramblers free workshop provided for the community at Bladensburg Community Center, Bladensburg, Maryland, to mark the April 2015's Child Abuse Prevention Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month. They are reprinted here with his permission.
Online and Print Newspaper Coverage: The April 10 Andrews Gazette article with photos can be downloaded here and is featured on page 3 of the print edition at this link.
Photos taken by Chuck Reid, Digital Impressions Event Services.
To see a slideshow of the April 4 workshop event and speakers convened to mark Child Abuse Prevention Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month, click on this link. For a slideshow of the skits performed by Rambler students at the workshop, click on this link.
To see a slideshow of the Ramblers' participation in the May 10, 2014, Maryland Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown's "Meet the Candidate" event at Elizabeth Seton High School in Bladensburg, Maryland, click this link