BLACK EXCELLENCE: Ryan C. Ivory on Commissioner Dean Lovelace

Black excellence is the leadership exemplified by the late Commissioner Dean Lovelace. I was fortunate to have him as an integral part of my village, and he shaped my perspective on social justice and community engagement. Commissioner Lovelace was ahead of his time in being an advocate for social justice issues such as predatory lending long before it was a trending issue. He was unapologetic in his thought and being African American. He was always teaching. He set the pathway for community engagement, treating your fellow citizens as equal, and always putting the question back to you by saying “what are you going to do about it?” I came to realize that he was empowering us to take charge, to be change agents of our community, and to be a critical thinker.

I never remember seeing Commissioner Lovelace not in a suit, even during the times when he assisted our Girl Scout troop in various activities. Yes, even selling Girl Scout cookies. His daughter Laeina Lovelace Musa and I were in the same troop led by my mother, Tonya R. Ivory.

Commissioner Lovelace is Black history and Black excellence combined. Those of us who had the opportunity to be in his presence, graced by his teaching, and a recipient of the support he always lent are left with a responsibility to be as excellent as he was and a change agent for the people we serve. He left a rich legacy and presence throughout our city.

Ryan C. Ivory, LISW, LCDC III is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.

Black Excellence in the Miami Valley

Jessie Gooding

To conclude Black History Month, we reached out for examples of Black excellence in the Miami Valley as told by members of our communities. Hear from contributors tell the stories of these individuals and organizations, past and present, that exemplify some of the best qualities our region has to offer.

» Marsha Bonhart on Jessie Gooding

» Felicia Chappelle on the H.U.M.A.N. Project

» Rodney Veal on Countess Winfrey

» Shon Curtis on Nozipo Glenn

» Te’Jal Cartwright on Black men healing

» Ryan C. Ivory on Commissioner Dean Lovelace

» Juanita-Michelle on Audrey Norman-Turner

» Dorian Hunter on Sheila Lash Rice

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