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"Education is a precondition to survival in America today." - Marian Wright Edelman
B.O.S.S. in ATL
Founder of the Beverly Cunningham Outreach program and member of the DJJ Task Force, Roderick Cunningham, is on a mission to help those women and children effected by domestic violence and abuse in the Metro Atlanta area. With a story that hits close to home, Cunningham maintains that it is his life’s work to continue his mother’s legacy of giving without expecting. What better way to do so than to create an organization that not only honors her, but also creates opportunities for success for others!
As a former project manager for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Cunningham was no stranger to the power of helping other people. Along with his duties of running the security of the famed G. W. Bridge and PATH system, and being a liaison between the 4 municipalities that connected NYC to Jersey- which is a large job if you’ve ever made your way between the two states- Cunningham was also responsible for securing psychological counseling for his security personnel. It was his duty to not only ensure compliance, but to also ensure the well-being of his staff.
Beverly Cunningham Outreach Program
The business savvy Navy man has built a program that aims to educate and inspire those involved. This includes a full register of counseling, economic empowerment, career development, youth advocacy, and academic achievement programs. He aims to build the male leadership in Atlanta in order to change the landscape of which young men are growing up and currently exposed to – violence, gang life, lack of respect, lack of ambition and motivation, and a lack of positive role models.
After the death of his mother, Cunningham has come to formulate a way to address the issues facing the Black community with more than criticisms. He creates a proposal that tackles each issue – domestic abuse, violence, and education – with feasible solutions that contribute to the community year-round on a continual basis.
With over 80% of women and over 70% of youth affected by domestic violence, Cunningham asserts that it is important to know what a healthy relationship looks like so you may not fall victim to abuse. This includes being a great listener, knowing how to give and receive love, being honest with yourself and your partner, and know what you are looking for in a relationship through appropriate and proper courtship.
When probed if all of these traits could be misconstrued within a manipulative relationship, Cunningham emphasizes the importance of proper courtship. During this time, your family should meet your potential significant other and help gauge their fit with you. “Ask your mom, your dad, grandma, ‘What do think about them?’” It is understood that no one who truly cares for you will allow someone to be a part of your life you doesn’t match nor someone who doesn’t fit YOU. Family will not allow you to change who you are in order to fit someone else.
Cunningham leaves us on this note: “You are blessed in order to be a blessing to others.”
If you are interested in learning more about B.O.S.S., Roderick Cunningham and the Beverly Cunningham Community Outreach Program, please visit www.bcop.org for more information.
Beverly Cunningham Outreach Program Founder & Executive Director Roderick Cunningham providing school supplies at at DeKalb County School.