The Third Annual Ubuntu Awards: New Jersey’s 30 Under 30 was an amazing success! Thank you to everyone that attended and supported us and our vision! The fourth annual Ubuntu Awards is TBA
Congratulations to the 2018 Ubuntu Awards Winners!
Thank you to all of our amazing photographers and media personnel! Check out the links below for more photos, videos and write-ups from the big day!
BREYA "BLKBRRY MOLASSEZ" KNIGHT
Ubuntu Legacy Award
Kaleena Berryman is a social justice advocate, youth and family engagement specialist, author, mentor, and program director committed to the empowerment of children, parents, women, and people of color.
Born and raised in Newark, NJ, Kaleena Berryman graduated with honors from Arts High School, as a Television Communications major in 2000. After being awarded a Presidential Scholarship to William Paterson University, Kaleena earned a Bachelor’s degree in Communication in 2004, with a minor in African American & Caribbean Studies. She served as President of William Paterson’s college chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and founded the first culturally responsive campus monthly publication, entitled UMOJA in 2007. In January 2011, she earned a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Rutgers University-Newark.
Currently, Kaleena is the Acting Director for the Abbott Leadership Institute at Rutgers University-Newark. ALI’s mission is to teach education advocacy and family engagement skills to parents, educators, community leaders and students in Newark, NJ.
In addition to her work at ALI, Kaleena currently holds the position of President for the Organization of Black Faculty and Staff on the Newark campus. In 2013, Kaleena founded Newark Circle of Sisters, an organization of women in the city of Newark who provide service scholarships to Newark women at all stages in their advanced education pursuits. Kaleena also serves on the board of the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network of NJ (SPANN) and Newark Mayor Ras Baraka’s National Community Schools Advisory Board.
Kaleena’s most important job, however, is that of mother to Jharid Jr, born 16 weeks premature in 2012. Inspired by his early birth, five month NICU stay, and cerebral palsy diagnosis, Kaleena is committed to spreading the importance of prematurity awareness and excellence in special education Pre-K and beyond. In 2014, Kaleena published her first book, Stronger than We Thought: Poetry for the Preemie Mom’s Journey, available on Amazon. In 2016, Kaleena founded The Preemie Parent’s Club, Inc., which provides support services to mothers and fathers whose babies currently in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Newark, NJ, her hometown.
Honorary Cloud Kid Award
Dasia “DasiaVu” Edmond
Local Author Dasia “DasiaVu” Edmond is making headlines since the release of her book in November 2016. This young lady was named “Girl-On-The-Go”, by Essex County Executive Joseph N. Vincenzo and presented with Althea Gibson Leadership Award. Dasia “DasiaVu” Edmond is a 12-year-old seventh-grader with a vision to capture her life’s events in books and allowing her peers to journey with her through those tough teenage years. “Uniquely Made: Girls Don’t Play Football” which is on Amazon and has 100 five star reviews.
Dasia was featured on ABC7NY with Sandra Bookman on April 23, 2017. She was also featured on a segment of Spot Light New Jersey, NJN12 News with Della Crews May 20, 2017, Fios1 and TV 34. She has been interviewed on For Book Lover Only radio, Rebel radio, Married 2 the Game and The Eric Dawson Show, Urban Flow radio and Itsy Bitsy Bookworms. DasiaVu has received letters of achievement from Congresswomen Bonnie Watson Coleman and a Resolution from Union County Freeholder Mohamed S. Jalloh. Former Mayor of Union Township Michael Figueroa also gave her a certificate of Achievement. Dasia is also being honored as the She-Roes in training for 2018 Women’s History Month by Mayor Suzette Cavadas of Union Township on March 26, 2018.