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Dr. Belay D. Reddick awarded honorary degree

May 3, 2017

by Linda Lamb

Dr. Belay D. Reddick, a licensed minister, professional mentor coach, Black male advocate, philanthropist and author, was awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters degree from Los Angeles Development Church and Institute (LADC Institute) on April 21, 2017. A current inmate at the Federal Correctional Complex in Oakdale, Louisiana, Dr. Reddick was recognized by the LADC Institute for his long record of achievement in the field of youth development.

The USP Atlanta prisoner debate team – Belay Reddick, Edmond Phillips and Joseph Thompson – debated a team from Morehouse College on May 9, 2016, in front of 12 senior White House officials in the Obama administration. – Photo: WADE

Other recipients of the lofty distinction have included former presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush, historian John Hope Franklin, entertainer Bob Hope, evangelist Billy Graham, CNN journalist Christiane Amanpour, documentary filmmaker Ken Burns and actress Meryl Streep.

Dr. Reddick is a native of Jacksonville, Florida. Since his incarceration, his religious studies include studying at Goshen Biblical Institute and Theological Seminary, Nations University and JD Price Theological Bible College. He received an honorary doctorate of divinity degree from Universal Life Church in 2012.

For nearly a decade, Dr. Reddick has been instrumental in helping hundreds of at risk youth turn their lives around. His inspirational and motivational open letter to young Black men has been heard on radio stations throughout the state of Georgia. Since 2013, he has donated over 1,000 brand new backpacks filled with school supplies to under-resourced, under-privileged children living in Peoria, Illinois, and Miami, Florida.

In 2016, Dr. Reddick received media attention for hosting 12 senior White House officials at the Atlanta federal prison to hear a debate team of three inmates with lengthy custodial sentences challenge a team of three Morehouse College undergraduates. The highly successful event was themed “The Great Debate and Reentry Forum: Everyone Deserves a Fair and Second Chance.” The event was organized to raise the awareness of the Obama administration’s Beyond the Box and Second Chance initiatives.

Linda Lamb can be reached at linda.lamb@veritivcorp.com. Send our brother some love and light: Dr. Belay Reddick, 22043-018, FCC Oakdale, P.O. BOX 5000, Oakdale, LA 71463.

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