The 2014 Dorothy Wilson Mabry Award in Recognition of Outstanding Accomplishments by a Healthy Start Participant or Grass-Roots Community Leader was presented at the January Coalition meeting to Johnnie Dwayne (J.D.) Upson, a leader in the Barbers for Babies initiative and advocate for reducing infant mortality.
J.D. has been a barber in his native Jacksonville for 14 years at The Cut Above Barber Shop in Arlington. He was recruited by a client — Coalition Responsible Fatherhood Coordinator Jack Johnson — to participate in the Barbers for Babies program. He talks to his clients about infant mortality, racial disparities and fatherhood, and has held several community events along with other barbers.
The award honors the legacy of Dorothy Wilson Mabry, a community volunteer and advocate, who devoted her life to supporting the empowerment and achievement of young women and vulnerable families. The Wilson Family provided a generous donation in honor of their mother which supports a stipend for the award recipient.