Dr. Bettye Davis Walker is a former university professor, public school administrator, secondary and elementary school principal with over 30 years of experience. Trained in the areas of elementary/secondary education, educational administration and guidance /counseling, she has received a host of awards and honors regarding her achievement in the field of education. In addition, Dr. Walker was the recipient of the prestigious award, "Woman of the Year" in 1995 representing the 28th senatorial district in Los Angeles county.
She quickly tired of reading about endangered black males - those dropping out of school, those disproportionately housed in jail cells and those dying in the streets from gang warfare or drug use. Dr. Walker decided to research what was going on behind the closed classroom doors to dampen the optimism and enthusiasm of learning and achievement in young black males.
As principal, she directed the pilot educational research project funded by the University of California at Los Angeles and used science as a motivational tool. In 1986, she founded the Black Male Achievement Project (B-MAP) at Ralph Bunche elementary school in Carson, California that received national recognition for the research that was initiated and completed. The project's premise is that school achievement results from the interaction of forces in the home, school, community and individual learner. The math and science seedlings planted during the B-MAP project came to fruition when Dr. Walker co-founded A-MAN to develop and implement prototype strategies addressing the under-achievement of young black males as well as females, with emphasis on courses of study leading to careers in math and science. This, in turn, would build self-esteem in youngsters, revitalizing the entire African-American community starting with the youngsters.
As far as family ideals, historical values and dedications are concerned, Dr. Walker organized an historic study tour for twelve (12) families. "The 1997 Homecoming for the Children" ten-day study tour to the New South Africa was a life changing experience for students 9-15 years of age. During this visit, President Nelson Mandela, after meeting the students and parents personally invited Dr. Walker and scientist husband, Hildreth, to return to South Africa and establish a permanent presence of the A-MAN educational concept. Working with the Educational Ministry of the country, as of 2002, (3) A-MAN primary and secondary school based sites have been setup and more are being planned. As a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, she chaired the Assault on Illiteracy Committee and led student teams to compete in quiz bowls in math and science across the country. Based on the above successes, A-MAN now has chapters in Washington, D.C. and in South Africa.
To assist the new growing at risk element of the community (female students) Dr. Walker also founded the Young Ladies Achievers Club (Y-LAC) in order to empower young women by establishing female mentors and volunteers as an adjunct of the A-MAN, Inc. Here young ladies have the opportunity to experience role models in all walks of life as well as learn the importance of volunteerism and passing the torch to assist each other. She is also the business mentor for the Shell Oil Company Youth Training Academy for eleventh and twelfth grade young ladies. Dr. Walker's theme for the A-MAN International Science Discovery and Learning Center: The 6R's-Reading wRiting, aRithmetic, Research, Respect and Responsibility.
She received the Woman's Day "Through the Fire" Award from Light of the World Community Church, September 8, 2002. Received the Delta Spirit Award from the Los Angeles Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, October 18, 2001. Received the Dorothy I. Height National Council of Negro Woman (NCNW) Tribute to Black Women Community Leaders Award, June 26, 1999. Received the Lifetime Achievement Award in Education from the Crenshaw Christian Church, February 7, 1999.
Additional honors include 1998 Mother of the Year from Light of the World Community Church, Compton, CA.; 1997 NCNW Honorary Co-Chair, Annual Awards Luncheon, LA, CA.; 1997 Community Fellowship Award from Eureka Foundation, L.A.; 1997 Woman of Our Times Award, Hall of Fame of Excellence from the Women of Religious Achievement, L.A.; 1997 Honoree, 3rd Annual Y-LAC Luncheon, LA; 1996 Career Achievement Award from the Black Peace Officers Association, LA; 1995 Community Service Award for Education-NAACP, Compton, CA. Branch; 1994 Status of Women's Award, Top Teens of America, LA; 1992 Outstanding Educator/Philanthropist Award-Hub City Chapter-Ladies of Distinction, Inc.; 1992 Distinguished Principals of CA representative in the national program sponsored by the U.S. Dept. of Education; 1991 NAACP Services Award-Hollywood Branch. She was invited to participate in the President's Summit on America's Future, chaired by General Colin Powell in Philadelphia.
Also, Dr. Walker is a founding board member of the Inner City Walk to Emmaus. The 72-hour retreat held bi-annually strengthens inner city families and bonds family members to each other as well as the greater community by focusing on spiritual growth and development. Dr. Walker has been a member of the Holman United Methodist Church for 30 years. She is very involved and co-chaired Family Ministries with her husband and other church projects such as the Black Church Science Project, Discipleship Week activities, Lenten study task force representative, Commission on Education, Christian School involvement, communion service and supports many other church and community programs.
Dr. Walker enjoys spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandson and accompanies her husband on piano while he plays guitar.