A celebrated who’s who in Atlanta and for good reason. David has masterfully used his talent, network and expertise to bridge cultures together using art and management as a vehicle. A graduate of the Atlanta College of Arts with a BFA in Advertising and Graphic Design. Manuel is a champion of the arts, a compassionate community activist. Formerly the Director of Community Relations at the Woodruff Arts Center, David now serves as the Executive Director for the Porter Sanford Performing Arts Center. Bringing a diverse range of programming to the region, his vision for the county is that it will be a place for cutting edge productions, and dynamic family friendly programming. Currently, David serves as Project Manager for the construction of a new amphitheater in DeKalb County will serve not only the local community but national and international programs.
A mentor and advocate, David sits on many boards and has partnered with companies such as Arby’s, Turner Broadcasting, HBO, 100 Black Men of America, The Fulton DeKalb Hospital Authority and many others to provide much needed resources to those that need it most. After working in the Atlanta Public Schools for almost a decade, David became painfully aware of the lack of male parental guidance for inner-city children. This was a call to action of the mission of The I Am a Father Initiative that focuses on strengthening families. The highly celebrated book ‘I Am A Father, Celebrating African-American Fathers’ in 2007 and the ‘I Am a Mother’ book in 2013 are a tool to drive the rarely seen truths in the media, regarding a very up close and personal look at black fatherhood and the relationships with their children. “You constantly hear that Black men abandon their family; they don’t pay child support, they are abusive or are in jail. Although some of this is true, I want to celebrate the fathers for their loving and powerful relationships.” In 2015, David launched the I Am A Father 5k Run/Walk to promote strengthening families through father engagement in preventative health and wellness measures. Restoring everything positive about Fatherhood, the 5K has become a part of the synergy to strengthen families one mile at a time. Through our 5K we are able to provide funding, support, volunteers and more to hand-selected organizations throughout the Southeast region that assist our youth and show them the power of paternal involvement.
For most people a signature moment is the birth of a baby, a graduation or wedding. But, for David a signature moment is when in ICU he signed on the dotted line to be placed on the organ donor registry. And, at the same time, another family in another state signed their loved one to be a donor. This birthed A Signature Moment and the mission to promote, inspire and educate on the need for more donors in minority communities. David received a lifesaving transplant in November of 2014. Every year we host an intimate evening, A Signature Moment partnering with Lifelink of Georgia, Piedmont Hospital Foundation and Legacy of Hope (Alabama) respectively to identify, bridge gaps through fund raised to assist where there are paternal absence and support in transplantation needs.