In celebration of Black History Month, Oakland Community College is proud to share some of the many exceptional Black alumni and the milestones they have reached. Learn more about their accomplishments and what Black History Month means to them.
View opportunities to get involved in Black History Month and learn more about DEIJ at OCC.
Pediatric Respiratory Therapist, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit/Pediatric Intensive
Corewell Health-Beaumont Children’s Hospital
Associate in Respiratory Therapy, OCC 2022
“Black History Month is a month of honor and reflection. It’s a month to not only appreciate the good deed courageously made by individuals of the past that has help mold our country but also to celebrate the accomplishments that are still being made and that are yet to come. It also reminds me and others who look like me to never stop pushing forward no matter what obstacles are thrown your way. You are more than enough, more than a conqueror.”
Macomb Community Action Head Start
Associate of Arts and Sciences in Mental Health/Social Work, OCC 2013
Clark conducts home visits and works with families to develop healthy habits and ensure their needs are met. She previously worked at Henry Ford as a customer service representative trainer. Clark also owns Gift Connoisseur, a small business that sells handmade gifts. Her ultimate goal is to open a studio dedicated to youth empowerment. While attending OCC she was a work study student at the library and the financial aid office at the Royal Oak campus.
“Black History Month signifies being fearless, brave, and majestic while also commemorating our past achievements, making new memories, and showcasing creativity while attempting to instill these qualities in my community.”
Eligibility Specialist L-10
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
Associate Degree in Healthcare Administration, OCC 2011
Bachelor's degree in Long Term Care Administration with concentration in Nursing Home Administration, Madonna University
Hightower also served as a facilities lead at University of Detroit Mercy.
“Black History Month is a time to celebrate and reflect the many contributions and challenges of African Americans.”
Institute for Advanced Study, New Jersey
Associate Degree in Liberal Arts, American History, OCC 2014
Bachelor of Arts in Public History, Western Michigan University
Master of Library and Information Science, Digital Curation, University of Michigan
Jackson is a former OCC adjunct librarian at the Auburn Hills, Orchard Ridge and Southfield campuses. While at U of M, he completed an internship at the Robbin Island Museum in Cape Town, South Africa. Brandon's LinkedIn Bio
“Black History Month is a time to reflect on the achievements and contributions African Americans have made to society, how far we have come, and the work that still needs to be done.”
Visiting Cataloguing Librarian
Grand Valley State University
Library Technician Certificate, OCC 2017
Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Media Studies, University of Michigan-Flint
MLIS Degree in Library and Information Science, Wayne State University
“Black History Month is a time to continue reflection and exchange of history with one another while also creating new traditions to share in years to come.”
Dr. Chinwendu Okafor
Okafor has been a pharmacist for 8 years and owned her own pharmacy before working at Walgreens.
“As a black woman I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to explore school or have the right to vote or become what I am today if it weren’t for the advocacy of black people like Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and other notable black people who have come to be recognized and remembered through Black History Month.”
Dr. Monisola Olatunde
Olatunde also works on a contingent basis at CVS after working six years as a fulltime
pharmacist at CVS.
Dr. Olatunde's LinkedIn Bio
“Black History Month is important to me because it's a time to celebrate the positive impact of African Americans in U.S. history, a time to reflect how far we've come as a nation, and how far we have to go for true equality seeing everyone as equal.”
Student Support Professional
Henry Ford College Enroll Services Department
Associate Degree in Liberal Arts, OCC 1994
Bachelor degree in History and Philosophy, Eastern Michigan University
Master of Education and Teacher Certification, Marygrove College
After Stanbrough earned his bachelor degree, he began substitute teaching and working as a tutor at Oakland Community College. He also worked as an adjunct faculty and instructor in the Academic Success Center (ASC) and the adjunct office to support staff and students at OCC’s Southfield and Royal Oak campuses. When available, he continues to teach in the ASC at the Southfield campus.
“Your opinion of yourself is your most important viewpoint. You are infinitely greater than you think you are.” - Neville Goddard.
Fifth Grade Teacher and Academic Games Coach Southfield Public Schools
Associate Degree in Liberal Arts, OCC 2015
Bachelor of Arts, Sociology, University of Chicago
Master of Arts, Elementary Education and Teaching, University of Chicago
“Black History Month is a time of reflection. As I lead my students through studies of various prominent Black figures in our history, I realize that I stand on the shoulders of giants who fought and sacrificed so I could achieve what I have (achieved). As a Black male educator, my goal is to show my students how much of that legacy belongs to them as well and show them that ours is a history of achievement and innovation. I love sharing my experiences with my students, especially during Black History Month, so they understand that even in the midst of great hardships and barriers, we still achieve.”
Black History Month Opportunities to Get Involved
OCC’s office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice invites employees, students and our community to the following opportunities to learn more:
- OCC African American Read-In – Come hear readings of Black authors and poets in person or online. The live event will be hosted at the Orchard Ridge Library on Tue, Feb. 6 from noon-1 p.m. or virtually through this link.
- Stories of History with Mama Jatu – Mama Jatu will discuss stories about Harriet Tubman, Fedrick Douglas and William Steel and tell us about African American inventors in science and technology. She is a storyteller and educator at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African History. The virtual event is Mon, Feb. 19 from Noon-1 p.m.
- Black History and Culture – Excellent resource from Google highlighting the past, present and future of the Black experience in the U.S.
- (SOLD OUT) Black History Month Lunch Buffet – A soulful taste of dishes and desserts from ethnicities of Afrocentric families in partnership with OCC’s Culinary Studies Institute.
For more information about DEIJ at OCC and to get involved, visit oaklandcc.edu/diversity