2023 Determined To Educate, Inc.
Awards Fundraising Gala

 Determined To Educate, Inc. 15th Annual Awards Fundraising  Gala –

Thursday, November 9, 2023
6:30 – 9pm

It was one of the year’s hottest gatherings and DTE celebrated 15 years!! We are excited to be back with you LIVE in 2024!!


James ‘Talent’ Harris




Reverend Dr. Alfonso Wyatt

Founder of Strategic Destiny



And this year’s honorees…

Lisa Lisa

Legendary Latin Hip Hop / Freestyle /
Pop Diva

One of the greatest Latin Hip Hop/Freestyle/Pop Divas to come out of the 1980’s music scene is 
the legendary Lisa Velez also known as Lisa Lisa of the 80’s supergroup Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam. Produced by Full Force, Lisa Lisa’s break out hits such as “I wonder If I Take You Home”, “Can You Feel The Beat” and “All cried out” helped to launch the underground genre of “Freestyle Music” into mainstream.

Later Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam crossed over on to the pop charts with their second album “Spanish Fly” with mega hits like “Head to Toe” and “Lost In Emotion”. SHE WAS THE FIRST Puerto Rican / Latino artist to cross over to the Pop and R&B charts. Both albums shot straight up the charts to platinum status several times over with most of the albums singles

going gold at the same time. Just as the 90’s rolled in Lisa Lisa’s C&C Music Factory produced hit ‘Let the beat hit em” took off to the top of the dance charts!

Soon after Lisa began an acting career. She played the mother on Nickelodeon’s TV series “Taina”, then later made appearances on NBC’s Law and Order SVU. Some of her biggest hits have been re-recorded by “Allure & 112, Nina Sky, and The Black Eye Peas.

Not only did Lisa Lisa set the music bar high for those to come later but she set fashion trends as well. Born and raised in the “Hell’s Kitchen” section of New York City, Lisa’s hair flipped over one eye and her unique style caught fire in the urban community. Soon after she hit the airwaves young girls everywhere were dressing and singing like the 80’s icon.

Lisa Lisa paved the way for an entire generation of Latino American artist to follow in her footsteps such as Selena, J-Lo, Fat Joe, Big Pun, Cardi B and many more. She is defiantly a pioneer and a trendsetter of an entire generation.

Torae Carr

President of Recording Academy, NY Chapter/Creator/Host of “That Raw” on Sirius XM

Torae, creator and host of ‘The Tor Guide’, on SiriusXM’s Hip-Hop Nation and ‘That Raw’ on LL Cool J’s Rock The Bells Radio is the epitome of a multi-hyphenate renaissance man. When the songwriter, actor, rapper, philanthropist and entrepreneur isn’t delivering his daily radio shows listeners the hits or hosting red carpet events and live festivals, he’s interviewing the Kings and Queens of today like Nas, Swizz Beats, D-Nice, Megan The Stallion or Migos, to name a few. You can also find Torae in the New York chapter of the Recording Academy’s President seat.

On the recording front, he’s written on gold and platinum albums, scoring a multitude of Hot 100 triumphs. Torae has released eight projects as a solo artist and collaborated with Hip-Hop heavyweights such as DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Hitmaka & DJ Khaled, to name another few. His various acting roles— from the no nonsense ‘Sig Sauer’ in VH1’s ‘The Breaks’ to the poised ‘Beans’ in BET’s hit show TALES—have all been met with critical acclaim. Whether at a podium, on a film set, in a classroom or in a recording booth, Torae will certainly be doing one thing: Dropping jewels..


Legendary Recording Artist

Strafe is a renowned solo artist whose illustrious career has spanned decades, leaving an indelible mark on the music industry. With a career-defining hit record that recently celebrated its 40th anniversary, Strafe continues to captivate audiences worldwide with a unique blend of musical genres.

The Smash Hit: “Set It Off”
At the heart of Strafe’s legacy lies the infectious club anthem, “Set It Off.” This iconic track masterfully fuses elements of Electro, Hip Hop, House, and Dance music, creating a sonic experience like no other. “Set It Off” has become a timeless classic, celebrated for its irresistible beats and innovative sound.

A Legacy of Influence:
Strafe’s music transcends generations, and its influence has reverberated throughout the industry. Billboard magazine once declared “Set It Off” as the “most sampled song of all time.” Major artists such as 50 Cent, Missy Elliott, Tupac Shakur, Lil Jon, and Jennifer Lopez, among many others, have sampled and drawn inspiration from “Set It Off.” This speaks volumes about
the enduring impact of Strafe’s musical craftsmanship.

Join us in celebrating the legacy of Strafe, an artist whose music continues to set the world on fire, 40 years after “Set It Off” first took the music scene by storm.

Pharrell Williams and Rick Ruben talk about ‘Set It Off”: https://vimeo.com/manage/videos/867749847

Strafe featured in Roland 808 Documentary: https://vimeo.com/manage/videos/867749771

“Set It Off” Song Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWUpgzRK1vc

Nate Howard

Professional speaker, Poet, Educator, and Social Entrepreneur

Nate Howard is a professional speaker, poet, educator, and social entrepreneur. In May 2013, Nate made the front page of the LA Times for sparking a movement against racial profiling after 79 LAPD officers shut down his event at USC. Realizing someone was attempting to tell his story, he founded Movement BE, a non-profit organization that helps young people discover their story.  With the motto of “tell your story before they do,”
Movement BE has directly impacted thousands of students. Nate was selected on the inaugural NBCBLK28 list as on of the top 28 black leaders in the nation under 28 years old. He was later featured on the Today Show as one of the “Best and Brightest: Game Changers Making History.”

In the summer of 2021, Nate Howard launched the Movement BE Center to give youth a safe space to BE. The Movement BE Center has hosted over 200 students with free summer and after-school programs. That same summer, he also released his debut book Tell Your Story Before They Do which lessons are combined with an online interactive game.

Nate’s belief is that we should focus our activism on education, empowering youth to create change so that the movement is proactive and sustainable. Seeing poetry as a means of self-expression, he challenges school systems to see its use as vital for the development of youth, giving them the courage to find their story to challenge the status quo.  Nate has recorded his poetry on songs with artists Ty Dolla Sign, Kendrick Lamar and Dr. Cornel West. In October 2020, Nate appeared on Netflix’s “Song Exploder and won a gold plaque for his poem on the song “LA.” Nate is a graduate of the University of Southern California.

Carla McGinnis

Assistant Director of Council Operations and
Museum Initiatives at the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC)

Carla Thomas McGinnis works in the Director’s Office of the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) as the Assistant Director of Council Operations and Museum Initiatives. In this position she leads the work of cultivating and managing the collaborative relationships with the Museum’s Advisory Council members, an exemplary group of influential corporate, civic and philanthropic leaders, including Oprah Winfrey, Shonda Rhimes, and Elizabeth Alexander.

Previously, Carla worked at Barber & Associates, a fundraising consulting firm based in Washington, DC, as the Director of Operations. Prior to that, she served as the Senior Program Manager with the NMAAHC. She managed their giving circle, the NMAAHC Ambassadors Program, uniquely designed to engage Generation X and Millennial donors. She helped to grow the program from 75 to over 1,000 donors, raising more than $5M in individual gifts between $5K and $25K. Carla was also instrumental in planning and managing various opening previews, galas and dedication ceremony with Presidents Bush and Obama celebrating the opening of museum in 2016.

Before her work at the Smithsonian, Carla served as a Management and Directing Fellow and Project Manager with Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater. She served as the organizational lead for The National Civil War Project, a groundbreaking multi-city, multi-year
collaboration between four universities and five performing arts organizations including The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., Alliance Theatre, Emory College Center for Creativity & Arts at Emory University, CENTERSTAGE, The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the

University of Maryland, and American Repertory Theater and Harvard University.

In addition to fundraising, Carla has collaborated with key administrators to obtain and manage education and arts grants for various organizations in both Washington, DC and Detroit, MI. Before her work in the Washington, DC area, she has served as the Creative Coordinator for the Knight Foundation grant funded Living History Project Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the country’s largest regional museum of its kind. After the project’s completion, she was asked to stay on to manage all the Museum’s educational and public programs and services. 

Currently, Carla is pursuing her Ph.D. in American Studies at the University of Maryland. She 
earned a Masters in Arts Management at George Mason University and a Bachelor of Arts in African/African American History and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan. She also has a certificate of study from The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and is a John Kinard Scholar with the Southeastern Museums Conference Jekyll Island Management Institute. 

Carla enjoys traveling the world, attending live theater, and gardening.

Gary Guidry

CEO, G-Squared Events & The Black Promoters Collective

Trendsetter, innovator, and visionary are just a few words that describe the overall drive, business acumen, professional intensity and depth of promoter, producer, and businessman Gary Guidry. Basically, business is in his blood.
That’s why making the transition from corporate accountant to CEO of G-Squared Events was easy for Gary. The NCAAP Trailblazer Award winner currently produces some of the highest quality tours in the country. Ranging from national theatrical, concert and comedy tours, Guidry has been known for working with some of the industries greatest talents. Guidry’s events have produced over 3,000,000 patrons and counting.

Guidry, who was a child music prodigy, decided to reach beyond his love of music and embark on his love of business. Although Gary was known to
throw a few parties during his college days and put on numerous events, he envisioned more. Guidry fell in love with producing and promoting events and went on to produce 29 national tours that reached millions of fans. 

“Any smart businessman basically finds a niche or demand and serves that demand. That’s the basic law of business. With that in mind, every day, I go after that and have that mindset,” said Guidry. “Giving our audiences what they long for, the type of events they want to see, the people they long to get up close and personal with, along with the incredible production value in an event that they deserve has been my focus and is of paramount
importance to me. Once you serve the demand and the public’s desire, your reward is the success that will definitely come with it.”

Guidry has lead G-Squared Events as Chief Executive Officer since 2012. His leadership as a live events producer and promoter has helped transform G-Squared Events into one of the top urban entertainment brands in the world. Part of Guidry’s strategy in growing G-Squared Events has focused on delivering high-quality, live entertainment experiences for urban patrons. This includes the success of The Millennium Tour 2019, which delivered over $25 Million in gross box office sales and over 350,000 in global tickets sold. Guidry is listed as No. 22 on Pollstar’s World Top 100 Promoters (2019 – 2022 listing). Years 2022-23 has also been a stellar year of growth which includes Sold-Out tours with both the New Edition “Culture Tour”, the Maxwell “The Night Tour” and Mary J Blige “Good Morning Gorgeous Tour” in which all 3 tours earned top spots on Pollstar’s annual top ten tours.

Guidry has worked with some of the music industry’s most successful talent, such as Mary J. Blige, New Edition, Maxwell, Charlie Wilson, Frankie Beverly & Maze, Gerald Levert, Kem, B2K, Brian McKnight, Keith Sweat, India Arie, Lalah Hathaway, Tank, Anthony Hamilton, Teddy Riley, Avant,
Ginuwine, Brandy, Tyrese, Kelly Price and the list goes on. He has also worked with many actors and comedians like Steve Harvey, Mike Epps, Vivica A. Fox, Boris Kodjoe, Robin Givens, Leon, Allen Payne, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Billy Dee Williams, Katt Williams, Rickey Smiley, Cedric the Entertainer, Monique, Lavelle Crawford, and Arnez J to name a few. 

Today, Guidry is producing some of the world’s top grossing tours and also venturing into film and Television all while continuing to bring the nation some of the best entertainment. Look for more to come…

Dr. Hassan Tetteh

Retired US Navy Captain and Associate Professor of Surgery at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and adjunct faculty at Howard University College of Medicine

Dr. Hassan A. Tetteh is a retired US Navy Captain and Associate Professor of Surgery at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and adjunct faculty at Howard University College of Medicine. He was selected an Emerging Leader in Health and Medicine Scholar by the National Academy of Medicine. Currently, Tetteh is a Thoracic Surgeon for Inova Health and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. He founded and previously led a Specialized Thoracic Adapted Recovery (STAR) Team in Washington, DC, and his research in organ transplantation aims to save lives.  

A native of Brooklyn, New York, Tetteh received his BS from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Plattsburgh, his MD from SUNY Downstate Medical Center, his MPA from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, an MBA from Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School, and an MS in National Security Strategy with a concentration in Artificial Intelligence from the National War College. Tetteh received the Doctor of Science (honoris causa) degree from the SUNY Board of Trustees in 2019. He completed his thoracic surgery fellowship at the University of Minnesota and advanced cardiac surgery fellowship at Harvard Medical School’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. 

Tetteh is the founder and principal of Tetteh Consulting Group, creator of The Art of Human Care® book series, and a best-selling author of several books, including Gifts of the Heart, Star Patrol, and The Art of Human Care. Tetteh is board certified in thoracic surgery, general surgery, and clinical informatics, and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, a Fellow of the American Medical Informatics Association, and a Patron Member of the Academy of American Poets. 

Tetteh received the Alley Sheridan Award by the Thoracic Surgery Foundation for Research and Education, was named a TEDMED Front Line Scholar, and is a TEDx speaker. He’s an alumnus of the Harvard Medical School Writers’ Workshop and Yale Writers’ Conference and lives near Washington, DC, with his wife, son, and daughter.