Dennis Rahiim Watson
Renowned Motivational Speaker and Activist
Dr. Dennis Rahiim Watson is a motivational speaker who has received hundreds of commendations, including ones from notable names such as President Barack Obama, President George Bush and Secretary Hillary Clinton. From Ord Road Paget, he is the son of Mrs. Eula Watson-Stewart. He attended school locally, dropping out of Robert Crawford School for Boys…
Dr. Dennis Rahiim Watson is a motivational speaker who has received hundreds of commendations, including ones from notable names such as President Barack Obama, President George Bush and Secretary Hillary Clinton. From Ord Road Paget, he is the son of Mrs. Eula Watson-Stewart. He attended school locally, dropping out of Robert Crawford School for Boys in Devonshire.
He went back to school, attended university and became the CEO of the Center for Black Student Achievement and Chairman of the National Youth and Gang Violence Task-force, both located in the USA.
He has lectured at hundreds of colleges and universities throughout the United States and the Caribbean. Mr, Watson has also spoken in numerous African nations; Africa; Senegal, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Nigeria, Gabon, Cote d’Ivoire and South Africa.
He has received literally hundreds of awards including multiple White House citations. Dozens of American cities have declared a “Dennis Watson Day”.
A quarter-century before Barack Hussein Obama was elected as president, he was portrayed by Dennis Rahiim Watson on college campuses across the country. Watson didn’t know the genuine equivalent to his one-man show ? “The First Black President of the United States” ? would become a reality within his lifetime. But he understood the importance of inspiring students to think and act in a manner that could lead them to reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C.
“It seems like yesterday,” said Watson, a motivational speaker/activist who helped turn out the youth vote for Obama in 2012 and 2008. “The show included a mock press conference with the audience asking the president about domestic and foreign policy. Howard University was one of the first major institutions that brought me on campus. As a result of the response I got there, I’ve spoken at more than 200 universities and been known as ‘The First Black President’ for 30 years.”
A second term for the nation’s 44th president was far from guaranteed during the 2012 campaign. Many observers questioned whether young voters, predicted to play a crucial role, would demonstrate as much energy and participate as they did in 2008. But according to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), the turnout for voters aged 18–29 was 50 percent in 2012, the same rate as in 2008
About 60 percent of those young voters supported Obama, and they were especially vital to his victory in the battleground states of Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. “If you wipe out the youth vote [in those states], or if you allocate the vote for [Obama and Mitt Romney] 50-50, those states switch from blue to red,” CIRCLE director Peter Levine said in a conference call with reporters. “It’s enough to make Romney the next president.”
Watson said the effort among young voters ? 70 percent of whom had at least some college education ? was “phenomenal. There was a lot of enthusiasm, particularly among White students and Hispanic students,” he said. “There was more enthusiasm in 2008 because Barack was a novelty and George Bush was hated. Now that Barack is a known commodity, people got reserved. But when Romney was chosen, the energy jumped up.”
Energy levels don’t seem to be a problem for Watson, who in addition to making numerous speaking engagements, also serves as chairman of the National Youth and Gang Violence Task Force, as well as president and CEO of the Center for Black Student Achievement. He’s preparing to embark on a 26-city national tour to deliver what he calls “a Barack Obama message” for students of color: “No Excuses ? Think, Talk, Dress and Act Like a Winner In a Globally Competitive World.”
Watson is concerned that too many students are taking their studies lightly, viewing their college experience as one big party. He’s concerned that a growing number are engrossed in trivial matters such as celebrity gossip and scandals as opposed to consequential developments in their communities, nation and worldwide. And he’s really concerned about the deteriorating language skills among some students, especially those who hardly can communicate without peppering their comments with curse words.
“Black students have to learn to master the English language and learn to debate at the same level as Barack Obama,” Watson said. “Other ethnic groups on campus are moving ahead and getting entrepreneurial skills while we’re listening to nonsense and engaged in high levels of profanity. We’re at major academic institutions and acting like we’re in the ghetto.
“Barack and Michelle Obama have been a blessing from God for Black people,” he said. “They’re family people, married for 20 years. They have two wonderful children who are on the right track. We have this window of opportunity when we should be turning out doctors and lawyers and thinkers at a phenomenal rate. There’s no time to play. If Obama hadn’t won the second and third debates, it’d be over. Debating for us has to become the norm, and we have to stop celebrating foolishness.”
Watson acknowledges that the majority of students don’t fall into that category. But he’s worried about the “knuckleheads” who lead groups of people in the wrong direction and distract students who are serious about success. One of his workshops delivers a pointed message to women, in which he questions the choice of partners who are “thugs, playas, nuts, fools and crazy men.”
He has firsthand knowledge on knuckleheads; he was one growing up in New York, kicked out of high school 37 times. But he overcame the odds and went from Harlem Preparatory School to study at Fordham University, Pace University and New York University. He has spent the last three decades on a mission, inspiring young people to be “visionaries, thinkers, entrepreneurs, activists, job creators, innovators and academicians.”
Obama’s presence in the White House helps. But it also can create a false of sense of achievement, a feeling that any and all battles are over. Watson nips that thought in the bud for students.
“I’m trying to bring an end to violent speech, profanity and lowlife fashion,” he said. “We have no time to play. Every ethnic group in America is dying for leadership positions. We’re still at the bottom. I have to share with students the ABCs of leaderships, success and achievement.”
Ernie was perfect for our Elders Conference at Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, Michigan. We will definitely be using PDA again!
LITTLE RIVER BAND OF OTTAWA INDIANS
Our speaker was great and the crowd enjoyed her! She was very engaging. Thank you again PDA for the great list of suggestions!
Everything went great! and our speaker was wonderful! Thank you so much for all your help PDA! Looking forward to the next one.
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI – KANSAS CITY
I hope that this message finds you well. We had a phenomenal time with Atsuko this past Thursday. We wanted to just let you know how amazing she was. All those that were in attendance thoroughly enjoyed her and had nothing but amazing things to say about her. Thank you for working with us to make sure this happened!
BAYLOR UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
We had a fantastic day with Inge! She was very engaging with all those that attended. Her personal stories about the holocaust were very special and we were moved that she was willing to share them with everyone. Thank you again, PDA for all your hard work and dedication to make this program such a success!
SALT LAKE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Dear PDA Group, Thank you so much for your hard work in scheduling our speaker! From the moment we reached out to you the first time, you worked with us on all details and logistics and kept us up-to-date on the progress. Thank you for all your hard work on making our event such a success! We couldn't have done it without you and your team!
Thank you again, Dr. Kimbrough, for a great presentation, our attendees are still talking about it!
Dr. Henry Lee's presentation was entertaining, insightful and wise. I, and everyone at Pfizer, especially appreciate the remarks you directed about following your passion and preparing yourself to excel. Thank you, everyone, at PDA for helping to make this happen!
The event was successful! I received many messages expressing how awesome, outstanding and inspiring Ms. Webb-Christburg's speech was."
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. MEMORIAL BREAKFAST, BOSTON, MLK SPEAKER
Everything went well. Atsuko was very easy to work with and the students enjoyed her performance! Thank you again for your recommendation and I hope to work with you again in the future!
CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Dr. Novello left this morning after a very successful event on our campus! Thank you PDA Group for your help from the first phone to the last you were with us every step of the way.
GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
Jordan Carlos was very very entertaining! A majority of students who answered the event survey indicated they really enjoyed Jordan and definitely will bring him back!
WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY
On behalf of myself and my organization Entertainment Unlimited the Campus Programming Board of Ferris State University, we thank you PDA and Dan for a successful event!! Dan was magnificent! Students really enjoyed the presentation. I know I did. Can't wait to bring in more programs with PDA Group.
FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY
It was a great pleasure to work with PDA Group! The communication was always prompt, friendly and helpful. We loved the speakers and events we booked through Mr. Peter Walker (PDA Group).
WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Thank you, Peter, for all your help, you'll be happy to know that the event went incredibly well! Aneesa Ferreira was by far one of the best speakers we've ever had!
An Evening With Dennis Rahiim Watson
Think, talk, dress and act like a winner in a globally competitive world!
First Black President’ Still Trying to Steer Youth in Positive Direction
The State of our Black Community
Dr. Watson at Black History Month
1 HOUR OR LESS