Alumni Spotlight

Gordon H. Weekes Jr.

Born and raised in South Florida, to his namesake Gordon, Sr. and Vernese Weekes. Gordon Weekes is the youngest of three siblings. He attended school from elementary to senior high in Miami, Florida, graduating from North Miami Senior High School. While in high school he was also dually enrolled and attended George T. Baker Aviation and studied electronics, avionics, and aircraft maintenance (airframe and power plant). After graduation, he attended Miami-Dade College and then went on to attend Florida Memorial University. In 1994, he earned his Bachelor of Science in Air Traffic Control. Mr. Weekes then went on to earn his Juris Doctorate in 1997 from Nova Southeastern University School of Law. For over twenty years, Gordon Weekes has dedicated his life to public service and the pursuit of justice. In 1997, he began his career as an Assistant Public Defender at the Broward County Public Defender’s Office where he proudly represents the poor, the mentally ill and children of our community. For a brief period, Mr. Weekes entered private practice and was the managing partner in the Law Offices of Gelin & Weekes. After practicing in the area of civil litigation and employment law, he then returned to his passion – public service at the Public Defender’s Office. Under the leadership of “Help Me” Howard Finkelstein, Mr. Weekes became the first Public Defender to specialize in representing children charged as adults. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Weekes was appointed as the Chief Assistant Public Defender in charge of the Juvenile Division. Mr. Weekes has been instrumental in implementing a host of programs that have drastically reduced the number of young people entering the system. As Chief Assistant, he has tackled head-on abusive practices in adult jails and juvenile facilities. As a result of his efforts Florida ultimately cut ties with one of the nation’s largest for-profit prison contractors. He also spearheaded a campaign to shed light on the deplorable conditions within foster homes and mental health facilities. He moved for policy reform that would prohibit the excessive sedation of mentally ill children and successfully shuttered abusive residential commitment facilities. His expertise has been recognized statewide in the areas of conditions of confinement, prison privatization and the reduction of the school-house-to-jail-house pipeline. In addition to his work with children, Mr. Weekes has been a tireless advocate against police misconduct and the use of force. He has championed community efforts to address predatory policing. He continues to work on reducing minority over-representation and disparate treatment in the justice system. He was also at the center of the push to stop reality television shows like COP’s and the Police Women of Broward County from exploiting the community for ratings. Mr. Weekes has also been a watchdog for wrongdoing and has uncovered a number of issues that directly impacts the public’s confidence in the judicial system. Mr. Weekes has appeared as a panelist and acted as a moderator for a number of community forums and has lectured throughout the State on various topics ranging from ethics, scientific evidence, and community / police relations. He currently serves as a community stakeholder on several boards including the Circuit Seventeen Advisory Board, FPDA Juvenile Subcommittee, Disproportionate Minority Contact & Zero Tolerance Committee and Broward Schools’ – Prison Pipeline Committee, which has been nationally recognized for reducing the number of children arrested, expelled or suspended from school. However, Gordon’s greatest accomplishment is being a Husband to his beautiful wife for over 10 years and Father to his two boys.

Reverend Khalia J. Williams


Reverend Khalia J. Williams is the ecstatic and supportive wife of Rev. Dr. Damon P. Williams, Pastor of the historic Providence Missionary Baptist Church in southwest Atlanta, Georgia. She is an ordained minister and liturgical artist, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at Graduate Theological Union in the area of Liturgical Studies with a focus on theology and worship. Prior to her matriculation at Graduate Theological Union, Rev. Williams earned the Master of Arts degree in Theological Studies from Columbia Theological Seminary, and the Master of International Business Administration degree from Nova Southeastern University. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from Florida Memorial University.Rev. Williams is a native of Los Angeles, California and is a professionally trained classical ballet and modern dancer. Following God’s call, Rev. Williams founded Trinity Praise Dance Company in 2006, a Miami-based Christian dance company that is focused on spreading the gospel and empowering the nations through the arts. Her work as a liturgist and liturgical dance artist has been called upon by churches and conferences throughout the country and abroad. She is sought after for her ability to train dancers, and to teach ministries in the areas of worship planning, leadership, and the integration of worship and the arts. Rev. Williams greatly impacts the Christian dance community with her desire for technical integrity, passion and Christ-centered ministry. In addition, she has spent several years in the corporate sector as a consultant in human resources management, executive recruiting, and new business start-ups.In ministry, Rev. Williams most recently served as the Dance Ministry Director at Berkeley Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Berkeley, California. In this capacity, she was solely responsible for directing the dance ministry and incorporating worship arts into the weekly services. Prior to this role, Rev. Williams served as a member of the Daughters of Destiny Women’s Ministry Council at Ray of Hope Christian Church in Decatur, Georgia, and as a dance ministry leader at New Birth Baptist Church in Miami (Florida). In addition to her ministry work, Rev. Williams serves on the board of trustees for the Disciples Seminary Foundation, and the Higher Education and Leadership Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Rev. Williams also continues to mentor young women across the country. In all her endeavors, Rev. Williams is driven by her passion to empower the people of God to reach their full potential in Christ.  
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