Because of Them We Can Announces the Inaugural ‘BOTWC 20,’ Award Honoring Everyday Changemakers


by Veracity Savant

December 17, 2023

For Because of Them We Can (BOTWC), Black Excellence isn’t relegated to degrees, income, class, or being the first to break a barrier. It is the everyday excellence that we exude by simply showing up as our best selves and striving to create a better world for ourselves and those who will inhabit it after us. 

Everyday excellence shows up in how we honor the sacrifices of our ancestors, how we believe in ourselves, how we pursue our dreams, and how we help others along the way. We are excited for this inaugural class of the “BOTWC 20” which highlights 20 individuals spotlighted on our platform who represent just that. 

Because of Them We Can celebrates the 2023 class of BOTWC 20 honorees!


CEO, Because of Them We Can

Keivonn Montreal Woodard

First Black deaf actor to receive an Emmy nomination


Charlie Mitchell

First Black Michelin Star Chef in New York City

Shawntay Harris


First Black woman inducted into The Academy of Emergency Nurses

Fawn Weaver

CEO, Uncle Nearest. Largest Grand Champagne Vineyard Owner in Cognac, France 


Jarvis Drake

Atlanta resident providing free lawn care for the elderly and those with disabilities

Elaine Brown


First Woman Chair of Black Panther Party now leading Oakland affordable housing project

Calcea Johnson & Ne’Kiya Jackson

New Orleans teens who made impossible mathematical discovery 2,000 years in the making


Autumn Lockwood

First Black woman to coach in the NFL Super Bowl

Kitty Perkins


Creator of the first Black Barbie

De’Shawn Washington

First Black man to become Massachusetts Teacher of the Year


Sonyah Spencer

North Carolina bookstore owner providing mobile book shop for community

Heman Bekele


Virginia teen named America’s Top Young Scientist for inventing cancer-fighting soap

Yvonne Blake

Owner of Philadelphia’s oldest Black-owned bookstore


Darnell Wells

Memphis teen providing free haircuts for the unhoused

Yusef Salaam


Exonerated ‘Central Park Five’ member elected to New York City Council

Shyla Brown

No. 1 ranked Black Junior Golfer 


Michael Jeffery

Formerly homeless DC man became valedictorian of graduating class

Phil Lewis


Award-winning journalist who serves as a reliable and trusted voice of Black news

Jace Wiggins

Fourth-grade hero who saved a classmate’s life on the last day of school


Noah Jacob

Youth model inspiring other young children with disabilities

Cover photo: Because of Them We Can Announces the Inaugural ‘BOTWC 20,’ Award Honoring Everyday Changemakers/Photo courtesy of Because Of Them We Can


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