Two IU South Bend faculty and three IUSB alumni received accolades recently from the City of South Bend during the 6th Annual Black History Month Awards Ceremony honoring local leaders for their service and leadership in our community.
Darryl Heller and Dr. Bunmi Okanlami
Darryl Heller is the director of the IU South Bend Civil Rights Heritage Center and an assistant professor of Women’s and Gender Studies. After receiving his BA in Philosophy from the College of Charleston, Darryl spent 20 years working in the fields of human services, community development, and political activism. and co-founded the Amistad Institute, a nonprofit organization with the mission to design, develop, and implement educational programs for inner-city communities.
Since arriving in South Bend in 2015, he has brought his experience as an organizer and activist to the work of the CRHC, transforming it into a vibrant hub of activity in the fight for civil rights and social justice. He teaches and facilitates discussions on the history of racism and white supremacy, race construction, and the intersection of race and gender. He currently serves on the board of the Community Forum for Economic Justice, Imani Unidad, and the South Bend Board of Public Safety. Dr. Heller earned an MA in American Studies from Columbia University and a PhD in history from the University of Chicago.
Dr. Bunmi Okanlami is a physician leader who is board certified in pediatric critical care medicine and serves as Bicentennial Chair of Palliative Care in IU South Bend’s Vera Z. Dwyer College of Health Sciences.
After obtaining her medical degree, she completed residency training in pediatrics at Howard University Hospital and specialized in pediatric critical care medicine at the Johns Hopkins University Hospital. She served as medical director of Pediatric Critical Care and Pediatric Emergency Medical Transport Services in South Bend for more than two decades. She earned an Executive MBA from the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame in 2008.
She is co-founder and past president of A Rosie Place for Children, a non-profit organization serving the needs of medically fragile children and their families in Indiana and Michigan, and continues to serve on teams that teach Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) and Pediatric Fundamentals of Critical Care Support (PFCCS) around the world.
Nathan Boyd earned an MS in Education from IU South Bend and is principal of Navarre Middle School in South Bend. A former chief equity officer and director of African American Student and Parent Services, he has been in education for over 20 years. Boyd was 2012 ISCA Principal of the Year, 2012 National Blue Ribbon of School Excellence Recipient, and 2016 Indiana State Principal of the Year.
Shawn Henderson holds an MS in Education from IU South Bend and is in his fourth year as principal of South Bend’s Riley High School, his alma mater, fulfilling his vow to serve the students in the community where he grew up.
Karla Lee received an MS in Education from IU South Bend and is the principal of Harrison Elementary School. In her 26 years of experience in public education, Lee has been a middle school teacher, administrator, and director in the South Bend School Corporation.