Townsquare Media Tuscaloosa, 92.9 WTUG, Praise 93.3, 105.1 The Block, and the Tuscaloosa Thread are proud to present the 2024 Black History Makers of Alabama.

Yellowhammer State is filled with great African American leaders from the past, present, and future. We thank our West Alabama community partners, the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, Delta Phi Lambda Chapter, and the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Eta Xi Omega Chapter, for their continued support.

Black History Maker of Alabama – Phillip Cunningham

Phillip Cunningham
Phillip Cunningham

Phillip Cunningham is a distinguished alumnus of Northridge High School, where he showcased his athletic skills in football and basketball. He pursued his higher education through courses at Shelton State, Texas A&M, and Stillman College, laying the groundwork for his future endeavors.

Cunningham's career began in law enforcement, where he dedicated several years as an intern with the VA police department before transitioning to a full-time position at the Sheriff's Office. His commitment to public safety led him to Stillman Police & Security, where he swiftly advanced from an officer to his current role as the Executive Director of Campus Safety and Facilities Management. Despite being one of the youngest leaders on campus and still in his twenties, Cunningham has successfully navigated through challenges with resilience and determination.

He is actively involved in various organizations, including Young Tuscaloosa, national campus safety, facilities management, FEMA, and risk management groups. Throughout his career, Cunningham has been honored with numerous awards, such as Officer of the Year, Safety Director of the Year, and Employee of the Year, culminating in a national recognition for his exceptional achievements as a facilities director.

“Black History Month means a lot to me, I try not to limit Black History to one month, but honor African-American heritage year round. It's an opportunity to celebrate, honor and learn about a community that is full of talent, resilience and beauty. It means spotlighting the untold stories of amazing African-Americans, who, despite incredibly difficult circumstances, served an inspiring purpose through their skills and talents. It means acknowledging Black leaders beyond the constructs of slavery and brokenness. Black History Month is an amazing space to celebrate people that were intentionally harmed and violated for many generations, and yet still led movements, created inventions that bettered society, and existed graciously and humbly through it all.”- Phillip Cunningham

Cunningham attributes his strong work ethic to the lessons learned from his family, emphasizing the value of earning one's achievements. From an early age, he engaged in entrepreneurial activities, working alongside his grandfather in various handyman roles, which instilled in him the importance of hard work and self-reliance.

His leadership extends beyond professional duties to significant community engagement. During the pandemic, Cunningham played a pivotal role in providing essential supplies to the Tuscaloosa community, demonstrating his commitment to public welfare. He has also been instrumental in organizing the National Night Out event at Stillman College, fostering community spirit and engagement.

Despite receiving offers from other institutions, Cunningham remains dedicated to Stillman College and the Tuscaloosa community, driven by a deep sense of mission and loyalty to the institution that has significantly contributed to his development as a leader.

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2023 Black History Makers of Alabama

2022 Black History Makers of Alabama

Gallery Credit: Mary K

Black History Makers of Alabama 2021

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