Building a Legacy Through Our Next Generation

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Welcome to a charity event filled with elegance, purpose, and celebration. The Wilson Academy proudly presents the inaugural Legacy Gala, where we're set to commemorate our mission of Building a Legacy Through Our Next Generation. This formal black-tie charity event promises an unforgettable experience filled with inspiration, recognition, and the opportunity to make a lasting impact on the lives of our students.

Honoring Exceptional Entrepreneurs

Limited seats available. Reserve your spot now!

We look forward to celebrating with you and making an impact that reverberates through generations to come. Together, let's Build a Legacy Through Our Next Generation.

Tickets and Sponsorship Opportunities

Help support our student initiatives by securing your place at this prestigious event and choose from a range of sponsorship packages tailored to showcase your commitment to education and empowerment. Join us in creating a brighter future for our students while enjoying a night of gourmet dining, live entertainment, and inspiring conversations.

Limited seats available. Reserve your spot now!

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© 2023 The Wilson Academy | Created By Designs By Chimere

Shareef Abdul-Malik

A native of SE Washington, DC, and a distinguished alumnus of Howard University (Class of 2014, B.A. in Sociology and Community Development), stands at the forefront of transformative movements reshaping the economic landscape for Black communities globally. Renowned as the visionary founder of, he has pioneered the largest movement promoting Black-owned businesses, catalyzing a seismic shift in wealth redistribution within the Black community on a global scale.Under his dynamic leadership, has transcended its role as a mere online marketplace to become an unparalleled force driving economic empowerment and ownership within Black communities worldwide. Shareef’s visionary approach extends beyond conventional paradigms; he spearheaded a groundbreaking initiative to foster mass production among Black families, resulting in the introduction of over hundreds of essential home staple products into the market. From trash bags to bandages, toothbrushes to toilet tissue, and even batteries, Shareef’s initiatives have revolutionized consumer choices while empowering Black entrepreneurs to thrive as manufacturers and producers.In 2017, Shareef embarked on a transformative journey by launching Coral Oral, a pioneering oral care company, followed by the groundbreaking establishment of Tubman Batteries in 2018, revolutionizing the rechargeable battery industry. His unwavering commitment to fostering economic autonomy has not only inspired countless African American families to embrace product ownership but has also facilitated the circulation of millions of dollars both online and offline, igniting a powerful wave of socioeconomic resurgence.Recognized for his unwavering commitment to philanthropy and community upliftment, Shareef recently orchestrated a landmark partnership between We Buy Black and Shea Moisture, facilitating the provision of over $100,000 in business relief grants to aspiring Black entrepreneurs. Beyond his entrepreneurial endeavors, Shareef selflessly dedicates his time to nurturing future generations as a volunteer Islamic Studies instructor at W.D. Mohammed High School, where he also serves on the esteemed governing board, the Majlis, of the Atlanta Masjid of Al-Islam.Residing in Atlanta, Georgia, alongside his wife of 15 years, Zahrah Bashir, their four cherished children—Falaah, Sawaa, Yammi, and Nahaar—and Shareef’s newly wedded wife, Lailah Ibraheem, Shareef Abdul-Malik not only embodies the essence of a model Muslim man but also the essence of visionary leadership. He catalyzes transformative change and inspires generations to seize their destinies with unwavering determination and purpose.

Mario Johnson

Mario Charles Johnson was born in Nashville, TN. He came to Morehouse the summer of 1996 to begin his undergraduate studies where he went on to Major in Political Science and minor in Economics. It was during his matriculation at Morehouse that he started working in the restaurant industry during his Junior year at Sylvia’s in downtown Atlanta. While working at Sylvia’s, Mr. Johnson learned all aspects of the restaurant business. Starting off as a server, and a bus boy, he worked his way up into management by the end of his Senior year. He stayed with Sylvia’s after graduation for another two years. Mr. Johnson then went on to work for the Walt Disney Corporation in the Disney Regional Entertainment Division where he managed the ESPNZONE here in Atlanta. There, he was quickly promoted and went on to manage all of the ESPNZONE’s on the east coast to include, New York Times Square, Baltimore Inner Harbor, Downtown Washington DC, and Atlanta with Gross Sales Exceeding $150 million. Mr. Johnson went on to leave Walt Disney in late 2007. He then began working in commercial real estate and finance. After a profitable career change, he was presented with the opportunity in 2009 to partner with Cortland Jackson and develop the brand now known as 255 Tapas Lounge on Peters Street in Castleberry Hill not too far from the AUC. In 2012, Mr. Johnson and Mr. Jackson opened up The Spinning Pie also located on Peters Street. Mario not wanting to stop this momentum went on to open a Smallcakes Cupcakery in Suwanee, GA in the spring of 2013. In 2016, Mario formed Inspire Restaurant Group and began consulting for several restaurants throughout the country. During this time he also gained his real estate license. In August of 2019, Mr. Johnson opened The Beverly, an upscale sports bar named for his Mother, in the Grant Park neighborhood of Atlanta. This was followed by Grant Park Social a bourbon bar also located in Grant Park. In May of 2023, he opened Lock & Key, a 6000 square foot luxury sports bar located at The Interlock in West Midtown. Mr. Johnson believes in the importance of giving back to his community and encouraging entrepreneurship in our youth.

Jhavaun and Maudelyne Green

Both New Yorkers with Caribbean roots (Marie is Haitian and Jhavaun Jamaican), the pair met in the hallway when Marie was registering for classes at La Guardia Community College. Marie is now a Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef who runs Green Love Kitchen with her husband and business partner Jhavaun (in addition to raising three kids together). Located on Main Street Lithonia, Green Love has become a main stop for visitors to Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area. The restaurant serves insanely flavorful Caribbean-inspired vegan food from spicy Thai kale wraps to mouthwatering house-made Green Burgers and even a tantalizing hot bar brimming with hot jerk mushrooms, spiced chickpeas, and the best vegan mac around (plus coconut curry salmon for the meat-eaters). This is seriously some of the tastiest vegan food in Metro Atlanta.

“We’ve won many awards, but we don’t do it for the awards,” said Jhavaun, whose grandmother was an international chef, traveling to Caribbean islands and cooking on cruises and in hotels (his mother also owned a food truck in Jamaica called the Hot Pot). Marie grew up in a religious family and her mother was a respected cook making meals for her church community, which she does to this day. “We do it for the people,” said Jhavaun. “We want to be a champion for a people. We want the people know we’re inclusive. It’s more than just a vegan restaurant.”

To that point, Green Love has become a big community hub and player as well. Opened in March 2015, the vegan eatery has given back a lot of love to the City of Granite, sourcing from local farmers and providers, participating in Lithonia’s summer Farmers Market on Main, as well as partnering in events with other local organizations like Awali Farm and Black Dot Cultural Center, which actually began in Green Love’s storefront as a pop-up shop back in 2017. They also invest in their employees by teaching them entrepreneurship training so they too, can know how to run their own businesses one day. This March will mark the restaurant’s 9th anniversary.