T. RASHAD BYRDSONG – Founder and Chief Executive Officer of a unique community-based organization, Community Empowerment Association (CEA), has successfully expanded a $5,000 agency to over $2 million annually. In addition, as President of MA’AT Construction Group, he has created enterprises as economic generators through employment, training and investment back to targeted underserved Black communities. In service to its targeted communities for over 25 years, CEA has hired over 500 employees, worked with over 20,000 youth and trained over 500 persons through his Construction Industry Training Program. Mr. Byrdsong created a comprehensive Public Health Approach to Violence Reduction for Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. This approach has been presented throughout Allegheny County and calls for a paradigm shift that views violence as a preventable social disease. A noted national and international speaker/presenter about the work of CEA, and recipient of numerous professional awards for his work and ongoing commitment to empowering the lives of African Americans, he has co-authored four articles Afrocentric Intervention Paradigm: An Overview of Successful Application by a Grassroots Organization, (Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 2013), Suggested Paradigm For Violence Reduction: A Community-based Public Health Approach, (Journal of Evidence-Based Social Work, 2015, Historical Overview of Black Suffering in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA: Depth of Contemporary Social Work Challenges, (International Journal of Social Work, 2017), and Drug Abuse Trend and Profile of Current Social Crisis (HSOA Journal of Addiction & Addictive Disorders, 2019).