MACON, Ga.—The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Central Georgia Council recognized Brother George Fadil Muhammad, student protocol coordinator of the Nation of Islam Study Group in Macon, Ga, with the Whitney M. Young Award. Mr. Muhammad was recognized for his significant contributions in advocating for rural and urban low-income youth who face challenging barriers in academics and other areas in life.
The award honors respected community leaders and organizations for their service and support of the community with demonstrated involvement in the development and implementation of scouting opportunities for disadvantaged youth.
Held at the Anderson Conference Center, the ceremony happened on November 11. More than 150 people from the community were in attendance. Whitney M. Young, Jr. Service Award honorees, included: George Fadil Muhammad, Scoutmaster of BSA Troop 284 from 1998-2017; Charise Stephens, Macon-Bibb County Small Business Affairs director and founder of U Create Macon; The Legacy of Boy Scout Troop 195, one of Macon’s oldest most accomplished Black troops and Closing the Gap Organization of Middle Georgia.
Mr. Muhammad told The Final Call his involvement with scouting began as a youngster. “I never intended to become a scoutmaster,” he said. “My sons were involved in scouting, and I became involved as a result. Their scoutmaster quit, and I took command. I learned more about scouting as a scoutmaster than I ever learned as a scout,” he added.
“Our Troop 284 was small as a result it allowed us to give quality interactions. Out of that group, seven of them went on to become Eagle Scouts.”
Mr. Muhammad recounted during a camping trip to the Appalachian Mountains around the campfire when his troop introduced fellow campers to hip hop. “You know there was a lot of diversity: White, Latino, everybody. During our presentation we got everybody up, moving and dancing. It’s, beautiful to see them be themselves in a respectful way and for them to have a chance to influence and shape others,” he observed.
Mr. Muhammad is no stranger to the community. A lifelong Macon resident—except for a short hiatus when he attended Morehouse College in Atlanta—Mr. Muhammad brought what he learned back to his community. He taught martial arts; his local affiliations include being a member of the Nation of Islam, participant in multi-ethnic Eastern and Latino coalitions, the Boy Scouts of America, the Douglass Theatre, Tubman Museum, and Museum of Arts and many other organizations including the Kwanzaa and Juneteenth festivals.
In attendance for the ceremony was Jo-El Fitz, a former member of Scout Troop 284. “This man is a MAJOR part of who I am today. Last night he received the Whitney Young Award for outstanding work with the youth; I am just one of the many people he’s had a positive influence on,” Mr. Fitz said on Facebook.
“When my first martial arts teacher, William Dickey, passed away, he took me in and continued my training. As my scoutmaster, he taught me countless valuable life skills and lessons, and I became one of the SEVEN eagle scouts to come from his troop,” he continued.
“His sons quickly became my brothers for life, and his family easily became an extension of mine; I’d take a bullet for any of them. The only way I can repay him is to continue to make him proud by carrying everything that he’s taught me and passing it on. Thank you, Brother Fadil. Love you always #goat,” said Mr. Fitz.
“Children come to you to be loved, shaped, and guided,” Mr. Muhammad told The Final Call. “So you put positivity and love into them, and you will see it come out of them with appreciation. All Praise is due to Allah (God). I am greatly honored that I would be asked to accept an award in the name of the legendary Whitney Young. All our accomplishments and travels of Boy Scout Troop 284 were a joy and blessed collaboration with the support of many people helping in unity.”
The award is named in honor of legendary civil rights leader Whitney M. Young Jr., former dean of social work at Atlanta University, who became the head of the National Urban League in the 1960s. Mr. Young helped transform the organization into a heavyweight in the civil rights movement, creating thousands of new jobs for Black people.