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Why “Cool Runnings” And “Empire” Actor Malik Yoba Is The Perfect Example Of A Phi Beta Sigma Brother

By contributing writer Laura D. Reid

Before he graced the screen as Lucious Lyons’ fix-it-man on “Empire”; the street savvy detective on “New York Undercover”; or a Jamaican bobsledder in “Cool Runnings”, actor Malik Yoba was a community activist and educator.

A member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc., Yoba’s full-time commitment to community organizations, education, and underprivileged youth dates back to the 80’s.  He served as Vice President of The CityKids Foundation, a New York-based organization that worked in conjunction with New York City public schools to assess students, faculty, and parents in an effort to improve school attendance, and the quality of education.  In 1994, he founded Nature Boy Enterprises as a vehicle to offer keynote addresses, motivational workshops, and the “Why Are You On This Planet” self-esteem program.

His work as an educator has extended internationally to schools in South Africa, Canada, Jamaica, Central America, and Ethiopia.  The Honorable Bill Clinton, the Congress of United States, and the UNICEF, are some of the dignitaries and organizations that have recognized his humanitarian work and advocacy for the youth.

Yoba was born and raised in the Bronx in 1967.  He became an honorary member of Phi Beta Sigma in 2009.  At the age of fifteen he was shot and it ultimately changed his perspective and led him into a life of community activism.  Since the 90’s, he has served as a board member and committee member for such organizations as Reach New York and Hale House.  Yoba is an author of two books and an educator at Long Island University.