From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Moorman, George

(born: 1952) 

George Moorman from Lexington, KY is a social welfare leader who had made a large impact on the Lexington community, a true success story. He attended Tates Creek High School but in 1969 dropped out during his junior year. He then got into some trouble and was facing jail time, but a judge let him enlist in the Army to better his life. Moorman served two years in the Army.

During his enlistment, he served seven months in the Vietnam War. Originally when he was sent to Vietnam, he was to serve as an accountant, but the assignment was changed to assistant gunner instead. What he witnessed in the Vietnam War led Moorman to substance abuse.

Once he returned to Lexington he got married and obtained a job. His marriage ended in a divorce. His substance abuse began again. In 1997, a judge refused to send Moorman to jail because he believed he was very intelligent and could become clean. Moorman entered the Veterans Administration Hospital’s Detox Program, which he describes as one of the best care systems. He successfully completed the program.

In 2005, Moorman had contributed over 6,500 hours of volunteer service in Lexington and received the 2005 Challenge Award from Governor Ernie Fletcher and the Kentucky Commission on Community Volunteerism and Service.

Moorman is the former Director of the East End Empowerment Program at the YWCA Phillis Wheatley Center. Community leadership he has provided in Lexington includes developing, implementing, and co-coordinating the first Lexington Back to School Rally, which has grown from serving 250 students the first year to serving over 3,000 students. The program provides school supplies and workshops for parents of Lexington school children.

Moorman also worked with the University of Kentucky health service director to evaluate the university's alcohol and drug policies. He spoke to school groups, churches, and neighborhoods about substance abuse. He also helped train new police recruits on how to deal with substance abusers. As part of the Fish and Chips program, he took inner-city children fishing and helped them take chips off their shoulders.

Moorman used the popular dance, the Electric Slide, to teach diversity. One of his goals was to be in the Guinness Book of World Records for the world’s biggest Electric Slide (dance). He recruited 800 participants to set the book's first published record, but the event was not documented correctly. His ambition was to set the record with 2,000-3,000 participants in 2014 following the annual Black Football Classic.

Moorman also planned the annual Happy New Youth Program at the Dunbar Center to help youth dealing with grief. The program was held every New Year's Eve and involved a memorial service for youths who had passed away during the year. The recognition was followed by a meal, an empowerment rally, and a talent show. The youths were encouraged to go to church afterwards or to do something positive for the new year.

In his personal development, at the age of 54, George Moorman obtained his fourth degree from the University of Kentucky in 2006, a Ph.D in Educational Psychology. His dissertation is entitled Can You Hear Me Now?: coping strategies of adolescent black males in response to racism related stress in school. In 2007, Moorman was granted a full pardon for his criminal record by the Governor Fletcher.

Dr. George Moorman lives in Louisville, KY where he is a Graduate Healthcare Administrative Training Program (GHATP) Fellow at the VA Hospital. He has three children: daughters Ebonee and Ethiopia and  son Soweto. His wife Cornelia “Nickey” Moorman passed away in 2013.

For more information on George Moorman, see M. Davis, "Notoriety public Fletcher's pardon means he's forgiven, but he can't forget," Lexington Herald-Leader, 12/16/2007, p. B1; R. Roenker, "Once an addict, now clean living is his life's work," 12/14/2005, p. D1;  J. Cheves, "Drug court his road to new life," Lexington Herald-Leader, 8/30/1999.

This entry was written and submitted by Ebony-Nicole A. Davis.

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Moorman, George,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 20, 2024, https://nkaa.uky.edu/nkaa/items/show/2892.

Last modified: 2023-06-21 17:19:11