Busta’s Person of the Week: Behind every good thing, there’s a good woman that’s making it happen

Dr. Pamela Peoples-Joyner, public relation specialist for the Winston-Salem Police Department.

Busta’s Person of the Week: Behind every good thing, there’s a good woman that’s making it happen
October 03
01:00 2019

By Busta Brown

Mel Waiters was on the money with the lyrics, “I had my best times at a hole in the wall.” In my neighborhood, we called it the liquor house. It was the place where the adults would go to either buy liquor, party and/or get drunk. I remember my friends and I would ride our bikes close enough to hear the music of blues legends like Johnnie Taylor, Mel Waiters, Al Green, Bobby Blue Bland, Marvin Cease, Betty Wright, Millie Jackson, and more. We could hear the women yelling the chorus to Jackson’s hit song, “Hurt so good,” followed by some other words I can’t print. In my neighborhood, we called the blues “Liquor House Music,” because every time I heard “Disco Lady” or “Got My Whiskey,” someone was getting drunk or already drunk and also fighting. It was a place where children didn’t learn much about respect, nor good behavior. 

So imagine an 11-year-old girl watching her grandmother run a liquor house. The results are normally tragic. That’s not this story. The little girl in this story grew up to be a phenomenal woman. “My life changed when I was 11 years old. My grandmother had a liquor house and I would observe how she treated every customer as if they were the President of the United States. My grandmother was the best example of treating people how you want to be treated. She treated every customer with love and respect. So I promised myself, when I grow up, I’m going to help the marginalized believe that they can be someone. So I knew helping people would be my purpose.” 

Dr. Pamela Peoples-Joyner grew up in a two-parent household, watching both of her parents work hard each day, without complaining nor making excuses. Her father is a retired U.S. Army veteran and he stressed the importance of education. Pamela’s mom always taught her to be the best version of herself at everything she does. “My parents taught my siblings and I that your work speaks for itself.”

Dr. Peoples-Joyner was an A+ student at Lexington Senior High School and went to Winston-Salem State University on a four-year academic scholarship. Her degree was in Sociology. 

“I always wanted to know how people think and what triggers them to do certain things, so I could find a way to help them.” Pam, as she’s known to her friends, decided to pursue her purpose to help the marginalized find their purpose as well. She furthered her education in understanding how to help people. Dr. Peoples-Joyner went on to receive a master’s degree in Adult Education from North Carolina A&T University and her doctorate of ministry from United Cornerstone University in Thomasville. 

Pam is truly a people person, no pun intended. She is the community relations specialist for the Winston-Salem Police Department, but her job goes well beyond the four corners of the building. She was the executive director for the Darryl Hunt Project for Freedom and Justice, she is a member of the Kiwanis Club, executive board of the Forsyth County ReEntry Council, president of the United Cornerstone Alumni Association, and is a member of the Lexington Alumni Chapter for Delta Sigma Theta, which does a lot of community service and outreach. 

Pam also creates and works with the many community programs for the Winston-Salem police department. One of those programs is the Forsyth County Gang Steering Committee. “It consists of a group of citizens who are out in the community assisting families of some of these gang members find the help they need. What I love most about my job is I get to provide the community outreach. I love my job to the point where I could do it for free,” said Pam. 

When I asked co-workers and friends about Pam, they shared lots of beautiful, warm and intimate stories about how she helped them and so many families and individuals in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County area. I asked her to share one as well. “I remember a mother telling her son how I changed her life and poured into her future, and wanted me to do the same for him. When I look back now, this young man has graduated from high school and now attends NC A&T University. To know I had a part in that means a lot to me. That’s why I could do my job for free.” 

Dr. Pam Peoples-Joyner is the reason for so many of the good things that are happening in the Twin City communities, yet she doesn’t mind being behind the scenes. Her work speaks loud enough. Another thing she wants to speak even louder is for the communities to learn about all of the different programs the WSPD has for youth and adults. “I believe if they knew, it would help build a fantastic relationship between the communities and police. I’m working hard daily to make that happen.” 

Dr. Peoples-Joyner is a great example that phenomenal women just keep coming. “I stand on the backs of my sister, Dr. Charlotte Davenport, Mayor Pro-Tem Vivian Burke who speaks her truth, Mia Parker, who gave me my first opportunity in Corporate America when I graduated from college, and Deloris Huntley – she was my mentor at the Winston-Salem Urban League, and Cleopatra Salomon. Cleo helped me to be poised and all of that stuff.” She smiled with pride as she shared the names of those phenomenal women. 

What next? “To keep making the world better,” said Dr. Pamela Peoples-Joyner. One thing for sure, the communities in Winston-Salem are definitely better because of this phenomenal, smart and beautiful woman. God bless you Dr. PPJ. 

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