By Renee Williams
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is a rule that has proven its excellence as a moral guide since the beginning of time. And really, what better teaching than “The Golden Rule” can we utilize in our day-to-day approach to parenting? One local teen is doing just that and ushering in kindness in 2020 by reaching out to schools, acknowledging the effects of school bullying and the responsibility we have to one another to practice The Golden Rule.
High school senior, Genesis Williams was born January 5, 2002, to Earl Williams and Jamie Avery. Growing up in Augusta, Williams’ mom was a loving single parent working two jobs while taking care of him and his brother when he first felt the effects of bullying. But, it was in these difficult moments that Williams would learn some of life’s biggest lessons.
“I was 9 years old and we were having financial problems around back-to-school time,” Williams recalls. “My mom couldn’t afford new school supplies and I told my teacher about the issue and the next day my teacher brought me a book bag and school supplies. But one of the kids in my classroom heard what was going on and told the entire class. Rumors then began to spread and everyone was going around saying I was poor and homeless. That made me feel so sad because you never know what other people are going through. And I never told my mom because I felt so sorry for her and I knew she already had a lot on her plate at the time. As a matter of fact, she still doesn’t know about this story today.”
Gaining wisdom and empathy from this hurtful experience, Williams found a way several years later to help other children at risk for bullying. Inspired by his idol Tyler Perry, Williams had an idea and thought, “I know a cool way I can stop bullying. I’m going to use Tyler Perry’s character “Madea” to stop bullying.” So with that, Williams became a Madea-impersonator and says he loves performing as the popular character because he’s a huge fan of Tyler Perry’s work.
In October 2019, Williams had one of his dreams come true when he was invited to Tyler Perry Studios and had the opportunity to meet Mr. Perry, along with other Hollywood stars and recording artists. Today, Williams has a non-profit organization known as, “Madea’s No Bullying Zone.” He dresses as Madea and visits daycares, elementary schools and middle schools to talk about bullying, what it is and how to stop it. He also passes out school supplies (as his teacher once did for him) after his presentation and plays games with the children such as Madea’s dance battle.
Williams’ goal is to bring, “Madea’s No Bullying Zone” into all public schools in Georgia. Bullying among children has been a prominent issue in schools and neighborhoods for decades but not fully understood or recognized as a critical issue until more recent years. Williams has combined his early experiences, his passion and his talents to shed light on bullying as a means of education and prevention. Williams says his definition of kindness and The Golden Rule is, “Respect… respect not only for yourself, but for your peers and those around you.”
The approach is gaining him enormous exposure in the area as he has been featured on many local news channels and radio stations. His videos are seen around the world as he has over 19,000 subscribers on his YouTube channel, “Hollywood Here I Come.” Williams is active in church, enjoys making short films, writing books as well as stage plays and is currently a student at the James Brown Academy of Musik Pupils. “I’m learning how to play the piano and drums. I’m also an actor with the Augusta Jr. Players and have starred in The Parchman Hour and Four Little Girls: Birmingham 1963,” Williams says.
At 17, Genesis Williams has big dreams of becoming an actor, news anchor, philanthropist and funeral director (yes— it’s a family thing) and he adds, “Hopefully, one day I will be mayor of Augusta.”
This article appears in the December 2019/January 2020 issue of Augusta Family Magazine.
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