Black Culture Foundation Announces Winners for Its 2024 Dr. Juanita Scott Humanitarian of the Year Award

Published February 11, 2024

The awards will be presented at the Black Rose Awards Gala on Friday, February 23 at 5:30 p.m. at the Riverside Convention Center.

The San Bernardino Black Culture Foundation announces that Jack B. Clarke, Jr., partner at the law firm of Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo, and Dr. Marcus Funchess, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources of the San Bernardino City Unified School District, have won the 2024 Dr. Juanita Scott Humanitarian of the Year Award. Foundation President-elect Carl Dameron said, “We have chosen two outstanding Inland Empire people for the Humanitarian Award this year so that they can be recognized and publicly thanked for their long-time and ongoing service to the people of the Inland Empire.”

Clarke handles litigation concerning education law, special education disputes, public agency litigation, and other substantial matters. He has successfully defended school districts and other education clients in student disciplinary matters, civil rights and Constitutional claims, and special education due process hearings. Clarke was the first African American to chair the board of the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce, and he served as chair of the Mayor’s Use-of-Force Review Panel in 1999 following the high-profile police shooting death of Tyisha Miller in Riverside, California.

His community service contributions have been recognized by the Riverside County Bar Association, California Law Business magazine, the NAACP, the American Diabetes Association, and now the Black Culture Foundation.

Funchess has served the Inland Empire (IE) as an elementary school teacher from 1998 to 2007, a vice principal from 2007 to 2010 and then principal from 2010 to July 2016 at the Thompson and Henry Elementary Schools, and assistant superintendent of human resources at the San Bernardino City Unified School District (SBCUSD) since August 2020. Funchess also served as Human Resources Director from 2016 to 2020.

He received his Doctorate in Leadership for Educational Justice from the University of Redlands in 2014. Funchess collaboratively developed the Aspiring Administrator program to grow and develop SBCUSD leaders from within the District. He also helped develop the Golden Bell Award-winning Grow Our Own initiative to educate and hire the next generation of educators from within the community.

The initiative encourages current SBCUSD students interested in careers in education to pursue their dreams with support from the District, even after leaving high school, and return to SBCUSD to share their knowledge and experience.

“Additional Black Rose Award winners include Acquanetta Warren, Mayor of Fontana; James C. Baker II, Park Commissioner for the City of Moreno Valley; Michael Beauregard, Assistant Manager at Sam’s Club; Tina Darling, Director of Education at American Career College, Ontario, and chair of the Nursing and Health Ministry at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church; and Aristotle McDaniel, founder of GPL-Grandparents Love,” said Foundation President, Ezekiel Adeleke.

The 31st Annual Black Culture Foundation Black Rose Awards ceremony takes place on Friday, Feb. 23, starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Riverside Convention Center. For tickets to the gala, visit the Black Culture Foundation’s website at:

To become a Black Rose Awards sponsor, go to

To become a volunteer or board member, send an email to

About the Black Rose Awards

The Black Rose Awards are a complement to Black History Month. The awards are sponsored by the Black Culture Foundation, a nonprofit founded in 1968 by a small group of people who were concerned that, “…nationwide, our school systems have not yet incorporated Black history studies into regular school curriculums. Thus, all students miss the opportunity to learn more about a vital part of this country’s history.”

The Black Culture Foundation’s purpose “…is to foster an interest and a greater understanding of Black culture, to heighten community awareness of the accomplishments of Black people, past and present, and to plan, coordinate and direct an annual Black History Month parade and related cultural activities…[and] bridge the gaps across cultural lines by bringing the local community together to celebrate this event in the spirit of unity and brotherhood.” The Black Rose Awards are the Foundation’s major cultural event.


Carl M. Dameron

(909) 534-9500

Release ID: 908101

Prodigy Press Wire

Your brand has a story. Prodigy Press Wire will help bring it to life.