Nathan Thomas, Jr.

Nathan Thomas is a veteran in the issues of human relations and interpersonal communications. Mr. Nathan Thomas, Jr. retired after 26 years of exemplary service with 3M Corporation. Presently, he is Co-Director of Conceive, Believe, Achieve a non-profit diversity consulting and display firm out of St. Paul, Minnesota. He is a recognized motivational speaker and gifted Human Resources spokesman on diversity, affirmative action and equal opportunity issues.

Mr. Thomas retired from the position of Human Resource Manager for Equal Opportunity on November 1, 2001. In this position, he was responsible for the development and coordination of equal opportunity policies and programs affecting virtually all 3M employees worldwide.

His military career of over 36 years began as a private in the US Army. He has served in Vietnam, Operation Just Cause (Invasion of Panama) and Operation Desert Storm. His greatest combat experience came in Birmingham (Bombingham) & Selma, Alabama during the civil rights movement where he participated in the marches from the 16th Street Baptist Church to Kelly Ingram Park. Beaten and thrown in jail set the stage for his discipline in civilian and military life. On March 7, 1965, as the marchers attempted to cross the Edmund Pettis Bridge, Nathan along with 599 others were clubbed by police on horseback and driven back across the bridge in Selma Alabama. The scene flashed across the country on the nightly news. Bloody Sunday, as it was named, mobilized public opinion in support of federal legislation.  Within a week President Johnson introduced a comprehensive voting's rights bill to Congress that led to the Voting's Rights Act of 1965 (Effectively opening up the polls to African Americans throughout the South for the first time since the end of Reconstruction)

 After leaving the active army he joined the Minnesota Army National Guard and has been a Minnesota Youth Camp volunteer at Camp Ripley in Little Falls, Minnesota. His work with high-risk teenage children of veterans who died fighting for their country provides role models and discussion about core emotional issues, including loss of parents.

For 30 years, Nathan has been actively involved in Black History Month, serving as a positive role model for academic achievement and mentoring teens in self-respect, connecting with mind, body and history in developing a respectful view of men and women, especially the important roles of dedicated fathers in strengthening families.  He frequently speaks on the Tuskegee Airmen and Buffalo Soldiers and their achievements.

For the past ten years, Nathan has also worked with nationally known sculptor Eddie Dixon on a program called "Vision Quest." Juveniles on probation who have committed serious crimes, including murder and robbery, are taught self respect, and strategies for stopping the cycle of violence, poverty and hopelessness.

Nathan Thomas received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Miles College in 1973, Associate in Criminal Justice in 1975, Masters of Political Science 1977, Masters of Science in History 1983, and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science 1998.

He is a graduate of Command and General Staff College and DEOMI. He instructs regularly at the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI) in Florida.

He has received numerous awards such as the 3M community Volunteer of the Year, Pyramid of Excellence Award, NAACP Roy Wilkins Renown Service Award, United Way Award, KARE 11 (Eleven Who Care) Community Award, Certificate of Commendation (Governors Office) and honorable mention in the "Congressional Record E1450" by the HON. Martin Olav Sabo in the House of Representatives (Minnesota) and presented the Medal of Merit by the State of Minnesota.

Nathan Thomas and his wife Debra currently reside in Melbourne, Florida.