Lena Jensen, Bella Biwer
Charles Dupree-Hawkins is committed to giving back to his community in any capacity that he can. Consequently, he is constantly working towards making Sherman Park a better place to live. He instilled his values in his children: He has two daughters who are very involved, one in politics, and one who worked in Africa with the Peace Corps.
Mr. Hawkins grew up in poverty in Grosse Tete, Louisiana, and was taught the value of education. His mom was a domestic worker and raised eight children, who all earned graduate degrees. Growing up, he was very disciplined with his work and education and remembers his grandfather saying, “You’re a Dupree, you don’t do that stuff.” Because people gave him so much out of the kindness of their hearts, when he was growing up, he does the same to others.
He attended Southern University, a public, historically black university in the Scotlandville area of Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas where he received a master’s degree in Urban and Community Planning. Mr. Hawkins worked as a teacher for many years, and also worked with the Department of Natural Resources in restoring public parks. He worked in Minnesota reuniting and preserving Native American families. After retiring in 2013, Mr. Hawkins moved to Sherman Park. Since then, he has completely restored his home, and now rents out the upper unit.
Mr. Hawkins takes pride in owning a house located on the corner of a block. He leads by example in terms of upkeep. He sweeps the sidewalk, cleans the alley, and loves to garden and share plants with his neighbors across the intersection.
He is somewhat of a mentor for the younger people in the neighborhood. He encourages them to work hard. He respects the young adults and treats them maturely. Mr. Hawkins enjoys making people laugh. His humor, caring attitude, and dedication to his neighborhood, enhances and brightens life in this community and makes it a great place to live and foster relationships.
Why he’s a giving person
Having respect for younger people
Making people laugh