Tolliver finding success through hard work
By Shamara Bizzle
It might be cliché, but the old adage that, “Hard work never hurt anybody” are words that Rev. Don Tolliver learned early.
He still finds inspiration in those words that his parents instilled in him.
But Tolliver, vice president of the local chapter National Action Network, was 14 years old before he realized that his parents were actually telling him that being Black meant he’d always have to go the extra mile.
“My father always told us, you know you have three strikes against you,” Tolliver said. “One was you’re male, you’re black, and you’re black and whatever you do, you have to do it three times harder than the next man in order to just be recognized.”
From that conversation with his father, Tolliver learned that hard work indeed never hurt anybody. This became the frame of reference. He developed strong ethic and the love for the people prepared him for his leadership position.
Tolliver will be honored along with several others. He will be recognized as the Capital Outlook’s Activist of the Year.
Being the Vice President of the National Action Network has provided him with a platform to help others, Tolliver said.
“Further along I go in this life it’s going to be ok but anything that I can do to help somebody along the way, be it anything that’s wrong that we can try to make right if it’s possible we do what can do to help,” he said.
Tolliver said that his position with the NAN is just another outlet that helps him to achieve his purpose to the community.
At a time when young Black men are facing social challenges, Tolliver’s advice to them is to establish a strong work ethic. Tolliver describes today’s society as a Microwave society where young Black males and even females want people to just hand success to them.
He believes he can help the situation by teaching strong work ethics.
“From day one, from since I can remember anything was that being able to put in a good work ethic is the best way for you to get ahead,” he said. “You have to be able to have that positive influence to be able to understand what it takes to put in a good day’s of work,” he said.
Tolliver is making strides because of the values he learned early in life, said Rev. Frank McDonald, a longtime friend.
“He has always had that leadership quality about him.” McDonald said. “He has that entrepreneurial spirit of starting things and getting things done.”
Commissioner Bill Proctor said that Tolliver is very patient and that patience allows him to have a strong commitment to the community.
“Brother Tolliver has patience, he has long suffering, and he has love. He is committed to the community. He has empathy,” Proctor said. “He has so many qualities that distinguish him as a leader.
“But, he’s typically not a person who is not about the show. His is about the cause and getting it done.”