Dr. Lonise P. Bias is the mother of the late Len Bias, the University of Maryland basketball player who died on June 19, 1986, of a drug-related death two days after being drafted by the Boston Celtics. On December 4, 1990, the Bias family suffered the loss of a second son, Jay, who was murdered in a drive-by shooting at a local mall.
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"One of the most bitter cups to drink from," she says, "is to bury a child. Then to bury two… When I speak it helps me heal. There are many parents who have suffered because of drugs." She knows this better than most, and because of that Dr. Bias has turned her personal loss into a mission to help others. She tours the country addressing the issues of drugs, alcohol, family, hope and love.
Dr. Bias' career was launched when TV and radio stations across the country covered her comments at Len's memorial service. Subsequently, Lonise received numerous requests to appear on TV and radio programs. Today, she does from three to five presentations a week and works approximately six months out of the year traveling the country.
Dr. Bias, a vivacious, energetic and dedicated woman, challenges young and old alike to wage war against substance abuse. By discussing issues like peer pressure, she attempts to instill self-respect and good judgment into the youth and steer them away from relying on drugs. She reminds the adults that they are the real role models in today's society.
One of the most visible and successful warriors in the fight against substance abuse, Dr. Bias commands the attention of her audiences. She brings the battle directly to center stage. She addresses the issues with a special energy that inspires young people to realize their self-worth and potential. Her message is positive: motivation, inner strength, love, and happiness are her key words.
Dr. Bias has lectured before statesmen, community and church organizations, the military, universities, and private and public institutions here and abroad. She has received the keys to numerous cities and has appeared on many television shows, including ESPN Close-Up with Roy Firestone, Sally Jesse Raphael, Dr. Robert Schuler, The 700 Club, and The CBS Morning News. She has been presented with the Boston Herald Community Service Award, The International Women in Leadership Award, the Sojourner Truth Award, the Soya Humanitarian Award, the Giant Steps Parent Award and many other distinguished service awards. In May 1990, she received an Honorary Doctorate of Education degree from Anna Maria College in Massachusetts.
Before joining the lecture circuit, Dr. Bias was employed by the National Bank of Washington. She is a native Washingtonian and was educated in the public schools of D.C., after which she concentrated her studies in religion at the District of Columbia Bible Institute. She is a member of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, where she has served as Stewardess, Missionary, Youth Advisor and Choir Member.
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