Randall: Thank you so much for allowing me to do this interview! Truly an honor! Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Warren: I am Warren Hawkins III, first and foremost a servant of the Lord. Being a young man of God and an advocate for Jesus Christ is not easy in this generation. Neither is it popular or gloriﬁed. Living for God is not a trend for me; it is a lifestyle and a way of life. I unapologetically pride myself in letting God’s light shine through me everywhere I go and in everything I do. I am a licensed minister, author, advocate, writer, motivational speaker, and spoken word artist from St. Louis, Missouri. Attendee of Clark Atlanta University (CAU), graduating Class of 2019, 30th Student Government Association President of CAU (2018-2019). I have been featured on national television, radio stations, and in news articles for activism, ministry, leadership and his involvement in serving the community.
I appeared on News 11 Alive, Fox 5 Atlanta, MTV Wild N’ Out, TV One, Rolling Out, Atlanta Hot 107.9. Voyage ATLs Rising Stars, Midnight Breakfast on Vision Radio 105.1 (FM), The Atlanta Voice, and BET’s one hour special When We All Vote. I have had the humble honor of sharing speaking platforms with Angela Rye, Janelle Monae, Stacey Abrams, Keisha Lance Bottoms, John Lewis, Lucy McBath, and the 44th President of the United States of America, Barack Obama. I have interacted with public figures and icons such as Bernice King, Michael B. Jordan, Chance the Rapper, Deitrick Haddon, Devon Franklin, Megan Good, Roland Martin, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Andrew Young, Cedric the Entertainer, Kel Mitchell, Anna Maria Horsford, Da Brat, Jermaine Dupri, Pastor Troy, Emmanuel Lewis, and more. I have now self-published my first book Shaped for Greater Works, at the age of 22.
Randall: How was your high school career?
Warren: Throughout High school, I would undergo a drastic change. Just as a fetus forms in its mother’s womb, for the ﬁrst time in my life I felt the Holy Spirit nurturing itself in my soul because something new was about to be birthed. Throughout high school God would take me through experiences, lessons, and challenges that would transcend me to a higher consciousness of purpose. This is when I noticed that God’s pull was evident on my life and I was receptive to it. The Holy Spirit had awaken my soul to a new awareness and vivid perception that changed my outlook on life. I truly began to see my reality for what it was and not for what I wanted it to be. I knew that my life wasn’t about me anymore and that I had to trust God. I knew that I was on borrowed time and that my life was being used for something that was far greater than myself. My transition to being committed to a life for Christ did not happen overnight, nor was I spoon-fed the Gospel. In my case, throughout high school it was a process that first broke, then shaped, and finally molded me into the young man I am today. In high school I had to shed the skin of who I thought I was in order become who God called me to be. At the age of 16 is when I accepted my calling and became a licensed minister at the age of 18.
Randall: How’d you end up at Clark Atlanta?
Warren: When I was a senior in High school, my mother planted a seed that I will be forever grateful for. She introduced me to the idea of attending a Historically Black College and University. (HBCU). I remember her telling me an HBCU experience would give me something this world had never given me all my life, which was being in an environment with others like me who would sharpen and inspire me while being a mirror reﬂection of me. My mother knew that an HBCU was a part of God’s purpose and will for my life. She knew attending an HBCU would be part of the process. She said, “Tat, if you attend an HBCU, you’ll ﬁnd out things about yourself that you never knew because you’ll be surrounded by greatness that’s like you.” I then realized the best decision I could make was to surround myself with others who were excelling and doing the exact opposite of what society labeled as the status quo. I knew I needed to immerse myself in a place where I would not be criminalized because of the prejudices of society. I needed to be in a place where I would be embraced and surrounded in the excellence of who I am, what I am, and the man who I was becoming. Therefore I set my sights on attending a red, black, and grey HBCU known as Clark Atlanta University.
Randall: What’s your major? What made you choose your major?
Warren: Social Work. I chose this as my major because I desire to Pastor my own church one day. My church will be unique and a church that truly extends our works outside the walls of the church. Social Work has taught me that social work is diverse, it is education, politics, law, and more. Social Work has equipped me with the knowledge to be able to understand that ministry is not just limited to spirituality. I believe in the holistic approach. I now know that in order to enhance someone spiritually sometimes other needs need to be met as well. My church will focus on the emotional, mental, educational, environmental, situational, socio economic and political challenges of the person and the community in order to ensure holistic spiritual transformation of the individual and a greater impact within the community. I believe in the church being many thing for many different people. I want the services that my church provides to be a true representation of God’s love holistically.
Randall: Let’s talk about your experience at Clark Atlanta University! I want to go through your first few years at Clark Atlanta. How was your:
- Freshman Year?
Warren: Freshman year, I arrived to campus fearless, bold, and ready for the mission at hand. Soon as I stepped foot onto the campus of CAU, I knew I was walking on the grounds of the pathway of purpose and God’s will for my life. I was ready for the new journey God had put in front of me. I was no longer looking at what was behind me. In fact, I became Freshman Class President and I was even selected as the Freshman Class Induction Ceremony speaker. The bible says, “Life and death is in the power of the tongue.’ As a freshman, I told myself that I would one day be the SGA President of CAU and it would soon manifest into existence.
- Sophomore Year?
Warren: Sophomore and Junior year, were two years of preparation for me. In my book Shaped for Greater Works, I wrote how “Preparation is the process that propels us to the promises of God.” God allowed me to be stretched and grow in many ways.
- Senior Year?
Warren: I would not trade my HBCU experience for anything in the world. I recognize that choosing to attend a Historically Black College/University was one of the best decisions I ever made in my life. This HBCU experience at Clark Atlanta University has allowed me to become unapologetic about my knowledge and awareness of self. I was able to see the greatness on the other side of the sheet that is covered by negative societal stigmas. I will be forever grateful and thankful for my HBCU experience. On May 20th, 2019, I will be the ﬁrst male in my immediate family to graduate from college. I have compared Clark Atlanta University to a scene in the movie The Lion King. I believe Clark Atlanta University to be the mountain God used to hold me over the cliff just as Raﬁki held Simba. God lifted me and allowed me to see a glimpse of the best that is yet to come.
Randall: One thing I discuss in my book A Queen’s Pain is campus politics and the social environment at HBCU’s. In the book, the main character Raynetta Duram has a warped sense of what popularity is. She sees popularity and “clout” as being Greek (specifically a member of the Rho Eta sorority on Laketon State’s campus) and holding a title. In your opinion, what truly defines popularity?
Warren: In my opinion, what truly defines one’s popularity is the reason why they are popular. One can be popular for the wrong reasons or right reasons, and also wht they choose to do with their popularity.
Randall: How’d you rise to prominence at Clark Atlanta?
Warren: My favorite scripture is, Matthew 23:12 “Any man who praises himself shall be humbled and any man who humbles himself shall be praised”. The more I continued to praise and publicly honor God the more he granted me the platforms to continue to glorify his name. I remained humble, focused, and of the people. Even Jesus was a servant as he demonstrated that by washing the feet of his disciples. I believe that throughout my four years at CAU, I remained of the people and for the mission. I served in positions of service to the student body and my institution.
Randall: Tell us about your SGA Presidential campaigns!
- What was your platform?
Warren: My platform was CAU Forever, inspired by Black Panther’s “Wakanda Forever”.
- Tell us the story behind your campaign video!
Warren: I like to call my campaign video a production because that’s exactly what it was. My platform was CAU Forever inspired by Black Panther. Therefore, my campaign video was inspired by actual scenes in the movie. The scene in particular was the “Ancestors: scene. The Black Panther was covered in sand, and visited his father, the Black Panther of the past. Therefore, I decided to visit some of the SGA Presidents of the past with my own spin on the video. To start off the video, just as the Black Panther was covered in sand, since I am a minister, I decided to be baptized in water by our panther mascot. Just as the Black Panther suddenly awoke to the past Black Panthers, I suddenly awoke to some of the past SGA Presidents of Clark Atlanta University. I really wanted my campaign video to shock the world. I wanted to do something never before done and so creative that it caught the eyes of many people and that’s exactly what God allowed to happen.
- You held presidential office all of your four years at Clark Atlanta! What made you want to stay in the position for so long?
Warren: I simply loved what I did. I know that it was a part of the purpose that God had for me at CAU was for me to be in a position and platform of service to my peers. Being elected Freshman Class President, Sophomore Class President, SGA Vice President and SGA President was not easy. However, what kept me wanting to serve in these positions is simply the heart I have for the work that I did.
- What are some things you accomplished?
Warren: Every accomplishment that I’ve had in leadership has been due to the favoring hand of God and the student leaders and administration that I’ve been privileged to serve alongside with. While serving in leadership we’ve implemented a refurnished and upgraded student center, campus safety initiatives, welcome back week activities and much more. I believe that my greatest accomplishment is the imprint that I left in the hearts of my peers.
- Do you believe that being in the seat of president longer helped you in getting more done?
Warren: Yes, because being an elected official of the University allowed me the opportunity to be in a platform to advocate for the betterment of the student body. As SGA President, I was prevue to certain information therefore I was elected to be a sounding board and mouth piece for the students of Clark Atlanta University.
Randall: Tell us about how it felt to join Alpha Phi Alpha!
Warren: It is an honor to be a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., the ﬁrst intercollegiate African American fraternity established. I am proud and honored to be able to say that I joined the ranks of prestigious men such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., W.E.B. Dubois, Thurgood Marshall, Jesse Owens, Whitney M. Young Jr., and many other noble men of distinction who left a permanent imprint on this world. I’ve joined the ranks of men who defied the status quo and challenged the plight of our struggle. I now am one of the men who are privileged to carry the torch of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.
Randall: Tell us about your book Shaped For Greater Works!
Warren: There are so many people who believe that they have to be perfect, have it all together, or be a certain way to be used by God. My journey says otherwise. My first book, Shaped For Greater Works is an Introspective look into the Life of my Journey of Self Discovery & Spirituality. This Book gives a Dissecting look at How God Shapes & Guides us All along life’s Path to Discover & use our Gifts to Serve the Lord’s Purpose. My transition to being committed to a life for Christ did not happen overnight, nor was I spoon-fed the Gospel. In my case, it was a process that ﬁrst broke, then shaped, and ﬁnally molded me into the young man I am today. I was not told to be this way by anyone. Instead I was shaped this way because I am a product of God’s hands. I have been shaped for greater works for the Kingdom of God. This book is meant to be heart felt, motivating, and to help people realize that we don’t always have to appear perfect in order for God to still use us for his works. I wrote this book to reveal my vulnerability, imperfections, and how I’ve passed test yet failed many, yet God still called me and used me for the greater works he had predestined for my life.
That is why I know this journey is for both the unchurched and the churched. It is meant to touch those who have a relationship with God and those who do not. Regardless of who you are, what you have been through, what you have done, or what has been done to you, this journey can be for you. Even if you do not know God, you can know Him a bit more after following me on my journey. If you are frustrated with God, you can learn to understand His ways. If you gave up on God at some point in your life, somewhere on this journey you can come to understand that He did not give up on you. I am inviting others to walk with me as I follow God. As God shaped me in this journey, they will learn how He is shaping then as well.
Randall: Where do you see yourself in the future?
Warren: Counting to walking God’s purpose and will for my life while impacting souls for the Kingdom of God. I have dedicated my life to gathering people to give their lives to the Lord.
- Where can we find you on social media?
- Instagram: Tattheanser Twitter: Tattheanswer
- Link to Book “Shaped For Greater Works”