WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05) will be joined by three Hometown Heroes as her virtual guests for President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address. Joining Congresswoman Williams are Valerie Montgomery Rice MD, FACOG, Morehouse School of Medicine President and CEO, and small business owners Mignon Allen of Dovetail Consulting in College Park, and Pouya Dianat of Beam Imagination in Atlanta.
Congresswoman Williams secured $356,067 from the American Rescue Plan to help the Morehouse School of Medicine and it’s students deal with financial hardship from the COVID-19 pandemic. With this support Morehouse School of Medicine has been on the front lines of expanding healthcare and vaccine equity during the COVID-19 pandemic, saving lives in largely underserved communities. Because of Congresswoman Williams’ advocacy, Ms. Allen and Mr. Dianat were able to secure funds from the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) that allowed them both to keep their businesses afloat. The EIDL program was funded by the American Rescue Plan.
A virtual conversation with Congresswoman Williams and all three virtual guests will be livestreamed at 6:00 PM here.
Congresswoman Williams said:
“People like Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice, Mignon Allen, and Pouya Dianat are the true heroes of the last 12 months. Their dedication to the communities they serve are why we have been able to Build a Better America. I am proud to uplift their stories as my virtual guests for this year’s State of the Union and I know that working together we will continue to build a better America for everyone, no matter your ZIP Code, no matter your bank account.”
Valerie Montgomery Rice MD, FACOG, Morehouse School of Medicine President and CEO said:
“I am honored to join Congresswoman Nikema Williams at this historic moment, as President Biden delivers his first State of the Union address. Thanks to the American Rescue Plan and the leadership of the Biden-Harris administration and Congresswoman Williams, Morehouse School of Medicine has been able to provide increased financial support to our students at a critical time as well as to expand our initiatives and programs that aim to both continue to mitigate the impact of COVD-19 on communities of color and dismantle long standing disparities in health and healthcare.”
Pouya Dianat, Founder of Beam Imagination in Atlanta said:
“I founded two small businesses in Atlanta that are dedicated to serving our communities and promoting social change. Our Small Business Administration loan application was caught in a logjam caused by an unforeseeable IT issue. Congresswoman Williams was quintessential to saving our business that was helping every business from a Fortune 100 to several local non-profits navigate messaging during the COVID-19 pandemic. I’ve never had to reach out to an elected official for help. Congresswoman Williams reaffirmed my faith in our elected officials, that we can interact with them and get action. I thank her for not only helping my small businesses, but her work on the House Financial Services Committee creating policies to support entrepreneurs like me across the country.”
Mignon Allen, President of Dovetail Consulting in College Park, said:
“I started Dovetail Consulting nearly 20 years ago in my basement with a desktop and printer. Since then, my staff has grown ten-fold employing people across the country in the public transportation industry, including my husband, Will, and my son, Andre, and servicing the State of Georgia as well as clients in a dozen other states. Thanks to Congresswoman Nikema Williams office, my application for an EIDL loan with the Small Business Administration was expedited and in December we received the first payment from this once-in-a-lifetime program. Access to this scale of financial resources has been transformative. As a Black, female business owner, I’ve had to overcome institutional barriers to success, not the least of which has been fair and equitable access to capital, but through her dedication and advocacy, Congresswoman Williams demonstrated that me, my family, and my firm mattered. With her ongoing commitment to people who look like me, and the policies of President Joe Biden will outline in his State of the Union address, I am confident we will have a safer and more equitable country.”
Congresswoman Nikema Williams proudly serves Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District. Congresswoman Williams serves on the exclusive Financial Services Committee where she is Vice Chair of the Oversight and Investigations subcommittee, the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and the Select Committee for the Modernization of Congress. She is Freshman Class President and Co-Chairs the Congressional Voting Rights Caucus. Congresswoman Williams builds on the Fifth District’s legacy as the cradle of the civil rights movement as a champion of voting rights, closing the racial wealth gap, and ensuring the promise of America for all–regardless of their ZIP code or bank account.