About our Founder
Dwight Henry McWilliams

 

Mr. McWilliams was born in Heidelberg, Germany on April 28, 1955, the second of four children born to Donald and Beatrice McWilliams. Growing up, Dwight moved around the country with his family as his father was stationed at various bases throughout his career in the Armed Forces.  Dwight spent most of his youth in Lawton, Oklahoma where his family still lives. After graduation from Southern Univeristy in Louisiana Dwight lived in Texas for a while, then moved to New York City where he worked for NBC as an assistant on The David Letterman’s “Late Night Show.”

 

Dwight moved to the Twin Cities in 1986 and changed careers, becoming a certified aerobics instructor. He worked for the YWCA as Assistant Director of Health and Fitness, was also a national aerobics instructor trainer for NDEITA (National Dance Exercise Instructor Training Association). The later allowed him to pursue his love for travel as he went around the country training other instructors.

Shortly after moving to the Twin Cities, Dwight learned that he had a terminal illness. Over time, this lead him to re-examine his life and to determine that his mission was to help other African Americans improve their health through exercise and fitness. Among many health issues, he was particularly concerned about the alarmingly high rate of HIV/AIDS  among African Americans and wanted to educate people about how to prevent the disease. Dwight began in 1989 by starting an aerobic exercise class at the Sabathani Community Center. In 1992, he used his Leadership Initiatives in a Neighborhood Grant from the St. Paul Companies to set up Community Fitness Today. 

 

 Dwight was perhaps most proud as well as being instrumental in setting up an HIV prevention program in collaboration with African American Churches starting with his own church – Macedonia Baptist Church. Dwight  served on numerous committees addressing health issues, touched many lives and is greatly missed.