According to the award announcement letter, Turner was selected because of his “passion and exemplary work in community youth outreach programs is a testimony of the vision and mission of the College of Education and Human Development.”
The award presentation will take place on stage, Thursday, May 14, 2009 at 7 p.m. in the Northrop Memorial Auditorium, University of Minnesota.
“I am surprised and very happy to receive such a prestigious award. I have strived to empower many youth and families in Minnesota,” said Turner.
Turner was recruited as a student athlete in 1970 to attend the University of Minnesota. While pursuing his academic credentials, he excelled as a star basketball player from 1971-’73. He was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks of the NBA and played several years in Europe from 1973-’75. Turner returned to the U of M to receive a bachelor’s degree in education in 1976, and again returned to the U of M in 1984 to earn a MSW degree in social work in 1986.
In 1976 Turner began his family advocacy career as a caseworker with the Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization. He was promoted to Supervisor in 1987.
From 1988 to 2002, Turner worked as Associate Director of Family Alternatives, a private foster care agency located in Minneapolis that worked with the various county systems, the host contract being provided by Hennepin County.
In 1994, Turner co-founded the Past Athletes Concerned about Education (PACE) organization to work with Twin Cities public schools, mentoring and tutoring thousands of students, with a special focus on African American males experiencing academic and behavior problems.
In 2002 Turner was selected by Ramsey County Human Services to be the Manager of the Intake Division of the Child Protection unit.
In 2007 he became the Manager of the Ramsey County Family Services Division, composed of the Child Foster Care, Adult Foster Care, Adoption & Guardianship, and Child Care units.
Turner has served on the board of the Phyllis Wheatley organization, the YMCA, Mentoring Partnership of Minnesota organization, and the National Foster Parent organization’s Board of Directors.
He also served on the Hennepin County Blue Ribbon Task Force on Disproportionality and Disparate Outcomes of Placements of Children of Color in the Family Services System.
Turner has provided numerous trainings on team building, diversity issues, mentoring, the Search Intstitute’s Forty Assets philosophy, and strength-based programming.
Especially close to his heart is the Clyde Turner Educational Basketball Camp, which he founded 26 years ago to focus on urban children. To date, the camp has served over 10,000 boys and girls in the Twin Cities area. “Every time a young voice speaks, a more mature ear should listen and hear,” said Turner.