#BlackBoyFly is a movement to encourage Black males of all ethnicities in regard to overcoming obstacles to achieve their dreams. Throughout the year, I’ll be featuring Black males that are flying toward their dreams. www.blackboyfly.club
William E. Arnold, Jr., Ed.D., affectionately known as Fry, is a native of Memphis, TN. We crossed paths on the campus of Tennessee State University due to our affiliation with Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He’s been a mentor and role model of mine ever since. William has 17+ years of experience in higher education and community engagement, particularly in the area of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). In 2013, he was wrongfully convicted of crimes that he did not commit. His conviction was overturned by an Appellate Court in 2020.
Today, William uses his professional training and recent life experiences to create a platform that views diversity as a viable way for returning citizens (from prison) to restore dignity, decrease recidivism, and add value to the workforce. He leads discussions at universities and state agencies on the growing need for criminal justice reform, personal risk management, and broader, more substantive reentry efforts. These talks have led him to have DEI conversations with The Tennessee Department of Labor, Tennessee State University, The Tennessee Innocence Project, and Vanderbilt University. A servant leader, William is committed to volunteerism with organizations such as Community Nashville, New Vision Inc., the Oasis Center, the Nashville Literacy Council, and the Tau Lambda Education Foundation. Today, he shares his story which stands on the power of Faith and is supported by family and friends.
William is a Diversity Consultant at Arnold Consulting, LLC. He also served as the Director of Access, Diversity, and Equity for the Tennessee Board of Regents. William earned the Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and the Doctor of Education in Higher Education Administration from Tennessee State University.