Mayor names Carama as director of One Lexington

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Mayor Linda Gorton announced today that Devine Carama would be the new Director of One Lexington. The program Carama will lead works to coordinate, leverage and mobilize City Government and community resources to enhance safety and quality of life in neighborhoods dealing with violent crime.

“Devine has been living the mission of One Lexington for at least 15 years – long before we started One Lexington,” Gorton said. “Through hip hop, teaching, community engagement and volunteer work he has built programs and initiatives that reach out to young people and help them build successful lives.”

Carama has had a career focused on community outreach in various arenas. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Kentucky, where he teaches a course that merges hip-hop writing and community engagement. He is the director of “Believing In Forever,” which offers youth programming like “Poetry in Motion Youth” and community service projects, like “A Coat To Keep The Cold Away.” He is a community engagement coordinator with FEND, which helps students “beat the opioid crisis.” He teaches an interactive summer class on the history of hip hop and how to write hip hop lyrics through the Carnegie Center.

According to Carama, “To me a community operates at its best when different people from different walks of life with different ideologies come together. There is only one way for Lexington to become and stay a safer place and that is for us to come together as ONE. I look forward to utilizing my new position to be a bridge between government agencies and community partners to better serve the people of Lexington.”

When asked about what led him to take on this position, Carama shared that he and his wife had been talking about ways to work with the community and gives the credit to following God. He said at the time he thought, “I would love to find a job that can kind of encapsulate some of the stuff I’m doing and I started getting some text messages like ‘Hey, there’s a job opening!'”

Lexington, like many cities nationwide, has seen an increase in violence this year, many times involving youth. On this issue, Mayor Gorton said, “This violence is often preventable and it has to stop. This is a call to action … we have the community resources to help, and we need to intensify our efforts to reach out to these young people.”

Carama is a native of Lexington. He studied journalism at Aquinas College in Nashville, and business management at Bluegrass Community and Technical College.

Among many other awards, Carama received the Bluegrass Community Foundation Black Leadership Award in 2021, was named a “Point of Light” by the late President George H.W. Bush in 2018, and won the Lauren K. Weinberg Humanitarian Award in 2018.

Carama and his wife, Cierra Spaulding, who is a life coach for girls and young women, have three daughters.

Carama replaces Laura Hatfield, who has moved to a new position in Parks and Recreation. He is expected to begin work on June 7. His appointment is subject to the approval of the Urban County Council.

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