Huami Magazine Cleveland Sept./Oct. 2022

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Sept./Oct. 2022 Volume 1 Issue 10

The Coleman Estate JC Cleveland - Sept./Oct. 2022


God’s Plan Is Greater Than Me A Letter From The Editor

With every ordeal or trying circumstance, there will always be more than one way to handle them. We can face them head-on, or we can turn away and avoid any form of an altercation. No matter what decision is made concerning the matter, the impact or effect of what we chose will most likely be waiting on the other side of our decision. That’s why I believe it’s vital to share our thoughts with God beforehand and confirm His viewpoint because God’s plan is greater than anything I can decide for myself. Like most people, the thrill of victory is generally the reason why I compete or fight. Also, if you are anything like me, I understand that you may hate to lose, regardless of what is at stake. Yet, I am learning that I must do a better job choosing my battles because, for the most part, every battle is not mine to fight. God desires to fight for me, and He expects me to let go and allow Him to do His thing. I’ve learned that the car drives better when He controls the wheel. I recently celebrated my birthday, and to be honest; I celebrated for the entire month. That was my choice because I love birthdays. I also used that time to reflect on where I am in life and where I’ve come from. I wanted to know what I am currently doing to get to where I ultimately want to be. What was revealed is my interests and efforts were possibly pointed in the wrong direction. I learned that while I am blessed, God is more concerned about those individuals He can reach beyond me, and when I don’t allow God to use me, He isn’t able to reach them through me. Being vulnerable and a cooperative vessel are attributes of real greatness; that’s what God spoke to me. Living my life as a Christian and believer in God means that I must trust God. Even during the most difficult moments, if I just show up for the fight and trust God while I am fighting, I will then see Him move on my behalf. The things that I may be dealing with and determined to be unbearable may actually amount to nothing once it’s placed in God’s hand. How will I ever know if I don’t allow God to lead me? God has a plan and purpose for all of us, and His plan is far greater than anything we can imagine or think. I get excited when I think about everything God has prepared for me. His is greater, and all I have to do is trust His process and believe what He tells me.

Terry L. Watson 4 Terry L. Watson


Dorjea’ McClammey Monica Montgomery Terry L. Watson Ellen Richardson Marrissa DickTamara Smith

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SEPT./OCT. 2022

I Am Here To Help

Robyn C. Hill

On The Cover

The Coleman Estate JC Michelle Coleman


Monumental Baptist Church

Pastor Cleophus J. Lee



The Homecoming Book

La-Donia Alford-Jefferies

Huami Magazine Cutest Baby

Laney Williamson



Also Featured

Kara White Learn more about this serial entrepreneur. She knows something about dance, finances, and giving back to her community. Phoenix, AZ


Richard Steadwell He set his mind on accomplishing one goal. Learn more about his brand and journey. Concord, NC


Alice West-Goers Learn more about the face and founder of AWG Counseling Services LLC. Denver, CO



Cleveland - Sept./Oct. 2022


Coleman The Coleman Estate JC

By Terry L. Watson Photos Provided byMichelle Coleman The young and vibrant entrepreneur has one thing on her mind: to succeed. She is no stranger to hard work; at a moment’s notice, she is ready to roll up her sleeves and make things happen. Micelle Coleman of Ohio, comes from a large family. Along with her twin sister, she has five other siblings. She describes her mother Theresa Magee, as being strong and wise. Her father, the late Frederick Coleman, was awarded a purple heart for his sacrifice in the U.S. Army. When her father died at a young age, Michelle says her mother, aunt, and uncle worked in unison to ensure that she and her sister never went without. “They were someone we looked up to. They never forgot a birthday or holiday, and they instilled in us the importance of education. I would not be who I am today if it were not for the three of them,” Michelle says. Originally born in Nashville, TN, Michelle attended Forest Hill High School in Jackson, Mississippi. There, she ran track, cross-country and created a dance team in high school named 601 Chicks. “The dance team gave young girls like me a fun space to express ourselves throughout dance,” she says. She later graduated high school in 2013, and along with her twin sister, they were the only two children on her mother’s side to receive a high school diploma. Michelle says it was a great day to see her mother so proud. After high school, she attended Hinds Community College and received a trade certificate in business. She would go on to work a couple of side jobs until she received her license in the insurance sales field. Today, she owns The Coleman Estate JC, and Wealth Consulting Group LLC. Both were established between 2019 and 2020.


The Coleman Estate J.C brand involves real estate investing, wholesaling, Airbnb, and rental properties. Michelle shares she helps her community by buying unwanted properties, rehabbing them, and turning them into beautiful masterpieces. She also enjoys helping families out of foreclosure, problem homes, and relocations. She successfully acquired rental property, turned it around, and later built her dream home within 12 months. Those accomplishments even happened during the Covid 19 pandemic, and now Michelle is teaching others to do the same, no matter what the housing market looks like.

“While in college I started attending real estate (wholesaling) seminars and reading real estate investing books. I attended many seminars throughout the years. Then I finally invested in a mentor who gave me more hands-on training. After doing my first flip and receiving a check for over $10,000 for little to no work, I believe that was the start of my journey.”

Michelle Coleman

Wealth Consulting Group LLC 614-972-3026

Her other company, Wealth Consulting Group LLC, assists clients with their credit, offering many services such as free consultations, free one-on-one credit coaching with a credit expert, free credit analysis, and much more. “We are changing the lives of our clients, their families, and our community,” she says. Michelle also named one of her businesses after her father’s last name and hopes to build a housing community for veterans one day. How did Michelle get started on her entrepreneurial journey? She says, “I have always had a vision of helping others. I guess that is what sparked an entrepreneurial spirit that initially launched my business interests. While in college I started attending real estate (wholesaling) seminars and reading real estate investing books. I attended many seminars throughout the years. Then I finally invested in a mentor who gave me more hands-on training. After doing my first flip and receiving a check for over $10,000 for little to no work, I believe that was the start of my journey. I purchased my first rental property at the age of 24, built my home at 25, and purchased another property at 26. There is something about owning multiple properties that always gave me such excitement. My second business came about as a response to something that happened to me. I was a victim of identity theft and had to work personally for many years to clear up my credit and regain my identity. I have seen what the damage can do, and after studying and getting my own score above 740, I’ve set out to help others do the same.” Like most business owners, Michelle has faced some challenges along her journey. The first and biggest challenge she shared was finding new clients without being one of those large household names. “I had to work hard every day to bring as much attention to my business as possible. Another challenge was finding help with running my business. That issue was easily resolved after hiring family and close friends, which allowed them to be a part of the journey of helping others,” she says. Moving forward, Michelle says her goal is to acquire five multi-family homes by 2023 and at least three more Airbnb properties by the end of this year. She has already set a goal to help one hundred credit families get the credit score they deserve. “My ultimate plan is to keep changing lives,” she says. Michelle has one son, Jeremiah, who she professes is her rock and greatest motivation. h


Cleveland - Sept./Oct. 2022



Cleveland - Sept./Oct. 2022

Robyn C. Hill Counseling & Professional Development Services By Terry L. Watson Photos Provided by Robyn C. Hill Being raised in a two-parent home has benefited Cleveland, OH, native Robyn C. Hill. Her father worked a full-time job with a local telephone company, and her mother was a stay-at-home mom before helping Robyn’s father with his business. Even more, having a loving support system that doubled as role models allowed her to understand the value of being responsible and accountable. Today, Robyn is the face and founder of Robyn C. Hill Counseling & Professional Development Services. Opened in 2011, the privately practiced company provides culturally and spiritually sensitive counseling, focusing on depression, anxiety, and trauma recovery. She also offers individual counseling sessions to adults and adolescents and accepts most insurances. Additionally, Robyn provides a sliding scale fee for the uninsured and underinsured. Robyn graduated from John Marshall High School in 1995 and later attended Kent State University. There she obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Pan African Studies and followed that accomplishment with a Master of Arts degree in Clinical Pastoral Counseling from Ashland Theological Seminary. She also became licensed by the state of Ohio as a Professional Clinical Counselor to diagnose and treat mental health disorders. Currently, she is pursuing her doctorate in education in Community Care in Counseling with a focus in Traumatology from Liberty University. In addition to running her practice, Robyn has authored two books that are designed to assist clients with understanding mental health. One, A Healing Conversation: Beginning Steps Towards Dealing With A Painful Past, introduces the reader to the counseling process while invoking discussion about depression, anxiety, and trauma. Her second book, Refresh! A Therapeutic Devotional, is a 40-day prayer devotional that teaches the skills of mindfulness, meditation, and journaling utilizing scriptures that explore various emotions. Robyn also provides training and workshops to area organizations on various topics related to mental health and wellness.


Robyn says she opened her practice after years of working for community agencies and feeling limited in her ability to practice. “I found that agencies focused more on medications and entitlements, meaning connecting clients to government benefits than getting the clients better. Also, community mental health agencies did not allow for addressing religious beliefs in sessions, despite my clinical training to incorporate spirituality into therapeutic practices. I decided to branch out and start my own practice that related to my community and addressed their needs and concerns more effectively,” she says. Robyn shares that what she loves most about what she does is walking through valleys with people and helping them get to the other side of their healing process. “Healing can be a long journey, and it takes endurance. As a therapist, I don’t intend to rush the client but instead walk alongside them and help them process the journey that we are on. I have had several clients who come with the expectation of wanting a quick fix or something that they can get from a workbook. I do give them some coping skills until they are ready. However, it is something about when you see your client evolve before your very eyes, and you’re able to hold the proverbial mirror up to them and applaud their growth,” Robyn says.

“Healing can be a long journey, and it takes endurance. As a therapist, I don’t intend to rush the client but instead walk alongside them and help them process the journey that we are on.” While Robyn credits her parents with being her biggest cheerleaders and inspiration, she also acknowledges someone else. “The seed of becoming a therapist was planted by my former pastor, Bishop Joey Johnson. I met with him to discuss this strange phenomenon of people pouring out their life stories to me. He eventually directed me to Ashland Theological Seminary,” she says. “My current pastor Charles Dickerson is a strong advocate of theology and therapy, and covers me and my practice with prayer and sends me referrals consistently. My colleagues Al McIntosh and the team of PBCTN, have greatly supported me and are always great sounding boards for clinical and administrative issues.” Moving forward, Robyn says she wants to pour into the next wave of mental health professionals. “My focus is becoming an expert in the field of traumatology. Obtaining my doctoral degree will open up opportunities for more trainings, specifically in the area of education,” she says. To learn more about Robyn C. Hill and her services, please visit her website. h 12

Cleveland - Sept./Oct. 2022


Meet The Author of The HBCU Homecoming By Terry L. Watson Photos Provided by La-Donia Alford-Jefferies For those living within the Greensboro, NC community, the annual North Carolina A&T State University Homecoming can easily become a tradition. It is regarded as the Greatest Homecoming On Earth, or GHOE, and draws thousands to the Triad area, many of who are seeking to reconnect, engage, celebrate, and cheer for the Aggies . For La-Donia Alford-Jeffries, an A&T alumnus has created a couple of books, The HBCU Homecoming and the HBCU ABCs, and hopes they will educate and inform current and future HBCU students on the significance and history of the HBCU experience. At a young age, she was taught the importance of Historically Black Colleges and Universities by her mother and father, and has attended HBCU Homecomings regularly since the age of three. Her mother worked for 40 years as a full-time professor at an HBCU, and her father is an alum of A&T. She recalls how she attended A&T football games with her father and continues to sit in his lifetime stadium seats. As a graduate of North Carolina A&T State University and Fort Valley State University, La-Donia continues to advocate for HBCUs. After having children, La-Donia was inspired to share her family’s experience of attending HBCU Homecomings with families around the world. Additionally, she is a former Adjunct Professor at A&T, and currently serves as the Chief of Staff for the National Organization for Women and advocates for equality.


Cleveland - Sept./Oct. 2022

La-Donia says she decided to write her books in 2015, but the first book was eventually published in 2019. The HBCU ABCs was self-published in 2022. “When I was pregnant with my first child, I began looking for a children’s book that would help me explain homecoming and the HBCU culture to my children. There were some HBCU children’s books, but none specifically talked about homecoming. So I decided to write one. With the success of the homecoming book, I wanted to continue the story and highlight HBCU culture for children. I then wrote and published the HBCU ABCs to tell the story of what happens after homecoming. I wanted to explain the different aspects of college for children and highlight why HBCU’s are far from inferior institutions,” she says. La-Donia says what she loves most about sharing her books is showing children what it’s like to attend an HBCU, even if they have never been on a college campus. “I’ve seen children light up when I’ve read both books. They become full of questions that lead to a discussion of higher education,” she shares. The response to her books has been wonderful. Essence magazine listed her book as one of the 50 “must read” Black Children’s and Young Adult books of the past 50 years. The production, Because of Them We Can, featured the HBCU Homecoming book, calling it “If “A Different World” had a children’s book, this would be it.” La-Donia’s parents have played a huge role in her life as they have been a part of the Greensboro community for over 20 years. They have made an impact through education, community leadership, and service and have not only supported La-Donia and her brother on their HBCU journey’s, but they have helped others attend college and have always talked about the importance of attending an HBCU. In the future, La-Donia says she plans to continue to share her stories and encourage all children to be confident. She also plans to help children learn about the opportunities available through higher education. To learn more about La-Donia and her books, please visit her website. h Cleveland - Sept./Oct. 2022



Cleveland - Sept./Oct. 2022

Richard Steadwell Kingzi Royal Skincare Collection

By Monica Montgomery Photos Provided by Todd Youngblood The first question asked of Richard was, “Who is Richard Steadwell?” The look on his face was priceless. “Of all the questions I expected to be asked, that was the one I wasn’t prepared for,” Richard explained, smiling and nervous while rubbing his cold, clammy hands. It was clear that Richard was nervous, but he slipped easily into his element as he explained his plight. Richard Steadwell is living his dream of being a self-employed entrepreneur. He owns and operates Kingzi Barbers Lounge in Concord, N.C., and the Kingzi Men’s Skincare Collection. Although Richard has always possessed the creative spirit of an entrepreneur, there were limitations he says he had to overcome before he could realize his dream. “I’ve always been good with my hands. I love being creative and using my imagination. I always knew that using those natural talents would make me happy.” Richard called himself a kitchen barber because he’s been cutting hair since he was a teenager, but he never thought of it as a career. Richard was born in North Carolina but was raised in California. In the tenth grade, he decided school wasn’t for him. He shares, “I was struggling and getting into trouble a lot. I had convinced myself that they were teaching me the things I wanted to know. Deep down, part of my reasoning was I felt like I was an embarrassment to my mother, and I didn’t want to keep putting her through that, so I quit.” Richard explained. “My mother wasn’t happy about it, but my mind was made up.” Richard’s mother gave him two options, the military or trade school. Due to health issues, the military wasn’t a good fit, so Richard went to the Earl C. Clemmons Job Corps center in Morganfield, Ky. “My mother drove me to the center because she was serious about me not sitting up in her house without a job or trade of any kind. She said if I was going to be grown, I had to make a way for myself,” he says. While in Job Corp, Richard took several certification classes, including a business course. The one thing he stayed away from was getting his G.E.D. “If I had been wise and not so worried about failing, I would have just gotten my G.E.D. while in Job Corps. Things would have been a lot easier for me, and I would be farther than I am today. But, what can I say? I was young and didn’t want to listen to anybody,” Richard explains with a laugh. In his lifetime, Richard has done just about every laborious job there is. He was a self-proclaimed jack of all trades and master of none. “Wow… I can’t even begin to name all the different jobs I’ve had in my life. I’ve done everything from working fast food to construction. And

at no time did I ever feel like I was doing the job I was meant for. I wouldn’t say I like working for other people. Plus, because I didn’t have a high school diploma or G.E.D. I couldn’t go any higher than entry-level work. It was frustrating,” Richard states. After years of going from one unfulfilling job to another, Richard decided he wanted something more. One day, not long after his fortieth birthday, Richard was sitting in his barber’s chair and shared his idea of going to barber college. The response he received was surprising. “I had been going to this same guy for over ten years, and I considered him a friend, but what he told me blew me away. He told me it was too old and it would be too hard for me to build up clientele at this point. I couldn’t believe my ears,” Richard said; still a little put off by the experience. “I was like, wow. I was not expecting that at all. When I left the shop, I kept thinking about him telling me it was too late for me. The more I thought about it, the more I was determined to prove him wrong.” Immediately Richard looked into starting barber college at Park West Barber College in Greensboro, N.C. As he read the requirements, the first thing that stopped him in his tracks was the requirement of a high school diploma or equivalent.

Cleveland - Sept./Oct. 2022



Cleveland - Sept./Oct. 2022

“There I was again. Every time I tried to move forward, I found myself coming back to the same roadblock. All these years later, my decision to drop out of high school was still haunting me. I sat there thinking about what I wanted and the time I had wasted. I have to admit I was terrified of going back to school, but I decided I couldn’t spend one more day letting fear hold me back.” Richard enrolled at Gilford Technical Community College, Jamestown, N.C., and started working towards his G.E.D. He transferred and finished the program at Alamance Community College in Graham, NC. School was never easy for Richard, but his desire to achieve his goals was stronger than his fear of failure. “It was hard, working and going to school at the same time, but I finally knew what I was working towards. It was all going to be worth it in the end.” After completing the program, Richard had to take the G.E.D. Test. Most people struggle with standardized testing. Richard’s past traditional education experiences and test anxiety didn’t make things easy. He says, “I will be honest and say I didn’t do well initially on the G.E.D. Test. I failed it three times!” he said, shaking his head. “I couldn’t believe it! I had worked so hard. Before I knew it, I felt like I was back in high school. I didn’t think I was smart enough to pass the test. I was struggling and embarrassed. Then I remembered that I wasn’t in high school anymore, and my dreams were just on the other side of that test. I couldn’t let it stop me again.” On the fourth try, Richard passed and received his G.E.D. “I can’t tell you how much that meant to me. My family came and celebrated with me, and I made my mother proud. I made myself proud. I proved that I could do anything if I didn’t give up,” he said. After receiving his G.E.D, Richard started at Park West Barber College in Greensboro, N.C. From there, he became an apprentice barber, but he knew that he had to relocate to grow. “After job corp I moved back to Greensboro, and later moved to Durham, NC. to finish barber school. But after barber college, I wanted to go to an area where I could start fresh and have room to grow. Barbering in Durham and Greensboro was a crowded market. I thought about Jacksonville, Florida, or Georgia but settled on Charlotte, NC.” Richard was an apprentice barber at Bennett’s Barber Shop in Charlotte for four years. “You usually do one year as an apprentice before you can take your master barber’s licensure test, but I did four years because I felt I had so much to learn.” As Richard worked as an apprentice barber, he was free to explore his creativity. Barbering isn’t just about cutting hair. Men trust their barbers and seek their advice about looking and feeling their best. Richard noticed a small selection of beard and skin grooming products for men. The scents were basic and didn’t represent all men, especially black men. Hence Kingzi Men’s Skincare Collection was born. He says, “I didn’t like that most beard balms smelled like the great outdoors,” Richard said with a laugh. “Never have you heard a woman say she loves the smell of citrus on her man. So, I started experimenting with fragrances that I liked and ones that didn’t make my customers smell like car air fresheners.”

“My clients were willing and honest test subjects. I gave away free samples, and they would let me know what worked and what didn’t. Before I knew it, word got out, and it’s gained momentum from there.” Putting what he learned about sales and marketing in Job Corps, Richard is preparing to put the Kingzi Men’s Skincare Collection on the shelves of major shopping centers all over the country. But for now, the skincare line can be purchased locally at Kingzi Barber’s Lounge. This was his reply when asked what the future looked like for Richard. “The future is bright. Brighter than I thought possible at this point in my life. I was stuck for forty years because I didn’t think I was smart enough to pass a high school equivalency test. But when I faced my fears and pushed past them, the world opened up to me. Things are happing so fast I am having trouble keeping up,” Richard said, smiling proudly. “But I guess that’s a good problem to have.” Richard intends to continue growing his business, including lotions, skin conditioning oils for women, and a Kingzi clothing line. He concludes by saying, “If I could say one thing to my younger self, it would be this: Don’t let fear and other people’s opinions of you hold you back. You can achieve anything you set your mind to if you are willing to fail at it first. When you fall, you got know where to go but up!” h

Richard enrolled in YouTube university and learned all he could about creating beard balms and lotions specifically for men. Once he had the know-how, Richard started making small batched in his home and trying them on his clients.



Cleveland - Sept./Oct. 2022

AWG Counseling Services By Ellen Richardson Photos Provided by Alice West-Goers

If the truth can be told, most people have been through something in their lives that requires some form of healing. The question is, how do we exactly heal? A general answer may be by asking for help. When that option is chosen, finding the right person to help can be difficult. Fortunately, there is someone who has dedicated their life and career to assisting others during such instances. Alice West-Goers of Denver, CO, is a licensed and experienced counselor and change agent who promotes and facilitates emotional healing. She uses her personal story as a tool to connect and assist others. “My story begins with growing up in Guam. Relatives primarily raised me after my mother lost custody of my siblings and me. At the age of nine, I was flown from Guam to the United States by my social worker. Soon myself and my sister were adopted. This was life-changing for me and ultimately affected the trajectory of my life,” she says. After two years of being placed with her new adopted family, Alice would run away from home to locate her biological family. Her actions would eventually lead to a downward spiral. She says it also made finishing school difficult and could have led her to gang involvement. After realizing her life was headed in the wrong direction, she decided to go back home, contacted her adoptive parents, and asked for help. “At the age of 16, I contacted my adopted mother and asked her if I could come back home. I knew this would mean that I would have to go back into a house with rules and structure, but I knew that was something I needed,” she said. The decision to return home would forge a path leading Alice to a brighter future. Along with graduating from high school, Alice could now attend Regis University college. “During my time at Regis I participated in a commitment program for kids who had trouble getting through high school, which helped with my grades,” she says. Cleveland - Sept./Oct. 2022


“At the age of nine, I was flown from Guam to the United States by my social worker. Soon myself and my sister were adopted. This was life-changing for me and ultimately affected the trajectory of my life.”

Alice West-Goers

AWG Counseling Services 720-988-9482


Cleveland - Sept./Oct. 2022

A new challenge would arise as Alice continued on her road toward a better life. “I got pregnant with my daughter during my sophomore year of college. With the new addition to my life, I decided to transfer to Metropolitan State University (MSU). There I received my bachelors degree in Social Work. I also served as an intern for the County of Denver. That opportunity opened the door for me to work full-time as a social worker following graduation. Life appeared to come back to me full circle. From aging out of the foster care system in Denver County to becoming an intern in the same department where I was once a foster kid, to working alongside my former social worker as a full-time employee,” Alice shares. Following her time with the city and county, Alice would acquire a master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Denver, with an emphasis in Child Welfare and Trauma. Next, she worked as a childhood therapist within the nonprofit sector and later with the childhood mental health field at Aurora Mental Health Center. She would also serve as an inpatient behavioral health therapist with The Medical Center of Aurora. Though Alice’s life appeared on the right track, her life would come to another fork in the road in 2020. “It was during the Covid-19 pandemic that I decided it was time to focus more on private practice,” she said. Although it would take time to set up this practice, Alice is now celebrating her first anniversary as the owner of AWG Counseling Services. With AWG Counseling Services, Alice practice now offers counseling services, including adult therapy, family counseling, self-esteem, and healthy coping skills to eliminate destructive patterns. There is even a childhood therapist available to assist those who are dealing with social and emotional issues. Alice has also become a member of the Therapist of Color Collaborative, where therapists of color come together to provide mental health services for those who cannot afford these types of services. With her being a therapy liaison for the University of Denver, Alice’s opportunity to connect with graduate students within the social work realm to be a guiding light towards their future is a way that she gives back. Now that she has her own private practice, what is next for this bright beacon of God’s light? Along with obtaining additional training and licensures in various counseling and becoming a licensed addiction counselor, Alice has some interest in joining various coalitions that would allow her to offer services to more of those in need. To find out more about AWG Counseling Services, please visit their website. h

Cleveland - Sept./Oct. 2022



Cleveland - Sept./Oct. 2022

Real Estate, Finance, and Dance....... I Do A Lot By Terry L. Watson - Photos Provided by Kara White

While Phoenix, AZ, is widely known for its often sweltering climate, someone else is blazing their own path in the black business community and helping others succeed along the way. Her name is Kara White. The young and ambitious entrepreneur wears many hats, including that of a real estate agent, financial planner, dance instructor, and director of a nonprofit organization. Kara was born and raised in Chicago, IL. In 2002, she decided to make the cross-country trek to the Desert Valley in search of a new start. That same year, she received her real estate license and followed that by becoming a licensed broker in 2009. She shares how her journey began, an experience wrapped in surprise and purpose. “While on a trip with my mother, I talked with an owner of a real estate agency. They offered me a job and even offered to cover the cost of my real estate license. However, as soon as I received the license, I left the resort gracefully and began building my clientele,” she says. Cleveland - Sept./Oct. 2022


Due to the ever-changing real estate market, Kara had to reinvent herself. That’s how one of her products, Kara’s Wealth Consultant, was developed, which spawned another product, Get the Money Friend. In this brand, “F.R.I.E.N.D.” is an acronym for “Financial Consultation, Real Estate, Investments, Planning, Notary Public Services, and Debt Elimination. She also offers credit consultation with services that include Credit Report Review, a Credit Repair DIY Kit Guide, and Income Protection and Budget Review. While she has demonstrated an astute business understanding, Kara’s talents expand beyond the entrepreneurial sector. She is the former Miss Arizona International. Her platform and influence were carried over into her nonprofit organization, Live Love Dance Inc. Its focus is to empower youth and lead them to live healthy, strong, and fulfilled lives via the performing arts. It also provides workshops, empowerment sessions, galas, fundraising, private lessons, and community service events.

Kara shares she has always had a passion for dance. “When I was 11 years old, my first job was as a dance assistant. I quickly rose in rank from an assistant to teaching my own class. I’m disciplined in all seven dance forms, with contemporary dance being my favorite. I favor this style more because it incorporates the basics such as ballet and the freeing movement fundamentals of jazz and modern dance,” she says. Kara’s genuine love to see others succeed is an attribute that comes into play in her personal and professional life. “I am committed to helping others, and my business endeavors must positively impact my community. The different experiences I’ve gained have allowed me to not only help others, but I’ve benefited from those that I serve, pouring back into me,” she says. The life of an entrepreneur can present unique challenges, and Kara has also experienced her share. She says that times can get complicated, but during those moments, she has to search deep within and find a way to stay positive and keep moving. “Despite my challenges, I am committed to living in the moment. I try to live and be present because time is whatever you think it is and whatever you create. I often tell others not to dwell on the past or focus too much on the future because they don’t know what will or might happen. We must live in the moment,” she says.


Cleveland - Sept./Oct. 2022



Cleveland - Sept./Oct. 2022

“I am committed to helping others, and my business endeavors must positively impact my community.”

On top of being able to help others, Kara also loves that she doesn’t have to conform to anything. Whether it’s her money world or dance world, she’s able to be personable while working at the same time. She also loves being able to work with a team of great people. As life moves forward for Kara, she expects to be involved in more endeavors and hopes to launch an event planning business. She also plans to expand her brand, Kara’s Wealth Consultant, and continue spreading financial advice in her community. Additionally, plans to continue to promote and grow Live Love Dance Incorporated. Their signature gala fundraiser is coming up in October, with proceeds going towards dance scholarships. For anyone looking to follow in Kara’s footsteps, her number one piece of advice is this; no one is going to be better at being you than you. She says, “Don’t try to be me, be better than me, be better at being you than me.” Please visit her website to learn more about Kara White and her great endeavors. 29


Cleveland - Sept./Oct. 2022

Pastor Monumental Baptist Church “When I was a teenager, I started to question my purpose in life. This was mainly due to me learning that God saw it fit for me to be born despite my mother being told she was unable to carry a child. Knowing this made me realize that I was purposed for greater and called to effect and bring change in the world.”

By Ellen Richardson Photos Provided by Pastor Cleophus Lee

What do you do when God calls you into your community and makes disciples of the masses? Obedience may be the obvious answer, and this is the story of Pastor Cleophus J. Lee. Born in Houston, TX, but currently living in Chicago, IL, he is Monumental Baptist Church’s Senior Pastor. Pastor Cleophus J. Lee first received his God calling when he was in college, but much like Jonah, he would run before Th e Great Shepherd would bring him back into the fold. “When I was a teenager, I started to question my purpose in life. This was mainly due to me learning that God saw it fit for me to be born despite my mother being told she was unable to carry a child. Knowing this made me realize that I was purposed for greater and called to effect and bring change in the world,” he says. Pastor Lee shares that he even believed at one time that God had destined him to be the next Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. or Malcolm X. “I believed that he wanted me to help people move from where they are in life and into better opportunities,” he says. Though empowering in its nature, Pastor Lee would be pushed into a new direction, and that was ministry.

Cleveland - Sept./Oct. 2022


He shares “I actually started my career by working with a non-profit organization. I also worked with social services, and because I am educated in political science, I envisioned myself going to law school to become an attorney. With a law degree in tow, I believed I would go back to my hometown community in Houston and run for city council and eventually become one of the first Black mayors in the city of Houston. This plan would conclude with me retiring as a sitting Judge.” He also notes that Malcolm X advised Black people to become involved in the political system to ensure a positive change. While attending college at Dillard University, Pastor Lee was very complacent. Things were happening the way he expected for them to happen, and for the most part, he was happy. Yet, he would find out that God had a different plan. “I started to wrestle with a call to become a preacher. During my freshman year, my cousin and I were rooming together, and after returning from a school break, he told me that he was called to preach. When he said this, I felt a nudge from the Holy Spirit that said it wasn’t supposed to be him; it was supposed to be you,” he says. This prompting would send Pastor Lee on a life-enriching journey. He references Jonah, a Bible hero who a huge fish swallowed after running away from God’s plan for him. After living inside a whale’s belly for three days, Jonah prayed to the Lord. Soon the Whale relinquished the prophet onto dry land so he could start again. Like Jonah, Pastor Lee saw himself in a similar situation.


Cleveland - Sept./Oct. 2022

Cleveland - Sept./Oct. 2022


“My life’s mission has now become to impact the people that God sends me to help them discover their God-ordained purpose.”

“Before this prompting of the Holy Spirit, I was regarded as the Black militant. I was even involved in selling drugs at one point. However, I was blessed to be able to change. I realized that if I continued on that path, I wouldn’t be able to make the difference I wanted inside of the political world. I also felt God leading me to make a difference by doing things His way versus my way. These are the things that happened which initially led me to become a pastor,” he says. Fast forward to today, and Pastor Lee has clearly answered the call on his life. He serves as the Senior Pastor of Monumental Baptist Church in Chicago and does everything he can to lead the community God has given him. “My life’s mission has now become to impact the people that God sends me to help them discover their Godordained purpose,” he said. To learn more about Pastor Cleophus J. Lee or Monumental Baptist Church, please visit their website. h

Pastor Cleophus J. Lee Monumental Baptist Church


Cleveland - Sept./Oct. 2022



Cleveland - Sept./Oct. 2022


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Laney Williamson The daughter of Elise Blackmon and Dante Williamson

Cleveland - Sept./Oct. 2022

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Cleveland - Sept./Oct. 2022

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