Huami Magazine Cleveland July/August 2024

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June/July 2024

Volume 2 Issue 6

Super Tee Inspires 336-303-9814 FB-LadyE_Specs IG-lady_especs Exclusive Specs for Men and Women

God’s Promises Have A No Quit Clause

A Letter From The Editor

There Are No If, Ands, Or Buts About It!

A Letter from the Editor

There is something that was spoken to me when I was a lot younger. It’s not that I am an old kind of guy; it was a while ago. Let’s leave it there. Anyhow, I was told that anything worth having would require work to obtain it. It was also shared that through the gaining process, I might encounter a few bumps and bruises, and it may even cost me some blood, sweat, and tears. All that I mentioned has been spot on or accurate in my life.

What if tomorrow didn’t arrive? All of your plans, hopes and dreams wouldn’t have a street to park on. What if everything that you decided to put off until tomorrow never happened? There would be no reason to save for a rainy day, and you could spare someone the trouble of making promises. What if your last opportunity seemingly expired today? What would you do?

My question is, do we really understand the definition of living a happy and fulfilled life? My interpretation of a happy life involves living a life that pleases God; it also involves love, peace, understanding my purpose, and fully grasping God’s promises.

I’ve been told that I often seem like I do too much. Honestly, I feel like I am not doing enough and I’m a firm believer in knowing that God wouldn’t put anything on me that I couldn’t handle. I sometimes wonder how life would be if I chose to sit idle and accept what it presented to me. I have found that to be very boring. In my opinion, opportunity is a blessing that isn’t afforded to everyone. A challenge to me is an adventure. What is the worst that can happen? If I do nothing, I fail, and if I try I don’t, but instead learn something new about myself. Relinquish your pride and in return acquire life.

The bible’s instructions for pleasing God is to seek Him first and acknowledge Him in all of my ways. So, accepting God as my personal Lord and Savior also means that I allow God’s love to fill my heart. When I say that I love God, it also means that I should love others, such as God loves me, and reflect His love for them. Most importantly, that should happen always.

I understand what my purpose is in life, and I accept it. To be honest, I asked for it, and it would be impossible for me to please God if I refused the assignment. I want to encourage anyone who may be thinking twice about what God has promised them. It’s OK to get tired on life’s journey; we are only human, and God has made provisions for this. It is called rest.

The best advice ever given to me happened when someone told me to make my tomorrow happen today. In doing so I have pressed my way through doors with a key that only hope provided. I have also learned the difference between what God blesses me with and what life can burden me with as well. I compare it to knowing when to be confident and when to be quiet, because someone may get it confused with being arrogant.

So, when things are not happening the way we think they should, or if it may seem like all hope is lost, dig in a little more, and you may find that things will get better. What other choice do we have? God’s promises have a no quit clause, meaning His word is good, and will never fail. Even more, He doesn’t expect us to either. Keep pushing!

Make you tomorrow happen today, but most importantly make it count. Life is but a whisper and we must put ourselves in a position to hear what it is telling us.

Terry L. Watson

4 4 November/December 2014 Want To Advertise? Call (336)340-7844 Editor In Chief Terry L. Watson Alana Allen - Deputy Editor Writers Tonya Dixon Terry L. Watson Alana Allen Jeuron Dove Photographers Perfect Lenz Photography Shaw Photography Group Still Shots Photography Who Shotya Photography Layout Mykel Media Company Linda Bennett HUAMI MAGAZINE is published quarterly by the Mykel Media Company. Any reproduction of any portion of this publication is prohibited without written permission from the publisher prior to doing so. Mykel Media doesn’t accept responsibility for statements made by individuals featured or advertisers. Comments concerning this publication (336) 340-7844 On The Cover
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5 JUNE/JULY 2024 CLEVELAND CONTENTS Super Tee Inspires Teresa S. McCurry 6 On The Cover Also Featured 14 A Caregivers Story Caring for a loved one can be a huge responsibilty Learn more about my personal journey of caring for my mother. Browns Summit, NC 10 Dr.
She is the face of Total Life & Wellness Counseling LLC. She shares her story and offers insight to others. Learn more. Louisville, KY 16
Chauweda Smith
Learn more about how his organization is shaping the lives of young me. YMOD Inc. Palm Beach, FL
Jacoby Waters
Beautiful As You Are Tanisha “Tish” Frederick
32 26
Big Beard Cargo Services Nehemiah Israel
30 20
Huami Magazine Cutest Baby Demi Noel Martin For Charleston County Sheriff Alan Ali

Super Tee Inspires Prophetic Strategist, Visionary Leader

Her testimony is a story of resilience, faith, and transformation.

Teresa S. McCurry of Cleveland, OH, is a dynamic force in the realms of Ministry, Marketplace Leadership, and Personal Development. As a Prophetic Strategist, she combines spiritual insight with strategic thinking to empower individuals for success in both their personal and professional lives. Teresa is also very versatile and wears multiple hats, excelling in diverse fields. Internationally recognized as a Bible Teacher, she imparts wisdom and inspiration to audiences across the globe. Her teachings resonate not only in spiritual circles but also within the business realm, where she serves as a real estate professional with Century 21 Homestar.

In the world of ministry, she is the visionary behind McCurry Ministries International(MMI) and hosts a Bi-annual Vacation event to get away, relax, meditate on God’s word, and enjoy community- fellowship, and solitude all at the same time. She shares, “We showcase bible teachers versed in equipping and empowering the body of Christ. To influence our families, our communities, and the world with the life-changing and transforming exposure to the revelatory word of God.”

MMI assists authors with self-publishing their books. Individually, Teresa has published ten books. Additionally, she serves as the Administrator of New Beginning Fellowship International, fostering a community of believers committed to positive change with three foundational pillars: leadership, ministry, and marketplace.

Driven by a deep sense of compassion and a commitment to making a tangible impact, Teresa is the founder of the Meesha C. Saxton Fund (MCSFUND), which is named after her daughter, who passed away from complications of SCD. This 501(c)(3) non-profit organization operates on a volunteer-driven model with a mission to generate unrestricted funds for individuals affected by Sickle Cell Anemia (SCD). Through the MCSFUND, Teresa provides financial support and spearheads initiatives for advocacy, resources, and education, creating a holistic approach to addressing the challenges posed by SCD.

At the helm of Super Tee Inspires, Teresa serves as the CIO, leading with a vision that transcends boundaries. Her literary work has resulted in her being recognized as a best-selling author who has traveled internationally, speaking to leaders around the globe in countries such as China, South Africa, Europe, and the Caribbean. She is noted for equipping leaders with relevant tools to enhance leadership mechanisms to lead in love.

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Photos Provided by Teresa S. McCurry

Teresa is not just a leader; she is a personal development trailblazer. Through the leading of the Holy Spirit, she guides individuals in unlocking their full potential, equipping them with the tools they need to navigate the challenges of life and achieve their goals.

Teresa S. McCurry is a beacon of inspiration, seamlessly blending her roles as a Prophetic Strategist, Bible Teacher, Real Estate Professional, Philanthropist, and Entrepreneur. Her life’s work is a testament to her commitment to holistic growth, community upliftment, and making a lasting impact on the lives of those she encounters. In 2020, she received an honorary doctorate for Humanitarianism from the Global International Alliance, By the Authority of the International Association of Christian Counselors. She was also recognized as the 2021 winner of the Northeast Ohio Remarkable Woman Award in honor of National Women’s Month. Prophet Tee holds a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Business Administration from Bryant & Stratton College and resides in Northeast Ohio with her loving husband, Apostle Greg McCurry.

Teresa began her business journey at the age of 23 when she opened her first hair salon, R ~ Hair Studio. Then, in 2006, she began coaching others, something that has evolved significantly over the years. “Initially, I started as a Beauty Entrepreneur coach at Inspire Me Inc. There, I provided guidance and support to aspiring beauty professionals. That was around the same time that I published my first book, Runnin’ Things,” she says. “At that point, I was also a salon and spa owner, running “MiMi’s Hair Heaven and Spa,” a business that allowed me to immerse myself deeply in ministry and the beauty industry. Additionally, I worked as an independent contractor for L’Oreal’s professional product division, MIZANI, where I gained invaluable experience and industry insights.” Cleveland - June/July 2024 8

In 2016, she published her second book, Running’ Things, the 10th Anniversary edition. She also transitioned into a role as a salon manager for Ulta Beauty and continued to offer business and personal development training. With the arrival of the Covid 19 pandemic in 2020, Teresa changed things up a little and renamed her business “Super Tee Inspires.” Under this new banner, her focus included both ministry and marketplace development training, helping leaders navigate their paths in both domains.

Teresa says she loves witnessing the transformation and growth of the people she works with. “I love being the accountability partner, ensuring they stay on track and focused on their goals. I cherish the role of a cheerleader, offering encouragement and celebrating every milestone, no matter how small. Witnessing someone achieve their dreams and knowing that I played a part in their success is what drives my passion for this work.”

Teresa discovered her passion for cosmetology when she was just ten years old. This passion led me to pursue cosmetology in high school and received her license at the age of 17. She married at 25 and gave birth to a daughter at the age of 27. Tragically, her daughter passed away just 14 months after she was born. She divorced at 30 and opened her salon at 32. Things changed when God called her into ministry. “Through all these experiences—the joys and the heartaches, the successes and the challenges—I have grown into a person of deep faith and resilience. My testimony is a testament to the power of perseverance, faith, and the transformative journey of life,” she says.

She advises others who may follow in her footsteps to stay true to their passion. She also encourages others to embrace resilience, value relationships, be open to change, trust in their faith, invest in continuous learning, give back and serve others, and maintain integrity and authenticity. “Following these principles has helped me navigate my path and achieve a sense of fulfillment and purpose. I hope they will also guide and inspire you,” she says. h


Dr. Chauweda Smith Total Life Counseling & Wellness, LLC


Dr. Chauweda Smith of Louisville, KY, is a mother of two sons and two daughters, an entrepreneur, a licensed therapist of 14 years, and has worked in the social service field for 17 years. She is a trauma specialist and owner of Total Life Counseling & Wellness, LLC, a mental health agency. Dr. Smith is also a certified personal trainer, speaker, adjunct professor, and community advocate. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, reading, and exercising.

Total Life Counseling & Wellness, LLC provides community, office, and online mental health counseling. These services are available to children, adolescents, and adults from ages five and up, as well as people from all socioeconomic backgrounds. Dr. Smith also provides clinical supervision to clinicians working toward their license.

After receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and a Bachelor’s in Pan-African Studies, Dr. Smith started working at an orphanage. There, she quickly realized she wanted to help change the lives of the children she worked with and their families. “I wanted to be the mentor and trustworthy person to others, something that I didn’t have as a youth and as a young single mom. Growing up in the West End of Louisville, I had a lot of adversaries that I had to overcome. These struggles made me realize I wanted to help those with similar life experiences,” she says. “After working with families from all backgrounds and numerous agencies, I realized that health issues were a major part of the increase in mental health services, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. While in my doctorate program, I focused my research on holistic health and combined mental health with physical fitness and nutrition to provide true holistic health services.”

Dr. Smith says she enjoys providing multiple services to a variety of people while focusing on true holistic health. “I’ve had the ability to help change the quality of life for my client’s, both physically and mentally, by assisting them to improve their mental wellbeing. This is the most humbling aspect of my career. However, at times, I feel that I am not helping enough, and I tend to overwork myself. I don’t always set boundaries, but I must remember that I am doing enough. I must also remember to take care of myself so that I can help others. That has been one of the most challenging aspects of my career,” she says.

I wanted to be the mentor and trustworthy person to others, something that I didn’t have as a youth and as a young single mom.

Dr. Smith says her parents taught her how to be resilient and the true definition of hard work. “I watched my mother juggle multiple things effortlessly, even with children. My father had a strong business mind and was the first person I knew to be a successful entrepreneur. I gained valuable qualities from both.”

Dr. Smith shares she understands that every experience a person has comes with a lesson. Grasping that concept, she states she wouldn’t change anything about the way things have happened in her career thus far, except for learning how to ask for help while starting her business. She admits to learning that she doesn’t have to be a superwoman and that receiving help from other people is okay.

As the future unfolds, Dr. Smith plans to expand Total Life Counseling & Wellness, LLC to include both mental health offices, a fitness gym, and a mental/physical health app for online services. Her goal is to be able to help people on a national level. Additionally, she plans to continue to teach social work classes to undergraduate and graduate students. To learn more about Total Life Counseling & Wellness, LLC, please visit their website.

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Afredanz Dance Center

Preserving The Art of Dance

Photos Provided by Nijalon Jackson/DP Photography LLC

“It’s not always going to look who you think it should.” That is what Nijalon Jackson shares about her journey in dance.

Located in Pascagoula, MS, Afredanz Dance Center is a vibrant hub of dance, offering a diverse range of captivating genres for all age groups. Their dance classes embrace the grace of ballet, the vivacity of jazz, the energy of hip-hop, the innovation of modern dance, and the rich heritage of African/Afro-Caribbean Dance. Whether you’re a tiny tot of three, a spirited 18-year-old, or even an adult seeking to express yourself through dance fitness, they’ve got something for everyone, fostering a sense of inclusivity and acceptance.

Nijalon Jackaon is a dance educator, artist, dance advocate, mom, and friend. That is how she describes herself. The Jackson, MS, native and resident life has always been surrounded by dance. With Afredanz Dance Center, Nijalon has made it a priority to preserve the art of dance, not only for the Jackson community but for others around the country. “

“Since the age of 12, I always knew that I would open my own dance studio,” she says. That vision never left Nijalon, and in February 2023, that vision became a reality as the doors of Afredanz Dance Center were opened. Afredanz is a for-profit entity, and its services are designed for dance enthusiasts of all ages and varieties. These include individuals between the ages of three and eighteen years old, with sessions offered in Ballet, Jazz Dance, West African Dance, Hip Hop, and Modern Dance. The average cost of their dance lessons is $75, and tuition assistance is available.

“I love being able to open the mind of young dancers to a world of dance they have never seen or experienced before,” Nijalon says. “I love teaching and showing my students that they can do anything they put their minds to. If someone says “they can’t” in their minds, their body is not going to do it. I tell them to say instead, “I have to work harder,” and by doing so, they will see results and see the difference in their movements.”

Nijalon was able to share her opinion of how the arts community is embraced and supported in Jackson, MS. “Support and opportunities are non-existence,” she says. “This has been a struggle for Afredanz. Our students are not always exposed to arts and dance other than what they see on social media and television. They do not get to learn and understand what is actually needed to create a dance production, all of the elements, and understand the terminologies and cultures. There is so much they need to learn, and I feel the time has come for them to be exposed and learn. I think it could begin with the local school districts. I see it happening in other areas outside of Jackson. Imagine if we had that kind of support and participation, of which dance is not treated just as an elective but as important as academics; I believe that we would really see a difference.”

It is evident that Nijalon’s focus extends beyond meeting the needs of her existing clientele. She is committed to creating opportunities for others to be involved, and her vision isn’t gender specific. “At the end of the year, I produce an event that is free for the community called “The Dream Catcher”. We have both boys and girls participate. The cost of the event is made possible through fundraising, and it gives our young kids an opportunity to see what it takes to be involved in a dance production. In our first year, we had one boy participate, and last year, we had two. This year, we are looking to have even more boys involved,” she says.

While Nijalon has been fortunate to carry the cost of Afredanz Dance Center through fundraising and utilizing her own resources, she admits that it gets difficult at times, and she is always open to the support of others. With that said, many people, dance coaches, and dance professors have helped Nijalon get to where she is today. She acknowledges her former mentor and Elementary School teacher, Angela Campbell, as well as Linda Whirl, Julie Hammond, Kelly Ferris Lester, Elizabeth Letz Hill, Meredith Sutton, Rebecca McArthur, and Brianna Jahn.

Currently, Afredanz has about 15 students enrolled. However, Nijalon anticipates an increase soon. On the ninth day of June this year, they conducted their 2nd Annual Dance Recital: The Michael Jackson Experience! This event offered attendees an unforgettable night of dance and celebration of the legendary artist and musician.

For those who may interested in following a path similar to what Nijalon has with building Afredanz Dance Center, she offers some advice that may help along the way. “Funding is available, but you must look for it. In this unique world of finding grants that encourages diversity, you must work to find what is available and aligns with your vision,” she says. “It also helps to have a community of family and friends who don’t mind to pour into your dreams and vision.”

Looking ahead, Nijalon plans to continue to hone her craft and make Afredanz Dance Center one of the best dance companies available. She has proven that regardless of how it looks, there are opportunities available to succeed. Her love for serving others and making an impact in the lives of young people will be a legacy that will live beyond Afredanz. Nijalon invites everyone to visit their location in Pascagoula to experience what she has to offer. “I can easily send emails and describe what we have to offer, but seeing and experiencing Afredanz in person is totally awesome. It is something about seeing an open space. The imagination and mind go wild about what can happen in there. Just imagine the endless possibilities that can happen at Afredanz Dance Center.”



Learn More About My Experience of Being A Caregiver For My Mother

CHAPTER THREE: Somethings, Money Can’t Buy

As time began to pass, with my mother and I sharing my home, our daily routines began to take shape. “Good morning, mama,” I would greet her each day. “Good morning,” she would return. In the first few months after her having her stroke, Mom’s words were slightly delayed. As with most stroke patients, Aphasia had set in, and Mama would stutter a little. Sometimes, she couldn’t get the entire word out, but I knew what she meant. Sometimes Mama would put a lot of emphasis on “Good”, and sometimes it would be “Morning”. Because I consider myself to be sort of a comedian, I would agitate her a little when she didn’t say her words correctly. My agitation appeared to have worked because she continued to try. When she got the entire word out, she knew it, and the look on her face said it all. “I did that”. Those moments of achievement made us both happy. It was a small sign of hope that God blessed us to share, but many more would follow.

The evenings are very special to Mama and me. On most days, we may have just finished eating dinner and would watch one of our favorite shows together. It took some getting used to for me to see how Mama responded to watching Fred Sanford and Aunt Esther go at it. I had known my Mama to be quite reserved; now, she wasn’t holding back on her laughs. Mama would let them fly, and I could tell that she truly enjoyed watching television. It appeared to be therapeutic for her, and it allowed me to gather some data to share with her doctor about how attentive she was while watching.

During these TV-watching experiences, I would ask Mama some questions about her past, short and long-distance ones. My hopes were a little deflated as some of the things that mattered most to her, she couldn’t recall. Thank God, her lack of memory wouldn’t last forever.

One thing Mama has always been able to remember is the number of children she has and all of their names. She continues to be able to name us all, from the oldest to the youngest, in chronological order. She loves her children unconditionally. My Mama is the greatest person that I know.


I decided to share my experience as a full-time caregiver for my mother to consult, console, and inform other families who may be going through a similar situation. As a son, caring for my mother never feels like work; if so, it is a labor of love. Please continue to follow this message, Becoming A Caregiver, in Huami Magazine. I hope that sharing my experience will help others. From one caregiver to the next, God Bless You!


Jacoby Waters Young Men of Distinction

In West Palm Beach, FL, the relevance of the adage “Reach One-Teach One” is on full display. In many communities across the country, the mere survival of black men has become precarious. Without a definite plan of action in place, these communities are left to find solutions that will continue the promise of a future for black men. This is where Jacoby Waters and his organization, Young Men of Distinction, come into play.

The Young Men of Distinction is a holistic mentoring program that addresses the social, emotional, and cultural needs of children ages 7-18. Members are trained and certified to become mentors, advocates, and role models for the youth within their communities. Members forge relationships that positively impact the youth through chapter-operated one-on-one and group mentoring efforts. Additionally, the program focuses on building essential skills needed to become productive, contributing citizens.

Led by Jacoby Waters as the Founder, CEO, and Executive Director, Young Men of Distinction began on May 3, 2019, with six young men. Today, in addition to the oneon-one mentoring, the program employs techniques developed using S.M.A.R.T. goals and utilizes the following mentoring relationship models: Group Mentoring, Tag Team Mentoring, and Peer to Peer Mentoring. “Our mission is to increase opportunities for adolescent boys to prosper through mentorship, motivation and guidance, helping them transition into

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Photos Provided by Jacoby Waters

young men with purpose and obtain a higher education,” Jacoby says. “Our vision is to create a mentoring culture where all male members of the community can be empowered, enabling young men to become better fathers, community leaders, husbands, students, employees, entrepreneurs, business owners, friends, and more.”

Jacoby is a native of Riviera Beach, FL. He is a father, son, brother, mentor, husband, and alumnus of Florida A&M University. He shares that his stepfather and grandfather provided him with knowledge and expertise, which aided in creating a strong foundation in his life. Jacoby also received great guidance from neighbors who helped to develop his morals and values. With a strong foundation and great guidance, Jacoby has achieved several goals and continues his journey toward his dream.

The Board of Directors for YMOD includes Santarvis Brown, Ed.D, J.D. (Leadership and Education Strategist), Lynn Cheramie (Cyber Security and IT Professional), Corrien ElmoreStratton (Executive Youth Development & Community Engagement Leader), JONATHAN GARY, SR. (Investor Business Owner & Author), and Patrick Richardson, BA, MPA (Business Development Manager).

The staff of YMOD are SONIA GILBERT (Executive Director), SOLOMON FLEMING (Junior Staff), and TYRELL WARRING (Junior Staff). Stephen Brooks serves as Web Developer & Tech Support.

What Jacoby says he loves most about what he does is mentoring young men and providing them with guidance and insight. Some of the challenges faced by YMOD include funding and staff support. Jacoby has overcome these challenges by continuing his efforts and securing funding through fundraising and other grants. Jacoby shares he is inspired by the foundation he was blessed with. Additionally, he draws inspiration from his four sons and the generation behind him, aiming to provide hope and fuel their imagination.

Jacoby advises someone who may follow in his footsteps to always stay strong and stay prayed up. To learn more about YMOD, please visit their website. Cleveland - June/July 2024 18
Our vision is to create a mentoring culture where all male members of the community can be empowered, enabling young men to become better fathers, community leaders, husbands, students, employees, entrepreneurs, business owners, friends, and more. 5725 Corporate Way, Suite 202 West Palm Beach, FL 33407 NORTH CAMPUS SOUTH CAMPUS JOHN I. LEONARD HIGH SCHOOL 225 NW 12th Ave, Boynton Beach, FL 33435 4701 10th Ave N, Greenacres, FL 33463 h

For Charleston County Sheriff

You may ask, who is Alan Ali? Well, for starters, he has many titles. He is a son, brother, husband, and father. Another crucial role that Mr. Alan loves and embraces is that of “The People’s Sheriff.”

Alan Ali is a first-generation American born, a testament to the American dream. His parents, Richard and Ann Daly, made the courageous decision to move to America from the Caribbean, a journey that not only shaped Alan’s values but also ignited his unwavering commitment to his community. “My parents were born in the Caribbean, in a little town called Montserrat. In fact, most of my family are from the Caribbean. Barbados, Antigua, and Jamaica,” he says.

Alan’s parents raised him and his siblings with a solid moral compass that still guides him to this day. “My parents taught me the virtues and values of how to treat people. They told me, ‘Alan, don’t treat people the way they want to be treated… Treat them better.’ In my thirty years in law enforcement, I have always incorporated that teaching.”

Alan Ali’s formative years were spent in the vibrant city of Boston, Massachusetts. Growing up in the Hyde Park neighborhood, he was immersed in the rich tapestry of community life. This upbringing shaped his understanding of local issues and fueled his passion for community service.

He shares, “My parents weren’t public servants. They just served. They served in the church and the community. When we see someone downtrodden or struggling to make it, we all say, ‘That could have been me.’ My parents taught me, ‘That is you! If we are all a part of this human family, that is you.’ That revelation has always stuck with me since childhood. That truth has shaped how I see myself and others. It is a big part of why I worked to treat everyone with respect. Everyone is a part of this human family. Regardless of race, religion, culture, ethnicity, economic background, or sexual orientation, we’re all people. We all want to be loved, appreciated, and valued.”

Alan was an active volunteer in his community as a youth. “Because of the values my parents raised me with, I knew there were things I would and wouldn’t do. As a youth volunteer, I tried to help others like myself avoid the negative influences that were so easy to get caught up in,” Alan explained. “I tried to be a positive model of what we should have been working towards. Mind you, I was a kid myself, but because of what I was taught at home, I recognized the dangers of living in the inner city. I wanted to help the kids in my community by reminding them that they didn’t have to get involved in gangs and drugs or any of the other things that entrap us.”

Alan’s work in his community didn’t go unnoticed. In 1986, he was the first Black person to be awarded the Michael A. Ventresca Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded through UMass Boston to entering freshmen who have demonstrated exceptional concern for others and interest in public service through extracurricular activities and community work. He adds, “I’ve always had a passion for serving others. Serving others is the greatest honor there is. I believe it is not just a purpose but a calling. In fact, there is a quote from Muhammad Ali that says, ‘Service to others is the rent that you pay for having a room here on earth.’”

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As an advocate for community service projects, Alan believes serving the community involves more than fulfilling an immediate need. “Don’t get me wrong. I am all for Toys for Tots, the turkey giveaway, or the back-to-school supply rally. The issue is those are just three days. What about the rest of the year? I believe that is what separates me from the next person. I strongly advocate for helping people succeed 365 days a year.”

Mr. Ali graduated from the University of Boston, Massachusetts, with a degree in political science. He makes clear that he never intended to pursue law enforcement. “I tell people all the time that I absolutely had no intention of going into law enforcement,” Ali explains. What happened was that, in 1989, I started watching a then-popular television show called Cops.” It was from that show, and others like it, that sparked Alan’s passion for law enforcement.

With his calling to servanthood focused in a new direction, Alan set his sights on joining the Boston Police Department. “With all this new zest and zeal, after graduating from the University of Massachusetts, I wanted to work for the Boston Police Department. Unfortunately, at that time, it didn’t matter who you were; it was all about who you knew. Since my name wasn’t McMurphy or McDowell, I wasn’t at the top of the list. On top of that, the list had over two hundred applicants, and there were only about five positions,” Ali explained. “But I wasn’t going to let this stop me. I was passionate, and I knew my purpose. I believed I could make a difference. I just needed to find out how.”

Despite making excellent scores on his police exam, the door of the Boston PD still didn’t swing open for Alan. Then, he received word that the Dallas Police Department was hiring. “I didn’t know a soul in Dallas, Texas. All I had was this driving desire to go into law enforcement. Then I remembered something my parents always said. No means Next Opportunity. So, I flew down to Texas. I stayed the week and went through the battery of tests. When I got to the end, they said, ‘We’ll get back to you.’ I flew back to Boston, and two months later, I got the call telling me I had been hired and when to report,” he says.

You have to meet people where they are. If people only see you when they’ve done something wrong, they will not want to see you. You can’t serve people you don’t know. You won’t know them unless you are intentional about getting to know them.

Armed with his parents’ wisdom and faith in humanity, Alan Ali has served in many communities over the past thirty years to keep the peace.

“You have to meet people where they are,” he explained. “If people only see you when they’ve done something wrong, they will not want to see you. You can’t serve people you don’t know. You won’t know them unless you are intentional about getting to know them. That has been my goal and commitment my entire career. The only way to help people is if they trust you, and you can’t gain their trust without making a genuine connection.”

Ali has retired as a lieutenant from the Charleston County Sheriff’s Department. He plans to use the same approach to become the People’s Sheriff in Charleston County.

“My focus and intention are to promote effective crime reduction while simultaneously building public trust within the community I have sworn to serve, protect, and respect. I have always understood my role as a law enforcement officer as more so being a guardian rather than a warrior. Although both aspects are essential, there must be a discernible balance between the two.”

Public safety is my main focus, and to accomplish this goal, it’s imperative that we, as law enforcement, work for and with the community.” Where the situation dictates that law enforcement become warriors, even the force utilized must be reasonable and necessary. But let me be clear: excessive force will not be tolerated regardless of the offender’s provocation. I would emphasize to my deputies that we are law enforcers, not lawbreakers. Some bad actors plague every community, and I seek to protect every lawabiding citizen from such individuals.” Cleveland - June/July 2024 22

As guardians, we must move past vague and catchy slogans such as community engagement. The Sheriff’s office must actively engage the community with open and honest conversations. This approach builds legitimacy and fosters trust.” There are four areas the former Lieutenant intends to focus on as the next Sheriff of Charleston County.

“My role as Sheriff is to serve the best interests of the people of Charleston County. To accomplish this, the Sheriff’s Office must focus on four primary areas: crime prevention, community intervention, recruitment and retention, and detention,” Ali shares.

Community continues to be a primary area of focus for Alan. He adds, “Crime prevention and community intervention go hand in hand. As I explained, you need a trusted relationship between the officers and the community to keep the peace. Visit with the elderly woman sitting on her porch, play basketball with the kids in the neighborhood, go to the community stakeholders meeting, and listen to what the people say. Those people don’t want crime in their communities. If they see the officers as trusted allies, maybe Granny will tell you about the unusual activity he noticed in the pink house on the corner. Engaging with the community allows them to help prevent crime in their neighborhoods.”

Ali will focus on a critical area: the shortage of qualified officers. Since the pandemic, there has been an extreme shortage of skilled and qualified workers. Law enforcement has not been spearheaded this aftershock. “We need qualified officers. There is a nationwide shortage of trained police officers. The solution to this will be focused on recruitment and retention. I can’t stress enough how important the retention portion of this effort is,” Ali explains. We need good, seasoned mentors to train and prepare our new recruits. Without our veteran officers, we find ourselves with newly trained officers trying to mentor the recruits because so many seasoned officers are leaving the department. That is not ideal and can become dangerous if not addressed.”

The last yet equally important area Ali plans to focus on is Detention—namely, the Al Cannon Detention Center in Charleston County. “The Department of Justice has taken over the Charleston County detention center. They are investigating the county jail because of multiple civil rights violations, death by fentanyl overdose, and suicide. There have been multiple deaths at the detention center because of staffing issues. This goes back to retention. We have lost a lot of good deputies because of poor leadership. The result is an understaffed system. Those who are there are stressed and overworked. It makes for dangerous conditions for both the staff and the inmates,” Ali explains. “This is unacceptable on every level. Because I haven’t worked corrections, I would bring in the experts. I would also promote from within. Not all of the workers there are bad. Some of them are good officers, and I believe if given the opportunity, they would be instrumental in helping to turn things around.” Cleveland - June/July 2024 24

Becoming the next Charleston County Sheriff is the next level in the calling that Ali believes he has in his life. From his perspective, he has been training to do it throughout his career. For Ali, serving his community is second nature.

“Over the past several years, I have volunteered to assist with numerous food distribution programs throughout Charleston County. I have worked with the Adopt-A-Community program, encompassing over twenty non-profit community-based organizations dealing with Juvenile Justice, Mental Health, Food disparities, gun violence, child abuse, and literacy programs. Every 1 Voice Matters, Second Chance Resource Center, Representation Matters, Community Resource Center, and Sun Flowers of Hoped,” Ali shares. “When people ask me what projects I would support if elected, I laugh a little. I’ve been working in my community since I was a teenager. I’ve always worked to serve my fellow human beings because we are a family. I won’t continue to serve because I’m elected. I will serve because that is what’s required of me. That requirement won’t change, win or lose.”

As Ali prepared for the June 11th primaries, he was informed that his name would not be on the ballot. He was initially set to run as a Democratic candidate against the current Democratic incumbent for Sheriff, but now Ali will run as a Write-In Candidate.

“On April 5th, 2024, the Democratic party denied my certification to be placed on the June 11th primary ballot. I and countless voters from both ends of the spectrum were outraged. Democracy and the right to vote for your chosen candidate are inalienable rights. As of June 11th, the incumbent, supported by his team, will be the only name on the Democratic ticket the votes will be able to select.”

Encouraged by his supporters, Ali chose to challenge the decision. He sued the Democratic party, but the judge ruled against him. “The date and time of the hearing was set. Then, my lawyer called the morning of the hearing and said the time had been pushed up. My wife and I arrived only a few minutes late but were not allowed to enter. The judge ruled without me being allowed to present my case.”

This was a frustrating blow to Lieutenant Ali, but it wasn’t enough to knock him out of the race.

“As a result, I am running as a Write-In Candidate for the office of Charleston County Sheriff. Because of my decision, party members are questioning my allegiance to the Democratic party. I want to make it clear that my allegiance is to the people of Charleston County. I stand by what I said before the certification. Politics should play no role in public safety. I am beholden to the people, not the politics. When I become Sheriff, I won’t be the Democratic Sheriff or the Republican Sheriff. I will be the people’s Sheriff. I am here to serve all the citizens of Charleston County, not just those whose political ideals align with mine.”

Because of the decision, Alan Ali will be the first black Sheriff in Charleston County history. He will go in as a Write-In Candidate, and the Write-In campaign is for the General election scheduled for November 5th.

“The highest form of leadership is found in service to others, for true greatness is measured by the positive impact on the lives of those we serve.”

Big Beard Cargo Services

Photos Provided by Nehemiah Israel

Nehemiah Israel, of Atlanta, GA, is the owner of Big Beard Cargo Services. Established in October 2018, his company provides home delivery services, assembly services (for various products and not just furniture), junk removals, haul-aways, relocations, and in-home moves, of which he assists his clients with moving heavy items in their homes.

At just 38 years old, Nehemiah has always had a business mind. He is originally from Fayetteville, NC, but has called Atlanta home for several years. There, along with his wife, he raises three sons.

Big Beard Cargo Services all started when Nehemiah first moved to Georgia in 2014 with his wife and then only oldest son, who is now 16. He says, “We were able to get a home in Lawrenceville, Georgia, but it was tough being unemployed. On just my third day in Lawrenceville, I got a call from a temporary agency to work with a company called UnderPriced Furniture. Of course, I went. I only knew how to drive forklifts, pallet jacks, and cherry pickers; however, when I was assigned to offload semi-trailers of furniture. I had never lifted heavy stuff like that before outside of my own home, and I remember telling my wife I was going to quit after two weeks. I considered it to be hard labor, but she told me to hang in there, and so I did. Soon, I was hired for a permanent position, and I am so glad that I stayed, as I eventually moved up the ladder and became one of the fastest assembly guys on the line. I was soon presented with the opportunity to become a helper to do home deliveries. This is when I realized my calling. I became one of the top delivery personnel and was featured on the delivery team website to welcome new teams coming into the company. After two years of working with them, I came up with a company name and told myself I could run a delivery service independently and make it way better than what I’d seen out here. So by the fourth year, I stepped out on my own.”

Cleveland - June/July 2024 27
I love providing a quality and speedy service like Chick-fil-A, but in the lane I’m in.

Once out on his own, Nehemiah was faced with the reality of entrepreneurship. Things don’t always happen as planned. He made his transaction from a five-dollar Craigslist ad and Facebook posts focused on furniture assembly. He shares that little did he know so many people needed that type of service. Things would eventually take off. Today, his company caters to all types of people: single women, elderly, those who don’t have time to do it themselves, and those who don’t know where to start after seeing all the hardware and confusing instructions.

Big Beard Cargo Services is a one-stop shop, Nehemiah says, and what he loves most about his business is seeing how happy his clients are when they see their finished products. “I love providing a quality and speedy service like Chick-fil-A, but in the lane I’m in.” He also shares that he finds inspiration in his wife for being a constant source of support and encouragement. “My wife believed in me and told me that I could work for myself. She knows that I have never been a quitter and that I always try to find solutions to any problem. Additionally, my family has had the biggest impact on my journey to becoming successful.”

Anyone who might be thinking of starting a business such as Nehemiah’s should be aware of the challenges that come with it. For Nehemiah, he says, the biggest challenge he faced was the startup cost. “It took a year of saving,” he says. “The insurance is so high in the trucking industry. I worked two jobs, in the beginning, to fund the business and provide for my family to allow my wife to become a stay-at-home mom with our now twoyear-old. I wanted her to enjoy her pregnancy and not have to work during that time. It worked, but it was tough on me. I got around many of the costs by renting trucks and establishing corporate accounts with the rental companies to get better pricing. I still continue to lease my trucks, but I was able to get better insurance coverage to go with the business.”

In the future, Nehemiah plans to expand with more business-to-business opportunities. This, he hopes, will provide more employment to hardworking men like himself. “I dream of becoming a contractor for bigger companies to hire thirdparty teams to do everything I learned and love to do. One day I’ll have 100 trucks running under the Big Beard Cargo Services brand and be the biggest service provider in the state of Georgia,” Nehemiah professes. With his grit and ambition, this will happen.

To learn more about Big Beard Cargo Services, please visit their website. Cleveland - June/July 2024 28
Demi Noel Martin The daughter of Danny J. Martin and Jasmine Richardson

Akron To Provide $750k To Support Small Businesses, With A Focus On Black-Owned Enterprises

Partners include Akron Urban League, Bounce Innovation Hub and Western Reserve Community Fund

The City of Akron will distribute $750,000 of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to three local agencies to help support small business owners, with a focus on Black-owned businesses.

Akron City Council approved legislation Monday to partner with the Akron Urban League (AUL), Western Reserve Community Fund (WRCF) and Bounce Innovation Hub, who will work with the city and small business entrepreneurs.

“The goal of this funding is to really just build capacity within our organizations,” Akron Urban League Vice President Lynn Puryear told Akron City Council’s Planning and Economic Development Committee May 6.

Puryear said eight out of 10 African American-owned businesses fail within a year, typically because the businesses aren’t properly set up at the start. “Our goal is to basically use this funding to help us make sure that they have everything they need around setting up their financials correctly, the certifications that will help them get access to capital, and really to make sure that we’re holding their hands, getting them everything they need to be successful.”

According to documents submitted to City Council, Bounce Innovation Hub will receive $298,767.72, AUL will receive $296,577.28, and the WRCF will receive $154,655.

Making it easy to start and main a business in Akron: “Akron’s small businesses and entrepreneurs are the foundation of our city,” Akron Mayor Shamma Malik said in a press release. “We’ve all heard of the struggles small business owners have faced over the last several years including a pandemic and shut down that folks are still bouncing back from.”

“We want to make it as easy as possible for folks to start and maintain a business here in Akron and this partnership between the city, Akron Urban League, Bounce Innovation Hub, and Western Reserve Community Fund will bring us one step closer to that goal,” Malik said.

According to the press release:

Bounce will use funds from the grant to provide small businesses served by partner organizations with access to free or significantly discounted professional services. Bounce will use its expertise in identifying high-quality service providers skilled in serving small businesses. It will also provide administrative management to cover similar expenses for clients of the AUL, City of Akron and WRCF.

The AUL will expand its business counseling and financial coaching services and help a larger number of entrepreneurs in strategic planning, financial management, tax preparedness, and overall business development.

The agency will also utilize funds from the grant to provide guidance and support to small businesses throughout the certification process, offering resources and expertise to facilitate successful submissions. AUL intends to aim support at smaller businesses with between one and 50 employees. WRCF will increase the number of businesses served and broaden opportunities to support entrepreneurship alongside financial stability by improving business and financial readiness and accessing capital through existing and new funding programs.

During our summer campaign, we’re hoping to raise $10,000 to support our growing nonprofit newsroom and deliver comprehensive 2024 election news and resources.

Information obtained from - (Susan Zake and Doug Brown) h

Cleveland - June/July 2024 31 W hat’s H appening I n O ur C ommunity

Beautiful As You Are

It has been said that you should never judge a book by its cover. In the case of Tanisha Frederick, this adage is sufficient. The Louisville, KY, resident has made it her life’s mission to serve at every opportunity given. Whether as a wife, mother, or community leader, she remains in a position to answer the call.

Tanisha is a mother of three young adults. She has also been married to her amazing husband, Idris, for 27 years. She shares people often ask what her educational achievements are. They are in disbelief when they learn she only has a high school education. More than anything, Tanisha is a go-getter. She is a certified life coach who focuses on working with teenagers and guiding them on a path of true selflove.

In 2014, she made the decision to launch the BAYA program, which stands for Beautiful As You Are, as a response to some tenuous life situations her young daughter had encountered.

Tanisha shares, “Our family had relocated several times and finally landed in New Albany, IN, outside Louisville. When she started her new school, she was bullied relentlessly and became a self-harmer. My daughter eventually tried to take her life because she didn’t see a way out. Unfortunately, we didn’t know at the time how to handle all her feelings and attempts to harm herself, so we decided to have her hospitalized for a period of time. While she was in the hospital, I felt lost and as if I had failed as a mother. One day, while sitting at my desk at work and crying my eyes out, the CEO of the company I worked for

My daughter eventually tried to take her life because she didn’t see a way out. Unfortunately, we didn’t know at the time how to handle all her feelings and attempts to harm herself, so we decided to have her hospitalized for a period of time.
Cleveland - June/July 2024 33
Photos Provided by Chanel Wells-Henderson

self-esteem love


walked by and asked why I was crying. I told him the story of my daughter and what was going on. He told me two things: Win the day and, stop worrying about what’s going to happen to my daughter in the future and just take it one day at a time. He also asked me what I was going to do about it. As soon as he left my desk, I grabbed some sticky notes and began writing plans for a girl’s group to help girls with issues similar to my daughter’s. I decided on “Beautiful As You Are” with the goal of serving girls who didn’t fit in or were overlooked and offering a safe space where they could simply be themselves. This is how it all began.”

The BAYA program has several parts. They teach from three volumes of curriculum that Tanisha has written, and she says each lesson is very interactive and hands-on and teaches girls the importance of loving themselves unconditionally and unapologetically. Each time a girl goes through one of BAYA’s workshops, they leave with something tangible. “They may forget what we talked about, but they will never forget the visual they created,” Tanisha says. “Our self-esteem building program is in 54 Louisville, KY, and Southern Indiana schools.” They also offer programming at a community center Tanisha created just for girls, The BAYA Center, which is located in Clarksville, IN. There, Tanisha and her team can really dig in and teach their core values: community, growth, hope, and resilience.

Additionally, they teach workshops like yoga, dance, art, and sewing. However, their foundation and primary focus is selfesteem-building workshops. Tanisha has also created several journals that accompany her program in the schools and at the BAYA Center: The Burn Journal, Wreck it Journal, and Affirmation Coloring Book and Journal. Tanisha’s footprint extends beyond her immediate community. She has spoken at conferences nationwide and taught educators and parents how to connect with teenagers and make a lasting impact. “Speaking is truly one of my favorite things to do because it allows me to get the word out about the BAYA program. It also allows me to help educators tear down the walls that many teenagers put up while dealing with adults,” Tanisha said.

Learning how to run a business from the ground up has been extremely challenging for Tanisha. She explains, “Before BAYA, I had worked in hospital insurance and collections for years. I didn’t have any experience that prepared me for what I am doing now. I had to take many business classes, attend leadership conferences, and watch and learn from many successful businesswomen. I have also purposely surrounded myself with successful business leaders who offer me advice and suggestions and have really helped me develop a strong business model. I always tell the BAYA girls, “You are who you hang around.” I want BAYA to become a sustainable organization that is here long after I’m gone, and I learned early on that the only way this is possible is to surround myself with people smarter than me who share the same passion for serving the community.” Cleveland - June/July 2024 34

When asked what she loves most about what she does, Tanisha shares it’s watching girls grow beyond their fears. “I enjoy seeing young ladies grow from feeling unseen or unheard to girls who stand tall and unconcerned about what others think of them. I love to see them become confident about themselves unapologetically. I also love creating new and exciting content and programming for the BAYA girls. Outcomes are everything. Our stats say that 98% of the girls surveyed share that BAYA has increased their self-esteem. This lets me know the program is doing what it was created to do.”

While having to endure the stresses of her daughter’s ordeal, Tanisha says she thanks her for allowing her to build the BAYA organization in response to her pain and struggles. “The curriculum was created from lessons I practiced with her and her friends. The feedback of my daughter and her friends has helped me develop an outstanding curriculum and program. Watching my daughter go from broken and not wanting to live to the woman she is today truly makes me proud and inspires me to keep going to help other girls just like her. All the tears and many struggles are all worth it.”

Looking ahead, Tanisha says her goal is to have a BAYA Center throughout the United States. She also hopes to have the BAYA program and curriculum offered in schools nationwide because she knows that it’s effective and the impact is real. Within her curriculum, she has written three volumes and is close to completing volume four. Her overall goal is to develop a package with seven volumes and 24 lessons in each book, each accompanied by a journal. “Schools across the country are already using our curriculum, and the feedback truly humbles me, especially knowing the impact this program is making.” Additionally, she says her personal goal is to develop a coaching business, “Self-Love Coaching with Ms. Tish”. It will be offered virtually and will allow Tanisha to reach more girls and their families. She currently has five clients, has partnered with several foster homes to provide coaching support for their girls, and is looking to expand.

To learn more about BAYA, please visit their website.


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Cleveland - June/July 2024

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