Huami Magazine Detroit Jan./Feb. 2023

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DETROIT ® Jan./Feb. 2022 Volume 2 Issue 1 PRAY. HUSTLE. SLAY.

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My Dreams Are Windows To My Freedom

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In short words, I will typically act on something if I dare to dream about it. I have used the gift to dream while sinking in some of my lowest moments. I wanted more, and dreaming of something better made it almost feel like I was there. I learned that there is power in what we dream about.

In that same breath, my dreams have been filled with thoughts of hope and sometimes regret. If I could turn back the hands of time, I would. If I could reverse some of the experiences of my life, I would. If I had the ability to reach back into my past and open some of the doors that were shut and close some that I walked through, I would. One might ask me why, and my response is quite direct; I would if I could.

Now, it’s not my intent to sound as if I do not appreciate the life God has blessed me with. My message is quite the opposite. I love my life and all that has helped to make it what it is. Still, I wish I could have avoided some unnecessary experiences. However, I am wise enough to know that everything has been necessary. It is all part of God’s plan for me.

Acknowledging and accepting where and how my life began instills a sense of reality into my heart. Dreaming of places where I wish I could be also encourages me to keep striving for that which is greater.

My message is simple. Life is but a whisper, and I refuse to get lost in the chaos and confusion. There is way too much for me to do, and if I never achieve all that I dream of, I will remain enthusiastic about what tomorrow promises. Tomorrow, if it comes, is provided by God. And when God blesses me with another day to live, He also blesses me with another day to dream and get to work.

Terry L Watson Publisher

Dorjae’ McClammey Writer

Terry L. Watson Writer Joy Rogers Writer Monica Montgomery Writer

Tamara Smith

Still Shots Photography Photographer Todd Youngblood Photographer

Howard Gaither Photography

www.huamimagazine.com Email

336-340-7844

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terry.editor@yahoo.com 336-340-7844 A Letter From
Editor
Terry L. Watson
I am a self-proclaimed dreamer. Many of the things I possess or may be involved with, at some point, I probably dreamed about it. Being physically fit, I dreamed about losing all the weight I was carrying around while stuffing my face with food. Singing in the church choir, I dreamed about it, while practicing in my car over one of WOW Greatest Gospel productions.

HUSTLE. SLAY

DETROIT

LaTasha Moore

Her focus is to unite communities using language as the connecting tool. Learn more about her company. Little Rock, AR

GMG Mack

It has always been about the music and the arts for him. Learn more about the face og GhosTown Music Group. New York, NY

Jermaine J. Williams

Learn how he is using his own personal triumphs as a foundation to help and serve others in his community.

Pensacola, FL

PRAY.
JAN./FEB. 2023
Rodnesha Ross
CONTENTS 6
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On
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Featured
Huami Magazine Cutest Baby Juliana Jackson Boys To Men Foundation Chris Fowler
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The Thrive Foundation Reketta Wright
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The Dream Real Theatre Karla Shaw

PRAY. HUSTLE. SLAY.

Pray, Hustle, Slay.

Those are three words that Rodnesha Ross of Detroit, MI, lives by. The mother of four is a serial entrepreneur, a community activist, and a consistent supporter of small businesses in her local community and around the world.

One of her brands is Mogul Life Inc., which offers a small business incubator outside of Detroit in the St. Clair Shores area. They aim to serve small businesses and offer a viral space to launch their business. There is also a space available for rent where pop-up shops can be conducted. She also offers publishing services for aspiring authors and producers.

When asked to describe her love for her community, Rodnesha reflects on her younger years. “I am a community baby. There is a village of people who have helped me reach the success I enjoy today. At an early age, I was introduced to the world of entrepreneurship. While attending an Afro-Centric middle school, one of the classes I took was entrepreneurship. That is what started my interest,” she says.

With her Pray, Hustle, Slay brand, Rodnesha says, is a lifestyle brand that supports mental health through a lifestyle of its namesake. The Pray, Hustle, Slay University also assists small businesses with trademarking and scaling. The headquarters for the university is based in Detroit, with satellite offices in Atlanta and Chicago. Additionally, Rodnesha has founded a youth community agency that caters to teen and single moms through mentorship. They also offer emergency shelter and community outreach services such as utility assistance.

Everything began with Mogul Life Inc. in 2016. Rodnesha says, “Our purpose is to serve minority-owned businesses around the United States. I love to help others climb the ladder to success and see them win. God has blessed me to be a vehicle to help others,” she says.

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“At an early age, I was introduced to the world of entrepreneurship. While attending an Afro-Centric middle school, one of the classes I took was entrepreneurship.”
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“Most
importantly, ensure that you are not the sharpest person in your group. The people around you, your network, determine your net worth.” www.mogullife.my.canva.site

Rodnesha says she has faced some challenges while building her brands, but she remains committed to her calling to serve others. One of the biggest challenges was understanding entrepreneurship. “I didn’t have a lot of willing coaches and mentors to pull from. There were a lot of trials and errors I had to endure and overcome. I had to do my own research, and because of my desire to grow and be better, I overcame that.”

Having a solid team and staff can dictate how successful a business can become, which Rodnesha realized in the beginning stages of building her brand. She also wishes she had not started as a one-person show and not been afraid to branch out to other cities. That makes sense, as it’s evident that her brand can resonate with others.

For anyone who may follow a similar journey as Rodnesha, or maybe thinking about jumping into the world of entrepreneurship, she encourages you to be open to withstand the rigors of self-employment. “Don’t give up so quickly, and be committed. Also, make sure you do your homework on funding your business and not using your own finances,” she says. “Most importantly, ensure that you are not the sharpest person in your group. The people around you, your network, determine your net worth.”

Moving forward, Rodnesha says her goal is to continue to work towards a comfortable retirement. She is also working towards purchasing a home in northern Michigan, in the predominantly Black-occupied area of Idlewild.

To learn more about Rodnesha Ross and all of her brands, please visit her website. h

GhosTown Music Group

When it comes to music, he has got it.

New York native GMG Mack is the owner of GhosTown Music Group. His company offers services such as Original Music Production, Recording Studio Engineering, Songwriting, Sound Mixing and Mastering, Painting, and Graphic Design.

Mack, which he can be acknowledged by, was born to a musical family. His dad and uncles were musicians and played in their church, and were members of various Gospel and R&B bands.

Mack is the oldest of two brothers and shares that he took great pride in education and creative arts throughout childhood. Mack wears many hats. He is a music Produce, Studio Engineer, Songwriter, Artist, Freelance Painter, Graphic Designer, and Shoe and Apparel Customizer. He is also a graduate of Rutgers University-New Brunswick.

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“I feel connected to people who appreciate my creativity and love being able to impact someone emotionally through art.”

“With my dad and uncles being musicians, I was always surrounded by music. We had a rehearsal space that was converted into a recording studio in my home,” he says. At a young age, Mack’s musical abilities became apparent. He composed and recorded his first original short song in Kindergarten for his classmates. He also began playing drums for his church choir at age nine and making beats at age 12. By 15, Mack was working in recording studios and engineering studio sessions. He founded GhosTown Music Group in 2014, designed his first pair of custom shoes in 2017, using pens and markers, and painted on his first pair in 2018.

Mack says he has an extremely strong emotional connection to music. “I love the reaction and responses from people when I create something they like. I feel connected to people who appreciate my creativity and love being able to impact someone emotionally through art.”

With GhosTown Music Group, Mack has faced some challenges. From partnerships that went sour to issues with cash flow, Mack has been able to persevere and remain dedicated to the end goal which is financial independence and generational wealth. Another challenge he has faced and is learning to take breaks, and staying disciplined.

Overall, Mack shares that he is thankful for his journey. As he looks to the future, he plans to release more music with artist and brother Troyce Dope. He also intends to engage in additional music collaborations with local and major artists. Regarding art, Mack has his eyes set on canvas and mural painting commissions, custom shoes, and clothing projects. He also looks forward to offering online custom shoes and music production courses.

To learn more about GhosTown Music Group, please visit their website.

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www.ghostownmg.com

Reketta

Helping Communities Thrive Through Mental Health Education

Before the 2020-21 pandemic, the stigmas around mental health were alive and well. As the world was becoming increasingly aware of the realities of mental health, it was still easier to put those who suffered into neat categories that could be explained away. As the global community adjusts to life post-pandemic, we find that the truth about mental health issues is that anyone can suffer from them. Add to it the stress and anxiety brought on when the world was paused for a year, and we see a new level of “woke.” But now that our eyes are open, what do we do? Reketta Brown, a North Carolina Licensed Professional Counselor with over twenty years of experience and her new initiative, is here to help answer that question.

Thrive Foundation is a Guilford County-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that educates children, families, and the community on the importance of mental health awareness. This next level in servicing our communities wasn’t something that just happened. “I’ve been sitting on this nonprofit for about three years,” Reketta explained. “Where Wrights Care Services focuses on treatment and care for individual clients and their families, the Thrive Foundation focuses on training professionals in the community, the schools, and different organizations on the importance of mental health awareness.”

Reketta is the founding director of Wrights Care Services. “Wrights Care Services is a privately-owned, full-service behavioral healthcare agency. We are committed to providing clients with a personalized approach to behavioral health and substance abuse services.” As a mental health care provider, Reketta says that she always knew that she would be in the service of helping others.

“I grew up in the church as a PK (pastor’s kid),” Reketta explains. “Watching my parents serve in the church and the community inspired me. I knew that when I grew up, I would be in a profession that focused on helping others.”

Reketta’s love for people shined long before she understood the qualities she possessed that would make her a success as a counselor. “Even as a kid, I had a heart for people. I was that “listening ear” for my friends. I was the one in the group that everyone knew they could lean on.”

A compassionate heart and empathetic spirit are essential when helping people with mental health issues. Ignited with the understanding that serving others was her destiny, Reketta set her sights on nursing. After testing the waters as a C.N.A., she felt like her calling was taking her in a different direction. Reketta attended Winston-Salem State University. “I majored in Occupational Therapy at Winston-Salem State, but oddly enough, when I took the comprehensive exam, I didn’t pass the mental health portion. Go figure!” Reketta said with a laugh.

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Although having to choose another field of study was a slight setback, it didn’t stop Reketta. It positioned her to find the program meant for her. “I transferred to the Rehabilitations Studies program and flourished. From that point on, I never looked back. I knew I was where I needed to be.” After earning a Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation Studies from Winston Salem State in 2005, Reketta let her passion guide her.

Finding her niche, Reketta continued to push forward by attending North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and receiving her Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling. Her first business was a joint venture between her and two friends she met while earning her master’s degree.

Behavioral Health & Wellness Care Services was launched in 2006. Then in 2009, Reketta and a partner started Wright’s Care Services. “As a licensed clinical mental health counselor, I’ve been able to help and support so many families and individuals, specifically Black women,” Reketta shared.

“I’m drawn to women and the issues we face. I work to support women who are going through traumatic changes and transitions. Helping these women is fulfilling and as a woman who has experienced divorce and is now raising a son as a single parent, I can identify with women trying to find balance in a completely off-balance world. It’s hard.”

People talk about passion and what drives them, but when you can explain your why it helps keep you grounded. “As I explained, I’ve always wanted to help people. I tried a few avenues before I focused on counseling. What convinced me… my why is that mental health doesn’t discriminate.

It doesn’t matter who you are, where you’re from, or how much money you make. All people experience different issues in life. That was my sweet spot when I could go into unfamiliar places, see the individual, and feel compelled to help them. I knew beyond a doubt that helping people with mental health issues was what I was born to do.”

For the last thirteen years, Wright’s Care Services clinicians have been servicing the North Carolina, Triad, and surrounding areas in emotional restoration and recovery. But Reketta saw that there was more to be done. “In this post-pandemic climate, we see more and more people experiencing mental health issues or symptoms exacerbated by the stresses of pandemic life. This exposed gaps in care and the availability of information,” Reketta explained. “As we worked with our clients, we received questions from healthcare providers, parents of students, and leaders of professional and religious organizations. A lot of these questions can’t be answered in counseling. This was an opportunity for education and awareness.” From this understanding, the Thrive Foundation was born.

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“I’m drawn to women and the issues we face. I work to support women who are going through traumatic changes and transitions. Helping these women is fulfilling and as a woman who has experienced divorce and is now raising a son as a single parent, I can identify with women trying to find balance in a completely offbalance world. It’s hard.”

The Thrive Foundation focuses on training and empowering patients and their families. “By filling the gaps in information and education surrounding mental health, we are giving individuals and communities the ability to thrive,” Reketta says with excitement.

Because Wright’s Care Services has an established reputation in the community, Reketta was approached by school administrators, parents, and religious organizations. “This confirmed the need for a centralized location for vital mental health information,” Reketta explained. “At the Thrive Foundation, we foster hope and resiliency in the communities we serve. This is done by providing programs and resources that help empower, educate, and evolving communities. Our trained team of mental health advocates is committed to building emotionally healthy communities.”

The educational gap that Thrive is helping to fill is between the people dealing with mental health issues and those who live, work and support them. “There are so many different layers and issues that people experience. Being able to identify the signs and symptoms, as well as how to provide support for those individuals, is crucial.” Reketta shared. Wright’s Care Services provides counseling services to two school districts, so it was a natural progression for the foundation to provide educational support for those teachers and parents. “We have become a leader in mental health support in those areas because we have the privilege to service fifteen schools within two districts.”

As Reketta’s vision continues to expand, she is continuously developing tools to help and support families. “Because of our work with children and their families, we have been able to identify specific needs and develop tools that can be used in the home. For example, I have recently launched a product called Affirm. Affirm is a collection of thirty affirmation cards for children ages five to ten. The goal is to help foster confidence early in life, helping combat adolescent insecurities.”

One of the driving forces behind the Thrive Foundation is Reketta wants to make sure there is no room for misinformation. It’s not uncommon for people in the African American community to avoid professional help because of the stigma attached to it by their community. Thrive can get the information to the people who need it most by going to the heart of these communities.

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“The church and other religious entities are an intricate part of community life in the African American community. By providing sound mental health education to these organizations, we have a better chance of helping more people,” Reketta insists. “It’s one thing for a friend to suggest counseling, but if a pastor or religious leader encourages parishioners to seek out information or professional mental health support if needed. Those people are more likely to be open to it.” This openness to mental health education is key to helping strengthen individuals, families, and communities.

Moving forward, Reketta’s goal for Thrive Foundation is to continue laying the groundwork and building relationships between the public and mental health professionals. “The relationship between mental health professionals and their clients isn’t always easily won. It takes time and trust. I hope that as Wright’s Care Services works in concert with the Thrive Foundation, we can build happier and healthier communities one by one.”

For organizations and individuals who are interested in acquiring training on mental health awareness and education, please reachout to Thrive Foundation.

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Reketta Brown Thrive Foundation

523 Simpson Street - Greensboro, NC 2740 www.thrive-wellness.org info@thrive-wellness.org 336-816-2389

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Jay & Jah Films LLC

The easiest way to reach someone at their level is to know what it’s like to be there.

Pensacola, FL, native and resident Jermaine J. Williams is a man full of culture, experience, and determination. He is also someone who has clawed his way from the pits of despair and found a new footing in life by way of helping and serving others.

Jermaine is a Documentary Filmmaker, Author, Executive Producer, and advocate for positive mental health and social change. He owns Jay & Jah Films LLC, a production company producing substance-filled television and film content. His company is currently in talks with a few television networks for Rescue Addiction. This production follows Jermaine as he and his team enter crises to save those faced with addiction. It also works to educate their family/friends to help provide a breakthrough moment for all parties involved. “Our production company’s first project, the documentary “I Had To Change: The Story Of Jermaine J. Williams,” paved the way for Rescue Addiction by winning four awards worldwide in various film festivals,” he says.

In addition to managing his production company, Jermaine works as a Certified Recovery Peer Specialist with the State of Florida. This commitment pulls at Jermaine’s heartstrings because he can relate to the challenges of those he serves. He shares his testimony in an effort to help others understand his purpose.

“It was a Sunday morning, on November 29, 2015. I’ll never forget that date or day. I was on the heels of an all-night binge of cocaine and alcohol. After failed rehab stints years earlier, I had grown tired of having no control over something that had controlled me. I thought of a plan to die by suicide and was ready to execute it. But my only concern was my family finding my lifeless body in my room. So I regrouped my thoughts and exercised my faith in God. Even under the influence of substances, God began to show me that He had had enough of the punishment with which I had afflicted myself. I made it downstairs just in time to catch my family before they departed for church. I told them I had had enough, and I was done. I joined hands with my aunt, mother, and grandmother and

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began to pray in complete surrender. I had been invited by a friend to church the Friday before, and I then called and told him I would like to take him up on the invitation. During praise and worship, I sat and sulked, while the rest of the congregation was standing and singing. At that time, I heard a faint but mighty voice say, “If you want to be done with this forever, you have to praise me like you never did before. I jumped to my feet during three consecutive songs and began to lift my hands in complete surrender. I was crying, foaming at the mouth, speaking in tongues with no regard for who was watching me. That was big for me because up until that moment, I had been concerned with how I was perceived. I struggled with a cocaine and alcohol addiction for thirteen years. It was the most challenging fight of my life. That day was seven years ago, and I’ve had no desire for drugs and alcohol and have enjoyed sobriety ever since,” Jermaine shared.

After reaching sobriety, Jermaine realized he had a unique story, and I wanted to tell that story to inspire others. He says from a teenager to early adulthood, he produced music. Along the way, he became a community activist who built a rapport in the political arena with an uncanny ability to speak out for those in his community. He has done this by coordinating campaigns, rallies, and more. Jermaine also wrote a religious thriller, “My Brother, The Devil, & Me.” He has also produced the documentary “I Had To Change: The Story Of Jermaine J. Williams”.

Various life experiences have inspired Jermaine. His father died when he was six years old. A drunk driver took Jermaine says, took his father away from me. Shortly after that, his aunt introduced him to the lifes’ work of Malcolm X, and Malcolm X, Jermaine says, became a father from the grave to him.

Jermaine shares he believes it is essential to help others because everyone will need help with something at one point or another. “I must pay it forward because I know what it feels like to receive support or go without it. It’s a matter of what feeling we want to leave with others. I hope it’s not the latter,” he says.

Jermaine’s work as a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist with Here Tomorrow, a nonprofit based in Jacksonville, FL, is what he loves most about what he does. “At Here Tomorrow, I take calls for 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline and serve as a peer counselor to individuals who suffer from addiction and mental diagnoses. I also facilitate support groups,” he says.

As he looks towards the future, Jermaine says his goal is to engage in transition talks with television networks and finalize contracts for Rescue Addiction. “We are very, very close to that. The pilot episode is completed and receiving rave reviews from industry insiders,” Jermaine says. In addition to the novel he is working on, which includes a feature film segment, Jermaine has four other completed scripts in line. He also plans to lobby the DCF managing entity of his home county of Escambia, to advocate for mental health funding for Pensacola and surrounding areas. Something he will never cease doing is working to break the stigma surrounding mental health in the African American community.

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My Brother, The Devil, & Me (Novel) is available on Amazon.

I Had To Change: The Story Of Jermaine J. Williams is available on YouTube.

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Dream Real Theatre Company

William Shakespeare wrote, “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts.” That statement is merely a short introduction to the theatrical world. In truth, some people can identify with this statement because they have family and friends who possess dramatic personalities. Actually, they are living their lives out loud as though they are on stage for the entire world to see. These dramatic family and friends would be prime characters to star in a theatre production. So, what exactly is theatre? I’m glad you asked. Professional theatre is a collaborative art form that combines words, voice, movement and visual elements to express meaning. The field of theatre not only encompasses live improvised and scripted work and has attributes in dramatic forms such as film, television, and other electronic media. Just like the dramatic people, you know theatre has two faces - - one that smiles and one that laughs. In the theatre world, these two faces are essentially a representation of drama. The laughing mask symbolizes comedy, while the crying mask represents tragedy. In essence, these two faces represent extreme human emotion. Often only our closest family and friends can tell the difference between the theatrical faces those creative personalities are wearing.

One person who could identify which face is being represented would be Mrs. Karla Shaw, Chief Executive Officer of The Dream Real Theatre Company of Chicago, Illinois. Better known as Karla Monay Shaw, her theatrical company is intentional with its unique blend of theatre and could assign these dramatic personalities roles in one of her plays. Karla’s productions cater to various interests, such as the youth, teens, young adults, and more seasoned adults. Her staged performances do more than just tell stories; her productions inspire change from within. Read on and see how Karla plans to continue to blow away the Windy City with her theatrical productions. Karla shares, “I was born and raised in Chicago. Ever since I was a young girl performing in school, I would pretend to be producing my own films and directing my own plays. Back then, I realized that theatre could help release stressors in teens’ lives, and that’s what The Dream Real Theatre Company of Chicago sets out to do. We intentionally provide a space where dreams become a reality, and our youth are engaged in positivity through theatrical productions. I want to introduce teens to classical works and teach them to take their own experiences and be creative through performance, writing, and producing plays. That’s how it all began for me, so I know other young people out there need healing, and theatre arts can be a vehicle for that. As adults, we understand that the pressures of life can alter our moral compasses. The battle is already won if we can make wise decisions and choices with a clear heart and healthy mind.”

The mission of The Dream Real Theatre Company of Chicago is to be a place where dreams can become a reality. This theatrical company inspires, engages, and entertains audiences with theatrical productions through creative processes that range from new plays to classic works. They train and support the next generation of theatre artists. Karla explains, “We have created a theatre community that brings shows to diverse communities by working with our teens and young adults through the arts by providing a place where they can be creative through stage and film. I’m an outof-the-box thinker, so when I create, I do it in ways that constantly add theatrical nuances to my plays. Because I cater to the masses, you may see a production where film is incorporated into a play, or you may see a play written for adults only. When I talk about nuances, I’m talking about creating a space for theatre arts, even when things look dim. For example, everything shut down when the world was on lockdown due to COVID-19. Nobody was producing, and Broadway was closed. That wasn’t the case for my company

I thought outside of the box. On May 16, 2022, I put on the first Zoom theatrical show called Quarantine Court. I was the first one to do it. I soon learned that Zoom Quarantine Courts were being held from the United States to London, England, but I was the first,” she says.

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because
“Ever since I was a young girl performing in school, I would pretend to be producing my own films and directing my own plays. Back then, I realized that theatre could help release stressors in teens’ lives, and that’s what The Dream Real Theatre Company of Chicago sets out to do. We intentionally provide a space where dreams become a reality....”
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Since receiving nonprofit status, Karla would like to begin fundraising to establish the Burch Shaw Williamson Media and Performing Arts Center. The center will be dedicated to her parents, husband’s father, and grandparents. The center’s mission is to offer theatre classes that will teach teens all aspects of theatre. The actors and actresses would come from the community and travel with these shows. This venture is vitally important to her because she understands the stressors associated with growing up in Chicago’s black and brown communities. Karla says, “Our senior citizens have so much wisdom to offer our youth and our youth have technology skills to offer our seniors so they can help one another. The seniors can mentor the youth with decision-making and life skills, and the youth can teach the seniors how to operate technology and navigate social media platforms. I also want to feed the homeless and help them get back on their feet. I know it sounds like a lot, and I can’t do it all, but I can do my part. I just want to bring the vision to pass that God has laid on my heart through this center.”

Another goal Karla has is establishing Saving Our Communities Through The Arts Foundation, a mentoring program. Her mission with this foundation is to go into the communities and schools and mentor teens through theatre. She shares, “We have teens and young adults who experience stressors but don’t know what to do with that energy. In 2015 I collaborated with the Department of Children and Family Services here in Chicago. I used some of the teenagers from one of the group homes to produce a play I wrote called, The Tale of Sister and Brother Scrooge. The teenagers participating in this play realized they were working on themselves. The play became a healing mechanism for them. For instance, there was a young girl who could share how she ended up in the group home. It was because she lost both of her parents in a car accident and didn’t have anyone to take her in their home. Of course, everyone didn’t open up, some thought it was a joke, and some actually dropped out of the play but what was phenomenal to me was that after the first play, those same kids who thought it was a joke or who dropped out wished they had taken it more seriously. I want this foundation to go into these communities and schools and invite teenagers in so they can have the stage to “act” out their feelings and learn how to make better choices despite their situations. I want this foundation to be an educational resource for saving lives.”

Patrons of The Dream Real Theatre Company of Chicago can look forward to their next musical production, which was written to honor the memory of her mother, Carolyn “Pretty Pat” Burch-Dandridge, who passed away in May 2022. The stage production is entitled “My Momma’s ERA”. The theme behind this musical production is to share the history of Chicago’s 39th Street Oakwood Blvd in Chicago, also known as Bronzeville and Blackville, through her mother’s lens. Karla hopes this historic play will enhance the cultural knowledge and behaviors of African American teens.

She shares, “Growing up I enjoyed hearing my mother talk about her parents moving from the South to the North and how they made it through adversity. I want to share her story because she advocated for family and community. You know, I lost my eldest sister, who had a son, Pharez. Well, I took my nephew and raised him as my own; he’s my son, and now I’m overjoyed at being a grandmother. I thank God for the privilege of being able to raise him. Pharez has been such an inspiration

to me. I knew he needed to see me trust God and make solid choices for my life, so I went back to school. I received my first degree when he graduated from the eighth grade. It was only God who allowed me to receive my degree from Chicago State University with a BA in Communications Media Arts and Theatre with honors. I also have a BS in Business Administration with honors from Colorado Technical University. I achieved both those degrees within the same year. I worked myself to the bone for those degrees and again, it was all God. I went on to earn my MBA from Grand Canyon University and I also have an associate degree in Theatre from Kennedy-King College here in Chicago. I was going to earn my doctorate degree, but life started happening, so I decided to put that on hold until I could really focus on that educational aspiration. So, education is very important to me. I want our youth to recognize how important having both God and an education is too.”

www.dreamrealtheatrecompany.org

Throughout her life, Karla has met many people who have poured into her life but none as impactful as her husband, Clarence B. Williamson, III. Karla said, “My husband has been my backbone in all of this. He inspires me towards fulfilling my goals. He wants to build with me, and he constantly encourages me to keep things going. He often tells me that “God has a plan”. He constantly speaks to my spirit and reminds me to trust God’s process. I am so thankful that he’s a supporting husband. I think it’s important to recognize the people that God places in our lives. Not only has God given me a supporting husband and son, but He’s also given me family in my sisters LaDrena Stewart and Monica Shaw, and my mother-in-law, Belinda Proctor. They are there at every turn, and I’m grateful to have them in my corner. It’s not just family who support me but women like Ericka Porter, Prophet June Hollingsworth, and Prophet Latisha Thomas. When I tell you that these women inspire me daily they do just that. They are advocates and supporters of the vision that God has placed in my heart. They inspire and motivate me constantly.”

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Karla says it’s her goal to inspire youth. “I want our youth to be creative in their choices and let them know that they do have positive options. This theatre company, the center and the foundation speaks to educating, healing, and ministry. It also inspires our youth through theatre and performing arts. I don’t see many resources in Chicago offering what we do for our children.”

Viola Davis once stated, “And that’s what people want to see when they go to the theatre. I believe at the end of the day they want to see themselves - - parts of their lives that they can recognize and I feel if I can achieve that, it’s pretty spectacular”. I believe Karla Monay Shaw is doing just that with her plays - - connecting and inspiring lives in real time.

Being on the pulse of her community, Karla’s peers recognize her passion for serving, so they thought well enough of her to place her on the ballot for Lt. Governor in Chicago. Though she didn’t win, she was honored that her community of peers was confidant in her integrity and heart to nominate her for the position. The future looks bright for Karla Monay Shaw, and with God’s blessing, she will continue to touch and inspire her community through theatre.

To learn more about The Dream Real Theatre Company, please visit their website.

KidPreneur Business Expo & Talent Showcase 2022

We Had Fun!

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Cutest Baby

The daughter of Brianna Jackson Granddaughter of Ed & Raquel Browning Great Granddaughter of Annie Browning & Lisa
To submit photographs to be placed in the Huami Magazine Cutest Baby feature, please send a detailed email to huami.cutestbaby@gmail.com
MAGAZINE Juliana Marie Jackson

Timothy Fowler Boys to Men Foundation

Timothy Fowler of Charlotte, NC, is the founder of Boys To Men Foundation. His organization provides thousands of boys, ages (9-17) who are referred through partnerships with local school districts and juvenile court systems) with positive alternatives and a robust support network. The mentoring program presents opportunities for enrichment, exposure, support, and guidance through group mentoring sessions led by trained volunteers and mentors. They also connect young men with consistent, positive male role models who foster effective relationships, community involvement, interactive teaching, and open communication in a loving and nurturing environment.

Timothy was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. He grew up in a household with seven kids and says his father took care of them and ensured they always had a roof over their heads. Today, Timothy is a father of a teenage son, and he has a daughter who attends Spelman College in Atlanta, GA. Timothy graduated from Medgar Evers College with a BA in Elementary Education in 1995. He has worked as a Pre-K teacher for nearly 30 years. His first teaching position happened at P.S.190 in Brooklyn, and upon moving to Charlotte in 2005, Timothy worked as a Pre-K teacher at Morehead Stem Academy. Currently, he works as a Pre-K teacher at Highland Renaissance Academy.

Upon graduating from Medgar Evers College, Timothy began a career in education and has served as a role model for young people ever since. In 2008, he founded the Boys to Men Foundation. BTM’s workforce development benefits two groups: It builds character for mentees as they acquire knowledge, skills, and aptitude for gainful employment. It also benefits employers who participate in the apprenticeship program by providing an effective means of communication with a familiar candidate pool, helping to meet their demand for stellar employees.

Timothy’s desire to serve started a long time ago. He shares, “Back in my hometown of Brooklyn, I first noticed the nonexistent presence of positive male role models in underprivileged communities. Out of this need, I started my quest to counsel young teens through programs like Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. I was a Big Brother for over five years and worked at the YMCA, and I continue to be active today. As a young male, I would always strive to bring people of all walks of life together. While attending Medgar Evers, I started a program called the Black and Latino Male Initiative. The initiative’s goal was to bring males together to discuss common issues affecting society at that time. When I moved to Charlotte, I continued that initiative by starting the Boys to Men Foundation.”

Timothy understands that he must care about others who need help outside his immediate family. “It’s a selfless act to fight for someone who is virtually a stranger until that relationship unravels. Ninety percent of our boys come from single-parent households. For these young men to have someone they can trust enough and be vulnerable with to reach out when they need help is invaluable,” he says.

Timothy says his life was greatly impacted by his grandmother, who lived in Wilmington, NC. As a young boy, he would travel there every summer to visit her. He witnessed her give back to her community and how she poured into anyone, regardless if they were members of her family. This explains why he loves giving people new experiences and watching them grow. “Every day is different. I always tell my mentees they help me grow just as much as we help them,” he shares.

For BTM, Timothy says operational funding is always tough. “There are a lot of non-profits that all need funding, so it’s a competitive environment. Fortunately, we have cultivated some great relationships with local businesses. Finding good people to help me carry out this organization’s vision and mission has also been a challenge. Yet, we are moving ahead and always looking for good people to help us,” he says.

Timothy says BTM’s goal for the upcoming year is to form more partnerships with local businesses and corporations to aid in their effort to empower young men. h

704-858-3790 www.btmfoundation.org

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Tasha Teaches Spanish

Arkansas native LaTasha Moore, is a wife, mother, striving entrepreneur, and countrywoman at heart, hailing from the small southwestern town of Falcon.

She is also a woman full of wisdom and credits being born to elderly parents giving her the advantage of seeing life differently at an early age. She believes that titles and accolades don’t mean anything if one’s character is not exemplary. She is also someone who has accomplished a great deal in life. Some things include closing in obtaining her Master of Arts in Spanish degree from the University of Central Arkansas. That feat complements her Masters in Public Health she acquired from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Arkansas State University. LaTasha has also lived and worked in Spain as an assistant English teacher through the North American Language and Culture Assistant program.

Currently, LaTasha is the face and founder of Tasha Teaches Spanish. Her company’s focus is to unite communities through language. “We know that learning the Spanish language shouldn’t be limited to school and college classrooms. People need Spanish education in a variety of settings for a variety of reasons, and we exist to meet that need,” she says.

LaTasha shares her company began on a God-fixed plan. “In 2018, I had just been laid off after only one year of teaching Spanish at an area charter school. Pregnant with my first child, I needed a source of income even though my thenpartner (now husband) had offered to handle the bulk of the finances. One day I received the divine thought to make a post on my personal Facebook page stating that I would teach and tutor Spanish lessons. By the end of the day, my post had over 100 likes and 40 shares. This made me realize there was a market and a need for my talents.”

Four years later, LaTasha’s business is running better than ever. She’s contracted six teachers, obtained an office space, and carries out various services and programs to serve her students and community. Some of her achievements since opening the doors of LaTasha Teaches Spanish are being the Winner of the 2020 BIG Pitch competition, Winner of the 2020 Entrepreneurs Unlimited pitch competition, Winner of the 2020 Little Rock Regional Emerging Minority Business of the Year Award, 2022 Little Rock Regional Minority Business of the Year finalist, and acceptance into the 3rd Cohort of the WEM Hub program sponsored by the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas. She is also the 2022 recipient of the Small Business Growth Fund grant.

Detroit - Jan./Feb. 2023 HuamiMagazine.com 35
“We know that learning the Spanish language shouldn’t be limited to school and college classrooms. People need Spanish education in a variety of settings for a variety of reasons, and we exist to meet that need.”

Besides helping others become the best version of themselves, LaTasha loves her life’s calling. “I thoroughly enjoy helping people remove self-imposed barriers and fears when learning Spanish. I enjoy helping them realize that they don’t have to be worried about perfection when beginning their language-learning journey. I encourage my students to be serious about learning, study often, and be committed to reaching a high level of fluency. I am happy when they can connect with Spanish speakers in their communities, churches, at local festivals, etc.,” she says.

LaTasha says s he is inspired by the possibility of a more lingually diverse state. “The Pew Research Center puts Arkansas in the bottom five states for Spanish education. My brand, Tasha Teaches Spanish, exists to change that,” she shares. “When we think of new programs and services to offer, we keep in mind that we want to contribute to improving the Spanish language learning all over the state, not only in our area. This year we will begin to host our annual Spanish camp in different regions, and our long-term goal is to bring a Spanish language immersion school to Arkansas.”

Like many entrepreneurs, there was a time in business when LaTasha only made money through it. She shares that she did not work another job and had to rely on others for her financial wellbeing. “Humans are shaky. They are committed today and gone tomorrow. The high and low seasons of business often resulted in me being in financial binds,” she says. That was challenging for her, but she persevered.

While the journey has been unique and even challenging at times, LaTasha says there aren’t many things she would change about the way things have happened. “I would change our initial hiring practices and staff training. I was the only teacher from 2018-2020, and in 2021 we began contracting teachers to work for us. However, my hiring process was not thorough, and we ended up acquiring a few teachers that were not good fits for the role. Additionally, I failed to see the importance of frequent staff training throughout the year, and I wish I had started that sooner as well,” she says.

The future is looking bright and promising for Tasha Teaches Spanish. This year, there are plans to expand their Spanish summer camp to different regions in Arkansas. They also host community events such as trivia and movie nights, and in December 2023, they will carry out a Spanish Christmas children’s choir. Their long-term goal is to open a Spanish immersion school. Please visit their website to learn more about Tasha Teaches Spanish.

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LaTasha Moore Tasha Teaches Spanish 870-949-9566 www.tashateachesspanish.com h
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