2020 Workshops

Feature: Mayor Quinton Lucas


Mayor Quinton Lucas & Friends Forum Discussion

Saturday, June 13, 11:00 - 11:30 AM     

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How to engage in city politics as a community member. The Mayor's role in city government. How to promote change within your district.

Mayor Quinton Lucas & Friends COVID-19 Discussions

Saturday, June 20, 11:00 - 11:30 AM  

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Best practices. Next steps to "opening" the city/community. How will we now live with COVID-19, Community resources.



Quinton Lucas, “Mayor Q,” was sworn in as the 55th mayor of Kansas City on August 1, 2019.

As mayor, Quinton has prioritized making Kansas City’s neighborhoods safer, creating more accessible and affordable housing and public transportation, fostering a healthier community and improving basic services. Quinton created and chairs the City’s Special Committee on Housing Policy.


Born and raised in Kansas City, Quinton has spent most of his life in the city’s urban core. As a child, he moved often and experienced homelessness, sometimes staying with family or friends, or residing in a motel. Despite these challenges, Quinton remained focused on his schoolwork, earning academic scholarships to high school, college and Cornell Law School before returning home to Kansas City.


Since 2012, Quinton has been a member of the University of Kansas Law School faculty, where he served as one of the youngest tenure-track law professors in the country. He is active in the Kansas City community and volunteers extensively in area schools and organizations, including providing mentorship in local prisons.

Quinton lives in the Historic 18th and Vine Jazz District, which he previously represented on the City Council.


Safe Sleep Virtual Training 

June 19th 

2:00-3:00 pm 

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Join Makeda Peterson, Front Porch Alliance Safe Sleep Coordinator, for a Zoom virtual crib training to learn best safe sleep practices to reduce the risk of SIDS/SUDS in your household. 


Participants receive a FREE CRIB** , safe sleep materials and baby kits for joining the conversation! 


**Must meet eligibility requirements listed below to qualify for a FREE CRIB.


*MUST live in Jackson, Johnson, Cass, Platte or Clay County 

*MUST be WIC or TANF eligible 

*Child must be 12 months or younger 






Please note you will be emailed an enrollment form and pre-survey that MUST BE COMPLETED before the virtual training session to qualify for a crib. 


After the session has concluded you will receive a post-survey that MUST BE COMPLETED to access a link to order your crib and have it directly shipped to your home! 

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Melissa Robinson

Saturday, June 13, 11-11:30 AM     

Melissa Robinson began her social service career at the Ad Hoc Group Against Crime where she served as the Director of Crisis Intervention, assisting families in navigating the region’s social service and criminal justice systems.  While working for Ad Hoc, she decided to pursue a Masters in Business Administration with the goal of assisting non-profit organizations operate from a business and customer service framework.  

Robinson, a Robert Woods Johnson Fellow, is currently employed with the Black Health Care Coalition as the President. She is responsible for leading the organization to fulfill strategic goals, maintain sustainable community partnerships and play a major role in community efforts that create health equity. Melissa Robinson is leading efforts to address the social determinants of health; ensuring the organization is making a significant impact on reducing health disparities in the areas of hypertension, obesity, infant mortality, diabetes, breast and prostate cancer and childhood asthma.  She is the host of “Voices From Midtown and Beyond”, a radio program that airs weekly on KPRT 1590 AM.

Robinson obtained a Bachelors of Science degree at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and a Masters of Business Administration from Webster University in Saint Louis, Missouri.  Robinson received certification as a Mental Health First Aid Instructor, Community Health Worker and received her Family Development Credential from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Ms. Robinson has received leadership awards from a variety of institutions and organizations including, Toastmasters International, Environmental Protection Agency, Kansas City Missouri Chapter of the NAACP, Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Sociatas Doctas, The Independent, and Health Literacy Missouri.  Melissa was also named a “Top Forty Under Forty” by Ingrams Magazine. 

Robinson formerly served on the Public Improvement Advisory Council (PIAC) and the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City Community Advisory Committee. Ms. Robinson is also the former Board President for Kansas City Public Schools. Robinson is committed to ensure all children have access to a globally competitive education.  Her focus is high student expectations, classroom focused finance, parent leadership and community engagement. Robinson is the mother of two boys Jeffery and Brooks Johnson.  Jeffery is nine and Brooks is three years old. 


Balancing motherhood and servant leadership has its challenges; however, Melissa is up for the task.  Every day, Robinson is motivated by civil rights leader, Barbara Jordan, “It is a privilege to serve people; a privilege that must be earn and once earned; we have an obligation to do something good with it”.



Team Cura

Saturday, June 20, 2-2:45PM

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Topic: Increase Your Odds of Earning an Athletic Scholarship – by Starting These 7 Things Now

Dedicated high school athletes who want to earn a college athletic scholarship have a better chance of success when they add Skills Beyond Drills℠ to their training and practice routine.  It’s your choice to put yourself in the best position to earn a roster spot.  Learn the 7 character-driven interpersonal skills you need to start perfecting now.  Join us for this limited virtual seating workshop.

Team Cura is the leader at training athletes for life.  Co-founder Karen Hughey, has taught engaging life skills workshops to thousands of high school, college and adults for over 20 years.  Karen and her colleagues include former college athletes, educators and coaches.  They are passionate about helping student athletes succeed in sport, school and life.


Chukky Okobi

Wednesday, June 24, 11-11:45AM    

Topic: The Basic Instructions of Super Bowl Level Success

I’m an 8 year NFL alumni and a Super Bowl champion with my hometown Pittsburgh Steelers in 2005. Today, my coaching and training practice is called Basic Instructions NLP. I’m an integrative psychology professional, a Master Practitioner in Neuro-Linguistic Programming or NLP. I use my psychology expertise as a keynote speaker and an executive mindset coach entrepreneurs and C level executives. 


As a consultant and corporate leadership trainer I help businesses, entrepreneurs, and business executives gain confidence, clarity, and specificity on exactly how to reach Super Bowl level success, achieve their specific desired results in business and in life.


As a young athlete, the ultimate success as a professional football player is to become a super bowl champion and and every young athlete dreams of playing for his hometown team. In reflection of my journey to becoming a world champion, I realize that I attained my specific desired result, my ultimate potential as a professional. It was a long journey to achieve my specific goal, I experienced the type of satisfaction that all entrepreneurs hope to feel in their business in the future.

Many Entrepreneurs go into business for themselves because they have a vision, a dream, a specific goal that compels them to do what they do. In this virtual presentation, through the storytelling of my journey to the Super Bowl, I teach the 4 Basic Instructions, principles that I followed to achieve my specific desired result as a professional, and I illustrate for the viewers how entrepreneurs can apply them in their journey to their own Super Bowl level Success in business.


Damion "Coach D" Brown


Four episode series, On The Bench with Coach D. hosted by Damion "Coach D" Brown. Coach D is co-founder of the You Hoop Organization, Mental Toughness Expert with the Triumph Performance Institute, and is a board member with the A.D.R.E.E.A.M Foundation; a local non-profit focused on helping today's youth keep their dreams alive.  Each weekly episode includes a different group of panelists and discussion topics in sports, business, and community. 

 Fridays @3:00PM

More Details and Livestream Posted Here


Vladimir Sainte, LCSW

Saturday, June 20, 11:00 - 11:30AM

With more than ten years experience as a therapist, Vladimir Sainte, LCSW
has made an invaluable impact on the Kansas City community through his work as a counselor and crisis clinician. Sainte is committed to providing supportive counseling, not just with children, but through a partnership with their families and the broader community members for a holistic impact on the child's development. Sainte graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a Master of Social Work from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.





Author LeAndrea Mack

The Start Writing Workshop Interactive

Saturday, June 20, 1:00PM    

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Saturday June 20 at 2pm

The "Start Writing" Workshop (Video)


An introduction to writing techniques, how to publish, format and editing. This FREE interactive workshop is an introduction to the how-to guide "Start Writing" a compilation of tools used by 3-Time Essence Bookstore Author and KCPCA Best Author finalist LeAndrea Mack as well as a Q&A session and writing exercise.



Making the literary world sit up and pay attention, Author LeAndrea Mack began her writing career as a freelance journalist for AXS. She focused on the Essence Festival and the events surrounding that weekend. The relationships she made during that time helped her to successfully sell over 300 of her debut novel SEEING RED a few years later. In 2019 she was crowned Miss Juneteenth for her work in her own communities of both Kansas City and St Louis, Missouri as well as her philanthropy work in Africa with children’s books she delivered during her visit to Lagos, Nigeria. She recently has been named a finalist for Best Author of the KC People’s Choice Award and Darron Wheeler Entertainment’s Media Architect.


Book info:



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Angel Lockhart

University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) Talk

Saturday, June 13, 10:00AM    

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Angel Lockhart is a rising second-year law student at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.  She is an active member of the John P. Morris Black Law Students Association and Christian Legal Society. She also volunteers at the Arizona Legal Center, working with students and attorneys that have an interest in criminal and civil law to offer free legal triage services to those in need. This summer, Angel is participating in the ABA Section of Litigation Judicial Intern Opportunity Program (JIOP) at the Maricopa County Superior Court in the Criminal Department. She is also interning as a 1L Summer Associate at Osborn Maledon, P.A.


Prior to law school, Angel moved from her native home of Kansas City, MO, to Phoenix, AZ to work at American Express as a Compliance Analyst in the Financial Intelligence Unit in 2017. In that role, she performed enhanced due diligence research across different markets (NA, EU, AS, and SA) and lines of business (consumer, merchant, and corporate), and drafted memorandums to send to the Global Sanctions Group to determine potential clients’ risk scores or terminations. Angel screened applicants to ensure compliance with Sanctioned Persons, Sanctioned Entities, and Politically Exposed Persons protocols.


Angel began her higher education journey at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, graduating in May 2017 summa cum laude with two B.A.s in Criminal Justice and English (non-teaching). She served in many leadership roles—President, Delta Eta Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.; President, Criminal Justice Club; Co-Editor in Chief, The Arkansawyer; and Co-Editor in Chief, LIONS Yearbook—and interned for Arkansas House of Representative Vivian Flowers of District 17. Thanks to many scholarship donors, family members, and friends, she reached her ultimate goal of graduating debt-free.


In her free time, she likes to watch comedy, go hiking, and spend time with family. Amid recent protests, Angel now volunteers with The National Lawyers Guild Legal Observer program to ensure law enforcement officials do not infringe upon anyone’s First Amendment right to peaceably assemble.



Gabrielle Allen, LMSW

Discussion Topic: Advocacy in Healthcare/Cancer Care


Description: Discussion and tips on how to advocate for yourself or a loved one who is experiencing challenges with medical care or a chronic/terminal illness. Many people go without critical support for lack of knowledge about the resources that are available. 


Bio: Gabby Allen is a Licensed Master Social Worker in both Kansas and Missouri with experience in school social work (special education and general education), child and adult abuse/neglect investigations, forensic interviewing, case management, family preservation and foster care service provision, emergency medical service coordination, inpatient/outpatient mental health group and individual therapy, disability/Medicaid/FMLA, hospital discharge planning, homelessness, addiction, grief/loss, domestic violence, geriatric psychiatry, long-term care, trauma, and specialized Oncology services. 



Neosho C. Ponder, Ph.D.

Date/Time Announced Soon    

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Bio: A native of Kansas City, MO, Neosho C. Ponder is an Adjunct Professor at Trinity Washington University in Washington, DC. 

A 1998 graduate of Northeast LPS/Military Magnet High School, Dr. Ponder began her pursuit of higher education at the University of Missouri- Kansas City, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies with a minor in Black Studies. After completing her BA, she is teaching as a substitute in the Kansas City Missouri School District, which led to her to teach full-time at Westport Middle School. As a young teacher, Dr. Ponder also worked as a Public Relations consultant in the Greater KC area. At the age of 25, she moved to southern California where she continued to volunteer with the NAACP. In 2006, Dr. Ponder was afforded the unique opportunity to travel the country facilitating leadership conferences for middle and high school students with the National Young Leaders State Conference. This eventually led her to the nation’s capital where she worked as the Program Manager for GEAR UP, a college-readiness program and the Program Associate for the National Collaboration for Youth. These opportunities allowed her to pursue a lifelong dream of attending The Mecca, Howard University, and earn both, a Master of Arts in Mass Communication and Media Studies and a Doctor of Philosophy in Communication, Culture, and Media Studies. 

In April 2016, one year after completing her PhD, Dr. Ponder was diagnosed with stage-2 breast cancer. At the age of 36, she was determined to fight and share her story so other young women of color will listen to their bodies. Dr. Ponder has been featured on CNN and BET. She has not allowed a diagnosis to stop her from educating, empowering, and uplifting her community. Dr. Ponder is now a 4-year breast cancer survivor who enjoys rowing crew with We Can Row DC, a rowing club for breast cancer survivors! 

Dr. Ponder is a first-generation college graduate and the only member of her family with master’s and doctorate degrees. An active, 20 year member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., she is also a member of The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), The National Urban League Young Professionals, Capital Cause, and the National Communications Association. She is also an active member of Reid Temple AME church where she serves in the Women’s and Cancer Ministries.



Eric Boone, Howard University C/O 2018

Saturday, June 13, Noon 

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Erick Boone was born in Kansas City, Missouri. His passion for international affairs and public service led him to Howard University where he enrolled in the School of Communications. While at Howard, Erick volunteered in the International Affairs Center, helped found the United Nations Association, and presented research as a member of the Annenberg Honors Program. In 2018, he graduated Summa Cum Laude from the School of Communications with a Bachelors of Arts in Legal Communications.

After graduation, Erick worked as a program assistant for the Young African Leadership Initiative then traveled to France to teach English and American History through the Teaching Assistant Program In France (TAPIF). Afterwards, he began working as an intern for the Department of State and as a policy fellow for the U.S. Helsinki Commission where he focused on human rights issues. Erick is a 2020 recipient of the Thomas R. Pickering fellowship. He plans to pursue a Master’s Degree at Harvard Kennedy School before starting his career as a diplomat.




Ashlei Reed



Ashlei Reed is an Category Cat Analyst for Walmart with Nestlé Purina as well as a part-time Realtor® she works closely with first time home buyer, investors and solopreneurs to grow their personal and professional brands within the local area. After spending nearly a decade working for fortune 500 companies: Southwestern Bell, AT&T and Thomas Reuters, Ashlei knows what truly drives conversations, sales and best in class service.  

“It’s how well you connect with people; only then can you develop an understanding of what common goals you can achieve together.” 

Ashlei was born and raised in Saint Louis, Missouri. Her mother holds a master degree in education and taught in the Saint Louis Public School district for thirty five years. Her father is a Real Estate broker who serves the Saint Louis and surrounding communities; specializing in programs such as REO and HUD for first time home owners for over forty years.  Ashlei developed a strong sense of devotion for the nonprofit sector as a youth development program leader with Olin Business School-Washington University in Saint Louis over twenty years ago (Minority Youth Entrepreneurship Program). This experience gave her a deep appreciation for how companies will seek to improve the quality of life for our region-one program and person at a time.

She epitomizes integrity, delayed gratification and dedication to results in every detail of her life. 

  • Recipient of Nestlé Purina’s Unsung Hero Award and Rookie of the Year 2016

  • Recipient of Realtor of the Year Award for Reed Realtors 2009

  • Recipient of AT&T Circle of Excellence Award 2008

Ashlei holds a BA in Business Administration from Tennessee State University and MBA from Webster University.



Da'Von Franklin, Morehouse College C/O 2018

Saturday, June 13, 2:00PM

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Da’Von Franklin is a 2017 graduate of Ruskin High School. He is a rising sophomore at Morehouse College majoring in drama and minoring in fashion. After earning his degree from Morehouse, Da’Von aspires to model and act full-time. He also has an interest in music. Da’Von earned a spot in the historic Morehouse Glee Club, but chose to focus on his studies and future goals. Da’Von is the oldest of five, 3 brothers and a sister. He loves spending time with family and making entertaining videos on his YouTube channel. He gives back to his community as much as he can. Da’Von hopes to inspire other young Kansas Citians to go after their dreams without compromising who they are.




Pamela S. Taylor, PhD, LPC

Saturday, June 20, 2:45-3:!5PM

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Dr. Pam is a counselor, speaker, coach, consultant and owner of New Hope Counseling Center, Dr. Pam provides services to adolescents, marriages, couples and adults with depression, anxiety, and many other life concerns. 

Dr. Pam has also counseled in school settings, in the church environment, in mental health clinics and in community settings where she fostered family relationships and provided evaluations for children, adolescents, and adults to assess learning disabilities, behavior disorders, and personality traits. She serves clients with a focus on results-oriented counseling applied from both a Christian and clinical perspective. 

Additionally, Dr. Pam has served as Adjunct Faculty at local and state colleges and universities where she has taught Psychology, Critical Thinking, and Career Management. Dr. Pam has presented to many professional groups including the American Psychological Association, the North Central Urban Extension Conference, and the Missouri Division of Youth Services. She has facilitated leadership workshops and been the guest speaker at several women’s conferences. Finally, Dr. Pam is the author of one monograph used in many workshops. “I Choose Rejection” helps those with a desire to stop the cycle of emotional abuse. 

Dr. Pam received both her Masters and PhD in Counseling Psychology from the University of Missouri. Her Masters was completed with an emphasis in Career Counseling and her PhD with an emphasis in both School Psychology and Social Work.

New Hope Counseling Center

7312 Troost Avenue 

Kansas City, MO 64110






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Rep. Ashley Bland Manlove

Saturday, June 20


Rep. Ashley Bland Manlove has spent her life making her community a better place: from registering voters as a child and knocking doors to encourage voter participation, to listening to elders on how best to serve her community. Ashley took those lessons on service with her, and in 2010 her desire to serve led her to enlist in the Army National Guard as an Intelligence Analyst.

Rep. Manlove has spent countless hours meeting with constituents and speaking to the people of the 26th House District, taking those conversations with her to Jefferson City. As a legislator, she fights to reform the criminal justice system, protect voter rights, and focuses on the education of urban youth with a concentration on trauma-informed supportive services, and workforce development. Rep. Ashley Bland Manlove stands ready to continue serving and engaging in the hard work of addressing the critical issues facing our state, let us stand with her and send her back to Jefferson City to continue the work. 

Ashley Bland Manlove

State Rep. MO HD26




Glam By Sydney M. & The “Royale” Toddlers

Saturday, June 20, 2020 



Live on FB (or YouTube)

Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/creative-make-up-workshop-tickets-109585806096


You don’t need to be a professional cosmetologist to enhance your natural beauty with makeup.


We’ve made it super easy for all girls on the go and anyone who wants to experiment with makeup. There’s no reason to spend hundreds on fancy products. With this FREE workshop, you’ll learn fast, easy, and inexpensive makeup techniques that ANYONE can pull off.


Limited spots to be featured during our live feed.


Past workshop: https://youtu.be/OufiaYwgDV4


Sonie Ruffin photo taken by Jerry Talife

Sonié Joi Thompson-Ruffin

Saturday, June 20, 2020 


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Sonié Joi Thompson-Ruffin is a renowned fabric artist, fabric designer, author, lecturer and independent curator. Her extraordinary textile artwork has shown at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, David C. Driskell Art Center, Nelson Atkins Museum of Art Spencer Museum, Harvard, Bethesda Medical Rotunda, Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, Holter Museum of Art, New England Quilt Museum, Gadsen Museum, Mulvane Museum, Leedy- Volkous Art Center, KCAI Crossroads Gallery, Bates College, Lincoln University, African American Culture House on the UMKC Campus.

She has conducted workshops at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and a host of museums, quilt guilds and galleries.

Sonié is a Charlotte Street Visual Arts Fellow, Art Omi Fellow, Kansas Master’s, Alliance of Artists Community Scholarship recipient and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. Women of Courage Award recipient. Her work has appeared on the cover and in KC Studio magazine and New Letters.

Sonié’s public art design appears on the front of the Kansas City Leon Mercer Jordan East Patrol and Crime Lab Campus.

Sonié is a founding member of the African American Artists Collective, Artistic Manager of the 1900 Artists Collective, LLC located in the heart of Kansas City Crossroads arts district, she serves on the Kansas City History Museum Foundation Board, and as resident curator for Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center. 

Her artwork is held in the collections of galleries, museum, corporate, and private collections in the United States, Africa, and Europe.


Shawn Edwards

Saturday, June 20, 2020 

Noon-1:30PM, 3-4PM

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Shawn Edwards is a film journalist, pop culture guru and TV and film producer. As a nationally recognized film critic for Fox 4 News in Kansas City, Missouri he has won numerous national awards including Best TV Film Critic twice by the LA Press Club's National Entertainment Journalism Awards. Edwards is the co-founder of AAFCA (African American Film Critics Association) created in 2003. He also created I Love Black Movies the popular social media and online movie community in 2008.


Edwards got his start writing for national hip-hop magazines. He wrote for The Source, XXL and Vibe magazines during the late '90s. He is a life-long lover of movies who began making his own films in the 7th grade. He won several national student filmmaking awards.


He is currently on the Critics Choice Association board of directors, a member of Gold Derby and working as a consultant and producer for the Hidden Empire Film Group. Edwards is also writing an illustrative book on the history of black film and is the executive producer of "Movie Trip TV."