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How often do you walk into a conference where you are warmly welcomed, acknowledged, and everyone there is committed to your success? That is precisely what the women who will be listed here are will do.

They, like Wisdom Word Women are committed to empowering you to move authentically into a better future - we promise!

PAMELA MYERS, a Ph.D. candidate at Capella University, a licensed social worker since 1999, works as an Education Program Manager in a homeless shelter, a parent education consultant; and a Pennsylvania Pathways TQAS Certified Trainer for Early Childcare staff. In the early eighties Pamela started working with families and continues to support and help to build urban families and communities. She is the mother of two adults and a grandmother of one.

ENASHA TETTEHFIO, a young adult and an aspiring Harvard Law student, currently attends Community College of Philadelphia as a Paralegal Studies Student. She is employed by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Philadelphia, as a SCEP site manager and a SMART Program site coordinator/facilitator, who works with parents and children from kindergarten to twelfth grade. In addition, she volunteers at People’s Emergency Center, working with the Teen Group.

JOEL AUSTIN,is a formidable force in the fatherhood movement. A proud graduate of Cheyney University, he was born in West Philadelphia as the youngest of four children. He is a single father of four, a veteran and the Founder & CEO of Daddy UniverseCity Inc. He defines himself as a father first and acknowledges his family as helping him value the importance of family, hard work, education and community at an early age. As a proactive father, he is personally and professionally committed to encouraging all fathers realize that their presence impacts and shapes lives.
Through Daddy UniverseCity Inc., Mr. Austin provides a response to the need for formal and comprehensive support for fathers who want to be involved. The organization provides services, information and products for fathers of all kinds. Mr. Austin’s concept for the Daddy Bag and the Daddy Delivery Room Bag led to the creation of Daddy UniverseCity’s product line. As the CEO of Daddy UniverseCity, Mr. Austin makes supporting fathers, fatherhood practitioners and parenting organizations a priority. He serves as a chief facilitator and consultant for fatherhood classes, youth training and teen parenting programs with a passion that is contagious. He has designed curriculum focusing on the role and responsibilities of fathers. His straightforward feedback, wisdom and commitment to fathers have earned him recognition as an emerging leader in the parenting community and business world alike. Mr. Austin can be contacted for speaking engagements, consulting and on-site training via e-mail to .

SANNII CRESPINA – FLORESa poet and artist residing in Philadelphia is the Director of Plum. She has sponsored the publication of the Love Me Bell, a collection of poems by Philadelphia youth and the author of Then, I became the Moon and Conversations with my Conscience. Her works of art have been exhibited in local and national galleries and a portion of the proceeds from art sales is used to fund her private scholarship fund. She continues to provide workshops for youth throughout Philadelphia both publishing and exhibiting the artworks of her students.

TARA NICOLE GAUDINis founder of Trinity Transformations®, a training and consulting business that provides workshops and educational materials for organizational, professional, and personal skills development to non-profit agencies, churches, and community-based organizations.
She is the author of Transformations, a psycho-educational therapist toolkit specifically designed for work with women, covering over 45 topics and divided into 8 modules: Self, Relationships, Sexuality, Mental and Emotional Health, Physical Health, Spirituality, Addiction and Recovery, and Life Skills.
She is also presently the Division Director for Women Against Abuse, the largest social service agency in Philadelphia that provides comprehensive services to victims of domestic violence.

GLORIA KINGCADE, stared instructing line dancing in October 1998. She is a Certified Primary Aerobic Instructor AAAI & ISMA (AAAI-American Aerobic Association International, ISMA-International Sports Medicine Association), has given lessons or demonstrations at:

  • Community College of Philadelphia
  • Friends Neighborhood Guild
  • Penn State’s Mid-Atlantic Obesity Conference-2004
  • Sayre/Morris Recreation Center
  • Canaan Baptist Church
  • Philadelphia Water Department
  • St Charles & Spring Garden Sr. Citizen Centers
  • Rhythm & MOVES Dance Studio
  • Holiday Inn Historic District Phila., PA
  • Sunoco’s Welcome America! 2000, 2001, 2002 & 2004

  • ROXANNE E. EPPERSON, Executive Director and Founder of Women Against Abusive Relationships (WAAR), is passionately committed to ending Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) in the lives of women and girls. This passion developed as a result of her being a survivor of an intimate relationship that almost took her life, as well as, being a victim of multiple incidences of sexual violence.

    JANET COSTON Some of Janet's credits include:

  • -BSN Howard University
  • -MTS Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • -Founder and Youth Activity Coordinator for “Joseph Dreams”
  • -1988 Delco Nurse of Hope for American Cancer Society
  • -Medical Missionary in Kingston, Jamaica

  • Rev. YVONNE FLORENCE is an ordained minister. In October 2004, Yvone along with her husband Calvin were inspired to establish the "Operation We Care Outreach Ministry “ to help the less fortunate. Her passion is working with all people and she does this by teaching, preaching and mentoring with the word of God as the foundation.

    MICHELLE MITCHELL Owner and Chief Marketing Liaison of LadyBug Marketing Consultants. She was the Marketing Director for Amicus Curiae, Inc. a private research firm in Fayetteville, NC. With over 20 years experience in marketing she has planned events, managed public relations and coordinated publicity for her clients. She was responsible for product promotions for Dryel, Absolut and Courvoisier. In addition she has assisted clients with photography and modeling when needed. Michelle has worked with For You magazine(An African American Bridal Magazine) where she assisted with meetings, initial prototype, marketing, and modeled in the first issue. She was also responsible for the Public Relations and was the sole photographer for WOV, Inc. (Women Of Vision, Inc.), formerly WEN, Inc. Michelle has also worked with clients who need assistance with proposal and grant writing.

    VALERIE DORSEY ALLEN ...a 1993 graduate of Penn's School of Social Work, is the Director of the African-American Resource Center. She has developed and presented workshops on many topics including Work-Life Balance, Cultural Diversity, Racism, Social Change, Sexual Harassment, Adolescent Development and Parenting. Ms Allen has developed, presented and participated in Rites Of Passage programs for children and adolescent girls. Currently, Ms. Allen serves as the President of the Greater Philadelphia Chapter of the Association of Black Women in Higher Education and was the 2005 Conference Chair for the PA Black Conference on Higher Education- Eastern Region.

    AFI ROBERSON HEYWOOD the Staff Assistant in the University of Pennsylvania’s African-American Resource Center. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Antioch University in 1989, and her Master of Science degree from Penn in 1995. At Penn, she serves as the co-executive chair for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Symposium on Social Change; coordinator for the Women Of Color At Penn Monthly Networking Lunch Series; and facilitator for staff development programs. Afi has developed, presented and participated in Rites of Passage programs for women about to be married and for adolescents. Afi is also the co-founder and advisor to Alliance and Understanding, a Black and Jewish student group.

    ROBIN MADDOX Robin M. Maddox is the eldest daughter born to Rev. Dr. Robert P. and Barbara Shine of Philadelphia, Pa. Robin attended public school in Philadelphia. Upon high school graduation, Robin was accepted and attended Lincoln University, receiving her BS degree in Sociology/Human Services. After working for a couple of years, she returned to school and received her Masters degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Nonprofit Management from the University of Delaware.
    Robin currently serves as the Executive Director for the Freedom Development Corporation, a nonprofit affiliate of the Freedom Christian Bible Fellowship Church.

    MARTINA MARTINAS Some of Martina's workshop and performances include:

  • Uhuru Dance Company – Columbus, Ohio – April 72-November 74 – dance member of company at Ohio State University – danced ethic, jazz and modern dance; performed at various events for Ohio State University and community.
  • Makinde and Company – Columbus, Ohio – January 75-October 77- Dance director, dance and choreographer – choreographed African, jazz and modern dance routines, participated in play productions, performed and set up workshops in the public schools.
  • Koumpo – (formerly members of the Sengelese Dance Troupe) – San Diego, California – November 77-September 80 – performed in company in Sengelese dance.
  • Arthur Hall Dance Company – Philadelphia, PA - March 82-June 84 – member of dance company in ethnic dancing with Senegelese, Guinea and other dance movement, studied Dunham and Horton technique.

  • ARMENTA L. WASHINGTON, M.S. is the Manager of Training and Health Education with Family Planning Council and the Pennsylvania Family Life Education, Inc. Through her work at Family Planning Council Armenta is involved in federal and regional funded projects to address Teen Pregnancy, STD and HIV prevention. She is responsible for the design and delivery of science based curricula as well as comprehensive sexual health education to young people and their parents. She is the former Director of the Harrison Community Family Center, as well as one of the first Youth Development Specialist for Center for Youth Development.
    One of her true passions is to implement a Social Enterprise program with a focus on therapeutic African-Centered Rites of Passage for families. She completed her Masters of Science in Health Education at Saint Joseph’s University and holds a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from Millersville University.

    DALE PIERCE NIELSEN A native Chicagoan, Dale has been a fixture behind-the-scenes of production in New York for the past 18 years. After graduating from Vassar College in 1980, Dale began her career as a production assistant on the feature films Turk 182, Death of A Salesman and F/X. Later she moved into production coordination (Angel Heart, House on Carroll Street, School Daze, Lean On Me) and in 1989, began her tour as assistant director on Spike Lee’s Mo’ Better Blues, Jungle Fever and X. Since then, Dale has compiled an impressive list of feature film credits (Who’s The Man, Dead Presidents, Having Our Say, Remember The Titans, The Preacher’s Wife, Twilight Los Angeles, Blair Witch 2 and Freedomland). As a producer, Dale’s credits include the four-hour Matters of Race series (PBS) and the feature presentation Citizen King (PBS), as well as music videos and independent projects for artists, organizations and herself through her production company, Mbali Pictures.

    AISHAH SHAHIDAH SIMMONS Since 1992, Aishah Shahidah Simmons has used the written word and the camera lens, as a producer, writer, and director, to make central the impact of the intersections of oppressions on the lives of Black women. She is an award-winning African American feminist, lesbian independent documentary filmmaker, television and radio producer, published writer, international lecturer, and activist based in Philadelphia. Her previously completed internationally acclaimed short videos Silence…Broken and In My Father’s House explore the issues of race, gender, homophobia, rape, and misogyny.
    Ms. Simmons is the producer, writer, and director of the feature length documentary NO! (The Rape Documentary). Eleven years in the making, this feature length documentary explores how the collective silence about acts of rape and other forms of sexual assault adversely affects African-Americans, while simultaneously encouraging dialogue to bring about healing and reconciliation between all men and women.
    Alice Walker, the Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Color Purple says, “If the Black community in the Americas and in the world would save itself, it must complete the work ‘NO!’ begins.”
    NO! features testimonials from Black women survivors who defy victimization. Violence prevention advocates, sociologists, historians, anthropologists and other leading scholars Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole (President, Bennett College for Women), Dr. Farah Jasmine Griffin (Director of the Institute for Research in African-American Studies, Columbia University), Ulester Douglas (Director of Training, Men Stopping Violence), Loretta Ross (Former Director, DC Rape Crisis Center), and Sulaiman Nuriddin (Men’s Intervention Programs Manager, Men Stopping Violence) provide an interdisciplinary context with which to examine sexual violence in African-American communities. Impacting archival footage, spirited music, dance and performances from award-winning poets Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, Samiya A. Bashir, and the late Essex Hemphill take viewers on a journey from enslavement of African people through present day. NO! unveils the reality of rape, other forms of sexual violence, and healing in African-American communities.
    Noted hip-hop historian, author, and political activist Kevin Powell says, "Given the level of violence against women in this country, we owe it to ourselves and to future generations not to turn our backs on "NO!." For in ignoring this documentary we would be once again ignoring the voices of women."
    Her published essays have been translated into French and Italian and are featured in several anthologies and journals in the United States and internationally. Her work and activism have been documented in numerous publications including, The Philadelphia City Paper, The New York Daily News, The Black Scholar, The Philadelphia Weekly, Lesbia Magazine, The Philadelphia Tribune, Essence Magazine, Sojourner: The Women’s Forum, Women In The Life Magazine, LA Weekly, Filmmaker Magazine, Gay Black Female,, Nia, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Los Angeles Times, One World, The Independent: Film & Video Monthly, and
    Ms. Simmons has lectured on the impact of the intersections of oppressions, and facilitated workshops on the process of making grassroots social change documentaries, to racially and ethnically diverse audiences at community centers, colleges/universities, high schools, juvenile correctional facilities, rape crisis centers, battered women’s shelters, and conferences, across the United States and internationally.
    Awards & Grants
    *2006 San Diego Women Film Festival’s Juried Award & Audience Choice Award*2006 DC Rape Crisis Center’s Visionary Award*The Ford Foundation*2006 National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s Award for Outstanding Response to and Prevention of Sexual Violence*2005 Leeway Foundation’s Transformation Award*Artist-in-Residence, Digital Moving Image Salon, Spelman College*Valentine Foundation*Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice*Bread and Roses Community Fund*WOMENS Way Discretionary Fund*Gloria Steinem Fund of the Ms. Foundation for Women*Cercle des Libres Penseurs de Bruxelles (Belgium)*Groupe du 6 Novembre (France)*Studio Film & Tape, Inc.*Evangelical Lutheran Church of America*Funding Exchange*Open Meadows Foundation*Pennsylvania N.O.W. Education Fund*2003 Denver Pan African Film Festival “Soul Spirit Award,”*2003 Barnard/Columbia Rape Crisis/Anti-Violence Support Center’s “Voices of Courage” Award*2000 Bread and Roses Community Fund’s “Water Award for Intergenerational Activism”* 1998 NAACP (Philadelphia Chapter) “Exemplary Citizen” Award*1998 Audre Lorde Legacy Award of Union Institute Center for Women* 1995 Atlantic City Black Film Festival “Filmmaker Award”*1994 Philadelphia Gay Pride Award More info about Aishah & the film...

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