SEASON 1

 

Episode 001 | Confidence, Cosplay, & Leadership with Chauna Lawson, Founding Committee Member of BlerDCon

www.blerDCon.com

Twitter: @blerdcondc, @ccthegreekgeek
Instagram: @blerdcon, @ccthegreekgeek

 

Chauna Lawson is a Founding Committee Member of BlerdCon,  the first convention of its kind to host a traditional convention structure of panels, celebrity guests, presentations, workshops, gaming tournaments, cosplay contests music and dance while highlighting and showcasing the rich diversity of the minority community contributing in those genres.

 

Chauna is a Bowie State University Class of 2009 alumna  with a degree Sociology. She is currently pursuing a Master's Degree at Howard University in History.

 

She began cosplaying in September 2015. Chauna always had an interest in cosplay, but was reluctant due to potential financial constraints and body insecurities, however, she realized it was important that women of color see other ordinary women of color doing extraordinary things.

 

Chauna currently focuses on activism in cosplay. As a founding committee member of BlerDCon, she seeks to help provide a safe space for blerds* to discuss issues in the geek world that are important to them...the good, the bad, and the ugly. BlerDCon seeks to bringing overdue attention and focus to people of color in sci-fi, fantasy, anime, comics, and more. 

 

*Blerd is shorthand for “black nerd” but is often used as a self-descriptive term for people of all colors within the minority community of geeks. While Blerd is the organizing principle of this con, we are expanding its meaning to encompass the far corners of diversity that represent the growth population for all that we love about nerd-dom.

 

 

 

Episode 002 | Identifying Professional and Life Purpose with Lenny Williams, Co-founder of Trill or Not Trill 

www.trillornottrill.com

Twitter: @designbylaw

Instagram: @designbylaw

 

Lenny Williams holds an MBA degree from New Jersey City University where he serves as a professor of entrepreneurship within the School of Business. He also teaches at Hudson and Brookdale Community College. Within the fields of High Ed., he has a strong background in enrollment management, admissions and retention. All while under the age of 30, he’s already impacted so many students inside the classroom and has assisted hundreds more get into college. In addition, Mr. Williams has created a scholarship program in his hometown and worked with organization such as The Root, NFL Players Association, Columbia University, Yale University and many more.

 

 

 

Episode 003 | Motivation & Inspiration with Kim Peppers, Flexquad Transformation Coach, Fulltime Professional Trainer, and National Level Women's Physique Athlete

www.kimshealthandwellness.ca
Twitter: @kimgymadvisor
Instagram: @kimpeppers3

 

Kim is a full time personal trainer in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, where she works with a wide range of clients, including everyday weight loss to professional bodybuilders. She specialize in aesthetics and transformations while offering a fun, comfortable and results driven business. Kim is also a national level women's physique athlete.

 

 

 

Episode 004 | Representation Matters with Milton Davis, Author and Owner of MVMedia, LLC
www.mvmediaatl.com
Twitter: @thegriot

 

Milton Davis is a research and development chemist, speculative fiction writer and owner of MVmedia, LLC, a small publishing company specializing in Science Fiction, Fantasy and Sword and Soul. MVmedia’s mission is to provide speculative fiction books that represent people of color in a positive manner. Milton is the author of Changa’s Safari Volumes One, Two and Three. His most recent releases are Woman of the Woods and Amber and the Hidden City. He is co-editor of four anthologies; Griots: A Sword and Soul Anthology and Griot: Sisters of the Spear, with Charles R. Saunders; The Ki Khanga Anthology with Balogun Ojetade and the Steamfunk! Anthology, also with Balogun Ojetade. Milton Davis and Balogun Ojetade recently received the Best Screenplay Award for 2014 from the Urban Action Showcase for their African martial arts script, Ngolo. His current projects include The City, a cyberfunk anthology, Dark Universe, a space opera anthology based on a galactic empire ruled by people of African American descent, and From Here to Timbuktu, a steamfunk novel. Together with Balogun Ojetade Milton launched the State of Black Science Fiction Convention on June 11 – 12, 2016


Milton resides in Metro Atlanta with his wife Vickie and his children Brandon and Alana.

 

 

 

Episode 005 | Collaboration & Creativity with Joash Berkeley, Creative Director, Jberkeley Studios
www.jberkstudio.com
Twitter: @joashberkeley
Instagram: @joashberkeley

 

Joash is creative director originally from Trinidad & Tobago. Under the freelance brand, JBerkeley Studio, he spearheads concept-driven and impactful design solutions in motion graphics, animation, graphic design and live-action media. His goal is to create work that goes beyond appreciation, but contributes to positive human development through visual storytelling.

 

Some of his accomplishments include: Winning 2nd place internationally in the Rookies Student Design Competition, being featured by Print Magazine as 'Designer of The Week' , placing in 4 Semi-finalist position and 1 finalist position in the Adobe Design Achievement Award, and winning 1st place nationally in WorldSkills Trinidad & Tobago.

 

 

Episode 006 | Perseverance and Good Vibes with JAHFARII
www.jahfafariibeads.com

Twitter: @Jahfariibeads
Instagram: @Jahfariibeads

Jahfarii hopes to bring positive energy to the world with JAHFARIIBEADS.Based out of a home studio in Baltimore, MD, JAHFARIIBEADS has extended its brand to over 30 A-list celebrities including Diddy, Young Thug, Lauryn Hill, Trey Songz, Rich Homie Quan, DJ Drama, DMX, Fabolous, 2 Chainz, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Cassie, Desiigner, and More.

 

 

Episode 007 | Positive Self-Talk and Happiness Lists with Terri Lomax

www.mochagirlspitstop.com
Twitter: @TerriLomax
Instagram: @TerriLomax

We’ve all heard the saying, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Terri Lomax finds great joy in “making lemonade” for herself and helping others make lemonade out of the lemons in their lives. Terri is a nationally recognized blogger, speaker and author dedicated to empowering youth to overcome adversity and passionate about helping women of color become their best selves.

 

Terri's lifelong desire to help others was birthed from a place of hurt and pain. As a child, her resilience enabled her to overcome physical and verbal abuse and defy statistics about children with incarcerated parents.

 

Despite struggling financially and coping with low self-esteem and depression, Terri earned her Master of Arts in Conflict Analysis and Dispute Resolution from Salisbury University. She is the author of Break Up With Procrastination: 7 Steps to Help You Follow Through With Your Goals, a workbook-style, do-it-yourself guide for goal setting. Terri is also a former Miss Black America Contestant.

 

In an effort to give back to her community, Terri founded Mocha Girls Pit Stop, a personal development blog for young women that empowers them to overcome adversity and boost their self-esteem.

 

 

Episode 008 | A Candid Talk On Education with Rhett R. Burden, Author, Keynote Speaker, Workshop Facilitator, & College Administrator

www.royallymelanated.com

Twitter:

 @Rhett_Burden

 

We’ve all heard the saying, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Terri Lomax finds great joy in “making lemonade” for herself and helping others make lemonade out of the lemons in their lives. Terri is a nationally recognized blogger, speaker and author dedicated to empowering youth to overcome adversity and passionate about helping women of color become their best selves.

 

Terri's lifelong desire to help others was birthed from a place of hurt and pain. As a child, her resilience enabled her to overcome physical and verbal abuse and defy statistics about children with incarcerated parents.

 

Despite struggling financially and coping with low self-esteem and depression, Terri earned her Master of Arts in Conflict Analysis and Dispute Resolution from Salisbury University. She is the author of Break Up With Procrastination: 7 Steps to Help You Follow Through With Your Goals, a workbook-style, do-it-yourself guide for goal setting. Terri is also a former Miss Black America Contestant.

 

In an effort to give back to her community, Terri founded Mocha Girls Pit Stop, a personal development blog for young women that empowers them to overcome adversity and boost their self-esteem.

 

 

Episode 009 | Community Engagement & Transition Kitchen with Robert "Chef Stew" Stewart, Celebrity Chef & Food Network Alum

www.chefstew.com

https://www.gofundme.com/transitionkitchen

Twitter:

@CelebrityChef1

Instagram:

@Chef_Stew

 

Chef Stewart has been on this Culinary Quest for several years, collecting memorabilia along the way. Chefs’ collection includes over 45 different Collages from various jobs that have significant meaning to him.  

 

"For it was by design that I would walk through these doors before I could walk through my own"

 

To remind himself of the above phrase he actually created collages of every paystub from each place where he has been employed during his journey.

 

 After gaining popularity for both his mouth watering food and his vibrant personality within the Atlanta entertainment industry, Chef decided to bring the world into the kitchen by filming "Industry Soup w/ Chef Stew" which allowed everyone to get a glimpse into the life of a Celebrity Chef and share in the biggest moments of his career.

 

 After building a formidable reputation in the Culinary Industry he was honored to become Personal Chef to Actress/Comedian Luenell. This was not only an amazing opportunity for Chef Stew, but also a career move because he then had to leave Atlanta after spending 7 years in pursuit of owning his own restaurant, to be aptly named Stewarts Bistro. However, moving to California has been a dream come true for him, taking him from Baltimore, Md to the hallway of Food Network, where he was a contestant on “Guy’s Grocery Games” with Chef Guy Fieri.  He has gained several clients in both the Corporate and Entertainment industries, who solicit his services for catering and private dinners while traveling across the country. Some of his A-LIST clientele include, Actress/Comedian Luenell, Lala Hathaway, Jasmine Guy, Tony Terry, Demetria McKinney, Shaquille O’Neal, Malcolm Jamal Warner, Tracey Ellis Ross, Skyler Jett, and Kym Whitley to name a few.

 

Chef Stew has made appearances on OWN Television show Raising Whitley, Food Network show Guy’s Grocery Games & Cutthroat Kitchen,  Baltimore’s FOX 45 Morning show, DelMarva Life Morning show, and more to come. He also has a unique and authentic chef jacket autographed with the names of celebrities he has had the honor of cooking for. Chef Stew still continues to pursue his dream of eventually opening his restaurant called “International Stew” in multiple major cities worldwide, publishing his children based book titled “Maryland Crab” that shows the life of the Blue Crab, and starring on his own television cooking show. 

 

 

Episode 010 | Investing In Your Health and Wellness with Bernard Fogg
Twitter:    @gqforcancer
Instagram: @gqforcancer
ww.gqforcancer.com

 

Bernard Fogg is 28 years old, born and raised in Baltimore, MD.  He started young with being involved in different activities such as dance, broadcasting, and modeling. The entertainment industry sparked his interest early on when his platform started with modeling in 2005, where Bernard independently networked with the DMV artists and photographers. It shortly, led to an intern position for a newer magazine based in Baltimore called Openfly Magazine in 2010. As the years progressed his passion for Public Relations started as he went from intern to Features Editor. Amazing opportunities and experiences prepped him for a chance of starting his own PR business, but as the years passed he  started to notice a change. His battle started on March 21, 2014 with his health and wellness, which would eventually present itself as Colorectal Cancer. Bernard’s health began to take a turn, when nausea came over him for a little over a week; according to his doctors’ diagnosis, he was very close to his organs shutting down. His amazing mother and grandmother took matters in their own hands and dragged me to the ER. Awful days turned into weeks, which turned into months of struggling with digestion issues and bowel movements. Bernard went to four specialists from April 2014 until November 2014. Then Bernard was diagnosed with G.E.R.D at first. Instinctively he knew his own body and knew that was not the current diagnosis. After taking charge, his December 5, 2015 follow up turned into a procedure, serving as his first ever surgery as an adult. What he thought was a simple colonoscopy procedure led to being diagnosed with cancer. Today, Bernard is extremely thankful for staying on top of health and it has motivated him to continue to do so, as well as motivate other men in the process. His goal was to start an Awareness program promoting cancer awareness for men with a sense of power and pride. Bernard has lived through his journey and pushed through his chemotherapy and radiation regimen alongside many of his amazing support systems, including family and friends. He is proud to say that he is officially cancer free as of July 13, 2015 and will continue to work towards a better health. Bernard created GQ for Cancer to address the impact on Men under 40 also fighting for better health with Cancer and other major health issues that could possibly be prevented. This organization, GQ for Cancer, stands for “A Gentlemen’s Quest for Cancer Awareness” and promotes that there’s “Nothing Wrong with being GQ for Cancer.”

 

 

Episode 011 | A Conversation on Racism and College Campuses with Lawrence Ross, Writer, LA Times Best Selling Author, and Lecturer

Twitter: @alpha1906

Instagram: @alpha1906

http://thelawrenceross.com

https://www.nofdo.com

 

Lawrence Ross is a bestselling author, lecturer, writer, filmmaker, social media and consumer trends expert. Lawrence Ross has written six books, and has lectured at over 600 colleges and universities. He received a BA in History from UCLA, and an MFA in screenwriting from the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television.

 

His groundbreaking LA Times best seller, The Divine Nine: The History of African American Fraternities and Sororities, has become the preeminent book on African-American fraternities and sororities.

 

His most blockbuster book, The Black and White Politics of Race on America's Campuses is an explosive and controversial book that rips the veil off America's hidden secret: America's colleges have fostered a racist environment that makes them a hostile space for African American students. Blackballed exposes the white fraternity and sorority system, with traditions of racist parties, songs, and assaults on black students; and the universities themselves, who name campus buildings after racist men and women. It also takes a deep dive into anti-affirmative action policies, and how they effectively segregate predominately white universities, providing ample room for white privilege. A bold mix of history and the current climate, Blackballed is a call to action for universities to make radical changes to their policies and standards to foster a better legacy for all students.

 

He has written regular pieces for CNN.com, The Grio, The Root, Ebony.com, and USA Today. He lives in Westchester, CA.

 

 

Episode 012 | Navigating Mindfulness and Leadership with Andres Gonzales, Co-Founder and Marketing Director for the Holistic Life Foundation, Inc.

Twitter: @hlfinc
Instagram: @holisticlifefoundation
www.hlfinc.org

 

Andres Gonzalez has been the Co-Founder and Marketing Director for the Holistic Life Foundation, Inc. in Baltimore, MD since 2001. For fifteen years, Andres has taught yoga to a diverse population, including Baltimore City Public School students, drug treatment centers, mental crisis facilities, homeless shelters, wellness centers, colleges, private schools and other various venues throughout the nation and throughout the world. He has partnered with John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health and the Penn State’s Prevention Research Center on a Stress and Relaxation Study and is a published author in the Journal of Children’s Services. His work with the Holistic Life Foundation has been featured on Making a Difference on the NBC Nightly News as well asMindful Magazine, Yoga Journal, Shambala Sun, and many other publications. He maintains a B.S. in Marketing from University of Maryland, College Park and an MBA from the University of Maryland, University College.

www.washingtonpost.com/local/educati…d4_story.html

www.cbsnews.com/news/meditation-s…lementary-school/

 

Episode 013 | Live Dope, Dress Well, Inspire Others with Dondrae McGee, Owner and Principal Stylist of Haberdashnow
Twitter: @ye_gaultier
Instagram: @haberdashnow
www.haberdashnow.com

 

Dondrae McGee is the Owner and Principal Stylist of Haberdashnow, Men's Style and Fashion Consulting. The tagline of the brand is 'LIVE dope. DRESS well INSPIRE others'. As a principal stylists, Dondrae believes style is important, but clothing is one-third of how style is expressed. To him, It is most expressed through a gent's life and how he lives along with lives he is able to inspire. Dondrae love to hear the visions of his clients and work with them to make them come to fruition. Many gents look to celebrities and athletes as reference points of style, but cannot afford what those persons wear therefore, Haberdashnow creates looks for their gents that look just as good, as well as complements their budgets.

 

 

 

Episode 014 | Protecting Your Story, Moonlight, and Kanye West with Dr. Jonathan P. Higgins, LGBT Influencer, published writer, and curator for DoctorJonPaul.com

Facebook:   www.facebook.com/DoctorJonPaul
Twitter: @DoctorJonPaul
Instagram: @DoctorJonPaul

www.DoctorJonPaul.com

 

"My Existence is Resistance."- Dr. Jonathan P. Higgins

Dr. Jonathan P. Higgins has spent much of his life trying to figure who he is. Much of that journey began when he took the risk of coming out to his family at the age of 19 and leaving a religion that caused him a great deal of anxiety and grief. After two suicide attempts in college, he realized that if he truly wanted to heal from the pain he experienced throughout his life, both as a Black man and a queer person of color, he needed to share his experiences. 

Dr. Higgins is a graduate with a Doctorate in Educational Justice, Masters in Management and a BA in Communications Studies. He is devoted to making sure that the needs of all LGBTQ Black and Brown individuals are visible.

 

Articles:

From Blackbird to Moonlight: Black Queer Men Are More Than Enough

http://www.theroot.com/articles/culture/2016/11/from-blackbird-to-moonlight-black-queer-men-are-more-than-enough/

 

On Black Men and Mental Health

http://www.theroot.com/articles/culture/2016/11/on-black-men-and-mental-health/

 

When Coping is No Longer 

http://www.doctorjonpaul.com/blog/2016/11/16/when-coping-is-no-longer-enough

 

 

 

 

Episode 015 | Making Authentic Connections with Your Business with Jamillah Rahmaad, Owner of JR|PR - Public Relations Consultancy

 

Facebook Page or Name:  facebook.com/befriendyourbrand

Twitter:  @jai_soapbox

Instagram:  @befriendyourbrand

http://BefriendYourBrand.com

Build Authority (E-Book)- https://befriendyourbrand.dpdcart.com/product/136462

 

Jamillah Rahmaad holds an undergraduate degree from Michigan State University and a graduate degree from Valdosta State University, her business portfolio includes providing promotional communications for healthcare facilities, executing community management for governmental agencies, marketing for university systems, and creating first class public relations strategy for business owners.

In 2013, Jamillah launched Soukle, a community organization that hosted social events, community service projects, and professional development seminars. Soukle focused on creating a perfect marriage between social and business networking. Eager to focus on her passion for small business, Soukle closed in March of 2016.

JR|PR - Public Relations Consultancy was established in 2014, to meet the multi-faceted needs of creative business owners. The consultancy has a record of success with clients including: The Steve Harvey Morning Show, STARZ Cable Network, Grammy Award- winning singer/songwriter PJ Morton, Dr. Roshawnna Novellus, Sleep is 4 Suckers Clothing Line, Urban Movie Channel, Food Network’s Chef Jess and many more.

Jamillah also has over 5 years of published writing experience with outlets including SoulTrain.com, Hustle and Heels, Tastemakers Magazine, RYSE Magazine, and as a freelance ghostwriter. She also shares her views of finding career success and entrepreneurship on her co-hosted podcast, E is for Eff It.