e Are O.NE. Series. Let’s make this a place where I get to be me and you get to be you. Let’s make this a place where together, we are O.NE. Put your hands in the middle and share your story.
Every life experience has paved the way for me to be who I am today. This includes an upbringing complete with strong black women, afrocentricism, church, soul music influence, and overall strong family bonds and influence. This upbringing helped manifest a hunger for my culture and heritage. Uncles that fought in the civil rights movement and my mother, a school teacher, helped me learn early on about the overlooked achievements of black people. My grandmother from Tennessee is a well of knowledge, wisdom, and family history. My dad is a hard working man and a language artist. My sister is an accomplished artist and youth mentor. Love for sports and participation in high school helped curate my teamwork ethic. All of these influences, plus more, combine to create the vision for the Wakanda Arts movement which I cofounded with my best friend Coleman Hunter.
Omaha has majorly impacted my world view. With many of the options similar to bigger cities but less of the hassle, Omaha is home.
My educational experience took place mainly in Omaha. From King Primary to Springville, to King Science to North – teachers, administrators and counselors helped me along the way. The seasons here in Omaha bring different weather as well as memories and experiences. There are weather-related memories like the snow storm in 1997 that we all spent couped up at home. There are the scorching hot summers where you play outside and you better stay in or out of the house but you’re not going to do both.
As I’ve grown older, I’ve become more in touch with the cities historical aspect, musical and political. Legends like Ernie Chambers, Johnny Rodgers, and Gene Haynes are right here in Omaha. The music and arts scene is growing and I’m glad to be a part of it.
How do you make a difference in this community?
Every day is about improving the health of our community, especially North Omaha where health disparities are overwhelming in many areas. Health improvement can be made through being an example first. Next, we must mentor young people and old people in community health focused activity. North Omaha Area Health (NOAH) Free clinic is the vehicle through which I am able to accomplish this. Working with my mentor and the Executive director of NOAH, Ira Combs and our staff is making a difference in Omaha. The healing power of arts are another vehicle that chose me to make a difference in this community. The Wakanda Arts movement is something me and Coleman Hunter founded to share a positive message of love and consciousness throughout Omaha and the world. We believe all forms of art are necessary to expand the reach of our message.