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Community Member Spotlights

It’s more important to understand someone than to judge them. We think the first step to understanding someone is asking them the fundamental questions about who they are and how they became the person they are today. Understanding and empathy are essential building blocks for a better, more compassionate world. We’re incredibly fortunate to be able to ask these questions each week through our interview series. Below you’ll find interviews from our community members and content partners – the folks who’ve been heavily involved with us, collaborating with us on content, sponsoring our mission and spreading the word about the work we do.

Chinua Joi Ivey, MAOM, MA | Business Owner, Adjunct Professor, & Author

I am passionate about storytelling; it is a conduit for social change. My worldview was shaped by my upbringing as a foster child in Washington, DC. I look at issues with great compassion and a desire for mutual respect, understanding, and justice. Storytelling gets a bad rap because of how it was perceived in our childhood as “telling lies.” However, in many cultures, storytelling is how we build trust in relationships. Recently, I took a trip to Memphis, Tennessee to visit my birth mother’s only surviving sibling – my aunt is nearly 90. The stories she shared with me filled my heart and helped me to understand who I am, and the responsibility I have to uplift the next generation. So, when I sit down with an entrepreneur to map out a communication plan for their business, I start with “What’s your story?” Oftentimes, the response is “I don’t have one.” That’s when I smile because I know that there is always a story to tell and that story is probably the missing link with the brand connecting with their stakeholders. Read more>>

Jamilah Conway | Fitness Trainer & Nutrition Specialist

My name is Jamilah Conway. I am from Southside Chicago, IL currently reside in Atlanta, GA. From a young age, I have always had a vision of helping others that want a better lifestyle with proper health and wellness services that are tailored to their needs. I have been in the Health & Wellness industry for over 13 yrs. Throughout my career, I had the opportunity to expand my education, and network. Educating everyone to take control of their health is my ultimate goal with my company JCXSHRED LLC. Read more>>

Positive B White | CEO, Founder, Author, Host

My name is Positive B White. I’m a entrepreneur, CEO, Founder, host, and published author from Atlanta, Georgia. In 2014, I started Positive Passionate Motivated Advertising LLC. Read more>>

Jeremiah Davis | Author

I am currently a rising Senior at Morehouse College. I was born in Chicago, Illinois, and was raised there as well as in Homewood, Illinois. I started writing when I was 11 and published my first book at 16. My hobbies include watching anime, writing, watching sports, and reading. Read more>>

Nate Dyer | Podcaster, Actor & Owner of Entertainment Company, NateTV

I am Nate, Nathan, & NateTV. Born in Detroit Michigan, moved to VA in middle school, from there, i went to Coastal Carolina University in Myrtle Beach, SC. I ran the radio station for 3.5 years, launched my first podcast, organized, and hosted hip hop showcases throughout my time there. Upon graduating with my Bachelors in Communication. I wanted to be around a city, around my people, around my people doing WELL at that, and lastly i was tired of the extreme weather in the Carolinas and I wasn’t going back to the snow, so Atlanta was the winner. Growing up, I considered myself as a lost member of Dipset and Roc a fella. Not only the music, but how they created an entire movement and way of life off of their expression. I apply a lot of what I was raised on with them to NateTV. My mom was single for a good portion of my childhood, and for the entire duration she was the breadwinner, not only was she a model of how to make it happen, but also a model to limit excuses for what life throws at us. Read more>>

Nalat Phanit Black | Sustainable Development Goals Director & Change Agent

I am the Sustainable Development Goals Director at the United Nations Association of USA, Atlanta Chapter (UNA-Atlanta). Environmental sustainability and equity is my field of study, passion, and work. My purpose is to bring awareness of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, also known as the Global Goals, and inspire local actions to end extreme poverty, end hunger, reduce inequalities, improve health and education, while creating climate resilient communities. Through partnering with organizations with similar missions, UNA-Atlanta provides the space and knowledge for change agents to discuss, plan, and implement their ideas to advance the Global Goals across all sectors of society. Read more>>

Marian L. Thomas | Award-Winning Women’s Fiction Author

As a women’s fiction author, I write books for women that bring characters to life—characters who face real obstacles, cross difficult barriers to find love and discover all the wonderful possibilities that life can offer. Read more>>

Rome Williams | Master Cosmetologist / business owner

I am Rome Williams, I’m 35 years of age. I’ve been in the Bulloch County and Florida Area all my life. I have five beautiful children, that motivates me. I push myself and try to do my absolute best for them. I’ve been in the business industry for over 4 years now I always knew one day, I would own something of my own, and with the power of calming it and praying about it, it most definitely happened. I have two degrees and I couldn’t be more prouder to thank my God for all he has gotten me thorough. Read more>>

India Brown & Courtney Simmons | Fitness Trainers

ICyouWORK Fitness, owned by Courtney and India. We are personal fitness trainers based in Atlanta. Growing up fitness was always apart of both our lives but once we got older we wanted to take our fitness journey more seriously not only for ourselves but for the lives of others. We officially started our business in 2018 and have been thriving since then. Read more>>

Stephanie Purcell | Online Interior Designer

I’m a freelance producer by day working in film, TV and international sports; I started doing interior design as a fun, artistic side venture while pairing with my husband’s real estate investment business. This gave me the perfect opportunity to practice my design skills and experiment with style. I made some swoon worthy design mistakes along the way, but since then I have learned A LOT. I became a certified designer, produced DIY videos for Home Depot and have been seen in, Apartment Therapy, Martha Stewart, Bob Vila and more! Read more>>

Mark Peterson | Ziscuit

PrideRock Holdings solved the paper fingerprint card problem (high reject rate and slow turnaround) by creating a Gig-based network powered by Mail Parcel Centers (MPCs) and connected by a cloud-based, device-agnostic digital fingerprint application. Customers could go to one of six hundred fingerprint MPCs and have digital fingerprints captured and submitted for a background check. The background check information returned in seconds instead of in weeks or months. Our clients loved the turnaround time, but they appreciated the insight into the workflow more. Clients knew when, where, and how many fingerprints were captured instantly – information they never had access to. The key to solving the fingerprint problem was data transparency. This value point is what Ziscuit is built on. Read more>>

GIL & RENÉE Beavers | AUTHORS /Marriage Facilitators & IDENTITY Coaches

Gil & Renée are the hosts and creators of the Rich Relationships podcast, books, and the Refuge, a self-paced online relationship course. This couple is learning, growing, and enjoying the journey of life and love. Read more>>

Brianna Thorne | Makeup Artist

My name is Brianna; Most know me as Slim. I am a 24 year old self taught makeup artist, born and raised in the “new Hollywood” (ATL). Makeup has been my passion for over 10 years and because of that I decided to start my own business by the name of ‘Say Slim’s Cosmetics’. Read more>>

Sammie Hasen | Young Change Maker and CEO

My name is Sammie Hasen, and I am the founder of medsur Inc.. In addition to my company, I am a full-time undergraduate student at the Georgia Institute of Technology. During my time at school, I found my passion within the femtech industry, more specifically in consumer products. I founded medsur Inc. with the vision of creating a suite of innovative products for all uterus owners that increases the functionality and usability of what is available on the market today. My first product, BCase, is a first-of-its-kind birth control pill storage that attaches directly to the back of your phone. BCase is designed to help users remember to take their birth control pills by ensuring their pills and alarm are always in the same place. Read more>>

Roy’al Santana

There are so many that I admire so I’ll just name the main ones. There’s Leonardo DiCaprio, Denzel Washington, Will smith, Jamie foxx, Richard Pryor, Michael Jackson, Prince, James brown, Bobby brown, Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake, Whitney Huston, Beyoncé, James dean, Cold play, Russ, Walt Disney, Tyler Perry, Queen,Steven Tyler and many more. As far as leaders I admire Martin Luther king jr, Jesus, Gandhi, My grandmother, Native Americans JFK, Abraham Lincoln, Obama, Elon musk, Roosevelt and many more Leaders that focus more on their path rather the negative people and problems they were faced with. Read more>>

MZ RYME | Music Artist, Songwriter, Music Producer & CEO

Okay, what’s up everybody, my name is Jonathan Thompson a.k.a “MZ RYME”. I am a hip hop artist/producer/songwriter that is from Canton, GA. I have been writing lyrics &rapping for about 11 years and I’ve been producing music for about 6 years. I just graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in 2020 with a Bachelors Degree in Music & Business. I am CEO of my company “Radical Müzik Entertainment” which bases around songwriting and music production. Read more>>

Janae Marie | Author, & Business Owner

I am an author of 5 books and am also the owner of an online boutique shop called Janae’s Closet. The books that I’ve written are Flirting with Temptations, Daddy’s Home, Double Take, Besties, & Sleeping with the Enemy. I have been writing since age 13. I started by writing poetry. I wrote my first manuscript at age 16 and published my 1st book at 25. I love writing and telling a story. Bringing awareness to topics that don’t get talked about regularly. Read more>>

Dayna Thomas Cook | Trademark Attorney and Law Firm Startup Coach

Hi! I’m Dayna Thomas Cook, Esq. I’m an entrepreneurship and trademark attorney based in Atlanta, GA, and I work with entrepreneurs and entertainers throughout the country to protect their brands through trademark registration. Read more>>

Narvie Madison | Artist, Vanlifer, and Content Creator

I am Narvie and I enjoy creating digital content and marketing on social media. I write and drive a van with a pig in tow. We did travel with my dog Tiki, but she has passed away. Read more>>

Tirzah White | Bath & Body Products

My name is Tirzah and I’m the founder of 2 goats + 2 acres. I started my company because I wanted to create a healthier option for body and self-care products for me and my family. When I’m not working on my business, I’m busy being an educator and a fur mom to our full house of pets. Read more>>

Malik Greene | Creator/Artist

My name is Malik Greene, I was born on July 8th, 1997 in Columbia, South Carolina. I’ve always had a curious mind and factors such as broken homes, lack of resources and witnessing systems designed for dissonance turned me to an exploration of self, just figuring out where I stand in this world. As a kid, I gravitated towards art forms such as illustration and clothing design through learned experiences with family and friends but I developed a strong passion for painting while attending college at Coastal Carolina University. During this time I sought to incorporate my passions with effective means to reach back to communities I grew up in, ultimately I pursued a full-time interest in painting in oils and acrylics. My work captures my mental state as well as the perspective of my own world. My art allows me to stand in the center, painting what is around me. My desire is to use painting as a form of record-keeping, using art as a means to be the bridge between creativity and capturing my own personal epic. My work also captures an intimate narrative, as well as historical, political and popular culture influences. Read more>>

Penny Chevalley | Wandering Bar Owner

Hi Friends! My name is Penny and I am a Virginia Native, San Francisco, California transplant, who relocated to the Chattanooga area with my handsome husband and our three gorgeous children three years ago. I am a horror movie and Netflix lover, an advocate for motherhood (no matter how you do it), an introvert who can be quite the quirky individual once you get to know me. Toss in some OCD, a dash of chaos, A LOT of love, and there you have me! Read more>>

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