DR. Lakeesha Walrond Inaugurated As The First Female & First Black Female In 119-Year History Of The New York Theological Seminary (NYTS)

On Saturday, October 26th, the Trustees of the New York Theological Seminary (NYTS) hosted the inauguration of Reverend Dr. LaKeesha Walrond at Riverside Church in New York. Among those in attendance were New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, First Lady Chirlane McCray, Rev. Al Sharpton (NAN), Senator Benjamin, Hazel Dukes (NAACP), and other dignitaries, who joined the Trustees for this historical moment to inaugurate Dr. Walrond as the first female and first African-American female President in the Seminary’s 119-year history.

The three-day inauguration festivities were held from Thursday, October 24th until Saturday, October 26th, and kicked off Thursday with the George W. Webber lecture series featuring Dr. Alice W. Hunt, Executive Director of the American Academy of Religion. On Friday, attendees were invited to an evening of networking and fellowship at “NYTS Meets First Corinthian Baptist Church (FCBC),” hosted by FCBC.

As the 12th President, Dr. Walrond brings to the institution more than two decades of ministry and faith leadership. She intends to promote Seminary growth through fresh and creative initiatives and expanding the curriculum of urban ministry. Dr. Walrond, served as the Executive Pastor and Chief of Staff of First Corinthian Baptist Church, home to one of the largest urban ministries in New York City for the past 13 years.

Since its inception nearly 120 years ago, NYTS has remained a distinguished and progressive leader in the field. The institution is renowned for its forward-thinking initiatives, from preparing men and women for leadership roles in faith-based ministries across the country to helping incarcerated men achieve higher education degrees in Professional Studies. NYTS has transformed the lives of over 400 graduates to date, with a dozen men graduating from Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining, New York this past June. Under Dr. Walrond’s leadership, NYTS will continue to push for diverse and groundbreaking programs that reflect the institution’s mission while maintaining its historic denominational and cultural traditions.

“Being entrusted to continue the legacy of NYTS is truly a humbling experience and as the first female president and the first African-American female president, it’s not lost upon me that this moment in history must be fueled by a collective purpose within the faith community,” said Rev. Dr. Lakeesha Walrond. “I am elated to lead the seminary into a new innovative era that will reflect the mission of the institution and continue to raise the bar for generations to come. This Inauguration is more than just a celebration. It’s about empowering the entire institution – students, faculty, staff, and board members. As we move forward together collectively, the success of NYTS will be triumphant.”

Dr. Walrond earned her Ph.D. in Special Education and Literacy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She also holds a Master of School Administration with a focus in Educational Leadership and a Master of Arts in Teaching with a focus in Learning Disabilities from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her commitment to ministry and education led her back to school post-doctorate to earn a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary here in New York City. She received her undergraduate degree from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia.

Local Roofing Company Installs New Roof As Part Of Cover A Veteran Program

— Superior Design and Restoration announced that Stacia Evans, a disabled veteran in the Dundalk area, would receive a complete roof replacement at no charge.

Stacia was nominated by a local community member for her nine dedicated years of service to the United States Navy, her work with various local Baltimore animal rescue organizations, and her many achievements while working for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Employees from Superior Design & Restoration work on the roof as Stacia Evans and Keith Randlett look on.

Employees from Superior Design & Restoration work on the roof as Stacia Evans and Keith Randlett look on.

“Our company is devoted to giving back to the community and those that have served our country,” said Keith Randlett, the owner of Superior Design and Restoration. “We want this program to be something that not only brings attention to the loyal service of veterans, but also helps a community member in need by putting a new roof over their head and improving their quality of life. This is not a free roof, Ms. Evans has earned this.”

The initial announcement and interview process took place at Ms. Evans home in Dundalk the morning of Saturday, October 19, 2019. The build and unveiling took place on Friday, October 25, 2019.

Superior Design & Restoration, which was founded in 2012 is a full service General Contractor specializing in residential, commercial, and industrial roofing, siding, gutter and insulation solutions. We are family owned and operated and have a combined 30+ years’ experience and expertise in the construction industry. Providing Superior products and services to each and every customer is our top priority. We strive to establish and maintain good communication and excellent working relationships with our customers in order to ensure that we are always able to provide each customer with the best roofing, siding, gutter and insulation systems available in today’s market.

MDOT Offers Light-Up Bracelets To Help Keep Trick-Or-Treaters Safe

The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) and Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) want children to see and be seen this Halloween. To help increase visibility of Maryland’s youngest pedestrians, the agencies will distribute light-up bracelets Wednesday, October 30, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at participating Giant Food stores, and at select MDOT SHA Maintenance Shops and MDOT MVA branches. MDOT SHA is providing the bracelets for children to wear while trick-or-treating and is distributing bookmarks with safety tips as part of its “Light Up for Safety” walk smart initiative.

“Light Up for Safety is an opportunity to stress the importance of pedestrian safety with both walkers and drivers,” said MDOT SHA Administrator Gregory Slater. “With Halloween, and the upcoming time change that will bring dusk earlier in the day, we want to make sure drivers and pedestrians are looking out for each other.”

Parents can pick up bracelets and bookmarks at these locations while supplies last:

Allegany County – MVA, 13300 Winchester Road SW, Cumberland, 21502;

Anne Arundel County – MVA, 6601 Ritchie Highway, Glen Burnie, 21062;

Baltimore City – Giant, 1020 W. 41st St., 21211;

Baltimore County – Giant, 6340-50 York Road, 21212;

Calvert County – Giant, 655 Solomon’s Island Road North, Prince Frederick, 20678;

Caroline County – SHA Denton Shop, 508 Caroline St., 21629;

Carroll County – Giant, 405 N. Center St., Westminster 21157;

Cecil County – MVA, 105 Chesapeake Blvd., Suite A, Elkton, 21921;

Charles County – Giant, 200 Rosewick Road, La Plata, 20646;

Dorchester County – SHA Cambridge Shop, 2954 Old Route 50, 21613;

Frederick County – Giant, 1700 Kingfisher Dr., Frederick, 21701;

Garrett County – MVA, Route 135 & Weber Road, Oakland, 21550;

Harford County – MVA, 501 W. MacPhail Road, Bel Air, 21014;

Howard County – Giant, 9200 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City, 21043;

Kent County – SHA Chestertown Shop, 615 Morgnec Road, 21620;

Montgomery County – Giant, 13490 New Hampshire Ave., Colesville, 20904;

Prince George’s County – Giant, 3521 East-West Highway, Hyattsville, 20782;

Queen Anne’s County – MVA, 230 Hess Road, Grasonville, 21638;

Somerset County – SHA Princess Anne Shop, 10980 Market Lane, 21853;

St. Mary’s County – Giant, 45101 First Colony Way, California, 20619;

Talbot County – MVA, 9178 Centreville Road, Easton, 21601;

Washington County – MVA, 18306 Col. Henry K. Douglas Drive, Hagerstown, 21740;

Wicomico County – MVA, 251 Tilghman Road, Salisbury, 21801;

Worcester County – SHA Snow Hill Shop, 5603 Market St., 21863.

“Whether you are driving to a party or walking around the neighborhood, Halloween should be a fun evening for families and friends,” said MDOT MVA Administrator, Chrissy Nizer and Governor Larry Hogan’s Highway Safety Representative. “Pedestrians should ‘walk smart’ by always looking both ways before crossing the street, using crosswalks whenever possible and wearing something to ensure you can be seen, like our ‘Light Up for Safety’ bracelets. We ask all drivers to remember to exhibit their best driving behaviors, including slowing down, looking out for pedestrians and always designating a sober driver.”

MDOT SHA offers pedestrian and driver tips to help keep trick-or-treaters and chaperones safe.

PEDESTRIANS:

  • Look left, right and left again before crossing the street.
  • Watch for cars turning in or leaving driveways.
  • Walk, don’t run, when crossing the street.
  • Use sidewalks and marked crosswalks whenever possible, and cross at marked intersections.
  • Be sure to see and be seen. Avoid dark clothing, wear bright colors and use reflective devices such as glow sticks, flashlights and blinking lights.
  • Avoid costumes that may impair vision.
  • Make eye contact with drivers when crossing the street.
  • Stay alert and be on the lookout for cars traveling above the speed limit.

DRIVERS:

  • Stop for pedestrians. Maryland law requires motorists to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks and intersections.
  • Stay alert, and park the mobile phone.
  • Obey the speed limit. Speeding makes it more difficult to stop unexpectedly.
  • Be extra cautious during peak trick-or-treating hours 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Enter and exit driveways slowly. Use caution when turning at intersections.
  • Expect the unexpected and be alert for children darting across the street and crossing between parked cars.
  • When driving children to and from activities, make sure all seat belts are fastened and let children out of the car on the curbside.

Never drink and drive. Designate a sober driver.

Throughout the year, MDOT SHA promotes “Look Up, Look Out” campaign, an education initiative that reminds travelers that pedestrian safety is a two-way street. The campaign urges both drivers and pedestrians to make safe, smart choices on the road. The effort includes public service announcements, billboards, community outreach, and social media efforts. For more information about “Light Up for Safety” and “Look Up, Look Out,” go to roads.maryland.gov.

Former Rep. John Conyers Dies At 90

— Former Rep. John Conyers, a longtime Michigan Democrat who represented parts of Detroit for more than 50 years before his resignation in 2017, died Sunday at age 90, his son, John Conyers III, told CNN.

A founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus, Conyers was known as pushing a series of liberal causes, especially from his perch on the Judiciary Committee. He at one time served as chairman of the panel.

Conyers was born in Detroit in 1929 and entered Congress in 1965 where he championed the Civil Rights Movement and pushed liberal legislation throughout his tenure.

Conyers’ longevity in Congress was punctuated by a contentious resignation in 2017 amid allegations of sexual harassment.

The Michigan Democrat faced an investigation by the House Ethics Committee into multiple allegations that he had sexually harassed women who worked with him when he told a Detroit area radio show that he’d step down from his seat in Congress.

“My legacy can’t be compromised or diminished in any way by what we’re going through now,” he told the Mildred Gaddis’ radio show at the time. “This too shall pass.” Conyers repeatedly denied wrongdoing.

In 1983, Conyers introduced the original bill to make Martin Luther King Jr. Day a federal holiday and in 1994 worked on the Violence against Women Act. He became the first African American to serve as Chair of the House Judiciary Committee in 2007.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib, who now represents Conyers’ district, tweeted Sunday that he “never once wavered in fighting for jobs, justice and peace.”

“We always knew where he stood on issues of equality and civil rights in the fight for the people,” she said. “Thank you Congressman Conyers for fighting for us for over 50 years.”

This story has been updated.

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The Community Salute To The Late U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings

Thousands of people crowded the Carl J. Murphy Fine Arts Center at Morgan State University to pay their respects and say their final goodbyes to the late Congressman Elijah Cummings on Wednesday, October 23, 2019. Cummings sat on Morgan’s Board of Regents for 19 years. Family members said it was his desire to have a community homegoing at Morgan to give the public a chance to say goodbye.

“I was used to seeing Congressman Cummings every Sunday at New Psalmist Baptist Church, and he was always very passionate, and compassionate,” said Jeffrey Wright, fraternity brother and friend. “He was a big part of Baltimore City as far as upliftment, achievement, and hopefulness. He always had a kind word, inspiring, and a great role model for all people in Baltimore City, especially African American men in Baltimore.”

As early as 7:00 a.m., supporters, friends, students, and the community of Baltimore awaited the arrival of the late Rep. Cummings. The public filed into the auditorium to view the body during the 12-hour public salute. Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young was among the mourners. After the public viewing, a memorial service was held from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. which featured tributes from fraternal organizations,

Morgan’s choir, community leaders, friends, and elected officials. Twenty-seven speakers praised Rep. Cummings’s life of service.

“Elijah Cummings was a great leader, he always had my back and he had yours too!” said former U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski during her speech. Mikulski said Cummings was not only her colleague, but also her lifelong friend.

Many spoke about Representative Cummings not just as a political figure but also as a neighborhood guy who dedicated his career to bettering Baltimore.

“Congressman Cummings was more than a congressman, more than a political figure. He was a man of the people. He was an advocate and enthusiast for our people,” said Darryl Perry, a resident of Maryland 7th Congressional District. He was an inspiration for a widespread and diversified group of people and whether you knew him directly or not, he still played an intricate role in your life given his outreach and community ties that more than likely impacted directly someone you know personally.”

Cummings was appointed to the MSU Board of Regents in July 1999. He chaired the board’s Audit and Institutional Assessment Committee for five years. He was a member of the board’s Academic and Student Affairs Committee. Students said he was a well-known figure on campus, known for his dedication to civil rights.

“Congressman Cummings was a man full of wisdom, of integrity, of courage, and of faith. Many people speak to their people but a man of his caliber was able to relate. It was always on display through his actions,” said Jayrell Cephas, a Morgan student. “That same man with his voice, found a way to still allow the concerns and potential of his people to reverberate through the masses of this country.”

Morgan’s president, Dr. David Wilson said in a statement that, “Beyond serving on the University’s Board of Regents, Rep. Cummings was not only a dear friend to Morgan, he was family. His wisdom, wise counsel and superb leadership will be greatly missed.”

Rep. Cummings passed away early Thursday, October 17, 2019 in Baltimore due to long standing health issues. The Morgan service was one of three services in Baltimore and Washington, D.C. saluting his life.

He was 68.

Drivers Reminded To Stop When School Bus Stops During National Bus Safety Week

To help ensure our children stay safe when getting on and off the bus, the Maryland Center for School Safety, Maryland State Department of Education, Maryland State Police, Maryland Department of Transportation, and local school systems all teamed up for National School Bus Safety Week, October 21-25, 2019. This public education campaign focuses on the importance of school bus safety, especially when it comes to other drivers on the road.

More drivers in Maryland are obeying the law and stopping for school bus arms than in previous years, according to the latest survey of state bus drivers conducted by MSDE. However, officials are working together to continue to spread the school bus safety message far and wide across the state for all drivers.

“More than 641,000 of our students ride school buses in Maryland,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “As community members, we must work together to ensure our children are safe getting to and from school. I encourage our residents and visitors to our state to pay attention when driving, especially in school zones and school bus stops, and to stop when the bus stops.”

Students are about 70 times more likely to get to school safely when taking a school bus instead of traveling by car, according to the American School Bus Council. To recognize this and focus public awareness on student transportation, this year’s National School Bus Safety theme is My School Bus, The Safest Form of Student Transportation!

It is illegal to pass a school bus with its red lights flashing and stop-arm extended when it has stopped to load or unload students. In Maryland the law states that if a school vehicle has stopped on a road and is operating the alternately flashing red lights, the driver of any vehicle following or approaching the school bus must stop at least 20 feet from the front or rear of the school vehicle. Failure to stop for the bus can result in up to a $500 fine, three points on a driver’s license, and increased insurance rates.

“One violation of the stop arm is one too many, because it puts children at risk of harm,” said Dr. Karen Salmon, State Superintendent of Schools. “Each driver in Maryland has to do their part to maintain safe driving practices for the sake of our students.”

The Maryland Center for School Safety is doing its part to make sure drivers are aware of the law and the importance of school bus safety.

“We are requesting the help of our partners and the entire community in reminding all drivers about school bus stop arm safety,” said Maryland Center for School Safety Executive Director Kate Hession. “We have placed messaging in all of the Motor Vehicle Administration service centers throughout the state and launched a new school bus safety public service announcement on social media, television, and digital billboards to remind drivers to STOP for any school bus with its flashing lights on and stop arm extended.”

For more information on National School Bus Safety Week, visit www.napt.org/nsbsw.

Elizabeth Catlett: Artist As Activist Explores The Legacy of Renown Sculptor & Printmaker

— The Reginald F. Lewis Museum’s new special exhibition, Elizabeth Catlett: Artist as Activist opens Saturday, October 26, 2019 and runs until March 1, 2020.

Elizabeth Catlett (1915-2012), a sculptor and printmaker, is widely considered one of the most important African American artists of the 20th century. The exhibition includes 20 prints and 14 sculptures by Catlett, as well as one print by her husband, Mexican artist Francisco Mora.

Throughout her career, Catlett used art in support of issues that mattered to her— freedom, race and ethnicity, feminism and maternalism— and fought oppression, racism, class and gender inequality.

An American and Mexican citizen, Catlett is best known for her depictions of African American women, the African American experience, and Mexican people who faced injustice. For Catlett, art was a tool for social and political change.

“I believe that art should come from the people and be for the people.” she said on in 1952.

While living in Mexico, Catlett was not afraid to use her art to confront the plight of the Mexican worker, especially sharecroppers, as well as injustices against African Americans during the Jim Crow era.

She continued her fight for equality in politically charged, black expressionist sculptures and prints created during the 1960s and 70s.

“I feel it’s extremely important for the museum to showcase the work of African American artists, who happen to be female, because they have steadfastly devoted their long careers to producing works that relate to black people and the black experience. They’ve always been there, but many were overlooked and neglected by the mainstream art world. As we celebrate the contributions of women, especially now, it’s important that we recognize the work of Elizabeth Catlett,” said Jackie Copeland, Executive Director and Curator, Reginald F. Lewis Museum.

Elizabeth Catlett was the recipient of numerous awards, recognitions, and honorary doctorate degrees, including a Lifetime Achievement Award in contemporary sculpture from the International Sculpture Center in 2003. She died at the age of 96 in her home in Cuernavaca, Mexico.

The Reginald F. Lewis Museum is Maryland’s largest museum dedicated to the state’s African American experience. A Smithsonian affiliate, the museum is located at 830 E. Pratt Street in Baltimore City. For more information, visit: lewismuseum.org.

Annapolis Towne Centre Hosts First Fall Fest

— As fall foliage appears, the Annapolis Towne Centre will hold its first Fall Fest on October 26, 2019 from 12 noon to 4 p.m. This fun, family-friendly event is overflowing with harvest-themed festivities. Let the kids run through a hay maze, try their hands at pumpkin decorating, take a train ride, or visit the petting zoo; all while parents enjoy a crisp drink at the Beer Garden presented by Gordon Biersch, or a range of upscale shopping options.

Lining the North East end of Towne Centre Boulevard will be Boutique Row. Here, guests can enjoy stylish, quality shopping from the many tenants at the Annapolis Towne Centre. Shop from South Moon Under, Scout & Molly, Lou Lou Boutique, J. Jill, Talbots, and more for the coziest trends this season. Stores will also be stocked up on goodies to celebrate Halloween a little early this year. Pick up a fall fest map and complete with a trick-or-treat trail at the Information Booth when you arrive.

“The Fall Fest is the perfect jumpstart event for new and familiar guests of the Towne Centre to see all of the exciting experiences we have planned at the property,” said General Manager,

Anthony Henry. “We want to bring something new to the area that the community will embrace for years to come.”

Food and beverage samplings to be provided by Paladar Latin Kitchen & Rum Bar, Bin 201 and Newk’s Eatery. Additional food trucks will line the streets to provide an additional array of food options. Live music will be provided throughout the day by David Sparrow, along with a special live production by the Maryland Performing Arts Center.

This event falls in line with the Towne Centre’s mission of being a central gathering place for locals, visitors, and business professionals alike by offering next-level entertainment and events. The Towne Centre’s ability to provide direct access, an elevated atmosphere, and a strong depth of entertainment experiences makes them the newest competitor in community-focused events in the Annapolis and Anne Arundel County region. Paired with great shopping opportunities and plenty of dining options, the Annapolis Towne Centre is a step above the rest.

The inaugural Fall Fest is free and open to the public. Parking around the Towne Centre, as always, will be available at no cost. For more information, visit us at www.visitatc.com.

Are Rude And Crude The New Norm Or Will America Bring Back Civility?

— Can we talk? Joan Rivers made that catchphrase popular decades ago but in 2019 the answer to the late comedian’s heartfelt query appears to be a resounding no. Whether it’s tweets on social media, pundits on TV, politicians in Washington or parents at a youth soccer match, much of the communication we engage in today is ill mannered, inconsiderate, vicious and sometimes downright cruel or violent.

In short, civility is taking a beating.

“Incivility occurs because we lose sight of what it means to be an ethical person,” says Dr. Steven Mintz, author of Beyond Happiness and Meaning: Transforming Your Life Through Ethical Behavior. “Ethical people do not berate others. They certainly don’t promote violent behavior. Being willing to accept the ideas of others who may not agree with you is a sign of civil behavior. It values those with opposing views as members of humanity.”

Ellen DeGeneres made that point recently when she became the target of online outrage after she was seen enjoying a Dallas Cowboys football game with former President George W. Bush. Those taking umbrage with DeGeneres didn’t understand why she would hang out with someone whose beliefs and ideals are diametrically opposed to hers.

“When I say be kind to one another, I don’t mean be kind to the people who think the same way you do,” DeGeneres told a studio audience. “I mean be kind to everyone.”

An annual poll by Weber Shandwick, a public relations firm, found that 93 percent of Americans believe there is a civility problem in the country, and Mintz says whether people realize it or not, we all pay a price.

“Incivility can negatively affect happiness and impact wellness,” he says. “It can harm mental and physical health, affect productivity in the workplace, inhibit civil engagement, and, taken to an extreme, cause violence in our streets, schools, and places of business.”

Who is at fault for the decline of courteous communication? The Weber Shandwick poll found that 57 percent of Americans lay the primary blame on social media and the Internet. Other culprits they point to include behavior in the White House (50 percent), politicians in general (47 percent), news media (40 percent), political and social commentators (38 percent) and Hollywood celebrities (30 percent).

Mintz says all is not lost, though. He offers these tips for how everyone can do their part to stem the rising tide of incivility:

  • •Think before speaking.
  • •Focus on facts rather than beliefs and opinions.
  • •Be open to others’ ideas without hostility.
  • •Disagree with others respectfully.
  • •Focus on the common good rather than one’s personal agenda.

“Finally, ask yourself how you would feel if the comments you are about to make or treatment of others went viral on social media,” Mintz says. “Would you be proud of it?”

Mintz is convinced the nation could use a good public debate on civility.

“Unfortunately, our leaders don’t seem to think it’s important enough to do,” he says. “The Democratic presidential debates haven’t touched on these issues, but what better way to address gun violence, workplace harassment and bullying than openly discuss how a lack of civility is tearing apart the basic fabric of society.”

Dr. Steven Mintz, author of “Beyond Happiness and Meaning: Transforming Your Life Through Ethical Behavior” has frequently commented on ethical issues in society and business ethics. His Workplace Ethics Advice blog has been recognized as one of the top 30 in corporate social responsibility. He also has served as an expert witness on ethics matters. Dr. Mintz spent almost 40 years of his life in academia. He recently retired as a Professor Emeritus from Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo. For more information, visit: www.stevenmintzethics.com.

Coppin State Student Is A Girl With A Plan

Karissa Carson says leading one of the workshops at the recent PNC Bank, Times Community Services, and The Baltimore Times’ “Mind Your Business” Seminar gave her ego a boost.

“It kind of made my head a little big,” said Carson, a Coppin State University senior who in business management major. “Seeing all of the people there and knowing you’re going to come away even more empowered was great.”

Originally from New York, Carson has already made her mark in Baltimore. She was recently appointed vice president for the College of Business students for Ingepreneurial Impact. She is also the director of “Free Your Voice,” an organization dedicated to helping women find their voice by offering empowerment services.

“I have mastered the artistry of side hustles,” Carson said. “From doing hair, hosting workshops, and making handbags. When it comes to generating multiple streams of income, I am the girl with the plan.”

One of seven children, Carson says she was the dreamer in her family. She was also the one with the big heart.

“Now that I’m older, I started making these handbags that have these inspirational quotes on them,” Carson said, explaining that a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the bags is given to the homeless.

“When you drive down some areas of Baltimore city, you see a lot of homeless people. I look around, and I wonder what resources do I have that I can use to help these people,” Carson said. “So, I make and sell the bags, and I use half of the proceeds to purchase items like toiletries and other things for the homeless.”

Carson is also an advocate for women.

“I just want women always to be aware that they matter,” Carson said. “When I was growing up, I was so timid and I let people make decisions for me.

“But, I started to realize that my voice matters and that I was going to share my voice with the world. I’m not going to be quiet because society makes it hard for women who speak out.”

Ultimately, Carson says her goal is to start women organizations that will help ignite business opportunities for single mothers and other women. That’s the reason she got involved with “Free Your Voice.”

“Essentially, Free Your Voice is a bunch of college students who are dedicated. We have uplifting speeches, raffles, women empowerment exercises, food, mimosas and live entertainment. We have discussions about trauma and so many other things that affect us. It’s all about women empowering women,” she said.

Carson noted that attending the Mind Your Business seminar was essential to all that she aspires to accomplish.

Mind Your Business was an informative event designed for small business owners, entrepreneurs, creative industry organizations, and DIY businesses. In breakout sessions, the agenda included how to structure a business; how to finance your business; and when a CPA or legal expert should be consulted. Also included was an introduction to tax incentives that are available if a business is located in an arts district.

“I was inspired. There are so many talented people and the seminar was a great resource for everyone,” Carson said.