2019 Featured Speakers & Artists

2019 Kwanzaa Joy Celebration featured an array of gifted speakers and artists.

NIA | Purpose

Dr. Tim Storey

Acclaimed author, speaker and life coach. Tim Storey is well known for inspiring and motivating people of all walks of life, from entertainment to executives, celebrities and athletes, to adults and children in the most deprived neighborhoods in the country. Tim has visited 75 countries and has spoken to millions of people. He often meets privately and counsels high-profile leaders in various industries. He was a featured guest on Oprah’s SuperSoul Sunday, Steve Harvey TV, Grant Cardone’s 10X Growth Con, and many more. Tim has authored 13 books, with the most recent, Comeback & Beyond, is a top seller and a favorite of President Barack Obama, Quincy Jones, and Oprah Winfrey. timstorey.com

KUJICHAGULIA | Self-Determination

Dr. Gyasmine George-Williams, PhD

Dr. Gyasmine George-Williams, PhD is an Assistant Professor at the University of La Verne in Southern CA. She earned her bachelors in Psychology from California State University, Los Angeles, masters in College Counseling and Student Development, and masters in Educational Counseling with a Pupil Personnel Services Credential from the University of La Verne, earned her PhD in Higher Education as well as a certificate in Strengths-Oriented Leadership in Higher Education from Azusa Pacific University in Azusa CA. She also founded a conceptual leadership model called the Black Athlete Activist Leadership (BAAL) model, consulting a variety of populations who serve Black athlete activists, activists of color, and other disenfranchised student activist populations. ggwconsulting.org

UMOJA | Unity

Stephanie Baker

Stephanie Baker is a retired Deputy Superintendent of Educational Services and Chief Academic Officer for Pomona Unified School District. She received her M.A. in Teaching from Chicago State University. She has been an strong advocate for African American student inclusion and equity within Pomona through the African American Parent Advisory Council (AAPAC) and Pomona Alliance of Black School Educators (PABSE).

UJIMA | Collective Work and Responsibility

Stuart Nealy Jr.

Stuart Nealy Jr. is the Assistant Market Director for Heritage Farmer’s Markets.  He has a M.S. in Regenerative studies from Cal Poly Pomona, and uses his passion for community enrichment and sustainable practices to bridge the gap between people and the natural environment. He believes humans have a pivotal role in the re-greening of urban cityscapes. Farmers markets are his vehicle for change because they reintroduce fresh and healthy food options while also giving local entrepreneurs a space for financial and communal enterprise. heritagefarmersmarket.blogspot.com

UJAMAA | Cooperative Economics

Kyle Webb

Kyle Webb is the CFO for Webb Family Enterprises, which operates 16 McDonald’s franchises and Webb Family Investments, as well as CEO of CEEM (Cooperative Economic Empowerment Movement). He graduated from Morehouse College, with a degree in Business Administration-Finance, and the University of Southern California with a MBA. He serves as a Board member of community organizations Bright Prospect (a college access organization based in Pomona, CA that sees young people to and through college, where he serve as the CFO/Treasurer) and the San Bernardino Community College District’s Economic Development and Corporate Training Foundation, and the Advisory Councils of the Inland Empire Ronald McDonald House and the University of La Verne’s College of Business and Public Management. webbmcd.com ceem.coop

KUUMBA | Creativity

Noreik Thascool

Grand Life member and California native, Noreik Thascool is a Hip-Hop artist using his passion and experience to inspire music lovers around the world. An integral part of Dope Spot Studios in Pomona, he’s worked alongside a variety of artists. He brings awareness to culture and communities that we are all capable of success. Throughout his five years of being a solo Independent artist, he has been on three tours, and performed in over thirty states. instagram.com/thascool

Kwanzaa History

Khalif & Vikki Rasshan

The African American Museum of Beginnings opened its doors April of 2011. The founders, Khalif and Vikki Rasshan retired from the Pomona Unified School District after 37 years of teaching. The African American Museum of Beginnings has been called, “a community cultural history and arts museum… where humanity is welcomed home.” Since its opening in 2011, the AAMB continues to move its mission forward by offering a permanent exhibit reflecting African American history, life, and education. taamb.org

Principle Reflections

David “Judah1” Oliver

David Judah Oliver is an accomplished Poet and Author of two Published Books of original Poetry. He is the Inaugural City of Pomona Poet Laureate and Co-Host and Founder of LionLike MindState Poetry and Art Series at the Pomona Fairplex. Coach and SlamMaster of the Empire MindState Poetry Slam Team of Pomona 2009 and 2010, leading his team of Poets to 2nd in the Nation. He is an Art Consultant for the Ontario Montclair School District 2012 to Present. He has taught Poetry at every level of Education spanning Kindergarten to College and University Workshops, even beyond bars and barriers as an Art Instructor for the Prison Education Program, teaching Poetry to Inmates at Chino Men’s and Women’s Prison, Norco Rehabilitation Center for Men and including Camp Glen Rocky Detention Camp for Boys, San Dimas. theartofdavidjudah.com

Kwanzaa Jamii

Melodie Shayeghi

SoundSelecta Queen of Melodies, as she is referred to in circles all over the world, is a Persian queen originally from Hamburg, Germany. She is also an accomplished dancer, choreographer, and jewelry designer. She is part of a multi-ethnic group of SWANA (South West Asia & North Africa) folks re-membering, gathering the fragments of severed things together again, unifying and becoming whole, mending the broken, relocating the displaced, forgotten and left-behind. She’ll be bringing a unique array of music to help us celebrate and connect. 

Live Art

John Barge III

Artist John Barge III, creates inspirational Works of Art in Illustration, Fine Art, Sculptures, and special Art Projects. He blends the principles of design elements of stylized realism in his newly ‘re-branded” Eco-Raw Sustainable Art of peculiar Edible Beverage and Recycled  items, primarily of Beverages in his Art (ex. Coffee, Wine, 22 Gold Carat, Bacardi Rum, Balsamic Vinegar, Tea, etc.). He is the Visual Arts Dept. Chair-Emeritus at Inland Conservatory For The Performing Arts. John Barge III has been appointed to the US Department of State in the Official Artist Registry of US Visual Diplomats for the Arts in Embassies program. johnbarge3.com

Culinary Art

Gladys Nyoth

Born and raised in France, from Cameroonian origins Gladys Nyoth is a chef and artist that has dedicated her life to bridge the gap between the modern and ancient worlds via art, research and community. For 7 years, she has spread cultural awareness with her nomadic restaurant, Mbombo by creating immersive dinners showcasing the hidden treasure of Africa. Throughout her journey, she combined both her performing art  and culinary skills to publicize her African heritage on mainstream such as Tastemade, Google and the African Channel. Gladys Nyoth is currently opening an indigenous incubator that will be a blend between a restaurant, a ted-talk like platform and a conscious social club dedicated to unify the western and indigenous community. The incubator will be part of an integration system to preserve the indigenous voice in areas like medicine, technology and the future of the corporate world. mbomborestaurant.com