June 8, 2020 at 7PM- Free Masterclass: Navigating Death at Work, Home and in the Community (CLICK HERE TO RSVP)
Supportive Housing heroes are no strangers to death. At work they meet familiar foes of suicide, drug overdoses, disease and even homicide. They are also first knowledge experiencers of racial disparities that shorten the lives of people of color. Participants in this session will have an opportunity to explore feelings and methods of grieving about death in the workplace, their personal lives and the Community, as in the recent case of George Floyd and others. As the founder of The Crockett Collective, Kristen empowers individuals to navigate change from the inside out. She helps people embrace who they are today (their strengths, emotions and challenges) so they can get to where they want to go tomorrow. Kristen helps people increase their self-awareness and grow their interpersonal skills. She helps people connect to themselves and others and understand the power and impact of emotions on interpersonal relationships, life, death and the workplace. Kristen has served as the Director of Learning & Development for two media companies. She connects people and departments, develops leaders, and helps individuals become more aware of how our emotions and experiences impact our decision making, confidence, stress management and much more. Learn more about Kristen at https://kristencrockett.com/
June 9, 2020 at 7PM- Dorian’s Neosoul & Yoga (Click Here to RSVP)
In almost 60% of states for which race and ethnicity data is available on the CDC website, the distribution of COVID-19-related deaths is substantially higher among African American and Latinx communities than the groups’ distribution in the population. Supportive Housing heroes help program participants to thrive by focusing on health and wellness. What makes frontline workers in supportive housing special is their uncanny ability to make the everyday unique. Dorian does the same by adding a twist to traditional yoga. In this active session, Supportive Housing Heroes and other guests should pull out a towel or yoga mat. Give your body, mind and soul the gifts of a soothing flow as you wind down your evening as neosoul artist, Dorian and yoga teacher, Staci offer a unique experience of being serenaded with uplifting neosoul music you can groove to while you are guided through simple yoga stretches. This flow is beginner friendly. Dorian's Live Neosoul & Yoga event has toured throughout Los Angeles and landed him a shout out in LA YOGA MAGAZINE and a recent interview on LAYOGA.COM’s MUSIC SECTION. Angelinos love Dorian's soulfully positive music that has been compared to Stevie Wonder and India Arie. He served in the music for healing program at Cedar’s Sinai Hospital. He is a registered community pharmacist and an actor. He guest- starred on CSI: Las Vegas with Country Music group, The Rascal Flats and the final season of the hit T.V. show, ER. Learn more about Dorian at https://dorianneosoul.com/
June 10, 2020 at 12 PM- Literary Change Agents: Using Books to Examine a Broken World (RSVP Here For This Event)
A new survey conducted during the pandemic by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the SNF Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University found a more-than-threefold increase in the percentage of U.S. adults who reported symptoms of psychological distress--from 3.9 percent in 2018 to 13.6 percent in April 2020. According to the Beth McGinty, one of the writers, "Health care providers, educators, social workers, and other front-line providers can help promote mental wellness and support." Supportive Housing heroes often use book clubs or current event groups to accomplish this task. In this session, Rion Amilcar Scott, Reniqua Allen and Laura Everett will talk about their recent publications which each uniquely examine the complexities of the world. These scribes will also share tips on the writing process and how their intelligent, fun and witty hardbacks shine lights on issues such as racism, oppression, women’s rights, environmentalism and other multifaceted issues.
Reniqua is a journalist who produces and writes for various outlets on issues of race, opportunity, politics and popular culture. She is currently a Visiting Research Scholar at the City University of New York. Her first book, It Was All A Dream: A New Generation Confronts the Broken Promise to Black America, about Black millennials and upward mobility is out now from Bold Type Books/Hachette. She has written for the New York Times, Washington Post, Guardian, The New Republic, Quartz, Buzzfeed, Teen Vogue, Glamour and more, and has produced a range of films, video, and radio for PBS, MSNBC, WYNC and HBO. Reniqua is also completing a Ph.D. in American Studies from Rutgers University. Her dissertation looks at how Black culture has and continues to engage with the idea of the American Dream. She lives in the South Bronx. Learn More about Reniqua Allen at https://www.reniquaallen.com/
Laura’s professional bio describes her as the author of “Holy Spokes: The Search for Urban Spirituality on Two Wheels,” podcast co-host of “Can These Bones,” textile artist and mender; Executive Director of the Massachusetts Council of Churches & pastor in the United Church of Christ; itinerant preacher; alumna of Brown University and Harvard Divinity School; Advisor at Leadership Education at Duke Div. New Jersey by birth, Massachusetts by choice. In plain language she describes herself in the following manner: I’m a spiritual magpie, gathering bits of twine and twig from many traditions. I’m a bicycle evangelist, happy to give you my testimonial about the good life that’s possible when you give yourself to movement on two wheels. I’m a dedicated urbanist, convinced that cities form us in ways that challenge us to live tight with a whole lot of different folks. I’m crafty and I get around, most contented at my sewing machine. I’m a mender, dedicated to repair. I’m building a silkscreen studio in my basement. I like thinking big about how we build vibrant institutions that hold tradition and cultivate innovation. I aim for attraction not persuasion. I believe the work of this moment is to upend the racism that has divided this nation and the Church. I’m convinced that if we’re all not free, it isn’t the gospel truth. Learn more about Laura at https://reveverett.com/
Rion is the author of the story collection, The World Doesn’t Require You (Norton/Liveright, August 2019), a finalist for the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award. His debut story collection, Insurrections (University Press of Kentucky, 2016), was awarded the 2017 PEN/Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction and the 2017 Hillsdale Award from the Fellowship of Southern Writers. His work has been published in journals such as The New Yorker, The Kenyon Review, Crab Orchard Review, and The Rumpus, among others. One of his stories was listed as a notable in Best American Stories 2018 and one of his essays was listed as a notable in Best American Essays 2015. He was raised in Silver Spring, Maryland and earned an MFA from George Mason University where he won the Mary Roberts Rinehart award, a Completion Fellowship and an Alumni Exemplar Award. He has received fellowships from Bread Loaf Writing Conference, Kimbilio and the Colgate Writing Conference as well as a 2019 Maryland Individual Artist Award. Presently he teaches Creative Writing at the University of Maryland. Learn more about Rion at http://www.rionamilcarscott.com/
June 11, 2020 at 7PM- Zumba with “Z” (Click Here to RSVP)
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), 103 million U.S. adults are in the hypertensive range and nearly 13 million of them are undiagnosed and may not be aware of their condition and the associated risks. U.S. national high blood pressure guidelines state that readings above 130/80 mmHg indicate the threshold for hypertension. Social determinants contribute to nearly 80 percent of a person's health outcome and areas with limited access to healthcare, healthy food options, and health education are at the highest risk of heart attack, stroke and other health events. Health and Wellness is a big part of how supportive housing programs help to fight these statistics. Supportive Housing heroes often design low impact exercise groups such as chair yoga, mindfulness practices, and walking groups. During this session, it’s time for the frontline heroes and others to relax and sweat under the instruction of Zerline Spruill. Zumba Fitness is an exhilarating, effective, easy-to-follow, Latin-inspired, calorie-burning dance fitness party! Each Zumba class is designed to bring people together to “sweat it on.” A total workout, combining all elements of fitness – cardio, muscle conditioning, balance and flexibility, boosted energy and a serious dose of awesome each time you leave class. Zerline has studied and danced the styles of Afro-Cuban, modern, jazz, tap, ballet, liturgical dance and Zumba, merging all of what she has learned over decades of taking classes, and dancing professionally. She has performed at the African Marketplace and Cultural Faire (Los Angeles), Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood Paladium, the Home of actor Ed Asner, Wilshire Ebell Theatre (Los Angeles), National Cathedral (Washington, DC), New York Avenue Presbyterian Church & more! Learn more about Zerline at http://zumbawithz.com/
June 12, 2020 at 7PM- Oh, You Fancy Huh? – Tips for Keeping Natural Hair, Nails and “Feet on Fleek” (Click Here to RSVP)
Resiliency of supportive housing tenants is often studied. When it comes to self-esteem people who have been homeless, incarcerated and sometimes locked away in mental health facilities still find a way to overcome. In a March 2010 study in Psychology Today, authors found that older adults are able to protect their sense of self-worth in the face of normal aging-related challenges, and that black Americans, on the whole, are able to protect their self-worth in the face of substantial disadvantages in social status. Supportive Housing heroes help to create this resiliency by focusing on increasing the self-esteem and personal awareness of participants. In this session, a few Maryland-based beauticians will provide tips on how to care for natural hair, nails and feet. They will also offer stories about their efforts to tear down glass ceilings put before them. Sabrina Robinson and Angela Wigglesworth and Melanie Eggleston are minority- owned small business owners affected by closures during the height of the COVID crisis. This forced them to be imaginative about how they kept afloat. They each turned online to pivot their business platforms. Sabrina has been a licensed cosmetologist for 8-years. She owns and operates her shop Bean the Braider which specializes in natural hair, nails and eyelashes. She discovered a talent for hairstyling at the age of nine and plans to grow her business to include work with nonprofits. One of her dreams is to develop a line of wigs for cancer patients or others in need. Angela is the owner of Naturally Nailed, where she specializes in pedicures, diabetic foot care, toenail reconstruction and other services to better the health of your feet and natural nails. She recently teamed with Melanie Eggleston of Oh My Nails Shop to start a virtual Foot Focused business on Instagram dubbed “Feet on Fleek,” which targets people of color. During their sessions they discuss topics ranging from diabetic footcare to toenail abnormalities.
June 15, 2020 at 7PM- History of Black Chefs in the White House (Click Here to RSVP)
Supportive Housing sites often use themes to help guide the social work implemented by staff. Did you know that June was National Soul Food Month? This is a session for history buffs. Adrian Miller, AKA The Soul Food Scholar, will provide a history lesson on Black chefs in the White House. Miller has compiled this knowledge in his second book, The President’s Kitchen Cabinet: The Story of the African Americans Who Have Fed Our First Families, From the Washingtons to the Obamas which was published on President's Day, 2017. The book was a finalist for a 2018 NAACP Image Award for "Outstanding Literary Work—Non-Fiction," and the 2018 Colorado Book Award for History. Adrian is a food writer, attorney and certified barbecue judge who lives in Denver, CO. Adrian received an A.B. in International Relations from Stanford University in 1991, and a J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center in 1995. He is currently the executive director of the Colorado Council of Churches and, as such, is the first African American and the first layperson to hold that position. Miller previously served as a special assistant to President Bill Clinton with his Initiative for One America—the first free-standing office in the White House to address issues of racial, religious and ethnic reconciliation. Miller also served as a senior policy analyst for Colorado governor Bill Ritter Jr. He has also been a board member of the Southern Foodways Alliance. Miller’s first book, Soul Food: The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine, One Plate at a Time won the James Beard Foundation Award for Scholarship and Reference in 2014. Adrian is currently working on a history of African American barbecue, tentatively titled Black Smoke. Learn more about Adrian at www.soulfoodscholar.com
June 16, 2020 at 7PM- Jessica Garand & Opportunity Music Program Students (Click Here to RSVP)
In a recent survey by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO), three in 10 people (35 percent) said listening to orchestral music helps them to relax and feel calm during the coronavirus lockdown. Respondents shared orchestra music helped them concentrate and to be more productive while working from home they felt inspired to learn a new instrument (10 percent). However, people of color are underrepresented as classical musicians. The Opportunity Music Project founded by Jessica Garand hopes to change this. In this session, sit back, relax and enjoy the sounds of classical music. Jessica Garand, the founder of the NY-based Opportunity Music Project (OMP), will play selections along with OMP students and faculty. The mission of OMP is to provide the highest caliber of instrument instruction, mentoring, chamber music and community engagement to motivated children and teens from low-economic backgrounds so that they may achieve their fullest potential as both artists and leaders in society. The vision of OMP is to facilitate links between students, emerging professionals, and the larger community--specifically those who have limited access to experiencing classical music and by doing so, aide the paradigm shift that is moving artists in the 21st century to combine and utilize their talents as musicians, leaders, and advocates. Learn more about OMP at https://opportunitymusicproject.org/
June 17, 2020 at 7PM- Shark Tank Winners Felix Brandon Lloyd and Jordan Lloyd Bookey to Discuss Entrepreneurship and the Journey to Winning $250,000 from Mark Cuban (Click Here to RSVP)
Some 75% of all frontline workers are people of color, including 82% of cleaning services employees, according to a report by the New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer. More than 40% of transit employees are black, while over 60% of cleaning workers are Hispanic. This demographic also plays out in many Supportive Housing programs when it comes to lower wage jobs. Many Supportive Housing heroes hope to escape the grind of a nine to five lifestyle through the creation of their own businesses. In this session, Felix and Jordan will spend time discussing their turn from classroom educators to business owners. Just two weeks after staring their curated book business Zoobean, On April 18, 2014, the couple appeared on the hit ABC series Shark Tank and gained a $250K investment from Mark Cuban. They will share how this was exciting and one of the most challenging days of their lives, almost ending with a trip to the emergency room for a panicked Felix. It was clear that the product they pitched on the show, a subscription box service for curated children’s book selections, would not work. So, they changed course. And they headed to Las Vegas six weeks later for the American Library Association Conference. Over the years to follow, Zoobean has stayed focused on helping motivate people of all ages, especially kids, to read more. Through their story participants will learn tips of how to make it in the business world. To learn more about Jordan and Brandon visit https://zoobean.com
June 18, 2020 at 7PM- Chopping it Up with Chef Rock: Hell’s Kitchen Winner and Celebrity Chef (Click Here to RSVP)
What’s the best way to get a person in Supportive Housing to come to an event? Food! Supportive Housing heroes know that whole foods and food insecurity make healthy eating a challenge. Low-income households in food deserts — more than a mile from a supermarket in a city or suburbs or more than 10 miles in rural areas — often struggle with having enough to eat, and the global pandemic has exacerbated that circumstance. Their access to fresh produce and meat continues to decrease, and they often turn instead to fast food or processed foods, according to the Agriculture Department. Chef Rock is a Celebrity chef who hopes to change these trends. Rock has extensive restaurant experience, most notably serving at the Executive Chef for B. Smith’s in Washington DC from 1999 until 2007. Chef Rock gained national recognition when he won Season 3 (2007) of the Fox Reality television cooking show Hell’s Kitchen, hosted by the legendary Chef Gordon Ramsay. In 2013, Chef Rock also won on an episode The Food Network’s Chef Wanted with Anne Burrell where he was offered the executive chef position of The Precinct steakhouse in Cincinnati, Ohio. He was the first chef in the show’s history to not have one plate of food returned to the kitchen by a diner. In addition to his professional accomplishments, Rock remains committed to serving his community. Realizing the importance of serving others, Chef Rock also serves two causes close to his heart. From 2008 to 2012, he has served as the national celebrity chef of the March of Dimes. In addition, Chef Rock has committed countless hours – first as a Board Member, then as Director of Kitchen Operations and culminating his tenure as Culinary Instructor – to the DC Central Kitchen, an organization committed to ending poverty, homelessness and hunger in the District of Columbia. In 2016 he became the chef chair of Heart & Sole, the annual fundraiser for Central Union Mission-a faith-based nonprofit that serves homeless men and families in the Nation’s Capital. Learn more about Chef Rock at http://rocksolidfood.com/
June 19, 2020 at 7PM- Virtual Dance Party with DJ Sixth Sense (Click Here to RSVP)
Supportive Housing heroes know the best way to support residents is to have fun. The refueling series will end with a virtual dance party led by DJ Sixth Sense. To help people manage with COVID isolation and the anxieties of racial injustice, Sixth Sense used Facebook, Zoom, Periscope and other social media platforms to spin tunes for onlookers. For this session he has committed to share his gift with NY-based frontline workers in supportive housing. Make sure to RSVP and tell him what your favorite song is so it has a chance to get played. When companies, celebrities and party people need a deejay to move the crowd, they call DJ Sixth Sense. He’s best known for his distinctive mixes on the popular Russ Parr Morning Show, which is syndicated in 24 markets nationwide. He had his own show on Sirius XM’s Hip Hop Nation Channel and currently is syndicating his own radio mixshow. You’ve also seen him on television shows such as TV One’s Get the Hook Up, BET’s Rap City, NBC’s First Heard, The BET College Tour and three different BET Walk of Fame ceremonies. Spinning at sporting events for organizations such as the NFL Players Association, the NBA’s Washington Wizards home games and Michael Jordan’s exclusive birthday party. Learn more about DJ Sixth Sense at https://www.djsixthsense.com.