top of page

The Team

Who We Are

TerriG1_edited.jpg

Terri L. Bailey, MA

Curator

Bio

 

Terri L. Bailey is a community organizer, educator, and women’s empowerment coach, with more than 30 years of experience working with Black Women’s and Feminist Women’s health, empowerment, and wellbeing. Terri is a former high school dropout with a passion for education. With encouragement from both her mother Bettye Cook and her Godmother, NBWHP founder Byllye Avery, Terri returned to college. She holds a BS in Elementary Education from Bethune Cookman University (Magna Cum Laude) and an MA in English and Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University (with the distinction of Outstanding Graduate Student).

In April 2022, Terri L Bailey graduated with an MA from the University of Florida in Gender, Sexualities, and Women’s Studies and Research. Her MA project, Womanfesto of the Divine Feminine and the Laws of S.H.E., focuses on a woman’s right to honor the divinity within and claim her right to put herself first. Terri feels that through the act of daily self-care and a commitment to healing, empowerment is born. Her MA project culminated with a day-long self-care workshop called Warrior Women’s Wellness: Self Care for the Feminine Divine. Attendees were primarily women of color, ranging in ages from 6 to 76, from Florida and Georgia. Topics included Spiritual Self-Care, Pussy Power and Womb Wellness, Breath Work, Movement via African Dance, Positive Periods, Wellness using kitchen herbs, and organizing for wellness. The reviews were all positive and each survey requested that next year’s event be a weekend retreat.

In addition to her women’s work, Terri is a lifelong writer and storyteller, who often incorporates her advocacy and organizing work into her poetry, weaving women’s empowerment and social justice issues into her spoken word performances. She also integrates the Southern folklore she grew up with as well as African spirituality in her stories and poems. Her three proudest moments as a writer include winning first prize in the short story competition at Bethune Cookman University (2010) for The Journey, a modern, Afrocentric adaptation of Dante’s Divine Comedy, performing at the Zora Neale Hurston Festival with the poetry collective If You Ask A Sistah and most recently being first runner up for Alachua County’s first Poet Laureate. For the past few years, she has been working on When the Witches Ride You: A Collection of Southern Afrofuturistic Speculative Fiction and Black Horror and has started a Patreon page in hopes of raising funds to cover publishing expenses by the end of the year.

Terri is the Founder of Bailey Learning and Arts Collective (BLAAC - pronounced black), a nonprofit organization that focuses on building socially responsible communities and leaders through grassroots organizing, community education, and the arts. BLAAC’s newest program, The Queens Room, offers empowerment tools such as self-care plan development, EFT/TFT (tapping) services, and writing to heal workshops.

Terri hopes to inspire women by sharing the story of how she survived and flourished despite experiencing poverty, domestic violence, and sexual abuse. She feels that Writing saved her life and she tries to incorporate this valuable tool in every aspect of her spiritual, business, and personal life. Writing is this gift that never stops giving and she wishes to share this skill with every person she encounters.

Terri Bailey is a Yaya and Apetebii Ifa and feels the presence of African spirituality in her life is the grace that continues to save and nurture her. She lives in her beloved Pleasant Street District (Gainesville, Florida’s oldest Black settlement) with her husband, artist Turbado Marabou and beautiful daughter Aaliyah.

Leslie D. Posey

Curator

Bio

Leslie D. Posey is above all, a firm believer in active community building. In her daily consulting work with community groups, non-profit organizations, mid-to-large companies, small businesses, and artists. She has guided the development of their internal identity and functionality to become better advocates for the communities they serve.

Born in Montgomery, Alabama, Leslie’s sense of community was formed at an early age. Heavily influenced by her family, neighborhood, St. Jude Educational Institute, and city, she learned the importance and necessity of living in communion. Leslie’s heart for advocacy began to form as she witnessed the power of individuals coming together to make their voices heard and thereby change the world. She understands that a community with a strong shared vision can build and sustain a movement.

Leslie later moves to Cleveland, Ohio, where she attended St. Aloysius Catholic School. There she expanded her view of community and fueled Leslie’s love of Arts and Culture. Exposure to new ways of expression helped Leslie find her creative side and learn the transforming power of culture. Leslie learned about the diversity of community.

Leslie came to a crossroads in her junior year at the University of Alabama. Missing the safety of her community, she decided to begin working with a family business. Leslie loved it, and she was a natural. Leslie developed her administrative and managerial skills through career advancement. She utilized each job as a learning experience and used advancement as part of her training process.  Leslie mastered the details of internal systems by learning directly from the people who operated those systems.

Defining moments in her career occurred when she observed the tenets of community within these organizations. They had shared values, they worked in collaboration, they had a sense of belonging, and they shared space. She built her management skills into leadership skills. Leslie then took her knowledge of organizational development and incorporated a community building framework, and developed a working philosophy of increasing the capacity of companies by first strengthening their internal communities.

  

Volunteering has always been essential to Leslie’s understanding of community building, from being a Big Sister to serving on Boards of Directors, and advisory committees. Volunteering expanded Leslie’s advocacy work and facilitated a new phase in her journey. Leslie entered the National Black Women’s Health Project (NBWHP) as a volunteer and later became Operations Manager.

At the NBWHP, Leslie witnessed a community of women working to build and co-create empowered communities of women. These women mirrored the change they sought to build, and they were authentic. This experience of authenticity attracted women to NBWHP and facilitated new ways of women working in community. Through working with NBWHP and other women’s organizations, like SisterLove Inc. and YWCA’s Women in Transition, Leslie began to develop what was initially a women-centered capacity-building model. Leslie’s belief that in every space people occupy, they are participating in some form of community lead to her creation of a human-centered capacity-building process that is pivotal to building internal community within organizational spaces.

The combination of her organizational experiences and lessons learned about community, culture, arts, and operations all served as the foundation for Leslie creating The Indaba Center, LLC, an organizational capacity building organization centered on human capital.  As the CEO and Founder of The Indaba Center, LLC, Leslie analyzes the core competencies of organizational assets by evaluating resources; business, human, structural, and constituent capacities. Leslie advises organizations in standardizing processes and procedures; institutionalizing practices; and operationalizing systems and tools, including strategic planning, building shared vision, facilitating collaboration, and fostering individual development to increase organizational impact and ensure sustainability.

Additionally, Leslie is the co-founder of Charge A Sister!, an initiative that engages Black Women in consciously 'charging' our root connection and amplifying our collective power. The Charge:  There is an energizing ‘charge’ between women when we make a conscious connection with each sister they encounter via any gesture that makes a positive connection, such as a nod, hug, high five, fist bump, or a compliment. These gestures activate our root connection, charges the giver and receiver by sending energy ripples that amplifies our collective power. The Amplification:  Charge A. Sister! host gatherings for Black Women and their communities, amplifying their connection and power.

Yet chief among all these works, Leslie is the mother of Joshua and the grandmother of Kailani.

ILeslie's bio picture MG-1854.jpg
2022.1.27 AMA SARAN FINAL 2 Ama's bio picture.jpg

Ama R, Saran, PhD, MSW

Advisor

Bio

Northern-born, primarily southern reared, now residing in the deliciousness of coastal South Carolina's Gullah Geechee Cultural Corridor, I am stepping and hard on 74's dress tail. My life is mercifully synched in a goodness-of-fit with my work as thought-partner in community organizing non-profit organizational development, social science research, and always teaching and training. And now at this moment, this epoch of lost and found, prayerfully post-covid, war and wondering, I write, daily, hourly, incessantly picking my way through the detritus of decades, the dust of decisions made well but still gone awry, profound Joy always paired with her sister, Sadness, and too many farewells to irreplaceable and unforgettable family and friends, and the necessary reflections on chance and courage, and streaming life events that either wondrously shaped or mauled me into the ranks of the still-standing.

Life’s sometimes terrible but always fruitful terrain has cultivated a constant and acute social/political/cultural consciousness operating as my guidance system for working at the nexus of social welfare and public health. I now add to this writer as I have declared that’s what I must do to net narratives of my own and harness hordes of others. I must be here for the telling even when finally absent in the body as it’s time to talk story, surrender memory, and persist in truth-telling affirming my authenticity as woman, daughter, sister, wife, mother, aunt, friend, and writer. So, I open up the pages of me by rifling through varied roles and accomplishments inclusive of: adjunct faculty at University of California’s School of Social Work, Herstory board of director’s, doctoral student coach, researcher, examining  COVID’s impacts among older Gullah women, co-founder, The Good Trouble Collaborative for labor reform, voter education, energy justice and, non-profit organizational development consultant.

 

These well-curated learnings, skills, and assets are backstopped by expertise garnered from work with the National Black Women’s Health Project, now Black Women’s Health Imperative, colleges, and universities such as Spelman, Tuskegee, Jackson State, Georgia State, Emory University, Morehouse School of Medicine, foundations, Kellogg, Ford, Casey, Pfizer among them and serving as the program officer for DC Community Humanities Foundation. I was privileged to work domestically and internationally with NGOs in western and southern Africa on HIVAIDS, female circumcision, women’s economic development, and most recently public health curriculum design in St. Vincent and The Grenadines. So, this is me, nearly in the middle of my 7th decade, more fully declared, more realized than ever, and still ready.

 

On balance, I do not agree with the dictate that there be only good stories included which you deem muzzling memory does not make this very authentic. Many have learned and grown traipsing through the fire that was the NBWHP. They have emerged as changed that’s the positive piece that could and must be shared without this dictate. You have asked for stories on how the Project and its process have impacted us. That is the impact which should be anchored to real-life, real-felt experiences.

Dianne Anderson Valentin

Advisor

Bio

Dianne Valentin is the mother of four, grandmother of ten, great-grandmother of two, and has over thirty years of experience assisting small businesses and nonprofit organizations with their business needs. She worked directly within community, private industry, and public education sectors. As a political scientist with training in the areas of international affairs and national defense, Dianne has used her training and education when advocating grassroots and progressive issues on Capitol Hill, as well as in national and international forums. She has had issues related articles published in a major news outlet. Dianne has curated, edited, and published two art books.
 

Dianne is the founder and CEO of the Black Heritage Museum & Cultural Center, Inc. (BHMACC) founded in 2005 and established as a nonprofit organization with federal tax-exempt status in 2006. The BHMACC is a grassroots, multi-issue, cultural organization led by Black women. Its mission is to document and preserve Black heritage, culture, and scholarship and use it to encourage, empower, and uplift current and future generations through scholarly engagement, art, and artistic expression, while cultivating critical thought. The organization is currently working out of Atlanta. 
 

Under Dianne’s leadership the BHMACC has helped over 3,000 marginalized and low-income students get into college. It does its work in the areas of arts, culture, education, social justice, community benevolence, environmental justice, and civic engagement.
 

Dianne works with national, state, and community nonprofit organizations providing strategic advice, technical assistance, program development, community outreach, and community organizing support.
 

During her corporate career working for an investment banking and accounting firm Dianne and her team managed the assets of twenty-six financial institutions with asset values ranging from $25 million to $10 billion, she managed the staff of asset managers, financial services and accounting representatives, researched and brought to resolution federal agency investigations, Congressional Inquiry and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests received directly from Congress related to those managed institutions, developed and initiated uniform training procedures for the handling of client issues. As a Senior Analyst for a government agency she was responsible for the analysis of negotiated contracts to insure commitment integrity and that the negotiated contracts fell within the guidelines for that financial product.
 

Dianne was invited to appear, and testified, before President Barack Obama’s Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future presenting her views on nuclear weapons, nuclear waste, and how they impact environmental and racial injustice. Dianne acted as a technical advisor and editor of a climate report that has been presented to and accepted by the United Nations, personally received and reviewed by the current Pope at the Vatican.
 

Dianne recently retired from her position as President of the board of directors of a statewide women-led peace, environmental justice, political empowerment nonprofit organization, has served as Chair of a national, women led United Nations recognized NGO. She formerly served as founding President of an Atlanta based legal advocacy nonprofit supporting girls and women dealing with sex discrimination and abuses in the education and workplace settings. Dianne is a former President of the board of directors of a women’s health center with a national client base. She is also a past President of the Friends of Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture & History.
 

Dianne has been honored with awards which include a United Nations’ National Human Rights Award and a National Grassroots Activist Award by a national organization comprised of organizations from all over the country.

Dianne's image for the anthology website.jpg
Tori's image for the anthology website RenderedImage.jpg
IMG-1014 Torri's original art for anthology website.jpg

Tori 

Artist

website Original Art

Bio

Latoria Magee is a rising Senior at Alabama Christion Academy. She is 17 years old and loves art, with her preferred area of focus being abstract art. Tori plans to direct her studies on becoming a Biomedical Engineer.

Courtney Brooks

Artist

website Original Art

Bio

Founder of Journey of a Black Girl / Artist / Advocate / Graphic Designer / Art Instructor

Brooks believes that it has been a gift to work with a wide range of entrepreneurs, small businesses, and grassroots organizations. She collaborates with emerging, as well as established, visual artists from multiple disciplines, cultures, and backgrounds. As a curator, she assists artists/muralists, as they focus on understanding their creative process. She helps reveal and bring forth the undiscovered narrative that can help them identify their sense of urgency. Her goal is to help maximize the artist’s potential and expand the visibility of their work to broader audiences. She understands and considers it a privilege as a curator to share her client’s work from private collections and established studios, handling concepts with great care. @cbrooksart

leslogo-01 Leslie's logo color.png
IMG-5587 Courtney's image for anthology website.jpg

Omelika Kuumba

Artist

website Original song

Bio

Founder and CEO of Sistah With A Nia, LLC. / Drummer / Dancer / Choreographer / Musical Arranger/Cultural Arts Educator/Founding Member/ Artistic Director Emerita of Giwayen Mata

 

Omelika Kuumba is a native of Brooklyn, NY, and a graduate of Spelman College. She taught African Dance at Emory University, and is an instructor of African Dance Forms at Spelman College, directs Ashietu, the Sisters Chapel African Dance and Drum Ministry at Spelman College; Soaring High, experienced and multifaceted artists who play, sing, and dance to original works and arrangements by Sis. Omelika; and Metropolitan Atlanta African Dancers and Drummers, accomplished and zestful artists presenting performances and workshops in African drumming and dancing; and teaches West African dance for AileyCamp.  
 

Omelika considers herself blessed to have learned from, taught, worked with, and performed with so many beautiful spirits over the course of her career as an educator and an artist. It is her hope that she has contributed to their lives in as many positive ways as they have contributed to hers and that she will have even more opportunities to create and experience joy by sharing her passions exploring dance, rhythm, and culture with others. Omelika cherishes the growing experiences she had at the Mother House, her Self-Help group, and the Dahlonega retreats. She is very excited to have been asked to write "This Is an All Call" for NBWHP.

bottom of page