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“A role model is one who is aware that the babies are watching and acts accordingly.”

June 20th - Day One

9 am to 4:30 pm

Whats Happening Brother - Unknown Artist

Sam Simmons, AA, LADC, conference co-creator has over 29-year experience as a behavioral consultant specializing in practical culturally sensitive trauma informed work with African American males and their families with a focus on addressing chemical dependency, interpersonal violence and historical trauma. Sam received the 2016 Healing the Hidden Wounds of Racial Trauma award and the Black Tear Drop Award for his vision and leadership in culturally sensitive trauma informed work in the community and around the country. In 2017 Sam received the Champions for Children Award for his work in making the world a better place for children from the Minnesota Communities Caring for Children. He is co-host of "Voices” radio show on KMOJ FM that addresses issues of the urban community.

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"It's a Family Affair-
fortifying the village"
Dorothea Harris, MSW, LICSW, VOA Culturally Responsive Caregiver Support and Dementia Services
Morning workshops will be repeated in the Afternoon
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A Father's Role in Co-Parenting
William Moore, Public Health Educator, Saint Paul Ramsey County Public Health
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"Getting to Good Grief"
Moriah Friend, mother, educator, author, and leader who has worked in the field of early childhood education for several years.
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Men and Boys Programs Panel


Panel Moderator

Curtis Marshall, MS is a Public Health Consultant with the Wisconsin Division of Public Health. 

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A Closer Look:
Child Protection Disproportionality
Kelis Houston is Founder of Village Arms. A Christ-centered non-profit organization dedicated to aiding and assisting African American youth and families impacted by child protection.

LaDonna Redmond is an activist that has worked on several initiatives that have created greater access for community residents. In 2013, she launched the Campaign for Food Justice Now (CFJN), a membership-based organization that uses a race, class, and gender analysis to promote food and agricultural system reforms and advocate for the adoption of right-to-food policies in the U.S. She is currently Diversity and Community Engagement manager for Seward Community Co-op. In that role, LaDonna leads an effort to build a natural foods co-op in a historically African American community. LaDonna is a Qualified Administrator (QA) for the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI). LaDonna is also a facilitator who believes that every community has the intellect to heal itself.

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John Turnipseed is the Executive Vice President & Campus Pastor Urban Ventures Leadership Foundation. He is a sought-after speaker locally and nationally to share his compelling personal account of overcoming violent childhood experiences, transformation, and faith, with a passionate and encouraging message to “never give up on people”. He is the author of “Bloodline: You Spend Enough Time in Hell You Get the Feeling You Belong” the story of his life changes to a redeemed community leader. John is passionate about changing the urban cycles of recidivism, poverty, and patterns of choice by modeling, both in behavior and education, how to rebuild relationships and creating pathways to success.

14th Annual Sons of Bransford Awards

The goal of the Sons Of Bransford or SOB Awards is to recognize African Americans men and women that have had a positive impact on the social conditions of the community and the lives of individuals through their quiet and not so quiet leadership. In the spirit of the award namesake Jim Bransford like him who are worthy of receiving their flowers while they can still smell them! 

5:30 p.m. at Metro State University,

St. Paul Campus, Main Great Hall

June 21st - Day Two

9 am to 12:30 pm

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Lavon Morris-Grant is the Executive Director/Founder of MACOSH Healing Network, the first culturally specific, holistic African American non-profit, domestic violence organization in the State of Georgia. Lavon is an entrepreneur and accomplished author, having written many articles and two critically praised books, Whom Shall I Fear: A Spiritual Journey of a Battered Woman, describing the brutality she and her family endured at the hand of an abusive spouse, ultimately resulting in him attempting to take her life and shooting her several times.  In her latest book, released in 2014, Who Will Speak For My Children: Healing Through The Trauma, Lavon describes the powerful, debilitating and lingering effects that trauma leaves behind and how she, and her three children, personally survived, recovered and thrived through multiple, devastating traumas.  Lavon’s mission is to educate others on the insidious nature of domestic violence and the painful dynamic of the crippling trauma that ensues, as well as to instill hope and inspire others who are enduring struggle and strife to take action to live violent free lives. 

Special Guests
Michael Sweetney,
Former 1st Round NBA Draft Pick and Mental Health Advocate
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Discussion Moderator

Tiffany Turner-Allen,

Director of Blacktivism

Tiffany work has been intense and across various issues of health, public health and education.

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Larry A.McKenzie

Head Coach

Minneapolis North Boys Basketball

“You don’t have to be a man to fight for freedom.

All you have to do is to be an intelligent human being.” — Malcolm X

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