MANSFIELD -- NECIC will host Jeffrey Jones, Edward Akinyemi, Brigitte Coles, and Loretta Hillard, four local African American authors, for AALI Social on Aug. 30 at the North End Community Improvement Collaborative, 134 N Main St.
Jones is a lifelong North End resident. He is Pastor of First Baptist Church in Mansfield and founder of Cool Dads Faithful Fathers, a local nonprofit that focuses on helping men fulfill their role as fathers. His book is called "Seeing is Believing."
Akinyemi is the Research & Development Coordinator at the North End Community Improvement Collaborative. He has a Bachelor’s degree from Erasmus University Rotterdam (the Netherlands), a Master’s degree from the University of Southern Denmark, and has previously lived in the Netherlands, Spain, and Denmark. His experience as an AmeriCorps VISTA inspired him to write his book “Community Heroes: What a year as an AmeriCorps VISTA member taught me about community development.”
Coles is an award-winning TV broadcaster, an international published author, motivational speaker, cancer survivor, humanitarian. Among her many accomplishments, Coles has been recognized by Richland County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board, Area Agency on Aging Ohio District 5, and the U.S. Marshals Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force as a community leader and featured in the national publication African-American Lifestyle Magazine. Her latest book is “Women of Courage: Volume II.”
Hillard is the author of the book “A History of Notable African Americans, Richland County, Ohio,” which highlights the rich history of African Americans in the community. She was born and raised in Mansfield and is a true Mansfielder. Her family lived on the Company Line, Mansfield’s first African American neighborhood. She has also written several articles about the former Black working-class neighborhood and its connection to Mansfield.
NECIC invites the public to join them in recognizing and celebrating the fantastic achievements of our community’s talented writers. This is a great opportunity to engage with and get to know them in an informal setting, so make sure to register to attend this month’s AALI Social.
The event will be held on Aug. 30 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the North End Community Improvement Collaborative, 134 N Main St. Refreshments will be provided. Registration is required and can be done through the following link https://conta.cc/31x3xdo.
While AALI Social used to be a paid event, it is now free to attend. However, donations and other community contributions are highly appreciated and necessary in order to continue these events in the future. Please contact Edward Akinyemi (extension 127) or Leona Smith (extension 114) at 419-522-1611 if you are interested in sponsoring AALI.
What is AALI?
AALI is the African American Leadership Initiative. The mission of AALI is to identify and cultivate African American leaders in Mansfield and Richland County and functions to create a network of diverse leaders with relevant opportunities to connect and contribute. To find out more about it and learn about ways to support this initiative, please visit our website at https://bit.ly/2KD6cfP.