Tope is a Nigerian-American social entrepreneur, independent financial management consultant, inspirational speaker, purpose driven life teacher and the author of the amazon.com best selling novel, Love in Cancun. She also invests considerable time and energy into creating a better world for children from low-income families through the education, healthcare and social welfare initiatives of United for Kids Foundation, an organization she co-founded in 2002 and which she continues to serve as its Executive Director/Coordinating Trustee (Pro-Bono). Prior to embracing her calling to be an inspirational speaker and teacher, Tope was an accountant. She is a U.S. Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a Nigerian Chartered Accountant (1999 ICAN prizewinner). She joined the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) in 2009, and rose to the rank of Assistant Director of Financial Services at AFT’s Washington DC headquarters. She also invented “money color”, a revolutionary system that helps individuals understand and improve their relationship with money. The money color phenomenon evolved into a whole book titled – “What Color Is Your Money?” She obtained a Bachelors degree in Accounting from the University of Lagos, Nigeria, where she was the best graduating student in the College of Business Administration. She also obtained a Masters in Business Administration from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Tope is a fellow of the Salzburg Global Seminar Session 530 – “Value(s) for Money? Philanthropy as a Catalyst for Social and Financial Transformation.” She also attended the University of Oxford’s Women Transforming Leadership in October 2014. Tope was one of 30 African leaders invited to the U.S. White House in preparation for the 2014 U.S.-Africa leaders summit in May 2014, and President Obama’s Eid reception for Muslim Americans in July 2016. In addition to working on Secretary Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign as an organizer in Michigan, Tope had the honor of giving the field pitch at Mrs. Clinton’s final presidential campaign rally in Grand Rapids Michigan on November 7, 2016. She was also the keynote speaker at the prestigious Grand Rapids City High School 2017 graduation ceremony on June 6, 2017.
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ADEOLA ARIYO is an inspirational speaker, entrepreneur and an aspiring author. She’s very passionate about inspiring people to live a fulfilled life and driven by women and children empowerment. Although trained as a Software Engineer, she’s always been involved in mentoring and tutoring the youth since her early years. She believes strongly in the importance of having a mentor to help guide, nurture and develop one’s gifts. This passion of hers led to the birth of THE GEMZ, Inc., a mentoring and leadership program in the Washington DC metropolitan area, for girls and young ladies between the ages of 11 and 18. In 2016, the organization added a new initiative to provide a platform and host networking and training events for women between the ages of 35 and 50 to inspire them to network, dream again, launch businesses and impact the younger generation. Adeola’s initiatives have been featured on the Washington post, 104.1 and recently interviewed on Good morning Washington, ABC7 news. Adeola is passionate about living a life of legacy by making an impact in the lives of others. Her motto is to live and not merely exist. She is married with 3 adorable sons and currently resides in Greenbelt, Maryland.
Rashidat F. Raji is a professional Architect, but you probably know her as the creator and owner of HER Gist- a personal blog focused on supporting women, particularly Nigerian women in the ‘divaspora’ where she shares valuable information and empowering messages using humor, mostly in more than one language. She encourages her tribe of “Gistas” to juggle their different ‘hats and purses’; while making them laugh ‘seriously’ about everyday issues, from relationships, work, health, faith to…just LIFE.
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Rita Bailey CPA
Rita is the President of Affordable Benefits Solutions, Inc., and has been assisting clients for the last 20 years accumulating over 1,800 clients.She is a Chartered Federal Employee Benefits Consultant (ChFEBC (sm)) and has taught several workshops for Blacks in Government, Federally Employed Women, IRS, EPA, APWU, VA, Dept. of Justice and many more. Rita is a graduate of George Washington University with a Bachelor of Accountancy. She started her successful career at CSO as an Agent. Years later she moved on to become President of EU Financial, Inc. a million dollar insurance agency.In 2004, Rita aided in the development of the government division of Financial Assurance Corporation and was appointed Vice President. Dedicating her insurance/ financial career to changing people’s lives one at a time came from her life experiences and a result of her mother’s death when she was 11 years old. Rita realized then and teaches now, that understanding your employee benefits are crucial to planning for the financial future for you and your family.Rita is an advocate for helping people to align their values and dreams with their actions.
Aminat strongly believes that her primary purpose is to ‘connect’ – people, places, things and concepts; preferably over wholesome Food and Beverage, in ambient event settings towards the multiple gain of enabling her audiences to: Fuel. Vibe. Connect. Her overarching mission is to help build sustainable communities by extracting the best content from individuals and matching synergies for efficiencies of scale. Aminat is focused on understanding and appreciating diverse consumer behaviors, particularly as variables for brand affinity and loyalty. Her mission is to connect the relevant and applicable dots towards building sustainable and synergistic communities.
She is currently Managing Director of Ginger Hospitality Company Ltd and Ginger Consult, which she incorporated in 2012. With a global career spanning about two decades, Aminat has led Marketing, Brand and CorporateCommunications teams in the development of strategic initiatives and interactive brand events toposition their organizations at the forefront of their practice, and manage Internal and ExternalCommunications across various media. The last of her corporate roles was at Asset & ResourcesManagement Company Ltd. (ARM) in Lagos, Nigeria; from 2008 – 2013. Prior to her relocation to Nigeria in 2008, she held roles with two reputable Fortune 50 entities in Atlanta, Georgia: United Parcel Service Inc (UPS), 1998 – 2008, and Goldman Sachs 1997 – 1998. She also founded and incorporated La Femme Africaine Inc. (The African Woman,) a nonprofit Section 501 (c) (3) organization. Aminat obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Education from University of Lagos in 1994, and a Master of Public Administration degree from The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH in 1996. She is a Cherie Blair Foundation for Women Mentee.
Sabrina N’Diaye, Ph.D.
Over the past 25 years, Sabrina N’Diaye, Ph.D. has been blessed with the opportunity to assist hundreds of clients transform their lives and live their dreams. In 2007, she founded the Heart Nest Wellness Center, in Catonsville, where she specializes in her “calling” – healing work for women, couples, and trauma survivors. She has since changed the name of her center to the Heart Nest Center for Peace and Healing, a space that welcomes community engagement and spiritual growth. In addition to traditional psycotherapy, she practices mind-body medicine and Sufi healing into her work. She is a student of the late Sidi Muhammad al-Jamal, a Palestinian peace builder and healer, who taught his students to seek light in all human hearts.
Sabrina received her doctorate in Mind-Body Medicine from Saybrook University, where she studied the use of complementary and alternative interventions for physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. Her dissertation explored the use of healing rituals for African-American women with sexual and health-related trauma. She is an adjunct faculty member of the Maryland University of Integrative Health and Saybrook University. She is a frequent lecturer for the Ferentz Institute, where she teaches courses in private practice success, oppression, and the art of healing. She is also a proud faculty member of the Center for Mind-Body Medicine, where she teaches the art of self-care to healthcare professionals around the globe. Her work has led her in guiding healing rituals with the Baltimore City Police, at Pine Ridge Reservation, and multiple spiritual communities. She is now a part of a healing team that is serving Jordanian healthcare professionals that work with refugees. Sabrina is passionate about her work as a retreat facilitator, mentor, and guide for other healers. She is a highly respected member of the treatment community, and frequently lectures on cultural diversity, spirituality, stress management, self-care for healers, addictions, and the “magic” of connection. She is a devoted wife, mother, daughter, and life-long learner, who remains humbled by the healing power of compassion, love and forgiveness.
Desirée N. RobinsonMSW, ACS, CHT, RYT
Desirée is a Certified Sexologist & holistic practitioner with advanced training in Substance Abuse Assessment and Treatment, Intimacy / Sex Therapy, Tantric Education, Hypnotherapy and HypnoCoaching. In addition to her training, Desirée also specializes in working with ethnic, religious and spiritual individuals currently working towards developing or strengthening their practice and enhancing their sense of self. She obtained a Bachelors degree in Family Studies and Community Development & Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Towson University, and a Mastes degree in Clinical social work & Certificate in Substance Abuse Assessment and Treatment from New Mexico Highlands University.
She is a proud member of the following organizations:
- American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists
- Association of Black Sexologists and Clinicians
- National Association of Social Workers
- National Guild of Hypnotists
- The American College of Sexologists International
- Women of Color Sexual Health Network
Shirley Jones A. Shakur MSN, RN
Shirley has served her community for nearly forty years, as a relationship expert, community leader, and Islamic and public health educator across the Delaware Valley and beyond. A brainchild of this effort is Dar Imani, a Women’s Holistic Healthy Life Style Studio. As founder and proprietor she guides and counsels women to maintain or restore holistic health as well as inspires them toward self- discovery and full self-actualization. Professionally she is an advanced practice registered nurse and adjunct professor with a wide variety of expertise. Sr. Shakur served at the University of Pennsylvania and Thomas Jefferson University as an adjunct professor of nursing. During the 2008 Presidential Election she served as a field supervisor for the Obama Campaign in Pennsylvania and attended the Southern Inaugural Ball of the United States Congress Joint Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. Sr. Shakur also worked with the United Nations in the establishment of the Global Health Goals for 2015-2025. Giving to her passion for education, she was a vice chair of fundraising for the UNCF (United Negro College Fund) 2017. As a philanthropist she has been dedicated to supporting causes that improve community life. She is a graduate of Seton Hall University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. She earned her graduate, Master of Science in Nursing, degree in Adult Health and Illness with a concentration in Education from La Salle University. Sr. Shakur is married with four adult children and lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with her husband and youngest son.
When children experience trauma or severe life stressors, it is not uncommon for their lives to unravel. Fear of people, places or objects, speech impediments, and even delays in their physical and academic growth are all signs that something is wrong. Shariea Shoatz believes that all children’s voices need to be heard. She also knows that most children who suffer from abuse are afraid to speak. Her passion is to support these survivors and teach the adults who care for them about the signs of child abuse. Shariea Shoatz holds a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Cheyney University of Pennsylvania and an Early Childhood Certificate from Lincoln University. Through her caring and encouraging ways and strategic techniques, she has managed off task behaviors in the classroom, and masterfully meets her student’s individual needs. She has taught special needs children in classrooms and homes throughout Delaware and Pennsylvania with her 20 years of experience and earned a Special Education Certificate called the Teacher of the Handicapped. Shariea Shoatz is active in the Muslim communities of both Philadelphia and Delaware. She was the Co- Anchor on Islam Today Radio Show, discussing women and family issues. She is Chief Operating Officer of Siddiq’s Real Fruit Water Ice, which is operated in Philadelphia, PA and stylist of LiaWear Action a modest sportswear company located in Wilmington, DE. Shariea Shoatz is currently authoring a book about the story of one brave boy who after suffering at the hands of an abuser got his voice back, reclaimed his life, and became a voice for other children who suffer from Childhood Sexual Abuse and PTSD.