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Angela Patton Listens to What Black Girls Need, and Shows Up

By Spark Point / October 13, 2021

When Angela Patton’s parents moved recently, her mother found a yearbook of Angela’s from high school. Fellow students had written, “You’re going to lead something one day” and “You’re going to change the world.” Angela had written that her goal was to make a difference in people’s lives.  “I don’t remember feeling that way as…

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Shemika Whiteside Wants to Help Women Thrive in Pregnancy and Beyond

By Spark Point / September 29, 2021

As a New Year’s resolution in January 2021, Shemika Whiteside posted an idea on Facebook she’d been thinking about for years: a maternity program to help women in Louisville, Kentucky with housing, medical and mental health needs, birthing support, and social services. The response was incredible.  Shemika heard from numerous people saying, “I’ve been waiting…

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Charity Blanchett Wants to Expand Opportunities for BIPOC Women Chefs

By Spark Point / August 18, 2021

After growing up in Alaska, founding two businesses there, and then living briefly in Hawaii and Los Angeles, Charity Blanchett had an awakening in New Orleans: “To move to a city where it’s predominantly African-American, I felt like, for the first time in my life, I looked like everybody. When I walked out the front…

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Tige Charity Shines a Spotlight on Foster Youth

By Spark Point / August 4, 2021

Tige Charity is the Founder and Executive Director of Kids in the Spotlight (KITS), a Los Angeles-based non-profit that provides a platform for young people in foster care to write, cast and star in their own short films, telling their stories their way.  Since its founding in 2009, the organization has worked with more than…

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For Renee Ligon, Adversity Can Be a Catalyst for Positive Change

By Spark Point / June 23, 2021

After a successful 20-year career in commercial banking, Renee Ligon moved from Florida back to her native Ohio and pivoted to community-centered work. In a perfect melding of her banking experience and her desire to make a difference, she served as the Regional Director of the Urban League of Greater Cleveland’s Minority Business Assistance Center.…

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Muriel Smith’s Love Letters to St. Louis Families

By Spark Point / June 9, 2021

In many ways, Muriel Smith always knew she’d find her way to a career in nonprofit — in her ideal world, even leading one. Now, as Executive Director at the St. Louis Area Diaper Bank, she’s not only realizing her dream, but working with an incredible team and community to ensure local families’ basic needs…

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Janece Kleban is an Innovator and Solution-Maker

By Spark Point / May 27, 2021

For Janece Kleban, fundraising and working in development for non-profits was in her blood. Her mother is a consultant and does strategic planning for both local and national organizations, so Janece was able to see firsthand how this type of work impacts everyone in the community. During college, she led her collegiate chapter for Habitat…

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Kimberly Bryant is Inspiring Young Women to Dream Silicon Valley Big

By Spark Point / May 12, 2021

By 2010, Kimberly Bryant had built a successful career working as an electrical engineer in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry. Around that time she began exploring other options and started to look at opportunities through the lens of an entrepreneur. The more networking and circulating among new spaces she did, the more she noticed the…

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Anna Barber Pivots from Athletics to Helping Black Organizations Excel

By Spark Point / April 21, 2021

As a lifelong competitive swimmer, Anna Barber started her undergraduate degree at Howard University knowing that she wanted to pursue a career as an athletic director. After graduating, she headed to Arizona State University where she continued to lay the groundwork for a future in athletics — and earned her law degree.  “I worked as…

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Dr. Crystal James promotes patient well-being — and diversity in medicine

By Spark Point / April 9, 2021

Representation is key to improving tomorrow’s physician landscape Dr. Crystal James started her undergraduate career with her sights set on medical school and both researching and practicing medicine — and she’s never veered from the course. Being accepted to Boston University’s Early Medical School Selection Program (EMSSP) as a college sophomore, she says, only deepened…

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