Where were you born and raised?
What is your occupation?
Senior pastor at Concord Fortress of Hope Church
What is your favorite childhood memory?
Watching my father come home from work.
What does Black History Month mean to you?
Legacy and a call to excellence.
What do you believe is the most important issue currently facing the Black community?
Intergenerational conversations and connections.
When did you realize you were Black in America and what has that meant for your life?
The awareness of my Blackness came very early in life. Being the product of a Black church and parents that made us aware of social and community realities such as Watermelon Hill in Swope Park; parents that refused to let us go places like Fairyland Park in South Kansas City. Attending a grade school that allowed teachers to bring in community forces such as Bernard Powell and Lee Bohannon. Not to mention, attending Southeast High School where there was a plethora of Black men and women feeding value and intellectual ability as well as creativity of what it means to be Black. Then attending Bishop College, where it was nothing to see the great voices in American culture challenging and pushing every student to embrace the richness of who they are. These things and more shaped me and altered my view of how God shaped me to make a difference in my community as well as the nation.
Who or what is your biggest inspiration to push for change?
The faith, humanity and humanness of my parents.
How have you supported or contributed to the local Black community?
From being a part of Freedom Incorporated where I was a part of the election of several Black political officeholders. A Call to Oneness which, in 2004, trained better than 1,500 men and women to take the CDL driver's test in conjunction with Missouri Department of Transportation as we not only marched, but set strategies for job creation and community well-being in place. And lately, partnering with other clergy and getting to the heart of the matter as we continue to forge relationships between the community and police. Economic development and health awareness are important as I serve on various boards to help shape Kansas City into a positive and transformative place for Blacks and African Americans to live and thrive.