You can re-watch the Honoree's speeches, view the event recap, take a selfie in the photo booth, and create your own avatar to interact with others!
*NOTE: Desktop view or VR headset is recommended for best immersive experience, Mobile view is NOT encouraged

We will be celebrating on
Wednesday, February the 22nd!
Location: Joan Shepp, 1811 Chestnut St. Philadelphia PA, 19103


In honor of Black History Month, we celebrate Women of Substance & Style, black women who have influenced our community's growth and prosperity. Our honorees for the 2023 event have been selected by Cheryl Ann Wadlington, Dyana Williams, and Tuesday Gordon. Each honoree will be presented with a certificate at the event, and all are invited to join for light fare, shopping, and entertainment!


This year we will be giving back to Turning Points for Children, whose mission is to strive to bring social and health services to vulnerable people across the city of Philadelphia. Annually, they serve over 17,000 individuals, including children and adults, to offer services such as foster care placement, counselling and parental education, behavioral health services, and much more.


An instrumental figure in the Women of Substance and Style event, Jennie Faye Bennett attended every year since the beginning over the last 22 years. She was a major inspiration in the selection of our charity this year, being as one of her missions in life was to spread God's light to the community, especially to the children. As a single parent of 8, Jennie Faye Bennett not only nurtured her own children, but the children of her church as well. She ran an after school education program tutoring kids on the subjects of reading, writing, math, etiquette, and more. She also worked with special needs children in the local school district. It is in this spirit that we wish to give back in the same way she did, and we beleive that selecting Turning Points for Children for this year's charity is the perfect way to do so.


Tuesday Gordon, founder of the event and daughter of Jennie Faye Bennett, reflects that her mother was the "Wind beneath my wings," and because of her upbringing and the values instilled in her, she will always walk in the light.


Dyana Williams is an entertainment powerhouse, who is a beloved advocate and authority in popular, American culture, especially Black music. The veteran award winning on-air personality and journalist, is a trailblazer in broadcasting, music activism and celebrity media strategy.

She's been a staple in radio and television since the 70s, and has been a frequent commentator on the highly acclaimed TV One music series, UNSUNG. Along with Mark Rowland, Dyana co-executive produced the Teddy Pendergrass episode of UNSUNG, which garnered a NAACP Image Award that season. In 2022, Williams was nominated for the Radio Hall of Fame.


Fondly referred to as "The Mother of Black Music Month," Dyana helped establish June, Black Music Month (with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Kenny Gamble and broadcaster Ed Wright) and was recognized for her music activism in the White House by Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush.

Dubbed by the New York Times as "hip-hop's artist whisperer," Williams has engineered media strategies for her celebrity clientele who have included multiple GRAMMY Award winners, many platinum-selling performers, executives, actors, athletes and other notables. Some stellar clients have included Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Jazmine Sullivan, Kirk Franklin, Jack Harlow, Brandy, Saweetie, among others. 


A popular speaker on Black music and culture, Dyana has been featured on The Breakfast Club, The New York Times, Good Day Philadelphia, Sway in the Morning, Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta, Get Up Mornings with Erica Campbell, Tidal magazine and other media outlets. Additionally, Williams has been a featured speaker at The House of Commons in London, Howard University, Harvard University, The University of Pennsylvania, Hampton University,  her alma mater Temple University, Warner Brothers Records, YouTube, Amazon, Tidal, NYU’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, as well as numerous institutions and corporations. Her presentations on Black music have also been shared with audiences in Paris, France, Florence, Italy, Japan,  and Johannesburg, South Africa, 


Williams sits on the board of the Klein College of Media and Communication at Temple University, the National Museum of African-American Music in Nashville and the Recording Academy (GRAMMY organization) Philadelphia Chapter, where she also served as a past president.




Iris Barbee Bonner was born in the city of Philadelphia, PA. By the age of 5 the soft-spoken and shy child began to express herself through art. This later led her to pursue a higher education at Arcadia University, where she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts and majored in Graphic Design.


Iris has used her passion for art and design to illustrate her feminine side. While finding her voice as an artist, she created the inspirational brand These Pink Lips. A contrast to her once mild-mannered persona, These Pink Lips is a fusion of vibrancy, boldness, and sexuality. Developing the brand in the truest form of artistic freedom, Iris’s limitless talent expands beyond a canvas. In March of 2012, These Pink Lips was introduced to the world via "The Black Light District". Since her debuted showcase, Iris Barbee Bonner has released a new art collection annually including ThesePinkLips brand collection of wearable art.


Iris's art is displayed in notable art galleries and boutiques. She has built an audience that craves her insatiable style. Admirers of her couture pop culture designs have turned into a thriving online boutique that empowers PEOPLE to embrace their sexuality and wear their confidence as a proclamation of their liberation from labels and stereotypes.



Jacqui Lewis Thompson originally hails from Pittsburgh, PA, and presently lives in Philadelphia. As a child, ballet, tap, modern jazz and later interpretive dance were Jacqui’s loves. By 15, she juggled homework and a newfound career: teaching dance to children after school. She passed her natural musical ability on to her children.


Jacqui is the mother of Tonight Show drummer, and The Roots’ bandleader Ahmir Questlove” Thompson and his sister, the quintessential independent artist, singer-songwriter and current President of The Philadelphia Chapter of The Recording Academy, Donn Thompson Morelli aka Donn T.


“Donn published her first song at 9. Ahmir mastered the drums by 6. There’s something in the genes and in the way they were nurtured, I believe,” Jacqui, a dance prodigy by 11 years old, said.  


Her rise to local prominence happened a few years later when besides performing with dance ensembles all over The Steel City, she launched her modeling career, began entering beauty contests and started touring the country with Pittsburgh beloved tap-dance-god, Dancing Duke. At 18, briefly, she joined the infamous Four Step Brothers group.


Shortly afterwards, Victory Brand Bologna (now Victory Beer Company) featured Jacqui in their campaign, making her one of the first black models ever to be featured on a billboard. It was the late 50s unheard of at the time, and revolutionary.


Just as Jacqui was hitting her stride, a serious car accident derailed her career. After a lengthy recovery, Jacqui moved to Philadelphia for a fresh start. In Philly, she met and married Philly Walk of Fame Inductee, legendary singer Lee Andrews.


During her marriage, she joined two incarnations of her husband’s bands; Congress Alley and the recreation of Lee Andrews and the Hearts. Years on the road with Lee, shifted the spotlight, taking Jacqui from back-up singer and choreographer to featured artist in her own right.


After divorcing Lee in 2003, she moved to Los Angeles to be closer to her extended family.

She studied acting and appeared in an episode of NBC’s Chicago Sons. Returning to Philadelphia, she began dancing in regional theater productions. She continued to study acting in NYC under Susan Batson (Oprah Winfrey, Juliette Binoche, Nicole Kidman, Laverne Cox) and became a certified massage therapist.


Jacqui is the subject of Behind The Song (Sourcebooks) editor K.M. Walton, where her daughter Donn T is a contributing author. Jacqui’s life story is the influence for the short story, “A Time To Soar.”  


As PBS’ Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr revealed, she is a direct descendant of The Clotilda (the last slave ship). Jacqui is the third great granddaughter of Charles “Oluale” Lewis. She and her family are the subject of the new Netflix documentary, “Descendant.”


Having mastered the art of resilience, Jacqui celebrates her vitality and shares her love of the arts, encouraging and mentoring the next generation and beyond. When not traveling the world and looking for the next adventure, she lives happily by water in Philadelphia with her Yorkie, Zoe.




Errin Haines is editor at large and a founding mother of The 19th, a nonprofit, independent newsroom focused on the intersection of gender, politics, and policy. She is also an MSNBC Contributor.


Prior to joining The 19th, Errin was national writer on race and ethnicity for The Associated Press. She has also worked at The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and Orlando Sentinel.


Errin’s expertise on issues of race, gender, and politics make her a sought-after voice and thought leader in her industry. She has taught classes on race, gender, and the 2020 election at the Georgetown University Institute of Politics and Princeton University.


Errin is currently writing her first book, exploring the growth of Black women’s power and leadership.


A native of Atlanta, Errin lives in North Philadelphia.


Treena Ferebee, a Philadelphia native, was born into a musical family and made to sing before she could even speak. At the age of 19, Treena went on to tour all over the world as a background vocalist where she’s had the pleasure of sharing the stage with the likes of Musiq soulchild, Stevie Wonder, Vivian Green, Prince, India.Arie, and the list goes on. She has made television appearances on The Tonight Show, The Late Show, The Soul Train Music Awards, BET, MTV and many others.


During Treena’s time on the road she has had the esteemed pleasure of becoming the first African American woman to hold the positions of Background Vocalist/Musical Director (MD) and Musician for a recording artist. As a solo artist, Treena, also known as TREE, has had the honor of featuring twice in performances alongside Grammy and Emmy award-winning Jazz pianist, Robert Glasper and Oscars conductor Derrick Hodge. She has had a “dream come true” moment when filling in for the icon and legend Gladys Knight with legendary conductor Benjamin Wright alongside the Philly pops orchestra.


Aside from Tree’s ability to sing she believed it was time to reinvent herself and learned how to play the bass guitar. During the pandemic she focused in on learning the skill of singing while playing the bass at the same time. Annually for over a decade, Treena has been a beloved performer for the Thanksgiving Day Parade in Philadelphia. She’s graciously been able to provide opportunities for people in her community to perform with her live on ABC! This is a tool Treena uses to encourage families in the community to come together at home to watch their loved ones perform or to have parents and their children perform side by side on stage in front of hundreds of thousands of viewers. Whether on the road or at home, Treena has taken all the great lessons she’s learned and used every opportunity to share it with her family and community. Being able to provide platforms and opportunities to extraordinary people is a great honor.


“Pepper” was born and raised in the city of Philadelphia. She grew up in Mt. Airy and graduated from John W. Hallahan Catholic High School for Girls and was accepted into Tuskegee University. From an early age she demonstrated a keen eye for “serving looks.” Her favorite pastime as a young teen was always reading / collecting fashion magazines, researching designers, blogging, and watching runway shows. She eventually left Tuskegee in pursuit of her life calling, and a career that would utilize her talents and immense passion for art and fashion. During her hiatus from school, she became immersed in the retail world, working at places like Rainbow and Urban Outfitters. She found a true home and the perfect creative outlet when she decided to take a walk down South Street one day and found a cute little (at the time) vintage shop called Raxx Vintage, plus another posh boutique called LuLu ish. There, she was hired at 22 as a retail sales associate at both shops, and later became the visual merchandiser. Eventually she left LuLu and became a full time employee at Raxx. She truly fell in love with her career field and shined in the role of lead Visual Merchandiser, creating the most colorful, creative and memorable windows. 


Due to Pepper’s intense fashion taste and style, she’s been given many titles by her peers such as “influencer”, “trendsetter”, “icon” but the whole time she’s really just being her authentic self. If she could title herself anything, it would be ‘muse’. She believes that representation in this world is very important for young people: “When someone young can see the extraordinary, often outrageous things I’m wearing or the over-the-top mannequin looks & windows that I’ve styled… and they can be inspired, or feel more comfortable in their skin.. that’s what I live for! …and when the old can see that too, it makes me feel even better!” 


Over the past year or so she decided to “not just be, but do!”  Inspired so much by all her creative peers being fruitful, and subconsciously needing a personal outlet for her mental health, she decided to start creating in a new way that could be shared, touched and felt. K’Triqa launched her brand “Hello Pepper World” last February on Valentine’s Day, as a reminder to herself that she can do anything, and that self-love is a priority! The line, which utilizes upcycled garments and material, opens up her dream world to everyone… a genuine safe place, a judgment free zone.


“Sharing my small platform, co creating with old friends and new faces, connecting, and sharing positive energy is Hello Pepper World. Hello Pepper World isn’t just fashion it’s a community and a lifestyle. I hope to share more of my visions as I move forward in my journey… and continue to be a quiet (or loud) entity, that does some good for our peoples’ hearts, minds and souls. Best, Pepper!”




Mardia Reed is a young inspiring woman, who has a BIG heart, and is always supporting and looking out
for others. She comes from a family of five, four girls and 1 boy. She grew up in Philadelphia Pa, and as
far back as she can remember, she has watched her mother Catherine Reed styling hair for 40 years.

Catherine has been very influential in Mardia’s beauty career. Mardia has been in the industry for 30 +
years now. She is a professional licensed educator and because of that, she has been able
to teach others so they can obtain their license as well. She owns a successful beauty Salon (46th Street
Hair Salon LLC), that’s tucked away in the Walnut Hill Section in West Philadelphia and has been for
almost a decade. There, her and her staff produced a quarter of a million dollars in revenue in 2021, and
they are loving every bit of it!


Mardia also owns an online retail store ( Mardia stands behind the chair part time making people beautiful, so she decided to expand her generosity andbbeautification services outside of her salon, to look for opportunities to be of service to her community. Before covid she and the staff did $5 haircuts to the seniors, she has free cookouts, free parties and, she also works with the local schools, to offer Prom packages for free. She holds fundraisers as well. The profits from the fundraiser go the help the Ora Lee Cancer Foundation and the local shelter.


Because her willingness to help others in the community, she studied and obtained her life license in Pa to further help others, specifically black people of color to understand, there is other ways to obtain wealth and one of those ways is to educate and teach people about income protection and distribution.

Mardia will always have a love for helping, by serving her community, family, friends and loved ones!


Zarinah Lomax, born and raised in Philadelphia, PA, is an Award-Winning Talk Show Host, Producer, Author, Curator, Entrepreneur, and Communal Activist. Through her story as a rape survivor, losing a father to the prison system at 17, and loss of a family member to gun violence, she created her award winning tv show in 2015 (currently called The Zarinah Lomax Show) nominated for episodes interviewing families who lost their children to violence while helping many heal who have suffered from rape, abuse, rejection and more.

Additionally in March of 2018, Dominique Ogelsby was gunned down on 52nd market that shifted her entire approach to life. She made a promise to Dominique’s mother, her dear friend Danielle, that she would never let Dominique’s name die. With that Zarinah created The Apologues October 2018. The Apologues is a fashion and art exhibit that tells the stories of slain victims and survivors through fashion, music and art. The Apologues is now being created into a healing center incorporating art therapy and mental health resources alongside an interactive art museum.

Since 2015, Zarinah has successfully used the arts to tell the stories of over 600 victims, co-victims and survivors, helped thousands receive mental health resources and therapy and built rapport within the community through her efforts to the effects of trauma impacting her community.

Her most recent work has attracted local and national attention around her art exhibit “We Are Here” Stories of Expressions and Healing located at City Hall summer 2022. She also has an exhibit inside of State Representative Malcolm Kenyatta’s office, a weekly art therapy for at-risk youth ages 12-21, a traveling art exhibit which has expanded to both Chicago and Maryland and more, and an art center opening Fall 2023.


Christine Brown is a native Philadelphian; raised and nurtured in the community in which she serves; is a dedicated
community servant, and a long-time advocate for residents living in the Cecil B. Moore community of North

Christine serves as the Director of Beech Community Services, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to
improve and sustain the quality of life for residents living in North Philadelphia; scholarship administrator for the
Beech Scholarship Fund; and, grants administrator of the Alston Beech Foundation. She began her career with the
Beech Companies in 1992 as an Administrative Assistant and was promoted through the organization attaining her
current position where she is heavily engaged in the Cecil B. Moore community, where she developed her passion
for helping to improve the lives of people.

Christine gives back to the community through many special events and outreach services, such as grants and
scholarships through the Alston Beech Foundation, Beech Scholarship Fund, and the Consortium of Cecil B. Moore
Organizations. Christine is the producer/coordinator of Beech “Jazz on the Ave” Music Fest, one of the premiere
community festivals in North Philadelphia. She also coordinates the Beech “Avenue of Treats” event, and was
instrumental in organizing the March for Peace Walk in 2013 led by the Cecil B. Moore Freedom Fighters in honor
of the late civil rights leader, Cecil B. Moore.

Ms. Brown was a member of the North Philadelphia Organizing Committee for the Million Woman March, and is
the recipient of awards such as, the Jannie L. Blackwell Community Advocate Award; Woman Making A Difference
in our Community Award; Community Servant Award from the Cecil B. Moore Residents; the Community
Achievement Award from the 22nd Police District, where she serves as member of the Police District Advisory
Council. Christine is also the recipient of the 2015 Civil Rights Achievement Award; 2015 Black Professionals
Women Making A Difference in our Community Award; 2019 Funtimes Magazine Woman of Influence Award;
2021 Grands As Parents Phenomenal Woman Award; and Citations from Senator Sharif Street and Council
President Darrell Clarke.


At an early age, Christine was taught to stand against the mistreatment of people and after 30 years serving the Ceci B. Moore community, her principle objectives remain the same; to help stand against prejudices, inequality, and injustices of any kind.



Aisha Winfield is the President of A.I.B. Marketing & Consulting, a growing agency with a focus on culture, philanthropy, and education centered events. The move from New York City to the “City of Brotherly Love” in 2000 changed Aisha’s life forever. Her passion shifted from working with recording artists and music executives to creating opportunities for youth to develop their talents and pursue their dreams. The daughter of two entrepreneurs (a goldsmith and a certified public accountant), she began to create her own path while pursuing her purpose.


A graduate of Cornell University, Aisha began her professional career at the Council on Foundations in Washington, DC. She ventured to New York to pursue a career in the music industry at Epic Records. She moved up the ranks from an administrative assistant to become the National Director of Lifestyle Promotions and Marketing. At Epic she was responsible for developing grassroots marketing campaigns and promotional opportunities for artists such as Ghostface, Jennifer Lopez, Bone thugs-n- harmony, Jill Scott, and more. While utilizing relationships at radio, video outlets, and lifestyle accounts, Mrs. Winfield also managed a national promotions team in 15 cities to increase awareness for new artists and releases.

Aisha moved to Philadelphia after accepting the position of General Manager at the artist management firm C.I.D. Management (Jill Scott, Mike Phillips, Down To The Bone). She acquired a variety of concert production and touring skills. Project management proved to be a strong skill for Aisha while on the road coordinating production and travel aspects of tours and being responsible for artists, bands, staff, and crew. Mrs. Winfield later joined Rockstar Entertainment (managers Marc Byers and Sherman Byers / Grammy Award Winning producers Vidal Davis and Andre Harris / recording artist Glenn Lewis and Beanie Sigel) as General Manager honing her knowledge of career opportunities in music and the album release process. While at Rockstar, Aisha launched Jr. Music Executive (JME), an entertainment industry based initiative created to encourage students to attend school, graduate, and be successful by exposing them to STEM careers in the music business.


JME continues to provide skill development, mentoring, and opportunities to youth interested in pursuing a career in music. Over the past 10 years Aisha has served as a consultant and worked on various projects. She transitioned from Executive Director for Jill Scott’s Blues Babe Foundation to serve as a consultant and director of their flagship program, Camp Jill Scott. She is a 19-year music industry veteran and has earned a solid reputation in event planning, project management, marketing, and community engagement. While working with various organizations and cultural institutions, she is able to combine passion with purpose. Aisha was named a Philly 360 Creative Ambassador and recognized as one of the regions’ Leaders by the Philadelphia Tribune. She spends a significant amount of time producing events, collaborating with peers focused on solutions, and mentoring youth.


Founded in 2018 by Dorothea Gamble and Dagmar Mitchell, Trunc is in the heart of Northern Liberties business corridor. We offer affordable, sustainable, handcrafted products for home, body, and light faire. Our stock is 90% vegan or organic; also, our jewelry and clothing are made by local artisans with the same objectives in mind. The shops environment is sensory inclusive, dimly lit, nontoxic scents with soft music in the background. Women, from various cultures, ages and lifestyles create ninety percent of our merchandise. This inventory is crafted by artisans who make their products in small batches, with special attention to functionality, quality, and price. Most of these products cannot be found in neighboring shops; this is what gives us our competitive edge and great service.


There is 30 plus years in retail management between us, so we knew our level of service would be high. But because of the lack of support and awareness of underserved communities, we also wanted diverse representation. We searched for artisans from all cultures and lifestyles, Latin heritage, LGBTQ, Black, Indian, Caucasian, and Asian. For us the inclusion of different cultures would bring awareness to our clients.



Nydria Williams is a skilled and certified TF-CBT Therapist and Healing and Transformational Coach. She has built her knowledge and experience over the 19 years she has worked in the mental health and psychology industries. She is extremely enthusiastic about the work she does. Being raised in Philadelphia, PA the “City of Brotherly Love”, she didn’t feel much of it. Nydria grew up feeling hopeless at times with no idols or role models to look up to. This feeling of hopelessness helped her to create her own vision.


Often rejected and talked down upon, Nydria became so resilient. Being told she would not accomplish anything and often feeling defeated is a big part of what got her to where she is today. She has been in the mental health field for over 19 years and has acquired two master’s degrees. Nydria enjoys discussing and coaching on topics such as: breaking generational curses, roadblocks in relationships, healthy relationships and healing, successful parenting approaches, mental health/wellness, self-esteem, and self- confidence. Nydria’s goal is to promote the state of well-being where you are no longer settling for safe, but instead going after goals and dreams.


Nydria’s mother-brand is Revitalized Hope and Healing, which consists of Consulting, Coaching and Counseling (Christian Counseling). Being a woman with many titles has always been natural to Nydria. She has always been multi-faceted in her roles, in giving, administering knowledge, and strategies for those who need it most. Since 2018, she has been a licensed ordained Rev. and Associate Minister at her church; as well as previously mentioned, being a Certified TF- CBT Therapist. Nydria also serves as an advisory board member of the prestigious Evoluer House which helps young girls become successful women. She also serves in her community working with youth and adults with mental health challenges. Facing many life-threatening experiences, but depending on God's will, Nydria was able to conquer each of her goals and leverage her experience to help her serve the people.


Nydria is also a wife, mother, prayer warrior, and podcaster of Hope After Storms Podcast. She is a published author of the Manifest Believe Receive Journal and Workbook as a bestseller that hit in July of 2021, as well as co- author of the book Radical Woman: One in a Million, which was pre- launched in November of 2021 and is also a bestseller, both domestically and internationally! In addition, and more recently, Nydria has released The Devotional Journal for Black Couples, focusing on maintaining healthy, thriving relationships.

— As Nydria pours herself consistently into her work and individual calling, she uplifts and supports others along their journeys of self-discovery, healing, and personal progress, through as many channels and avenues that will welcome her work and passion.



Judith Peters is the Health Education Program Coordinator at the School District of Philadelphia (SDP). For many years she managed a Center for Disease Control (CDC) grant focused on providing training and information that helps students make healthy and safe decisions, and also assists schools’ administration in making safe and supportive learning environments for students and staff. Included in this project were efforts to increase programming and supports to school staff, as well as serving students enrolled in alternative schools. In her role at the School District of Philadelphia, Judith oversees the inclusion of materials and curricula for gender non-conforming youth, immigrants and other marginalized students through instruction, parent engagement, and linkage to youth friendly health professionals and providers.


In addition to her role as Program Coordinator at SDP, Judith is a consultant, advocate, ally, HIV pre / post- test counselor, educator, and trainer who has traveled throughout United States, Cuba and Africa advocating and educating communities about HIV/AIDS, with particular emphasis on reaching and serving the youth population. In these various roles she has conducted many workshops on working with Adolescents, HIV / AIDS & STDs, Gender Non-Conforming Youth, AIDS and Faith Community, AIDS in the African American Community, and AIDS Support groups (for youth, women, caregivers) just to name a few. She is an active member of the Community Advisory Board of the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) and the Board of The Colours Organization, Inc., a local social justice grass roots organization in Philadelphia.


Judith has worked extensively over the past 40 years using her voice and skills to assist local health departments, community-based organizations, boards, and other healthcare entities to ensure their programs and services are accessible to all citizens regardless of sexual orientation, gender, ethnicity, faith practice, and socio-economic status. Judith challenges the status quo to provide education and services to all citizens. She guides communities in needs assessments, advises communities on intervention strategies, and policy-based decisions so disenfranchised and marginalized communities are given services and opportunities to survive and thrive. Traveling from city to city – large / small, rural/ urban, local or foreign has enabled her to partner with many to advocate and strategize to eliminate health disparities. Judith also works in the community to address food insecurity and provide clothing and services to homeless and marginalized populations in West Philadelphia. Judith’s commitment to change and equal access to care and services have been recognized locally and nationally by many prestigious organizations.



Sherry L. Howard is an art and history collector, and storyteller. For more than a decade, she wrote a blog called “Auction Finds,” about the interesting things she found at auction and the stories behind them. The blog contained stories about art and artists, as well as artifacts, photos and ephemera from Black history and American history. Through her finds, she built a collection of artworks that not only hang on her walls but have their own room on the third floor of her home. 


Currently, she independently writes Wikipedia articles about Black artists in particular who are not represented in this online encyclopedia. As she did with her blog, her aim is to ensure that they do not get lost in history. She feels that it is her calling to tell their stories. 


Sherry compiled the best of her art collection in a book titled “ART WITH HEART: How I Built a Sweet Collection by Buying Cheap at Auction.” Many of the artworks were created by veteran Philadelphia-area artists, including Samuel J. Brown, Columbus Knox, Ed Loper Sr., Moe Brooker, Louis B. Sloan, Howard Watson and Julius Bloch. 


Her book contains selections of stories from her blog and artworks from her collection. She writes about the joy of finding art at auction, the excitement and anxiety of bidding – sometimes winning, sometimes losing – and the lessons she learned.


Sherry has a long writing career. She was a reporter and editor at newspapers in her hometown of Macon, GA; then in Tampa, FL; Raleigh, NC, and Philadelphia. She was editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Online Desk when she retired in 2008. She started going to auctions way before then, continued after she left the newspaper and never stopped – until the pandemic forced auctions onto the web. She also writes freelance articles for the Swarthmore (College) Bulletin.


Sherry is a volunteer consultant at the Paul Robeson House & Museum and is publicity chair for its 125th Birthday Celebration of Robeson in April 2023. She is a lifetime member of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists. 



Wakisha Bailey joined CBS3 Eyewitness News as a reporter in July 2021.

Before moving to Philadelphia, she was a reporter at WPBF in West Palm Beach, where she covered the deadly building collapse in Surfside, Hurricane Dorian, and Jeffrey Epstein and Robert Kraft’s affiliation with the massage parlor sting. During her three years in South Florida, she was also part of the presidential local press pool when former President Trump stayed at his Mar-A-Lago estate.

Before moving to West Palm Beach, Wakisha was a morning reporter in her hometown Rochester, New York at WROC, CBS affiliate for two years. She also spent four years on the assignment desk at WMAQ-NBC in Chicago.

Wakisha graduated from Tuskegee University.

She is excited to be in Philadelphia for the live music, the festivals, and the museums. She’s looking forward to getting to know Philly sports fans, but most of all she’s excited to get reacquainted with fall and winter.


Patricia Coates is a prominent lawyer in Philadelphia who has been practicing law for 25 years. Her firm, Patricia S. Coates & Associates, is located at 17th and Sansom Streets in the Rittenhouse section of Center City, and specializes in Family, Criminal, Personal injury, Business, Entertainment and Estate law.

Ms. Coates is multilfaceted, with a heart towards community service. She also served as the Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of the Evoleur House, a nationally known organization located here in Philadelphia, that has personally developed young girls, and empowered them to succeed for many years, coming only second to Oprah Winfrey’s Academy For Girls.


Ms. Coates is also an entrepreneur and pioneer of sorts, and continues her mission to make a difference in the lives of others. Last year, she formed, which is an online store that recruits businesses to donate and sell their products to non-profit organizations for fundraising events, so businesses and organizations can earn money, and provide the best resources to our communities.

This Spring, she will also be launching, which is an online television network that will be aired on ROKU, Amazon Fire TV and Android TV, and is aimed to inspire Generation Z with positive programming and entertainment that makes a positive and lasting impact on the next generation of artists, athletes, and professionals in every industry.


Candace P. Kenyatta is an esteemed practitioner with over two decades of experience as an educator, learning and development professional, change management leader, executive coach, researcher, and knowledge management consultant; this includes 13 years of experience delivering high-quality technical assistance, professional learning, and sharing expertise with state education agencies (SEAs), local education agencies (LEAs), and institutes of higher education (IHEs), ten years providing coaching and strategic support to leaders of mid and large organizations relating to change management, organizational culture (including DEIB), and organizational development, and 14 years leading and facilitating research and evaluation projects to support organizational leaders in using data to drive change.


Candace started her career as a high school English teacher in the Newark Public Schools. After serving in the classroom, she held several school and non-profit leadership positions working in school turnaround and restart in Philadelphia, PA, and Trenton, NJ. As a part of this work, she managed strategy, program design, and professional learning initiatives. As a result of her success in organizational change management with a focus on staff development, distributed leadership, and capacity building, Candace was asked to lead network learning initiatives and provide professional learning across the country, including training state agency leaders, coaching and supporting district superintendents, consulting on citywide talent initiatives for Philadelphia schools, and providing strategic support within IHE’s, nonprofits, and K-12 learning environments. As a member of the New Jersey State Committee on Professional Learning, she helped to design equity-centered research-based professional learning initiatives focused on preparing teachers and leaders to drive student achievement across the state. Because of her work, she was named a 2011 Apex Power 30 under 30 honoree.  


Candace’s experience coaching and consulting with school and LEA leaders to design systems that lead to aligned, standards-based instruction and improved student achievement resulted in her appointment as Director of Intermediate and Secondary Education for the New Jersey Department of Education. During her tenure, she managed the Common Core revision, facilitated the implementation of the NextGen Science Standards and the National Arts Standards, and led the design of the statewide model curriculum. In this role, she also supported LEAs in executing innovative, job-embedded, capacity-building professional learning models (including designing structures for coaching, peer observation, and professional learning communities), managed the development of content-specific policies, and designed and facilitated professional learning and technical assistance initiatives to assist superintendents, principals, and other district and school-based leadership in executing against priorities and meeting strategic goals.


Candace is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer at Grovider, a knowledge management consulting firm committed to optimizing organizational performance and enhancing human lives. In this role, she drives the company’s vision to become globally recognized and respected for using a multidisciplinary research-based approach to consulting that disrupts the knowledge management industry while situating historically underrepresented people at the forefront of the knowledge economy. Throughout her career, Candace has maintained a professional commitment to incubating, supporting, elevating, and developing BIPOC talent. She has extended this commitment to her work at Grovider, where she and her business partner work tirelessly to source talent of color, partner with HBCUs, and create an environment that respects, centers, and acknowledges the contributions of BIPOC professionals. In addition to driving the company vision, Candace remains proximate to the client-facing work, managing business development and client service delivery while also maintaining several coaching, evaluation, and organizational culture clients. Candace uses her practitioner experience and training in quantitative and qualitative research methodology to design research and data-informed solutions for leaders across industries. Finally, Candace founded and convenes the Anti-Racist Research Collaborative consisting of Grovider, Project Evident, and the University of Pennsylvania’s ImpactEd organization. This work focuses on the application of equity-centered research practices, demystifying research and data to make it more accessible outside of the academy and eliminating barriers to engaging in the research process.


For the past three years, she has served as TA Specialist for the Region 8 Comprehensive Centers. In this work, she provides technical assistance to state education agencies in Ohio and Michigan. In Ohio, she partners with the Office of Instructional Innovation to design resources and capacity-building initiatives that increase the effectiveness of the Ohio Improvement Process and works with the Office of Educator Effectiveness on teacher development and equity projects. In Michigan, she supported teacher diversity and equity-centered curricular initiatives. Candace received her M.S.Ed. In Education, Culture, and Society from the University of Pennsylvania and her BA in English from Cornell University. She began her Ph.D. in Urban Education at Temple University, where she completed National Science Foundation research with Presidential award winner Dr. Jennifer Cromley and published her own work in the American Educational Research Association’s Journal of Urban Learning, Teaching, and Research. Candace was recognized as a Philadelphia Business Journal “Forty under Forty” honoree, one of “Philadelphia’s Most Influential African Americans” by the Philadelphia Tribune and was a Greater Philadelphia Social Innovations Awards Finalist in the area of Social Justice.


As a self-described arts advocate, Patricia Wilson-Aden is a passionate voice for Philadelphia’s cultural community. Aden brings over three decades of experience to her current position as President & CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, the Philadelphia region’s foremost arts service organization representing over 430 organizations.


As a membership organization working on behalf of cultural sector, the Cultural Alliance advocates for increased funding for arts and culture organizations, supports the growth of arts organizations and their audiences, works to keep the arts in schools and promotes appreciation of the diverse cultural activities in our communities.


Throughout her career, Aden has specialized in preserving and celebrating America’s diverse cultural heritage. Prior to joining the Cultural Alliance, Aden served as the President of the African American Museum in Philadelphia for eight years. Previously, Aden led local, regional, and national non-profit organizations including positions as the President of the Blues Foundation in Memphis, Tennessee, Executive Director of the Rhythm & Blues Foundation, President of the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia and Director of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Office of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  


Aden holds a BA in History from Spelman College and an MA in Historic Preservation Planning from Cornell University.



Meeka Johnson is a veteran fashion stylist, social media content creator, and small business advocate, based in Philadelphia, Pa. In 2021 Meeka founded All Black Everything Pop Up, a curated retail experience designed to support Black-Owned businesses impacted by the pandemic and attract customers of all nationalities to their brands.


All Black Everything Pop Up has earned press coverage on BET, Good Day FOX, and podcasts. With more than 15 years of fashion industry experience, Meeka has worked with a number of public figures, influencers, retailers, and corporate brands including Walmart, Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor, Under Armour, and more.


Marmia Day is 26 years old and on the board at Evoluer House, a nonprofit that works with young girls to achieve their potential. Currently, she is a nano-science major hoping to work with nanorobotics.


In her free time, when she's not ice skating, she uses the lessons she learned at the Evoluer program to mentor and support other young women in her life. Marmia also advocates for safe spaces for figure skaters in Kensington.



CARLA SHOWELL-LEE is the Chief Officer of Integrated Communication Programs for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA). This role enables Carla to amplify employee voices, elevate brand presence and influence culture change. Prior to her current role, Carla was SEPTA’s Director of Media Relations who led a spirited team of critical thinkers who found creative ways to capture the attention of an audience, identify details of a story that people can relate to and promote initiatives important to the community.  


Carla is a former broadcaster, media spokesperson, reporter and producer who worked in fast-paced news and entertainment environments (KYW Newsradio, WRTI 90.1 FM, Fox News, Discovery Channel and more). She served for several years as Senior Host and Producer for CN8's Comcast Newsmaker, an issue-oriented news program featured on CNN Headline News. Carla also moonlighted as a Mary Kay Cosmetics Consultant for more than 15+ years, elevating herself to a Sales Director, leading a team of 40+ women entrepreneurs; she earned Mary Kay’s company car, prizes and getaways over a 10-year period.


Carla enjoys reading, and writing; she is currently producing an innovative TV show that will cultivate her love of fashion and comedy since one of her favorite pastimes is “people watching.” Carla is married with two teenage boys.


Her favorite quote: "My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style." Maya Angelou


Sandra Wilks is a Philadelphia native, graduate of the Philadelphia School System and the recipient of a Business Certificate from the University Of Pennsylvania Wharton School Of Business. Ms. Wilks is also the founder of “Art of Conversationality” a marketing and promotions consulting business. Her talent is creating ways to help small business owners become more visible and have a better means for distributing their information and literature. A business woman and entrepreneur for a major portion of her life, Ms. Wilks has earned the title of Marketing Consultant Extraordinaire.

Ms. Wilks and her late husband operated a grocery store in the West Philadelphia area from 1978 until 1995 when her husband’s life was abruptly taken by a robber. Although severely traumatized at the loss of not only her husband but her livelihood as well, Ms. Wilks took on a job as an advertising sales person with the Tri -State Minority Yellow Pages and set out to help other businesses succeed.

Her career has allowed her to work as a Marketing Consultant and Outreach Specialist for Entrepreneur Works, Business Coach for Resources for Human Development, Event coordinator for Women’s History Month, Black History Month, and many other community themed events in the tri-state area. Ms. Wilks has been recognized by business leaders, procurement officers, local newspapers, and local government agencies for her continuous efforts and contributions to empower people with information and resources.

Ms. Sandra Wilks is a widower, mother of four adult children, two grandchildren and four great grandchildren whom she loves dearly. Her goal in life is to leave a legacy for her family and to have a 100-year birthday celebration.


Nadaysha Screven is a lover of and contributor to the “culture". Born and raised in the city of brotherly love and sisterly affection, the proud Philadelphia native attended the Philadelphia High School for Girls and earned her bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Nadaysha has worked in urban media her entire professional career juggling multiple hats, from radio producer, blogger, event coordinator, on-air talent, host, talent booker to media coach. Her main goal and passion is providing a platform for the community to be informed and entertained.


Outside of producing various live radio shows for different day parts for Radio One, Nadaysha is a member of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists (PABJ). Along with hosting and producing local music events, Nadaysha also has hosted and produced her own sponsored web series called ‘The Chill Spot’ sponsored by Mitchell & Ness, that focused on art, music and sports. Nadaysha has been involved with various event productions, working with companies like; The Philadelphia Eagles, The Philadelphia Kimmel Center, Welcome Wawa America, Independent Blue Cross (IBX) and The Philadelphia International Airport.


Dolly’s Boutique is one of Philadelphia’s most unique shopping experiences. Owner, Shani Newton opened the boutique named in honor of her late grandmother nearly 10 years ago.  She and her staff pride themselves on providing an exceptional level of customer service. “When you come to Dolly’s, expect to be treated like royalty”, a frequent quote of Shani’s.


Since opening in 2009, the Mt. Airy boutique has made an impact on the community. Dolly’s is also a place where women reentering society from homelessness or incarceration can obtain clothing free of charge to help them transition back into the workplace. Dolly’s is also often the host of community and networking events.

Since 2010, Dolly’s Boutique has been featured many times in local and national publications and on television broadcasts.   Dolly’s has also won several business competitions including 1st prize retail in the Enterprising Woman Business Plan Competition.  As a result of this win, Dolly’s was featured on Comcast Newsmakers. Most recently, Dolly’s was named one of the top 20 clothing boutiques in the Philadelphia areA by the Philadelphia Inquirer.


Dolly’s Boutique serves women from all walks of life; from the everyday working woman, ladies who brunch, church and clergy to actresses and celebrities. Shani’s community and advocacy work began in the early 2000’s when she worked as a program assistant for the American Friends Service Committee’s Community Relations

Unit. There she worked with incarcerated individuals and helped assist them with re-entering society.


In 2014, Dolly’s Boutique partnered with other local businesses to sponsor a “Senior Prom Experience” for a deserving young lady who may not otherwise be able to attend her senior prom due to economic hardship. The recipient received wardrobe, accessories, hair and makeup, transportation and tickets. In March of 2015, Shani

celebrated her 40th birthday with a “Birthday of Service” weekend and launched her own nonprofit organization “Shani Gives Back” which organized a shoe drive to giveaway over 250 pairs of new and gently worn shoes to women in need in the community. Not only did the women receive new shoes, but spent the morning connecting with high profile women and celebrities and sharing their stories. Her efforts landed her on Fox

29’s Good Day Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Tribune and The Philadelphia Daily News and she received a citation from the City of Philadelphia.


Shani is a Philadelphia native who attended Temple University. She is a lifelong member of Zion Baptist Church of Philadelphia, where she credits the late Rev. Leon H. Sullivan for her passion for business and community. Shani served as the 2015 Women’s Day chairlady. As chairlady, she introduced many new initiatives to Zion. In November of 2015, she was able to bring Reverend Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King to come to Zion as the guest preacher. In 2014, she founded and chaired the Inaugural Leon H. Sullivan Community Hoops Conference, which is a free 3 day conference that uses sport to connect with hundreds of children and adults in the Philadelphia area and provides information from current and former professional athletes and executives about how to use athletic abilities to obtain an education. She the founder of Shani Gives Back, a member of the board of Directors for The Pink Ladies Youth Mentorship Program, The Leon H. Sullivan Community Development Corporation, Called to Serve CDC, and The DIVA Foundation; a member of The Urban League Guild of Philadelphia, The Business Improvement

District (BID), and a member of Jump Start Germantown and initiative created to facilitate the revitalization of the Germantown neighborhood through high quality residential renovations. She is also a supporter of The Trayvon Martin Foundation. She has received many awards, accolades and citations over the years. Entrepreneur, philanthropist and social activist, Shani uses her gifts to help others. Shani’s philosophy is to always believe in yourself, your dreams and strive to make adifference in the lives of others through compassion, knowledge and wisdom.



Chef Burgos is a creative designer and excels in the areas of food creation, design, and presentation. Ms. Burgos is highly sought after for menu design, restaurant consultation, catering services, and event planning, and has served as a private chef, managing start-up restaurants. 


Nery Burgos has been honing her business acumen in Management and Real estate for over 15 years. She has worked and operated in both real estate and commercial property management. Her experience provides strategic planning and operations management assistance to financial resource development. 


Nery, the Breakfast at Blume owner has the administrative, operations, restaurant/hospitality, and financial management skills needed to operate a profitable restaurant business. She has come up with a fresh concept, a popular menu, and an ambitious but achievable plan to build it into a thriving new business. 




“My love for jewelry started over 30 years ago. When I was a kid, my mother and I would shop in high-end fashion boutiques like Toby Lerners, Knit Wit, Asta D Blue, Nan Duskin, Bonwit Teller, etc. Growing up, I always had a passion for fashion and specifically to jewelry! I feel like it links me to my ancestor, the culture and the beauty in the present and in todays generation.


Born and raised in Philadelphia and a graduate of University of Pennsylvania, I had started my own storefront "Li-Yvette Contemporary Jewelry” it was on 5th & South St Phila, PA. I sold handmade jewelry from around the world, high-end accessories to elevate an outfit for a special day or night events, or for everyday wear. 


Most of all, I enjoy meeting all types of people. I'll never forget the generosity of hair salon owners, some are family and friends, who gave me opportunities at a very young age to become an entrepreneur of service to their clients and the community. I love encouraging our youth... If you work hard enough and believe in yourself, you can have whatever you desire. Do not let other people stop you from reaching your dreams.


After all these years, I still give back during prom seasons, since accessories can be costly. I reach out specifically to kids of color whose parents are financially unable and need help. I see adornment as an extension of oneself, a tool to use as a form of expression and inspiration for all of my clients old or new, young or more mature.

Thanks to God.” - Yvette



Pauline M. Moore received her education in the public schools of North Carolina and the North Carolina Central University, Durham, North Carolina. She was conferred the Doctor of Religious Education from the Wayland Baptist Theological Seminary, Richmond, Virginia at the Fall Academic Convocation and Investiture Ceremony, October 2019.


She was employed by the Pitt County Board of Education, Greenville, N. C. and the Burroughs Wellcome Pharmaceutical Company, Greenville, N. C. before relocating to Philadelphia in 1974. She now serves as administrative assistant to her husband at the Tenth Memorial Baptist Church.


She is a past president of the Ministers’ Wives Auxiliary to the Pennsylvania Baptist State Convention.


She served on the board of The Women’s Christian Alliance, Cornerstone Christian Academy and the Board of Ministers of the Philadelphia Baptist Association of the American Baptist Churches. Presently, she serves as chair of the Board of Regents, Wayland Baptist Theological Seminary, North City Congress, Communion Chair, Pennsylvania Association of Ministers’ Wives and Ministers’ Widows Interdenominational, Legacy Luncheon Chair, International Association of Ministers’ Wives and Ministers’ Widows, Inc.


In 1980, she was inducted into the Chapel of Four Chaplains Legion of Honor. She was selected to appear in the:

  • 1987 Edition of Who’s Who in Professional and Executive Women
  • 1991 Edition of the World’s Who’s Who of Women
  • 1991 Fourth Edition of Two Thousand Notable American Women
  • 2007 Edition of Metropolitan Who’s Who
  • 2014 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Award
  • 2017 Society of 1812 Dorothy Hazard Award
  • 2019 United Negro College Fund’s Keeper of the Flame Award
  • 2021 Chancellor’s Crown Award, Wayland Baptist Theological Seminary

She is a member of numerous professional, religious, and civic organizations.


She is married to the Reverend Dr. William Bernard Moore, Pastor of the Tenth Memorial Baptist Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They are the parents of two ordained ministers; Rev. Tamieka Nicole Gerow and Bishop Justin Bernard Moore. They are the doting grandparents to Kennedy Noelle and Keon Nicholas Xavier (Deuce) Gerow. Her greatest desire is to serve God through the people of God.




“My name is Damaris Nugin! I am the Designer, Founder, and CEO of lifestyle and streetwear brand Dirty Dian. Dirty Dian Brand is for the “every day” person. We are a non-traditional brand that doesn’t follow any rules and proudly represent those who choose to live boldly, wild, and free.”



Bridgett Battles is a magnetic, charismatic executive, entrepreneur and industry leader at the intersection of DEI, executive presence, and personal brand development. Ms. Battles is currently Director for Community Engagement and Supplier Diversity at Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health. She is also the CEO of The Bridgett Battles Experience, a full-service executive presence and personal brand development consulting firm, advising some of the nation’s most respected companies and C-suite executives to help them establish an executive presence that transforms the lives of those they lead. She is an accomplished author; her 2016 book, “Beauty & Her Battle: A 30-Day Style Guide,” empowers women to establish, develop and maintain Fashion Basics 101 in order to build a versatile, relative, professional and fun up-to-date fashionable wardrobe that aligns with their modern leadership vision. 



The below black women-owned businesses will be present at this year's event to showcase their collections. Be sure to stop by early on Wednesday to shop; they will be here all day long!



Gem Ni Jewelry

Dirty Dian Brand