ARTrageous Brush & Flow
Moneek Pines is a zealous, mixed-media art-entrepreneur who hails from South Philadelphia. She has a spirit for exploring cultural art themes and presenting them to her community by hosting ‘ARTrageously’ fun paint parties. Moneek is so adamant about teaching the world art, that she started, and serves as the CEO and lead artist at her art studio, ARTrageous Brush & Flow. The operation of the Germantown based brick-and-mortar art havens have cemented Moneek as a pillar of the community. Her facility promotes health and wellness through art therapy. This has enabled her to host Fundraisers & Corporate events, Special Studio art events, and pop-up paint parties.
Moneek utilizes art as a vehicle to support schools in Urban communities in their efforts to combat poverty, lack of access to the arts, and mild mental health deficiencies like depression or anxiety. She currently serves as a program partner for North 10 at the Lenfest Center, which allows her to empower the youth by curating a “Passport Through the Arts” after-school cultural affair. She has found that her greatest contribution to society is splattering paint that communicates boundless, liberating, and captivating messages.
Iron Lady Enterprises
Ms. Dianna Montague, a Philadelphia native, wants women to know that anything is possible if they stay focused and go after what they want.
Ms. Montague is the first female to graduate as a journeyman from the Local 405 Ironworkers Apprenticeship Program in Philadelphia. She is also the only female African American ironworker in Philadelphia. Ms. Montague has been a certified welder since 1986. Her welding instructor, Chester Turner, suggested that she become an ironworker because Ms. Montague’s work was of exceptional quality. At that time, however, she decided that it was more practical to accept a position with the Department of Defense as a Welder Worker at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard.
Ms. Montague has spent most of her career serving her country, as she has traveled to many Navy shipyards performing her duties as a certified welder. Consequently, she has repaired all types of vessels. In addition, she also traveled to Europe to receive intensive training with Kvaerner, the continent’s largest commercial shipbuilding company, so that she could work in the newly opened Kvaerner Philadelphia Shipyard.
In 2007, Ms. Montague, decided to end her shipyard career and finally go after her dream of becoming an ironworker. Her “can-do” spirit and strong sense of determination were the very ingredients needed to allow her to become the first African American female journeyman ironworker in Local Union 405 in Philadelphia.
Executive Chef T was introduced to Chicken and waffles at the Famous Wells restaurant in Harlem NY when she was a child and the feeling of being completely enamored by the flavor combination was something that never left her memory.
Executive Chef T. was uncertain what direction she wanted to go in regard to her career path once she graduated college. She had received her A.A. in Mass Communications & B.A.in Business Administration w/ Marketing. In 2004, Chef T started a job working with special needs Children and found herself cooking for her coworkers for a range of small events ranging from the holiday parties to monthly caterings. This experience made it clear that cooking was her calling. Once she became aware of her path, Chef T’s favorite childhood dish, chicken and waffles, became her culinary obsession. She eventually found herself using the same antique waffle maker she used with her mom growing up. During her period of experimentation with the chicken and waffles concept, Chef T would invite friends over to try her new chicken and waffle wrap. It took about 778 attempts to perfect her waffle batter recipe. After the initial struggle in choosing a name for her creation, with the help of a relative in 2006, the Chiwaffle® was born. In 2007, Chiwaffles® became familiar in Westchester County NY, the Bronx, and then Manhattan. Also, in 2007 Chiwaffles® became a registered trademark. The logo carries significance to find a way to pay homage to her Mother. The logo is the transformed version of a bird named Pota Poulet; which means my Mother’s Chicken. Chef T. pondered what to do next and opened a restaurant with a business partner named Sweet Potatoes in New Rochelle, NY. Chef T was a co-owner & Executive Chef by the time she was 30. Chef T. operated Sweet Potatoes restaurant& catering for two years, (2008-2010) it led some to exposure for Chiwaffles® including some celebrities such as; legendry Basketball player John Starks & Publisher of Black Enterprise Earl Graves Sr. It was difficult trying to squeeze a product that had its own product line to fit into a soul food restaurant. The Chiwaffle® deserved more attention than it was receiving. Chef T. sold her shares of Sweet Potatoes Restaurant and moved to North Carolina. A year later she attended Culinary School, and 2 years after that, she worked with Celebrity Chef Art Smith at his restaurant Art & Soul in the Capital Hill section of DC. and served Chiwaffles to Chef Art Smith personally.
For the past 15 Years the Chiwaffle® has made appearances in the executive offices of MTV&, VH1(2007-2015), Pepsi (2009), Kenisco Dam Heritage Day White Plains, NY (2007), Juneteenth Celebration (2008) Westchester NY, Riverfest in Yonkers, NY (2007), Harlem Week in Manhattan NY (2018) Family Day Yonkers, NY (2008) Jazz Festival NY (2018). Chiwaffles made an appearance at made in American after being a winner at the culinary fight club in 2018. Chiwaffles also made appearances at The Roots Picnic (2019), Temple University Philadelphia and Chiwaffle® Day, which is an annual event in July in Yonkers, NY (2015-present), and numerous events at the Pop-up Shop on South street in Philadelphia (2019). Chef T relocated to Philadelphia and became a Personal Chef for a family in Narbeth, Pa for 4 years while still working to boost the Chiwaffle® brand. Chef T continues to promote the Chiwaffles® Brand and product which currently has 46 varieties of culinary crafted chicken and waffle wraps labeled as the Chiwaffle® Trinity (The Waffle, The Chicken and the sauce).
Christa Barfield is a healthcare professional turned farmer and lifelong Philadelphia resident. It was 10 years into her career in health-care administration when she realized her work-life balance was unhealthy; she resigned from her job just weeks before she turned 30. It was important for her to take back her life, health, and happiness not only for herself but for her family as well. After a solo trip to Martinique in January 2018, she returned home inspired to connect with the land, plant life, and social issues that heavily impact black and brown communities and all people’s perception of food. Her business is a reincarnation of her healthcare career in a more sustainable way. Since 2018, she has developed earth-born brands owned by her parent company, LifeLeaf Organic Farms. Her original two ventures, Viva Leaf Tea Co. and FarmerJawn Agriculture are based in regenerative agricultural values with a goal of traceable and transparent origins of 100% Organically Dope foods. Christa has also begun expanding her hemp farming knowledge with the goals of destigmatizing cannabis and impacting regulation related to unfair incarceration surrounding the plant.
Mahogany Pen Publishing
Brandi Hester- Harrell M.Ed Mahoganypenpublishing.com (240)762-9813 firstname.lastname@example.org Brandi Hester- Harrell is the founder of Mahogany Pen Publishing. Mahogany Pen Publishing is a part of a literary revolution that refutes the norms of racial inequities that inform lived experiences. Our goal is to empower black and brown voices in literature while ensuring our stories are heard, seen, and authentic true. Brandi is a lifelong learner and educator of 15 years committed to community change in and outside the classroom. Throughout her career, she has been able to work throughout the spectrum of K-12 and higher education as pathways to support students of color. Primarily serving in communities of color, the resounding feedback from all stakeholders, including teachers, parents, and students, is that the curriculum and supporting materials never create an authentic space for black and brown experiences. Supporting over 2,000 students throughout her career has become her north star of active community change in publishing. Her community describes her as a woman of many gifts: educator, policy junkie, author, advocate, and social change disruptor. In 2017, she published her first book entitled Pellcuid as a source of healing and now supports community members on their publication journey, slated to publish 11 books in 2022.
Motto “I tell my students, ‘When you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else.” – Toni Morrison