History is my story , because HIS story has hope for today! Image: Whitnee McClain
Hope Risers is a project idea that stems from the thought of bringing a message of courage to the people of the community. This present day, the community of minorities including everyone (all races) have been affected by injustice and inequality; with history in mind, looking back to events and changes that took place till today. There is an urgency to uplift and motivate the community through a collaboration of dancers’ singers and speakers all in unison of sharing in the experience of telling a story of hope, peace, love ,and unity. This project will speak about African culture, diaspora experience and painting an image that leave an impression that in all these things our identity is in our spirituality. Throughout history African Americans have relied on their spirituality, through chaos they have sang spiritual hymns to hold on to their faith that change was coming.
La Bresha Saulsberry
“As a child, God has anointed me to dance for him. Through this gift of dance I have develop a passion to be used greatly for His Glory. I desire that others are deeply blessed and experience the presence of God through this ministry of dance. As an Entrepreneur, I want to open a Praise Dance Studio and expand it into the Hope Community Center.I want to introduce What praise dance is all about. It’s NOT about performance nor competition. It’s about an REAL relationship in Christ expressed through movement. I know sharing my love for praise dance and my story of how it has blessed and transformed my life will be inspiring ;building a community center that Simply providing a place where individuals gain a sense of hope and positivity This is my God driven Vision.”
Anastasia Hill is from Minneapolis, Minnesota where she spent the last 15 years of her life devoted to enriching the lives of others through dance. Dance has become an invigorating, powerful, and momentous tool used to reignite and awaken her students passion for their lives journeys. Anastasia Hill currently teaches dance at High Praise Ministries the Destiny Center and formerly taught at Dominion Dance School. Anastasia is committed to impacting the lives of those who cross her path through her entrepreneur ventures in dance. She is the Co-Founder of The Session which launched in 2016 where the focus is to bring wholeness to the soul, mind, and body where hope is stirred and purpose found. Dance is a component used to encourage fitness, restore confidence, and healthy balance to one’s life. Anastasia commits to enriching the lives of many through the powerful movement of dance.
My name is Miriam Pullum and I am a Manager at Lifetime Carriers LLC. I work full-time; however, when I have a slight break from working, I sit down and do a selected few of things that bring me joy. For example, some people sing, while others write poetry. For me, it’s spending time with my two beautiful children outdoors, treating myself to something nice, and reading the bible for wisdom and guidance. Besides working and raising my children, I love to dance, in fact I lead a team of liturgical dance at my church. Recently, I had a vision that I was going to be a teacher. The vision involved me teaching young women everywhere a very important lesson. The lesson is that when women start to love and worship God, then they will learn how to love and value themselves. I was taught and I believe that visions of that nature come from God. Therefore, I am going to make that vision become my reality. With that said, a goal of mine is to start attending a School Of Ministry, Thank you for reading my personal biography. If you would like to contact me, you can reach me at Hmiriam0727@gmail.com.
My name is Monica Turner and I am a Mental Health Practitioner. I majored in Child Psychology and minored in Family Social Science to receive my Bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota in 2014. My career started as a Child Care Counselor working with at-risk teenagers in a shelter. I am now involved in a few different areas with my current company working with preschoolers in a day treatment, as well as being a Skills-Worker, and a Parent-Educator. My involvement in the dance ministry started about five years ago, and has flourished my love for dance as well as my relationship with God. With the continuous interventions developing, I have many plans to combine my passion for helping at-risk youth and dancing for God. I am honored to express the love of God through dance to show we are all capable and resilient people.
Pierre Fulford aka Pierre The Poet not only seeks to promote peace for himself but for all of humanity. He is a gifted poet, speaker and presenter and shares his gifts of Rap, Art, and Poetry wherever there is a need or an opportunity. Jesus Christ, Tupac, and Malcolm X have influenced Pierre greatly and remain his main sources of inspiration.
Growing up on the Northside of Minneapolis, Keii McClain witnessed at a young age the oppression of the inner cities. Liquor stores, drugs, public housing, welfare, and depravity were the norm for this urban youth. Many days were spent roaming the streets and often times not knowing where his next meal would come from. After stumbling in a local church, seeing kids praising God and how joyful they were; it soon awakened a curiosity within him to know God. Just trying to survive and not end up in jail or even worse killed, Keii often prayed that God would keep him from being overcome by his environment. In the midst of everything he was dealing with, Keii found relief in writing raps to express himself. Now that God has answered his prayers, he uses his passion for music to spread hope and share his personal testimony. Keii McClain currently resides in the Twin Cities with his beautiful wife Whitnee and newborn daughter Azriel.
John Nehemiah Harper found his passion for poetry and spoken word at an early age. Born in South Minneapolis, John went on to participate in local competitions and variety shows. After two semesters at North Carolina Central University, John transferred to Minnesota State University- Mankato to help provide care for his family and enrich the growing number of diverse students. After earning his bachelor’s degree in Political science and English, John found his love in helping college students through events, admissions and recruiting efforts. He has coordinated over 17 different diversity conferences and events for MNSU from 2010- 2015. He obtained his Master’s degree in Educational Leadership with an emphasis in adult learning theory in the spring of 2015. He current works South Central College in Mankato MN, where he is an academic advisor, admissions officer and event coordinator. A loving husband and father, John stays heavily involved in the southern Minnesota community. Through his efforts with the Greater Mankato Diversity Council and his local church, John continue to strive for equity and equality for students of color.
Originally, from the south side of Chicago IL, Shonita Latrice Harper is no stranger to adversity. Shonita is the first person in her family to attend college. During her time as an undergraduate student, Shonita helped pioneer several different student lead organizations such as “Teachers of Tomorrow” (TOTS) and “The National Black Graduate Student Association” (NBGSA). Shonita also took on several leadership roles with Student, becoming one of the few students of color to be a Residential Assistant. She also received several awards and scholarships for her community efforts from the campus. After graduating with her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, Shonita went straight into the teaching field. She is currently one of three professionals of color in the entire Mankato School District, working as a K-3rd reading teacher. An amazing mother and dynamic wife, she will be finishing her Master’s degree in Educational Leadership (K-12 Administration Licensure) in the winter of 2017.
Grace Tippy sang her first solo, “Even Me”, atop the piano at New Mt Moriah MBC in Gary, Indiana at the age of 4, during her mother Betty’s choir rehearsal and has been singing ever since. She is a gospel recording artists and recently toured with and is a member of The William Duncan Project. She is also a member and administrator of Tommy K Wesley & Entourage. She is also an event planner. Grace toured with Robert Eddie Robinson for his 2008 Christmas tour and has sang with Gospel Choirs United, Gospel Music Workshop of America and James Grear and New Friends to name a few. She also performed in the play “To Kill a Mockingbird” as a chorus member at the Park Square Theatre. You can find her on Sundays singing with her local church choir, The Holy Christian Church, in St Paul, MN.
Rae Lewis is a member of the Spirit and Truth Worship Center, Bishop Stephanie O Bond. She grew up in South Minneapolis along with 6 siblings. As a very young child, my grandmother would host puppet shows for the neighborhood during the summer months. I was involved with the Children’s Theatre as a teen and gave my life to the Lord as a young adult and have been dancing for Him for over 20 years.
Akouo is an audient visionary who interprets past, present and future events through a collage of musical genres, including jazz, R&B, funk, gospel, country western and rock. He has performed for audiences locally, nationally, and internationally, and has released: 2 singles, ‘Help Is On The Way’ (2002) and ‘Signz N Timez’ (2010); a full-length, award-winning album, ‘Grace Journey’ (2013); and, is currently in production of a 15-song album entitled, ‘Churchman’, scheduled for release in January 2018. Aligned with a large number of loosely configured artists who, at will, write, arrange, record and/or perform with him, Akouo’s primary emphasis is on musical conceptualizations, which reveal unique introspections about life, nature, relationships and Spirit. www.akouomusic.com