IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE
I discovered Quakers when I was 16 years old. I was drawn to their simplicity yet profound dedication of service to God, through hands and community fellowship as displayed with the spirit of Christ. I am a graduate of Wilmington College, with a degree in Social Work. I found WC to be a place of refuge as I returned to school as a non-traditional student. The faculty and staff always found time for me as they lived into the testimony of service. It became a place to recreate myself and I will forever be grateful for this institution of holistic learning.
SJ is the Director of Violence Prevention & Education at Wilmington College, supervising victim services and leading efforts in prevention programming. SJ received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Alabama A&M University in 2013. After taking a break to travel as a spoken word artist, SJ enrolled at The University of Georgia in 2017 and graduated with a Master of Social Work and a Master of Public Health in 2020.
SJ realized she was a talented poet in elementary school. During her 4th grade year, her principal personally requested that she prepare a poem for her 5th grade graduation, and this began her journey as a spoken word artist. From this point on, she struggled to figure out how to balance this talent with academics. Often being told by mentors to focus on her education. It was not until graduate school that she realized the power in combining both “worlds.”
In 2018, after reviewing an article about Kalief Browder, she began researching more about systemic racism and wrote a screenplay that included a collection of poems dedicated to him; the project was entitled “Letters to Kalief”. In 2019, she organized an event at North Carolina A&T State University to do a private screening of “Letters to Kalief”. In 2020, SJ wrote a poem entitled “Define Pandemic” that was based on her now published graduate thesis. She was invited to be guest speaker at two public health conferences to share this poem that explored the connection between environmental racism and negative health outcomes in Black communities. All of these instances were inspired by academic research and resulted in poetry and creative projects.
In addition to this, SJ has performed at several educational institutions, open mic cafes, special events, and venues like Apollo Theater.
Kassandra serves as a Utilization Management Case Manager for Neurocritical Care, Neurovascular and the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit for The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. She has been in this role for the past 11 years. She has earned both a BS and an MBA and has personal experience leading interior design projects. She was born and raised in Tiffin, OH and has four siblings. Kassandra is married to her best friend, Trevor, and they are raising two boys, Ethan (16) and Liam (5). Kassandra became Wilmington College’s First Lady in 2021 and has been very involved in planning events on campus, including but not limited to Student events/dinners, Commencement, and the current presidential inauguration.
Tamish M. Bates is a vocalist, songwriter, producer and content creator based in New York, New York.
A native of Chicago, Illinois, Tamish has been sharing her gifts her entire life in all areas of the arts, from singing, to dance and choreographing, performance poetry, acting, and choir directing. From a young age, it was evident that her artistic talents contained something very special, as it wasn’t simply “performing”, but through her ministry and performances, God was able to touch and reach people in a powerful way.
After graduating from Syracuse University and tackling the fast-paced world of Advertising in NYC, Tamish took the ultimate leap and decided to pursue her purpose full-time.
With a lot of dedication, Tamish has had the pleasure of sharing her original music on Good Day Chicago (FOX Morning News), opening up for 11x Grammy award-winning artist, songwriter, and producer, Babyface, 6x Grammy-nominated artist, Kelly Price, and Hip Hop pioneers, Slick Rick and MC Lyte, providing backing vocals for Mariah Carey and Slick Rick, performing at various festivals and events across the US, and touring Europe as a lead vocalist, among several other opportunities.
Tamish is earnestly and enthusiastically, living her purpose in order to reach and change the world for the better, all while inspiring others to do the same.
Joleen Norman hails from Grand Rapids, Michigan. She made her way to Ohio to attend Central State University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Social Work. After becoming a wife and mother of two she decided to pursue her passion for entertainment. Joleen became a national booking agent to award-winning clients. After earning her license with the American Federation of Musicians she booked world renowned jazz artists like Pamela Williams as well as artists from her community.
Then she went on to create JO Magazine with the help of G. Scott Jones. Known for its chic look and artistic vibe JO Magazine was named “a new zine in the Midwest” by the Xenia Gazette and celebrates 12 years of success this year! Joleen also received the greater Dayton African American Chamber’s ‘Emerging Business of the Year’ award in 2012. Joleen is currently the Creator and Executive Producer of JO Today a televised show that airs on WRCX when in season. JO Today is an on-screen adaptation of the entertainment news, music and culture presented in JO Magazine. Joleen is the Music Director of Bible Missionary Baptist Church in Wilmington, OH where she directs the Choir and Praise Team weekly to prepare for Sunday’s worship service. Joleen attributes her success thus far to God and having a healthy dose of ‘stick-to-itiveness’. And lastly, Joleen leans heavily on her favorite bible verse “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Ben is the lead pastor at CEDARCREEK church a multi-site church located in north west Ohio. He started attending CedarCreek in 1999 and was part of the very first internship class. Through the years within the church he experienced many leadership roles and responsibilities and was invited to serve as lead pastor in 2015.
Ben is thankful for the love of his wife, Lauren and four children. He is an “Experience Collector,” looking for new and creative things to add to his list of adventures. His passion is helping people become aware and unafraid of the dream God has for them.