2020 Being Brave Gala

THE LINEUP

PRESENTED BY

Lisa Guerrero

Host

Award-winning journalist Lisa Guerrero is one of the most popular and hardworking personalities on television. As the chief investigative correspondent for Inside Edition, America’s top-rated syndicated news-magazine show, she travels the country covering crimes, scams, cold cases and consumer reports. Her brand of tough, confrontational reporting has made her a fan favorite, and she has won eight National Headliner Awards, twice for "Best Consumer Reporting,” five times for “Best Investigative Report,” and once for Best In Show, beating CNN’s Anderson Cooper, among notable others. She’s been honored twice by The National Press Club for consumer reporting and animal abuse investigations. 

Aside from the over 5 million viewers that tune in to Inside Edition each night, in the past year, Lisa’s investigations have racked up an additional 120 million views on YouTube. That doesn’t include her 2019 interview with televangelist Kenneth Copeland, which was viewed by an astonishing half-billion people worldwide! Lisa joined Inside Edition in 2006 as the West Coast correspondent covering breaking news, human interest stories, and the entertainment industry. She was promoted to chief investigative correspondent in 2010, and in her 13 years on the show the ratings have consistently increased. After a move to prime access, ratings skyrocketed, and in 2018, Inside Edition surpassed Entertainment Tonight in the national ratings for the first time in the 30+ year history of the show. 

Besides being a ratings catalyst, Lisa’s reports have helped solve dozens of crimes and put criminals behind bars, changed legislation and company policies across the country, and helped to shine a light on human sex trafficking, child abuse, and cold case murders. She has also revealed to the public hundreds of scam artists, dirty politicians, cheaters, and crooks. Her investigations have been profiled in Newsweek, The New York Times, and The Washington Post

Lisa is also a popular keynote speaker whose platform “Being Brave” motivates a wide range of audiences from corporate seminars to women’s organizations to youth groups, with the tools to unleash their inner courage by learning her 4 Steps to Being Brave. 

During her “off time” from Inside Edition, Lisa has guest cohosted The View and has been a special correspondent for Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz, and she is also a frequent guest panelist on CNN and HLN and guest hosts KABC Radio in Los Angeles with Dr. Drew and Jillian Barberie. 

Before joining Inside Edition, Lisa spent over a decade as a nationally recognized sports reporter on CBS, Fox, ABC, and ESPN, having anchored and reported for dozens of shows, including the wildly popular The Best Damn Sports Show Period. She has interviewed hundreds of athletes, including Alex Rodriguez, Kobe Bryant, Brett Favre, and Mia Hamm. Lisa was the first journalist (male or female) to ask Barry Bonds, on camera, if he’d taken steroids. She has broadcast from seven Super Bowls, five World Series, and four NBA national championship games, as well as the World Figure Skating championships. In 2003, Lisa was the sideline reporter for ABC’s Monday Night Football, and Al Michaels called the ratings increase that season “the Guerrero factor.” 

Lisa is an experienced actress with guest star appearances on Southland, George Lopez, and Fraiser, and she was a series regular on Aaron Spelling’s Sunset Beach. She also played herself in the Academy Award-nominated film Moneyball. In 2006 Lisa served as executive producer on the feature film A Plumm Summer (Paramount), starring Billy Baldwin and Henry Winkler. The film won numerous awards, including the International Family Film Festival Top Applause Award and the Austin Film Festival's Best Family Film. 

Dr. Arabia Mollette

Physician & Health Expert

Dr. Arabia Mollette is a lifestyle physician and health expert who hails from the South Bronx, NY.  She is the embodiment of strength, perseverance and empowerment. She is living proof that you can overcome adversity, as she is a product of the foster care system, homelessness and poverty. In the span of six years, Dr. Mollette witnessed her mother attempt suicide, experienced domestic violence and suffered the traumatic loss of her four-month-old son at the hands of his father. Six years later, her youngest sister was murdered while riding in a friend’s car. These traumatic incidents, in addition to countless others, fueled Dr. Mollette’s desire to study medicine in order to make a difference in her community, a community plagued by crime and poverty. 
 
After receiving a full scholarship to study medicine at the Latin America School of Medicine in Havana, Cuba, Dr. Mollette relocated to Cuba, where she studied and lived for seven-and-a-half years. After she matriculated from medical school, Dr. Mollette completed her residency as an Emergency Medical Resident Physician at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center. She is now an Emergency Physician at Brookdale University Hospital Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY.

 

Every other year, Dr. Mollette travels to Sierra Leone to volunteer and assist in medical efforts. In addition to her healthcare efforts, Dr. Mollette has the opportunity to give back to her community through her podcast, The Visit with Dr. Arabia Mollette. Past guests have included Vivica A. Fox, Vanessa Simmons, Rolonda Watts, Selena Hill, Teresa Weatherspoon and more.

Mayor Jim Cahill

Mayor of New Brunswick

James M. Cahill is the 62nd Mayor of the City of New Brunswick. He has served continuously as Mayor since 1991. During his tenure as Mayor, New Brunswick has experienced an unprecedented wave of growth and investment that has transformed this once declining industrial city into a thriving 21st century urban center. Mayor Cahill spurred collaborations among the private sector, the City’s health institutions, Rutgers University, Middlesex County, and the City’s redevelopment partner, the New Brunswick Development Corporation, to propel the New Brunswick Renaissance forward with more than $3 billion invested in the construction of new residential, retail, office, educational and healthcare facilities.

Kenneth Armwood

Middlesex County Deputy Director Freeholder

#TheManStand

Early in his career, Middlesex County Deputy Director Freeholder Kenneth Armwood demonstrated a unique passion for public service, community development and youth outreach.  This was evidenced by Armwood being elected as the youngest official to serve on the Piscataway Board of Education at the age of 19. From the beginning Armwood made his mark as a natural leader by coordinating numerous fundraisers to support shelters for homeless families and victims of domestic violence, as well as serving on various Board of Education committees including Policy, Education Curriculum, Finance, Pupil Services and Chairman of Community Relations.

 

During this period Armwood also played a key role in the development of the Piscataway Youth Center and was appointed to leadership roles on several committees, including Vice Chairman of the Piscataway Education and Community Endeavor (PEACE).

 

Armwood’s next career milestone would include a management role as the Administrator of Youth Services for the American Red Cross of Central New Jersey from 2000 to 2005.  Once again, Armwood made an immediate and positive impact as the co-founder of the World Youth Leadership & Activism Conference.  To further this initiative on a global scale he traveled to Lebanon and Moldova where he collaborated with government officials and universities to strengthen youth civic engagement and to develop international strategies for retaining intellectual capital.

 

In 2005 Armwood was elected as Piscataway Councilman At-Large where he served as President and Vice President of the Council. Given his dedication to youth development, in the same year Armwood also accepted a position at the Edison Job Corps Academy as a Counselor and soon after was promoted to serve as the Center Standards Officer overseeing the Behavior Management Success of thousands of youth annually.

 
Armwood was appointed and subsequently elected to the Freeholder Board in March 2013.  He was named Deputy Director in 2020 where he currently chairs the County’s Business Innovation, Education and Opportunity Committee.  Under his leadership, the welfare of Middlesex County residents continues to be safeguarded by the successful delivery of quality programs.  A lifelong Piscataway Resident, Freeholder Armwood is a graduate of Rutgers University.  Freeholder Armwood believes in making a positive difference in the lives of others and attributes his many achievements to one of his favorite quotes by Henri Bergson: ”Think like a man of action—act like a man of thought.” 

Claribel Azcona-Barber

Middlesex County Freeholder

Middlesex County Freeholder Claribel Azcona-Barber immigrated to the US at age 19 from her birthplace of El Rubio, Dominican Republic. From the very beginning of her citizenship, she was part of the Middlesex County Community. Soon after settling in the City of New Brunswick, she enrolled in the English as a Second Language program at Middlesex County College and was awarded her Associates Degree in Marketing.

 

In the year 2000, she found her true calling and entered the field of public service.  She began working for the City of New Brunswick as a principal clerk. She then served as a legislative aide to Assemblyman Joseph V. Egan. Continuing her role in State government, she transferred to the Secretary of State’s Office as an executive assistant to the Deputy Secretary of State, then moved up to serve as aide to former Governor James E. McGreevey.

 

Freeholder Azcona-Barber has also shown her commitment to a diverse community and honored her own background by serving as a member of the following: The Middlesex County College Hispanic Advisory Committee, the Middlesex County Hispanic Task Force, Latinas United for Political Empowerment PAC and the Latino Action Network (LAN). Also, she has served as a board member on the Puerto Rican Action Board (PRAB) and the United Way of Central Jersey.

 

Currently, Freeholder Azcona-Barber holds the position of management specialist for the City of New Brunswick in the office of Mayor James M. Cahill. She is also a Democratic Committeewoman in New Brunswick.

Rebecca Escobar

New Brunswick City Council Member

Rebecca started her career in community service in 1987, when she was a Teacher’s Aide, Hispanic Homeless Case Manager, Housing Specialist and Family Life Worker for PRAB. She became a Community Relations Specialist for the New Brunswick Police Department’s Community Partnership Program in 1993; and in 1997 she became the coordinator of the Domestic Violence Unit. Rebecca took a position in 1998, with the Community Health Promotion Program at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital where she assisted in the implementation and design of culturally sensitive health education programs. Rebecca then entered the area of youth advocacy in 2007, when she coordinated Project Connect, a program that facilitated and fostered collaborations with youth service providers, law enforcement and educators to work with at risk and court involved youth in the City of New Brunswick. Rebecca served as the Director of the Youth Services Program at PRAB developing programs designed to provide City youth with the opportunity to engage in activities that foster and promote positive attitudes, behaviors, educational, social and life skills.

 

Rebecca currently serves as the Program Director at Youth Advocate Programs – Middlesex County (YAP). YAP is a nationally recognized, nonprofit organization exclusively committed to the provision of community-based alternatives to out-of-home care through direct service, advocacy, and policy change. YAP’s mission is to provide individuals who are, have been or may be subject to compulsory care with the opportunity to develop, contribute and be valued as assets so that communities have safe, proven effective and economical alternatives to institutional placement.

 

Rebecca Escobar was elected to the New Brunswick City Council in 2010 and served as Vice President from 2011 through 2012. She served as council president from 2013 through 2014; and started her third term in the Council in January 2019.

 

Rebecca served as commissioner of the New Brunswick Housing Authority and is currently the Council liaison to the Housing Authority. She is a member of various advisory boards including the Suydam Street Reformed Church Board of Elders, Town Clock CDC, among others.

Rebecca lives in New Brunswick; she has a daughter Faviola and two grandchildren, Maurice and Ellani Emilia.

John P. Keller

Town Clock CDC Board President & Presenter

John P. Keller is a socially engaged arts educator with 20 years of experience in arts education and production. He is committed to creating projects that use the arts as a lens to examine complex issues that affect communities, integrating the arts into a wide variety of interdisciplinary areas, from the environment, to violence prevention, to transgender rights. As a coproducer and Director of Education for coLAB Arts, John has facilitated joint project design and curriculum development for programming. John has also worked as an independent artist both as an actor, dramaturg, and director. He currently serves as the Board President of Town Clock Community Development Corporation, which provides long-term, affordable, and supportive housing for survivors of domestic violence. 

Rev. Susan Kramer-Mills

Town Clock CDC Executive Director & Presenter

Town Clock CDC Executive Director Rev. Susan Kramer-Mills has been working with the organization since its inception. As the co-pastor of the First Reformed Church, New Brunswick, Rev. Susan chaired the committee, which began to investigate “how to use the buildings of the church” with greater missional purpose. After several years of discussion and investigations, the Town Clock CDC was founded. Rev. Susan was instrumental in the process, as well as leading the construction changes, interviewing the residents, and setting up the programming. Dina’s Dwellings was completed in April 2016.

Rev. Susan has had an unusual history. After graduating from seminary, she worked as a registrar and campus chaplain for Naumburg Seminary, located in the former eastern Germany. She also served several years in various yoked congregations in that region. In 1998, she received a call as Associate Pastor to Trinity Presbyterian Church in East Brunswick, New Jersey. She served in that position until 2000, when she and her husband accepted a call as co-pastors to First Reformed Church in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

In April 2004, Rev. Susan began working part-time as the Executive Minister to the Classis of New Brunswick, which requires her to visit RCA churches in the region, helping them with issues and visioning. She continues in this position still to this day. Rev. Susan has served civically as a Girl Scout leader and serves on various nonprofit boards in New Brunswick.

Andrew M. Shaw, Esq.

Town Clock CDC Secretary & Presenter

Andrew M. Shaw, Esq. is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and a former board member of the Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law and Policy, where he published. Andrew served as both a legal intern to Justice Helen Hoens of the New Jersey Supreme Court and as a judicial law clerk to the Hon. Margaret Goodzeit, P.J.F.P.; the Hon. Anthony F. Picheca, Jr., J.S.C.; and the Hon. Michael F. O’Neill, J.S.C., in the Somerset County Family Part. Between 2015 and 2018, Andrew has published four articles on issues relating to family law in the New Jersey Law Journal, including: (1) Alimony Reform, Cohabitation, and the Untimely Death of the Economic Needs Test; (2)  ‘Kozlov’ Test for Piercing Privileges is Alive and Well, which was subsequently republished in the American Bar Association’s Minority Trial Lawyer newsletter; (3) Unintended Consequences: Alimony Reform and Lifestyle Equalization; and most recently (4) Premarital Cohabitation and Duration of Alimony under the Amended Statute.

Andrew is a member of the New Jersey State Bar Association as well as the NJSBA’s Young Lawyers Division and Family Law Section. He is also a member of the Somerset County Bar Association and the SCBA’s Somerset County Family Law Practice Committee. Andrew serves as an Executive Board Member of Town Clock Community Development Corporation, which operates Dina’s Dwellings, a residential facility providing long-term housing to survivors of domestic violence and their families. Andrew is rated 10.0/10.0 by Avvo.com, and he was selected to the New Jersey Super Lawyers list as a “Rising Star” for 2018, 2019, and 2020.

Brendan Nihill

Town Clock CDC Board Member & Presenter

Brendan is an optician and the owner of OptimEyes in Somerset, New Jersey, where he is focused on intercompany doctor-patient satisfaction and meeting individual needs of his patients. He also teaches Ophthalmic Science & Introduction of Business at the New Road School of New Jersey. Brendan is actively involved in his community; in addition to serving on Town Clock CDC's board of directors, he is part of the Coalition for Drug/Alcohol Rehabilitation in Franklin Township, a charter member of the Knights of Columbus, and the president of the Lion Kings of Franklin Township.

Melonie Daniels

Performer

Masterful agility, unbelievable pitch accuracy, soothing tone quality, and a five-plus octave range are the words that quantify the voice of Melonie Daniels. Born with an incredible instrument, Melonie quickly found her niche in the arena of music. She was able to forge her signature sound during her formative years as a budding vocalist in the local church and school choirs. She later seasoned her craft with the group David Gates & Love, Peace, and Joy Singers.

 

Melonie Daniels has amassed a wealth of musical knowledge through study and experience. Melonie's musical expertise secured her position as the Chief Background Vocalist, Vocal Director, and Vocal Arranger for Mariah Carey, where she worked diligently during her twelve-year tenure. With Mariah, Melonie made several major television appearances such as the Oprah Winfrey Show; the World Music Awards in Monaco; VH1 Diva Tributes to Aretha Franklin and Diana Ross; Grammy Awards 1992 and 1996; American Music Awards 2002; and the Lady of Soul Awards.

 

Melonie has been favored to work with a broad spectrum of vocalists and musicians, including Edwin Hawkins, Donald Lawrence, Karen Clark Sheard, Patti LaBelle, Aretha Franklin, Luciano Pavarotti, Michael Jackson, Ricky Martin, Ashford & Simpson, Liza Minnelli, BB King, George Michael, Gloria Estafan, Michael Bolton, C+C Music Factory, Kim Burrell, Marvin Winans, Daryl Coley, Fred Hammond, Shirley Caesar, Marc Anthony, Jessica Simpson, Toni Braxton, Wynton Marsalis, Tyler Perry, and super-producer Rodney Jerkins, to name a few. In addition, Melonie has made appearances in two movie productions: Keeping the Faith and HBO's Angels in America. Melonie has also been featured in two Tyler Perry productions: Aunt Bam’s Place and Madea Gets a Job.

Touring all over the world and performing at a variety of venues didn't stop Melonie's powerful voice from being featured on several recordings, including the chart-topping Gospel Today Volume Three hit "Precious Jesus," Volume Four's "My Praise Is My Weapon," two of the GMWA Women of Worship releases "Forever" and "He Lives," the title track for the late O'Landa Draper’s last release "Reflections," and on "Chains," which appears on Kirk Franklin's The Fight of My Life release. Melonie - showing her talent as a songwriter - penned most of the songs for her solo release. She also cowrote and sang the theme song to the Hit UPN series Half & Half.

 

Recently, Melonie’s voice has also been featured as a vocalist on the The Greatest Showman soundtrack. Currently Melonie is featured singing on Grammy Award winner H.E.R’s latest single, “Sometimes.” Celebrated as one of the most sought-after background vocalists in the music industry, Melonie is ready to share her gifts with the world as she emerges from the shadows into her own spotlight. The stage is set, the curtain is drawn, the audience is poised, and Melonie Daniels steps forward!

Dr. Melanie R. Hill

Gospel Soul Violinist

From the early years of learning the craft of the violin to 30 years of musical experience, Dr. Melanie R. Hill is a Gospel Soul violinist who has performed at the White House on two occasions under the Obama administration, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., the NAACP’s Annual Convention, the Apollo Theater in New York, the Staples Center in Los Angeles, and other venues. She was featured on the syndicated talk show, Sister Circle Live on TV One and has performed on several occasions for Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple. She is a multi-time, first-place winner at the Apollo Theater in New York and has been featured as a performer for the National Council of Churches, Showtime at the Apollo, The Quincy Harris Show, Good Day Philadelphia, NBC 10, Philadelphia Style magazine, NY1, BET, and TV One. In addition, she’s performed the national anthem on her violin for the Los Angeles Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers. Dr. Hill has also performed for Ms. Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole, Mrs. Susan L. Taylor, and opened for John Legend. Additionally, Dr. Hill was a featured performer for Pope Francis’s Papal Mass during his historic visit to the United States.

 

In 2020, Dr. Hill was invited to perform and share her scholarship of James Baldwin in the Oprah Winfrey Theater at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.

 

In addition to her music, Dr. Hill is Assistant Professor of American Literature in the Department of English at Rutgers University, Newark. Dr. Hill received her Ph.D. in English Literature with two graduate certificates in Africana Studies and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, a master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, a second master’s degree in Literature from George Mason University, and a B.A. in English with a minor in Spanish from the University of Virginia. As her research focuses on the intersection of literature and music, Dr. Hill is a reviewer for the Yale Journal of Music and Religion. She has written articles on black feminism and the sermon as sonic art in James Baldwin’s "The Amen Corner," as well as Bessie Smith and Ella Fitzgerald under the Religions Journal and Oxford University Press, respectively. Under contract with the University of North Carolina Press (UNC Press), her forthcoming manuscript entitled "Colored Women Sittin’ on High: Womanist Sermonic Practice in Literature and Music" focuses on the ways in which black women preachers in African American literature, music, and in the space of the pulpit counter social injustices through sermon and song.

 

Dr. Hill is grateful for God’s blessings and remains focused on sharing inspiration through her violin and spreading scholarship along the intersections of literature and music.

Jan Ritter

Performer

I am a survivor. In the face of many emotional hardships, I have had an accomplished life. I've sung many solos in musicals, churches, weddings, funerals, baptisms, and even a high school reunion. Everything I sing is meant as encouragement to others as well as comfort to myself and praise to God. I also am an accomplished ballerina. I auditioned for Juilliard when I was twelve. I also had a solo en pointe. These talents were how I coped with a painful life.

I graduated Cook College at Rutgers University in 1983 with a degree in Environmental Studies Education. College was not easy, as I was living with a devastating diagnosis.

I have a wonderful daughter, son, and grandson. They are the lights of my life. I have lived a life following the teachings of Jesus. I also have a degree in math, which I completed in two years at age fifty-two from William Paterson University. I did this while suffering emotionally from an abusive husband as well as my medical condition. I taught for twenty years.

My aspiration as a newly divorced woman and survivor of abuse is to help other women to succeed as well as young girls. I will go wherever the Lord leads.

Ahmed "JKing" Wallace

Performer

Born and raised in Newark, NJ, Ahmed “JKing” Wallace is a world-traveled singer, musician, composer and writer. Most known for his work on The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, he has had the pleasure of supporting such artists as Matchbox 20 and Justin Timberlake, lending his vocals to projects selling over 50 million worldwide and earning 9 Grammys, amidst many other accolades. A lover of all genres of music, his eclectic discography also includes some of gospel music's  top artists, touring with Kim Burrell, Byron Cage, Natalie Wilson and SOP, and Dave Hollister to name a few. Ahmed is a father, Minister of Music, a graduate of Arts High School and a founding member of The New York Gospel Stars.

Lauren Weinstein

Artist & Cartoonist

Lauren Weinstein is a cartoonist and artist whose work has appeared in The New YorkerThe New York TimesBookforumNautilus, and The Guardian, among many other outlets. For the past twenty years, her funny, beautiful, and bizarre comics and graphic novels have addressed universal human issues such as mortality, time, and most recently, motherhood.

Her acclaimed comic Normel Person was the last weekly comic strip to run in The Village Voice. The comic was drawn in response to the tumultuous sociopolitical climate following Donald Trump’s election. In 2019, Weinstein’s Being an Artist and a Mother won the Slate Cartoonist Studio Prize, and was published in Best American Comics 2019. The work originally ran in The New Yorker and is one of a series of visual essays Weinstein has done about matrescence—coming of age as a mother.

Her most recent novella, Mother’s Walk—a visceral meditation on all the ramifications of childbirth—was selected for the latest issue of Frontier, a quarterly art and comics monograph series. Weinstein is also the author of three books: Inside Vineyland (Alternative Comics, 2003), a collection of an early comic strip first published in The Seattle Stranger; the teenage memoir Girl Stories (Henry Holt and Co., 2006), which received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly; and an impossible-to-describe, science-fiction epic called Goddess of War (Picturebox, 2008). She has also received two Ignatz Awards and multiple award nominations. In 2015, Weinstein was awarded the Gold Medal from The Society of Illustrators for Carriers, her five-part webcomic about cystic fibrosis that was first published in Nautilus.

Weinstein earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting from Washington University. Currently, she is compiling a collection of comics about motherhood and working on a sequel to Girl Stories, which will be published by Henry Holt & Co. She teaches at the School of Visual Arts in New York.

Laura Foley

Performer

My name is Laura Foley and I am a survivor. Although my younger years were painful and difficult, I have chosen to use my experiences to help others. 

 

Currently, I am Secretary of Healing Waters Global, a nonprofit 501c3 charitable organization. We serve women and girl survivors of sexual abuse, and those living and affected by HIV/AIDS. I also facilitate a monthly Butterfly Sister Circle support group in New Brunswick for survivors. Of the women we serve, 1/3 are survivors of domestic violence. In addition, our signature program is called The Forgiveness Frees the Butterfly Healing Retreat. During the retreats I provide Reiki healing sessions to all participants. 

 

As an accomplished Reiki Master, my main clients are also survivors.   

 

I am a volunteer with S.O.A.P. (Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution). SOAP is an organization that brings people together to fight sex trafficking within their state, by providing local hotels and motels with free bars of soaps that have the Human Trafficking hotline number on it.  Additionally, as a volunteer with Love True, an anti-human trafficking organization, I participated in raising funds and awareness. 

 

In my desire to be a powerful voice for survivors, I have written over 27 poems on the subject of sexual abuse and domestic violence, and have also created videos on the subject. In 2019, I was a recipient of the Traffic Slam’s Empowerment Award for my poem “Hush,” sponsored by the New Jersey Coalition Against Human Trafficking. 

 

My passion is writing, listening to music, singing, and providing healing where needed. 

E. Denise Peoples

Presenter

E. Denise Peoples is a Paterson, NJ native matriculating from North Carolina Central University with a Tri Major in Math, Accounting and Music. In 2001 she was diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. After living an unbelievable journey she received a double lung transplant on Monday, October 2, 2006.

Once she was released to join the world again, she met it with a vengeance. Not only did she become a New Jersey State Legislative Assembly Chief of Staff more importantly she became a volunteer for New Jersey Sharing Network, an organ procurement organization. Her determination, dedication and thankfulness to her selfless donor proved valuable to NJSN. Now, a full-time employee, as a Hospital and Community Services Coordinator she educates students, medical professionals, corporate partners, faith-based organizations and the community on the importance of organ and tissue donation. Believing in grassroots, community involvement and cultivation, E. Denise launched Mae’s Plate, a nonprofit named in honor of her mother, a philanthropist and entrepreneur. Monthly she and other volunteers cook hot meals and gather toiletries, donated clothing, resources, and a lot of love and take to the streets to those “in-between homes” for low-income, no-income and re-entry individuals of all ages.

E. Denise’s many talents led her to start Breathin Ezy Productions. Underneath this brand are ventures such as “Outta Sight and Outta Her Mind.” Encountering many characters through her life’s journey, she brings them to life in this “dramedy.” The one-woman show has graced many stages on the East Coast. Through personal experiences, The E. Denise Peoples Speaks series delivers drive and passion into each listener as a motivational speaker. Lunch Time Logic, her midday conservations, is a subject-driven series of step-by-step self-reflection and betterment. Being grateful for the gift of her transplant by staying healthy and wanting to pass her joy and love for cooking and gardening, Prep2Live Show was created. There she demonstrates ways to cook and eat wholesome, be mindful and take control, all while having a good time doing it.

All that this multifaceted woman does is service. Her passion for motivating, storytelling, cooking and gardening has given her a platform to demonstrate through her life that service is the key to happiness, all while living, loving and laughing. And she’s only just begun.

Dr. Brenita Mitchell

Presenter

Dr. Brenita Mitchell is passionate about women’s issues. She is an ordained minister, author, spiritual life coach, and speaker. She has worked over 30 years serving populations that include the homeless, drug and alcohol abusers, the mentally challenged, men and women living with HIV/AIDS, children suffering from abuse and neglect, domestic violence, men and women victim/survivors of sexual violence and incarcerated women.

Dr. Mitchell graduated Magna Cum Laude from New Brunswick Theological Seminary with a Masters of Theological Studies, with a concentration in Urban Ministry. She also received a Masters of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, and completed a Doctor of Ministry at United Theological Seminary, with a focus on “Storytelling, Women and Sexual violence.” She is also writing her first book and producing a documentary on women and sexual violence. As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, Dr. Mitchell has turned her pain into action and dedicated her life to empowering sexually traumatized women with the necessary tools to live a more free, forgiving, authentic, loving, fearless, and purposeful life.

She is the founder and President of “Healing Waters Global Inc.,“a 501c3 nonprofit charitable organization whose mission is to raise awareness of the psychological, emotional, and spiritual impact of sexual violence on the lives of women and girls; and women living and affected by HIV/AIDS. HWG provides a safe and sacred space for survivors to break their silence, tell their stories and heal from the trauma.

 

Dr. Mitchell is the proud parent of two adult children, Maximo and Aisha.

 

Brenita Mitchell, Women, Silence, and Sexual Terrorism (forthcoming in  2020 (Paperback and Kindles edition).

Town Clock
Community Development Corporation

Town Clock CDC is a nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization that provides permanent, affordable homes and supportive services to survivors of domestic violence & their children.

Email: townclockcdc@gmail.com

Phone: 732-993-1345

Address: 11 Bayard Street, #301 
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Registered Charity: 27-3566747

© 2020 by Town Clock Community Development Corporation

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