Photos Clockwise: Mark Johnson, Jessica Ciocca, Isabel Hallock, Ebony Edwards-Ellis, William Spivey, Sevgi Fernandez
Hello to each and every one of you wonderful people. My name is Mark Johnson, and I am from Ohio. I am human being who is trying to bring about change in our crazy world. I am a biracial person, who has gone through many different obstacles and challenges in my life. I am a person who is also living with Epilepsy, and fighting desperately to get my life back after losing everything. I have found poetry while fighting my battle with Epilepsy as a way to get my feelings, frustrations, love and a way to teach others. I have recently found my true love and soul mate Elly, who is biracial as well. I have been through a ton of racial issues with not only random people on the streets, but also with my mom’s side of the family as well. I am a human being who is trying to help others any way that I can. I want to help people come together and celebrate each other’s differences. I really would love to help mixed people with identity issues, single parents of mixed kids and people who are in interracial relationships. I also want to become an advocate for people with Epilepsy and other disabilities as well. To let them know that, there is hope for us all. I am still fighting to get my life back, but I am on the right track. I hope that everyone keeps their head up as best they can, and remember “One Day at a Time, One Step at a Time!”
Jessica Ciocca is a results-driven creative director and award-winning copywriter with 17 years experience developing strategically effective marketing and advertising campaigns for clients in numerous competitive industries. She began her career as a copywriter in 1999 inPhiladelphia, where she helped develop the brand voices for Villanova University, Comcast® and Timberland Boot Company® Jessica then went on to “specialize” in B2B, managing advertising for controversial biotech companies using stem cell technologies engaged in promising clinical trialsto breakthrough medical devices for orthopedics, promoting highly competitive emergency room solutions, state-of-the-art fiber optics financial services andexplosives for the aerospace and defense industry. Today, working with Fortune 500, 100 and 50 business and consumer companies as well as ambitious tech startups, Jessica is a compelling storyteller, engaging her clients’ customers at an emotional level. Her work makes for smarter, more connected creative solutions, resulting in greater brand loyalty that is particularly important in today’s constantly evolving marketplace.She and her husband, Patrick run a private branding and marketing company, Chockfull of Ideas.
Isabel Hallock is 17 years old, Oakland, California Isabel has been recognized for her writings, especially her poetry, and was recently named a finalist for the Oakland Poet Laureate program through Youth Speaks. She has dedicated herself to the Black Lives Matter movement after co-founding a non-profit organization with two of her peers called Black Youth N' Action, which purpose is to educate Black Youth about their histories, and to unify them in order to provide service, and inspiration to their communities before college. She has also worked closely with the LGBTQ+ community in San Francisco since her Freshman year, and has joined multiple environmental justice groups, women's rights movements, immigrant movements, and has advocated for gun control to her local government.
Ebony Edwards-Ellis is the author of the blog, Random Rants of a Super Nerdy Black Chick Also the author of the contemporary romance novel, "The Memoir of Catherine Halsey", Ebony makes rent by working as a background actress and commercial housekeeper. She currently lives in Brooklyn.
William Spivey is a regular contributor to the Inner-City News where he writes about politics and popular culture. He also blogs as “Enigma in Black” where he explores poetry, religion, politics and all manner of things socially relevant. He is the founder of the Facebook pages Average Citizen Forum, Enigma in Black, and “Strong Beginnings,” the title of his soon to be released Political Fiction/Romance novel.
William was the winner of a University-wide Essay Contest while at Fisk University titled, “The Value of a Liberal Arts Education. He holds a B.A. in Economics from Fisk and resides in Orlando, FL. His goal now is to make his voice heard and make a difference.
Sevgi Fernandez has worked as a diversity coach/consultant for the past decade both independently through her company Diverse World Coaching, and as Senior Vice President of Race and Cultural Diversity at ARMCGlobal. She recently founded an organization, Together We Stand,(TWS), that advocates for victims of racism, discrimination and police brutality. The hope is to develop a TWS youth academy that will educate teens on social justice advocacy particularly through changing legislation.