The YWCA Quad-Cities has announced 10 Quad-Citians will be celebrated Saturday, April 20, at the Race Against Racism for their efforts in standing up against racism.
The honorees will be recognized at an after-party event at Steve's Old Time Tap in downtown Rock Island. The public is invited to attend.
Here's a look at the honorees:
- Marquita Reynolds, Arconic Davenport Works human resources generalist, is a leader in the manufacturing plant's African American Heritage Network Resource Group. In her role, she led the application process to receive a $25,000 Arconic Foundation STEM grant to work with kids at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center, Rock Island. Reynolds also has been coordinator with more than 10 robotics teams hosted at the Arconic Learning Center.
- Jorge Rodriguez, Arconic Davenport Works human resources manager, champions all six Employee Resources Groups at the Quad-City manufacturer. In addition to helping these group evolve and expand their impact, he understands the business value and support these groups bring to Arconic and the community. A board member for Junior Achievement, he also teaches classes to minority and at-risk students at Edison Academy.
- Eric Rowell, Augustana College's assistant director for admissions and diversity outreach, now recruits minority students to his alma mater. He first was exposed to diversity after moving to Rock Island from the southside of Chicago. After marrying his wife Amy McConnell, the pair traveled to India, where he was a youth basketball coach. Upon their return to the United States, he worked and coached Chicagoland youth. His wife Amy, who died March 30, led World Relief in the Quad-Cities, working with refugees and immigrants.
- James "Keith" Frainey, independent clinical psychologist, provides mental health services, advocacy, support and case management service to incarcerated males at the East Moline Correctional Center. His career has been devoted to taking care of the most vulnerable and disenfranchised members of society. In recent years, he has worked for racial justice in the Quad-Cities, including leadership roles with Boots on the Ground and the Davenport NAACP.
- Simone Collins, How About Hope advocacy ambassador. The 24-year-old Rock Island native plans to devote her life to the mental health concerns of minority populations and the pressures they face from racism, oppression and discrimination. She participated in the Quad-City's Minority Partnership while attending Truman State University, where she served on panels to discuss her experiences with racism. On staff at Robert Young Center Community Support Program and Vera French, she also works with the nonprofit How About Hope, which is focused on mental health and suicide awareness.
- T C Boyd, founder of Wear Unity Clothing, is an inspirational speaker who shares his story about losing his father to AIDS and his brother to gun violence as he urges audiences to overcome obstacles. He promotes unity through his music and poetry under his stage name "TC Boyd The Artist." He founded Wear Unity Clothing, a brand promoting racial and ethnic unity, and New Rise Entertainment, a positive entertainment company.
- Tammy Reed, the founder, director and a performer with Taranga Drum Circle. Reed not only directs the performance component of Taranga but leads group meetings with a focus on community and interacting with others in positive way. She also leads a local Royal Neighbors youth chapter and is vice president for the Rock Island branch of NAACP. As a social worker, Reed goes above and beyond her job requirements to ensure her clients' needs are met including having opportunities to work, vote and receive their rights and benefits due to them.
- Jasmine Bozeman, founder and CEO of The Degree Experience. The motivational speaker and author is devoted to making a profound difference in the lives of others. She dedicates her time and energy to several nonprofits including Family Resources, YouthHope, Love Girls, Royal Neighbors, Get It Girl, Davenport Public Schools and the YWCA Quad-Cities.
- Jennifer Page Pierson, a counselor for Rock Island High School. She provides strategic leadership as the CQ Cultural Competency Team Leader for the Rock Island-Milan School District. In that role, she serves as an agent of diversity, equality and inclusion for students, staff, parents and community leaders. She is an active community volunteer including through opportunities with her church Second Baptist, Rock Island.
- Kim Findlay, president and CEO of the Putnam Museum, was instrumental in bringing the "RACE-Are We So Different?" exhibit to the Quad-Cities. The exhibit examines race as the science of human variation or genetics, the history of the idea of race as well as the experience of race and racism in the United States. Wanting the exhibit to have a higher purpose, she united a committee of community leaders to launch a conversation and deeper understanding of race during the exhibit's four-month run with the added goal of bringing not only a greater, but a lasting awareness of race.