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2014 September

September 22, 2014 | By | No Comments

IMPACT will host and participate in a multitude of key events as part of the 44th Annual Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference.

We have compiled this listicle of sorts, including IMPACT-hosted events as well as events featuring IMPACT founders and IMPACT Leaders.

 RSVP for all IMPACT events at:

How can we leverage #Fergusonat the ballot box?


On September 23, 2014, IMPACT will kick off its ALC events with #HandsUpWeVote in light of National Voter Registration Day. #HandsUpWeVote is a mobilization event that discusses how we can connect the action happening in Ferguson, Missouri to sustainable civic solutions.  Another goal is to provide information and technological strategies that can increase participation for the upcoming midterm elections. We will be partnering with young leaders from the BBPV initiative (Black and Brown People Vote) to teach participants how to use technology such as memes, graphics, visuals and social media outlets to encourage voting.

Additionally, IMPACT will have a voter registration drive on site so participants can vote and select leaders who can create positive change in cities like Ferguson.  It has been nearly fifty years since the Voting Rights Act was passed, but people of color are still facing voting obstacles. Based off of IMPACT’s #VoteReady initiative, the objective is two fold: to increase voter registration and to provide community education  so that voters can continue to be politically active long after the elections are over.  It is crucial for black and brown people to take full advantage of the tools of democracy and to advocate for their communities so that lives can be improved. #HandsUpWeVote will further emphasize the need for voters to stay connected to their leaders and to diligently monitor relevant political issues affecting their communities as a whole.  Participants will also be able to hear from WKYS radio personality, EZ Street, who will discuss how to channel the outrage toward the Mike Brown case into fuel for motivation and national political action which can ultimately empower cities like Ferguson.


When: September 23 from 6:00PM-9:00PM

Location: Busboys and Poets

1025 5th Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

*This is a free event

IMPACT National Voter Registration Day 2014 #CBCFALC14



Molding Young Leaders of Color for Success:

Emerging Leaders Town Hall

The annual Emerging Leaders Town Hall on Sept. 25th will engage African-American legislators, policy professionals, corporate executives, entertainers, and community advocates under the age of 40 in discussions about the state of affairs in Black America. This event will include two of our very own: IMPACT founder and strategist, Angela Rye, and Deon Jones, a 2014 IMPACT leader who is also the youngest elected official for DC’s Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC)! Additional speakers will include successful change makers such as Congressman of Steven Horsford of Nevada, Compton Mayor Aja Brown, Ledisi, and Sharon Lettman-Hicks of the National Black Justice Coalition,  just to name a few. At this Town Hall event, participants cannot only be enlightened but also leave empowered with new strategies to achieve their own personal goals.


When: Thursday, September 25, 2014 from 2:00PM-4:00PM

Location: Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Room 201

Who: Legislators, policy professionals and community advocates

*This is a free event




Learn how to IMPACT Your World:

The Art of Social Entrepreneurship 


On Sept. 26th, the Social Entrepreneurship Panel Discussion will feature the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Alumni Association. The aim of this event is to educate and empower innovative entrepreneurs who are seeking to create positive change in their communities. Panel participants will not only discuss how to produce positive change but will also highlight the keys to maintaining lasting results for deep rooted community improvement and economic success.  Economic empowerment and community change are key IMPACT initiatives.


When: Friday, September 26, 2014 from 3:00PM-5:00PM

Location: Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Room 145B

*This is a free event

IMP-102-Social-Entrepreneurship-Flyer-1-Revised (1)



Walker’s Legacy: 2nd Annual Women in Business and Civic Leadership Awards Program

This event will highlight and celebrate influential women of color. The Walkers Legacy will honor our very own Angela Rye, an IMPACT founder and now strategist. Angela Rye is one of the most dynamic young leaders on Capitol Hill and currently serves as the Executive Director and General Counsel to the Congressional Black Caucus. It is because of the vision of Angela and our other founders that IMPACT has quickly become a powerful voice and advocate for today’s young professionals of color nationwide. Please join us in celebrating the work of young women of color and expressing our appreciation for their outstanding contributions in civic engagement, business and political leadership.


When: September 23 from 6:00PM-8:00PM


*Cost $20

Walkers Legacy



18th Annual Celebration of Leadership in the fine Arts

This event will function as a scholarship fundraiser and as a celebration. The focus will be on young emerging artists, as well as great black legends, such as actress and director Phylicia Rashad who paved the way and created opportunities for young artists of color. Join us as we bring together the young and the old for a night of leadership commemoration and entertainment.

Phylicia Rashad, Alvin Poussaint, Angela Rye

When: Wed Sept 24th from 8:00PM-10:30PM

Where: The Newseum 555 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001

*Cost $20

Celebration of Leadership in the Fine Arts




Hip-Hop and Politics

This event will be hosted by Congressman Carson of Indiana and moderated by our very own Angela Rye, IMPACT founder and Strategist. This venue is geared specifically toward youth and students.  The key goals of the event are to empower the youth and equip them with the tools necessary to promote political activism and awareness in their schools and communities.


Who: Founder and CEO of Black Girls Rock, Beverly Bond and hip hop artist Rakim

When:  September 26 1:30PM-3:30PM

Where: Walter E Convention Center RM147B

*This is a free event

Hip Hop and Politics


September 3, 2014 | By | No Comments

ashley bell

Ashley Bell

Independent, Free, Thinker
March 2014

Ashley Bell was elected Hall Country (GA) Commissioner in 2008.  The youngest ever,at the age of 27. In 2014 he announced his candidacy for Georgia State School Superintendent.
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September 3, 2014 | By | No Comments

Tomica Burke

Tomica Burke

Never, Gives, Up
April 2014

Tomica “Tom” Burke is the Head Chef and Creative Director of TomCookery–New Comfort Cuisine and Catering. A native New Yorker.

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IL:Martin Diego Garcia

September 3, 2014 | By | No Comments

Martin Diego Garcia jpg

Martin Diego Garcia

Supportive, Straightforward, Stylish
May 2014

Martín Diego Garcia is a first-generation, California native who has a passion for advocating for underserved populations by helping progressive  Read More


September 3, 2014 | By | No Comments

Deon Jones

Deon Jones

Resilient, Servant, #HereToStay
June 2014

Deon Jones is the youngest elected official (ANC) in the history of Washington, D.C. His passion to provide opportunities for young people, particularly young African American and Hispanic boys, regardless of their zip code, is contagious. That’s what led him to his new role at Be The Change, Inc. with former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense Rob Gordon III, and the fact he loves that his boss (who Deon calls RG3) asked him when he first started, three weeks ago, “Are you ready to change the world?”

In addition to his role at Be The Change, Inc., he serves as Executive Director of the MANifest Leadership Institute, a leadership and academic development program for formerly incarcerated youth.

Before joining Be the Change, Inc., Deon served as the National Spokesperson for the Campaign for Youth Justice, a national advocacy organization dedicated to ending the practice of trying, sentencing, and incarcerating youth under 18 in the adult criminal justice system.

Deon has held fellowship and internship positions with in the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, the White House, and Teach for America. In addition, Deon served as a DC Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner from 2011-2013, becoming the youngest elected city official in Washington, DC’s history.

Deon has been a speaker at many national and international conferences and events, including the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, the NEXUS Global Youth Summit in New York City and London, the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference, and more.

In 2013, the D.C. City Council passed the “Deon T. Jones Recognition Resolution of 2013” honoring Deon’s service to the city. Also, Deon is the first African-American from American University to be appointed a Harry S. Truman Scholar by Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright and the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation.

Deon has been a contributor to Politic365 and News One Now w/ Roland Martin. He serves on the board of directors at America’s Promise Alliance and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Alumni Association. He was recently appointed to the National Council of Young Leaders.

He is a graduate of American University where he was a member of the School of Public Affairs Leadership Program. In addition, Deon has studied abroad at King’s College London and was a Public Policy and International Affairs fellow at the University of California, Berkeley.


INTERVIEW | Getting to Know Deon

Tell us about a typical day in the life of Deon what blogs/newspapers, websites do you read that shape the way you think?

A typical day, in my life, has changed a lot since I graduated from American University four weeks ago. When I wake up, the first thing I do is pray and declare that a great day, on purpose, is ahead of me. I add that if I make a mistake that day, that I am given the strength to get up and keep it moving and the wisdom to not do it again.

On the way to work, I go through my Facebook and Twitter feeds to see what people are talking about and reading. Most people always lead me to some of my favorite outlets such as The Atlantic, Policy Mic, the NY Times, BuzzFeed, etc.

There is no normal day at work. Be The Change, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that creates national issue-based campaigns by organizing coalitions of nonprofits, social entrepreneurs, policymakers, private sector and civic leaders, academics and citizens. Its combined grasstops and grassroots approach engages well-known voices in entertainment, retail, government and philanthropy and, through their megaphones, Americans of all ages and backgrounds. The three campaigns of Be the Change, Inc. are ServiceNation, Opportunity Nation, and Got Your 6. The CEO is City-Year Co-Founder Alan Khazei and the President is Rob Gordon, III, former Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy.

In my role, I manage the President’s daily operations. In addition, I am responsible for managing and leading new projects associated with our three campaigns. Currently, I am assisting the President with our work to bring on additional senior military and business leaders to support Opportunity Nation, Service Nation, and Got Your 6 efforts. I also coordinate fundraising strategies with the campaigns and assist with strategic communications.

After work, I head over to the Sasha Bruce R.E.A.C.H. house and put on my Executive Director hat at the Manifest Leadership Institute, an academic and leadership program for formerly incarcerated boys in Washington, D.C.

My day ends with a good drink, a few friends, or my favorite – relaxing at home and reading. Currently, I am reading four things: Ta-nehisi Coates’ front page piece in The Atlantic, “The Case for Reparations”, Capitalism in the 21st Century by Thomas Piketty, Our Kind of People by Lawrence Graham, and America’s Promise Alliance’s new report. “Don’t Call Them Dropouts.” These materials are helping me look at how we view and access opportunity in this country and how it is denied, particularly for those living in poverty and disadvantaged African-Americans and Hispanics.

What (or who) inspired you to become an elected official, Truman Scholar, and White House intern?

When I was little, I can remember watching my hero, Oprah, all the time and going to church with my great-grandmother Shug. I would hear things like, “Through God, all things are possible,” and “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed.” If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could move mountains and anything was possible. I heard this as a kid and really believed it. Despite growing up in poverty, witnessing countless acts of domestic violence, and having many odds against me, that little thing we all have called “instinct” told me that my life would be different. Because I sensed that instinct and was connected to it, my prayer has always been – “God use me. I don’t know what the future holds for me, but I know there is a vision for my life greater than my imagination can hold. Use me. Use me. What would you have me to do?” And, that dream, that instinct, that prayer led me to Washington to build a platform that could make a difference.

There is no one who has had more influence on my personal and professional life in this city than my mentor and brother David Johns. Many people in this town say that you can reach out to them, but they never respond. David has been my guide since I was a freshman in college and has never ignored me. His work, passion, honesty, and sincerity are worthy of imitation. Among the many things he has shared with me, what he always tells me is to walk by faith.

I think the privilege of being an elected official, a Truman Scholar, a White House intern, or anything other successes I have had are products of me holding on to that instinct from when I was younger and the lessons I have learned from David Johns and watching Oprah.

What is the key to balancing your professional, philanthropic, and social commitments?

I do not know the answer to this question. However, I keep a written “to-do” list with me all the time. That way, I will not forget anything or at least try not to. I also know that the four walls in my office will never remember that I was there all night and did not go home. My friends and family will.

What is the biggest mistake young professionals make, especially when pursuing a career in politics?

What I have observed is that so many young people do not have patience. They are rushing to go to the top graduate school, get the “bad ass” title, and have great influence. They do all this, end up having no life experiences, and come to Washington and write bloodless policy. When I was at the White House, the President told the interns, “Focus on the change you want to make and put your all into it. The title and all that other stuff will come later.” I would echo the President and that has been true for me during my time here in Washington.

What advice or learned lesson would you give other young professionals who desire to become an elected official?

AGE AIN’T NOTHING BUT A NUMBER! Never be afraid to do or say something because of your age, and never let someone intimidate you because it either. You can do anything you set your mind to. General Colin Powell once told me, “Don’t be afraid to challenge the pros — even in their own backyard.”

I could not be who I am by being afraid to sit at the table with someone who could be my parent or grandparent. I actually love it, and you should too.

What’s been the best experience of your career thus far (or the most rewarding)?

The most rewarding experience in my career has been the ten, formerly incarcerated young men who have completed the MANifest Leadership Institute and went on to four-year universities. Their life trajectory has changed and now, their family history will too. The most rewarding experiences are when you see REAL CHANGE take place in someone’s life because of your work.

What’s next for you in your career and what is your approach to reaching the next phase of your professional development?

Wherever the Creator places me where I am continuing in the fight to #SaveOurSons, #TeachTheBabies, and making sure that every young person has the opportunity and resources to reach the American dream is where I will be, regardless of the industry.

My approach to reaching that next phase is to be prepared for that moment when preparation meets opportunity. Then, continue on with the breath of the Creator behind my back.

Lastly, give me three words to sum up Deon Jones.

Resilient, Servant, #HereToStay (Can a hashtag be one word?)

How can people reach you on social media?

Twitter and Instagram: @deontjones


September 3, 2014 | By | No Comments

Staci Arnold ILpic

Staci Arnold

Selfless, Driven, Compassionate
July 2014

Dr. Staci Arnold is a board certified Pediatrician who specializes in pediatric hematology and stem cell transplantation. She has particular expertise in caring for children.
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September 3, 2014 | By | No Comments

Aysa Miller Pic

Aysa Miller

August 2014

Aysa M. Miller is a career diplomat at the U.S. Department of State. He serves as Economic and Deputy Commercial Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan.
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