What a day to remember! MORTAR’s Future History Now (FHN) was held on Saturday, February 15, 2020. FHN has been MORTAR’s contribution to Black History Month celebrations for the past five years as a way to share, learn, and network with our community. While many celebrations focus on the accomplishments of our past (and there’s nothing wrong with that), FHN focuses on bringing our community together today in order to better prepare for the future.
This year, we wanted to plan our sessions around important topics trending in our community at the moment: self-love, mental health awareness, wealth building and financial literacy, and healthy relationships. When putting together the panels, workshops, and discussions for this event, we knew that it was important to bring in experienced professionals who could share a wealth of information but also relate to the attendees of the event.
THE MORNING SESSIONS
Mental Healthcare and the Black Community
Our first panel was moderated by Alexis Cartier and consisted of four mental health experts (Dr. Miska Prater, LPC; Ritch Hall II, Ph.D; Ashley Alexander, MS, LPC; and Rosalind Smith-Sistrunk, MA, LPCC) from an array of professions including Child Behavioral Health and Christian Counseling. We learned SO MUCH from these panelists, including: the struggles parents face relating to their child’s temperament and/or personality and vice versa, how our community often shys away from mental healthcare due to, not only the stigma surrounding it, but because of the way it’s portrayed in t.v. and film, and how caring for your body is, in itself, a form of mental healthcare. All who attended this panel definitely learned some great lessons on how to better treat themselves and those around them.
Branding and Design Workshop with Naimah Quinae
MORTAR’s Design and Apparel Manager, Naimah Quinae, led a fun and knowledge filled workshop on building a brand. We learned to think like a designer when we were given a business concept and asked to come up with a company name and brand identity. We used our phones to research similar brands and learned the importance of standing out and how to implement these practices in our own businesses. This was the first of a series of workshops that will happen this year thanks to our incredible and talented team!
THE AFTERNOON SESSIONS
Buy Black Business Crawl
The crawl was important to put together as a way to encourage support of black businesses during Black History Month (every month, really). Some of the participating businesses offered special discounts and sales to people who shopped with them during crawl hours. Special shout outs to: GO(O)D Company Apparel, Black Coffee Lounge, Black Owned Outerwear, and Smith & Hannon Bookstore for collaborating with us.
Experiences in the Black Creativesphere
Design Manager, Naimah Quinae, developed the concept for this panel dedicated to Black Creatives. As an up and coming Black designer, she experienced a fair amount of discrimination becuase of her skin color and cultural background and learned that many other creatives have had similar experiences. This panel, moderated by MORTAR Co-Founder and Executive Director Allen Woods, features several well known creatives, including: Gypsy Frank; Kailah Ware; and Naimah Quinae. One of the many challenges for Creatives of Color is navigating the difference between charging a standard amount for a particular project or considering how that project could further their career, thus resulting in a discount given for services. It’s a tricky lane – and one that many of us experience in other industries as well. But do you risk more as a black creative if you don’t give the discount that your white counterparts might give because they can afford to? One of the significant questions often formed for creatives and entrepreneurs alike.
Secure the Bag….and the Legacy.
What is generational wealth and how do we get there? What can we do now to ensure that the legacy of our family is protected? What does it look like to be financially secure? These are questions that we may not ask ourselves often but we NEED to be asking. MORTAR presented an esteemed panel of nonprofit leaders, financial experts, and legacy planners to start the conversation that can help us truly become our ancestors’ wildest dreams. Panelists included Savon Gibson of Gibson Financial Planning; Candice Hayes-McInnis, Founder of Providom; Lauren Jones with Greater Cincinnati Foundation; and Cassie Brown with Boys & Girls Club, Hamilton County. The panel was moderated by our very own Development Manager Vic Mullins. MORTAR’s goal is to help shift the conversation in the black community about money and financial well-being, and this panel was a great and necessary step.
Permanent Plus One Podcast: the Live Show
Allen and Kyla Woods started Permanent Plus One with a mission to provide a platform for couples to be supported and encouraged, and for marriage to be celebrated. Sometimes it feels like the work that is required for marriage to be successful overshadows the beautiful outcomes of that work. The Cincinnati-based couple brings insight, humor, emotion, and organic energy to tackle a variety of topics. This was the first time they hosted the show live – and they covered everything from different parenting styles and how they work together as a team to reach the best result; the importance of communication and honoring your spouse’s Love Language; and how humor and creativity help keep them aligned with their goals as individuals and a couple.
Future History NOW 2020 was pretty epic and we look forward to doing it all over again in 2021!