In 2016, Cincinnati’s Black Founders Group & MORTAR came together to create Future History Now (FHN) in celebration of Black History Month. Throughout the past several years, FHN has always highlighted our community’s diversity and inclusion efforts through engaging conversations, knowledge sharing, and platforms that create opportunities for minority innovators. Along this journey, we’ve had some amazingly supportive partners, Cintrifuse and Hillman Accelerator, who have carried the baton – now in 2020, MORTAR is taking Future History Now to another level by highlighting Black businesses and providing information on the future of the Black economic legacy!

We shouldn’t limit the purposefulness of this month to celebrations of past accomplishments. Black History Month provides us with a prime opportunity to discuss how to create more innovators, culture-shifters, and history-makers today

FHN started as a one-evening event, which included a happy hour, networking event, and panel discussions.  In response to FHN’s growth, we’ve curated a full day of valuable FHN programming to further strengthen Cincinnati as a hub for minority entrepreneurs. Let’s come together to build the future’s history, NOW.

Mental Health and the Black Community: Defeating the stigma, planning for a better future

Panel featuring Dr. Miska Prater, LPC, Ritch Hall II, Ph.D., Rosalind Smith Sistrunk, MA, LPCC, and Ashleigh Alexander, MS, LPC

Hosted by Alexis Cartier, professional moderator

Time: 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Where: Revel OTR

“Accessing mental health care is an obstacle in the black community. Not only is it hard to find care that is affordable and relatable, but the stigma that surrounds treatment often keeps people from seeking help. Five mental health experts will discuss their efforts to decrease the stigma and how mental health care is more accessible than we realize.”

Build A Brand Workshop: Prep Work with MORTAR design manager and Black Designer, Naimah Quinae!

Time: 11 a.m.- Noon

Where: Revel OTR

Topic: Visual Brand Identities

MORTAR’s Design Manager, Naimah Quinae, will lead a workshop focused on helping small business owners looking to rebrand or create a new brand identity by offering tips on how to work with a designer and how to properly prepare your business for the creative journey.

BUY BLACK Business Crawl

Time: 12 p.m.-2 p.m.

Where: OTR, Walnut Hills, & Clifton Black-owned businesses

Join the MORTAR team as we lead a tour of black-owned businesses in the historic Over the Rhine, Walnut Hills, and Clifton neighborhoods of Cincinnati. By opting into this tour, you will receive special discounts, samples, and experiences from each vendor. Locations include Black Coffee, BlaCK Owned Outerwear, Brick Pop Up Shops – OTR, MORTAR Cincinnati, GO(O)D Company, and Smith & Hannon Bookstore.


Experiences In The Black Creativesphere: Panel Discussion

Panel featuring Naimah Quinae, MORTAR Design Manager, Creative Director of Above The Grid, and Owner of Pidgin LLC, Kailah Ware, Creative Director of SunnyBlu Art Agency, and Gypsy Frank, professional photographer.

Hosted by Allen Woods, MORTAR Managing Partner and Creative Director

Time: 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Where: Monastery Studios

The MORTAR Design Team presents a panel that will serve as a platform for Black professional creatives to share their story and highlight their experiences in White dominated industries.


Secure the Bag (and the Legacy): Financial Planning for the Black Household 

Panel featuring Lauren Jones (Greater Cincinnati Foundation), Savon Gibson (Gibson Financial Planning), and Cassie Brown (Boys and Girls Club-Hamilton)

Hosted by Vic Mullins, MORTAR Development Manager

Time: 3 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Where: Monastery Studios

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? Why is it important to support nonprofits, especially those working to benefit the black community? These are questions that we may not ask ourselves often but we NEED to be asking. MORTAR is presenting this esteemed panel of nonprofit leaders, financial experts, and legacy planners to start the conversation that can help us truly become our ancestors’ wildest dreams. Discussion will include info on becoming a Black Donor, understanding the power of black dollars to black organizations, the value of small donations, recurring donations, and pulling your money together to be a giving circle.

Conversation on Relationships in the Black Community w/ Kyla & Allen Woods

Time: 4 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Where: Monastery Studios

Title: Live Podcast: Permanent Plus One 

TopicThe Permanent Plus One Podcast – “Where Marriages go to Live” – Hosted and produced by Allen & Kyla Woods, Permanent Plus One takes you into the joy, pain, lessons, and blessings of marriage (and parenting). The show was birthed out of Allen & Kyla’s 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.