Springfield, MO— Take part in a moderated panel discussion on the importance of formerly segregated public spaces. The topics of discussion will include, intentional black archival space, park-based events, and self-care and art in public settings. The event will be Friday, February 3, 2023, from 11:30 – 1:00 pm at Timmons Hall located in the historic Silver Springs Park.
The Freedom Classroom 101 workshop series is designed to help teach and implement African American studies through Place-Based Education. Each workshop is specifically designed to help teachers research, rethink and reimagine how they teach African American studies to benefit the classroom and the larger community. Panelists include Dr. Carmaletta Williams, Melodee Colbert Kean, and Leslie Hughes.
Dr. Carmaletta Williams is the CEO of the Black Archives of Mid-America in Kansas City. The mission of the Black Archives of Mid-America in Kansas City, Inc is to collect, preserve and make available to the public materials documenting the social, economic, political, and cultural histories of persons of African American descent in the central United States, with particular emphasis in the Kansas City, Missouri region. The Black Archives of Mid America, Inc. was founded in 1974 by Horace M. Peterson III.
After Dr. Williams retired from Johnson County Community College after 28 yrs., she went to China and taught at Central China Normal University for a year and opened a publishing house with her son. She received a call requesting her to come and run the Black Archives. It took some persuading, but Dr. Williams fell in love with the space that is located in the 18th and Vine District in Kansas City, MO.
Melodee Colbert-Kean served 7 years as a Joplin Mo, city council member, including 2 years as mayor during the recovery period of the 2011 Joplin tornado. During her 14 years as a history-making elected public servant, she has given her time, dedication, and focus to her Joplin community, and traveled the world sharing best practices and insight she gained from helping lead Joplin through a crisis.
Melodee also serves as a board member for numerous organizations, including the Boys and Girls Club of SW Mo., Connect 2 Culture, the Downtown Joplin Association, the Joplin Chamber of Commerce, and Missouri’s Women’s Council. She is often a panel guest contributor or speaker for many events seeking leadership, communication, business relationships, and empowerment experiences.
Having ‘retired” from her official capacity as a City of Joplin council member in June 2020, Melodee spends time running her restaurant Me’s Place, enjoying her family, co-hosting her FB Live show Colbert Connection, and working as a Realtor with Keller Williams.
Leslie Hughes is the Founder of Frizzy by Nature and host of Frizz Fest in St Louis.
Frizzy by Nature is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that encourages self-love and inspires confidence among women while hosting events and providing resources that support them on their journey. She advocates, “Spaces and environments are created where black women and black people feel safe, seen, and celebrated as their natural selves.” Ms. Hughes is born and raised in St. Louis, MO.
She also advocates the importance of mental, physical, and emotional well-being. Under the direction of Leslie Hughes Frizz Fest, a natural beauty festival is hosted annually at Tower Grove Park in St Louis Missouri. 2022 marked the 5th year of the festival.
Leslie states. “Being able to impact and support the community in which I live and love so dearly, is such an amazing feeling. Black women deserve to feel safe, seen, and celebrated and it’s my mission to create those spaces and aid in providing resources that do just that.”
Seating is limited at Timmons Hall. If you missed the January registration, the event will be streamed on SGF City View.
Go to: https://livestream.com/sgfcityview/freedomclassroom101
Freedom Classroom 101 Meet & Greet Mixer will be held at Drury University, Judy Thompson Executive Conference Center located on Drury Lane and Bob Barker Boulevard, Springfield, MO from 5:30 -7:30 pm Admission is free.
Timmons Hall, formerly known as Timmons Temple, officially opened to the public in 2019 following relocation to the park in 2015 and four years of restoration work managed by Friends of Timmons Temple. The former church now serves as an event facility offering historical, cultural, and educational opportunities. It is owned and operated by the Park Board and under the direction of Christine Peoples, Coordinator of Timmons Hall.