Jasmine was born and raised on Columbus’s north side. She graduated from Northland high school where she played varsity football. She received a bachelor’s degree in history from Wake Forest University in North Carolina and a master’s degree from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.Since returning to Columbus she has coached football at Northland High School, helped register over 20,000 people to vote, and run for Columbus City Council. She has recently worked as a youth outreach specialist for the Huckleberry House and Policy Liaison for Policy Matters Ohio. She also serves as the Community Development Officer for the Community of Caring Development Foundation, the development arm of New Salem Baptist church, where she has attended since she was 4 years old.Jasmine Ayres has recently joined CoHear as Lead organizer, working to connect decisionmakers to everyday experts.
Ramáni Hunter is originally from Columbus, Ohio and is blessed to work in different capacities and venues. She is a graduate of Xavier University (Cincinnati, Ohio) with a Bachelor of Science concentration in Business Management.
Ramáni developed her passion for serving others while working in Volunteer Services with the City of Dublin. Her career continued as a Sports Administrator working at the University of Illinois (Champaign, Illinois). Ramáni decided to move closer to home to continue her education and continued Athletic career, with stints at the City of Columbus Recreation & Parks Department and Columbus City Schools.
Ramáni is the founder of the nonprofit organization, Kingdom Works where their mission is to empower generations through inspirational arts, education, and influential programming towards personal wellness, economic impact, and social change. The organization is most known for their production, Kingdom Image Awards, celebrating, educating, and developing of independent artists across the world. The awards recently celebrated its 7th year and continues to gain attraction by independent and national artist across the world.
She is also a 2017 Lincoln Theatre Incubation graduate and often serves as a Production/Stage Manager at the Lincoln Theatre.
Rita Fuller-Yates sits with Ramani Hunter to talk more about her life.
Julialynne Walker was born in Columbus, Ohio. She has over 30 years of experience working with public and private sector organizations - domestic and international - managing projects and providing strategic planning and guidance in the areas of social development, change management (gender, diversity and inclusion), public policy and the African Diaspora. I currently operate two entities: Africa and Diaspora Development Linkages, a management consulting firm, and Crossing Cultures Travel and Tours, a full service, online travel agency. My community activities include serving on the boards of the Columbus Landmarks Foundation and the James Preston Poindexter Foundation.
She is the daughter of Journalist Ann B Walker.
Al Edmondson is the president of the historic Mount Vernon District Improvement Association (MVDIA), founder and CEO of “Making a Difference”, owner of “ A Cut Above the Rest” barber shop, and a veteran of the United States Army. Serving in Operation Desert Storm, he and his united received a battle bronze star award. As a man of service, Edmondson uses his dedication to the Near East side of Columbus, Ohio to encourage revitalization initiatives. As a longtime resident of this community and proud graduate of East High School, he is committed to helping strengthen businesses and families in his community.
Purposely choosing to remain in the community in which he was raised, Edmondson established his business on 20th and Mount Vernon Avenue in Columbus, Ohio. During his tenure of 25yrs as a business owner, he has created a multiuse facility which houses a barbershop, a non-profit organization, and Health and wellness outreach center. As the Founder, President, and CEO of “Making A Difference”, Edmondson has dedicated his brand to servicing families and providing health services to families in franklin county.
Edmondson spearheads local community action committees to assist with the redevelopment and health and wellness programs of the Near East Side. In addition, he serves as an Ambassador for the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, Life Line of Ohio and Celebrate One as well as memberships on several boards and committees locally.
In 2013-2015, Edmondson established the first King/Lincoln Memorial parade and events honoring and remembering African Americans for their services in the armed forces. In 2014 Al was invited to the white house by way of Congress Woman Joyce Beatty to attend the My Brother’s Keeper announcement with President Obama for his outstanding community service. In 2016 Al was the youngest African American inducted in to the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame for his service to country and community. He has received the Jefferson Award and a number of awards locally and nationally for his service to central Ohio.
Edmondson has been married to his bride Kim for over 25 years and to their union they have two sons, Cameron and Andre. He attributes his success to God and the favor that has been bestowed upon him.
Rita Fuller-Yates sits with Al Edmondson to talk more about his life.
Scott Woods was born in Louisiana and moved to Columbus, Ohio at the age of 1. He attended High school at CAHS and Wehrle High School. where he graduated in 1989. He is an Emmy award-winning writer and event organizer in Columbus, Ohio. Woods is the author of Urban Contemporary History Month (2016), We Over Here Now (2013) and Prince and Little Weird Black Boy Gods(2017). He has been featured multiple times in national press, including appearances on National Public Radio.
Scott Woods is the founder of Streetlight Guild, a performing arts non-profit. He is a 2018 Columbus Foundation Spirit of Columbus Award recipient, as well as the Greater Columbus Arts Council winner of the 2017 Columbus Makes Art Excellence Award for his event series “Holler: 31 Days of Columbus Black Art", and was named the first-ever “Face of Columbus” by Columbus Alive.
He is the co-founder of the Writers’ Block Poetry Night and in 2006 became the first poet to ever complete a 24-hour solo poetry reading…a feat he bested seven more times without repeating a single poem.
Kerry Charles is a weeknight anchor for NBC4. He joined the station after working as an anchor/reporter in Atlanta. Prior to that, he spent seven years as a morning anchor in Greensboro, N.C. Kerry has also worked as a reporter and/or producer in Shreveport, LA, Cincinnati, and here in Columbus.
Central Ohio is home for Kerry. He attended Columbus City Schools, and graduated from Linden-McKinley High School. He went on to earn a communication degree from the University of Cincinnati.
Kerry’s interest in broadcasting started at an early age. While attending Crestview Middle School, he became a host for Kids Sundae. The weekly radio program aired at WCBE 90.5FM. He was also a young anchor and reporter for the Kids News Network, which aired Saturday mornings in Columbus.
In his years away from home, Kerry covered all sorts of stories. He followed two viewers to the Bahamas to check on their families and childhood homes following Hurricane Dorian. Kerry has covered a presidential debate and three national political conventions. He anchored special coverage live on the scene at the Charleston church shootings, the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs & Freedom and at Super Bowl LIII. During the grand opening of Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, Kerry interviewed a number of entertainment icons.
Kerry believes in giving back to the community. He helped start an ongoing effort to give kids free haircuts, lunches, grooming lessons and access to financial literacy workshops. He engages in service projects through memberships with Phi Beta Sigma, as well as the National Association of Black Journalists.
An Emmy Award winner, Kerry is a member of the Morehouse College MLK College of Ministers and Laity (2018). The honorary college honors professionals who, in part, use their platform to better the lives of others. In 2014, the University of Cincinnati named him a Communication Alumni Champion.
You can watch Kerry weeknights on NBC4
Rita Fuller-Yates sits with Kerry Charles to talk more about his life.
Don Payne was born in Columbus, Ohio is is a devoted husband, father, son, friend, and volunteer. All of these life experiences make him uniquely qualified to have been the realtor of choice for home buyers and sellers since 1979.
The key to Don's success for more than 25 years has been his willingness to take the time to get to know his clients and to understand how their housing situation can best help them meet their personal visions.
Don has used his real estate expertise and relationship-building skills to help people in all walks of life realize their homeownership goals. He has reached out to single individuals, first-time homebuyers, new families, single parents, and well-established homeowners in a broad spectrum of pricing ranges, throughout their desired market areas.
Don has a sincere passion for knowing that, at the end of the day, his strategy has been to provide his clients with a caring, concerned partner in helping them achieve their unique life visions.
Rita Fuller-Yates sits with Don Payne Sr. to talk more about his life.
Reita Smith was born in Columbus, Ohio where she and her family lived on South 22nd Street. She is the 4th daughter of Guy and Vivian Bynum.
The Bynum family moved to the Hilltop in the early 1940's. She attended John Burroughs Elementary School and West Jr and High Schools. Reita is a mother of Three children and Grandmother of Seven and also a Grandmother of Twelve!
Her spiritual growth began at Oakley Baptist Church under the guidance of Rev Ashburn Sr. She is currently an active member of Second Community Church and serves as the Community Historian for the Church.
Reita's career has been filled with a wide range of accomplishments. Her career began during the Civil Rights era. The NAACP and the National Urban League recognized her pioneer spirit by assisting her in becoming an African American who could cross the segrigated barriers of the times, Specifically in the Banking Industry at the City National Bank. Reita Smith's long career in Public Service began in State government at the Ohio Bureau of Employment Services, Manpower Division, as the State Youth Coordinator.
Her passion for History began in 1980, when her Aunt Millie entrusted her with prized family memorabilia and documents. She became the beneficiary of the timeless family tradition of maintaining family documents and history for future generations.
In 2020 her family conducted their 100th Adams family reunion.
She serves as the family historian and Adams family reunion president were she continued to document community involvement and social justice concerns.
Reita Smith is a founding member of the James Preston Poindexter Foundation and serves as its Chair.
Reita Smith continues her work in the community and has worked to preserve the African American story in Columbus. In 2021 She was recognized for her efforts to preserve Black History by fellow Historian Rita Fuller-Yates. She, along with 2 others, received the "Columbus Pillar" award for outstanding History contributions to the city of Columbus.
Interview with Reita Smith
Discover Columbus' Rich African American History