Cynthia Obleton, rooted in Oakland, California, and Tema, Ghana, is a dynamic entrepreneur and educator with a deep-seated passion for community upliftment. From a young age, Cynthia was immersed in business management, learning vital skills from her mother and overseeing family businesses during her teenage years. By 17, she was already operating her own beauty enterprise in Ghana, a venture she continued until her move to the United States in 2010.
Upon relocating, Cynthia recognized the disconnection between Africans living on the continent and those residing in the diaspora. Driven to bridge this divide, she founded Fawohodze, a platform designed to foster understanding and unity between Black Americans and Africans, both at home and abroad.
Armed with multiple Associate's degrees from Peralta College, Cynthia is currently pursuing her Bachelor's in Business Management. When not managing her salon or instructing at Laney College, she indulges in her diverse interests, including cooking, swimming, gardening, and yoga. An ardent traveler, Cynthia's ultimate joy is drawn from her cherished relationships with her family and clients, and the fulfilling work she undertakes to enhance the lives of others in her community.
Dr. Robyn Pearl is a licensed and practicing clinical psychologist who works with adults struggling from depression and anxiety. She also conducts evaluations for cognitive impairment and forensic risk assessment. For the past 18 years, in addition to being a supervising psychologist, she has provided individual and group psychotherapy services in a variety of settings including private practice, teaching hospitals, outpatient clinics and community family clinics. She is a graduate of Santa Clara University and The Wright Institute.
She believes people of all ages are resilient and innately driven to lead their best lives. Mental health and physical health are deeply entwined and everyone needs support to attain wellness. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, being in nature and practicing yoga as well as meditation.
Kwesi Wilson is a communication studies lecturer at Chabot College and College of Alameda, both in the San Francisco Bay Area in California.
Kwesi is also the founder and host of the Telling Tall Stories podcast, a platform dedicated to nudging content creators to use the work for social change. The podcast is subsumed into The Afrikan Trumpet blog, an online safe place for Africans on the continent and in the diaspora. Kwesi is also the founder and editor of The Afrikan Trumpet.
When not working, Kwesi is traveling the world learning about different cultures. He’s an avid reader and a denizen of the gym.
Francis Awortwe is a licensed, professional teacher who works with pupils struggling with basic concept in mathematics and integrated science. Driven by experienced in job area. He takes pride in providing the best teaching possible. As a professional teacher, his goals include helping pupils to understand concepts in subject’s area, bringing out hidden talent in pupils and helping pupils to choose future career. In addition to his primary job functions, Francis Awortwe has been recognized by Fawohodze organization for his extraordinary commitment to work. He is a graduate of University of Cape Coast. He believes pupils of all ages are capable of bringing out their hidden talent if guidelines and perfect teaching is given correctly. In his spare time, he rehearsed with his band towards impending program as well as writing songs for the band.
Piwai’s chilling vocals and hypnotic sound have been described as spiritual nirvana. A captivating performer, she bends genres to seamlessly flow from jazz, reggae or folk to pure African rhythms,
moving listeners to physically feel her music, creating a trance like rhythm that balances consciousness. Piwai wows audiences across the globe with her soulful voice and genre-fusing melodies. Fondly known as the girl with the African thumb piano, the mbira, Piwai was born and raised in Zimbabwe. Her love of music is influenced by her multicultural Southern Africa and gospel exposure in early childhood. Piwai has since been under the tutelage of maestros and the incomparable percussionist, Yagbe Onilu, and conguero, Butch Haynes. Piwai collaborates regularly with 3-time Grammy winning Fantastic Negrito, playing percussion on his 2017 Grammy Award winning album “Last Days of Oakland.”
Lakeyla Gardner is a license registered nurse with over 15 years of emergency room experience. She also has recently graduated with her advance nurse practitioner degree in the field of psychiatry. She currently uses her training and love for people to Educate Nurses and to advocate for her patients on mental health diseases while being treated in the ED. Lakeyla also enjoys volunteering at her local church outreach program in the community.
Emmanuel Ebhota here. I am a graduate from the School of Interactive Arts and Technology from Simon Fraser University in Canada. What drives me in life is creatively solving problems that many different communities face, so that I why I focused on UI and UX design. In my current position, I plan to use the skills I learned in school and real world experience to contribute positively to any community I can.