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It’s the last day of Women’s History Month and we aren’t letting COVID-19 stop us from celebrating amazing women contributing great things to our city. We took nominations from our readers to find our second cohort of Future History Makers. Meet the ladies. 

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Randi Rossario Maples, 30

Entrepreneur, Author and Certified Life Coach Randirossario.com

Randi is the owner of Oh So Radio, a mobile app radio station based in metro Detroit. She also curates the My Self Care Box, a wellness brand that promotes self-care and natural skincare and owns Go Get Published, a publishing company that helps authors get their voices heard. 

 

How does your work impact the city's residents?

As a philanthropist and business owner, my work directly impacts the city of Detroit.  I’ve led fundraisers to help families during extremely hard times. From helping to bury a newborn baby to raising funds for a family that lost everything in a house fire, to directly working with schools to educate students on studio engineering and media training. My mission is to do my part to make Detroit a better place. 

 

What areas could Detroit improve on? 

I believe as a community, we could improve on revitalizing neighborhoods and businesses. As a resident of District 7, I’m ready to see what’s next and help make changes in that area. 

 

What makes you a future history maker? 

My love and passion for partnership with my execution skills make me a future history maker. Six years ago, I started a radio station with no college degree six years ago and have worked for myself ever since. 

 

What advice do you have for the little girls watching you? 

I’d tell anyone watching me to follow your dreams! No matter who tells you what you can’t do, if it’s in your heart...do it! I’m a graduate of Regina High School. My senior year of high school I told my guidance counselor that I wanted to be in radio and she told me “it takes someone special to get into media. Are you sure you don’t want to stick to nursing as a major?” I looked her directly in the eyes and said “I’m going to be a radio host and one day I’ll have you on my show.” I used that as fuel to execute my goals. Never let anyone talk you out of their dreams because they didn’t have the courage to believe in their own. 

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Vanessa McKenzie, 27

Registered Nurse in a Labor and Delivery Unit and Midwife Student at Wayne State University

Blogger, Your Lady Biz www.yourladybiz.com

 

How does your work impact the city's residents?

The first step to enact change is to educate. I feel that Your Lady Biz delivers this first step by providing enlightening, accessible content. I publish research-based blog posts on topics that are not really discussed in our communities. Your Lady Biz also curates resourceful events filled with information, fun, and services that are open to the city. The events are focused on different topics that are not frequently addressed, and facilitated with the hope that every woman leaves informed, equipped, and supported.

 

What areas could Detroit improve on? 

As a resident, I feel that Detroit could improve upon bringing awareness to Detroit’s maternal and infant mortality dilemma. In 2014, it was reported that Detroit women were dying from pregnancy-related issues at a rate three times the national numbers; which is why we need to bring more knowledge and programs to the community to save our mothers.  

 

We also need more education and programs for teens and young women. We need to empower them to feel comfortable talking and asking about menstrual cycles, hormones, birth control, sex, etc. 

 

What makes you a future history maker?

I am one of the few women in my community to focus on this population and to talk about these topics among women in Detroit. Your Lady Biz was created to encourage and educate women to talk about topics that are deemed “inappropriate.” I want to change the narrative of “inappropriate” to “not talked about enough.” Your Lady Biz offers women a friend in their provider, making conversations and questions flow without fear of being judged or feeling embarrassed. By addressing these issues in our community, Your Lady Biz aims to bring Detroit one step closer to saving our expecting mothers and having well-informed, healthy women. 

 

What advice do you have for the little girls watching you? 

Don’t be afraid to fail. I have failed many times in my life, and I have taken the lessons that I learned from failing and come back 100 times stronger. Be your authentic self without fear of judgment and love yourself without limits. Live your dreams no matter how big they may seem to other people, they are yours, and you can achieve any and everything. Most importantly, you have a purpose in this world and do not stop trying until you feel that you have found your purpose. 

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Ja’Nye Hampton, 21
Certified Fitness Coach and Florist, Detroit Flower Co

How does your work impact the city's residents?

My work as a fitness coach impacts the residents of Detroit tremendously.  I coach at Vibe Ride Detroit and YMCA Detroit. My job as a coach is to push you beyond your limits and root for you like no other. My clients are always just as happy to see me as I am them! A lot of my clients have become good friends of mine and simply leaving my mark in helping someone better their life and their body is everything to me!

 

What areas could Detroit improve on? 

Detroit could improve on being there more for each other. A lot of the times in my own community I don’t see people gathering to help one another or simply keeping the community clean. I just feel like as people, we all need to do our part to make things better for everyone!

What makes you a future history maker?

I’m a future history maker because the passion and drive I have is like no other. I’m so young but I dedicate everyday to bettering myself or my craft in some way. I know that I do whatever it takes to reach the goals I set for myself, which are usually so high they don’t seem real. My hard work is unmatched and I don’t allow anything to stand in my way.


What advice do you have for the little girls watching you? 

The advice that I have for the little girls watching me is to always KEEP GOING. So many paths, so many times I feel like I don’t know what I want to do in my life - but I never stop I always keep going. My favorite quote is “What you create for you, no one can take from you.” I stand by that and I always apply it to my everyday life. I create my own happiness, I create my own streams of income. I just want you to keep pushing and don’t allow fear or obstacles knock you down. It will all be so worth it in the end!

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Krissy “The Butcher” Woodhouse, 31

Tattoo Artist, BloodlineDynasty.com

 

How does your work impact the city's residents?

My work impacts the city’s residents by marking a moment in time on their bodies for the rest of their lives. My tattoos are walking, living & breathing art. These tattoos serve as healing/memorials for loved ones who have passed, symbols of new life, and change into a new journey. My art stands the test of time & reflects Detroit’s culture since we all know that art imitates life. 

 

What areas could Detroit improve on? 

I think Detroit can improve on reworking the importance of the arts into the educational system. Art of all forms helps  children in their formative years. It helps direct their energy, focus and anxiety at times. It’s a form of self-expression and creativity that would benefit all children. 

For me, having art programs as a child helped me transition into a very successful tattoo career as an adult. 

 

What makes you a future history maker?

I am a future history maker because I am a role model for the Black, female creative everywhere. I am an example of what it looks like to not let the opinion of others deter you from your dreams. I move unapologetically & can stand next to any powerful man without backing down. 

I aim to lead any like-minded women who are ready to put the work in to change history with me. Life has also taught me to possess the right amount of humility to continue to learn from others as I continue in my leadership role. 

 

What advice do you have for the little girls watching you? 

The advice that I have for little girls watching me is to always pour love into yourself first before you pour into others. Give yourself the proper time to learn yourself and to make mistakes along the way. If you find a tribe of women that support you stick with them & confide in them often. Life can be tough out here for black women especially, so support each other. 

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Kiesha Jackson, 36

Founder and Executive Director of Caleb’s Kids www.calebskids.org

Caleb’s Kids is a nonprofit that provides a transformative educational experience for families focused on mental wellness through innovative program delivery.

 

How does your work impact the city's residents?

We provide tools, resources, educational materials, workshops, and other support for mental health awareness and suicide prevention. Our outreach equips youth with the necessary tools that will help them choose life. Since inception, we have provided life-changing workshops and materials to thousands of Detroit area youth and parents, provided scholarships to four graduating high school seniors, created an annual life skills summer program, and have participated and/or hosted numerous community health fairs, rallies, and mental health programs within the city.

 

What areas could Detroit improve on? 

Having the right exposure, experiences, and support during the adolescent years is a critical need in order to produce young adults that can live and thrive successfully. It is these years that are the foundation of life. It is important that we create more inclusive, inviting, and engaging spaces for adolescents to grow, learn, and prosper regardless of socioeconomic status.

 

What makes you a future history maker? 

I work tirelessly to create long-lasting programming that impacts my community directly. I address mental health stigma head-on and create safe spaces for youth and families to learn and discuss mental wellness in a fun, impactful, and engaging way.

 

What advice do you have for the little girls watching you? 

The road to success will have bumps along the way. Never give up on your dreams. Never give up on your goals. Do not allow a ‘no’ to deter you. All it takes is one ‘yes,’ the right ‘yes,’ that can make all of your dreams come true. Just remember to ‘do the work,’ do not compromise your self-respect, be true to yourself, and command the life that you want to live.  I wouldn’t use the single quote marks in this case, since this is the person’s statement/comments.  

 

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Nakia R. Wallace, 23

Community Engagement Coordinator for Brilliant Detroit

 

How does your work impact the city's residents?

Providing services to families in the pillars of health, education, and family support makes the difference between thriving communities and dismantled communities. Providing activities, classes, and resources to families in every neighborhood helps Detroiters have a stable reliable center to turn to in their own neighborhoods.

 

What areas could Detroit improve on? 

Detroit has a deep disconnect between its deeply impoverished, children, and homeless population and a great deal of the decision makers in the city. Measures need to be put in place to protect against the dislocation of these people and ensure they are positively impacted by any new development of funds in the city. 

 

What makes you a future history maker? 

I am a future history maker because I am committed to ensuring Detroiters and Detroit's children and most vulnerable populations are given access to any and every resource and opportunity necessary for a healthy and full life. 

 

What advice do you have for the little girls watching you? 

To any girls watching me, I would tell them to trust in themselves, to always be an advocate for their own communities regardless of the challenges that brings, to not be afraid to reach out to people they admire and to never be ashamed of who they are and where they come from because it is what makes them the most-fierce advocates. 

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Valaurian Carter, 31

Co-owner and Founder of Fresh Corner Café www.freshcornercafe.com, www.picvwdetroit.com 

Fresh Corner Café is a small non-profit that works to increase access to healthy food options in the city of Detroit and its surrounding areas. Carter is also a professional photographer and photojournalist. 

 

How does your work impact the city's residents? 

Fresh Corner’s main mission is to increase access to good, healthy food options. Since 2012 we have worked extensively in 3 counties of southeast Michigan, over 10 neighborhoods, and 87 different sites (between party stores, gas stations, schools, and community centers) transforming them into fresh food access hubs by either selling prepared meals to the qualified retail locations or setting up food fresh markets. 

 

What areas could Detroit improve on? 

Let me start by saying that I love my city, but to love something is to do so because of the good, and despite the bad or ugly. Detroit has made many strides in the last 10 years but it has a long way to go. This includes equitable development outside of Downtown Detroit/Midtown, reliable regional transportation, affordable housing, and good food access. 

 

What makes you a future history maker?

I got to this place by way of a long, winding and random course of events.  But it is a journey I’m thankful for nonetheless. My educational background in Sociology (or it could be the fact that I’m the middle child, born & raised on the east side) has shaped my view of the world. I want to live in a world that is just, fair and equitable – but that’s clearly not happening any time soon. Instead, I work toward being at least a small part of the solution. I wake up every day and navigate my life as a small business owner and the quagmires that self-employment entails. Every day is something new, good or bad, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned it is that the difference between success and failure is simply deciding to keep moving forward.  So that’s what I do. I choose it, much like it chose me. For that reason, I feel I am on my chosen path to make history 

 

What advice do you have for the little girls watching you? 

Life is a series of winding roads, and it's ok to not follow the proverbial GPS sometimes. I'm a firm believer in following your own path--with passion, persistence, and preparedness of course--but realizing that it's okay if your life doesn't look like everyone else around you. Being unsure and uncomfortable is when the most growth usually happens, so push yourself to dream bigger, think bigger and live bigger. 

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Bree Bettis, 24

Founder of The Pink List, a nonprofit organization looking to help families with breast cancer. thepinklist.org 

 

How does your work impact the city's residents?

The Pink List was made for the people of Detroit. Not only do we make it our goal to provide our community with breast cancer education, whether that’s through social events or social media, we also strive to assist students who have been affected by breast cancer. I know a few college students who either had to drop out, take a semester off, or move back home in order to support their household because a family member was diagnosed of breast cancer. Although it’s great that they were able to assist their families, it also created unique problems for them. That’s what inspired me to start the Patricia Ragin Memorial Scholarship, an annual $1,000 scholarship for a college student impacted by breast cancer. 

 

What areas could Detroit improve on? 

We can improve on homeless problem. I would love to see more shelters and efforts made for our homeless population, specifically downtown Detroit. 

 

What makes you a future history maker? 

My main goal is to the further the conversation of breast cancer with people that look like me. If I can bridge the gap between breast cancer education and millennials, then I would call myself a history maker. 

 

What advice do you have for the little girls watching you? 

Don’t compare yourself to the next person. I think where people often lose sight on their goal and get a little sidetrack is when they start to compare their progress to others. Everyone has a different path to take, so focus on yours and you got it. 

 

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Queer Queenz of Detroit (DJ LixXer, Joei Redd, DJ Three Thirteen) 

Performance Collective Focused on LGBTQ Equity

 

How does your work impact the city's residents?

We provide upscale events to the LGBTQ community while also providing a safe space for LGBTQ youth to grow and become a part of the Detroit culture using our individual connections. One thing for sure that the City is missing is a haven for LGBTQ social events and gatherings located in one safe centralized location for the residents of Detroit. The Queer Queenz podcast brings a more in depth look into the thoughts and Ideas of LGBTQ members and offers others the opportunity to voice their thoughts and concerns as well for greater insight and understanding of the culture.

 

What areas could Detroit improve on? 

We love our city and we are here to bring the big city mentality to the LGBTQ community through events and social building. Detroit could Improve on allowing more inclusivity for younger LGBTQ+ members of Detroit. They really don't have a voice and that is something that we're focusing on in our group.

 

What makes you a future history maker? 

The Queer Queenz of Detroit are future history makers because our contributions to the city of Detroit and its minority demographic within this community will lay the foundation to help us catapult our people to a more safe, stable and accepting environment, through healthy entertainment and social engagement. We will also be opening Detroit's very first deluxe LGBTQ + nightclub downtown in the near future. Bridging the gap between upscale venues and the LGTBQ community, this will serve as a safe haven for the residents as well as an LGBTQ staple in the city for tourists and visitors of Detroit.

 

What advice do you have for the little girls watching you? 

The advice we have for any little girls watching us would be to always be 100 percent, be yourselves. Being you is the most unique thing in this world. Remember life will have its challenges so If and when you find defeat at your door - adjust your crown and keep at it Queen!