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The modern renaissance person is finding a new life in old tools, arts, and modes of thought. The modern renaissance person is
experiencing a global period of growth in medicine, space travel, agriculture, and climate research. The modern renaissance person is becoming
an ally, an advocate, and an academic where and when it matters most. Renaissance is an amalgamation of talents, all born from
the minds of multi-talented individuals. That is what we seek to represent with our annual event: the outline of the “renaissance person”
as they have evolved in the landscape of the twenty-first century. We are calling on them to share their ideas.






THE SPEAKERS





MICHAEL MORGAN

Michael D. Morgan, J.D. began using narrative history as a method of advocating for neighborhood preservation and revitalization in the early 2000s. This work has taken many different forms in the years since. Morgan is the author of popular local history books, has designed and developed heritage tourism programs, serves as Curator of Cincinnati’s Brewing Heritage Trail, and teaches at the University of Cincinnati College of DAAP and the University of Cincinnati College of Law. He has also worked on and appeared in several documentary films. Morgan is a graduate of Ohio University and the University of Toledo College of Law.


ROMEL SIMS


Romel Sims plays music to tell stories through song. However, these stories become musical conversations with the people from the musicians to the audience, creating a social experience where everyone is invited to share. Black American Music (B.A.M.) is rooted in the black experience, but is open to everyone, and creates dialogue from musical moments to social movements. Sims uses the elements of music, community, and dialogue in B.A.M. to uplift black culture and the diversity of it.



DANIEL POSMIK


Daniel Posmik is a third year Economics and Data Analytics student at the University of Cincinnati. He is the proud founder and president of Neo Consulting: UC’s youngest social justice initiative. Their goal is to help historically marginalized small businesses in Cincinnati with pro-bono data analytics consulting. Why? Because they believe in making the power of data-driven decision-making available to those who were denied the privilege of education. Neo – the latin word for new – is the contribution to reinventing a fairer Cincinnati economy!





CRYSTAL BURTON


Born and raised in Cincinnati, this University of Cincinnati alumna returned to her hometown from New York City in 2017 after an unfortunate turn of events that ultimately led to an opportunity of a lifetime: to join the team that was to make history by opening the first medical marijuana dispensary in the city of Cincinnati. As a creative genius & operations expert, she has been integral in leading the Ohio market with the largest Black Owned MMJ dispensary, exceeding projections by $4 million and winning a national award within its first year of operations. Burton simultaneously co-founded DMC Capital, securing a $50 million backing for various projects domestically and internationally, guest lectured at the University of Cincinnati, and has been 1 of 16 women nationally to be backed by American Women in Science in 2020. As a wife and mother of two boys, she taps into her spirituality to see her through her daily tasks and looks forward to being able to use cannabis as a tool to give back to the communities that surround her and inspire all people to go after their aspirations in life.


DR. BRANDI ELLIOTT


Dr. Brandi Nicole Hutchins Elliott is a native of Cincinnati, OH. Currently, she serves as the Director of the Office of Ethnic Programs & Services (EPS). She is responsible for the implementation of programs and services that address the academic, social and cultural needs of a diverse student body. She also oversees the prestigious Darwin T. Turner Scholars Program. In addition, Dr. Elliott is an adjunct instructor in the College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services and is a certified diversity professional. Dr. Elliott began her career at the University of Cincinnati as a student in 1997. She obtained a Bachelor’s in Psychology in 2001 and a Master’s in Mental Health Counseling in 2004. One of Dr. Elliott’s greatest achievements was obtaining her Doctorate of Education in Urban Educational Leadership in 2009 before the age of 30. Dr. Elliott was a Student Orientation Leader (SOL) in 1999 and has held every position in EPS (student assistant, graduate assistant, program coordinator, assistant director, associate director, and director).Dr. Elliott is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She received the 1st Student Choice Staff Woman Award in 2007 based on her commitment to students. In her current role, she serves as the chair of the Student Affairs Equity and Inclusion Council and is a UC staff senator. She was accepted into 2011-12 UC Women's Leadership Development Program. She was named a 2011-2012 YWCA Rising Star and completed the YWCA Board Leadership Program where she is certified to serve on non-for-profit boards. Last but not least, she was named a 2020 YWCA Career Woman of Achievement. Within her work within student affairs, her work is guided by the statement of the late educator John D. O’Bryant, “If you are not here to serve the students, you are in the wrong place.”


MICHAEL COPPAGE


Originally, from Chicago, Michael Coppage has lived and worked in Cincinnati since 2007. Coppage has recently been featured in print and online after participating in the city of Cincinnati’s Black Lives Matter mural and for receiving hate mail for a controversial and provocative series entitled "American +" where he depicts white Americans as monkeys. His work addresses social norms rooted in bias and aims to bring subconscious bias to the forefront. He had a recent micro-residency at the Cincinnati Contemporary Art Center entitled “BLACK BOX” : a community impact project aimed at demystifying black men and creating authentic experiences that replaced bias and preconceived notions related to the term Black. Coppage earned a B.F.A in Sculpture from Memphis College of Art and an M.F.A in Studio Art from The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Primarily a conceptual artist, Coppage has spent a number of years painting. He utilizes an impasto technique called optical color mixing that does not require blending paint and instead focuses on “sculpting” color. He has traveled around the world extensively and has work in a number of private collections. In addition to his more personal works, Coppage has co-created a 501(c) 3 called PIECES where he works with adolescent psychiatric patients, high school students and adults who work with children to create large-scale portraits. To date over 400 images have been completed and exhibited around the country.





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