William Bryant Rozier

New School Year…Now the Work: The Expanded Boys and Girls Club

Included in the renovation checklist for the upgraded Boys and Girls Club facility that opened on April 17, 2019 at 2606 Fairfield Ave., the cool factor was unashamedly a priority for President and CEO Joe Jordan. The ideas on paper for the new facility, built with funds from corporate and individual support (an amount that exceeded their $8.3 million goal in 11 months), had to align with the program flow of the club, but, also…had to have a contemporary feel.

William Bryant Rozier
New School Year…Now the Work: The Expanded Boys and Girls Club

“We Made It Stronger for Fort Wayne”: The Build Institute for Minority Entrepreneurs

By almost all of their measurables (knock on wood), the Build Institute Fort Wayne program is in the mission accomplished so far phase of its story. When a group of 25 select Fort Wayne representatives toured Detroit last year, to glean how the city revitalized itself, one of the bring-back ideas was the Build Institute, the Motor City’s initiative that targets minority entrepreneurs, bolstering their early ambitions with necessary tools.

“We Made It Stronger for Fort Wayne”: The Build Institute for Minority Entrepreneurs

South Bend Code School in Fort Wayne: Now Enrolling

Black children are coding, writing and designing beautiful computer science language. But not many. Alexandra (Alex) Sejdinaj, co-founder of the South Bend Code School (SBCS), can testify to that, can show the class pictures.

South Bend Code School in Fort Wayne: Now Enrolling

Gospel Singer Darius Darling Wins Twice at the Rhythm of Gospel Awards

Story serves as the debut collaboration between Rhythm & Praise 90.3 HD2 & the FWIS

Gospel singer Darius Darling’s first single, “His Words Say I Can,” took an astounding eight months to complete. “It was a love project for sure,” he said. He was finding the right singers and musicians for the track that he penned himself. “I wanted to make sure I had the right vocals, to be quite honest, for myself.” The result was a very solid single that set a foundation for “where I was looking to go as an artist.”

Gospel Singer Darius Darling Wins Twice at the Rhythm of Gospel Awards

A Class Entrepreneur Act: Remembering “Charlie Bob” Wallace (1930 – 2019)

Our little community lost another Fort Wayne GIANT when entrepreneur Charlie “Charlie Bob” Wallace passed away on June 23, 2019, after a massive heart attack (see page 10 for his obituary). The Fort Wayne Ink Spot sat down with one of his sons, Clifton Wallace, who was featured in last year’s all-education issue of the FWIS. He spoke at-length about his father

Clifton Wallace: My dad had an incredible work ethic; he used to work for the railroad track. He never let anyone deny him on what he could do. Him and my mother, Delories Dell Wallace, were a dynamic duo when it came to entrepreneurism; they broke his mold. I have to include my mother in this.

A Class Entrepreneur Act: Remembering “Charlie Bob” Wallace (1930 – 2019)

Life After Guillain-Barré Syndrome: Tyhria Williams and Her Slower Run

On February 11, 2019, Tyhria “Ty” Williams was getting ready for her shift at the Rescue Mission’s Charis House, a shelter for women and children who’ve experienced homelessness, when the rare Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) hit her.

Life After Guillain-Barré Syndrome: Tyhria Williams and Her Slower Run

The Champ is There: Artist Nik Ridley, Fort Wayne’s Own, Creates from Arizona

Artist Nik Ridley is a 45-year-old father of five. The grey in his beard is good for business; folks want to collaborate with experience. He’s from Fort Wayne (most of the Ridleys we profile in the Ink Spot are), lived in Colorado for 17 years, but has spent the last two years in Arizona, a move the professional, full-time fine artist (painting, entrepreneurship) couldn’t pass up. “I had to go where the watering hole was,” Ridley said. “We are transient by nature.” A nice paycheck is cool but opportunities for multiple revenue streams will feed you for the rest of the year. Ridley found those ways.

The Champ is There: Artist Nik Ridley, Fort Wayne’s Own, Creates from Arizona

An Oral History of the Pontiac Branch Library: The Warsaw Street Years (1981-2004)

Starring Former Branch Manager Condra Ridley & Former Branch Assistant Manager Tyrone Cato

In the Beginning
Condra Ridley, Former Pontiac Branch Manager: The Pontiac Library opened on Oct 17, 1922 and was originally located across the street from Whitney Young. Pontiac was probably one of the first branches created.

An Oral History of the Pontiac Branch Library: The Warsaw Street Years (1981-2004)
William Bryant Rozier

Wrestlers Larresha & La’Rissa Bryant-Coleman, High Schoolers, Had an Exceptional Year Two

We’re going to start this story about two national-placing female high school wrestlers, a couple of years out from the youngest one graduating, who both get props for their character, on-and-off the mat, by letting their mom, who hears those compliments too, paint their THEY ARE HERE picture.

William Bryant Rozier
Wrestlers Larresha & La’Rissa Bryant-Coleman, High Schoolers, Had an Exceptional Year Two

Artist Theoplis Smith III, Phresh Laundry, Has More Fans, Some Problems, Still Dope

Artist Theoplis Smith III, aka Phresh Laundry, 37, took a prolonged drink from a tall glass of water; he had been gasping, holding his chest, like he’d been running, but all he was doing was talking about his art. When Smith gets going like that, he said, he should be painting, to “have a place to put it.”

Artist Theoplis Smith III, Phresh Laundry,  Has More Fans, Some Problems, Still Dope

130 Businesses/Vendors in One Place is Our Strength: Black Business Showcase Convention, April 14, 2019

Tunnel Vision Entertainment’s yearly nonprofit initiatives have included turkey drives that distributed 300 birds and back to school (bag) giveaways for up to 500 students. In the story of the school bags, Tunnel Vision owner and Fort Wayne native Richard Phillips filled carts of pencils, pens, and pads at Walmart, aided by his children who were recruited to work.

130 Businesses/Vendors in One Place is Our Strength: Black Business Showcase Convention, April 14, 2019

Thurgood Marshall Leadership Academy Loses Charter, to Close June 2019

During an emergency meeting on December 11, 2018, held in Indianapolis, Indiana, the Indiana Charter School Board unanimously voted to end the charter for Fort Wayne’s own Thurgood Marshall Leadership Academy (TMLA), after only six years in existence.

Thurgood Marshall Leadership Academy Loses Charter, to Close June 2019

Hook a Friend Up: WeFAM’s Voucher Donation Program for FREE Hair Services

WeFAM, Inc. is a local 501(c)(3) that, according to founder and barber Juan Williams, “builds self esteem through grooming, etiquette, beauty, and barber services…in an attempt to mentor and motivate them to strive towards self improvement, education, and success.”

Hook a Friend Up: WeFAM’s Voucher Donation Program for FREE Hair Services