Takia "Tizzi" Green, Lyah Beth LeFlore, Walter Thurmond III, Shirley Leflore
Michael F. Thompson, Ph.d
Takia "Tizzi" Green
Bio “My secret to success is simple. Hard work, determination, living a spiritually centered life, and never allowing fear to block my mission to create and produce works that will change peoples lives,” says Producer Takia “Tizzi” Green. Green is now making her mark in the worlds of television, film, and music. Growing up in gang infested South Central Los Angeles can be equally challenging for young girls and her life could’ve very well taken a negative path, but thanks to music and a strong and supportive family, she has taken her talent from the ‘hood to Hollywood.
Lyah Beth LeFlore
is a National Bestselling Author & TV Producer. She’s written eight books, and one of today’s most talented and respected creative forces for over two decades. Her vast and unique background has covered the gamut of television, film, music, and literature. She’s been featured in The New York Times, Essence Magazine, Ebony, Jet, and Entertainment Weekly; also on CNN and BET.
Walter Thurmond III
Walter was born and raised in the Los Angeles area. He attended high school at West Covina where he lettered in football, basketball, and track and field. He received a scholarship to play football at the University of Oregon. He was a 4-year starter as cornerback and earned a degree in political science. In his senior year he injured his knee on the opening play against the California Golden Bears. After rehab, he was drafted in 2010 to the Seattle Seahawks. In the 2011 season, Thurmond would go on to start 2 games before suffering a broken leg against the Cleveland Browns.
Realizing football doesn’t last forever due to the nature of the game; he has pursued his true passion and started his own film production company, Get More Films. He’s Executive Produced a multitude of Films and Documentaries. His earliest work being a documentary on spoken word poetry and the power of words in “Word Warriors III”. Walter’s latest involvement in Films have been “Chapter and Verse” starring Daniel Beatty, Omari Hardwick, Loretta Devine, and directed by Jamal Joseph; “Destined” starring Cory Hardrict and directed by Qasim Basir; “It Snows All the Time” starring Brett Cullen, Taryn Manning, and directed by Jay Giannone.
Walter’s healthiest and most productive year in the NFL was the 2013 season, where he won the most prestigious award for team sports in the World, the Super Bowl.
Shirley Bradley LeFlore is a poet and performing artist who has been a leading figure in St. Louis’s literary scene for five decades.
She pioneered the St. Louis spoken word poetry movement, beginning in the 1960’s with her collaborations with the innovative musicians of the Black Artists Group (BAG). Considered the matriarch of St. Louis' lively poetry scene, LeFlore is a fifth generation Missourian whose poetry has been featured on stage, in film, in print and on recordings.
Her play, Songs of River Magic, was produced at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. in 1992, and her poetry formed the basis of Rivers of Women, which had two sold-out, four-day runs at the Missouri History Museum in 2013 and 2014. In the 1990’s she received writing grants from the Missouri Arts Council and produced the plays, Behavior as Theatre, for adolescents, and Deliverance, an early regional artwork centered on the AIDS/HIV crises. LeFlore has performed her poetry at iconic venues such as Carnegie Hall and the Nuyorican Poets Café in New York, and the River Styx at Duff’s Series in St. Louis. She has also performed at numerous universities, schools, churches, senior centers and homeless shelters. She is the rare poet whose ties to the community are so strong, she is often asked to preside or offer poems at weddings and funerals. After several years living in the New York metropolitan area in the 1990’s, her iconic readings established her professional reputation there as well
Michael F. Thompson, Ph.d
University of North Texas, Sociology, Faculty Member Assistant Professor (PhD 2011 Indiana University) Michael F. Thompson -conducts research on labor and socioeconomic policy, as well as contemporary social movements in collaboration with sociologists, political scientists and economic development professionals. My current projects focus on the political process and economic impact of minimum wage laws, the role of social capital in economic development, and the role and expectations of social movement participants.