Bold + Brilliant = Badass:  Now What?

November 16, 2020


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Maud Arnold is a tap dancer, entrepreneur, writer, director and philanthropist. Maud Arnold is a founding member of the viral female-tap band Syncopated Ladies and has performed all over the world and in film and television.  Maud’s Television Credits Include: BET Experience: 106 and Park, The Late Late Show With James Corden, HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, Switched at Birth, Secret Talents of the Stars as a featured dancer with Mya, The Today Show and Syncopated Ladies winning Season 11 of FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance: Dance Crew Battle. Maud can be seen in national commercials and print ads for Toyota, GAP and CANTU and has worked with Beyoncé on several commercials and music videos. 

 Maud holds a degree In Film Studies from Columbia University. She oversees The Chloe and Maud Productions and The Chloe and Maud Foundation a 501(c)3. Their many entities including their clothing lines: I LOVE TAP and UniLove as well as their tap dance workshops and after school programs. Most recently, Maud had her directorial debut co-directing with long time friend Condola Rashad on her Space Daughter music videos.

Marcy Pusey is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, Certified Trauma Practitioner-Clinical, best-selling author, international speaker, wife, and mommy. Since 2000, Marcy has worked with children, adolescents, families, and couples through private practices, group homes, foster family agencies, community-based services, wrap-around programs, and workshop trainings.


She loves the smiles and giggles of kids who see themselves in her pages and the tearful nods of adults who realize they’re not alone by her words. Marcy is the best-selling While We Slept: Finding Hope and Healing After Homicide, Reclaiming Hope: Overcoming the Challenges of Parenting Foster and Adopted Children, and Parenting Children of Trauma: The Foster-Adoption Guide to Attachment Disorder for adults, and a number of books for children. 


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Dr. Cheryl Wood is the CEO of VOCALIZE Women Speakers Academy, an international empowerment speaker, 11x best-selling author, and leadership expert.  

Dr. Wood has been featured on ABC, Radio One, Forbes Magazine, Huffington Post, ESSENCE, Black Enterprise, Rolling Out, Sheen Magazine, Good Morning Washington, Fox 5 News, Fox 45 News, The Washington Informer, The Baltimore Times, Afro-American Newspaper and numerous other media outlets.  She has delivered riveting keynote presentations for a host of organizations including NASA, The United Nations, the FBI, Verizon, United States Department of Defense, United States Department of Agriculture, National Association of Legal Professionals, Federally Employed Women, Women's Council of Realtors, Women in eDiscovery, Women in Public Finance, Blacks In Government and eWomenNetwork, to name a few.  Dr. Wood received her doctorate degree from Global Oved Dei Seminary and University.

Dr. O'Connor is the inaugural Director of the Center for Musculoskeletal Care at Yale School of Medicine and Yale-New Haven Health. The current Center focus is engaging employers in integrated musculoskeletal care programing to drive both clinical outcomes and value. The Center also is engaged in clinical research studies targeting biological therapies for musculoskeletal conditions.


She joined the staff at Mayo Clinic in Florida (MCF) and held numerous leadership roles including Chair of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery (MCF), Medical Director for Philanthropy (MCF), member of the Executive Operations Team (MCF) and Medical Director of the Office of Integrity and Compliance for Mayo Clinic.


 She is the Chair of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery Diversity Advisory Board and Chair of the Movement is Life Caucus, a multi-stakeholder group committed to decreasing musculoskeletal healthcare disparities.

Dr. Mary O'Connor


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Jody Kent Lavy (she/her) is the executive director of the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth (CFSY), and was the first staff person hired upon the organization’s founding in 2009.  Jody has prioritized engaging and elevating the leadership of those directly impacted by the justice system, and it is because of their contributions that the CFSY has made such significant progress.


Jody previously served as public policy coordinator for the ACLU National Prison Project

(NPP) where she focused on media relations and advocacy for prison reform in state legislatures and on Capitol Hill. Prior to joining the NPP, she spent three years monitoring conditions of confinement in the Los Angeles County jail—the largest jail in the free world—for the ACLU of Southern California. Her career in youth and criminal justice advocacy was inspired by her experience as a Jesuit Volunteer where she worked with children in the Los Angeles County juvenile halls.

Jody is married, and the mother of three children. She is also an avid sports fan

Stephanie Shabazz is a Peak Performance Strategist, Speaker, Serial Entrepreneur, and Talent Acquisition Consultant. An expert in teaching the art of manifestation and maximizing momentum, Mrs. Shabazz travels frequently to speak on the topics of leadership development, diversity & inclusion, entrepreneurship, mindset productivity, and personal transformation. She has brought her leadership and expertise to several Fortune 500 corporations including Goldman Sachs, Ernst & Young and Microsoft, as well many non-profit organizations and governmental entities based both domestically and abroad. 

Currently, Mrs. Shabazz regularly conducts workshops and trainings on personal empowerment, leadership development, career strategy and entrepreneurial success for leaders and change-makers across the globe. She is a graduate of the University of Richmond, studied at Yale University and Northwestern University, and currently married to her best friend, and co-founder, Rashad. 


Bellydancers of Color Collective (BOCC) was founded in 2017 by Adina Gittens-Smith and Leila Rosado Nelson to celebrate and restore the dance lineage of bellydancers throughout the diaspora of African people—to connect and honor the artistic human experience, strength and beauty of people of color through the art of bellydance, drum, and other traditional dance forms. We believe in shaping the lives of people through dance, especially helping women embrace and love all of who they are—physically, mentally and spiritually.

Bellydancing is considered to be the oldest form of dance by many historical experts, and roots of the dance have been traced to Africa. BOCC seeks to collaborate and connect dancers of color throughout the world – shifting the story of the dance and connecting back to its source.
In 2004, Adina and Leila were introduced to the sacred art of bellydance in Washington, DC at MamaSita Dance & Wellness Studio. Under the tutelage of Dr. Sunyatta Amen and Sharhira Jones, they fully embraced the joy, passion, technique, acceptance, and feminine power of Afro-Caribbean Fusion bellydance. Adina and Leila were certified in Bellydance Instruction in 2014 by Dr. Sunyatta Amen.

Bellydancers of Color Collective

Shakir McDonald, “The Queen Bee” is an educator, entrepreneur, author, parenting and education expert and the founder of The B.E.E. Academy and The B.E.E. Kid’s Box. The B.E.E. model developed by Shakir is a dynamic program and product model combining nearly 20 years of supplemental educational programming with social emotional learning and character formation for youth success.


Shakir is at the forefront of advocacy and advancing youth development and the creator of the “Regenerative Parenting Paradigm” and has been recognized locally and nationally for her advances in educational excellence. Mrs. McDonald is dedicated to the mission of equipping parents with tools to ensure that they can raise Brilliant, Educated and Empowered children through education, advocacy, character and skills building. Mrs. McDonald uses her platforms to share dynamic programs, tools and solutions for the advancement of today's youth.

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