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Friday, October 6


Meet & Greet   |   7 - 11 PM

Gilded Club w/ DJ BellaJ

Saturday, October 7


Conference Sessions   |  10AM - 4PM

Crowne Plaza Hotel, Syracuse, New York

Welcome & Vision

Xenia D. Morris
Visionary and Founder

Xenia D. Morris is a leader, influencer, and mentor with over 20 years of executive administration experience. As the CEO of the PAM Firm, she is proud to lead one of the largest black-owned virtual assistance companies in California. She is the Founder of the Dream It, Build It Collective, a community of people of color supporting one another and making their dreams become a reality.  Xenia is a proud single mom of one beautiful daughter, Nicole, who has chosen to follow in her footsteps and become a business owner at the age of 25. She is native-born and raised in the Bay Area, and relocated to Southern California 5 years ago. She lives to walk in her purpose, inspiring, encouraging, and supporting her community because she realizes that it takes a village to walk in the call that God has placed on her life.



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SolHarmonie embodies the joyful blend of sun and sound, infusing spaces with light, color, and creativity. Rae Sunshine and Simone "Symphonie" Owens, masters of performance and artistry, unite as Sol and Harmonie. They invest in cities, nurturing vibrant arts communities and providing artists the freedom to flourish and enrich their communities.

The Conference Moderator


Sheena became part of the Gifford Foundation in 2007, rising to Executive Director in January 2019. Initially, she concentrated on broadening community impact projects and collaborating with grants management. She played a pivotal role in developing Nourishing Tomorrow’s Leaders, enhancing nonprofit board diversity. As Executive Director, she's unwaveringly dedicated to racial justice, equity, and inclusion. Sheena's zeal lies in nurturing others' growth, valuing patience and community understanding. She firmly advocates teaching self-sufficiency and embracing diversity as the path to robust, all-encompassing communities.


Session Speakers


Chanel Frias

Chanel is a graduate of Syracuse University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Social Work (BSW), and has a Master’s in Social Work (MSW) with a concentration on Children and Families from Clark Atlanta University. She is currently the owner of B&F Consulting and Therapeutic services, where she operates as an independent contractor and psychotherapist. Chanel is a lover of animals, enjoys yoga, and leisure reading. Chanel is a lifelong resident of Syracuse, New York

Arriell Mussi

Align and Arrive with Arriell, is a platform created to help transcend fears and to paradigm shift. To help lead people to their own truth without telling them who and what they have to be- the content helps each find their own way and helps them realize the true power that lies within to follow their dreams and become a deliberate creator. It was also designed to bring the community and people together. Blessings always.

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Melody Smith-Johnson

Melody R. Smith Johnson is a Central New York transplant from Harlem, New York. She is an ordained minister proud wife, mother, grandmother, social justice activist, philanthropist and tenacious servant leader dedicated to empowering women and uplifting communities of color.

As Founder & CEO of “The Initiative” a non-profit organization, she works to empower the dreams of young women of color through scholarships, mentorship and entrepreneurship coaching and since its founding in 2016, has awarded more than $85,000 in college scholarships to Black and Brown young women in the eastern US. She is a 20+ year HR professional having worked with businesses to create, develop and lead organization-wide initiatives that are culturally sensitive and designed to strategically position themselves as employers of choice in the marketplace.

Session Speakers

Tatiana Park

Tatiana Parker is a civic engagement enthusiast who helps connect people to information to elevate themselves and their communities. In her current role as Constituent Services Director for NYS Senator Rachel May (D48) Tatiana helps district residents navigate issues with New York State agencies and provides education about state government functions, services, and community resources.

Outside of work, Tatiana is a social entrepreneur and fierce advocate. She focuses on cultivating and preparing people for purpose through identity development, individual capacity building, resource sharing, fundraising, community education, mentoring, and community service. She is an alumna of Citizens Academy, Nourishing Tomorrow's Leaders, LeadUP CNY, and Leadership Greater Syracuse. Tatiana is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., the National Council of Negro Women, and Lambda Kappa Mu.

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Kanischa Miller is the Event Coordinator and Sales Person at The Communion, Wine + Spirits, and Winemaking Intern at Hosmer Winery.

“I believe in the healing power of good food and drink, music, and conversation. My greatest joy is bringing folks of all backgrounds together in pursuit of laughter, friendship, and cultural exchange. I am a Community Builder, Aspiring Farmer, and Global Citizen.”

Eden Strachan

Eden Strachan is a national award-winning journalist and filmmaker whose work has been published by CNN and NPR alike. Strachan has been practicing her craft for over ten years, and was awarded a full media scholarship to Ithaca College in recognition of her use of media for social change. Strachan also trained at several major media companies including CBS Television Studios, VICE, and the Emmys.

In addition to her media work, Strachan is the Author and Founder of Black Girls Don’t Get Love, a book and multimedia coming of age brand for girls of color. Strachan was recently offered a book deal to re-release the originally self-published book nationally. Strachan is also working to develop the Black Girls Don't Get Love book into a television series.

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Keynote Speaker 

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Daquetta P. Jones, BS, MSHSA Visionary

Community │ Leader Philanthropist│ Activist│ Connector│ Survivor│ Motivational Speaker│ Mentor│ Executive Coach│ DEIBJ Consultant│ Nonprofit Advisor

Daquetta P. Jones, BS, MSHSA, a Philanthropic Visionary and Community Leader, is an Activist, Connector, Survivor, and Executive Coach. She directed Equity & Inclusion Initiatives at the Community Foundation. As Co-Director of UAlbany’s Nonprofit Leadership Accelerator, she empowers change. Appointed President & CEO of Vera House, she champions ending abuse. With 20+ years in human services, Jones fights for Black Liberation, human rights, and equity. Awards adorn her journey, from ABR Women Who Mean Business to Capital Region Chamber's Women of Excellence. With determination, she's a living example of her mission: LIVE. GIVE. SERVE. LEAD. LOVE!

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24 Hr Business Center

Free Wifi

Free Airport Transportation


Parking (limited spaces)


Shared Microwave

Swimming Pool

ATM / banking

Accessible Bathroom

Assistive Listening Devices Available

Breakfast Available (surcharge)

Dry Cleaning / Laundry Service

Fitness Facilities 

Laundry Facilities

Snack Bar / Deli

Wheelchair Accessible (may have limitations)

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White Room


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