2019 “Honoring Local Heroes: Changing Tomorrow Today”

Honoring Local Heroes

Let’s celebrate our local heroes! For the 8th year the Torch of Wisdom Foundation, Inc. has presented the “Black No-Tie” affair to recognize those who have worked to improve communities in southeast Michigan in the areas of Scholarship, Cultural Arts, and Community Enrichment. Meet this year’s honorees, network with other the SE leaders and enjoy the beautiful views at the Southfield Skyline Club as we celebrate the good work of our local heroes.

We are proud to announce our Icon Honoree is Mayor Kenson Siver, City of Southfield.

Announcing our 2019 Nominees:

Community Enrichment

Alisha Bell

Alisha Bell, Wayne County Commission

We are excited to honor Mrs. Alisha Bell in our community enrichment category for her work as the chair of the Wayne County Commission and Belle of the Ball. She was first elected to the Commission in November 2002 as the youngest African-American woman to serve on a county commission in the country, and is serving her ninth two-year term. She also served for nine months in 2000, succeeding her mother, who had served since 1991. In 2016, she was elected president of the National Association of Black County Officials (NABCO).

In 2008 County Commissioner Bell founded her annual Belle of the Ball event which gives free prom dresses to girls in need. Annually hundreds of girls receive dresses, “Every girl dreams of attending her prom and for our team to help make that happen, it’s a feeling we enjoy sharing every year.”

Damion Ellis

Damion Ellis, Soulcial Scene

We are excited to honor Damion Ellis in our community enrichment category for his activism work and founding of Soulcial Scene. Damion Ellis discovered a way to combine his love for the finance industry, his dream of entrepreneurship and his passion for community activism, into a unique entrepreneurial endeavor that’s positioned to help Black-owned businesses attract additional revenue with his new company, the Soulcial Scene. He launched the Soulcial Scene with a group of young Detroiters in 2016, which is an event planning and advertising company that uses social events to bring visibility and awareness to Black owned businesses around the country. Damion is a community activist who strongly advocates for an increase in job opportunities for Detroiters, as well as an increase in government contracts for Black contractors. He also currently serves as the Director of Operations for Gayanga Co., which is the largest Black owned demolition company in Detroit.

Cultural Arts

Kimmie Horne

Kimmie Horne, International Musician

We are excited to honor Kimmie Horne in our cultural arts category for her musical talents and contributions. Kimmie Horne is an International Jazz Vocalist, model, and actress. She is a native Detroiter, descendant of the legendary songstress and actor Lena Horne, and niece of the late great singer/songwriter Cleveland Horne of the “Fantastic Four.” Kimmie has left her mark in areas around the world, including, Detroit, Chicago, Las Vegas, Atlantic City, LA, San Francisco, Jamaica, Ontario, Toronto, Puerto Rico, London, Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, and more. In addition to live performances, Kimmie touts her “High Standards,” “Loving This Jazz,” and “Live in Las Vegas” CD’s. Horne’s 2018 release of her new video, “As Long as I Live,” viewed by thousands, has received critical praise. Her songs, “I Hope You Dance,” and special arrangement of, “I Will Survive,” demonstrate her blend of talent and sophistication.

Kimmie continues to expand her talents. Having launched her self-titled “Kimmie Honre Jazz Festival,” in 2016; this event has spun into a dynamic all-star musical line-up, and contributor of major charitable donations. The festival has established a relationship with, and is a supporter of, The Ronald McDonald House of Detroit organization, benefiting sick children and their families. The festival is preparing to expand nationally and internationally.

Jocelyn Rainey

Jocelyn Rainey, Finding Mona Lisa 313 Project

We are excited to honor Jocelyn Rainey in our cultural arts category for her artistry and work with her organization, Finding Mona Lisa. Rainey’s work may be found in many public and private collections including: Blue Cross/ Blue Shield of Michigan, TFC Convention Center, Coleman A. Young Municipal Center, Detroit Police Department Headquarters, Comerica Park, Detroit Children’s Museum, and Detroit Public Schools.

As a gallerist, Jocelyn Rainey owned and operated a successful gallery for over 12 years in Detroit’s Eastern Market, introducing new emerging artists as well as established local and national artists to the Detroit art community. As an art activist and educator and a TEDX Fellow she broadened her perspective into the community to affect a change of vista for young people. It began with her taking her art history students on a field trip to Paris to find the Mona Lisa. Her passion for cultivating and mentoring global scholars has led her and over 50 students and their families on excursions around the world to places like Egypt, Spain, China, Japan, Costa Rica, Cuba and South Africa. As she embarks on her next journey to Australia, Jocelyn has been hard at work on documenting these experiences. In 2015 she released “Finding Mona Lisa 313”, a documentary capturing five of the trips, along with the recollections and memories of the students whose lives were forever changed as a result of their exposure to cultures throughout the globe. She is the little engine that could, a visionary and pioneer with a laser focus on enriching her community and making a powerful impact on our people.


Glenn McIntosh

Glenn McIntosh, A-Game Movement

We are excited to honor Glenn McIntosh in our scholarship category for his work with Oakland University and within the A-Game Movement. The career of Glenn McIntosh is filled with pioneering experiences. He currently holds the dual role of vice president for student affairs and chief diversity officer at Oakland University (Rochester, Michigan). In August 2017, his appointment to this position made him the first person at a major university to hold such a unique role. He provides visionary strategic leadership for one of the largest divisions on campus with more 21 departments and 800 professional and student staff. He also serves as the co-chair of the Oakland University and City of Pontiac Partnership Initiative. He has successfully led many campus capital projects including the construction of two residence halls, an outdoor recreation and athletic facility, and expansion of the student union. Additionally, he led the establishment of the Gender and Sexuality Center and the Veterans Support Services Office.

He is the founder of A-Game Movement a life cycle management coaching system that results in positive outcomes in academic, career, relationships, financial, fitness, and athletic competition performances. As one of the world’s most premier human performance experts, his fascinating life journey has led him to integrate experiences as an impoverished overweight youth, champion athlete, mental health counselor, strength coach, and college administrator. An avid bodybuilder and holder of a number of bodybuilding titles, including Mr. Michigan and Mr. Ironman, he has shared his knowledge of determination, discipline, strength conditioning and nutrition with countless audiences across North America.

Brittany Rhodes

Brittany Rhodes, BlackGirlMathGic

We are excited to honor Mrs. Brittany Rhodes in our scholarship category for her work with her company BlackGirlMathGic. Passionate about helping children, especially black children, strengthen their math skills and confidence, Brittany Rhodes is the founder of Black Girl MATHgic. The Black Girl MATHgic Box is the first and only subscription box designed to increase math confidence and decrease math anxiety in girls on a 3rd-8th grade math level. Brittany is a proud native Detroiter and strong advocate for the city’s resurgence. Prior to founding Black Girl MATHgic, she spent six years working in Detroit’s nonprofit sector. Most recently, she was the Director of Community Engagement at the Belle Isle Conservancy through the Detroit Revitalization Fellows program. In addition to building Black Girl MATHgic, Brittany serves as Academic Staff/Math Tutor at the Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program, Co-Chair of the Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) Alumni Advisory Council and Board Member for the Detroit Food Academy and The Connection Network.