Blackness in STEAM

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Examine the importance of equitable, inclusive education and careers. Come learn the importance of uplifting Blackness in S.T.E.A.M. Recorded Join us THURSDAY, FEB 3, 12:00PM-1:30PM


Meet the Panelists:

Headshot of Dr. Olester Benson

Dr. Olester Benson is currently a Corporate Scientist in the 3M Corporate Research Process Laboratory. His career experience includes leading research efforts developing environmentally friendly manufacturing process technologies using 3M’s precision engineering infrastructure and high-energy radiation. He has applied these technologies to create products in the medical, personal safety, traffic safety, renewable energy, aerospace, home improvement, semiconductor processing, and electronic display industries.




Headshot of Gary Hines holding a drum

Gary D. Hines is the Music Director and Producer of the 3-time, Grammy Award-Winning Sounds of Blackness. Jazz, Blues, Spirituals, Rock & Roll, R&B, Gospel, Hip-hop & Soul -These are The Sounds of Blackness! They've performed for Kings, Queens, Presidents, Ambassadors at Concert Halls, Colleges, Schools, Corporations & Festivals all over the World. Sounds of Blackness appearances include The Olympics, The World Cup, Ryder's Cup, The NFL, NBA, MLB, The Grammy Awards, Denver Summit of 8, The NAACP National Convention and -The Super Bowl. Sounds of Blackness has appeared with Quincy Jones, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Kirk Franklin, Shirley Caesar, Yolanda Adams, Sting, Prince, Elton John, Maya Angelou, Usher, Harry Belafonte, Aloe Black, Common, John Legend & many more. Sounds of Blackness has won Image, Soul Train, International Time For Peace, Stellar and 3 Grammy Awards! Their Life-Changing Top 10 Single & Video “ROYALTY" was Nominated for 2 Stellar and 2 NAACP Image Awards! We Glorify God by Inspiring All People Through Black Music! “Gary has also conducted countless Music Workshops, Seminars, Lecture-Demonstrations and Master Classes across the United States and internationally about the history, impact and evolution of African-American music and culture.”




Headshot of Dr. Joyce Piert

Joyce Piert, Ph.D., (aka Dr. P), is an Educational Consultant and Passion Coach. As an Educational Consultant, she partners with organizations to support and strengthen families through African-Centered Curriculum development. She also is an experienced Passion Coach and provides her clients with life-enhancing skills through unique Meta Awareness modalities. As a community and intellectual activist, Dr. P has been instrumental in the creation of several businesses that address the academic and interpersonal needs of youth and young adults Dr. P is the author of several books: Alchemy of the Soul: An African Centered Education and Warrior Queen. She is committed to enhancing the life chances of children, youth and adults from urban communities. As well as an educator and mindfulness advocate, Dr. P is an author, painter, and poetess. However, most significantly she loves to play and believes that play is the key to learning!




Headshot of Gevonee Ford


Gevonee Ford is the Executive Director of Network for the Development of Children of African Descent (NdCAD) in Saint Paul, MN. NcCAD serves “children, families, and communities throughout the Twin Cities metropolitan area, offering a variety of literacy and cultural enrichment programs and services for children, youth, and adults."





Headshot of Jenessa White

Jenessa White is a Software Engineer at ConvertKit living in Minneapolis. She’s a professional athlete who loves listening to hot takes on tech, music, sports, and food. They are on the Minnestar board of directors, are active in the Twin Cities community, and believe technology can help create change.




Examine the importance of equitable, inclusive education and careers. Come learn the importance of uplifting Blackness in S.T.E.A.M. Recorded Join us THURSDAY, FEB 3, 12:00PM-1:30PM


Meet the Panelists:

Headshot of Dr. Olester Benson

Dr. Olester Benson is currently a Corporate Scientist in the 3M Corporate Research Process Laboratory. His career experience includes leading research efforts developing environmentally friendly manufacturing process technologies using 3M’s precision engineering infrastructure and high-energy radiation. He has applied these technologies to create products in the medical, personal safety, traffic safety, renewable energy, aerospace, home improvement, semiconductor processing, and electronic display industries.




Headshot of Gary Hines holding a drum

Gary D. Hines is the Music Director and Producer of the 3-time, Grammy Award-Winning Sounds of Blackness. Jazz, Blues, Spirituals, Rock & Roll, R&B, Gospel, Hip-hop & Soul -These are The Sounds of Blackness! They've performed for Kings, Queens, Presidents, Ambassadors at Concert Halls, Colleges, Schools, Corporations & Festivals all over the World. Sounds of Blackness appearances include The Olympics, The World Cup, Ryder's Cup, The NFL, NBA, MLB, The Grammy Awards, Denver Summit of 8, The NAACP National Convention and -The Super Bowl. Sounds of Blackness has appeared with Quincy Jones, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Kirk Franklin, Shirley Caesar, Yolanda Adams, Sting, Prince, Elton John, Maya Angelou, Usher, Harry Belafonte, Aloe Black, Common, John Legend & many more. Sounds of Blackness has won Image, Soul Train, International Time For Peace, Stellar and 3 Grammy Awards! Their Life-Changing Top 10 Single & Video “ROYALTY" was Nominated for 2 Stellar and 2 NAACP Image Awards! We Glorify God by Inspiring All People Through Black Music! “Gary has also conducted countless Music Workshops, Seminars, Lecture-Demonstrations and Master Classes across the United States and internationally about the history, impact and evolution of African-American music and culture.”




Headshot of Dr. Joyce Piert

Joyce Piert, Ph.D., (aka Dr. P), is an Educational Consultant and Passion Coach. As an Educational Consultant, she partners with organizations to support and strengthen families through African-Centered Curriculum development. She also is an experienced Passion Coach and provides her clients with life-enhancing skills through unique Meta Awareness modalities. As a community and intellectual activist, Dr. P has been instrumental in the creation of several businesses that address the academic and interpersonal needs of youth and young adults Dr. P is the author of several books: Alchemy of the Soul: An African Centered Education and Warrior Queen. She is committed to enhancing the life chances of children, youth and adults from urban communities. As well as an educator and mindfulness advocate, Dr. P is an author, painter, and poetess. However, most significantly she loves to play and believes that play is the key to learning!




Headshot of Gevonee Ford


Gevonee Ford is the Executive Director of Network for the Development of Children of African Descent (NdCAD) in Saint Paul, MN. NcCAD serves “children, families, and communities throughout the Twin Cities metropolitan area, offering a variety of literacy and cultural enrichment programs and services for children, youth, and adults."





Headshot of Jenessa White

Jenessa White is a Software Engineer at ConvertKit living in Minneapolis. She’s a professional athlete who loves listening to hot takes on tech, music, sports, and food. They are on the Minnestar board of directors, are active in the Twin Cities community, and believe technology can help create change.




Discussions: All (1) Open (1)
  • Continuing the conversation...

    7 months ago
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    We invite you to use this virtual space to continue the discuss. Please leave your feedback and insights on any of the prompts below. Leave your response below.


    If you could share a critical message with community about the importance of STEAM, what message would you share?


    If you could share a message with policy makers on implementing policy or processes that assist in removing racial barriers, what would it be? 


    How does Black History affect our Future?


    How do you want to make the world a better place, as you grow? 


    What is your life's blueprint? -Question and Statement by Dr. Martin Luther King ( reference the video below )  



    Leave your responses below.









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Page last updated: 28 Feb 2022, 05:19 PM