UMADAOP of Ohio, Inc.

Urban Minority Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Outreach Programs

CONTENTS INTERESTED IN MORE FROM UMADAOP? To learn more about our resources for living a healthy lifestyle, contact one of our many locations thoughout

UMADAOP of Ohio, Inc. Conference Fall 2020

the state of Ohio: Akron UMADAOP


Cincinnati UMADAOP

6 REP. WILLIAM L. MALLORY 8 SENATOR EDDIE MELTON 12 MYRTLE BOYKIN- LIGHTON Hope in Prevention and Recovery 18 DR. MARKETA ROBINSON From Prison to PhD. 22 DR. ERIC THOMAS - "E.T." The Voice of a Generation 26 FRAN HARDING Difficult Roads Lead to Beautiful Destinations

30 UMADAOP PSAs 34 MAYOR KATHY HUNER Making History, Twice (en Español) 38 DAMON DASH Not Your Average Impresario 42 DENNIS MCKESEY In Our Best Interest


Cleveland UMADAOP Columbus UMADAOP

(216)361-2040 (614)227-9694



Hispanic UMADAOP






Mansfield UMADAOP

Educational Consultancy 50 WE GET IT


Lucas County UMADAOP


Youngstown UMADAOP

(330)743-2772 UMADAOP Magazine is published by Madison Custom Magazines 1631 O'Keeffe Avenue Sun Prairie, WI Copyright 2020 by Madison Custom Magazines. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the publisher, excepting brief quotations in connection with reviews written specifically for inclusions in magazines or newspapers, or limited excerpts strictly for personal use. Printed in the United States of America. All rights reserved.

How Treatment Centers Strive for More Cultural Understanding







Eddie Melton was elected as State Senator for Indiana’s 3rd District on November 8, 2016. In addition to serving in the Indiana General Assembly, Melton serves as the manager of Corporate Citizen and Community Relations for Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO). In this position, he leads the company’s corporate citizenship strategies and charitable giving. Prior to joining NIPSCO, Melton worked as a grant officer for the Legacy Foundation, Lake County’s community foundation in Northwest Indiana.

Education Foundation (AIEF). Through this intensive educational experience, Melton explored critical foreign policy and national security issues affecting both Israel and the United States. Melton has been recognized with multiple awards and accolades, such as; the top “20 Under 40” young professionals in Northwest Indiana by The NWI Times Media Company (2010) and is a (2012) South Shore Senator Eddie MeltonLeadership Award winner. Melton served as the national spokespersonfor Brother 2 Brother Magazine and is a frequent columnist for

Committee Assignments

Melton has served as chairman of the Indiana Commission on the Social Status of Black Males, has served on the State Board of Education, representing the First Congressional District of Indiana and has also served as a national board member and Midwest Regional Director for the American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE). In 2016, Melton was selected to participate in a fellowship program in Israel for national African American leaders, sponsoredby theAmerican Israel Appropriations School Funding Subcomittee Education and Career Development

theGary/Chicago Crusader newspaper and The NWI Times. Melton was appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate forthe nominating committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures. He was awarded the Freshman Legislator the Year by the Indiana Association of Rehabilitation Facilities. He is a member of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., and received a B.S. of Organizational Management from Calumet College of St. Joseph. HEalth and Provider Services Homeland Security and Transportation Vererans Affairs and The Military

Senator Eddie Melton





about. She received a call, asking her if she was interested in applying for a position as a director with the Lima UMADAOP. After praying on it, Miss Myrtle decided to apply and her experience and education landed her the job. The opportunity came with a series of challenges. “When I got there,” she says, “the agency was in trouble. Money was tight...I came here having to dig that agency out. We had a budget of only $250,000. I'll never forget it.” Though she was contending with low funds and lost staffing, the center trudged on. Remaining employees made sacrifices of salary so that they could continue to provide care, and grants were sought to keep them afloat. Their diligence paid off, and the program was able to rebound and grow. Miss Myrtle added additional facilities and opportunities for prevention and recovery. One such facility was known as ‘The Phoenix Project.’ “The Phoenix Project was not just about housing and recovery and giving them a place to get better, but it was like looking at self-esteem. It was looking at workforce development. It was looking at parenting. It was looking at any of those skills that a woman may have forgotten or lost.” The Lima UMADAOP would be hard-pressed to find a leader as devoted as Miss Myrtle. When speaking of her role in community prevention and treatment, she is quick to point out that the ability to help should not be a competition. She says, “I believe that if truly we are about the business of helping people to get better, then I will move to make sure that a person gets what they need, whether it's with me or not...So if a woman was to come to us, and we find that there may be a much stronger need for mental health recovery and support, and we didn't have that, then it was our responsibility to make sure that she got where she needed because ultimately it was about her getting better, because when she gets better, her children get better. And when her children get better, generations of families are affected by just starting with one person.” Miss Myrtle also addressed the interconnection between addiction and mental health

awareness. “We have so many people of color that struggle with depression or struggle with other mental health issues that don't come forward because of the stigma. You know, sometimes because of environmental or situational trauma, you can find yourself feeling depressed. Anybody and everybody can have depression.” Now boasting 9 accredited recovery houses along with offices and facilities under her organization, Miss Myrtle finds herself pulled to help even further. Her dream is to open an inpatient facility specializing in the addiction treatment for pregnant women. She points out the hurdles and liabilities behind treating this population too often result in the mother and baby not getting the help they need. “When a person, a woman, male, whatever, makes a decision to change their life and get better if we don't get them in that window will lose them. So I'm telling you, if it takes us five to six days, having her jump through all of these hoops to say she can even come through the door, we lose her because guess what? All it takes is one knock at the door.” “What I love about prevention is that there's hope”. There are ways in which we can all help turn the tables and help those in our families and communities struggling with addiction. Miss Myrtle suggests: “Every program that's out there that's working with these families could always use donations, sometimes even donations as far as shoes, coats, gloves, it doesn't always have to be monetary. Volunteer. Vote. Vote for what's important. When it talks about alcohol or drugs and mental health, vote because those things help bring resources into the community. And educate yourself. I don't think there's a family in the United States that's not affected by addiction. The healthier the family, the more knowledgeable the family, the more knowledgeable and aware the community is, the better the opportunity for recovering addicts to get better.”



For the past 33 years, the field of addiction recovery has been in the life blood of Myrtle Boykin-Lighton. CEO of the Lima, Ohio Urban Minority Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Outreach Program

her experience pulled her into a series of other community programs. “This was around the time of the crack cocaine scene- they were calling it the war on drugs. They put me in a program called ‘Project U-turn’, and we did outreach, helping people that were struggling with crack cocaine addiction and helping them find treatment, but we were using that as a way to work with the children- to give them coping skills, to give them the things to be successful, even if they were living in the house with someone that was struggling with addiction. It was also an avenue for us to help make sure some of the children in the neighborhood were eating dinner. I run a program like that still today and it is still successful.” After 12 years spent working her way up to associate director, family needs called to her to take some time off. It wasn’t long before a new opportunity presented itself that allowed for her to get back into a field she was passionate

(UMADAOP), Myrtle found herself in the field of addiction prevention and recovery almost accidentally. “I actually came into this field by way of volunteering. My children were in a prevention after school program. I was one of those parents who participated...anytime my kids were involved in something, I wanted to be sure of the adults that were around them. And so I was really involved in that.” After much time spent as a volunteer, Miss Myrtle was asked to come on board and help with a support group geared towards women around self-esteem and prevention. From here,

Myrtle is the CEO and Director of UMADAOP in Lima, Ohio. More information about the organization, its prevention and recovery efforts, and how you can help can be found at



listen to myrtle boykin-lighton

there is no one size fits all for people that are struggling “ ”

on the

Photo by Aric Lorton





Dr. Marketa Robinson

managerial duties, but she enjoys assisting with some of her staff’s direct service work. “I believe a team is supposed to be a team of a whole, not just one leader working alone,” Robsinson said. She aims to serve those transitioning from incarceration back into the community, while helping them become productive members of society. “The general system just isn’t set up to get people information on how to transition from prison, so I really just want to help them get back on their feet and become the productive people God created them to be,” she said.

From Prison to Ph.D.

She worked her way to holding roles in human services and, in 2004, started a new position working for someone who would be positively influential to her. She met Myrtle Lighton, chief executive officer of the Lima UMADAOP, through a mutual friend. After shadowing Lighton’s work, Robinson became intrigued by her role and soon became one of her volunteers. Her dedicated work and cross-training experience in prevention and treatment as a licensed counselor led Lighton to consider her as the manager for a visionary housing program. This is when Robinson realized she was in a position to mentor and counsel others in the re-entry population. “I just wanted to help those trying to navigate through the process stand on some solid ground,” she said. She worked at Lima’s program until 2015, when she accepted her current position as executive director of the Dayton UMADAOP. Monitoring the organization’s daily functions and writing grants are some of her daily

” I have the strong belief that there aren’t bad people, just peoplewhomake bad choices. Marketa Robinson says she strongly believes this statement, recalling some of her past experiences and decisions. The executive director of the Dayton UMADAOP and mentor to hundreds uses her story to drive her passion for helping others. At one time, she, too, was someone others could have judged as a “bad person.” A mother of seven, Robinson once found herself recently released from prison and, like other former inmates, forced to scramble to reacclimate into society. “I was on the dark side of things,” she recalls. She worked jobs in janitorial labor for about four years before beginning to find her way in life after prison. She soon knew she wanted to help others in similar situations.

Throughout her years working in this field, Robinson went to school to obtain a master’s degree in education as well as a Ph.D. in human services. “It was a very long and humbling journey,” she said. “But the biggest parts that made it a success were the people in my life who guided and educated me. I just want to be that person for others.”

” I just want to be that person for others.












For someone with a now-extensive resume of experience in her field, the path wasn’t always direct. Fran Harding has served 12 years as the director for SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration). She has held a number of national positions, including serving as president of the National Prevention Network and as a representative to New York’s board of directors for drug abuse prevention. But her work in the field of drug and alcohol abuse prevention began during her college years, before she found herself so interested in this line of work. Itwas 1982, andHarding’s planwas tobecome acollege administrator. She was a part of Student Affairs and the head of one of the campus residence halls. Serving in this leadership role, Harding was responsible for reporting any student behavior that violated the school’s code of conduct, including drug use and underage drinking. While serving in this leadership role, she noticed some school leaders and campus security officers weren’t upholding these requirements. She also noticed some of her fellow classmates who dealt with issues stemming from alcohol abuse eventually dropped out of school. She tried starting a campus group that addressed underage drinking, but she wasn’t getting the support and approval she needed to start the organization. Her concern and diligence around this matter soon grew into a passion that redirected her initial career plans. Harding’s work on campus and interest in alcohol education and prevention led her to move to New York after receiving an offer for a position with the state. She began working as the associate commissioner of theDivision of Prevention andRecoveryat theOffice of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services. In this role, Harding drafted and created a number of policies aimed at preventing the abuse of alcohol, drugs as well as gambling. Working in this position allowed her to expand her duties into researching and addressing other issues surrounding alcohol misuse, like date rape. Fran Harding

In 2004, Harding received the Science to Practice Award from the International Society for Prevention Research. Throughout her years of work, a large responsibility has been to educate others, often convincing them of the importance of why they should care about the issues relating to drug and alcohol misuse. She has continued working with these individuals and leaders in the community, helping them understand how to monitor and advance this education within their cities. She has often met with law enforcement officers, speaking with them on how to promote education within the communities they serve. In New York, Harding helped develop a community coalition partnering with these agencies to push initiatives that worked specifically against driving under the influence. In 2008, Harding began working with SAMHSA and later became the center’s director. She’s placed a large focus on creating programs that introduce drug prevention practices during early education classes. Her extensive research in the field has given her the stage and spotlight to host a number of events promoting educational and prevention strategies. In an interview with the Campus Drug Prevention department, Harding spoke of why she and her team of researchers continue pushing diligently for education against drug and alcohol abuse: “I love talking about this, because we have a ton of success stories,” she said. “We have saved lives, and we will save lives.”

“We have saved lives, and we will save lives.”







"We put families first."

(888) 728-2713 CALL "Ponemos a las familias primero" LLAMA A





jubilación anticipada. Los estatutos del consejo habrían designado a Heather Kost, la presidenta del consejo, como nueva alcaldesa. Pero los conflictos de programación le impidieron aceptar el puesto. Entonces Kost declinó y nominó a Huner. Honrado, Huner asumió con gusto el cargo de alcalde el 3 de noviembre en una reunión del consejo. Poco después del comienzo de su mandato, una graduada de Wauseon y concejal de White Hall se acercó a ella después de leer su perfil en el periódico. Él le dijo que ella acababa de convertirse en la primera alcaldesa latina de la ciudad. Este fue otro gran logro para Huner, considerando que también había hecho historia local para las mujeres. Después de cumplir el resto del mandato de Shaw, volvió a postularse oficialmente para alcalde y fue elegida. Los antecedentes y la amplia experienciadeHuner en lapolítica local, junto con su deseo de ver prosperar a Wauseon, son probablemente la base de su admiración por parte de la comunidad. Su antiguo servicio como concejal de la ciudad comenzó como un esfuerzo para ayudar a mejorar la ciudad. Huner quería hacer de Wauseon un lugar donde los viajeros quisieran visitar y donde otros estarían orgullosos de regresar. Ha formado parte de más de 15 comités locales y fue copresidenta del comité que donó a un proyecto de asistencia a las víctimas del huracán Katrina.

han ayudado a dar forma al alcance de la ciudad en el espectro político. También ha estado muy involucrada en el aprendizaje de la primera infancia y ha enseñado preescolar durante más de 30 años. Ella trae algunos de sus pasatiempos, como cocinar, al salón de clases para ayudar a sus estudiantes a prepararse para el jardín de infantes mientras fomenta el aprendizaje práctico. Después de enseñar la mayor parte de su carrera educativa como asistente administrativa en Emmaus Lutheran Preschool, Huner y su esposo comenzaron a moldear su propia visión para una nueva escuela. La pareja discutió sus ideas con el pastor de su iglesia y se convirtieron en los líderes del True North Ministry Center. Al principio sirviendo como la única maestra, Huner quería usar la educación basada en el cristianismo para preparar a sus estudiantes para los grados posteriores. El trabajo de Huner como alcaldesa y maestra garantiza que llegue a la población más joven a través de la instrucción y al resto de su comunidad a través del liderazgo.

Mayor Kathy Huner

Era 2014 y Kathy Huner acababa de hacer historia en Wauseon, dos veces. Pero ella no estaba al tanto de estos logros hasta que la noticia llegó de un pueblo a casi tres horas al sur de Wauseon. Alguien acababa de informarle que se convertiría en la primera alcaldesa latina de la ciudad. La herencia mexicana de Huner proviene de su padre, un ex oficial de policía de Wauseon. El anuncio del nuevo puesto de Huner fue inesperado. Dos años antes, se postuló para alcalde contra Doug Shaw. Había servido tres mandatos en el Concejo Municipal, pero decidió dimitir y empezar a hacer campaña para un mandato de alcalde. Su campaña terminó con una derrota ante Shaw, y Huner reclamó lo que ella pensó que era el final de su carrera política. Huner pasó dos años lejos de la arena política. Pero su amor por la comunidad, la gente de Wauseon y la política pareció hacerla retroceder. Varios amigos y familiares la instaron a reconsiderar su decisión y regresar a una posición de liderazgo. En 2014, Huner tomó una decisión que la encaminaría a hacer historia pronto. Se postuló para el concejo municipal y recuperó su escaño. Apenas unos meses después de su nuevo mandato, el alcalde en funciones, Doug Shaw, anunció una

Si bien Huner se dedica a fomentar el crecimiento de Wauseon, sus manos no solo






Jay-z Rock-a-fella records beanie sigel odb rocawear ciara the black keys

Born in 1971, Damon Dash is best known as a record executive, entrepreneur and producer. He grew up in New York City and, as a teenager, swept the floors of a local barbershop and sold newspapers to buy himself clothes. He later paid his way through boarding school. One of the earliest ascensions of Dash’s career was in 1995 when he founded Roc- A-Fella Records alongside Jay-Z and Kareem “Biggs” Burke. The label operated under Def Jam Recordings and began as an outlet for Jay-Z’s first album. In 1997, the label released Jay-Z’s second album, and in 1998, it saw a leap in success with Jay-Z’s third album and the release of the hit song “Hard Knock Life.” It became the label’s first Platinum-RIAA certified release and launched both the label and founders into a brighter spotlight. Dash’s co-founded label soon began signing more prominent artists. After years of platinum productions, Dash’s career began its further acceleration when he became Jay-Z’s manager and business partner. The relationship allowed Dash to organize the rapper’s 1999 tour that made $19 million. Dash, Jay-Z and Biggs later split from their partnership and sold Roc-A-Fella Records to Island Def Jam for $10,000,000. Dash and

Biggs then started the Damon Dash Music Group in 2005. The record label worked with several artists, including Beanie Sigel, Sizzla and ODB, who created songs featuring names like Missy Elliot and Snoop Dog. Alongside his work in the music industry, Dash also worked with Jay-Z to create the Rocawear clothing line. The brand markets to children and juniors and sells clothes like sandals, socks, leather, handbags, belts, headwear, jewelry and sunglasses. Much of the line’s original success is owed to Dash, as he hired several high profile models, like Naomi Campbell and Omahyra Mota, to promote the brand. He later sold his ownership of the brand to Jay-Z. Ciara later signed in 2007 to be the brand’s new face for the “I Will Not Lose” campaign. The campaign also signed Chris Brown and several other celebrities to join. In 2007, Dash founded DD172, a collection of a magazine (American Nu), a web design firm (VNGRD79), a record label (BluRoc Records) and The Dash Art Gallery, which opened in 2010. Several projects have come out of DD172, such as Blakroc. The studio album is a collaboration between The Black Keys and Mos Def, RZA, Jim Jones and several other hip-hop artists.

” I'm always trying to do different new things and things that don't define what the perception of a hip-hop cat is. We don't only do the things they perceive us to do. We're pretty sophisticated.





These are just a few of the words that best describe working with Mr. Dennis McKesey. As a new Principal, his ability to support me with a new lens of looking at data has been priceless. Working with him has resulted in successfully moving our school from a Renewal School to a Rise School with no State designations in just a few short months. It is a pleasure to have Mr. McKesey as part of the team." ~Marie Desforges, Principal Phillis Wheatley School P.S. 328 Brooklyn, NY "POWERFUL INNOVATIVE OUT-OF-THE-BOXTHINKING SUPPORTIVE GUARANTEED SUCCESS...

Dennis B. McKesey President and Senior Lead Consultant

In Our Best Interest LLC is an educational consultancy firm dedicated to developing high quality educational programs throughout public, private and charter school systems. Our goal is to provide quality educational resources, supplies, management and consultancy to meet today’s educational challenges. Whether you’re looking to recharge the energy in your teaching staff, increase the rating of your school, or

build community relations and parent involvement In Our Best Interest can assist you with your goals. ​Our consultants have assisted many public, private and charter schools in evaluating programs, identifying needs, and creating a comprehensive plan for school improvement. Each plan for improvement is unique and tailored to each individual school’s needs.

P.O. Box 751 Vails Gate, New York 12584 Main: (888) 609-1141 Fax: (845) 834- 4811



Off School Grounds was launched in March 2020, by Dennis B. McKesey, an experienced educator, leader and executive coach that has trained scores of school leaders throughout the country through his unique style of leadership development. In light of the COVID- 19 Pandemic, the need to create a virtual platform to support, mentor and coach school leaders was undoubtedly essential. Off School Grounds provides such opportunity in conjunction with creating a “safe space” for school leaders to network and share best practices for their continued growth and development. This virtual platform also fosters the development of innovative leadership practices that allows school leaders to exchange ideas and advance

the day. The topic lends itself to an open forum for principals to reflect and express relevant issues within their school communities. The

closing consists of an inspiring message from an invited guest, who is a leader or pioneer in their respective field. The show has featured celebrity guests such as Ralph McDaniels, DJ Red Alert, Big Daddy Kane, Chuck D. from Public Enemy, Doug E. Fresh, and Dame Dash.

to minimize the achievement gap for underserved children that reside in this country’s poorest communities. Off School Grounds has intended

a virtual platform to support, mentor and coach school leaders

Off School Grounds is committed to combat education inequity of marginalized students in urban communities by challenging school principals to be change agents and advocates for children. The coalition supports the premise that it is a nationwide responsibility

to be a beacon for school leaders during the COVID-19 Pandemic. The platform will continue to amplify national dialogue among school leaders to provide greater opportunities for students of color thereafter.

educational opportunities for students of color. The weekly discussions cover a wide array of education and leadership domains that include visionary and strategic leadership, effective professional and ethical practices, remote leading and learning as well as other essential leadership practices that are crucial for increased student achievement. Each session extends the opportunity to relax and unwind before engaging in intellectual dialogue with the presence of a live DJ. At the onset of the meeting, the facilitator shares an opening message followed by the topic of

P.O. Box 751 Vails Gate, New York 12584 Main: (888) 609-1141 Fax: (845) 834- 4811



One school district at a time is the objective of Dennis B. McKesey and his approach towards enhancing America’s education system.

community; and mentor educators in the creation and implementation of class instruction, lesson plans, and student assessment in conjunction with state learning standards. The former principal at one of the most premier charter schools in the country, he has built a proven track record of success and desired to share his effective and beneficial strategies with other educators in the area and across the nation. As a graduate of Mercy College, with accreditations in School Administration and Supervision as well as the Columbia University Graduate School of Business Leadership Development Program, Dennis is a very passionate educator. He consults nationally with teachers and administrators at schools and districts and has presented at-school leadership conferences. Most recently, Dennis has launched Off School Grounds , a virtual hub for dozens of school leaders, from across the nation, where they engage in leadership development and shared best practices alongside Entertainment special guests (i.e.

As a dedicated, innovative and resourceful education professional, with more than twenty five (25) years of experience in working for private, public and charter schools in New York City, he believes that when we support educators’ passion to learn and grow, we enhance their capacity to facilitate students’ learning and growth. Featured in Paul Tough's book Whatever It Takes and Davis Guggenheim’s Waiting for Superman , Dennis has a passion for direct involvement with the education of children through effective school leadership. As President and Senior Lead Consultant of In Our Best Interest, LLC. , Dennis works directly with clients to provide face- to-face, electronic, and phone consultation aligned to leadership development and school improvement efforts. He tailors and delivers professional development in areas of leadership and staff development as well as curriculum and instruction. McKesey has the proven ability to create and monitor policies and practices that promote a safe learning environment; ensure a school culture that encourages continuous improvements for

Doug E. Fresh, Big Daddy Kane, Dame Dash, etc…) and their cultural perspectives. In addition, Dennis serves as a Graduate Professor at his alma mater, Mercy College in the Educational Leadership Department. He inspires his students to promote success by facilitating the development, articulation, implementation and stewardship of a vision of learning that is shared and supported by the school community. A multi-layered approach, towards improving a multi-layered education system; it is indeed in our best interest to have the Dennis McKeseys of the world, at the helm.

P.O. Box 751 Vails Gate, New York 12584 Main: (888) 609-1141 Fax: (845) 834- 4811

teachers and students; develop an environment that encourages open communication with colleagues, students, and the














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