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Panel Discussion Featuring Jamecia Muckelvene-Jackson, Kenneth Johnson, Robert Ginyard and Tawny Chatmon. Hosted by Lisa Simms Booth.
Join us for a panel discussion with artist Tawny Chatmon, survivor and advocate, Robert Ginyard, survivor and facilitator of the Gay Men’s Prostate Cancer Healing Circle, Kenneth Johnson, and leader, advocate, coach, and self-styled freelance writer, Jamecia Muckelvene-Jackson. We will discuss the diverse effects of prostate cancer in our lives, culture, bodies and minds. We hope this conversation will help bring awareness to the disease and the importance of regular screening and preventative care.
Suggested Donation: $15
All proceeds benefit the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery.
About Jamecia Muckelvene-Jackson
Jamecia Muckelvene is a leader, advocate, coach, and self-styled freelance writer based in Bowie, Maryland. Jamecia draws inspiration from her family experiences, most poignantly her Army veteran father’s struggle with prostate cancer which later evolved into a rare strain of cancer classified as Sarcomatoid Carcinoma. Her first published work, The Very Awesome Adventures of RuRu & Rudy, was written in collaboration with her sisters and dedicated to their father’s memory. Jamecia’s early years were spent traveling extensively due to her father’s postings in Asia, Europe, and across the U.S., experiences that provided her a unique worldview and continue to inspire her creative pursuits today. Outside of the written word, Jamecia’s passion for advocating on various topics and shedding light on prostate cancer led her to establish a non-profit, Warriors Fighting For His Cure, in 2010. When away from the writing table, she finds herself at the center of her family – with her husband and two children named, naturally, for her parents Pearline & James, and her chosen son and grandson Zayne.
About Kenneth Johnson
Kenneth Johnson, of Washington, D.C., is a co-facilitator and founding member of the Healing Circle Supporting Gay Men with Prostate Cancer hosted at the Smith Center since October 2018. Kenneth was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2016 at the age of 50 and treated with surgery and radiation. Before volunteering with the support group, Kenneth volunteered with many LGBTQ+ organizations and community non-profits in Atlanta, GA. Now, when not enjoying his bookclub’s latest selection or trying to keep his heart rate up at the gym, Kenneth can be found enjoying time with his vibrant parents who will soon celebrate their 57th wedding anniversary. Kenneth is nearing the end of a 34-year career in federal service as an information technology analyst and looks forward to hitting the highways to visit family and friends around the country.
About Robert Ginyard
Robert Ginyard is an entrepreneur, speaker, and prostate cancer survivor. He is the creator of the Shusokumb (shoes, socks, and umbrella) bag – a compartmentalized tote bag designed for women who wear sneakers to work and later change into a pair of heels once they are in the office. The Shusokumb was sold by major retailers, and featured in national newspapers/magazines.
As a result of his prostate cancer journey, Robert created DiBi DiBi- Dream it. Believe it. Do it. Be it— an awareness campaign and lifestyle brand to encourage people to live out their dreams. Additionally, Robert serves as creator, producer and host of “Intentionally Overheard with Robert Ginyard” — a podcast that highlights stories of people who dared to dream and committed to making their dreams come true.
Robert is a sought after speaker, and is a frequent guest on local and national radio and television programs. His products/brand have been featured in Redbook, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, Ebony Magazine.Com, The Dr. Nandi Show, Sirius XM, and many other publications and radio and television news outlets.
As a prostate cancer survivor, Robert has appeared before Congress (The Senate Appropriations Committee) to share his prostate cancer story and advocate for increased funding for prostate cancer research. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of ZERO- The End of Prostate Cancer. Robert has been named as one of Cancer Health Magazine’s 2020 Change Makers – making a difference for others living with cancer.
Robert lives in Baltimore with his wife, Karen, and their two daughters.
About Tawny Chatmon
Tawny Chatmon is a Tokyo-born photography based artist residing in Maryland. In 2010, the then commercial photographer’s outlook and relationship with her camera shifted when she began photographing her father’s battle with cancer, consequently documenting the disease unexpectedly taking his life. With her father’s passing, she gradually began to look to her camera less as a device for monetary gain and more as a way for her work to serve a higher vocation.
While the camera remains her primary tool of communication, the self-taught artist takes a multi-layered approach in her process. She does not restrict herself to following any set of rules and does not subscribe exclusively to traditional photography practices. Her photographs are often digitally intensified by exaggerating the hairstyles of her subjects (who are often her children and other family members), lending them the eyes of someone older and wiser, and elongating their form, drawing inspiration from the Byzantine period to signify importance. Thereafter, she typically combines overlappings of digital collage and illustration. After refining and printing, she frequently experiments with various art practices by hand-embellishing with acrylic paint, 24-karat gold leaf, and materials such as paper, semi-precious stones, glass, and other mixed media. In choosing to frame the achieved iconography in golden antique, repurposed, and contemporary baroque frames, the artist composes a touching counter-narrative that is more than just a photograph, but a new, meaningful compositional expression.
Chatmon suggests that our life experiences and memories are largely responsible for who one ultimately becomes and that “what we are exposed to, what we are taught, and even the toys we play with as children” contributes immensely to shaping us into adulthood. A Black woman and mother of three Black children, she is motivated by “leaving something important behind” to the world her children will grow up in while creating imagery that celebrates and honors the beauty of Black childhood and familial bonds while at times addressing the absence and exclusion of the Black body in Western art.