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Black Wellness Is Black Pride:
a Town Hall


Jaasiel Chapman

Jaasiel Chapman is a native Cincinnatian who is dedicated to finding a cure for HIV/AIDS. Currently, he works at Hamilton County Public Health as the HIV/STI Program Coordinator overseeing the Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative. His work there focuses on engaging and empowering community partners with resources and tools to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the greater Cincinnati area. Previously, Chapman worked with IV-CHARIS, the only minority-run HIV/AIDS organization in the area, and as a community educator for the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine Infectious Diseases Research Center. Jaasiel attended the University of Cincinnati.

Ron Clemons

Ron Clemons retired after a 42 year career in Social Work and Education.  He worked many different capacities throughout his career, from direct line work to Executive Positions.  His primary focus was in the field of Family Counseling and Addictions.


He later returned to school to pursue a degree in Photography, which he completed in 2004.

As a photographer, he has worked with several LGBTQAI publications as a Photographer and Writer.  His Art Photography has been exhibited in several Galleries in the Cincinnati Area and has won several Art competitions and Awards. 


Ron considers himself very fortunate to have been speaking his truth since the Mid 70’s. His current involvements include Board membership with the Buckeye Flame, Caracole’s Program Committee and Program Chair with Cincinnati Black Pride. 


His artwork was chosen as covers for books by Author Doug Cooper Spencer, The Late Professor Dennis Carlson and Writer Ken Schneck (The Buckeye Flame). He continues to do volunteer and fundraising work through Tri-State Leather, a social/educational organization for those who wish to explore alternative lifestyles. He runs his own Photography business, RacXposure.

Brittani Gray

Brittani Gray is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, and a graduate of Central State University with a degree in Science of Special Education. As she transitioned her teaching career, Brittani graduated from Paul Mitchell School of Cosmetology and is currently the owner, licensed instructor, and master stylist of HAIRKITCHEN LLC.

Bridging her love of education, hair, and activism, Gray collaborated with the City Council on instituting a nondiscrimination ordinance that would protect natural hair types and styles in the workplace in October 2019. Her work has been on all local news channels, including The Cincinnati Enquirer, The Cincinnati Herald, Black Enterprise, Hype Hair, Palmers, and the Netflix original series "Say I DO." She has stepped into the writer's world by becoming the newest beauty contributor for The Cincinnati Herald in January 2021. Gray tackles self-esteem, empowerment, and image consulting through the art of hairstyling with her clients.

Expanding her community outreach wider, Brittani became the Founder of Girls Health Period in 2019, a non-profit organization to enrich students' lives from elementary to college. By providing menstrual products and menstrual education to students, staff, and sports coaches, GHP has created the steps to normalize the conversation of menstrual health and equity. Girls Health Period has serviced over three public locations, 5 group homes,57 schools in the Cincinnati area, and 110 nationwide. Every day Brittani leads the charge to end the period of poverty in Ohio.

David Copeland

David Copeland is a certified and trained End-of-Life (EOL) Death Doula, LGBTQIA+ advocate, and missionary. On a purpose to empower families by ensuring that their loved ones receive the best possible care in the final moments of their lives. Making sure that the dying person's wishes are fulfilled within the resources available. He has been wholeheartedly serving the marginalized communities for years.


David actively campaigns to make our society a better place for everyone, regardless of gender, ethnicity, and religion, in an effort to stop trans misgendering deaths. He strongly advocates and ensures that marginalized communities receive the utmost dignity after they pass away. His goal is to provide services to the individuals who are without homes, loved ones, immediate families, or family members who are unable to process their grief, ensuring the dying person is honored during and after death.

David is honored to serve the greater Cincinnati area as board member of the TreeHouse Cincinnati. A writer and member of The Rapha Center, a Black affirming LGBTQ organization based in Miami, Florida. He has served at Hospice of Cincinnati and has volunteered in Madison nursing homes, hospitals, and other hospices. He also serves as a member and missionary of The Love Church (Lima, OH). David has assisted with Hurricane Katrina relief and visited several nursing homes as a missionary to provide comfort, love and care.

EOL planning, Funeral planning, vigil watching, and respite care are some of the services provided to families at such a vulnerable stage of life. He has arranged numerous funerals, legacy projects, video tributes, review programming and making last-minute requests all before his clients go to rest.

His primary goal is to provide individuals and their families with the essential knowledge, compassion, and support during the EOL journey. Assist the dying person in transition with dignity, grace, and as peaceful as possible.

Love NEVER Fails 

Whayne Herriford

Whayne Herriford graduated from Northern Kentucky University in August of 2013 with an MC in Clinical Mental Health.  He is currently a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) in Kentucky and Ohio and also has a National Certified Counselor certificate. He previously worked as a full-time therapist at NorthKey Community Care and as a part-time therapist for Holly Hills Children's Services and the Family Nurturing Center facilitating men's groups.


Mr. Herriford is a member of the American Counseling Association (ACA) and the Kentucky Counseling Association (KCA) and maintains liability insurance through HPSO.  He also has a Master's degree in Business Administration from Stanford University and a Bachelor's in secondary education from Antioch College.  For thirty-five years he has worked in various Human Resources professional roles in companies in California and Cincinnati. 

In the Northern Kentucky area, there are few resources for GLBT people who wish to participate in structured therapeutic activities.  And though Mr. Herriford believes that anyone -- regardless of their own sexual orientation -- can provide support to GLBT people, he also believes that his experience as a gay man gives him a unique perspective that also allows him to help GLBT people who need someone who can understand and accept them in a non-judgmental way. 


Mr. Herriford is the adoptive father for two young men and lives in Northern Kentucky with my ShihTzu Skylar. 

La Shanda Sugg

Through her own personal journeys in therapy and in community, through exploration of Developmental and Relational Trauma and Somatic Abolitionism, through prioritizing her own healing, rest and self-tending, she does her own work while helping others to do theirs. Whether journeying alongside family members, bandmates, co-workers, or entire school districts and corporations, she helps people make sustainable change by helping them explore their needs, barriers, and resilience. Working with her is a true investment in one’s past, present, and future self.

La Shanda brings her full self to her healing work and is a combination of wise sage, standup comic, and passionate preacher. To read more about her work go to:

La Shanda Sugg is a translator and healer living in a fat, Black woman's body. Her lived experiences in my numerous intersecting identities, along with her gifts and talents, have called her to create safe spaces for exploration, healing, and growth. A native of Detroit, Michigan (stolen land of the Meškwahki·aša·hina (Fox)), She now resides in the Cincinnati, Ohio (stolen land of the Kaskaskia, Shawnee, Myaamia, Adena, and Hopewell) area but works nationally to heal relationships - personal relationships, professional relationships, and communal relationships. 


Deconditioning and Unlearning are two of the most difficult, yet necessary, processes one can engage. No stranger to these processes, La Shanda Sugg doesn't ask people to do what she has not done.

Jaasiel Chapman
Ron Clemons
Brittani Gray
David Copeland
Wayne Herriford
La Shunda Sugg
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