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Rx Kids Launch Bash

Presenters & Performers

Dawn Jones
Rx Kids Launch Bash Co-Host
ABC12 News Anchor

A passionate storyteller. A dynamic orator. A practitioner of joy. A wife. A mother. A mentor. A crafter. Dawn Jones is a multi-faceted content creator whose gift is in the art of communication.

“Living the Dream” is how she describes her 30-year career as a broadcast journalist. The much sought-after keynote is a pragmatic storyteller who weaves humor and transparency in a beautifully authentic way to connect with her audience.

The Emmy Award winner and self-described joy practitioner is passionate about love, life, laughing out loud and being present in the lives of the people she loves.

Erma Bombeck penned her favorite quote: “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say I used everything you gave me.”

Dawn is a native of Flint, Michigan. She has spent nearly two decades serving the people of her hometown. Currently, she anchors ABC12’s number #1 rated First at Four newscast with Terry Camp and is the host of Newsmaker, a weekly public affairs show.

She began her distinguished broadcast career on Detroit radio in the late 1980s. Over the years she has performed in both leadership and service positions as a talk show host, reporter, news anchor, news director, program director, on-air personality and traffic announcer.

Aside from her long broadcast career, Dawn has also served in the capacity of Communications Director for the City of Flint.

She is a graduate of Flint Central High School and Specs Howard School of Broadcast Arts in Southfield, Michigan.

She is a two-time Emmy Award winner, for her body of work as a news anchor and talk show host. Dawn has also been the recipient of numerous professional and community awards and accolades.

Dawn is a much sought after facilitator and speaker. In her spare time, she juggles speaking engagements and enjoys traveling, photography, crafting and making memories with family and friends.

Her greatest joy, however, is being wife to Rodney and mom to Christian and Courtni.

Jerry Minor
Rx Kids Launch Bash Co-Host

Jerry was born in Memphis, Tennessee, and raised from 6 months old in Flint, Michigan. He was a student at Cook Elementary and several others around Flint. He also attended Longfellow Junior High and Flint Northern High School. Graduating from Flint Academy in 1985, Jerry was a student at Mott Community College and UM-Flint before leaving school to pursue being an actor and writer.

Jerry was an original member of the cast of Second City in Detroit when it opened in 1993. Jerry then moved on to Second City stages in Chicago and Toronto before going to Los Angeles to start his television and film career.

Jerry has 100 TV and movie credits including, Saturday Night Live, Community, The Office, and most recently Abbott Elementary as the stuck-up teacher Mr. Morton. He also has numerous writing credits including SNL, for which he received an Emmy nomination. Jerry is also a director, helming a production at Chicago Second City titled, Great Altercations in 2022.

Finally, Jerry is very happy to see his family in Michigan who have supported him so much and accomplished so much themselves along the way.

Mona Hanna-Attisha
Director of Rx Kids

Rx Kids is led by Mona Hanna-Attisha, MD, MPH, a pediatrician, and director of the Michigan State University-Hurley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative. A nationally recognized child health researcher and advocate, Dr. Hanna-Attisha launched the community-partnered initiative in response to the Flint water crisis to improve outcomes for kids. She is also the Associate Dean for Public Health and C. S. Mott Endowed Professor of Public Health at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine and was named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World and recognized as one of USA Today’s Women of the Century for her role in uncovering the Flint water crisis and leading recovery efforts. Dr. Hanna-Attisha is the author of the New York Times 100 most notable book, What the Eyes Don’t See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City.

Grounded in community-based participation, Dr. Hanna-Attisha and the Pediatric Public Health Initiative work with many local and national partners to boldly improve child health equity and share best practices.

Debbie Stabenow
United States Senator
State of Michigan

“Made in Michigan” through and through, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow continues to lead on public policy and improve the lives of the people of Michigan and Americans across our country. Her leadership is characterized by an unrivaled work ethic, the ability to build bipartisan coalitions to get things done, and a commitment to public service that has set the standard for constituent service.

Throughout her years in public service, she has blazed trails and opened doors for women and girls. Among her many “firsts” – she was the first woman elected to the United States Senate from Michigan.

From child nutrition to school-based health clinics, to children’s healthcare, Senator Stabenow has long been a national leader on children’s health and a champion for Flint. She led a broad coalition in the Senate to secure critical funding to help address the lead crisis. Senator Stabenow led the effort to ensure that Flint families have access to ready-to-feed formula through the WIC program and increased access to healthy foods. Thanks to her efforts, the 2018 Farm Bill expanded nationwide a nutrition prescription program began in Flint that helps provide children access to fresh fruits and vegetables. She secured $1 million in federal funding for the Genesee Health System’s Center for Children’s Integrated Services. And her strong advocacy of the American Rescue Plan Act led to the funding that helped make the groundbreaking Rx Kids program possible.

Senator Stabenow helped write the Affordable Care Act and has passed major reforms to bring down the cost of prescription drugs. Her bipartisan Excellence in Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Act is transforming the way we deliver high-quality community behavioral health services in America. Because of her leadership, we are now going to be funding health care above the neck the same as health care below the neck.

Gene Sperling
Senior Advisor to the President
and American Rescue Plan Coordinator

Gene Sperling is the only person to have served as White House Director of the National Economic Council for two Presidents – President Clinton (1996-2001) and President Obama (2011-2014). He is currently serving as Senior Advisor to President Biden and Coordinator of the American Rescue Plan. He is the founder and first executive director (2002-2008) of the Center of Universal Education at Brookings Institution which focuses on quality education for the world’s most disadvantaged girls and boys. He is author of “The Pro-Growth Progressive,” co-author of “Girls Education: The World’s Best Investment,” and, most recently, “Economic Dignity.” He was also a consultant and part-time writer for NBC’s “The West Wing.” He was born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and now commutes between the White House and Santa Monica.

Erika L. Moritsugu
Deputy Assistant to the
President of the United States

Erika was appointed by President Joe Biden in April 2021 to serve as Deputy Assistant to the President and Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Senior Liaison. At the White House, Erika supports the Administration on the full array of the President’s priorities and engages with AA and NHPI communities and leaders on important issues such as advancing safety, justice, inclusion, and opportunity for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities through a whole-of-government approach to racial justice and equity.

Her past government service includes serving as the Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations at the Department of Housing and Urban Development under the leadership of Secretary Julián Castro in the Obama Administration and was the first-ever Senate Deputy Legislative Director at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

On Capitol Hill, she was a senior representative of Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, Senator Daniel K. Akaka of Hawai‘i, and at the Senate Democratic Policy Committee under Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.

In the non-profit sector, Erika managed two teams the National Partnership for Women & Families for economic justice and congressional relations advancing workforce and health policies focused through a gender equity and race equity lens. Erika has also led the Government Relations, Advocacy and Community Engagement team at the Anti-Defamation League, which included leading its interreligious and interfaith work.

Born in California and raised in Hawaiʻi, Moritsugu lives on Capitol Hill with her spouse, Brian, their two children, Vianne Leilani and Chester Likeke, their two cats, and one dog.

Flint Institute of Music

FIM Flint School of Performing Arts voice instructor Lateena Martin will be performing “Most, Most, Most” by Flint Carnegie Hall Lullaby Project participant Courtney Cudd. She will be accompanied by pianist George Warren.

Semaj Brown

Semaj Brown is Flint, Michigan’s inaugural Poet Laureate, and the recipient of the prestigious Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowship award. Ms. Brown was the Visiting artist/educator/editor for The Flint Institute of Arts Art School, 2023.

She is the author of the poetry/prose memoir, Bleeding Fire! Tap the Eternal Spring of Regenerative Light, Broadside Lotus Press, 2019. Black twice in articles noted the global recognition of the poet laureate’s Black Dandelion poem and educational platform, “…Black Dandelion: Convergent Voice™ Changes the Literacy Game.” AT&T, Dream in Black African American Futures Afro-futuristic Platform licensed a powerful audio excerpt of Black Dandelion for national TV commercials in celebration of Generational Black excellence. April 6, 2024, in partnership with Flint Institute of Arts: “The 2nd Annual Black Dandelion: Convergent Voice Forum” Free! For the Community and the Culture, 10 am to 3 pm.

David Blight
Professor and Author

David W. Blight is Sterling Professor of History and Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University. In 2020, Yale President Peter Salovey appointed him as chair of the Yale and Slavery Working Group. He recently completed the manuscript of a narrative history of Yale’s historic involvement and associations with slavery and its aftermaths, which will be published by Yale University Press.

Blight previously taught at North Central College in Illinois, Harvard University, and Amherst College. He is the author or editor of a dozen books, including ­Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom; American Oracle: The Civil War in the Civil Rights Era; Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory; and annotated editions of Douglass’s first two autobiographies. He has worked on Douglass much of his professional life, and been awarded the Pulitzer Prize, the Bancroft Prize, the Abraham Lincoln Prize, and the Frederick Douglass Prize, among others.

He writes frequently for the popular press, including the Atlantic, the New York Times, and many other journals. In 2020, David Blight was elected to the American Philosophical Society and awarded the Gold Medal for History by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His lecture course on the Civil War and Reconstruction Era at Yale is on the internet at

Blight has always been a teacher first. At the beginning of his career, he spent seven years as a high school history teacher in his hometown of Flint, Michigan. Blight maintains a website, including information about public lectures, books, articles and interviews at

Flint Freedom
Schools Collaborative

The Flint Freedom Schools Collaborative (FFSC) is a strategic disruption to educational inequity. It promotes positive self-esteem, encourages economic development, and supports the retention and development of youth, young adults and professional talent. The FFSC impacts community-informed transformation and revitalization through a strategic, streamlined approach, fostering high-quality and culturally relevant opportunities. Programs prioritize academic and creative enrichment, community engagement and collaboration, positive culture cultivation, intergenerational servant leadership development, and parent and family involvement. Performance by Cassidy Towns-Boone and Alailah Weakley reading “Frederick Douglass” by Robert E. Hayden.


What would an African American male musician from the toughest streets of Flint sound like? How would he be judged? What would he wear? What music would he listen to? Would it be a shock to say his greatest inspirations are giants such as James Taylor, Ray Charles, Esperanza Spalding? Is it typical for this young man to conduct an orchestra even though he could not read music until his second year of college?

Well, believe it. Anthony Feimster Jr, also known by his stage name Feimstro, is a soulful yet creative individual who refuses to dream small. In a world where artistry is often met with prejudice, Feimstro is unafraid to be himself. He shatters the expectations placed upon him and shows that true artistry knows no boundaries. Through his music and personal style, Feimstro is making a lasting impact, inspiring others to embrace their authentic selves and defy societal norms.

Amidst the global crisis, his COVID EP in 2020 became a catalyst for self-discovery and creativity.

With his 2021 release, “YAKO,” on YouTube, Feimster effortlessly captured attention, amassing an impressive 100k views within two months, setting the stage for his rise in the music industry. The inspiration, supported by the single, allowed him to release his first album titled “Nina,” as a tribute to the legendary Nina Simone. Additionally, he released a live piano version of this album exclusively on Bandcamp.

In 2023, a defining moment occurred when Feimstro was honored as the Artist of Residence at UMS. This recognition solidified his status as a highly creative individual whose music resonates deeply with both his audience and community.

With his soulful melodies, Feimstro not only captivates audiences but also showcases his unwavering dedication to his art. He isn’t just a kid from Flint; he is an incredibly talented storyteller who eagerly embraces the future and the untold musical tales that lie ahead.

Mama Sōl

Flint, Michigan’s own Mama Sōl has crafted language for some of the biggest brands in the country from the iconic introduction of FUBU to our culture to voicing for the Detroit Pistons 2022 season. She’s opened for musical greats the likes of Destiny’s Child, Robert Glasper, Rakim, Rapsody, MC Lyte, Kash Doll, Talib Kweli and Mos Def, now known as Yasin Bey, to name a few. She’s also blessed stages with some of this country’s greatest minds, including Representative Maxine Waters, Dr. Umar Johnson, Dr. Eric Thomas and Dr. Francis Cress Welsing. She speaks, performs and pens lyrics in the way in which few can believe. Ultimately, she dedicates her life to her passions.

Mama Sōl has appeared on the concert stage at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC for two consecutive years, participating in the MC Lyte “Celebrating Women in Hip-Hop” events in both 2022 and 2023. In 2023, Sōl was commissioned by Dove, to compose and recite the theme for the 3rd Annual Crown Awards (“CROWN PROUD”), celebrating the beauty and resilience of natural hair. In 2023, she also graced the BET HER Awards presented by Wal-Mart, Mama Sōl was commissioned to write and recite a spoken-word dedicated to the life’s work of MC Lyte who received the Legend Award.

Mama Sōl, a resilient individual, has triumphed over breast cancer not once but twice, attributing her remarkable healing journey to her commitment to a vegan diet spanning over a decade. Her son served as her primary source of motivation throughout this challenging period. Inspired by her personal experience and the transformative power of veganism, in early 2024, Mama Sōl is set to launch her latest groundbreaking venture, “The Sōl Section,” the first-ever vegan restaurant in Flint, Michigan. This marks a significant milestone in her journey, as she extends her passion for veganism beyond personal wellness to create a space where others can embrace a plant-based lifestyle. Through her own story and the establishment of her vegan eatery, Mama Sōl has become a beacon of inspiration, promoting not only physical well-being but also the importance of compassionate choices in one’s lifestyle.

Above all, the title that nourishes her soul the most is “Mom.” The profound bond with her son not only reveals her loving and inclusive parenting but also underscores her role as an educator and single mother.

Beyond raising her son, she imparts wisdom to a wider audience, making teaching an integral part of her identity. In her role as an educator, Sōl leaves a lasting impact on those she interacts with.

If we delve deeply into her teaching background, we uncover stories that could be deemed legendary. Engaging her students at Timbuktu Academy, an African-Centered charter school in Detroit, Michigan they lovingly called her Mama Sōl. She promised her students she would keep that name for life and Mama Sōl never makes a promise she doesn’t keep.

That synergy with students and gift of educating kids finds her a regular presence in the arena of higher education. She has performed and spoken to audiences at University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Ohio State University, University of Wisconsin, Florida International University, Temple University (Football Program), Eastern Michigan University EDUTalk, Albion College and several middle/high schools. Her constant appearance in this sector allows the audience to receive a masterclass in creative expression and communication; an education these privileged students couldn’t have gotten from anyone else.

Suffice it to say that Mama Sōl has contributed greatly to the cultural fiber of the genre and more specifically to her communities throughout Michigan. Constantly in high demand “Sōl” also counts artistic institutes and creative spaces as consistent platforms she’s graced. The likes of Detroit Institute of the Arts, Flint Institute of the Arts, Charles H. Wright Museum of African History and The Bronx Museum.

Mama Sōl is currently collaborating with Official Starter & Ty Mopkins on the Detroit Pistons official Black History “Til Victory is Won” Starter jacket. She is also currently working with Dr. Mona on the Rx Kids Initiative to erase infant poverty in Flint, Michigan. Mama Sōl continues to be a dynamic force for positive change.

Raheem DeVaughn

Raheem DeVaughn, a masterful architect of soul music, has continuously ascended the ranks of artistic brilliance. This four-time Grammy-nominated phenomenon isn’t just a singer; he’s a platinum songwriter, a passionate health and human rights activist, and a luminary in the realm of R&B. His unwavering commitment to his craft and his fans shines brightly in every soul-stirring melody he creates, offering a consistent stream of music that resonates deeply with a diverse audience.

As the founder of the LoveLife Foundation, DeVaughn demonstrates his deep-seated dedication to enhancing the physical, mental and economic well-being of underserved communities of color. His advocacy extends beyond music, earning him prestigious recognitions such as the Biden Administration 2023 Presidential Volunteer Award and the Key to the City of Washington D.C. for his impactful work in HIV/AIDS awareness.

DeVaughn’s influence in the music industry is undeniable. Crowned as the #1 independent artist on the radio in 2019, he has crafted a unique space for himself, especially among Black women aged 24-54, who find a voice in his melodies. His catalog of hits not only showcases his exceptional talent but also his dedication to delivering music that is both authentic and evocative. Raheem DeVaughn’s journey is not just about musical milestones; it’s a testament to his unwavering commitment to artistry, his community, and the power of soulful music.

Sheldon A. Neeley
Flint Mayor

Sheldon Neeley is a lifelong resident of Flint, Michigan, where he raised two daughters with his wife Cynthia. Neeley retired from a 27-year career as a broadcast engineer with WJRT ABC12 and served as a local union president until 2020.

He is a man of God with an enduring commitment to serving his neighbors and his community. Neeley served as Flint City Councilperson representing the 6th Ward from 2005 to 2014, and was then elected to the state House of Representatives serving the city’s 34th District, where he fought on behalf of Flint residents during the Flint Water Crisis.

In 2019, the residents of Flint elected Neeley as mayor based on his pledge to bring transparency and fiscal responsibility to Flint City Hall, and he was re-elected mayor in 2022. Neeley is a relentless champion of Flint who regularly sums up his life by simply saying, “I’m blessed.”