Non-profit organization to celebrate local African-American authors


MANSFIELD – The North End Community Improvement Collaborative, Inc. will host four local African American authors – Jeffrey Jones, Edward Akinyemi, Brigitte Coles and Loretta Hillard – on Friday August 30 for a social event on academic affairs and learning initiatives.

Jones has been a lifelong North End resident. He is pastor of First Baptist Church in Mansfield and founder of Cool Dads Faithful Fathers, a local nonprofit organization that aims to help men fulfill their roles as fathers. His book is called “Seeing is believing”.

Akinyemi is the research and development coordinator at NECIC. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands and a master’s degree from the University of Southern Denmark. His experience with AmeriCorps VISTA inspired him to write his book “Community Heroes: What a year as an AmeriCorps VISTA member taught me about community development”.

Coles is an award-winning TV broadcaster, internationally published author, motivational speaker, cancer survivor and humanitarian. Coles has been recognized by the Richland County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board, the Ohio Regional Aging Agency, District 5, and the North American Marshals Violent Fugitives Task Force of Ohio as a community leader. She was featured in the national publication African-American Lifestyle Magazine. Her latest book is “Women of Courage: Volume II”.

Hillard is the author of the book “A History of Notable African Americans, Richland County, Ohio”, which highlights the rich history of African Americans in the community. She was born and raised in Mansfield. His family lived on Company Line, Mansfield’s first African-American neighborhood. She has also written several articles on the former black working-class neighborhood and its connection to Mansfield.

The event will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on August 30 at the North End Community Improvement Collaborative, 134 N Main St. Refreshments will be provided.

Registration is compulsory. Participants can register online at

While AALI Social was a paid event, it is now free to attend. However, donations and other community contributions are appreciated and necessary in order to continue these events. To sponsor an ALLI Social, call 419-522-1611, dward Akinyemi (ext 127) or Leona Smith (ext 114).

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