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Business Team
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ABOUT 

IGNITE!  is a holistic and supportive ecosystem designed to educate and bridge communication gaps between organizations, service providers, and minorities within the State of Alabama, especially African Americans and Female Business Owners. 

MISSION

Our mission is to ensure that minorities stay informed, have a clear understanding, and receive access to Federal, State, and Local Funding, as well as resources and technical assistance needed to competitively compete, succeed, and excel.

OBJECTIVES

IGNITE! Alabama core objectives are to ensure that minorities:

  • Understand Core Business Competencies

  • Receive Access to Capital                                      

  • Secure AND Successfully Execute Contracts

  • Are made aware of and encouraged to explore STEM and other High Growth Industries

  • Are made aware of and take advantage of Workforce Development and Career Readiness Opportunities

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THE NEED

Systemic racism, racial inequality, and disparities, as well as a lack of access to training and support, have perpetuated an “unlevel” playing field, catapulting Alabama’s minority community, especially African American’s seemingly into a “State of Emergency.”

 

Despite one’s very best efforts, Alabama minorities often find themselves “being the last to know” as it relates to educational and financial opportunities. They lack a supportive network and frequently fall prey to unfair business practices, manipulative and restrictive voting laws, policies, and strategic poll closings within disadvantaged communities. 

According to a 2019 study published by Alabama Possible, the State of Alabama is the 6th poorest state in the U.S. with over 800,000 Alabamians living below the poverty threshold.  Moreover, statistics show that while 72% of Alabama’s “Heads of Households” are African American women, they are 51% underpaid vs. white women AND 61% underpaid vs. white men. 

 

In addition, although 26% of the State of Alabama’s population are African American, they only own 3% of Alabama’s businesses with employees. So, while we are frustrated, we are not hopeless.

 

We simply acknowledge that it’s time to IGNITE!  and become the change we MUST see!

DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION STATEMENT

IGNITE! is committed to setting the standard and moving inclusion forward. Our team works intently to connect people, broaden perspectives, stimulate conversations, and foster civic engagement that promotes and recognize principles of fairness and equity, in relation to, and across, intersections of race, age, color, disability, faith, religion, ancestry, national origin, citizenship, sex, sexual orientation, social class, economic class, ethnicity, gender identity, gender expression, and all other identities represented among our diverse communities.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

MEET THE

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DR. KIM CARTER EVANS

President

Vice President, Managing Director,
Director of Corporate Communications,
TruFund Financial Services, Inc.

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WILLIAM A. BELL 

Member at Large

Former Mayor, City of Birmingham

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KRISHAWN M. JACKSON

Treasurer

A&O Medical Billing- Owner

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JULIE WALL KHOURY

Member at Large

Balch & Bingham LLP,
Chief Marketing Officer

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EVA T. ROBERTSON

Member at Large

Protective Life Foundation,VP, Community Relations & Executive Director

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ANDRE WILLIAMS

Member at Large

MaDD Studios – Director

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KEY YEILDING

Member at Large

Regions Bank,
Chief of Staff

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ISAAC McCOY

Vice President

Dean, School of Business, Entrepreneurship, and Computational & Information Sciences, Stillman College

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JENNIFER HANANIA COHEN

Member at Large

Accenture – Emerging Technology Management Consultant

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LaSHELLE KERR

Member at Large

The RACE Foundation – Executive Director

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Jennifer King

Member at Large

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RITA REYNOLDS

Member at Large

Reynolds Litigation,
CEO

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TERRY SPARKS

Member at Large

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), 
Assurance Partner

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KRYSTAL B. WHITE

Member at Large

Properties & Pipelines, CEO

Board of Directors
Executve Director
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TORIN DARLING

BRAZZLE

Founder, CEO and President

MEET

With a bachelor’s degree from Samford University, over 16 years of Executive Level Grants Management, 24 years of Resource & Partnership Development resulting in over $20 million dollars of funding and/or direct services to date, Program Development, Event Planning, and Project Management; Torin has a proven and dedicated career of promoting economic equality and advancement among disadvantaged populations throughout the State of Alabama.

 

Torin possesses creativity, passion, drive, and fortitude enabling her to continually lead a stellar team to develop and execute innovative programs and events that IGNITE! Alabama.

 

Torin is a dedicated Christian that considers her greatest joy and accomplishment in life, as being Dexter’s wife, Chelsea and Alexis “Lexi’s” mom. 

 

In her spare time, Torin enjoys reading, traveling, and spending quality time with family and friends.

meet torin
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