Participants // Strange Fruit 2013


Preachers & Poets

byoungrossRev. Bridgette D. Young-Ross is the Assistant General Secretary for Campus Ministry & College Chaplaincy for the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church. Young-Ross works with campus ministers and college chaplains providing support, resources, networking, and continuing education. | @bridgette_young

bradfordRev. Brady Radford is a partner and pastoral counselor with the Generation Care Consulting Group based in Atlanta, GA. A native Nashvillian, he holds a Masters of Divinity degree from Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary of the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, GA. | @brotherbrady


speters2Dr. Sheila Peters is Associate Professor of Psychology at Fisk University. She is a licensed clinical psychologist with expertise in working with diverse populations including vulnerable children, and youth and their families. Dr. Peters is a candidate for ordained ministry and a member of Gordon Memorial UMC.


rbaileyDr. Randall C. Bailey is the Andrew Mellon Distinguished Professor of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, GA.  Dr. Bailey concentrates on how race, class, gender, sex, and power intersect in the biblical text.  He is an ordained Baptist minister. You can follow Dr. Bailey on twitter at @rcbaileyitc.

mccrayMs. Niya McCray (Phenix) is a junior at Vanderbilt University in African American & Diaspora Studies/Pre-Law. When not pursuing her undergraduate degree, she spends her time between poetry and music. A Southern girl born and raised, the phrase “actions speak louder than words” in no way applies to her.


mmclendonMichael Diallo McLendon‘s genius, passion and vocal sensitivity all take center stage whenever this gifted thespian embraces the microphone. He is a recent Stellar Award nominee for his debut spoken word CD, The Diallo Experience, and developed a one man show and has a score of theatrical credits.


MitchellTia Mitchell
is a daughter of the King, a wife whose smile rivals the sun at the mention of her hard-working husband’s name and a mother of three, beautifully-gifted children who already call her blessed. She is an artist that ministers the Truth by bringing entertaining enlightenment to the masses.

The Band

Mike Hicks & Funktional Punctuation, often referred to as the Funk Puncs. Led by founder/front-man/keyboardist/songwriter, Mike Hicks, the Funk Puncs are comprised of a tight, funky rhythm section (Eric Ramey – bass, Andy Jones – guitar, Brandon Newsome – percussion, Bernard Bell – drums, “Maestro” Lightford – keyboards/Musical Director), a dynamic horn section (Kevin Matthews – Tenor Sax, Cord Martin – Alto Sax, Joe Jordan – Trumpet/Flugelhorn, Casey Lowrance – Trombone), and wildly energetic vocalists (Kyle Hicks, LaSheena Allgood). Founded in 2008, the Funk Puncs have been labeled everything from Resurgent Soul to Gospeldelic; however, Mike tends to lend only two labels to the music that they create—good music and life music.

The subject matter ranges from everyday scenarios, to social and political commentary, to a relevant and unending pursuit of God beyond religious catchphrases.

The Result: The Funk Puncs deliver a well-constructed, yet spontaneous show that has been lauded by the Nashville Scene as “entrancing”. It is unapologetically hopeful and positive. The music is a reflection of who they are individually and collectively. They are the Funk Puncs. | @funkpunc




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