BAM Team

Kim McMillon-2005-photographer Edie FogelKim McMillon is currently completing a Ph.D. in World Cultures, at the University of California, Merced, with an emphasis on the Black Arts Movement and African American Literature. In collaboration with UC Merced’s Office of Student Life and Center for the Humanities, Ms. McMillon produced the UC Merced Black Arts Movement Conference 50 Years On, February 28 – March 2, 2014. As President of the UC Merced African Diaspora Student Association, Ms. McMillon produced programs on race and culture with such renown speakers as Askia Toure, one of the main architects of the Black Arts and Black Power Movements, and former Black Panther Charlotte “Mama C” O’Neal as well as facilitated a graduate panel on diversity at UC Merced. Ms. McMillon is a guest editor for the summer issue of The Journal of PAN African Studies special edition on the Black Arts Movement and has been asked to contribute to Black Power Encyclopedia (1965-1975), a two-volume reference work that explores the emergence and evolution of the Black Power Movement in the United States. From 2001–2005, Ms. McMillon produced the Oakland Literature Expo with PEN Oakland as part of the City of Oakland’s Art & Soul Festival. Ms. McMillon’s radio show Arts in the Valley (2010-2014) aired every Saturday on 1480 KYOS AM in Merced, California. In 2014, the PEN Oakland anthology Fightin’ Words, which she co-edited with Claire Ortalda and Judith Cody, was published by Heyday Press in Berkeley, California. In November 2015, Ms. McMillon was one of the invited guest speakers at Stanislaus State University’s Social Justice in the Central Valley Conference. She will also take part in a TED Talk on the women of the Black Arts Movement at the University of California, Merced, October 12, 2016.


monalisaMona Lisa Saloy, Ph.D., Author & Folklorist, Educator, and Scholar, is an award-winning author of contemporary Creole culture in articles and poems about Black New Orleans before and after Katrina. Currently, Conrad N. Hilton Endowed Professor and Coordinator of English at Dillard University, most recently, Dr. Saloy (with English colleagues) received a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to aid in documenting contemporary Black Creole Culture. As a Folklorist, for decades, Dr. Saloy documents Creole culture and sidewalk songs, jump-rope rhymes, and clap-hand games to discuss the importance of play. As a poet, her first book, Red Beans & Ricely Yours, won the T.S. Eliot Prize, the PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Award, and tied for a third. She’s written on the significance of the Black Beat poets, on the African American Toasting Tradition, on Black & Creole talk, on life and keeping Creole after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Her book, Second Line Home is a refreshing collection of poems that captures the day-to-day New Orleans speech, contemplates family dynamics, celebrates New Orleans, and gives insight into the unique culture the world loves. In 2014m Dr. Mona Lisa Saloy was nominated as Best Female Faculty 2014, by HBCU Digest, out of 101 Historically Black Colleges & Universities; also, she was honored as best female artist by the Margaret Burroughs/New Orleans Chapter of the National Council of Black Artists; and honored as Exemplary faculty in scholarship and creativity on campus. In 2014, she was guest speaker at the Smithsonian on Black Creole Culture in New Orleans.

Recent publications include verse in Black Gold, an Anthology of the Best Black Poetry in the Africa and African American World. Ja A. Jahannes, editor. Savannah, GA: Turner Mayfield Publishing, 2014, and the anthology Fightin’ Words: 25 Years of Provocative Poetry and Prose from “The Blue-Collar” PEN. (Judith Cody, Kim McMilon, and Claire Ortalda, editors) Berkeley, California: Heyday Press, 2014. 2015: “The Federal Flood,” new prose, and three poems from Second Line Home: New Orleans Poems. PEN.
“Children’s Games Songs,” Encyclopedia of African Cultural Heritage in North America.
Mona Lisa Saloy, Featured: The Advocate, “New Orleanians Fighting their Way Back Home after Katrina,” Chris Bynum, August.

Recent Awards
UNFC/Mellon Faculty Fellowship to Nantes, France, July 5-15thJuly; Presentation at Atlanta Conference, October 2015
286 teen & tween books from for distribution to 7thWard families
She tweets: @redbeansista


JTC_Headshotv1Jim T. Chong is a licensed financial professional helping individuals plan for their financial future and senior years. He also assists people with being seen and creating the influence they desire. Jim serves on several executive teams of established organization and is a community leader. He is a published author, a columnist, and serves as the radio personality “The Wok Star” on MONEY 1055FM in Greater Sacramento along with his co-host “The Theatre Queen” Cami Ferry on Rush Hour For Success. Jim is a Master Emcee who speaks at various multi-cultural communities and facilitates discussions at community events, parades, workshops, fundraisers, and seminars. His focus is to support those that support others, create win for all scenarios, and also supports the greater good. He does this by helping people develop strategies for money and business as well as inspiring and guiding them to do greater things and to create “wins” for themselves. He is the founder of Solutions4Life which is an entity dedicated to providing resources in Health Care, Wealth Care, & Self Care. He will be launching a new Global Internet Radio site “Live Strong America – Radio To Inspire”. He serves on the Executive Board of several established cause-based organization and multi-cultural communities and will be hosting our Interfaith Breakfast, the VIP Dinner, and other various aspects of the Africa Trade Show. Jim is a proud Klemmer Grad that has championed several Champion Workshops in Sacramento. His favorite quote is by Alan Lakin…”Planning is taking the future, bringing it into the present, and doing something about it now.”


bevyoungBev Young is chief Digital Success Strategist at Bev Young Marketing. She works with conscious and creative entrepreneurs – coaches, consultants, artists, artisans and community-minded professionals – who are struggling to create an effective online presence. Through consulting and done-for-you services, she helps business owners create a website that expresses their passion and vision, and is also an effective marketing tool, so they can feel proud of their online persona, love their website, and finally get results from it. Her favorite work activities are designing graphics and the accompanying story, often from disparate parts, to create a cohesive brand. She firmly believes, as Julius Caesar said, “Creating is the essence of life.” She also provides affordable legal services and protection from identity theft to businesses and families. Find out more at and


Shellee Randol MugShellee Randol
Randol Graphics Marketing & Design

Randol Graphics is a small, woman-owned design company based in the Central San Joaquin Valley of California. Shellee worked in the newspaper industry for 25 years before striking out on her own in 2009. While she enjoys designing for a broad range of clients, her true passion is helping worthy causes who may not have an advertising budget. The Boys and Girls Club of Merced County, youth sports and non-profit groups are among those close to her heart. She believes everyone should have access to professionally designed materials – especially those organizations that can least afford it. Giving back to her community is at the heart of her business.

Shellee lives on a small ranch with her partner, Brandy, where they raise chickens, ducks and peacocks. She is happiest when digging in the dirt and watching things grow. The only thing she loves more than gardening is her three year-old grandson, Eli.


Nikki Madfis FlyingNikki Madfis, Fundraiser and Media Consultant, is a member of the McCloskey Tissue Engineering Group and a doctoral candidate in Quantitative and Systems Biology at the University of California, Merced, with emphasis in Vascular Biology and directing human embryonic stem cell fate. Before embarking on a career in scientific research, she was successful in the banking industry and as a sales professional. She is highly creative and an endlessly curious people person with a passion for art, travel and Black culture.