Pastor Doug is currently head pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Norristown and serves in various boards including the Montgomery County Behavioral health/Developmental Disabilities Board. His upbringing and life experiences have come together to help him be a bridge between two different worlds with many different cultures, and various languages. He has worked at one of our American Baptist Churches camps in NJ as well as several years in leadership with the Xtreme Team, a cross cultural program that has taken him to places as far away geographically and culturally as South Africa and Mexico. His speaking engagements have taken him to four continents and various States including NJ at Princeton Theological Seminary. A popular speaker and published author, he most recently published his newest book, Welcoming Community: Diversity that Works. He holds a BA in music from New Jersey City University and a Masters in Divinity from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
John is the Artistic Director and co-founder of the Barrymore nominated Iron Age Theatre, producing radical and socially conscious works throughout the Philadelphia region. His production of Marx in Soho by Howard Zinn has been touring the country since 2004 and has been performed over 375 times to thousands of people. He directs multiple productions a year. He is an instructor at Norristown Are High School since 1992, teaching Philosophy and running the Communication Center. He acts as videographer for Montgomery County Commissioners. He is an adjunct professor at Cabrini University in the school of Business and Media. Doyle is also active as a member of the technical and design teams at Hope Community Church. He is a board member of the ACPPA community arts center on Hawes Avenue in Norristown. His commitment to community is intense, videotaping and distributing material in support of the development of Norristown and beyond.
Born and raised in Norristown, Pennsylvania, Mydera Taliah is a writer, visual artist, host, educator, and the Creative Director of SpeakMeFree Productions. Mydera has been writing and performing since childhood. In 2012 she released her debut spoken word album “Confessions of a Caterpillar". Her album was received with overwhelming love, selling over 1000 copies in its first year. ‘Confessions of a Caterpillar’ was notably nominated for Poetry Album of the Year during the 12th Annual Independent Music Awards. Later in 2013 Mydera went on to found SpeakMeFree Productions (and Open Words Open Mic Poetry). Mydera has become a major presence in the regional arts community. She holds several educational & board positions, and is recognized as a leader in her field. Mydera is a sought after talent. She has shared the stage with many great artists, speakers, and performers – However, she currently finds her home in the classroom teaching Creative Writing at the University of Pennsylvania.
tonya thames taylor
Dr. tonya thames taylor is the founding director of the African American Studies Program at West Chester University, where she is an Associate Professor of History. A scholar of Frederick Douglass, adherent to the messages of pacifist Howard Thurman, and a student of blues music and the black southern women who visited her maternal grandmother's porch in Gulfport, Mississippi, Dr. thames taylor's message of "be ye ever ready," empowers all to speak straightforwardly and become comfortable with heresy. In the community, Dr. thames taylor is a life member of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and a Past Worthy Matron in The Order of Eastern Star. An active Quaker, Dr. thames taylor serves as a Trustee on the governing boards of the Friends Publishing Corporation and People's Hall, a documented stop on the Underground Railroad. She has appeared on TV and radio across the country.