ABOUT

US

Valora James

Valora’ James, founder of Art of Hope Consulting, LLC., was born and raised in Des Moines, IA. She graduated from the Des Moines Public School system. She went on to further her education at William Penn University getting her Bachelor of Arts in Business Management and graduated with a Masters degree in Business Leadership. She also graduated from the African American Leadership Academy and currently attending the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute.

 

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Valora’ is employed at Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield where she serves as a Senior Advocate in Customer Service. Throughout her 15 years and counting she obtained her health and life insurance certification. She is a member of the Wellmark Inclusion and Diversity Council.

 

Her leadership skills in her community and position on Wellmark Inclusion and Diversity Council led her to create and facilitate racial equity workshops to over 700 employees including the Senior Leadership Team and Board of Directors. Through this experience she was able to raise awareness for the impact of racial inequity, create empathy for marginalized groups and help her work community recognize the importance of valuing others.

 

 

Valora’ is a huge advocate in the community. She serves as a mentor with Investing In My future (IIMF) a non-profit organization whose mission is to assist parents and students to prepare for education beyond high school by equipping and empowering them with the tools that help them navigate the college preparation and admission process.

 

September 2016 began her journey with Hip-Hope Inc. a non-profit, as a Secretary on the Executive Board. The nature of her involvement is to carry out Hip-Hope’s mission to utilize arts and culture to promote hope where symptoms of hopelessness are prevalent for under privileged and overchallenged youth in the community

 

In 2017 she became the director of what became Hip-Hope Inc.’s “Know Your Worth” Many Shades of Colour Young Women’s Conference focusing on topics such as leadership, team building, academic achievement, self-worth, financial responsibility, cultural competency, emotional intelligence and obligations of citizenship. Each year Hip-Hope has the pleasure of serving over 400 students and mentors during the young women’s conference

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Tracy Duran

Founder of IDEATE Collaborative, LLC. Through her work in the community, she found her passion for intercultural development as she recognized the need for people and organizations to build a foundation of understanding for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

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Tracy is passionate about leadership and organizational development through the lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion. She is a Qualified Administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory and an authorized DiSC partner. As the Director of Studio Arts, Community Access, and Inclusion at the Des Moines Art Center, Tracy began her journey as an Interculturalist and DEI Practitioner. She provides vision and strategic leadership for programs that link the Art Center’s studio and community education classes to the museum and community through the development of innovative programming. In addition to her work in education, Tracy provides vision and leadership for the organization’s inclusion efforts as they strive to be a cultural resource for all in the community. Through both volunteer and professional experiences, Tracy has worked with various nonprofits and programs that serve high-risk youth and underserved populations in the community. Tracy has dedicated her life to empowering youth and began mentoring kids at the age of 17 in Las Vegas, Nevada, where her identity and experiences were shaped. She is a daughter, mother, sister, aunt, artist, and active volunteer. She holds a BFA in painting and drawing from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and an MFA from California State University, Fullerton.

Bo James

Born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa, Bo has been engaged in his community on many levels. He grew up in church where his family were clergy. In sports, he was a world class athlete with JR. Olympic medals, a Golden Glove title, collegiate sports and academic scholarships and other accolades. In music he has traveled the world and has shared the stage with many music legends as a performer, producer and promoter.

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With relatives who were Black Panthers, Lawyers, Preachers and community activists, he has been an advocate for his Black heritage his entire life. He was called to fight for injustice when his God Brother was choked to death for wearing a hoodie in a night club by two bouncers. The bouncers were never arrested and his family never received justice for their beloved. He has been engaged with organizations such as NAACP and Concerned Citizens For Justice ever since his God Brothers death, for over 20 years.

Four years ago Bo James officially established Hip-Hope Inc., a 501C3, non-profit, Youth Empowerment, Asset Based Community Development organization that utilizes arts and culture to promote Hope where symptoms of hopelessness are prevalent.  He is considered a community leader because Hip-Hope Inc. has organized multiple Youth Empowerment and Community Betterment events that have mobilized all sectors of the community. He has developed a network of hundreds of community partners that include school districts, corporations, outreach organizations, higher learning institutions, churches, celebrities and law enforcement agencies.

 

Bo James’ Hope is to bridge gaps between kids and community, privileged and underprivileged, powerful and disenfranchised. His purpose is to find Win, Win, Win solutions among polarized populations. His goal is to empower all who long for peace, freedom and fulfillment with tools to overpower challenges that breed hopelessness.