Be strong, be fearless, be beautiful.
And believe that anything is possible
when you have the right people there to support you.
Speaker: Felicia Gaston
Speaker, Felicia Gaston
Executive Director, Performing Stars of Marin
Marin City was created in 1942. To put Marin City on the map and to celebrate its history and culture, Felecia and Jahi Torman created Marin City 80, a year-long celebration of history, culture, and art to bring forward the largely untold story of African American perseverance in Marin County. Starting in Feb 2022 through October 2022, monthly themed celebrations are planned. Felicia will discuss the history of Marin City and her vision for its future.,
Felecia Gaston has been working nonstop to enrich the lives of the residents of Marin City and put it on the map. Performing Stars, an enrichment program for children, that she founded in 1990, instills pride, character, discipline, and self-esteem in her students. The Center has transformed the lives of over 3,000 low-income children over a period of 32 years. Her talk will discuss the creation, journey, and continued evolution of Performing Stars, which started with just 8 children attending a ballet class. Since then, the program has grown and expanded to include a variety of programs in dance, theater, baton twirling, digital and financial literacy, sailing class, field trips, and incorporating social skills.
Among the many awards Felicia has been awarded, they include the Marin Women's Hall of Fame (1999) and the Marin Human Rights Commission - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award (2002). She also has been featured on television in ABC7 Salutes by Cheryl Jennings, Anchor, KGO-TV (2006), and the Hallmark Channel-New Morning Television (2006). In 2012, Felecia was recognized with a Cultural Treasures Award by the Marin County Cultural Services Commission, as an honoree for the National Coalition of 100 Black Women’s “Bridging the Generations” event, and as a Role Model Hero of Marin by the Pacific Sun newspaper and Circle Bank. In 2015, Felecia was presented with recognition in the House of Representatives Congressional Record by the Honorable Jared Huffman. And most recently, in 2020 Felecia received the Center for Volunteers and Nonprofit Leadership’s Achievement in Nonprofit Excellence award.
Speaker: Laurie Nardone
During breakout sessions, we will reflect on the following:
Facilitator: WMD member and past President, Laurie Nardone
I have been a resident of Marin County since 1978 having moved here from the other end of the world - Rhode Island. I have two terrific sons, one living in Washington and the other local. It is probably the combination of living here in Marin and having children that have motivated me to take a deeper and longer look at what I do every day to try to make the world a better place for those who come after me.
I am a Certified Financial Planner™ specializing in working with people who measure their financial 'winning' by the satisfaction of enjoying their lifestyle and their financial confidence. I feel honored to be a part of the wonderful Wednesday Morning Dialogue group and enjoyed my years being on the board and serving as a past President. I am also a member of the Financial Planning Association (FPA) and am on the board of the League of Women Voters Marin County.
If you are always trying to be normal,
you will never know how amazing you can be.
Try to be a rainbow in someone else's cloud.
Speaker: Anita Gail Jones
“Overall, book publishing industries worldwide have much work to do to make room at all tables for diversified voices. In far too many corners, publishing mirrors the wider, domineering societies in which they function, stifling, suppressing and oppressing a multitude of robust, distinct voices by way of omission. In my writing, I’m seeking to reflect the times. Because the past haunts the present, we often find ourselves reckoning with the failures of history again and again. Nothing illustrates this fact better than the project I worked on this past summer elevating the voices of four Marin County heroes from the World War II shipbuilding era in Marin City/Sausalito.
In my upcoming novel, Peach Seed Monkey, I invite readers to face some difficult themes from history that are tragically repeated in the novel’s present day, 2012, and— it horrifies me to say—even now, a decade later. Each of us must help lead this charge to see more and more untold and undertold stories finally have a place in what should be a cultural dialogue, not a soliloquy. I refuse to look away.” – Anita Gail Jones
Anita Gail Jones is a visual artist, professional storyteller and writer. Anita was born and raised in Albany, Georgia, and lives in Northern California. She maintains a strong connection with this southwest corner of Georgia – in fact, it is the setting for her upcoming debut novel. Peach Seed Monkey was a finalist in the 2021/PEN Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction and was recently acquired by Holt & Company for publication in spring 2023. Anita is an alumna of Hedgebrook, a women’s writers community on Whidbey Island off the coast of Seattle. Her short story, Hand-Me-Down Blues, won an award from The Pinch literary journal. She was a 2018-19 Affiliate Artist at The Headlands Center for the Arts in the San Francisco Bay Area.
In addition to her work as a storyteller, visual artist and writer, Anita and her husband, Rob Roehrick, founded the