(BOWIE – May 13, 2016) – The next business networking event produced by www.BMORENEWS.com and its partners is happening Wednesday, May 18, 2016 at 6 pm at Olde Towne Inn in Largo. Honorees receiving the Joe Manns Black Wall Street Award include Latoya Kess, the Coppin and University of Maryland alumni who is following her life’s dreams and working to make a difference in this world. Established in 2011, the ORIGINAL Black Wall Street SERIES *NYC *MD *DC *ATL *NOLA aims to celebrate black entrepreneurs and professionals as well as the people who support them regardless of race.
Who is Latoya Kess? Surely, you jest! Besides being a stellar professional, she is a big-time supporter of black business for years.
”Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others”- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
This is Latoya Kess’ life mantra: A native of Baltimore, Maryland who has always had a passion for helping others, Latoya is a proud graduate of Baltimore’s Paul Laurence Dunbar High School. Early on, she took an interest in learning more about her African and African American heritage and culture. Hence, she is really fond of cultural experiences – like listening to Griots.
In pursuit of her passion for helping people, she applied and was accepted into attend Coppin State University’s dynamic nursing program. While at Coppin State, she met Social/Political Scientist and Afrocentric Scholar Dr. Leon “Baba”Holsey, who was instrumental in teaching her the customs and culture of Ancient African Civilizations.
It was then that she decided to change her major and ultimately graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Social Science under Dr. Holsey’s tutelage. During her college years, Latoya played a pivotal role in “Reality Speaks,” a local grassroots organization in Baltimore whose key mission was to bring “scholarly, historical and conscious” Afrocentric speakers to the city. Some noted speakers included Sista Souljah, Dr. Khalid Muhammad, and Dr. Ashra Kwesi, to name a few.
Upon graduation, she began working for Baltimore City Department of Social Services as a Family Service Caseworker for the next ten (10) years. In that role, she was dedicated to the families and children that she encountered as a Child Protective Service Worker and as a Family Preservation and Foster Care/Adoptions Worker. While briefly serving the Chronically Mentally Ill population, Latoya consistently provided exceptional and personable community case management services.
With a deep dedication to higher education, she was then accepted into the University of Maryland at Baltimore-School of Social Work’s Master’s Degree Program. Knowing that she was being taken to higher phases in her life, she transferred to the University of Maryland University College where she graduated with a Master’s Degree in Human Resources Management. She soon began a career with the Federal Government as a Human Resources Specialist and Equal Employment Opportunity Specialist in Baltimore and was later relocated to the Washington, DC metro area where she currently resides in Bowie, MD.
Today, Latoya Kess maintains her commitment to helping society. However, she has now taken all of those skills and experiences and combined them into her very own consulting firm. Oh, and she’s global. Latoya is proud of the formation of a partnership with a company in Dubai, UAE. She spent time there recently launching a new project on global recruitment.
Further, the 2015 riots following the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, MD are remembered as a time of civil unrest, yet Latoya sees it as an opportunity for change for her hometown. Thus, Latoya has participated in the healing process by volunteering as a change agent, particularly in the African-American community. Specifically, Latoya has partnered with the Baltimore-based organization, “Stop Modern Slavery, Ending Sex Trafficking.” Trafficking is a huge issue affecting global and local communities. Several events will be planned in the very near future.
In her spare time, she is devoted to her spiritual journey and enjoys spending time with friends and family, especially her nieces and nephews. She loves attending plays, visiting museums, studying Black History, attending cultural events, traveling the world, volunteering and exercising.