At The Yarn, we believe in the power of story to break down barriers, gain greater understanding of our neighbors and change hearts and minds.
I have lived in Arkansas since 1987. I am married and have 4 wonderful children. I work as an IT Manager for a local bank and have been there 19 years.
I currently volunteer as a Sexual Assault Response Advocate at the Fort Smith Crisis Intervention Center. I have been blessed to have served 9 years for this wonderful organization in my community.
I'm the single mom of two beautiful children, a 22 year old daughter and a 12 year old son. I have been in the medical field for 22 years. After nearly losing my life September 3, 2016, I am now a motivational speaker, raising awareness about domestic and sexual violence, and I've had the opportunity to appear on the daytime television show "The Doctors." I'm also in the process of becoming an advocate and starting my own non-profit organization called BOSS (Bringing Out Strong Survivors), that will be launching this October.
Crystal C. Mercer
Crystal C. Mercer is a native of Little Rock, AR. She's a performance artist, activist, author, founder and creative director of Columbus Creative Arts + Activism, and designer and lead merchant of SAFI FABric MARKET. Mercer's past credits include a number of plays and musicals in Arkansas, off - Broadway in New York, and internationally in Canterbury, England. She fuses arts and activism by using theatre and textiles to tell social justice narratives, through merchandising and storytelling, with an emphasis of uplifting voices of color. A dedicated public servant, a woman of many creative talents, and the daughter of legendary late civil rights lawyer, Attorney Christopher C. Mercer, Jr., she honors the legacy of her father by using theatre arts as a tool for empowerment, education, and social justice. Stay connected to Crystal! SUBSCRIBE to her YouTube Channel, follow her on Instagram @colleenmercer, on Twitter @AfroCannGoddess, on Snapchat @AfroGoddessCCM, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CCMercerToo. Get your copy of her new book, A Love Story Waiting To Happen, at www.alovestorywaitingtohappen.com.
Emily Loker moved to Little Rock from Maine to attend the Clinton School of Public Service. She has very much enjoyed her time here in the Natural State and will, with bittersweet emotions, be leaving Arkansas to attend the University of Colorado Boulder this fall. In the future, she hopes to use her education and experience to facilitate exchange across difference.
I was born and raised in the Little Rock area and graduated from UALR in 2009 with a bachelor’s in sociology. I am currently working on my Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling. I am passionate about being an advocate for disability rights, women’s rights, and the LGBTQ community. I enjoy traveling, journaling, reading, and learning everything I can about history. The best thing I ever did for myself was take a three week solo trip to Europe for my 30th birthday where I got to do all those things and more. I’m a firm believer in not taking yourself too seriously, that laughter is the best medicine, and in giving back to others.
The following are highlights of achievements of Muskie Harris, a fourth generation Little Rockian and a young man who has worked in the community and given additional manpower to many causes and organizations: Four year letterman in football at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. The first young Black man to attend U of A from Little Rock Central High School on an athletic scholarship. Obtained a real estate license in 1978 and continues to practice this trade. This career started with Block Realty and later with Compton Realty. He eventually started his own company called JM Realty. Politically became the first Black to achieve the status of Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor in the race of Nelson and Harris vs. Clinton and Tucker in 1990. First Black on the U of A Alumni Board of Directors, serving three fouryear terms. Initiated the U of A Black Alumni Association. AR Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors, served three terms. First Black on the Little Rock Chamber of Commerce Ambassador organization. Currently - 20 years Court Liaison for local rehab facilities. Owner of MHRS - 5 years. President of 100 Blackmen of Greater Little Rock, 14 year member. Board Member of The Tiger Foundation Financial Support for LRCH.
Qutina "Tina" Watson
Qutina Watson, known as Tina, serves as the Special Projects support staff for a national early literacy nonprofit. She has received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Lane College in 2006, Masters degree in Psychology from Capella University in 2010 and presently pursuing a Doctoral degree in Education from Capella University. Tina is featured in several monthly online and printed publications. Additionally, she maintains a personal blog, thecreolesoulofaguillory (www.thecreolesoulofaguillory.com). As a sexual assault survivor, Tina is a passionate advocate against sexual assault, and has shared her platform during numerous local public speaking engagements. In addition to writing, she enjoys collecting Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU) paraphernalia and supporting Arkansas' efforts to address homelessness. Tina has published her first novel, Shattered But Not Broken, and is underway with writing her second one. She resides in Conway, Arkansas.
Bailey is an Arkansas native with an adventurous spirit. She completed her undergraduate degree in English Literature from Arkansas State University and her master’s degree in Public Administration from University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She has used her story to help women in Asia escape sex trafficking, prostitution, and sexual assault. Currently she serves as the Assistant Director of Enrollment and Alumni Services at the Clinton School of Public Service.
Deana Williams, reared in the Delta, the second of six children born to parents now deceased, James and Delores Williams. By 12 y/o, Deana and five siblings were deemed orphans/wards of the court, and never formally adopted. Misfortune, uncertainty, pain and abuse became her norm. Confronted with overcoming the hand she was dealt, survival was her only viable outcome; striving daily to remain victorious over trials and tribulations. Overcoming adversities, including incest, molestation, rape and domestic abuse, her defined mission and purpose in life is to heal, forgive and move forward. Deana coveted secrets for years, however recognized the need for healing, beginning with sharing her story. Despite “life happening”, she graduated UCA, is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the proud Mother of Kaitlyn Williams, a 16 y/o honor student @ Parkview Magnet. Her passion of caring and service are evidenced through unending commitment in the field of Physical Therapy for 25 years. Her platform, engage, educate, equip and empower people to live and not exist: “You cannot heal what you will not reveal” ~ She is a licensed Minister, Certified Life Coach, Speaker and Amazon best-selling Author: Get M.O.V.E.D.( Mapping Out Victory Each Day); Self-Empowerment through Self Discovery!
Mr. Darnell L. Rice is a Native of St. Louis, Mo. By way of Pine Bluff Arkansas. Mr. Rice is a Proud Alumni of The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Rehabilitation Science and a Master’s Degree in Management and Leadership from Webster University. He has a career centered in Social Services to young people with disabilities. Mr. Rice is a Member of the 100 Black Men of Little Rock and a Volunteer with the OK Program. Mr. Rice is Adjunct Professor at Shorter College on the 2nd Chance Pell Grant where he empowers and instructs students to become better men of society that are incarnated in the prison system. Mr. Rice is very passionate about social issues and social justice. Mr. Rice is Program Facilitator for the Confess Project. Impacting the lives of Boys of Color and Black Men to increase mental health awareness.