Episode 3: What Happened in Charlotte

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Guests: 

Tracey Wopperer, Party Politics US -- Charlotte, NC discussing The Path forward event

Janay Marriel Smith is a mechanical engineer, product designer, lawyer and comedian whose purpose is bound by improving the lives of others. Ms. Smith’s life is defined by seamlessly weaving professional training, personal experiences and gut instinct. She executes this trifecta via story-telling, activism, consumer product design, and public policy campaigns.

Ms. Smith’s exposure to law was immediate and intense as a child reared by civil rights activists in Montgomery, Alabama. Such a pro-active environment led her to the politically aware and socially conscious Howard University where she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. Her intrigue with international policy and multiculturalism blossomed while living in Washington, D.C.

Ms. Smith’s career began as an engineer for Ford Motor Company. By 25, she was a manager for the international award winning KA’s Squeak and Rattle manufacturing team in Valencia, Spain. Her experience on such an influential multi-national team birthed her passions for international exploring and cultural understanding.

She fervently supports the democratic process and equity under the law (her contributions to the 2008 United States presidential campaign gained national recognition). Her commitment to human rights, health care and environmental issues expanded after legal experiences in Italy and Africa. Ms. Smith’s international efforts tapped her as an Ambassador for Namibia’s Hardap Region. Smith serves as co-founder and co-president of Visceral Media Group (VMG). VMG is dedicated to creating film, television and music content that entertains, educates and inspires. VMG is co-owned by accomplished, veteran producer Mr. James DuBose. This duo is bound by a commitment to tell compelling biographical and motivational stories.

Ms. Smith currently owns and manages The Jock Michael Smith Collection (TJMSC), the world's largest privately held multi-sport collection of game worn, authenticated memorabilia. She uses the collection to stimulate, and motivate, conversations across cultural, racial and gender lines. She has created a partnership with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) to exhibit over 40 key artifacts in Washington, D.C. The sports gallery of NMAAHC would not exist without TJMSC. She was President of SCORE! Las Vegas, the nation’s first multi-sport interactive exhibit with game worn memorabilia.

J. Smiles is the stage name Ms. Smith uses as a standup comedian. Referred to as the conscious comic, she tackles controversial topics in a manner that allows the entire audience to leave with a new perspective. She performs standup regularly. J. Smiles was a co-host on The Ladies Lounge radio show. Her creative design endeavors are contained within The J Factor, an independent invention firm. Ms. Smith has deep, lasting connections with organizations such as The Rosa and Raymond Parks Foundation, the Democratic National Committee, Lawyers Without Borders and the American Heart Association. She is member of the American Bar Association, the Alabama Bar Association, the National Bar Association, the Industrial Designers Society of America and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.