Ty Simmons was born and raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He graduated from South Side High School. After graduating, Ty played basketball, studied and graduated at both Merced College and San Francisco State University with several degrees. Mr. Simmons is currently the Executive Director of Human Agricultural Cooperative. Under his leadership Human Agricultural Cooperative has trained over 40 youth farmers, 20 youth entrepreneurs, donated and distributed over 250,000 pounds of food in Fort Wayne and over a half a million pounds of food in Indianapolis, Gary, and Chicago. Ty is also a publisher, an author, a screenwriter and much more.
Diane Rogers born in Birmingham Al., raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
She graduated from Snider High School, graduated Purdue University
IPFW Associate Degree in Management. She retired with 27 years of
services from the Fort Wayne Police Department patrolled the
southeast quadrant promoting community policing.
She is the founder and Artistic Director for Omotayo Rite of Passage
Inc., a non-profit. She served on the committee of the Fort Wayne
Trail. She is presently serving as Vice President & Building Trustee
for Oxford Community Association where she lives. She is a member
of the Summit City South Rotary Club and a Independent Associate
for Legal Shield as a Director.
Chief Condra Ridley is a contemporary griot, a storyteller who carries on the African tradition of oral history. She retired after 28 years of service to Allen County Public Library where she was Manager of Pontiac Branch Library for 14 years and finished as a Children’s Services Specialist, storytelling and presenting book-related programs to children all over Allen County in libraries, schools and childcare centers. From 1998-2009, she created and produced a TV show for Access Fort Wayne called “The Roving Reader,” which promoted utilizing the library and reading aloud to children.
Community improvement has always been important to Condra, so over the past 38 years, she has contributed substantial time and energy to various organizations, including the African/African American Historical Society/Museum, Erin’s House for Grieving Children, Harambee Festival Committee, NAACP and African American Genealogical Society of Fort Wayne. Presently, she is working on some economic development projects to make our community more self-sufficient thru I Am Garvey, Inc. and Human Agricultural Cooperative. In August, 2008, King David Adetunji Aweloye II of Ekiti, Nigeria bestowed the title of Chief upon Ms. Ridley and four other Fort Wayne civil servants to help build cultural and business relations.
Chief Condra Ridley is most grateful for her 31-year marriage to Richard Ridley III and the five daughters they have raised together , and her beloved community of supportive family members and friends who keep life active, interesting and joyful.
Ephraim Smiley II
Ephraim Smiley was born by mid-wife in Wilcox county in Coy Alabama on March 17, 1950. Born on a 140 acre farm owned by his grandparents Robert and Selena. His family moved to Chicago then down to Fort Wayne during the great exodus out of the south. He graduated from Elmhurst high school where he lettered in both basketball and football. After high school he was awarded a scholarship to Butler university where he majored in sociology and minored in psychology. When he graduated from college he worked several community based jobs. He spent time at the urban league, parks and rec, big brothers big sisters, park center, & Fort Wayne community schools. At every stop he incorporated gardening in some shape, form or fashion. He highlighted the importance of all natural gardening recycling and relieving hunger in natural food deserts. In 2018 he was awarded the Sagamore of the Wabash for his 30 years of hunger relief efforts. He currently manages a 17 acre hunger relief farm located on the southeast side of Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Partner, Family & Friends Fund for the World
Kristin is humbled to take on an advisory (and non-voting) role with the Family & Friends Fund for Southeast Fort Wayne. She was born and raised in Columbia, South Carolina. She is a licensed attorney and impact investing professional. She believes in distributing power and resources to BIPOC leaders and is here to be of service and only serves at the pleasure of the Donor Advisors, Youth & Elder Councils, and General Public.