Our second annual Storytelling Inspire Speakers Series is coming up soon, on February 9. Below is a sneak peek of a few of our storytellers. They are incredible folks who are diligently working to make the Pittsburgh region a sustainable, vibrant, healthy, and just place for everyone to live, work, learn, and play. The stories they tell will be focused on the theme “Loving Your Place.”
Celeste C. Smith:
Celeste C. Smith is the chief executive officer for 1Hood Media. 1Hood Media is a collective of conscious Hip Hop artists and activists who utilize Hip Hop as a means of raising awareness around issues effecting oppressed people around the world. Celeste facilitates all staff management, marketing, budget management, public relations, fundraising, and program development for 1Hood Media. She is a writer, an artist, a photographer, a filmmaker, a fashion blogger, a stylist, a foodie, a mother, a wife, and a student.
Celeste presents at conferences on topics surrounding arts and activism, collaborative processes, transformative philanthropic practices and successful after school programming. Celeste is also the business partner and manager of artist/activist Jasiri X. Celeste oversees the day-to-day business affairs of Jasiri X; while advising and counseling Jasiri X on professional matters, long-term plans and personal decisions as necessary. Celeste is a founding member of the Nefertiti Alliance, an organization dedicated to raising awareness around the importance of self care and protecting the cultural capital of Black women in the arts, a member of the Heinz Endowments Transformative Arts Process Advisory Board, and the Pittsburgh Symphony Community Advisory Council.
Prior to her work with 1Hood Media, Celeste worked with Citizenship and Immigration Services, in a number of positions ranging from clerical to Officer Corp in Chicago, Illinois and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. During this time Celeste also served as a equal employment opportunity counselor and a special emphasis program manger specializing in disabilities.
A Chicago native, Celeste received her bachelor’s degree in Arts Management and Film and Design Technology from Chatham University. Celeste’s tutorial surrounded theories of Black Masculinity with a special focus on tropes and historical occurrences. Graduating cum laude is one of Celeste’s proudest achievements.
Daniel Bull is the founder of Zero Six Eight, a for-profit business incubator based in Pittsburgh, PA that exists to promote the full potential of ex-offenders as they pursue goals of employment, entrepreneurship, and independence. Daniel founded Zero Six Eight in 2013 after completing a 21-month prison sentence. Since then, the company has supported 10 startups and created over 40 jobs across a number of different industries.
In addition to his role at Zero Six Eight, Daniel is the Executive VP of Nello Construction and Principal of Nello Development Group. Through a unique partnership, Zero Six Eight and Nello Development came together to form WorkPittsburgh, a modular and prefab contractor operating out of Pittsburgh’s South Side. WorkPittsburgh trains and equips ex-offenders in various construction trades while bringing affordable housing to Western Pennsylvania.
Daniel believes that an honest and open confrontation with the past has been the driving factor in leading Zero Six Eight. Of all his accomplishments since re-entry, he considers reconciliation with his family and re-marriage to his wife, Nicole, to be the most miraculous examples of restoration – a snapshot of what is possible for those committed to change.
Prior to incarceration, Daniel was the co-founder and majority shareholder of Venture Advisors, a financial services firm that served U.S. based venture capitalists and venture-backed startups. Daniel also served on the Entrepreneurial Advisory Board at Grove City College and Foundation Board at Wesley-Spectrum Services. He studied Mechanical Engineering at Grove City College and currently resides in Washington, PA with his wife and three children.
A native of Bangladesh and a Pittsburgh transplant by way of Connecticut, Zaheen serves as Millvale’s Sustainability Coordinator. Supported by the Millvale Community Library, and working with the Millvale EcoDistrict Collaborative, Zaheen is a shared community resource who helps advance Millvale’s EcoDistrict goals in the areas of food, water, energy, mobility, air quality, and equity. Prior to his work in Millvale, Zaheen worked on various sustainability initiatives as a Project Manager at GTECH Strategies. Focusing primarily on Energy Efficiency, Zaheen helped lead the ReEnergize Pittsburgh Coalition, where he worked collaboratively to increase demand for energy efficiency services through bridging organizational partnerships and increasing community level advocacy and educational programming.
Join us on February 9 to hear from these storytellers and more!