Negative energy that comes at you in some form is energy that can be turned around — to defeat an opponent and lift you up.”
— 50 Cent
 

Valorie Horton 

Valorie Joanne Horton is a product of the Flint public school system, which prepared her well for the master of science in administration degree she obtained from Central Michigan University. Valorie was the first black female machine repair skilled tradesperson on the Buick complex in Flint. She worked for General Motors for 33 years, where she spent most of her career as a manager of skilled trades and quality assurance.

Today, Valorie is a professional potter. She completed her first one-woman exhibition in January 2015 at the Flint Institute of Arts. Her work has also appeared at The Greater Flint Arts Council and The National Conference of Artists, located in Detroit. Valorie is very active in the Flint community, where she serves on numerous boards, including The Chosen Few Arts Council, The Friends of Berston Field House, and the Krapohl Senior Center. 

RYAN GREGORY

Ryan Gregory is a multimedia artist, musician, tinkerer, and inventor from Flint. His work consists of intricate mixtures of found objects, sounds, and D.I.Y. creations. He is a driving force within Flint’s creative community and D.I.Y. music and art scene. Ryan’s work seeks to inspire creative change through a burgeoning artists’ community in Flint. Ryan has a distinguished history of creating art and content for a multitude of events, including outlets such as Vice’s "Noisey,” MTV.com, Booooooom, and regional art festivals such as Lakes of Fire and Buckham Alley Fest.

LEON EL-ALAMIN

Formerly known as Leon Wilson, Leon El-Alamin was just another Flint inner-city black youth born into a world of poverty with limited options. By age twenty, Leon was Flint’s top crack cocaine dealer, earning thousands of dollars a week. Thug life ultimately led to Leon’s incarceration in a Michigan correctional facility, serving a 12-20 year sentence. During his sentence, Leon sought atonement for his lifestyle, and after intensive study, he adopted the Islamic faith, read a wide scope of subjects, and completed various self-help programs

Leon slowly evolved from a street hustler to a self-taught critical thinker, completing programs in life skills, anger management, and conflict resolution. Since his release, he has been actively involved in city politics, entrepreneurship, and community activism. He is the founder of the M.A.D.E. Institute (Money Attitude Direction Education), which aims to lead formerly incarcerated individuals and at-risk youth down a path of empowerment, self-discovery, and personal transformation.