The Faith Crisis in America

August 24, 2015
Hosted by Kit Cummings

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Guest Information


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Episode Description

This week we discuss "America's Faith Crisis" with thought leader Michael Wear. Michael is a leading expert and strategist at the intersection of faith, politics and American public life. As one of President Obama's "Ambassadors to America's Believers" Michael directed faith outreach for President Obama’s historic 2012 re-election campaign. Michael was also one of the youngest White House staffers in modern American history: he served in the White House faith-based initiative during President Obama’s first term, where he led evangelical outreach and helped manage The White House’s engagement on religious and values issues, including adoption and anti-human trafficking efforts. Today, Michael is a sought-after consultant helping religious organizations, political organizations, businesses and others effectively navigate the rapidly changing American religious and political landscape.

Power of Peace Radio

Archives Available on VoiceAmerica Empowerment Channel

In today’s world we are bombarded with more information than ever before. Technology has enabled us to connect at real speed, and the world has gotten smaller as things move faster. The media broadcasts negativity and fear, and many have become addicted to drama. The world is hungry for peace like never before, and people are in desperate need of HOPE. Power of Peace Radio brings a message of love and light into dark and dangerous places. We seek solutions, as we strive to “Restore Our Beloved Community.” With cutting edge topics and thought leaders from various fields, we will tackle the hottest issues that surround our youth and our communities. From teenage addiction and overdose to sexting and cyber-bullying; from mass incarceration to generational poverty, Power of Peace Radio will bring hope and courage into the areas of our lives that are in most need of it. Inspiration will be the catalyst as we bring stories of transformation and redemption to light. Hope is the New Dope.

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Kit Cummings

Kit Cummings is an author, teacher, and founder of Power of Peace Project, Inc. Kit has worked with non-profits and fortune 500's over his 25 year career. Kit spreads a much needed message of peace, power and positive change all over the world. Kit excels as a coach and trainer where he offers keys and principles that inspire people to see things differently, adjust their attitude, and reach new heights. With an entertaining style that combines inspiration and humor, Kit's high energy program connects with very diverse audiences, training in small workshops or delivering keynote speeches at large events and seminars. Kit brings his experience working in some of the most dangerous areas in the world into prisons, schools and churches as a catalyst for change. Kit recently completed speaking tours in South Africa, Mexico, Honduras and Ukraine; he's negotiated peace between rival gang leaders in dangerous maximum security prisons; and Kit has spoken at the Gandhi Global Peace Summit in Durban, South Africa. Kit has taught and trained in some of the toughest environments, and to some of the roughest audiences, and now he brings his dynamic, life-changing message to corporate seminars and conferences. Prepare to be inspired, motivated and transformed. Kit delivers over 100 entertaining presentations per year, and he has authored three books.

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Episode Directory

October 2015

September 2015

August 2015

  • 8/31/2015: Is Prison Reform in America a Pipe Dream? Listen Now
  • 8/24/2015: The Faith Crisis in America Listen Now
  • 8/17/2015: Cops and Communities: Bridging the Divide Listen Now
  • 8/10/2015: The Assault on the African American Male from Poverty to Prisons Listen Now
  • 8/3/2015: Passing the Torch to the Next Generation Listen Now

July 2015

Antonio Boyd


For more than 25 years, Antonio Boyd has worked in the ministry and the community. He served ten years as the Executive Director for HOPE worldwide programs in South Carolina and had oversight of 72 staff and 1,000 volunteers with an annual budget of 1.7 million dollars. Antonio also served as Director of Government and Community Affairs for HOPE worldwide programs in Africa and the Caribbean. He then was promoted to National Director of US Programs, Vice President of US Programs, Vice President of North American Programs and he now serves as Vice President and Director, Community Service Division at HOPE worldwide. In this role he oversees HOPE worldwide’s 118 Chapters in the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean. He manages over 35,353 volunteers in 14 countries, a headquarters staff of 10, a volunteer staff of 118, and a youth leadership council of 120. He serves on the Global Coordinating Council at HOPE worldwide with oversight in North America. View Guest page

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Warden Jason Bunting

Bunting began his career at MCI in 1997 as a social worker. He had previously held various positions at MCI including case manager, unit manager, deputy warden of operations and special services. He is a graduate of Mansfield Senior High School and earned his bachelor’s degree at Mount Union College and a master’s in social/clinical work at Ohio State University. Bunting stated, "At MCI, we are making every effort to create an environment where men are encouraged to make restitution, make amends and take responsibility for any wrongs they have done that have impacted others, their families, friends and communities. All in an effort for them to make the necessary changes in their lives to be productive during and after their incarceration." A medium/minimum security institution, MCI currently houses 2,634 offenders. “It is a credit to our staff that such an environment has been created,” Bunting stated. “They have found a way to provide effective offender programming." View Guest page

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Kevin “Khao” Cates

Kevin “Khao” Cates, a native of Montgomery, Alabama, is a multi-platinum, Grammy nominated music producer, who lives by the motto, "Don’t just be successful, be significant." Khao is also the founder and creator of KOOLriculum, Inc., an innovative technology driven media company that delivers content using music to teach youth in grades Pre-K through12 academic competencies across subjects; he is also the founder of Bridge DA Gap , a non-profit social-emotional program and curriculum, combining Hip-Hop music, education and mentoring to reach students and teach life skills applicable in today’s socially challenged environment. Khao is a role model to the next generation-- a thought leader and a world changer. View Guest page

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Charlotte Crooms

iCreate Dance Academy (iCD) is the vision and dream of the academy’s Founder and Headmaster, Charlotte Crooms. Ms. Croom’s passion for dance began as a child being raised in a home with five siblings who enjoyed music and dancing as entertainment. In high school, her first experience with choreography was for the marching band’s halftime show, as well as the drill team. This peaked her interest in pursuing not only dance, but hip-hop music also. As a teenager, Ms.Crooms was well known throughout Atlanta as a member of various popular, hip-hop dance groups. After graduation, Charlotte auditioned as a background dancer for LaFace Record's (BabyFace/L.A. Reid) first R&B group Damian Dame - landing the job and catapulting her career. As a professional dancer, she began producing choreography for several major recording artists and major labels, such as Sony and Motown. With over 20 years in the music industry, Ms. Crooms now educates and inspires young girls through dance View Guest page

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Derrick Crooms

Derrick Crooms is a long time veteran in the Atlanta music scene. He has had success in many roles. He began his music career as a manager for the multi-platinum selling and Grammy nominated recording artists the Ying Yang Twins. He created Rockfort Management, Inc. and handled the act during the two platinum albums “Me and My Brother” and “United State of Atlanta”. Rockfort Management also obtained another multi-platinum act in Soulja Boy Tellem. Crooms managed the artist during his platinum selling freshman and sophomore albums. Derrick Crooms, brother of super producer and label executive Michael “Mr. ColliPark” Crooms have worked together since then DJ Smurf was an artist. Together, they have seen several platinum selling singles and albums. Derrick served as A&R for Mr. ColliPark’s label ColliPark Music. Derrick Crooms continues to work with young Atlanta music talent. With Mr. ColliPark going back to his deejay roots and production, the duo will continue to be heard. View Guest page

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John Eaves

In 2014, Dr. John Eaves was elected to his third four-year term as Chairman of the Fulton County Commission receiving 63 percent of the popular vote. Since 2007, he has led the state’s most populous and dynamic county, home to nearly one million residents and 14 municipalities including Georgia’s capitol city of Atlanta. Before entering politics, John held leadership roles in nonprofit and academic arenas, both nationally and abroad. For seven years, he served as the Southeast Regional Director of the Peace Corps, helping bring educational and healthcare assistance to the people of South Africa, Sierra Leone, Paraguay, Jamaica, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. He is most proud of launching Fulton County’s SMART Justice Advisory Council, a group of community and law enforcement leaders working to reduce recidivism rates, find alternative programs for first-time offenders, and help motivated inmates reclaim their lives. Chairman Eaves is a graduate of Morehouse College. View Guest page

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Bob Ellis

Bob Ellis is the Fulton County Commissioner for District 2, which encompasses Milton, Mountain Park and large parts of Alpharetta, Roswell, and Sandy Springs. Bob is a native of Commerce, GA and a long-term resident of North Fulton County. Bob and his wife Jennifer, an elementary school teacher at Birmingham Falls Elementary in Fulton County, have three children and reside in Milton. A proud graduate of the University of Georgia, Bob graduated with an honors degree in Finance in 1992. Bob is an active member of Northbrook United Methodist Church in Roswell, GA where he has served in numerous leadership roles over the past eleven years, including Lay Leader, Stewardship Chair, Chair of Staff Parish Relations, and Chair of the Administrative Council. Bob has a passion for helping at-risk youth in his district and is an advocate for the Power of Peace. View Guest page

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Charles L. Hinsley


Charles L. Hinsley is a retired warden from the Illinois Department of Corrections with 30 years of combined correctional management and human services experience. He has worked in every security level of our prison system: minimum security, medium security, high-medium security; maximum security, and super-maximum security. His last twelve years as an administrator being a Superintendent, an Asst. Warden and a Warden were spent in maximum security and super-maximum security custody. He has supervised several inmates on death row and has participated in the execution of inmates sentenced to die. He has managed a maximum security prison with over 3,500 inmates housed at one time; the largest facility in Illinois and one of the largest maximum security populations in the nation. He also managed a super maximum security prison which housed at the time the worst of the worst inmate prisoners in Illinois. View Guest page

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Reverend Markel Hutchins


Widely regarded as one of the most gifted, charismatic and inspirational leaders of his generation, the Rev. Markel Hutchins, embodies servant leadership. Heeding Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s call to “make a career of humanity,” Hutchins has gained a national reputation advocating for fairness and justice. Hutchins’ grassroots advocacy, charisma and compelling oratory have propelled him into the midst of iconic civil rights leaders from Coretta Scott King and Dorothy Height to Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. His uncanny ability to rally diverse people around a common cause has endeared World leaders ranging from corporate CEO’s to college presidents and led one prominent newspaper columnist to dub him “the new kid on the national civil rights leadership block,” for his role in addressing contemporary social challenges, particularly those relating to minority and other disadvantaged communities. View Guest page

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Dr. David Jackson


Professionally, Dr. Jackson is a Pastor, a Community Liaison Officer, and the youngest sworn volunteer chaplain of the Atlanta Police Department. He is the founder of D.E. Jackson Enterprises, LLC, a ministry and consulting company; and the High Place Alliance, Inc., a non-profit Black male development organization. Dr. Jackson is a National Educational Trainer for the Center for Teacher Effectiveness providing training to teachers and administrators on classroom management. In the past, Dr. Jackson has worked in politics and the non-profit sector. His previous work has afforded him extensive national and international travel including travel to over 15 nations. Educationally, the Rev. Dr. Jackson received his Bachelor of Arts from Cornell University, Master in Divinity from Union Theological Seminary and his Doctorate in Ministry from the New York Theological Seminary. View Guest page

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Jay Neal

Jay Neal was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 2004 and served until being appointed by Governor Deal to serve as Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Transition, Support, and Reentry effective Nov 15, 2013. As Vice-chair of the Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee, Rep. Neal was asked to carry Agency legislation for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation during his Freshman Year and quickly became the “go to” House Member for GBI legislation. Also in his freshman year, Rep. Neal authored legislation that reduced the number of meth labs in Georgia by 65% in the first year. In 2011, Rep. Neal authored HB265 establishing the Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform for Georgians which has led to Criminal Justice Reform for Adults and Juveniles. Rep. Neal has shared the story of Criminal Justice Reform in Georgia with numerous States and Conferences over the last two years. Jay Neal has also served for 25 years as a Bi-Vocational Pastor. View Guest page

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Xeron Pledger

Xeron is an entrepreneur, writer, business owner, program facilitator, and public speaker. He currently is the Congressional Liaison and Projects Coordinator for Congressman Hank Johnson. He has worked under the umbrellas of Motown, BET, Gladys Knight, and others. Xeron has worked directly with city boards, educational boards, schools, non-profits, and state agencies. He has even operated his own mentoring organization through the University System of Georgia. Xeron’s career path and success was discovered through his passion for people, building relationships, and creatively communicating through writing, facilitating, public speaking, and music. Xeron is passionate about providing opportunities for people (young and old) who wish to excel. He wants people to realize that through preparation, opportunities and a blessed pathway, they can accomplish anything. He carries the load of his leadership responsibilities with pride and continues to work to make strides to affect his community. View Guest page

Episode Listing:

Xeron Pledger

Xeron is an entrepreneur, writer, business owner, program facilitator, and public speaker. He currently is the Congressional Liaison and Projects Coordinator for Congressman Hank Johnson. He has worked under the umbrellas of Motown, BET, Gladys Knight, and others. Xeron has worked directly with city boards, educational boards, schools, non-profits, and state agencies. He has even operated his own mentoring organization through the University System of Georgia. Xeron’s career path and success was discovered through his passion for people, building relationships, and creatively communicating through writing, facilitating, public speaking, and music. Xeron is passionate about providing opportunities for people (young and old) who wish to excel. He wants people to realize that through preparation, opportunities and a blessed pathway, they can accomplish anything. He carries the load of his leadership responsibilities with pride and continues to work to make strides to affect his community View Guest page

Episode Listing:

Keith Robinson

Keith Robinson is an actor/R&B singer. He was born in Louisville, KY. While attending the University of Georgia, Robinson signed a recording contract with Motown Records. Moving to Los Angeles and turning to acting, Robinson gained a starring role in the TV series Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue. After the end of the series, he appeared in such films as Fat Albert, and Mimic: Sentinel. Robinson also appeared in such television series as American Dreams, Monk, and Over There. Most recently, Robinson starred in the supporting role of C.C. White in the film adaptation of the Broadway musical Dreamgirls. The film includes a Robinson-led version of the Dreamgirls song "Family". Robinson joined his fellow Dreamgirls cast members to perform "Patience", one of the new songs written for the film, at the 79th Academy Awards ceremony. He appeared in the film This Christmas, and also in Comanche Moon: Road to Lonesome Dove. He is a role model for our youth who strive to follow the their dreams. View Guest page

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Dennis "3D" Scott

Dennis Scott is a retired NBA player. A 6'8" small forward from Georgia Tech, and the 1989-90 ACC Men's Basketball Player of the Year, Scott was selected by the Orlando Magic with the fourth pick of the 1990 NBA draft after being the leading scorer on a Yellow Jackets team that made the Final Four. Scott spent the majority of his career with the Magic, earning the nickname 3-D for his ability to consistently make long three-point field goal attempts. Until the drafting of Shaq in 1992, Scott was a leading scorer for the Magic. In 1995-96 Scott set an NBA single-season three-point field goal tally with 267. He also set the NBA record for most three pointers made in a single game with 11 in 1996. Dennis was honored by the Magic in 2006 for outstanding accomplishments in his career. Scott is a role model for teens who are striving to achieve their dreams, and an example for young people. View Guest page

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Speech


Speech was born Todd Thomas in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He grew up on two sides of life: the ghetto of Milwaukee, and suburbia. Speech learned to draw from the pains and beauty of both. He would absorb the plights of his people and yet the retreat of middle class blacks to primarily white neighborhoods. Speech experienced hardcore racism as a young boy. With this background, Speech started the music group Arrested Development. The group is based in Georgia. From humble and rural beginnings, they became a pioneering force in the music world. Arrested Development received two Grammy Awards (Best new artists & Best rap single 1993) for the album "3 years, 5 months and 2 days in the life of..." Their second album "Zingalamaduni" was met with critical acclaim and nominated for a Grammy. Speech has toured with Hootie & the Blowfish, Chaka Khan, James Brown, Parliament Funkadelic, Jason Mraz, and The Roots. Speech has also released five solo albums since 1996. He is married with two kids. View Guest page

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Michael Wear

Michael Wear is a leading expert and strategist at the intersection of faith, politics and American public life. As one of President Obama's "ambassadors to America's believers" (Buzzfeed), Michael directed faith outreach for President Obama’s historic 2012 re-election campaign. Michael was also one of the youngest White House staffers in modern American history: he served in the White House faith-based initiative during President Obama’s first term, where he led evangelical outreach and helped manage The White House’s engagement on religious and values issues, including adoption and anti-human trafficking efforts. Today, Michael is a sought-after consultant helping religious organizations, political organizations, businesses and others effectively navigate the rapidly changing American religious and political landscape. Michael also writes for The Atlantic, Relevant Magazine and other publications on faith, politics and culture. View Guest page

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Rev. Carolyn Wilkins

Rev. Carolyn Wilkins is an international speaker, peace facilitator and consultant, and a global activist. She is founder and president of PeaceNet: a voice for peace for women, and a staff minister and director of the GlobalWorks Ministry with the Agape International Spiritual Center. She trains students in peer mediation, and teachers, parents and community leaders in nonviolent principles and community circles. She leads interfaith and intercultural efforts to promote peace and nonviolence in the world. A former executive with Xerox Corporation, Carolyn consults with business leaders, politicians and non-profit organizations on strategy and outreach programs, and is the Executive Producer and co-host of an internet radio and television program. Rev. Carolyn has delivered messages and workshops in South Africa, Ghana, Brazil, England and throughout the U.S. She is a Community Manager with Values Partnership team who is managing a global project with OWN and Oprah's BELIEF Series. View Guest page

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