• Kenneth Crooks, Jr.
    Executive Director Emeritus

  • As times change, what previously was a ‘dialogue about race’ has evolved into a holistic approach to diversity in our community and beyond.

    One Columbus, has also evolved, strengthening its core mission: striving to inspire, motivate, promote diversity, and ensure that each member of the community is respected and valued. Recognizing and appreciating diversity is an obligation to which each of us must be committed. If we accept and act on this challenge, then Columbus will truly become a ‘One Columbus’.

Dare to Dream 2007

Leadership Columbus Alumni (LCA) of the Columbus Chamber of Commerce produced the 2007 Dare to Dream Teen Summit on Thursday, March 1,2007, at CSU’s Cunningham Center. LCA is an established and respected volunteer community leadership organization dedicated to supporting and developing current and future community leaders. This year’s teen summit is the 14th event and gives local teens (high school juniors) an opportunity to discuss diversity, race relations and the many challenges they face.

The 2007 summit theme was “Winning Against All Odds” and features Ms. Cupcake Brown as guest speaker. Ms. Brown, author of “A Piece of Cake,” a respected attorney and advocate told her story of years of negative experiences, coupled with the positives, to share with others how -­even though it seems impossible — the hopes and dreams of anyone really can come true. Her message waspowerful and inspiring to all.

Sponsors for the 2007 Summit included the Houston Orthopedic Hospital, Columbus State University, Synovus, Aflac, the Sports Council, Columbus Water Works, the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce, and One Columbus

More than 90 students and 30 Leadership Columbus Alumni were in attendance at the Summit.

Cupcake Brown

Cupcake Brown was not born into a life of privilege, intellectual stimulation, or professional dynamics. Her younger years were not a model for achieving success; her youth interrupted by violence and emotional turbulence. At 11, she regularly engaged in prostitution, drugs, and alcohol. By age 13, she had graduated to gang activities and street crime. Unfortunately, life would get much worse before it got better as Cupcake spiraled into a life that hovered somewhere above state prison, at best, and death on the mean streets, at worst.

Cupcake’s story is about system failure, societal ignorance, and a little girl who, as a result, resigned to degradation, depression, deprivation, and defeat. Her story is also about choices — good ones and bad ones — and about the possibilities that are there if only we “Pray, trust, work hard, and grab hold!” Most people would have been daunted by the hurdles she faced. Yet, despite enormous fear and grave self-doubt, Cupcake grabbed a hold, prayed, and held on for dear life as she learned that there was another way — a better way. She sensed a Guiding Hand and discovered that, over time, a network of people were being formed to encourage and guide her along the way. Leaning on this network, Cupcake climbed the long, difficult, and steep ladder to transformation, sobriety, positive change, self-improvement, and triumph.

As an author, attorney, and advocate, Cupcake speaks allover the country, using all of the years of negative experiences, coupled with the positives, to share with others how -­even though it seems impossible — the hopes and dreams of anyone really can come true.

Cupcake is an attorney at Bingham McCutchen, one of the 25 largest law firms in the nation. Cupcake’s law practice includes litigation, with an emphasis on Antitrust and Trade Regulation, Securities and Corporate Governance, and White Collar Crime.

Besides graduating college magna cum Zaude without a high school diploma or G.E.D., Cupcake has received many scholastic awards including, the University of San Francisco School of Law’s Judge Harold J. Haley Award for Exceptional Distinction in Scholarship, Character and Activities; the McAuliffe Honor Society; the National Law School Dean’s List; and San Diego State University’s Donald Leiffer Outstanding Alumni Award for Distinguished Service.

In addition to her numerous accomplishments, Cupcake has served as a judicial extern to the Honorable Joyce Kennard, California Supreme Court.

Photos