TDC’s Most Comprehensive Actualization Program! Learn about L.I.V.E. direct from the Activators below.


L.I.V.E. empowers, pushes and provides resources to adult dreamers in the actualization of their dreams. Unlike other programs we’ve offered at The Dream Center, L.I.V.E. is an incubator and laboratory for a specially selected group of entrepreneurs and dreamers who apply for admission into the program. The participants, known as Activators share their experiences in the program below.

JackieKidd_LIVE_C2_ActJust imagine being in a room with activators and activation advisors who want to see you thrive and envision being more confident in your calling and purpose; having a new circle of friends committed to shifting, growing, activating; identifying you’re an income strategy.

For the last two months, that is what my life has been life.  I sat on a dream/calling and did nothing with it as it haunted me day after day.  Then, I got up the courage to apply to the L.I.V.E. program to activate this dream. Excitement filled the air when i was accepted into this program.

I walked into our first day, and I knew it was the place for me to be. I met 11 other people in different stages of their lives, all holding a vision and passion in their eyes and heart — all creative in their own right! We were all assigned an accountability partner and an activator coach. For me, these individuals are more than I could ever think, dream, or imagine. These people along with former L.I.V.E. graduates give all of us so many nuggets and encouragement. In Cohort #2 we all band together and support each other with feedback, coaching, and curiosity. The curated group of instructors all contributed to my growth and development in some way. My SMART goal/homerun goal is to have my website up and functioning since it has sat dormant for years. I’ve had many of the pieces of my project in my mind or scribbled on pieces of paper. Because of this program, I have more definition to reach this goal. Before the L.I.V.E. program, I was afraid, unsure and lacking confidence. My entire mindset has changed. I am fearless, sure, and confident with where this project will go and the impact it will have on its community. Since this project was put on my heart nearly seven years ago, I finally truly feel the manifestation of God’s calling on my life. Many of us have projects that were birth out of our experiences. I wholeheartedly can relate to the project.

The Dream Center’s programming has stimulated my leadership development, my creativity, and a means to economic empowerment as a budding entrepreneur. This environment promotes support as the world of an entrepreneur can be lonely, and your dreams misunderstood. Every day I do something in preparation to launch in 2020, creating my platform on social media platforms, creating my products, online courses, pricing structures, exploring ways to monetize my brand, and thinking about the impact the brand will have on the community. I can say I am in complete CREATIVE beast mode. This program has caused me to share confidently with my friends and family what I am doing. I started this piece by asking you to imagine and envision; I can truly say I have lived this each day for the past few months. I am grateful to the Dream Center Harlem Staff and everyone that has poured into me and L.I.V.E. cohort #2.

My name is Jackie Kidd and my business is Crushworthy,  an online community that was built intentionally to help spread the message GOD HAS CRUSH ON YOU. This platform reiterates the connection between worthiness and the transformative power of God’s love, even in crushing times. We do this through our blog, forums, emails, app, podcasts, and merchandise.                                                                                  ▉ ▉ 

DREW DRAKE (Cohort 2AndrewDrake_LIVE_C2_Act.jpg): REMEMBERING MY ‘WHY’
What’s up beautiful people! My name is Drew Drake and my business is called Talk Black. Talk Black is A HBCU Poetry Tour focusing on creating a poetic experience in HBCUs in which a collective of four NYC slam poets facilitate conversations about black life through their art. And after each performance, the performers facilitate a talkback in which students can ask questions about the show and the various themes of the content in the show.
The past few months of L.I.V.E. have allowed me to create and define my 90-day homerun goals which are: to create an electronic press kit (including website and video reel material), create a database of contacts for my target group of HBCUs in North Carolina, Tennessee and Alabama, and to publish a book of my own poetry entitled “Stain Glass Windows.” During this L.I.V.E. process, there have been many challenging days. Days where I’ve had to remind myself why I decided to become an entrepreneur and become dedicated to this project. On those days, I remember my WHY: my experiences during my collegiate days at both an HBCU and PWIs( predominately white institutions) and understanding the necessity of having spaces where students of color can feel safe and discuss their experiences openly and freely. And the power of having conversations that are held safely for people of color by people of color. And that is what I believe this business can and will do for HBCU students in the coming year.


WhitneyJohnson_LIVE_C2_Act.jpegThe Dream Center is a space that has poured into thousands of people within the Harlem community and beyond. I’ve witnessed its impact, and as an entrepreneur, I’ve desired the same support, community and resources needed to pursue big dreams and burning passions. L.I.V.E. has provided that and given me the financial and operational knowledge that’s essential to produce a sustainable business.
My name is Whitney Johnson, and my business is Thee StoryHouse, a creative agency transforming digital storytelling into a real-life evolution of change through the power of media, marketing and branding. Our agency partners with dope talent and brands that have a desire to change the world in creative ways by reaching young leaders, visionaries and change agents through music,
fashion, entertainment, film, sports and more. By December 2019, I will officially launch my creative agency through the completion of legal documents, my business plan and brand collateral with the support of L.I.V.E., mentors and advisors, business coaches, designers and more.
The most helpful tip I have received on this journey came from one of our Activation Advisors (mentors), Ny Whitaker. Ny, who is an entrepreneur, event producer and restaurateur, said: “If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu. So, flip the table.”

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My name is Denice Martin-Thompson and I am the CEO of  Dee’s Passion Filled Experience, LLC. I create Passion Filled Experiences for women and girls to Rest, Reset and Rejuvenate so they can Revolutionize their lives. My Homerun goal is to provide the women in our community with a taste of the three experiences that Dee’s Passion Filled Experience offers.

I applied to the L.I.V.E program because I believed that it was time to breathe life into my dream. I’ve been dreaming about launching my LLC for years, but I knew that I couldn’t do it alone. Starting a business is hard and there are a lot of elements that you have to learn about to make sure it is executed effectively.  I entered into the L.I.V.E. program asDeniceMartin-Thompson_LIVE_C2_Act a dreamer, but also as someone who was ready to move into execution mode. Being in the L.I.V.E. cohort #2 has provided a chrysalis for me to grow and develop in the butterfly that I know I must become to fly freely and boldly into owning my business.

Every single class has blessed me by giving me insight into some aspect of business that I didn’t have before. The energy and passion of each facilitator added to my desire to keep going even on the days when working on my business wasn’t the thing that I wanted to do.

My Activation Advisor, Dalijah Franklin has also helped me in so many ways. She has been an advisor and a life coach, listening to me vent about my frustrations and doubts, but then coaching me back to the place of persistence. Dalijah has given me many valuable suggestions about being an entrepreneur. She educated me about the importance of  revamping  my website and she has also taught me the importance of owning what I am worth and not being afraid to put a price on it.

My biggest aha moment was me accepting the point that at the end of each class, I must take the vision back to God, He is the one who planted this vision in my heart and when the program is over He will still be there leading the way.

My biggest challenge thus far is celebrating my moments of success and accomplishments. I really need to take the time out to celebrate the small victories, because if I can’t be happy in the small moments, what will I do when the big ones show up?

The L.I.V.E. program has created a question that all entrepreneurs must answer at some point. “If not now, when?” The Dream Center has become a place where you can go to inhale your future and exhale your past. I am learning daily the importance of working hard, while staying humble and I am working on celebrating every moment that I am given. It isn’t always easy to live in the present while launching yourself, but the L.I.V.E. program has created a space where you don’t have to do it alone, but you have to get it done.

Special thanks and appreciation to the L.I.V.E. ladies. You all rock!!!  Desiree Elder, Syreena Howard,  Alexis Henry, Sorayah Ferrer and Makeda Gershenson!

I’ve spent the last few months looking out from a ledge of safety, preparing to jump over into a realm of the unknown entrepreneurship valley. I’ve heard it has its highs and its lows, like a rollercoaster. I’ve felt them myself. It is the best feeling, however, to be in an environment that is filled with such support and dedication that it encourages me to stay committed to my own dream. This is what the L.I.V.E. program has done for me.

My name is Imani J. Wallace and my business project is a nonprofit corporation called Poetry for Service. Poetry for Service is a poetry and public service organization that uses the power of spoken word as a platform for marginalized groups to find their voices. Poetry for Service seeks to do this through infiltrating spaces where society has made individuals to believe that their voices don’t matter such as low-socioeconomic neighborhoods of color, incarcerated populations or programs with formerly incarcerated people. Poetry for Service hosts writers workshops, open mics and poetry events free of charge in these spaces to make creative expression accessible and serve as a form of restoration for the unheard.

ImaniWallace_LIVE_C2_ActUpon beginning this journey, I only had the budding idea for the organization and faith the size a mustard seed. But now, as we’re approaching the homerun of the program, I’ve been on a path to achieving actualization by pursuing my goals of initiating the paperwork process, creating partnerships with other organizations, and establishing a digital presence for the business. I applied to this program because I wanted to see a passion project of mine come to life, and L.I.V.E. has given me that plus so much more. Not only has the project been made tangible to me, I’ve gained a family in my Cohort 2 classmates along the way.

By far, the classes that have stood out to me the most were those taught by Cathleen Meredith and Ny Whitaker. Cathleen gave us a roadmap on how to establish everything social about our organizations and do so with personality and pizzazz. She gave valuable one-on-one tips on how to reel the public eye in with the way we present ourselves and represent our businesses. Further, she was hilarious! Ny instilled a sense of fight in me. From hearing her persistence and her struggles to knowing her accomplishments, it motivated me to work harder for what I want each and every day. It reminded me of the rollercoaster. It reminded me that none of this will come easy or become easier, but I’ll just have to work harder and get better. If you were to ask me almost three months ago what my biggest challenge was, I would’ve told you it was getting started. Since I’ve experienced the L.I.V.E. program, my biggest challenge is the idea that there will be people out there who think they can stop me.


Every day, we trust our instincts to make routine decisions – what to wear, when to cross the street, or when to assist someone in need. However, in instances where our gut tells us to chase a dream or build something new, we often become paralyzed by the thought of it being a “defining moment.” But what if we threw away our worries for these possibly life-changing experiences and attempted them with the same gusto as any other decision? Thankfully, one solution to this type of paralysis is the incredible L.I.V.E. program in Harlem that connects and supports a group of entrepreneurs and dreamers in the execution of their idea, project, or business. 

Each Fall, the cohort leverages a variety of resources, mentoring, and courses to bring their ideas from ideation to actualization in 90 days. I’m grateful to be a member of this program as it helped me to focus on my passion for mentoring and equipped ShantaaFoster_LIVE_C2_Act 2me with the tools needed to launch a future coaching business focused on millennial leadership and development. In addition to the several resources that guided my knowledge and growth in this program, I was also empowered by many key lessons from entrepreneurs that I gained along the way. Here are three helpful tips that can help you follow your instincts in the pursuit of your passions:

1) Remember your why and your who: These are the key drivers for your passion and the fuel you’ll need in moments where you want to give up. We all have something special to contribute to our communities and knowing why you’re making this contribution and who it helps will be essential for each step of your journey.

2) Save resources for a rainy day: As you dive into your project or business idea, start an organizational system to store all of your resources, as they’ll be useful in the weeks and months to come. Additionally, when you are networking, practice active listening and make thoughtful connections that you can use for future conversations and opportunities.

3) Embrace flexibility in seasons of ambiguity: While you may not always have the answers or resources you need, it’s important to be relentless in the pursuit of your goals. Commit to being resourceful and creative with the resources available to you and you’ll be amazed by what you can achieve.



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The Dream Center’s L.I.V.E. Actualization Fair 2019 is almost here! L.I.V.E., The Dream Center’s 90-day business and project incubator program culminates in the L.I.V.E. Actualization Fair.

The Cohort 2 Activators will present their business ideas to the public. You’ll meet, greet and network with the Activators and members of the Harlem community. You have the power to select the next winner of ‘Dream Tank’ The Dream Center’s take on Shark Tank. Plus they’ll be panel discussions featuring other established entrepreneurs to help you get motivated to pursue your own entrepreneurial intentions for 2020.

Come to The Dream Center on Saturday, December 14 at 2pm for this interactive event and support our community’s next class of entrepreneurs and dream chasers. L.I.V.E. Actualization Fair 2019, taking ideas from ideation to actualization. See you there!


LIVE Cohort 2 Promo Video