2019 iShine Conference Speakers

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Taja Riley, MA, LPC - Founder

Inspirational, positive and driven are some of the adjectives people often use to describe her. Residing in Philadelphia, PA Taja Riley recognizes the importance of being a positive light to everyone she interacts with. After losing her mother at a young age, Taja knew that she wanted to work with children and adolescents. She wanted to be that person they could talk to that she never had. She is a school counselor by day and an Entrepreneur and Child Therapist by night. Her non-profit Like Gold is an organization for individuals and families from low income communities that provides affordable mental health counseling, life coaching and programs. In less than one year Like God has helped over 100 people through programs and community service initiatives.

Taja is also the author of a guided journal for women called Walls of Joy which will soon be expanding into a full series of psychoeducational books for women and children. Her goal is to inspire people to be the full package daily by becoming the best version of themselves. She has spoken at numerous events and workshops and each year hosts an empowerment event in Philadelphia, Pa. called iShine. Taja has chosen the path of mental health as a way to uplift and encourage youth to strive towards a better tomorrow. Some of Taja's future aspirations include a private practice, traveling around the world to speak about mental health and resiliency and opening a community center where she can continue to provide free and low cost programs to individuals and families.

Amir Abner

Social justice and equity are part of Amir’s DNA, from an early age Amir joined his father in many action demonstrations, advocacy, and organizing efforts. Don’t be surprised when we see him as a councilmember, assembly person, or senator in the future. Amir’s lifelong goal is to dive deep into politics, ultimately providing public service in some capacity as a politician.


Some of Amir’s career experiences includes a stint at Economic Development on Third, where he served as an Executive Assistant. Prior to Economic Development on Third, Amir was an Intern for District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen and worked as a Graduate Assistant at University of San Francisco. Amir is currently serving as the Program Assistant to the FAITHS Program and Multicultural Fellowship Program at The San Francisco Foundation.

Lori Banfield

Lori is a graduate of Saint Joseph’s University (B.S., Psychology, 2011), Palmer Theological Seminary (M.T.S., Christian Counseling, 2014), and is currently completing a PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy at Eastern University. Rev. Lo operates as a Professor of Psychology and Christian Ministries at Esperanza College while serving as a community Chaplain of Discipleship and Board member of Redemption Housing Reentry Services as well as an Associate Minister at Gates of Heaven Pentecostal Church in West Philadelphia. She is also the author of the spiritual formation book Walking Worthy of My Calling: Journey Back to the Likeness of God. Lori resides in West Philly with her husband and young son. Learn more about Rev. Lo and her ministry by visiting www.LoriBanfield.com.

Pastor Chris L. Brady

Pastor Chris L. Brady was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Chris has served in various pastoral roles in established diverse and multi-ethnic UMC congregations in Philadelphia and Chester, Pennsylvania; Hattiesburg, Mississippi; and Durham and Raleigh, North Carolina, and has planted a new faith community. In addition to the local church, he has held positions as Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries for the Eastern PA Annual Conference of the UMC; Special Assistant Dean of Duke Divinity School for faith-based institutional leadership development; and Director of Student Life & Formation.

In September of 2013, he was appointed to the historic Wilson Temple UMC, in Raleigh, NC. which is experiencing a revitalization of ministry. Chris also serves as coaching cadre for the Clergy Coaching Network church vitality initiative. He is Adjunct faculty at Duke University Divinity School.

Chris is married to Carla Wheaton Brady, M.D., M.H.S. Carla is a liver transplant specialist and faculty member of Duke University Medical Center. Dr. Brady conducts research in women and minority health disparities. Chris and Carla are parents to ten-year old Christopher and six-year-old Olivia Grace.

Jameel Sloan

Rev. Jameel Sloan was born and raised in Philadelphia Pa. on November 25th 1986 The  oldest child of Sherron and Christopher Sloan, one sibling Kristy Sloan Butler. Grew up in the City of Philadelphia. At the age of 17 felt the call of God on his life once he began to have vivid dreams about saving souls by preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. At the age of 19 he sought out to get advice from his grandfather the Living legend Bishop Barry E. Connelly in regards to his dreams and what they meant, his grandfather believing in him told him to go seek The Lord for two more weeks and get back to him, after those two weeks Jameel went back to his grandfather and asked "now what"  he received a date to preach his first sermon in December of 2005 and been on fire ever since.  Rev. Sloan was licensed in July of 2006 and considered for ordination in January of 2009.  In May 2009, after exhausting catechism by council Rev. Sloan passed and was ordained by Bishop Barry E Connelly, and is now serving with him as Associate Pastor of Cathedral of Faith Full Gospel Baptist Church in North Philadelphia.

Danielle R. Wright

Danielle Wright, founder and CEO, launched Wright Relations initially as a freelancer/ independent contractor and officially in February 2014 as Wright Relations, LLC. Danielle’s interest in serving people developed at a very young age; and because of her faith and passions for public relations, community engagement, and sports, Danielle was able to turn those hobbies into a first-class, boutique public relations firm. 

Danielle is a hardworking, creative and organized professional with experience in Division I and II intercollegiate athletics, communications and development. She possesses knowledge in a broad spectrum of athletics, including academics, sports information/communications, social media marketing, community relations and engagement, and programming and has also taught at the secondary and higher education levels.

Committed to building relationships and assisting others to realize their goals and dreams, Danielle’s ministry revolves around combining her passions to help heal others’ hurt. She works with people from all walks of life and continues to develop her professional and spiritual experiences to be more diverse and impactful.

Join us at this year's conference!

Don't miss a moment. Register today and join us on April 21, 2018 for a day of empowerment, education and celebration!


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©2019 Like Gold, Inc. Creative design by Wright Relations, LLC.

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