HPOP OUR MISSION
Houston Play On Purpose (HPOP) is a charitable and educational organization purposed with raising awareness for social causes, injustices and issues which disproportionately affect underserved and/or minority populations. Using research and the implementation of relevant data, HPOP will create theatrical productions to engage audiences of the Greater Houston Community to encourage the equality and empowerment of all people. While emphasis will be placed on social issues concerning minority groups and women, HPOP is interested in various worthy causes to inform its audiences, raising both funds and awareness while entertaining theatergoers.
HPOP OUR PLAYWRIGHT
Holly Charles M.A.
Founder, President & Playwright
Holly Charles was brought up just north of Chicago and attended Purdue University for her undergraduate studies. Writing has been a therapeutic outlet for her since childhood, whether through music, poetry or prose. The power of language intrigued her so that after a brief career in television production, she found her calling in the teaching of English.
Her new career coincided with a constant passion, and it also provided opportunities for her to research and teach literature concerning the African American experience. Charles obtained her Masters in English from Prairie View A&M University in May 2013, choosing the Creative Thesis option to satisfy graduation requirements. The result of her independent study was an in-depth look at the women in her family. Her original Thesis,Velvet: the Burden of Melanin and Motherhood, has been transformed into the author's first novel (Velvet). More recently, the author has added playwright to her credit, as her acceptance into and studies throughout the Houston Black Leadership Institute (Class II – 2014) familiarized her with Houston’s rich African American Culture and prompted the composition of, In All Thy Getting: The Forgotten Story of Freedmen’s Town, a stage play celebrating the triumphant rise of an ex-slave settlement in Fourth Ward Houston. Picked up for Summer 2017 by the oldest and largest professional African American Theatre in the Southwest, The Ensemble Theatre, the production resulted in 1500 theatregoers over one weekend (5 shows) and thousands in proceeds to benefit The Rutherford B.H. Yates Museum, a non-profit preservationist organization and original historic homestead of Freedmen’s Town.
Since that time, Holly Charles founded Houston Play on Purpose. Its roll out production, I’m Still a Woman, is an episodic stage play showing at Midtown Arts & Theater Center Summer 2018, which will raise awareness for the growing, yet taboo issue of infertility in women of color.
HPOP OUR BOARD
Director, PR Committee Lead
Ebonee is a Lifestyle Enthusiast who currently works as a Global Process Owner for a Fortune 500 Technology Company. She's a recent MBA Graduate with a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt who is making big strides towards holding an Executive Leadership Title. Elder was inducted into the National Leadership Society and has been featured in Whose Who In America.
Ebonee is a community activist who enjoys volunteering and teaming up with other activists to bring awareness to social issues. She contributes much of her success to God and failing more times than she's ever succeeded.
Shymika “Miko” Coleman
Director, PR Committee, Web Designer
Miko is a young, driven professional with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, with a minor in Human Development and Family Studies, from the University of Houston- Main Campus. She has also studied Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of South Florida- Sarasota- Manatee. Professionally, Shymika is a Senior Program Administrator at a global natural and built asset design and consultancy firm. She is an active member of the Social Activities Committee, the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, the Digital Innovation Group and is the President of the Black Employee Network aka BEN.
On a personal level, Shymika has a passion for people, helping others and sharing knowledge. She has volunteered at the DePelchin Children’s Center, The Center for Hearing and Speech, facilitated a fundraising tour at Rutherford B.H. Yates Museum for the play In All Thy Getting: The Forgotten Story of Freedmen’s Town, and more.
Known to her friends and on her socials as “Miko”, Shymika is a brand ambassador for CURLS, an international natural hair care company. As Model Miko, she has ripped the runway of several local Houston designers for over a decade. She has also had a few print ads for other prestigious natural hair care companies. Miko is a natural hair enthusiast, makeup fanatic and in general a big kid at heart who loves to have fun and enjoy life.
Miko keeps a social media presence on all major platforms and has a YouTube channel. On the Go with Miko, focuses on balancing multiple roles women typically hold: Wife, Mother, Career Woman, and most importantly, YOURSELF! “Journeying through the Firsts without Forgetting who you First Were.” Topics on her channel include natural hair care, makeup tutorials, DIYs/How To, organizational tips, self-care and wellness. Miko is married to her best friend, Jamel “Coach Jay” Coleman, and they have one son, Christopher aka CAC.
Director, PR Committee
Ariel Johnson recently graduated from Howard University with a Bachelors of Business Administration in Marketing. While in D.C. she embraced the Chocolate City as a haven of culture and education. A transplant from Houston, she recently returned to her hometown ready to flex her new skills in public relations and business development. Her installation onto HPOP’s Board of Directors is one of many moves she’s making towards serving her community with integrity and purpose.
Ariel is a long time lover of the arts, as she deeply respects the craft of creativity as well the creatives that make it possible. She believes that as creations of the heavenly creator, we’re all born with innate abilities to honor, value and engage in the act of creativity. With a genuine heart for people, she strives to produce marketing content for Houston Play on Purpose that is both relevant and impactful, so that HPOP’s audience truly experiences the nature of the content that the organization strives to produce.
Crystal Day, author of “A Diva’s Guide to Success” and Founder of Diva Day Consulting, is a native Houstonian who began pursuing her career in athletics at a young age. As a bright-eyed 8 year old, she began her journey as a runner, dancer, and gymnast. Coach Day is currently the Physical Education and Health Department Chair, as well as, a Physical Education Instructor in the Cypress Fairbanks Independent School District. Coach Day is currently the Head Boys Cross Country and Head Girls Track & Field Coach at Jersey Village High School. Her spirit of pride and excellence stemmed from her teachings under the Cross Country and Track & Field programs at Prairie View A&M University, where she then graduated Suma Cum Laude to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Performance with a minor in Dance. This is her 13th year as a teacher and coach. Coach Day has a profound passion for teaching and inspiring, and she has made it her life’s mission to give back to a community that has fostered her spirit of Determination, Intelligence, Vibrancy and Amazement as a woman through mentoring and leadership guidance
A native Houstonian, Tristen Davis is the proud owner of Eden Salon Services. Over the past decade, he has worked endlessly to create a positive space for men and woman of all cultures, age groups, and economic backgrounds to come and relax. Tristen got his start in the cosmetology industry by pure luck. Attending high school in Houston, TX, Davis became engulfed in J.R.O.T.C, swimming, and theatre. Upon graduation, he took a leap of faith and decided to attend, Dillard University in New Orleans, LA!
As most of Tristen’s class was deep in their majors, he struggled with the newness of HBCU life. After a year of going back and forth between majors and dealing with the destruction of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, he finally found his niche in the cosmetology industry. In 2006, after balancing college courses during the day, cosmetology school in the evening, and working at Academy Sports overnight, it all soon became overwhelming. So, Tristen decided to pursue cosmetology full time. Houston bound in 2008, life for Tristen began to come full circle as he worked diligently to perfect his craft. At present, Tristen has worked alongside other talented stylists for the Houston Texans Cheerleaders for the past nine years. He has styled hair for the iconic Essence Festival and was an educator for the Australian product brand Kevin Murphy.
In 2009 Tristen joined the young adult choir at The Church Without Walls where he ministers weekly with a dynamic choir! J.R.O.T.C still plays a major role in Tristen’s life. In his free time, he volunteers at his high school alma mater, mentoring kids, and traveling with the drill teams to various competitions. Each year, the school travels to Texas A&M to compete in the state competition. Family is, by far, the joy of Tristen’s life. With nine nephews and one niece, Tristen freely and fairly spreads his love to each of them. From a young age, his parents and siblings have continued to keep him grounded.
Today, Davis is overjoyed with the new task of being the newest Board Member of HPOP. He is excited about sharing his love for the theater and has high hopes of being a part of a company that brings uplifting messages to new audiences through song, poetry, dance, and acting.
Minerva is a proud first generation Mexican American Alumni of the Art Institute of Seattle. Her 12 years of retail design have encompassed various roles, ranging from Visual Merchandiser, to Interior Designer, to Remodeling Management. Currently, she is pursuing an Art Education degree from Lone Star College and University of Houston Downtown.
As a Houston native, her goal is to serve the community by sharing her appreciation of various art mediums. As a dedicated mother of two, she strives to lay the foundation for them to experience and enjoy the diverse, cultural melting pot that is her hometown of Houston, Texas.