Tag Archives: Ayodele Drum and Dance Community

Women’s History Month

While there does seem to be incredible chaos in the world right now, there is still cause for celebration.  Last month was Women’s History Month and we are coming up to the centenary milestone of women’s right to vote – ratified in America on August 18 2020.  There’s a lot to be happy about.

We take this opportunity to look at three of the amazing women in our very own communities: T. “Ayo” Alston, Siobhan Summers and Katy Winge.

T. “Ayo” Ashton  is today known for the Ayodele Drum and Dance Community that she established in 2009 This educational body was made for women to help them with their own self-confidence and to in turn, create strength in their local communities.

Born in Brooklyn, Ashton first found her love for Orisha culture and West African dance as an adolescent and since then she has focused her journey on exploring art, development techniques and growing in these areas.  Some of the artists she has worked with include: Baba Chuck Davis, Dierdre Dawkins, M’Bemba Bangoura and Mouminatou Camara.

Supervising producer at Chicago’s video production firm Bottle Rocket Media, Siobhan Summers started her career on Oprah Winfrey’s show in the production team.  Since then she has developed her skills to successfully create meaningful tales with powerful messages.  This involves the supervision of all productions from A-Z.  Her love of storytelling creates interpersonal connections that she has helped grow among her local community.

Katy Winge was the very first female analyst hired to cover the Nuggets for Altitude TV.  Getting to that role was not easy.  She began her career as a sports anchor, producer and reporter for KTTC/FOX 47 and at some point faced a fork in the road – carry on with her role or take a break and pursue a Masters degree in Journalism.  She opted for the latter and studied at Northwestern University, IL.  Even though she was advised by many to continue in her role as getting experience would be preferable to getting an education for career development, she went with her “gut” and does not regret that decision at all.  She explains that she got so much out of the education, including the people she met, the things she learned and the network she created which all played a big role in where she is today.

Today she tells everyone to “go with their gut” which obviously is different for everyone.  We all need to find our own journey.

So, in these trying times, let’s look at what we’ve achieved and how much more there is to do, no matter what situation we currently find ourselves in.