Things We Love: Picks from Donte Woods-Spikes

Donte Woods-Spikes

Donte Woods-Spikes is known for his professional speaking, community work and video documentation, among other pursuits. He is a TED Talks speaker and organizer, a selected Columbus Makes Art artist and an employee of Columbus City Schools and Arts and College Preparatory Academy. Woods-Spikes' overall goal is to educate and connect the world beyond perception and stereotypes with authentic, shared experiences through storytelling and documentation. Here are a few things he loves.

My Facebook friends

At least twice a week, I propose questions that require vulnerability and reflection. My friends all respond with their true experiences and feelings. What makes it so amazing is my Facebook page is filled with black and white people, activists and police officers, people of different political and religious affiliations, seniors and youths, cats and dogs, mummies and vampires … and we all just talk with one another.

Lisa McLymont's “Universe Tribe” series

Black women's self-esteem and confidence areattacked on a daily basis by society. McLymont's “Universe Tribe” series takes everyday black women and transforms their faces into art, forever trapping them in moments of beauty. It's so cool because when I go to art shows and museums, I see those pieces of art, and they trigger emotions each time. I hope all black women have the chance to see her art. It's life changing.

Mike Alcock and his community work

Mike Alcock is a Columbus librarian, board chair of Southside Stay and Superman, all in one. Community work is NOT easy, but he has a knack for it like I've never seen — all while remaining quiet and humble. He sees our children and gives them everything he has to make sure that they succeed in life.

ROOTT (Restoring Our Own Through Transformation)

ROOTT is a black-women-led reproductive justice organization focused on maternal and infant health. Ohio has a high infant mortality rate, particularly in regards to black women. ROOTT's mission and presence give me confidence that if I ever have children, I can be a supportive father and husband to my black wife.

“Donte and Day'Mariah,” the documentary

Day'Mariah Faust is a young black girl within Columbus, who also happens to be the first child I mentored. After six years of mentoring her, I realized that I have not seen any male-to-female mentorships that I could learn from. I decided to make a documentary exploring the evolution of our relationship, and the best way to support young black girls as they transition into womanhood. Soon I will be sharing it with all of Columbus, and then the rest of the world.