Lifting Inspirations Winter Recap 2022

Posted on January 1st, 2023

The Arts and Science Council-funded Program

Afro-Brazilian drumming and dance classes were held weekly throughout the fall semester at Southview Recreation Center. The classes were facilitated by Bloco Afro Ayedun, with drumming led by Luciano Xavier and dance taught by Tamara Williams. Special guests made appearances to assist with the programming.

Local resident children attended the classes and made great progress in their knowledge and skills with drumming and dance. The program culminated with some of the children participating in an end-of-semester dance performance held by the Dance Department at UNC-Charlotte.

West Charlotte High School College and Career Fair 

West Charlotte High School held a College and Career Fair for their junior and senior students to learn about opportunities after graduation. Lifting Inspirations had a table displaying our programs and career opportunities in the fitness industry, plus information on studying Exercise Science and Education at UNC-Charlotte. The event was well attended, and many students expressed interest in our programs. In addition to the programs and career opportunities.

Publication of The Superhero in Me and Book Signing Event at The Archive CLT

Our publication, “The Superhero in Me: Building Boys Confidence, Character, and Muscle Through Weight Lifting,” was published on October 25, 2022. Authored by Laurie Garo and Illustrated by Justin Surgeon, this book is designed to foster healthy living, fitness, and wellness among young boys, and particularly among young boys of color, with its culture-affirming illustrations of boys of color carrying out the various exercises. Boys will learn weightlifting fundamentals, including techniques from professional body builders, and the character traits needed to maintain lifelong health and wellness. The book covers the importance of good nutrition for building muscle and the links between nutrition, fitness, and overall health and wellness. There is a fitness log for recording and tracking exercise progress, with daily motivational quotes, and a glossary of superheroes. 

The book can be purchased online individually, or at reduced cost in bulk for use in schools and other youth programming.

We held a book signing at Archive CLT, a fabulous local book store and coffee shop that specializes in black-authored books, magazines, and other publications in addition to a wide selection of coffees, pastries, and sandwiches. The book signing was well attended and generated lots of interest and positive feedback about the book. Some photos and feedback are below.

Lee Haney


to the two of you for creating such a valuable tool for our youth.

Jordan C

Such a great turnout!

I’m so proud of you, Justin Surgeon; the book is amazing

Bernadette P

Feeling blessed, honored, and loved after receiving this amazing gift from Pamela autographed by the illustrator, her son ~ Justin Surgeon, a humble young man who is one of the most gifted artists that I know! Thank you both! (And the first page that I flipped to for an “inside of the book” photo has so much meaning for me!).📷📷📷


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