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The Source Summit

Convening Communities for Economic and Social Change

November 11–13, 2021

Columbia, Missouri

About the Summit

The Source Summit is a two and a half day gathering scheduled for November 11–13, 2021. This event is designed to convene community-based organizations, corporations, and the faith-based community to influence economic and social change for individuals within the Columbia, MO community. The intent of this event is to bring together key community stakeholders to identify these concerns, and work together to establish resolutions that will enhance economic and social equity.

The summit will provide information, tools, and resources for faith-based organizations to partner with other organizations to better serve the community at-large. The summit also intends to connect employers to interested candidates and minority/women owned businesses to potential opportunities. This event proposes to convene, collaborate, and change the distressing conditions of disadvantaged individuals, and improve the quality of life in the community for all.

The Source Summit-Columbia is being planned and organized by Dr. Lester Woods, Jr. and the Urban Empowerment Development Corporation (uEDC), which is a 501(c)3. Sponsors and supporters in the community are invited to join in this effort. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor or purchasing a booth, please fill out the sponsorship form.

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Keynote Speakers

Dr. Lester Woods

The Source Summit Convener, Dr. Lester Woods, is the Senior Pastor of Urban Empowerment Ministries and the Chief Executive Officer of Urban Empowerment Development Corporation. Dr. Woods is also a 19 year veteran of the Missouri Department of Transportation, where he serves as the Chief Administrative Officer.

He is a 1993 graduate of Grambling State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology. He furthered his education by obtaining a Master’s of Public Administration from the University of Missouri, in 1996. He recently earned a Doctor of Ministry degree focused on Social Justice from United Theological Seminary in May 2020.

He is the proud husband of Dr. Christine Woods, who is a Professor at the University of Missouri School of Social Work, proprietor of Crowned Counseling and the mother of their two beautiful daughters, Lesli and Kiyah Woods.

Dr. Rudy Rasmus

Rudy Rasmus is a pastor, author, and humanitarian. He co-pastors the St. John’s United Methodist Church, located in Downtown Houston, with his wife Juanita. He founded Bread of Life, Inc, which is a nonprofit dedicated to feeding those in need. He has also worked with Beyoncé Knowles-Carter’s organization, BeyGood, to help countless people in his community. Rasmus attributes the success of the church to people who have embraced the vision of tearing down the walls of classism, sexism, and racism and building bridges of unconditional love, universal recovery, and unprecedented hope.

Dr. Brian Yearwood

Columbia Public Schools-Superintendent

Dr. Brian Yearwood’s 30 year career has been focused on understanding how scholars learn and providing opportunities through an educational framework that meets the needs of scholars and staff. He is originally from Trinidad and Tobago, and attended New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, New Mexico (on a tennis scholarship). Yearwood also received a tennis scholarship at Texas Tech. At Texas Tech, he received a Bachelor of Science, a Masters of Educational Administration, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership.

Dr. Cassandra Gould

Rev. Dr. Cassandra Gould is a native of Demopolis, Alabama. She serves as Executive Director of Missouri Faith Voices, a statewide grassroots organization, and is an Itinerate Elder in the A.M.E. Church. She served as a Sr. Pastor for 10 years. At the last traditional church she pastored, she led the congregation in a relocation, land acquisition and multi-million dollar building project during the first 3 years of her tenure. She currently serves as a pastor in the public square.

Pastor Corey B. Brooks

Pastor Corey B. Brooks, founder and Senior Pastor of New Beginnings Church of Chicago and founder and CEO of Project H.O.O.D. Communities Development Corporation, has become a leading voice and presence in the fight against the violence gripping Chicago’s poorest neighborhoods. He has helped create a safer place for his community, and given children the tools to reach for a brighter future. Pastor Brooks attended Ball State University, University of Florida, Dallas Theological Seminary, and Grace Theological Seminary. He has been pastoring since 1990.

Dr. Lester Woods

The Source Summit Convener, Dr. Lester Woods, is the Senior Pastor of Urban Empowerment Ministries and the Chief Executive Officer of Urban Empowerment Development Corporation. Dr. Woods is also a 19 year veteran of the Missouri Department of Transportation, where he serves as the Chief Administrative Officer.

He is a 1993 graduate of Grambling State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology. He furthered his education by obtaining a Master’s of Public Administration from the University of Missouri, in 1996. He recently earned a Doctor of Ministry degree focused on Social Justice from United Theological Seminary in May 2020.

He is the proud husband of Dr. Christine Woods, who is a Professor at the University of Missouri School of Social Work, proprietor of Crowned Counseling and the mother of their two beautiful daughters, Lesli and Kiyah Woods.

Dr. Rudy Rasmus

Rudy Rasmus is a pastor, author, and humanitarian. He co-pastors the St. John’s United Methodist Church, located in Downtown Houston, with his wife Juanita. He founded Bread of Life, Inc, which is a nonprofit dedicated to feeding those in need. He has also worked with Beyoncé Knowles-Carter’s organization, BeyGood, to help countless people in his community. Rasmus attributes the success of the church to people who have embraced the vision of tearing down the walls of classism, sexism, and racism and building bridges of unconditional love, universal recovery, and unprecedented hope.

Dr. Brian Yearwood

Columbia Public Schools-Superintendent

Dr. Brian Yearwood’s 30 year career has been focused on understanding how scholars learn and providing opportunities through an educational framework that meets the needs of scholars and staff. He is originally from Trinidad and Tobago, and attended New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, New Mexico (on a tennis scholarship). Yearwood also received a tennis scholarship at Texas Tech. At Texas Tech, he received a Bachelor of Science, a Masters of Educational Administration, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership.

Dr. Cassandra Gould

Rev. Dr. Cassandra Gould is a native of Demopolis, Alabama. She serves as Executive Director of Missouri Faith Voices, a statewide grassroots organization, and is an Itinerate Elder in the A.M.E. Church. She served as a Sr. Pastor for 10 years. At the last traditional church she pastored, she led the congregation in a relocation, land acquisition and multi-million dollar building project during the first 3 years of her tenure. She currently serves as a pastor in the public square.

Pastor Corey B. Brooks

Pastor Corey B. Brooks, founder and Senior Pastor of New Beginnings Church of Chicago and founder and CEO of Project H.O.O.D. Communities Development Corporation, has become a leading voice and presence in the fight against the violence gripping Chicago’s poorest neighborhoods. He has helped create a safer place for his community, and given children the tools to reach for a brighter future. Pastor Brooks attended Ball State University, University of Florida, Dallas Theological Seminary, and Grace Theological Seminary. He has been pastoring since 1990.

Special Guest Speakers

Registration

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The following sponsorship packages are available to partner with The Source Summit Columbia:

Platinum Sponsor

$10,000 or more

  • Logo Recognition
  • Marketing
  • Promotional Spot
  • Source Summit EXPO Booth

Gold Sponsor

$7,500 to $9,999

  • Logo Recognition
  • Marketing
  • Source Summit EXPO Booth

Silver Sponsor

$5,000 to $7,499

  • Logo Recognition
  • Marketing
  • Source Summit EXPO Booth

Bronze Sponsor

$2,500 to $4,999

  • Logo Recognition
  • Marketing
  • Source Summit EXPO Booth

Source Sponsor

$1,000 to $2,499

  • Logo Recognition
  • Marketing
  • Source Summit EXPO Booth

Business Sponsor

$250

  • Source Summit EXPO Booth

Church/Faith Based Sponsor

Member Scholarship(s)*

  • Logo Recognition
  • Marketing

Gold Sponsor

Silver Sponsor

Source Sponsors

In-Kind Sponsor

For more information regarding The Source Summit Columbia, please contact Dr. Lester Woods, Jr. at (573) 823-9679, or TheSourceSummit@gmail.com.

Become a Sponsor