The Community Activist (Organizer), Accountant, Artist, Motivational Speaker
Gina Maria Smallwood aka “Chenoa” graduated from the University of Maryland University College, and is an experienced community activist (organizer), not-for-profit accountant, visual artist, certified spiritual advisor, certified life coach, motivational speaker and world traveler. Chenoa believes in positively impacting and contributing to the universe and it’s inhabitants. After much transition and trauma, she opened “Sacred Moon Life Center” a healing space full of love and simplicity in Fairburn, GA, where she facilitates overnight professional coaching experiences. As a professional coach, Gina is committed to working with individuals through grief and adversity from life transitions due to loss (from divorce, death, a job or great life expectation) into their new happiness filled with love, joy, peace, gratitude and grace.
As a Community Activist (Organizer), Gina works diligently to foster lasting change through community mobilization, youth development and peace building. As a professional facilitator, she honed her skills at acclaimed local and national programs designed to help build communities and develop youth. Having received training from:
- Impact Silver Spring’s Leadership Program
- Department of Justice Weed and Seed Program
- National Coalition Building Institute, Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED)
- White House Faith Based and Community Initiatives
- Boy’s Town Common Sense Parenting
- Listen Inc. youth development program, among others.
She continues to facilitate activities for families and organizations, influenced by her travels to Cuba, Italy, France, Nepal, Bali, Mexico, Canada and Tunisia, just to name a few. Gina assisted in developing an effective, first-time collaboration between diverse residents representing 68 countries, law enforcement, social services, businesses and not-for-profits to restore and rebuild Long Branch community in Silver Spring, Maryland. In addition, she implemented:
- strategies to help increase awareness of domestic violence,
- co-developed a job skills training program for neighborhood teens,
- designed a 12-week asset building program for adolescent female youth,
- coordinated and developed a youth speak out,
- developed the “Beautiful You” empowerment workshop for women,
- developed and chairs a suicide awareness campaign focused on people of color (after her only child died from suicide), and
- co-facilitated a graduate course on peace building in the classroom at Millersville College in Lancaster, PA.
As an accountant, Gina consistently provided reliable business support to foundations, government agencies, non-profit organizations, small businesses, and individuals throughout the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Her varied roster of clients have included, The National Association of Community Health Centers, College Bound, Inc., Americorp Alums, Inc., The Perry School Community Service Center, Delta Sigma Theta Research and Educational Foundation, Good Samaritans Foundation, Inc., The Association of Schools of Public Health, The Levine School of Music, Broadcast Capital Fund, and BlackStar Communications.
As a complement to her activism and accounting, Gina’s visual artistic career progressively integrates her art into her professional life. Commissioned by individuals and local enterprises to produce thematic pieces, Gina works with the mediums of stained glass, photography, landscape architecture and interior design to bring harmony and balance to many settings. She also writes poetry, prose and travel journals. Gina shares her poetry and creative writing throughout her activism as a vehicle to connect directly with her audiences.
As a motivational speaker, Gina facilitates workshops on suicide awareness and peace building in the classroom, she speaks at weddings, other ceremonies and venues, and eulogizes at funerals and memorial services.
A native Washingtonian residing in Fairburn, GA (Atlanta suburb), Gina Maria “Chenoa” continues to lend her time and talents to strengthening local and global communities.