BLACK EXCELLENCE: Felicia Chappelle on the H.U.M.A.N. Project

Harmony is a strange concept because each sound, when isolated, just isn’t quite right. It only works together. It only works blended.

Such is life with race. Nothing racial alone is great, but well mixed — we’re on to something. So here we are in February of 2022, the early Spring of our racial civility after what finally feels like a little shift. Enter H.U.M.A.N: Help Us Make A Nation. This is the acronym for an ambitious group that was headed by my father, William David Chappelle III, and a co-professor, Dr. James Dunn. This was Antioch College in the 1970′s. The two set out to end racism one lecture, one coffee shop, one variety show and one awkward exchange at a time.

The social interactions, food, music and spirits eased the discomfort we all feel. Our constricted hearts scream, “This damn race thing again!” Both these men departed this Earth long ago, but there is a strong H.U.M.A.N Project presence active on Facebook. Mostly white folks show up, to let go of shame and embrace a willingness to flop. We won’t always get it right, but we have to be able to have the conversation. It’s music to my ears. H.U.M.A.N birthed a group called The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond and, if you’re lucky, you might see their Undoing Racism Workshop pop up somewhere in the Miami Valley. If you do, grab the chance. It is solid gold!

Felicia Chappelle is an actress and producer based in Yellow Springs. You can listen to her audio drama, “Faces on the Train” on

Black Excellence in the Miami Valley

Jessie Gooding

To conclude Black History Month, we reached out for examples of Black excellence in the Miami Valley as told by members of our communities. Hear from contributors tell the stories of these individuals and organizations, past and present, that exemplify some of the best qualities our region has to offer.

» Marsha Bonhart on Jessie Gooding

» Felicia Chappelle on the H.U.M.A.N. Project

» Rodney Veal on Countess Winfrey

» Shon Curtis on Nozipo Glenn

» Te’Jal Cartwright on Black men healing

» Ryan C. Ivory on Commissioner Dean Lovelace

» Juanita-Michelle on Audrey Norman-Turner

» Dorian Hunter on Sheila Lash Rice

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