Lady Guardians: "Parenting Paradigms"
The “Parenting Paradigms” Panel will cover a broad spectrum of parenting in the 21st Century. With 75% of our panel coming from law enforcement, we will share our vast experiences of succeeding in comporting ourselves in a ‘respectable’ manner that has bode well in both our professional and personal lives as mothers, aunts, wives, sisters, daughters, etc. Prior studies have portrayed both law enforcement and barbershop industries as experiencing the highest divorce rates, hence my marriage to a policeman-turned barber while raising four children has been interesting. This team will share their inspiring versions of parenting, varying from the Aunt who molded a handsome African American nephew into manhood, to a woman who received several children (step-kids and adopted) into her Louisiana home and how she prepares a foundation for her incarcerated son to return to society and her continued fight to get his sentence reduced. Our Sister Angie Dickerson will speak on surviving a change in family dynamics and also the challenge of managing workplace change.
Meet Sharon Jenkins Smith
Sharon Jenkins Smith is fond of saying she is a “family woman”. Sharon has staked her own claim to this moniker because though the phrase “family man” is a thing, no one refers to a woman as a “family woman” even though it is women who typically take on the lion’s share of the responsibility for their families. Sharon believes the greatest contribution she will ever make to the world is the family she and her husband have built together. The mother of six children who came to be hers via good old-fashioned biology (2 sons), marriage (2 sons), and adoption (2 daughters), Sharon and her husband have also been parents to six additional children through the beauty of Foster Care. Sharon’s family is a modern day “His, Mine, Ours, and Theirs”; and yet, they are so tightly-knit, that those who don’t know their story have no idea this is the case. Children are Sharon’s great passion in life, and hers have taken her to the highest peaks of joy to the depths of despair and back again. Through it all, Sharon remains adamantly convinced that her destiny is to love and glorify the family she has built with her husband while simultaneously doing all she can to help each individual member discover their truest, most authentic, and best self.
Lieutenant Colonel Rochelle Denise Jones
Lieutenant Colonel Rochelle Denise Jones is a commissioned Officer with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, joining on May 16, 1983. Lieutenant Colonel Jones is the highest ranking female for the Department and the first African American female to be promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in the 200 year history of the SLMPD. After being promoted to the rank of Sergeant in July of 1991, she served in the Seventh District, Internal Affairs Division, and the Canine/Mobile Reserve Unit.
Lieutenant Colonel Jones was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in November of 2001. As such she was the first female in the Department’s history to be named and serve as the commander of the Homicide Division. She also served in the Fifth and Sixth Districts.
Ret. Capt. Mary E. Edwards-Fears
Mary joined the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Dept. in 1986. She was initially assigned to the 7th District, where she got her reputation of being fair and community oriented. She was promoted four times rising to the rank of Captain, solidifying her as the third African American female to reach such distinction in SLMPD’s 200-year history. She commanded Districts 5 and 6, two of the most challenging districts citywide. As a Sergeant, she was selected to attend the FBI National Academy in 1997 for executive level management training, an opportunity normally reserved for higher ranking officers. She led in the development of SLMPD’s Constitutional Advocacy Policing Program, which resulted in her becoming an Ambassador of the Nonviolence 365 Training Workshop (2014), under the administration of Dr. Bernice A. King, CEO of the Dr. King Center. Mary also served on the Mo. Advisory Committee Panel to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (2015), using that platform to advocate for transparency and police reform.