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About Us

Our Mission

 To promote the participatory process of civic engagement and build social capital for workforce development and entrepreneurship in civil society's urban center communities through the use of technology, urban planning process, and critical thinking. 

Our Vision

 We envision sustainable and resilient urban centers in which community, business, and government success are connected. 

Why Cultural Planning and Social Learning?

Cultural Planning deals with community image while social learning impacts self image, community stewardship, and economic development.    

Seeking Balance

 As we seek to balance this situation, the diverse legislations have imposed different ways of “civic participation”. With regards to civic participation many traditional vices have appeared again:

o The use of quantitative surveys is severely limiting data collection 

o Few people are giving opinions or even information 

o Participation process is hardly seen as a formality. 

o Many planners do not consider the need to bring input from a large part of residents; giving rise to non-acceptance of what is forthcoming and disenfranchisement often leading to vandalism, crime, and non-functioning infrastructure as intended by planners and designers.   

Cultural mapping is committed to improve the participation process through:

o Using qualitative open surveys

o Involving local people as interviewers 

o Creating local maps by locating mental images on real places. We have gathered this concept from the theories of Giusseppe Dematteis, an influent Italian planner that developed the “implicit project” concept, or how to improve planning by deeply knowing a territory. 

o Heritage is a good ally in the process. 

Respecting the Built Environment

Cultural Planning is the thinking action of a community as it relates to space wherein we can begin the foundations of economic development and sustainability. 

Our Board of Directors

Michelle Abd'Elaziz, President


Michelle holds a Master in Public Administration with a Certificate in Non-Profit Leadership from Rackham Graduate School at the University of Michigan, and a Master of Science in Land Use Planning with a Certificate in Organizational Development from Eastern Michigan University. Michelle served on the 2005 Michigan Business Advisory Council and won a National Congressional Leadership Award for her innovative ideas on the remaking of a region in the industrial rust belt. Locally, Michelle has performed community engagements for the Birwood House as a part of her consulting work under Yocef James Inc.

Michelle cares for her dear mother, and is a Detroit native. 


Jennifer Young, Chair of The Board


Jennifer holds a Master of Science in Resource Policy & Behavior from the School of Natural Resources & the Environment at the University of Michigan, and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Eastern Michigan University. As a Project Manager at Michigan Interfaith Power & Light (Michigan IPL), Jennifer coordinates communications and outreach with the faith community in regards to energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives. Prior to working with Michigan IPL, Jennifer was a Program Manager for the Southeast Michigan Regional Energy Office where she convened municipal leaders in collaborative renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives across southeast Michigan communities.


An Ann Arbor native, she currently resides in Ferndale and serves on the Ferndale Environmental & Sustainability Commission. She actively participates with the U.S. Green Building Council’s Detroit Regional Chapter and serves on several youth-focused nonprofit boards such as the Detroit Interfaith Outreach Network and the Association for Youth Empowerment. 


Sharletha Jordan, Treasurer

Rashida Bennet-El, Secretary


Born September 11th, of the year 1979 of two Sheiks; Brother James Bennett-El and Sister Vivian L. Bennett-El in Detroit Michigan at Sinai Hospital. She attended many Detroit public schools from Guyton to Osborne, Finney, Nancy Boykin C.E.C before finally taking the GED test without studying in 1998. She was recorded to have been in the top 5% of all scores in Michigan that year at Franklin Adult Education Center.

Her employment history spans over 24 years. She began her first job at a corner liquor store on Hoover at StateFfair at the age of 14, to working for over 31 companies by the age of 31. Those include The American Red Cross, Old Redford Academy, Krogers, Happy’s Pizza, Lou’s Deli, and a few temp agencies under her belt led her to pursue her true passions in life. Helping others while helping her self has brought her the opportunity of becoming a board member of the YWCA Detroit where she has given her services for the past year and a half.

Her Passions lie within helping others become successful in life. Growing up with a Moorish American lineage, Rashida has been appointed as the Grand Governess of the state of Michigan, Assistant Grand Sheikess of The Moorish Science Temple of America Branch Subordinate Temple 7 teaching the five highest principles known to man:Love, Truth, Peace, Freedom, and Justice.

Rashida has been appointed as a Divine Minister in 2016, received her Massage Therapy License in 2016 and is dedicated to healing the world . She also owns a few businesses: Inner G’s Massage Masters, Alzadie’s Healing Art, and Alzadie B. Entertainment. She manufactures Healing orgone energy batteries to help rebalance The People’s and the Earth’s Energies by promoting balance and tranquility.

Rashida is a Woman on the rise! She has served food at the NSO, given free Massage Events for the Detroit Lions and Councilwoman Brenda Scott, and has received an award for her efforts in community involvement. She is currently studying Law and the proper application of Law to ensure the People begin to live in their Constitutional fold again. Teaching Self sufficiency and long-term sustainability in Detroit has led her to become a Board member of Talbiyah Inc. as of November of 2017. Rashida’s skills are very much needed in order to be useful in today’s society. Her skills include; Singing, songwriting, poetry, Ministry, counseling, massage therapy, designing clothes and homes, comedy, activism, community outreaching, creating healing art and many more! There is so much to Rashida and she is ready and willing to always give her best. Look forward to the world changing for it’s Best and Highest !

Alessandra Carreon


Alessandra ("Ale") Carreon is a champion for equitable and sustainable business and is dedicated to inclusive growth of local and global green economies. Ale is a Materials Regulatory Engineer with Ford Motor Company's Sustainability and Vehicle Environmental Matters team. Beyond Talbiyah, Inc., Ale is a board member of the West Village Association neighborhood group, The Villages Community Development Corporation, and EcoWorks, a sustainable community development non-profit. She coordinates the Detroit Green Map project to map green businesses and projects in the City of Detroit and introduced the Better Block initiative to Detroit, organizing the sixth annual Better Block event in 2017. Ale served on the Detroit Climate Action Collaborative steering committee, helping author the city's first-ever climate action plan. 

She is also co-owner and founder of PizzaPlex, a community pizzeria in Detroit, and Green Lands LLC, a green real estate development firm. Ale earned her MBA from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business and her BS in Chemical Engineering from Rice University. Ale is a Licensed Professional Engineer and LEED Accredited Professional. Intersectionality forms the foundation of Ale's work in environmental and social justice initiatives. She enjoys traveling, trying her hand surfing, and hosting friends and families over elaborate dinners when not pursuing her other passions.

Diania Simmons Leneair


Diania holds an Associate Degree from Highland Park Community College in Medical Records and Certificate in Bookkeeping. Diania is a 30-year Retiree from Detroit Medical Center where she served as Medical Unit Coordinator. While she is good with record keeping she also is known in the community as a pseudo social worker because of her caring spirit and love of community.

The daughter of Craftsman and Freemason Diania has worked tirelessly to ensure the community progresses. Diania is a Detroit native. 


Wanda Weatherly


Wanda received her credentials from University of Michigan Dearborn in Early Childhood Education. She works as a Pre-School Teacher at Sunny Skies Childcare Center. She has served on the youth board in the Universalist Church and is concerned about community. 

Her love of children and community along with her outstanding compassion for others provides Talbiyah Inc with a caring board member that is ready to serve.

Wanda is a Detroit native.

Jason Dixon


Jason Dixon began life as an entrepreneur when he established his embroidery company in 1999 which he later sold for well over half a million dollars. He reinvested his earnings and established a transportation company. From the sale and transfer of the transportation company, Mr. Dixon established Dixon Medical Supplies in 2004. He expanded his medical supply company into Onyx Home Health Care in 2007. As a serial entrepreneur, he saw an opportunity for expansion through investment in solar installation and partnered with others to form the Energy Alliance Group. In 2013, Dixon built the foundation for Urban Nation Radio (UNR). An internet radio station launched in February 2014.

Currently, Jason Dixon is the President of Strategic Alliance Community Development Corporation focused on energy. 

Sampson Cunningham


Sampson grew up in Grand Rapids, MI and a native of Hyde Park, IL. He attended Oakdale Christian School k-9 and Tri-unity Christian. Sampson joined the Army in 1997. Sampson pursues his passion of marketing and media through working at Good-Year Tire. Sampson has a passion for cars and is affiliated with Better Detroit Youth Movement where he mentors young people in the area of media.

Our Staff

Michelle Abd'Elaziz, Chief Executive Officer


As Founder of Talbiyah Inc, a Cultural Planning and Social Learning organization she has built inroads with organizations such as Highland Park Regional Chamber of Commerce, We Unite Foundation, The Breakfast Club, The Nest Learning Center, Church of The Messiah, Genesis Hope Community Development Corporation, Fred W. Beaudry Post 126, American Legion Joe Louis Post 375, American Legion Tom Phillips Post 184, Impact Detroit, Don Bosco Hall-Youth Development Initiative, Ravendale Community Center (Toni McIlwain), Love and Kindness Community Development Corporation, Joy Jem Community Development Corporation, and Urbs et Ager Association located in Spain to achieve better outcomes of understanding community urban planning. 

Michelle is as well a DISC Certified Trainer (behavioral assessment) to broaden the program she developed called Beyond Turf 4 Corners that consists of 5 distinctions towards economic development. She also works part-time with autistic children as an Applied Behavioral Analysis Therapist.

The love of community, cooking, and the outlook of embracing the servant leader concept brought Michelle to develop a cooking show called Beyond Turf Food Nutrition Culture where community can connect with each other while preparing meals and embrace storytelling.

Shonda Peterson, Chief Operating Officer

 Shonda Peterson is a Native New Yorker who move to Michigan 15 years ago.

Shonda is a Mom to four children. 

Shonda has an Associates degree in human resource.  
Bachelors degree in healthcare administration. 

Current CPR Certification, Medication Aide Certification, M.A, C.A, Hippa Certificate. Abuse & Neglect:
Reporting Requirements, Corporate Compliance, Cultural Competence: A Foundational Course,
Medicare Fraud, Waste & Abuses, Anti-Harassment & Non-Discrimination Training for Employees, Anti-
Harassment & Non-Discrimination Training for Leaders, Case Management & Supports Coordination forService Providers to Adults with Medicaid, Infection Control & Standard Precautions, Person-Centered Planning with Children, Adults & Families, Recipient Rights Annual, Limited English Proficiency (LEP) and

Through the years Shonda has mastered skills of office management, customer services, personal resources and administrative management, Shonda has empowered to manage files and records, trained in policies and producers, and have been a advocate for customer needs.
Shonda has worked on and off in the healthcare field for over 15 years. 

Shonda has volunteer for J Cheer as the program coordinator. With great success and the girls cheering  for the Detroit  Pistons

Shonda volunteers' at Plymouth United Church and help with the homeless

Shonda is now the chief operational officer for Talbiyah Inc

Alfonzo Walker, Chief Community Officer

Alfonzo Walker is from the Northend and has a heart of gold to give back to community and help youngsters excel. He is Life Coach, Entrepreneur, and Community Activist. He is committed to working together and is bringing youngsters from all over the urban center community to Talbiyah Inc for mutual benefit. His work is recognized in the community as an important link that brings together youth with resources that they may grow and prosper.

Mark Evans, Chief Development Officer

Mark Evans is native New Yorker and calls Detroit his second home. He is a Certified Teacher and has worked with numerous non profit in their development to reach goals. Mark has an extensive network in which he is sharing with Talbiyah Inc to build a first class organization. 

Jewel Rich, Executive Assistant

Kamary Page, Social Media and Graphics Coordinator

Urbs et Ager Association

An International Urban Planning & Heritage Association

Urbs et Ager and Talbiyah Inc working together with community in the area of urban planning, providing more insight for government to connect with community and bring about spaces that align with community image and values.

A Cultural & Heritage Planning and Social Learning Organization