Episode Summary

Meet today’s guest, Chris Mincey, Director of Development at Friends of Oberlin Village, and Sales Director at Trophy Brewing.

In this episode, MiMi sits with Chris as he expounds on the Friends of Oberlin nonprofit group, shares the history of the Oberlin community, and describes the goals of the nonprofit including events they organize to achieve those goals.

An Active Point of View with Host MiMi Melvin and Guest Chris Mincey

Top Takeaways

  • “When people have asked me ‘why do you run’; because I can.”
    – [Chris Mincey]
  • “People who have never smoked don’t understand that this is truly an addiction.”
    – [MiMi Melvin]
  • “One day, I won’t be able to run but today is not that day.”
    – [MiMi Melvin]
  • “You should be passionate about what you do professionally and you should be passionate about your activism. And if they can work together, I think you’re in gosh darn luck.”
    – [Chris Mincey]

Episode Highlights

  • [00:56] Intro
  • [02:50] Meet today’s guest, Chris Mincey.
  • [03:25] How Chris met MiMi.
  • [09:44] Chris talks about his work at Trophy Brewing.
  • [12:44] Why is ‘Friends of Oberlin’ so important?
  • [16:10] How should we refer to the descendants and families who lived in Oberlin Village?
  • [17:35] How Chris combines his professional and philanthropic worlds.
  • [19:47] About the upcoming Oberlin 5k event.
  • [30:30] Did it get easier to pitch your idea to sponsors each time?
  • [31:47] Where do you see yourself going with ‘Friends of Oberlin?
  • [33:11] What are the ways people can participate in this event?
  • [38:09] Connect with Chris

Episode Notes

An Active Point of View | Mimi Melvin

Mimi’s Why – Why host The Omega Sports An Active Point of View podcast?

To mark 15 years of being smoke-free, MiMi decided to run a half marathon. This brought her to Omega Sports. She was properly fitted for running shoes and met people who helped her reach her running goals. Now, she wants to inspire others through her podcast. This podcast will feature experts on brands, sports, fashion, fitness, health, and other leaders in the community.

Meet Chris Mincey

Chris Mincey with the Oberlin Village beer brewed at Trophy Brewing

Chris Mincey has known MiMi for less than a year but they have a common interest in educating community members. They first met through a zoom meeting while raising money for Oberlin Village. Like MiMi, Chris runs often. He uses it as a form of therapy to release the stress from work and responsibilities. With the many hats MiMi wears, she also makes use of running to clear her mind and be free. Chris also runs simply because he can. He wants to maximize his ability while he can and hopes it inspires others.

Chris has been in the beer industry for about 20 years, currently working at Trophy Brewing. In March 2021, Trophy decided to brew a limited beer to celebrate Oberlin Village.

Being able to successfully blend his philanthropic work with his professional job has been highly satisfying. As a busy Sales Director at Trophy, it was difficult to make time to do anything else. The pandemic created an opportunity to give back to the community through his work and his extra time.

Oberlin Village in Raleigh, NC

Oberlin Village is a Reconstruction-era black settlement formed in the 1860s. It is the only surviving antebellum settlement founded by free black people in all of North Carolina. By the end of the 19th century, it was a thriving community of businesses, schools, churches, and politicians with the highest rate of homeownership in Raleigh. The rich history of Oberlin is not known by many, which is why Friends of Oberlin Village was founded.

There are only about 5 or 6 original landmarks left in Oberlin Village that are protected federally or by the state. However, many houses occupied by descendants are being sold because of the high value of the land. Residents are unable to continue living there because of the high taxes. When they sell, it is a loss of another part of the history of the community. Especially since many times, the houses are torn down. In Oberlin, very few residents have a connection to the founders.

The main goal of Friends of Oberlin is to create awareness in Raleigh and North Carolina on the significance of Oberlin Village because once people know this they are more likely to help the cause.

Tours of Oberlin Village are usually held on the 3rd Saturday of every month for free. They start at the Oberlin cemetery, which is a moving place to be. It continues through different monumental parts of the community. You can sign up for a tour on the Friends of Oberlin Village website. You can also donate, volunteer, and register for other events, including the upcoming 5k in June 2022.

Oberlin 5k and Pop-up Museum

Oberlin Village Heritage 5k Run/Walk

Chris joined the Friends of Oberlin Village group 2 years ago. He had an idea to do a 5k to raise funds for Oberlin but he was unsure of how to go about it. He kept the idea in the back of his mind until he was contacted by ‘Black Girls Run‘ about doing a 5k. The Oberlin 5k and Pop-up Museum are slated for the June 18th weekend at Dix Park from 8 am.

  • Before the race at 8 am, there will be a group warm-up from Core Fitness.
  • At 9 am there will be a sprint for the kids.
  • During the event, there is a pop-up museum. People will be able to walk through different aspects of Oberlin history and learn the plans to preserve this history.

The event will take place at Harvey Hill District of Dix Park. There is a playground and there will be kid activities. This creates a whole family experience enmeshed in the education on the history of Oberlin Village. Some of the event sponsors are WRAL, Fleet Feet, WakeMed, and others.

You can sign up for the run online. There is also a virtual option for those who are not in town at this time. The city of Raleigh will be present at the event to show the plans for Dix Park.

All proceeds will go to Friends of Oberlin Village. The price is currently $35 but goes up to $40 in June for adults while it remains at $5 for kids. Registration includes a T-shirt and a medal.


Find | MiMi Melvin

Find | Chris Mincey

Find | Friends of Oberlin Village