Beyond Borders

Cultural Center creating common ground over good eats, good reads...


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Cultivating Roots: Help #BBB Buy the Building

Beyond Borders is at the heart of Kokomo, Indiana, in the heartland of the country: building strong, close-knit community, bound together through common language, standing on common ground. Our mission is carried out through a family of businesses and event space operating under a single roof at 108 N. Main Street: Beyond Borders Language Learning Center, Beyond Barcodes Bookstore, BIND Cafe and soon, Urban Oasis Bed and Breakfast. Beyond Borders, as we call the space, is a local family-launched venture. 

Demand from near and far has proven the need for Beyond Borders to set down permanent roots, after 2 years of working round-the-clock, investing sweat equity, bootstrapping, and growing. It's time for Beyond Borders to buy the building! We've already come so far, 100% self-financed, to bring you this vision. We are asking you to surround us with excitement, support and encouragement to take us the rest of the way financially. We will cultivate something bigger than we ever imagined when we reach our goal to raise $40k towards the down payment on our building and current home of Beyond Borders.

Are you ready to go Beyond Borders by partnering with us?!? Say yes! Because we've spent a lot of time dreaming dreaming up fantastic rewards for those who are investing in the business at this early stage. Go ahead, check them out!

We share the grit, heart and soul that keeps putting Kokomo, IN on the map. 

#BBB #cultivatingroots

Who We Are: Bridgers of Divided Society

Driven north by faith and the promise of opportunity during the Great Migration, our ancestors settled in 1930s Kokomo. With grit and sacrifice they built a local church from the ground up. Though they had left behind the terror of the south, their children were born into a segregated society where occasional hate rallies on the town square terrorized and sent a loud message. That message of hate was drowned out by other local Kokomo residents who rejected it and by these soujourners who chose to love despite it. Our family has been rooted in this community for generations: and as local skilled tradesmen, autoplant workers, steelworkers, medical professionals, public servants, social good leaders, missionaries and pastors we have been building all along. Beyond Borders is our generation's innovative contribution to help bridge our small city to the future we wish to create: one where all are welcome at the table to break bread.

Look what we've done so far

Common Language. Common Ground. Close-knit Community.

Beyond Borders Language Learning Center helps people from different cultures gain common ground through the dialogue created from learning languages such as French, Spanish, Portuguese, English and American Sign Language.

Beyond Barcodes Bookstore complements these offerings through its special selection of multiculural books featuring social justice, human rights and artistic themes in an open concept store designed to encourage thought-provoking conversation over gourment, fair trade, single-origin Haitian and Guatemalan coffee and a selection of artisanal gourmet teas from BIND Cafe. The cafe's menu of homemade delights varies to reflect local and international comfort foods.

Soon, savvy travelers and staycationers looking for a unique and luxurious experience on the charming downtown square will be able to take advantage of the Beyond Borders newest addition: the Urban Oasis Bed and Breakfast.

From Janitor to Owner in One Generation

Beyond Borders is located at the historic Osco Drug Store (upper right). About 60 years ago, an 8 year old boy began working across the alley at Kresge's Department Store, cleaning with his family to earn money. He continued to work at Kresge's for 10 years, until he graduated high school and left his final job ironing clothes in a back room of the major department store. Now, this man, our dad, works to ensure that the story of Beyond Borders- the power and potential of community, coming together, working hard to build, grows and grows.

A dream you dream alone is only a dream, a dream you dream together is reality. -John Lennon

Deeply grounded

We are carrying on the tradition to build local, buy local. Pictured above in 1979, supporting another downtown Kokomo establishment as the first customers: mom's parents John D. Hall and Ardola Hall

"Cultivate the root; the leaves and the branches will take care of themselves." Confucius

Local Business and Community Supporters

A special thank you to our early supporters for your special support for our vision:

All our customers and students!

BKS3 Productions

Bridges Outreach

City of Refuge, Church of God in Christ

Impact Hub Port-au-Prince

Indiana University at Kokomo (IUK)

Ivy Tech Community College

Joel & Marcie Fenske and Family

Kokomo Downtown Farmers Market

Monty Henderson (via Hoosier Heartland ISBDC) 

Mt. Pisgah Missionary Baptist Church

The Beard Family

The Hall Family

United Way of Howard County

World of Women (WOW)

Please note: All gifts offered through donor rewards can be picked up at the Block Party or at Beyond Borders. If you would like your items shipped please be prepared to pay shipping costs. For international orders, please add an additional 8 dollars to your contribution. Thank you!

#BBB #cultivatingroots


DeAndra Beard - CEO and Founder

Founder, CEO, Creative Guru of placemaking happiness 

DeAndra is the CEO and founder of Beyond Borders. Her early entrepreneurial efforts helped subsidize her undergraduate degree. A former Spanish K-12 certified classroom teacher, now turned award-winning business owner, she holds a B.A. in Education and Spanish with Reading Specialist and Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) endorsements. She is passionate about working to create common ground and connect with the world through the study of language and culture. In 2016, to further expand the mission of creating common ground, DeAndra opened a multicultural bookstore, Beyond Barcodes Bookstore and internationally focused cafe, Bind Cafe. Since opening this community space, she has facilitated difficult conversations about racism, discrimination and racial reconciliation in a community that is only beginning to openly acknowledge the necessity of such conversations. Her business model and experiences have opened opportunities to lead workshops, professional development and share her story in various venues. DeAndra’s passion and focus on sustainable community development led to a mayoral appointment to the Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance (GKEDA). Along with this prestigious appointment, in the first two years as a business owner, she has been awarded with the EDGE Award for her successful emerging business presented by the Lieutenant Governor & the 40 under 40 Award presented by the Young Professionals of Howard County. The same passion she has for her local community extends to the island of Hispaniola. In 2007, she and her sister co founded the Organization of Dominican Haitian Cooperation (OCDH) in the northern region of the Dominican Republic. The mission of OCDH was to empower the most marginalized communities of Dominicans of Haitian descent. Through the work with OCDH, they connected with and helped found Border of Lights, a collective working at the border of Dominican Republic and Haiti to increase solidarity between the two countries. She is a co-founder of Impact Hub Port-au-Prince, and a fellow with the Institute for International Public Policy (IIPP).

Etiwanda Beard - Owner

Executive Gracegiver and Tastemaker 

Harry L. Beard - Owner

Chief Innovation Driver 

Dr. Devona Anderson

Sister, supporter, strategist 

Devona Anderson, MD, referred to affectionately as “the idea machine”, is a visionary driven to serve. She was the first to earn a college degree and the first medical doctor in her family. In addition to serving individuals through family practice, she has led Medical Mission Teams to bring critical medical aid to the people of Chile, Brazil, the Philippines, Guyana and South Africa. Dr. Anderson’s educational pursuits took her around the country and globe, but ultimately her commitment to home brought her back to serve her local community. Dr. Anderson graduated cum laude, with a B.A. in Biology from Fisk University, and a earned her medical degree at Wayne State University School of Medicine. She completed residency through the In His Image Family Residency Program in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She is board certified by the American Academy of Family Physicians and her professional affiliations include the Howard County Medical Society, Indiana State Medical Association, American Academy of Family Physicians, Christian Medical and Dental Society and American Medical Academy. She resides in Kokomo, Indiana where she attends City of Refuge, Church of God in Christ. She is the eldest daughter of Pastor Harry L. Beard and Etiwanda Yvonne Beard. She enjoys traveling, reading, cooking and learning languages in her free time.

Julian Dotson

Brother, brain, bookmaster 

Julian is the President and CEO of the D.C. Urban Debate League, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization which serves students throughout the DC-metro region. He taught English and Debate for 14 years until he fully devoted his time to expanding the debate league. Julian has appeared on C-SPAN and at the Newseum discussing how we teach civic engagement to our youth. He is a screenwriter, graphic designer, lyricist and poet and avid fisherman who loves to tackle tough ideas and approach education with a world view. This jack-of-all-trades credits his father for forcing him to do what it takes to be self-sufficient, his mother for teaching him how to honor his wife, and his wife of 14 years, Rana Dotson, for seeing the good in the human spirit. He has three children, Isaiah, Caleb and Jaina.

Rana Dotson

Entrepreneurial International Promoter of Positive Social Change 

Rana has worked for over a decade on public policy, and economic and international development. Her current work at the US Department of Labor’s international arm has included research, writing and foreign policy engagement, and management of over $32 million in technical assistance projects that address the needs of marginalized people, including African-descendant and indigenous communities, in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Bolivia, Peru, Uruguay and Paraguay. Rana’s work includes monitoring labor developments and providing policy advice on labor issues in countries of importance to the United States. She has also drafted chapters for the Congressionally-mandated annual Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor report. She is a lead organizer for the Border of Lights, a human rights collective she helped form in 2012, to promote peace and collaboration between the Dominican Republic and Haiti- two countries that have historically been in conflict. Prior to that, she co-founded the Organization of Dominican Haitian Cooperation (OCDH) with her sister, DeAndra, which supported development in extremely poor, rural communities in the Dominican Republic. In the Haiti earthquake aftermath, Rana mobilized the 800+ OCDH international member network to support volunteer efforts, connect missing family members, send two medical teams and provide logistical support. Ms. Dotson holds graduate certificate in nonprofit management from George Washington University Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration and a Master of Public Policy with a specialization in International Security and Economic Policy from the Maryland School of Public Policy, University of Maryland. She is an Institute for International Public Policy (IIPP) Fellow and a National Security Education Program (NSEP) David L. Boren Graduate Fellow. She is full and content in her 14 year marriage to Julian Dotson, who is her partner in shaping their 3 young children in their Maryland home, and late-night co-plotter in schemes to take over the world.

David Pierre-Louis

creative entrepreneur 

David Pierre­Louis is a leader in organizational, social and economic development. As a magnate in business development, hospitality and entertainment, He is presently focusing his skills and leadership in cultivating community action and advocating for social change throughout the country of Haiti. David is the Chief Operating Officer of Haiti Coffee Co. a company geared towards developing and growing Haiti’s coffee industry as a viable global competitor. He is in the the process of building Kay Tita, a multi­level community resource space that will house the country’s first Impact Hub in Port­-au-­Prince: a centre for local entrepreneurial citizens to create a more sustainable future for themselves. In 2016, he Co­-organized Port­Au­Prince Startup Week, which focused on empowering the local community through various events in various areas­ ranging from Youth Involvement, Health, Education,Technology, Energy, Urban Design, Investment, Mentorship, Art, Community and Tourism. In 2008, David opened and operated LUCID Lounge, a premiere Seattle venue, that focused on engaging communities, uniting distinct divisions of art programs, and hosting an array of local and international musicians. In 2009 David founded the Seattle U­District Jazz Festival­ an event that ran for over 3 years and united over ten thousand people within the surrounding community. In 2010 he cofounded the Inside/Out Jazz Awards in order to honor local musicians. He has been recognized and honored with many awards, including the American Spirit Award for his fundraising and relief efforts following Haiti’s 2010 earthquake He also received the “40 under 40” Award from Bethune­ Cookman University, a prestigious award handed out to those who have achieved distinction in their respective field and have demonstrated outstanding service and loyalty to their community. David is the founder and executive director of Impact Hub, Port-au-Prince. David graduated from Bethune­ Cookman University with a degree in Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing.


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