Who is Concrete Rose Publications?

Our Story

Concrete Rose Publications is constantly evolving. We began in June of 2014 with our flagship novel, ALWAYS WANT MORE. Soon after, we began to create community events that feature various forms of Black art. We pride on ourselves on providing loving atmospheres where all kinds of people can truly see and hear each other. An exchange of information is always the focus. Our educational services sprouted from there. We have served a variety of charities and not-for-profits, colleges and universities, the Rochester City School District, and the city of Rochester. We work with the people, we work wisely, and we work out of love.

Our Founder

Banke Awopetu-McCullough
Founder and chief executive officer, Banke Awopetu-McCullough, has a deep reservoir of passion, knowledge, and experience that serves Concrete Rose Publications in a variety of ways.

First, McCullough was raised both in the suburbs and inner city, which allows her to connect to audiences of all races.

McCullough is a lover of hip-hop and an avid reader of classic and contemporary African-American literature. Concrete Rose Publications publishes texts that are uniquely insightful, gritty, poetic, and fast paced.

McCullough graduated from the Rochester City School District and taught English there for eleven years. She is currently a professor at Monroe Community College. Her experiences as both an urban student and educator, make her especially equipped to provide services to urban school districts and teacher education programs. McCullough holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Virginia in African/African-American Studies and Drama. She earned her Masters of Education from Roberts Wesleyan College.  
McCullough describes herself as a "wisdom worker."  Her formative teaching years were spent at an Expeditionary Learning school, which emphasizes the importance of valuing each individual. It is this philosophy that shapes Concrete Rose Publication’s curriculum design, consultations, project management style, events, and book discussions. McCullough shares her own story openly and encourages others to do the same, creating a new conduit and outlet for authentic expression.  


  • Banke Awopetu McCullough is a highly skilled and insightful facilitator and project manager, who is able to navigate deftly within and across complex organizations, insisting on clarity and teamwork in even the most opaque and entangled settings. Her writing -- technical, creative and persuasive – is excellent, but more important for organizational change is her ability to communicate in a way that inspires trust and camaraderie even within contentious work. Already a successful educator, writer and facilitator, there is no doubt that she will achieve the highest levels of accomplishment in any endeavor she chooses to take on.
    Mary Adams, RN, MPH
    Commissioner, Rochester City School District Board of Education
  • I love working with Banke because she is courageous, honest, and naturally astute. Banke is conscientious leader, keenly observant, willing to challenge, not governed by convention, and is willing to take on the most difficult challenges and see them through. As I have worked with her, I most benefit from her insistence that we work together from a solid foundation of relationship - absolute candor required. As I have gotten to know her, as a person, and friend, she pushes me past my own self-imposed limits, and helps me see myself anew.
    Dan Roller
    Managing Director of Acris Consulting
  • Banke is phenomenal!  In addition to quickly building trust and credibility, she was able to inventory my gifts and skills to help me reverse engineer my vision and formulate a plan for achieving the results I desire.  Her process helped me gain a deeper level of self-awareness and encouraged reasonable risk-taking to ensure my success.  Banke is a partner in the process as well.  She has a natural gift for holding you accountable for achieving your goals that, I believe, is rooted in her sincere desire to see you succeed.  I highly recommend Banke's services and welcome any opportunity to discuss my experience further.

    Celeste Barkley, MPH
    Community Advocate & Entrepreneur
  • If you're looking to design a creative, impactful program that employs mindfulness and centers participants, look no further than Concrete Rose.
    Zanita Tinsdale
    Foodbank for New York City
  • Banke Awopetu has a unique ability to build relationships and facilitate authentic discussions among educational leaders and partners.
    Kisha Morgan
    Springfield Empowerment Zone Partnership
  • Banke is the right mix of funny and professional, confident and commanding, organized and engaging.
    Abby Kotun
    Nigerian American Multicultural Council
  • Always Want More, an urban novel, whose subtle and sometimes in-your-face calls to social action signal the rebirth of the greatness of the Harlem Renaissance. And her majesty Zora Neale Hurston would be proud to know her crown has found a worthy heir
    Bold Flavor Magazine
  • I woke up hearing a teen with a book bag on was shot and killed this morning and I prayed all the way to work it wasn't one my kids. Later on, someone was stabbed and killed right down the street from us. Then I attended Banke Awopetu-McCullough's evening event‪ #‎Alwayswantmore and found myself surrounded by positive forces in our community who are making a difference. Highlighting the good things. There is light in the darkness.
    Kelly Johnson
    RCSD teacher since 2004
  • Always Want More painted a beautiful picture of Tracy, a young lady trying to find herself while making sense of the world and the environment that surrounds her. I truly related to the main character and her quest to define herself for herself. This novel is a wonderful fusion of introspection, action, love and romance, and dialogue on issues facing the black community.
    Aisha Taylor
    D4 Media Productions
  • Working with Banke is a pleasure.  She is insightful and extremely knowledgable. She provides leadership, guidance, and isn’t afraid to get involved.  
    William Hall
    New York Life Representative
  • "A Concrete Rose event is poetry in motion. It is a thoughtful and thought provoking. Each event is memorable."
    Craig Carson, Esq.
  • I don't read fiction often as I'm more of a business and self-development book reader. But once I picked up Always Want More, I couldn't put it down. I grew attached to both the story, and the characters with every turn of the page. I truly enjoyed this hip-hop infused narrative which tackles issues inherent in education, community, and love of self and others. I can't wait until "Always Want More II" is published.
    Ciandress Jackson
    Wunderkind Conuslting
  • ALWAYS WANT MORE is the inspiring, often titillating and epiphany-inducing elixir that our community has been anxiously awaiting.  It has shined a light on my daily struggles and triumphs as a Black educator in Rochester and given weight and relevance to this experience.
    Raina Bouphavong
    Spanish Teacher since 2007
  • Concrete Rose Publications events are very organized, thought provoking, & engaging. Banke does an amazing job of interacting with her audience through an open dialogue format.
  • Thoroughly enjoyed this book. The author's pace was fast yet consistent; commitment to detail to make the characters real - fallible yet likeable - extraordinary; and true love for the world of hip hop, black culture, and importance of self-love absolutely awe-inspiring. Loved it!
    Amazon Product Review
  • The main character was quite a complex creature and I really enjoyed that. Tracy struggled with right and wrong, spirituality, and love. She was torn between two worlds and watching her navigate was compelling. The main character evolved drastically and McCullough demonstrated this with finesse.
    OOSA Online Book Club
  • “Always Want More” event at Nazareth College was, very enjoyable and quite inspirational. It was a safe environment where we could unpack our feelings and biases about various subjects. I left this event feeling inspired and motivated in knowing that not one teacher is perfect.
    Aisha Price
    Education Student
  • The community convo was an enlightening discussion. The welcoming atmosphere made it all the more easy to open up for real dialogue. It also allowed the opportunity for me to be surrounded by and to network with other remarkable individuals!
    Lauren Haskin