THE BALLOT IS OUR BULLET:
THE POWER OF THE AFRICAN AMERICAN VOTE
Thursday, September 3, 2020
4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. EST
Carol Anderson is the Charles Howard Candler Professor and Chair of African American Studies at Emory University.
She is the author of Eyes Off the Prize: The United Nations and the African-American Struggle for Human Rights, 1944-1955, which was published by Cambridge University Press and awarded both the Gustavus Myers and Myrna Bernath Book Awards; as well as, Bourgeois Radicals: The NAACP and the Struggle for Colonial Liberation, 1941-1960, which was also published by Cambridge.
Her third book, White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of our Racial Divide, won the 2016 National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism and is also a New York Times Bestseller and a New York Times Editor’s Pick, and listed on the Zora List of 100 Best Books by Black Woman Authors since 1850.
Her most recent book, One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression is Destroying our Democracy, was Long-listed for the National Book Award in Non-Fiction and was a finalist for the PEN/Galbraith Book Award in Non-Fiction.
Her young adult adaptation of White Rage, We are Not Yet Equal was nominated for an NAACP Image Award.
In addition to numerous teaching awards, her research has garnered fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Ford Foundation, National Humanities Center, Harvard University’s Charles Warren Center, and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation.
She is a regular contributor to The Guardian and advisor for it yearlong series on voting rights.
Professor Anderson was a member of the U.S. State Department’s Historical Advisory Committee.
She earned her Ph.D. in history from The Ohio State University.
Cliff Albright is co-founder and executive director of Black Voters Matter, a nonprofit organization that increases the political power of Black people. Cliff has more than 20 years of experience in community organizing, social justice movements, and advising philanthropies.
Cliff and his team often travel through Southern and swing states in what they call “The Blackest Bus in America” to energize voters, spread love, and build power.
Black Voters Matter received nationwide attention when it turned out voters in Alabama’s overlooked Black Belt and helped secure Doug Jones’ surprise victory to the U.S. Senate in 2017.
Cliff has published opinion editorials in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, and several other outlets. He also hosts a weekly radio show in Atlanta and has served as an instructor of African-American Studies at several universities. Cliff is a long-time advisor to foundations and nonprofit organizations, including Grantmakers for Southern Progress, the Southern Working Group (Caucus of the Democracy Alliance), the Black Belt Community Foundation, and Communities In Schools of Atlanta.
Cliff is based in Atlanta and previously lived in Selma, Alabama, where he focused on bringing funding to community groups in the area. He earned a B.S. in Applied Economics and an M.P.S. in Africana Studies from Cornell University and an M.B.A. from the University of Alabama.
Co-Founder of Black Voters Matter
LaTosha Brown is an award-winning organizer, philanthropic consultant, political strategist and jazz singer with over twenty years of experience working in the non-profit and philanthropy sectors on a wide variety of issues related to political empowerment, social justice, economic development, leadership development, wealth creation and civil rights. She is the co-founder of Black Voters Matter Fund, a power building southern based civic engagement organization that played an instrumental role in the 2017 Alabama U.S. Senate race. Ms. Brown is principal owner of TruthSpeaks Consulting, Inc., a philanthropy advisory consulting firm in Atlanta, GA. For more than 25 years, she has served as a consultant and advisor for individual donors, government, public foundations and private donors. Throughout her career, Ms. Brown has distinguished herself as a trusted expert and resource in political strategy, rural development and special programming for a number of national and regional philanthropies. She is the founding project director of Grantmakers for Southern Progress.
Co-Founder of Black Voters Matter
Julia S. Jordan-Zachery is professor and chair of the Africana Studies Department at University of North Carolina Charlotte. Her interdisciplinary research focuses on African American women and public policy. She is also the author of the award winning book Black women, Cultural Images and Social Policy (2009, Routledge) and Shadow Bodies: Black Women, Ideology, Representation, and Politics (Rutgers University Press, 2017) and number of articles and edited volumes including Black Girl Magic Beyond the Hashtag (Arizona University Press, 2019). Jordan-Zachery was awarded the Accinno Teaching Award, Providence College (2015-2016). Jordan-Zachery serves as the President of the Association for Ethnic Studies.
Jordan-Zachery strives to bring intersectionality to a wider audience via her blog—”Sapphire Unbound “and through her work with the Black Women and Girls Symposium, http: bwgsymposium.org
Julia S. Jordan-Zachery
University of North Carolina Charlotte
Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell is in her fifth term representing Alabama’s 7th Congressional District. She is one of the first women elected to Congress from Alabama in her own right and is the first black woman to ever serve in the Alabama Congressional delegation.
Congresswoman Sewell sits on the exclusive House Ways and Means Committee and brings to the committee her more than 15 years of experience as a securities and public finance attorney. Currently, in the 116th Congress, she serves as Vice-Chair of the House Ways & Means Committee where she sits on three subcommittees: the Subcommittee on Health; the Subcommittee on Trade; and the Subcommittee on Worker and Family Support.
Congresswoman Sewell also serves on the distinguished House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence charged with the oversight of our national security. She is currently the Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Defense Intelligence and Warfighter Support, charged with the oversight of collection and timely dissemination of Department of Defense intelligence with respect to support of all military operations
In her short time in Congress, Sewell has held several leadership positions, including Freshman Class President in the 112th Congress. This current term, she was selected by Democratic leadership to serve as a Chief Deputy Whip and sits on the prestigious Steering and Policy Committee which sets the policy direction of the Democratic Caucus. Congresswoman Sewell is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus where she is Co-Chair of the Voting Rights Task Force. She is a Vice Chair of the New Democrat Coalition; Co-Chair of the Congressional Voting Rights Caucus; Vice-Chair of the Congressional HBCU Caucus; and Co-Chair of the Rural Caucus.
A proud product of Alabama’s rural Black Belt, Congresswoman Sewell was the first black valedictorian of Selma High School. She is an honors graduate of Princeton University and Oxford University in England and received her law degree from Harvard Law School.
The Honorable Terri A. Sewell
U.S House of Representatives
Professor Harris was mentored by Dr. Mary Frances Berry at the University of Pennsylvania and graduated with a degree in American History. In 1990, she was elected student body President, which made her the first Black woman to serve in this role at an Ivy League institution. She earned a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Minnesota. While in graduate school, she worked for the late U.S. Senator Paul D. Wellstone. She also completed postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Minnesota Law School and the University of Georgia.
In 1998, Harris joined the faculty at Macalester College. She became the first Chair of the American Studies Department in 2003 and was granted tenure in 2004. In 2007 she decided that attending law school would allow her to expand the scope of her scholarship even further. In 2008, she was the only law student in the country chosen to be an Associate Editor for Litigation News, the American Bar Association Section’s quarterly flagship publication.
She earned a Juris Doctorate in January 2011 from Mitchell Hamline College of Law, and has an expertise in Civil Rights Law. In 2015, The Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers chose her to receive “The Profiles in Courage Award.” In 2019 she received the Presidential Award from the Association of Black Women in Higher Education.
She is the author of Black Feminist Politics from Kennedy to Trump You can follow her at www.duchessharris.com.
Duchess Harris, Moderator
From the Front Porch:
What Alabama Teaches the World
Saturday, September 5, 2020
3:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m EST
A proud native of the Bronx, NY, Tarana’s passion for community organizing began in the late 1980s. As a young girl, she joined a youth development organization called 21st Century. She launched initiatives around issues including racial discrimination, housing inequality and economic justice. That work, coupled with a desire to deepen her academic education and community organizing skills, eventually led her to Alabama State University, a historically black institution.
Tarana’s organizing and advocacy work continued throughout college. Upon moving to Selma, Alabama, her career took an intentional turn toward supporting survivors of sexual violence. She encountered a Black girl who shared her story of sexual violence and abuse. Soon she found herself meeting dozens more. As a survivor herself, these were the stories with which she identified personally. Tarana faced the realization that too many girls were suffering and surviving abuse without access to resources, safe spaces and support.
Tarana’s theory of “empowerment through empathy” is changing the way the world thinks and talks about sexual violence, consent and body autonomy. Tarana has used her platform to share her long standing belief that healing is not a destination, but a journey. This philosophy has inspired millions of survivors who previously had to live in isolation to deal with the pain, shame and trauma of their experience.
Tarana’s steadfast commitment to the cause has led to numerous accolades including 2017 TIME Person of the Year, and the 2019 Sydney Peace Prize, among many other honors.
Angela Davis is an activist, philosopher, writer, speaker, and educator. In the 1960s and 1970s, she was well known for her association with the Black Panthers and the Communist Party, and for a time she even appeared on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s “Ten Most Wanted” list. More recently, Davis has called for the abolition of prisons, saying that “dumping” people in prison leads to more violence rather than rehabilitation.
Univeristy of California Santa Cruz
Ruby Nell Sales answered her call to social justice at Tuskegee University as a teenager. She views her extensive civil rights, social justice, gender, and intergenerational work as a calling rather than a career. Dr. Sales received her B.A. degree from Manhattanville College and attended Princeton University for graduate studies in history. She received her Master of Divinity degree from the Episcopal Divinity School where she was an Absalom Jones Scholar. Sales felt compelled to make a difference locally, nationally, and even globally. Through her hard work and dedication, she has been recognized with numerous awards and honorable mentions. As a social justice activist, Sales’ work is cited in several books, journal articles and films such as Taylor Branch’s At Canaan’s Edge: America in the King Years 1965-68; Broken Ground: A Film on Race Relations in the South; Dan Rather’s American Dream Segment; and Blood Brother: Jonathan Daniels and His Sacrifice for Civil Rights by Rich and Sandra Neil Wallace. Several of her more recent and notable mentions are her inclusion in the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC and in the Equal Justice Initiative’s new Legacy Museum in Montgomery, AL. After divinity school, Sales founded and continues to direct a national nonprofit organization called the SpiritHouse Project. Ruby Sales’ dedication, intelligence, networking, and hard work established her as a renowned and respected public theologian, writer, and social critic. Her interview with Krista Tippett, “Where Does It Hurt,” draws on Black folk theology to set forth a radical language and paradigm that makes spirituality the heartbeat of social justice. Funded by the Duke Endowment, she is currently creating Racial Justice Cafes in North and South Carolina.
Social Justice Activist
Member of SNCC
Sanchez began teaching in the San Francisco area in 1965 and was a pioneer in developing black studies courses at what is now San Francisco State University, where she was an instructor from 1968 to 1969. In 1971, she joined the Nation of Islam, but by 1976 she had left the Nation, largely because of its repression of women.
Sanchez is the author of more than a dozen books of poetry, including Morning Haiku (Beacon Press, 2010); Shake Loose My Skin: New and Selected Poems (Beacon Press, 1999); Does your house have lions? (Beacon Press, 1995), which was nominated for both the NAACP Image and National Book Critics Circle Award; Homegirls & Handgrenades (White Pine Press, 1984), which won an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation; I’ve Been a Woman: New and Selected Poems (Third World Press, 1978); A Blues Book for Blue Black Magical Women (Broadside Press, 1973); Love Poems (Third Press, 1973); We a BaddDDD People (Broadside Press, 1970); and Homecoming (Broadside Press, 1969).
Her published plays are Black Cats Back and Uneasy Landings (1995), I’m Black When I’m Singing, I’m Blue When I Ain’t (1982), Malcolm Man/Don’t Live Here No Mo’ (1979), Uh Huh: But How Do It Free Us? (1974), Dirty Hearts ’72 (1973), The Bronx Is Next (1970), and Sister Son/ji (1969).
Sanchez’s books for children include A Sound Investment and Other Stories (1979); The Adventures of Fat Head, Small Head, and Square Head (1973); and It’s a New Day: Poems for Young Brothas and Sistuhs (1971). She has also edited two anthologies: We Be Word Sorcerers: Twenty-five Stories by Black Americans (1973), and Three Hundred Sixty Degrees of Blackness Comin’ at You (1971).
Among the many honors she has received are the Robert Creeley Award, the Frost Medal, the Community Service Award from the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, the Lucretia Mott Award, the Outstanding Arts Award from the Pennsylvania Coalition of 100 Black Women, the Peace and Freedom Award from Women International League for Peace and Freedom, the Pennsylvania Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Humanities, a National Endowment for the Arts Award, and a Pew Fellowship in the Arts. In 2018, she received the Wallace Stevens Award, given annually to recognize outstanding and proven mastery in the art of poetry.
Sanchez has lectured at more than five hundred universities and colleges in the United States and had traveled extensively, reading her poetry in Africa, Cuba, England, the Caribbean, Australia, Nicaragua, the People’s Republic of China, Norway, and Canada. She was the first Presidential Fellow at Temple University, where she began teaching in 1977, and held the Laura Carnell Chair in English there until her retirement in 1999. She lives in Philadephia.
Activist and Poet
Black Arts Movement Pioneer
Black Studies Pioneer
DeJuana L. Thompson is the creator of “Woke Vote” a program specifically designed to engage, mobilize and turnout an unprecedented percentage of African American millennial and faith based voters in Alabama. The program made over 100,000 contacts helping to propel a Democrat from Alabama to the U.S. Senate for the first time in 25 years.
Thompson has over 15 years’ worth of diverse experience serving as a fierce community activist, political strategist and consultant. Prior to joining TR, Thompson served as National Deputy Director for Community Engagement and the National African American Engagement Director for the Democratic National Committee (DNC), where she managed relationships with national allied organizations on key strategies to engage various constituency groups.
Before working at the DNC, Thompson was appointed by the White House to serve as a Senior Advisor in the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) managing the agencies’ national allied programming and outreach strategy particularly focused on increasing opportunities for minority-owned small businesses.
Thompson also has significant experience working in Democratic politics, holding director level positions with Senator Cory Booker’s Senate Campaign; the 2013 Presidential Inauguration; serving on senior level staff for both of the Obama Presidential campaigns; and with the U.S. Congress in the office of Representative Artur Davis.
Thompson got her start working in municipal politics as a Committee Assistant to the Birmingham City Council. She quickly expanded within this opportunity ultimately becoming the Special Projects Coordinator and Council Neighborhood Liaison working on engagement and programming with the 99 Birmingham neighborhood presidents.
Thompson holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Communication (minor in African
American studies) from Berea College and a Master’s Certificate in Effective Project
Management from Rockhurst University. She is currently working toward a Master’s of Political Management from George Washington University.
DEJUANA L. THOMPSON
Founder Woke Vote
HASAN KWAME JEFFRIES is associate professor of History at The Ohio State University where he teaches courses on the Civil Rights and Black Power Movement.
Hasan was born in Brooklyn, New York, and graduated summa cum laude from Morehouse College with a BA in history in 1994. At Morehouse, he was initiated into the Pi Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. He earned a PhD in American history with a specialization in African American history from Duke University in 2002. He taught for a year at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, before joining the faculty at The Ohio State University in 2003.
Hasan is the author of Bloody Lowndes: Civil Rights and Black Power in Alabama’s Black Belt, which tells the remarkable story of the African American freedom movement in Lowndes County, Alabama. He is also the editor of Understanding and Teaching the Civil Rights Movement, a collection of essays by leading civil rights scholars and teachers that explores how to teach the Civil Rights Movement accurately and effectively.
Hasan’s current book project, In the Shadow of Civil Rights, examines the black experience in New York City from 1977 to 1993. It connects key political and cultural events, such as the youth rebellion in the South Bronx, to the evolution and implementation of public policies that changed black communities forever, such as those that undergird the war on drugs. The book aims to provide a new narrative of the black experience in the post-civil rights era.
Hasan has worked on several public history projects. From 2010 to 2014, he was the lead historian and primary scriptwriter for the $27 million renovation of the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee, the site of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He hosts the podcast “Teaching Hard History,” a production of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance Project. And he regularly shares his knowledge of African American history and contemporary black politics with the public through lectures, workshops, and radio and television interviews. He has also contributed to several documentary film projects, including the Emmy nominated, four-hour, PBS documentary Black America Since MLK, as a featured on-camera scholar.
Hasan consults regularly with school districts on developing anti-racism programming. This work includes conducting professional development workshops for teachers, speaking to student assemblies, and diversifying curriculum, including creating courses on race and the African American experience.
In the classroom, Hasan takes great pride in opening students’ minds to new ways of understanding the past and the present. This has led him to push the very boundaries of what we think of as a classroom, including taking small groups of undergraduates to James Madison’s Montpelier, the Virginia plantation home of the nation’s fourth president, to explore the history of race and racism in America from slavery through the present. For his pedagogical creativity and effectiveness, he has received Ohio State’s Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching, the university’s highest award to teaching, and the Ohio State University College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Teaching Award.
Hasan resides in Columbus, Ohio with his wife Rashida and their three daughters, Asha (9), Aliyana (7), and A’laila (5). They enjoy traveling to the South to visit friends, and returning to Brooklyn to visit family.
Hasan Kwame Jeffries, Moderator
Ohio State University
Burning Down the House:
Defunding the Police and Refunding Our Communities
Thursday, September 10, 2020
4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. EST
Luke J. Frederick was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, and after taking a non-traditional route towards academia, he earned his BA and MA in history from the University of Cincinnati in his late twenties. There he specialized in eighteenth and nineteenth century African American and Amerindian history. Mr. Frederick is currently a PhD Candidate at Georgetown University concentrating on race, policing, and the carceral state in the eighteenth and nineteenth century Atlantic world. His MA Thesis has evolved into his dissertation which focuses on these forces in antebellum Washington, DC.
Luke J. Frederick
Ruth Wilson Gilmore is Professor of Earth & Environmental Sciences and Director of the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics at the City University of New York Graduate Center. Co-founder of many grassroots organizations including the California Prison Moratorium Project, Critical Resistance, and the Central California Environmental Justice Network, Gilmore is author of the prize-winning Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California (UC Press). Recent publications include “Beyond Bratton” (Policing the Planet, Camp and Heatherton, eds., Verso); “Abolition Geography and the Problem of Innocence” (Futures of Black Radicalism, Lubin and Johnson, eds., Verso); a foreword to Bobby M. Wilson’s Birmingham classic America’s Johannesburg (U Georgia Press); and a foreword to Cedric J. Robinson on Racial Capitalism, Black Internationalism, and Cultures of Resistance (HLT Quan, ed., Pluto). Forthcoming projects include Change Everything: Racial Capitalism and the Case for Abolition (Haymarket); and (co-edited with Paul Gilroy) Stuart Hall: Selected Writings on Race and Difference (Duke). Gilmore has lectured in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America. In April 2019 writer Rachel Kushner profiled Gilmore in The New York Times Magazine. Honors include the American Studies Association Angela Y. Davis Award for Public Scholarship (2012); the Association of American Geographers Harold Rose Award for Anti-Racist Research and Practice (2014); the SUNY-Purchase College Eugene V. Grant Distinguished Scholar Prize for Social and Environmental Justice (2015-16); the American Studies Association Richard A Yarborough Mentorship Award (2017); The Association of American Geographers Lifetime Achievement Award (2020); and the Lannan Foundation Lifetime Cultural Freedom Prize (2020).
Ruth Wilson Gilmore
City University of New York Graduate Center
Elizabeth Hinton is Associate Professor in the Department History and the Department of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. Hinton’s research focuses on the persistence of poverty and racial inequality in the 20th century United States. Her current scholarship considers the transformation of domestic social programs and urban policing after the Civil Rights Movement.
In her forthcoming book, From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America (with Harvard University Press), Hinton examines the implementation of federal law enforcement programs beginning in the mid-1960s that laid the groundwork for the mass incarceration of American citizens. In revealing the links between the rise of the American carceral state and earlier anti-poverty programs, Hinton presents Ronald Reagan’s War on Drugs not as a sharp policy departure but rather as the full realization of a shift towards surveillance and confinement that began during the Johnson administration.
Carl Suddler is an African American historian whose research interests lie at the intersections of youth, race, and crime. Suddler’s scholarship is committed to developing better understandings of the consequences of inequity in the United States. His research and teaching interests are related to twentieth-century U.S. history, African American urban history, histories of crime and punishment, the carceral state, sport history, and histories of childhood and youth.
Suddler’s first book, Presumed Criminal: Black Youth and the Justice System in Postwar New York (New York University Press, 2019) points to a critical shift in the carceral turn between the 1930s and 1960s when state responses to juvenile delinquency increasingly criminalized black youths and tethered their lives to a justice system that became less rehabilitative and more punitive. His other works has also appeared in scholarly and popular outlets such as the Journal of American History, Journal of African American History, American Studies Journal, Journal of Sports History as well as op-eds for the Washington Post, The Conversation, HuffPost, Bleacher Report, and Brookings Institute.
Suddler earned his B.A. in History and Black American Studies from the University of Delaware and his Ph.D. in History from Indiana University, Bloomington
Kellie Carter Jackson is the Knafel Assistant Professor of the Humanities in the Department of Africana Studies at Wellesley College. She earned her B.A at Howard University and her Ph.D from Columbia University working with the esteemed historian Eric Foner. Her book, Force & Freedom: Black Abolitionists and the Politics of Violence. Force and Freedom was a finalist for the MAAH Stone Book Prize Award for 2019 and listed by the Washington Post as one of 13 books to read on the history of Black America.
Carter Jackson is also co-editor of Reconsidering Roots: Race, Politics, & Memory, the first scholarly collection of essays devoted entirely to understanding the remarkable tenacity of Alex Haley’s visual, cultural, and political influence on American history. Together, Ball and Carter Jackson have curated the largest collection of essays dedicated to the history and impact of Roots. Carter Jackson was also featured in the History Channel’s documentary, Roots: A History Revealed which was nominated for a NAACP Image Award in 2016.
Her essays have been featured in The Washington Post, The Atlantic, The Los Angeles Times, NPR, Time, The Conversation, Boston’s NPR Blog Cognoscenti, Black Perspectives, and Quartz. She has also been interviewed for her expertise for MSNBC, SkyNews(UK) New York Times, PBS, The Huff Post, the BBC, C-SPAN, Boston Public Radio, Al Jazeera International, Slate, The Telegraph, Reader’s Digest, CBC, and Radio One. She has been featured in a host of documentaries on history and race in the United States. Carter Jackson is also a commissioner for the Massachusetts Historical Commission, where she represents the Museum of African American History in Boston.
She currently resides in the town of Sherborn, MA with her husband and three children.
Kellie Carter Jackson, Moderator
Visibly Inscribed on the Annals of History:
A Tribute to Dr. Rosalyn Terborg-Penn
Saturday, September 12, 2020
3:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m EST
John H. Bracey, Jr., Professor, has been a member of the W.E B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst since 1972. He currently is serving a second term as department chair and is a co-director of the graduate certificate in African Diaspora Studies. Professor Bracey was born in Chicago, Illinois and grew up on the campus of Howard University in Washington D.C. where his mother taught in the School of Education. He attended Howard University, Roosevelt University in Chicago (B.A. 1964) and did graduate work both at Roosevelt and at Northwestern University. During his decade in Chicago (1961-71), professor Bracey was active in the Civil Rights, Black Liberation and Peace movements as a member of CORE, Chicago Friends of SNCC, ACT, SDS, and the Revolutionary Action Movement. Professor Bracey co-edited several volumes with the late August Meier and the late Elliott Rudwick including Black Nationalism in America (1970), eight volumes in the series Explorations in the Black Experience (1971). Also with August Meier and Sharon Harley Professor Bracey co-edited the microfilm series Black Studies Research Sources which included the Papers of the NAACP, A. Phillip Randolph, Mary McLeod Bethune, Horace Mann Bond, Amiri Baraka, Robert F. Williams, the Revolutionary Action Movement and the League of Revolutionary Black Workers. With colleagues at UMass Professor Bracey has co-edited African American Women and the Vote: 1837-1965 (1997), with Maurianne Adams Strangers and Neighbors: Relations Between Blacks and Jews in the United States (1999) and with Manisha Sinha the two volume African American Mosaic: A Documentary History from the Slave Trade to the Twenty-First Century (2004). In 2012 he wrote an introduction to the paperback edition of Meyer Weinberg’s The World of W.E.B. Du Bois: A Quotation Sourcebook. Professor Bracey’s most recent effort co-edited with Sonia Sanchez and James Smethurst is entitled “SOS: Calling All Black People: A Black Arts Movement Reader (2014). Professor Bracey has consulted on and appeared in video productions of the lives of W.E.B. Du Bois, Frederick Douglass, A. Phillip Randolph, and Sonia Sanchez as well as in the NAACP,”1964” and Tim Wise’ White Like Me. A lecture by Professor Bracey “How Racism Harms White Americans” was produced by Sut Jhally’s Media Education Project in 2013. Professor Bracey’s academic interests are African social and cultural history, radical ideologies and movements, and the history of African American women. Current interests focus on the interactions between African Americans and Native Americans, Afro-Latinos and Jewish Americans. Professor Bracey is a life member of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History and of the Organization of American Historians participating in the latter’s Distinguished Lecturers Program. He has received awards from ASALH as well as the National Council of Black Studies and numerous campus and community organizations. In the Spring, 2013 the College of Wooster granted professor Bracey an honorary degree “Doctor of Humane Letters”.
JOHN H. BRACEY, JR.
University of Massachusetts - Amherst
Dr. Bettye Collier-Thomas is Professor of History at Temple University. She is the founder and served as inaugural director of the Mary McLeod Bethune Memorial Museum and the National Archives for Black Women’s History. With the support of NEH, Collier-Thomas organized “Black Women: A Research Priority: The First National Scholarly Research Conference on Black Women in America,” held in Washington, D.C., November 12-13, 1979. A specialist in social, cultural, and political history, Collier-Thomas’s research focuses on women and African Americans. She is the recipient of numerous awards, honors, grants and fellowships for her scholarship which includes the books Jesus, Jobs, and Justice (2010); Sisters in the Struggle (2001); and African American Women and the Vote (co-editor, 1997). Her forthcoming book is ‘In Politics to Stay’: A Political History of African American Women (Beacon, 2021).
Dr. SHARON HARLEY is an Associate Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park. She and historian Rosalyn Terborg-Penn co-edited and contributed essays in the pioneer anthology, The Afro-American Woman: Struggles and Images (1978). She edited and contributed to two anthologies Sister Circle: Black Women and Work (Rutgers, 2002) and Women’s Labor in the Global Economy: Speaking in Multiple Voices (Rutgers, 2008) resulting from two major Ford Foundation grants. She recently published “African American Women and the Right to Vote” in Women and Suffrage (2018) and “I Don’t Pay Those Borders No Mind At All:” Audley E. Moore (“Queen Mother Moore”) – Grassroots Global Traveler and Activist– Reframing Black Nationalist/Pan-Africanist Engagement” in Women and Migrations (2018).
She has held fellowships at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars as well as the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard University’s Hutchins Center, and the National Humanities Center at the Research Triangle, North Carolina. In 2010, she was awarded the Carter G. Woodson Medallion for Outstanding Scholarship.
Dr. Harley has delivered papers at professional history and women’s conferences in the U.S. as well as scholarly meetings in South Korea, Ireland, France, Spain, Italy, Ghana, South Africa, Abu Dhabi, and China.
Harley is the principal investigator of a recently awarded Mellon Foundation Grant to the University of Maryland for a two-year African/Black Diaspora Research Seminar. Harley served as Principal Investigator of a Ford Foundation seminar, “Women of Color and Work Research Seminar” (2002-2006) and was Co-Editor/Contributor, The Afro-American Woman: Struggles and Images, co-Editor/Contributor, Women in Africa and the African Diaspora, and Editor/Contributor, Women’s Labor in the Global Economy: Speaking in Multiple Voices.”
University of Maryland, College Park
Dr. Toya Corbett is settling into her new role as the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs for the University of North Carolina System Office. Prior to this opportunity, she worked for North Carolina Central University serving as the Assistant Vice Chancellor and Dean of Students for three years and as the Executive Director of Student Engagement and Leadership for almost two years. Earlier in Dr. Corbett’s career, she enjoyed being the Coordinator for the Office of Student Activities at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland. Before diving into student affairs, Toya spent five years in the corporate office of Wachovia, now Wells Fargo in Charlotte, North Carolina. While at Morgan State, she was named one of the top 50 Women under 40 in Maryland.
As a trained historian, scholar and student affairs professional, Dr. Corbett has spoken at numerous conferences, workshops and seminars. Additionally, she has curated historical exhibits and published a book titled, The Morgan State University Women: The First Sixty Years, 1934- 1994. Toya is also an entrepreneur who conducts dining etiquette training as “The Etiquette Doctor” and she owns a t-shirt company called Black Genius Apparel, LLC. Black Genius Apparel’s mission is to eradicate discriminatory and mythical philosophies concerning African American’s mental aptitude, while empowering, inspiring, and affirming Blackness, Black-thought, Black pride and the fortitude of a Black Genius. Dr. Corbett is a member of the Sigma Tau Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She has served on the International Board of Directors for the sorority and several national committees. Currently, Dr. Corbett is the chief of staff for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Director.
After completing a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Corbett earned a master’s of arts in African American Studies and a doctorate in History, both from Morgan State University.
University of North Carolina System Office
Co-Editor with Rosalyn Terborg-Penn of the Columbia Guide to African American History Since 1939 (Columbia U. Press, 2006), Robert L. Harris Jr. is Vice Provost Emeritus and Professor Emeritus of African American History, American Studies, and Public Affairs at Cornell University. He received his Ph.D. degree in U.S. History from Northwestern University and has been a Rockefeller Foundation Humanities Fellow, W.E.B. Du Bois Fellow at Harvard University, Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow, and National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow.
He is author of Teaching African American History; The History of Alpha Phi Alpha: A Tradition of Leadership and Service and other publications. He is a past president of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, and co-chair of the History/Social Studies Committee of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, among other positions.
He is a recipient of ASALH’s Carter G. Woodson Scholar’s Medallion, and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity’s Award of Merit, the highest honor that can be given to a member of the Fraternity. Named in his honor at Cornell are the Outstanding Multi-Cultural Greek Letter Council Leader, and the ADVANCEments in Science Lecture Series, and at Ithaca High School the Outstanding African American Senior Award.
Robert L. Harris Jr.
What Woodson Willed: The Necessity of Black Studies in the 21st Century
Thursday, September 17, 2020
4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. EST
Professor Carr received his Ph.D. from Temple University. His academic specialties are in Africana Studies normative theory, Africana intellectual history, classical African history and African-American nationalism. His research interest includes pan-African historiography. Select publications include: Towards an Intellectual History of Africana Studies: Genealogy and Normative Theory (Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2007), and You Don‘t Call the Kittens Biscuits: Disciplinary Africana Studies and The Study of Malcolm X (Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2007). As the School District of Philadelphia‘s First Resident Scholar on Race and Culture (1999-2000), Dr. Carr edited and wrote the majority of lesson chapters as well as led a team of academics and educational policymakers in the design of the curriculum framework for the African-American History course now required for public high school students in Philadelphia. Dr. Carr has represented Howard University as a spokesman in a wide range of print and electronic media, including The New York Times, Le Monde, USA Today, MSNBC, National Public Radio, WHUR, WHUT, and CNN, as well as a range of local radio, television, and internet media outlets.
Farah Jasmine Griffin is Chair of African-American & African Diaspora Studies; Director of the Institute for Research in African American Studies and the William B. Ransford Professor of English and Comparative Literature and African-American Studies at Columbia University. She is also Affiliate Faculty of the Center for Jazz Studies. Professor Griffin received her B.A. from Harvard University, where she majored in American History and Literature and her Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale University. Her major fields of interest are American and African American literature, music and history.
She has published widely on issues of race and gender, feminism, jazz and cultural politics. Griffin is the author of Who Set You Flowin?: The African American Migration Narrative (Oxford, 1995), Beloved Sisters and Loving Friends: Letters from Rebecca Primus of Royal Oak, Maryland, and Addie Brown of Hartford Connecticut, 1854-1868 (Alfred A. Knopf, 1999), If You Can’t Be Free, Be a Mystery: In Search of Billie Holiday (Free Press, 2001) and co-author, with Salim Washington, of Clawing At the Limits of Cool: Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and the Greatest Jazz Collaboration Ever (Thomas Dunne, 2008). Her most recent book is Harlem Nocturne: Women Artists and Progressive Politics During World War II, published by Basic Books in 2013.
Griffin collaborated with composer, pianist, Geri Allen and director, actor S. Epatha Merkerson on two theatrical projects, for which she wrote the book: The first, “Geri Allen and Friends Celebrate the Great Jazz Women of the Apollo,” with Lizz Wright, Dianne Reeves, Teri Lyne Carrington and others, premiered on the main stage of the Apollo Theater in May of 2013. The second, “A Conversation with Mary Lou” featuring vocalist Carmen Lundy, premiered at Harlem Stage in March 2014 and was performed at The John F. Kennedy Center in May of 2016. Griffin’s essays and articles have appeared in Essence, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Nation, The Guardian, Harper’s Bazaar, Art Forum and numerous other publications. She is also a frequent radio commentator on political and cultural issues.
Farah Jasmine Griffin
Charles W. McKinney, Jr. is The Neville Frierson Bryan Chair of Africana Studies and an Associate Professor of history at Rhodes College in Memphis. His areas of expertise are the Civil Rights/Black Power Era, African American Activism, and African American Politics. He received a bachelor’s degree in history from Morehouse College and completed his doctoral studies at Duke University. His first book was titled Greater Freedom: The Evolution of the Civil Rights Struggle in Wilson, North Carolina. His second project, co-edited with Aram Goudsouzian, is An Unseen Light: Black Struggles for Freedom in Memphis, Tennessee. He is currently working on two projects, the first is tentatively titled Losing the Party of Lincoln: George Washington Lee and the Struggle for Racial Justice in Memphis, Tennessee; the second one, co-edited with Shirletta Kinchen and Francoise Hamlin, is titled Rights and Lives: An Exploration of the Civil Rights and Black Lives Matter Movement. Rights and Lives is under contract with Vanderbilt University Press.
Charles W. McKinney, Jr.
Noliwe Rooks is an interdisciplinary scholar whose work explores how race and gender both impact and are impacted by civic culture, social history and political life in the United States. One set of concerns she explores involve Black women and material culture as well as the aesthetics of race and gender, and the other is the economics of race and education inclusive of k-12 through higher education.
She is the author of four books, the most recent, in which she coined the term segrenomics, is Cutting School: Privatization, Segregation, and the End of Public Education (New Press, 2017). Her other books include: White Money/Black Power: African American Studies and the Crises of Race in Higher Education (Beacon Press, 2007), Ladies Pages: African American Women’s Magazines and the Culture that Made Them (Rutgers University Press, 2006), Hair Raising: Beauty, Culture and African American Women (Rutgers University Press, 1996).
Rooks received her B.A. from Spelman College where she majored in English and her M.A. and PhD degrees in American Studies from the University of Iowa. She is currently the Director of American Studies at Cornell University where she is also an Professor in Africana Studies and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.
Dr. James B. Stewart is a Professor Emeritus at Penn State University. He previously served as Vice Provost for Educational Equity and Director of the Black Studies Program. Stewart has authored, co-authored, edited or co-edited eleven monographs, including Introduction to African American Studies. Stewart has also published over seventy-five articles in Economics and Black Studies professional journals. He has served as President of three national professional organizations including the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). He currently serves as President of the Manasota Branch of ASALH and is a member of the Board of the Sarasota African American Cultural Coalition, Inc.
James Stewart, Moderator
Penn State University
President, Manasota Branch of ASALH
MAYDAY! MAYDAY!: The Impact of Covid 19 on Black and Brown Bodies
Saturday, September 19, 2020
3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. EST
Alondra Nelson, President of the Social Science Research Council and Harold F. Linder Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, is an acclaimed researcher and author, who explores questions of science, technology, and social inequality. Nelson’s books include, Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight Against Medical Discrimination and The Social Life of DNA: Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation after the Genome. She is coeditor of Genetics and the Unsettled Past: The Collision of DNA, Race and History (with Keith Wailoo and Catherine Lee) and Technicolor: Race, Technology, and Everyday Life (with Thuy Linh N. Tu). Nelson serves on the Board of Trustees of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Russell Sage Foundation, and on the Board of Directors of the Teagle Foundation and the Data & Society Research Institute. She is an elected member of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society.
Institute for Advanced Study
Dr. Milam is a Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology Fellow at Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Milam recently completed his residency in Anesthesiology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA where he served as Chief Resident as well as the Co-chair for the House Staff Executive Committee and In-Training Director for the California Society of Anesthesiologists. He graduated from Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, MI. Prior to medical school, he attended Johns Hopkins University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Health (BA, 2008). He also holds a Masters in Health Science (MHS, 2009) as well as a Doctorate in Public Health from the Department of Mental Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH, 2012).
Dr. Milam has part-time faculty appointments at JHSPH and Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. His research is rooted in practices, policies, and interventions to address health disparities and health inequities. Dr. Milam has published over 60 peer-reviewed publications and has more than 75 national and international presentations. His research has been featured in leading public health journals as well as Rolling Stone and US News & World Report. His work has been used to guide local and state legislation that promote health equity. Dr. Milam has received multiple national awards including the Herbert W. Nickens Student Scholarship from the Association of American Medical Colleges and the Excellence in Public Health Award from the U.S. Public Health Service Physician Professional Advisory Committee.
Adam Milam, MD
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
John Hopkins University
Deirdre Cooper Owens is the Linda and Charles Wilson Professor in the History of Medicine and Director of the Humanities in Medicine program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She is an Organization of American Historians’ (OAH) Distinguished Lecturer and has won a number of prestigious honors for her scholarly and advocacy work. A popular public speaker, Dr. Cooper Owens has spoken widely across the U.S. and Europe. She has published articles, essays, book chapters, and think pieces on a number of issues that concern African American experiences. Her first book, Medical Bondage: Race, Gender and the Origins of American Gynecology (Univ. of Georgia Press, 2017) won the 2018 Darlene Clark Hine Book Award from the Organization of American Historians as the best book written in African American women’s and gender history. Professor Cooper Owens is also the Director of the Program in African American History at the Library Company of Philadelphia, the country’s oldest cultural institution. She is working on a second book project that examines mental illness during the era of United States slavery and is writing a popular biography of Harriet Tubman that examines her through the lens of disability.
Deirdre Cooper Owens, Moderator
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
A CONVERSATION ON REPARATIONS
Thursday, September 24, 2020
4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST
Ana Lucia Araujo is Professor of History at Howard University in Washington DC, United States. She is the author of seven single-authored books, including Slavery in the Age of Memory: Engaging the Past (Bloomsbury Academic, 2020) and Reparations for Slavery and the Slave Trade: A Transnational and Comparative History (Bloomsbury Academic, 2017). Since 2017, she has been a member of the International Scientific Committee of the UNESCO Slave Route Project. She also serves on the board of editors of the American Historical Review (the journal of the American Historical Association, the largest association of historians in the United States) and the editorial board of the British journal Slavery and Abolition. She is a member of the executive board of the Association for the Study of the Worldwide Diaspora (ASWAD), the editorial review board of the African Studies Review, and the board of the blog Black Perspectives maintained by the African American Intellectual History Society. Visit her personal website at www.analuciaaraujo.org and follow her on Twitter at @analuciaraujo_
Ana Lucia Araujo
Nana Kwesi Jumoke Ifetayo currently serves as the SE Region Representative of N’COBRA ( National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America) the premiere National reparations organization in the USA, in addition he serves as the Male Co- Chair of the Atlanta Chapter of N’COBRA and the Facilitator of the ASHE Committee of NCOBRA and he is the recent past National Male Co- chair of NCOBRA. Baba Jumoke is a community activist, lecturer, thought leader, visionary, father, spirit dancer, consultant and entrepreneur. Baba Jumoke has worked with various organizations including but not limited to ACORN, TransAfrica, Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), Federation of Southern Cooperatives, Mississippi Action for Community Education, Nation of Islam and the Fellowship of Reconciliation. Baba Jumoke serves on the Reparations Committee of the Movement 4 Black Lives, and on the Education Committee of the National Reparations Summit. With over 20 years’ experience with N’COBRA and a lifetime of experience as a community activist Baba Jumoke has spoken at numerous schools, universities , conferences and churches. Baba Jumoke has written articles, and done many interviews on the reparations movement. In addition to hosting an annual 6 hour Radio program on Reparations, Baba Jumoke also hosts a bi- weekly radio show and podcast on the Blacktalk Radio Network called “Conversation Reparations”. Bro Jumoke received his BA from the University of the South in Sewanee, TN with a double Major in Economics and Third World Studies.
Nana Kwesi Jumoke Ifetayo
National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA)
Professor Ibrahim K. Sundiata is Emeritus Professor of History and African and African American Studies at Brandeis University. He received his doctorate from Northwestern University, where he was active in the 1968 Black student protests that demanded structural antiracist change in the university.
The historian’s initial research was on West Africa in the era of the slave trade. Sundiata has taught African History at Rutgers University, Northwestern, and the University of Illinois at Chicago. At Brandeis, he served as Chair of the Department of African and African American Studies. He also had the honor of serving as Chair of the History Department at Howard University. After leaving Howard, he was a Fellow at the DuBois Institute of Harvard University. He is the author of four books. His last work is on the Garvey movement and the arguments, pro and con, for African Americans returning to Africa: Brothers and Strangers: Black Zion, Black Slavery (Duke University Press).
The Professor has been the recipient of Ford, Woodrow Wilson, and Fulbright Awards. During his Fulbright Award, he taught African history at the Federal University of Bahia, Brazil. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Since his retirement, the researcher has traveled extensively in South America, the Middle East and Australia. Since his time as Chair at Howard, Dr. Sundiata has been deeply interested in how the United States will make reparation to descendants of the enslaved who built so much of America.
Ibrahim K. Sundiata
Nkechi Taifa is Founder, Principal and CEO of The Taifa Group LLC, a social enterprise firm whose mission is to advance justice. The Taifa Group’s portfolio of client services include coalition-building, convenings, government relations, meeting and retreat facilitation, strategic planning, and trainings. She also convenes the Justice Roundtable, a broad network of advocacy groups advancing progressive justice system reform, and serves as a Senior Fellow at the Center for Justice at Columbia University. Nkechi was recently appointed to the governing board of the Corrections Information Council, an independent monitoring body that provides oversight over the conditions of District residents imprisoned throughout the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the D.C. Department of Corrections.
Nkechi served as the Advocacy Director for Criminal Justice for the Open Society Foundations and Open Society Policy Center from 2002-2018, focusing on issues of sentencing reform, law enforcement reform, reentry, prison reform, executive clemency, and racial justice. She also founded the Justice Roundtable coalition while at the Open Society. As the Roundtable convener, Taifa was in the leadership of the coalition responsible for passage of both the Second Chance Act reentry legislation (2008) and the Fair Sentencing Act crack disparity legislation (2010). She helped to fuel the mobilization of the Obama administration’s clemency initiative, which resulted in the early release from unjust imprisonment of over 1,700 prisoners.
Nkechi was founding director of the award-winning Equal Justice Program at Howard University School of Law from 1996-2002, where she also directed the Law School’s Externship Program and taught seminars on “Racial Disparity in the Criminal Justice System,” Public Interest Law,” and the “Law of Corrections and Prisoners’ Rights.” She taught as an adjunct professor at American University Washington College of Law as well as Howard Law, and has taught high school students criminal law as part of the National Bar Association’s Crump Law Camp since 2001.
Taifa served as legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union from 1991-1996 where she was the principal spokesperson on criminal justice and civil rights issues; policy counsel for the Women’s Legal Defense Fund from 1989-1991; staff attorney for the National Prison Project from 1984-1987; Office Manager and Network Organizer for the Washington Office on Africa from 1980-1983; elementary school teacher at NationHouse Watoto School from 1977-1980, and as founder and director of a Saturday School for youth during the 1970s. She also maintained a general criminal and civil law practice in the District of Columbia between 1987-1991, representing indigent adult and juvenile clients, and specializing in employment discrimination law.
Nkechi Taifa served as co-chair for the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR) Steering Committee on D.C. Statehood (1993-95) which resulted in a historic first vote in Congress; and on the Leadership Conference’s Task Force on Voting Rights (1991- 93) which resulted in passage of the National Voter Registration Act (Motor Voter bill). She helped to mobilize the successful campaign against implementation of the death penalty in the District of Columbia in the early 90’s, and served as coordinator and trainer for the 1995 Million Man March Legal Observer Committee. Taifa served as a prosecutor delivering the Opening Statement for both the 2007 International Tribunal on Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and the 1997 International Tribunal for Justice for Mumia Abu-Jamal.
Nkechi Taifa has testified before the U.S. Congress, the United States Sentencing Commission, the Council of the District of Columbia, and the American Bar Association Justice Kennedy Commission. She served as an appointed Commissioner and Chair of the District of Columbia Commission on Human Rights from 2007-2014.
Nkechi Taifa has had five law review articles published, “Integrative Solutions to Interrelated Issues: A Multidisciplinary Look Behind the Cycle of Incarceration;” “Cracked Justice: A Critical Examination of Cocaine Sentencing;” “Three Strikes and You’re Out – Mandatory Life Imprisonment for Third Time Felons;” “Civil Forfeiture vs. Civil Liberties;” and “Codification or Castration – the Applicability of the International Race Convention to the U.S. Criminal Justice System.”
She was the Project Chair for the publication, Tulia: Tip of the Drug War Iceberg, and author of the chapter, “Social Policy Implications of Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System,” published in The Color of Social Policy. She is also the author of ground-breaking White Papers and Issue Briefs, such as “Clemency: An Inside Story from a Progressive Advocate” (Federal Sentencing Reporter June 2017); “Racism in the Criminal Justice System: Institutionalized Genocide?” (American Constitution Society 2016); “A Bittersweet Moment in History: Passage of the Fair Sentencing Act (NACDL Champion Magazine 2010); “Roadblocked Reentry: the Prison After Imprisonment” (National Bar Association Magazine 2006); and “Reflections from the Frontlines: An Insider’s Perspective on the Crack Cocaine Controversy” (Federal Sentencing Reporter 1998).
Nkechi Taifa served as the principal author of the Advancement Project’s report, “Re-Enfranchisement! A Guide for Individual Restoration of Voting Rights in States that Permanently Disenfranchise Former Felons” (2002). She was a contributing author to Black Reparations: American Slavery and its Vestiges; Reparations Yes: The Legal and Political Reasons Why Blacks Should be Paid for the Enslavement of Our Ancestors; and Decolonization U.S.A.
Nkechi currently serves on the Legal Advisory Team of the Legacy of the GU272 Alliance (descendants of the 1838 Jesuit sale of 272 enslaved persons which ensured the survival of Georgetown University); is a past president of the DC Chapter of the National Conference of Black Lawyers and founding member and former co-chair of the Legislative Commission of the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America. She is a member of the National African American Reparations Commission, and an advisor to the Institute of the Black World 21st Century.
Nkechi has served on the boards of numerous organizations, and has received awards and honors. She has served as consultant to various organizations and projects, and been interviewed and quoted extensively in the national and local electronic and print media. Reported legal cases with Taifa as counsel include Shepherd v. American Broadcasting Companies, 864 F. Supp. 486 (D.C. Cir. 1994); 62 F.3d 1469 (D.C. Cir. 1995); U.S. v. Whitehorn, 710 F. Supp. 803 (1989); Knop v. Johnson, 655 F. Supp. 871 (WD Mich 1987).
A multi-talented individual, Nkechi Taifa received an Individual Artist Fellowship Award for Excellence in Literature from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and is the published author of two books for children, Shining Legacy (1983) which highlights twelve Black heroes and heroines through moving stories accentuated with rhyme; and The Adventures of Kojo and Ama (1992) which contains seven wisdom-filled stories combining excitement, fun and suspense with lessons in pride and heritage. She performed spoken word with the group “BlackNotes” as part of its debut CD project, leading her original creation, “While Malcolm Preached, Trane Played.”
Nkechi is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. She received her Juris Doctorate from George Washington University Law School and graduated magna cum laude from Howard University. She is the proud mother of a daughter, Mariama Taifa-Seitu.
Chair, National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA)
V.P. Franklin, Ph.D., is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History and Education at the University of California, Riverside. Dr. Franklin is the former Editor of The Journal of African American History (JAAH), formerly The Journal of Negro History, the leading scholarly publication on African American life and history. During his editorship between 2001 and 2018, five JAAH articles received awards or prizes for scholarly excellence in historical research. Dr. Franklin is the author or coeditor of ten books, including The Education of Black Philadelphia (1979); Black Self-Determination: A Cultural History of African American Resistance (1984, 1992); Cultural Capital and Black Education: African American Communities and the Funding of Black Schooling, 1865 to the Present (2004); and Message in the Music: Hip Hop, History, and Pedagogy (2010). He has published over seventy scholarly articles on African American history and education. Dr. Franklin is currently completing The Young Crusaders, a book on children and teenagers’ contributions to the Civil Rights Movement; and with Mary Frances Berry and Sundiata Cha-Jua, an anthology on Reparations and Reparatory Justice: Past, Present, and Future.
V.P. Franklin, Moderator
University of California, Riverside
The Fierce Urgency of Now: Taking Back the African American Vote
Saturday, September 26, 2020
3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. EST
Gary Bledsoe, ESQ., is President of the Texas NAACP and has held that position since being elected in 1991. He is an Austin lawyer, who specializes in employment, civil rights, and public interest law. Bledsoe served as Austin Branch President from 1987 to 1991 and has served on the National Board of Directors since 2003. He currently is the Chair of the Housing Committee and Vice-Chair of the Legal Committee of the National NAACP and a member of the Texas ACLU Board of Directors. . Bledsoe served on the Board of Regents for Texas Southern University from 2007 to 2017. Currently, Bledsoe is the Executive Director for External Relations at Texas Southern University, previously serving as Acting Dean of Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University from 2017-2019.. Bledsoe earned a Doctorate of Jurisprudence from The University Of Texas School Of Law, where he is the permanent class president of the Class of 1976 and was awarded the Virgil Lott Outstanding Alumnus Award in 2019. Bledsoe has litigated civil rights cases involving voting rights, police misconduct, police promotions and reparations. In 2019 he received the Man of the Year Award from the Harris County Business and Professional Women, the Educator of the Year AwRd from the Houston Lawyer’s Association, Administrator of the Year from the TMSL Student Bar Association and in 2020 has been named the awardee of the Clarence Darrow Lifetime Achievement Award by the Harris County Democratic Lawyers Association.
NAACP – Texas Branch
Dr. Conra D. Gist is an associate professor of Teaching and Teacher Education in the College of Education at the University of Houston. Her research investigates programs, policies, and practices that advance the academic and professional development of Teachers of Color. She is the author of Preparing Teachers of Color to Teach: Culturally Responsive Teacher Education in Theory and Practice (Palgrave, 2014); editor of Portraits of Anti-Racist Alternative Routes to Teaching in the U.S.: Framing Teacher Development for Community, Justice, and Visionaries (Peter Lang, 2017); and co-author of Crafting and Critiquing Culturally Efficacious Preparation and Pedagogies for Social Justice (Rowman & Littlefield, 2018). Her scholarship has been honored with awards and fellowships such as the AERA Division K Early Career Award, National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship, and Ford Dissertation Fellowship. She received her Ph.D. in Urban Education at the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center.
Conra D. Gist
University of Houston
Dr. Alicia L. Moore is Department Chair of Education and holds the Cargill Endowed Professorship in Education at Southwestern University. Moore was a school principal and teacher in urban school districts. Additionally, she is co-editor for the Black History Bulletin (BHB)–an ASALH publication. Moore is an award-winning author whose internationally cited research includes culturally responsive leadership and teaching. Additionally, she conducts action-based research for best practices for teaching social studies, special education, English language learners, and early childhood education. She has served as a local evaluator for the federally funded Even Start Program.
Alicia L. Moore
Dr. La Vonne I. Neal is Professor Emerita and Associate Vice President, Administration and Finance (RET.), Northern Illinois University (NIU). Neal, co-editor for the Black History Bulletin (BHB) and formerly Dean of two Colleges of Education is a teacher educator whose work in the design and implementation of culturally responsive teaching methods has earned wide recognition both among educators and popular press. For example, her research on the correlation between African American male students’ walking styles and their placement in special education courses has been featured globally in mass media. Additionally, she is an award-winning author, recipient of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Mary McLeod Bethune Service Award and the Association of Black Women Historians, Lorraine A. Williams Leadership Award.
La Vonne I. Neal
Northern Illinois University
Dr. Karsonya “Kaye” Wise Whitehead is an educator, author, radio host, speaker, and documentary filmmaker who is known as the #blackmommyactivist. She is Associate Professor of Communication and African and African American Studies at Loyola University Maryland. In 2019, Dr. Whitehead received the Collegium Visionary Award from the College of Holy Cross; the Exceptional Merit in Media Award (EMMA) from the National Women’s Political Caucus for her work editing and compiling #BlackGirlActivism: Exploring the Ways We Come Though the Storm, a special issue of the Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism journal (Duke University Press); the Baltimore Sun named her as one of Baltimore’s 25 “Women to Watch in 2019”; and, Essence magazine included her on the 2019 “Woke 100 List,” of “black women advocating for change.”She is the host of “Today with Dr. Kaye” on radio station WEAA, which received the 2019 Associated Press Award for Outstanding Talk Show and the second place Award for Outstanding Editorial and Commentary. Whitehead is an Opinion Editorial columnist for the Baltimore Afro-American.
Karsonya Wise Whitehead, Moderator
Loyola University Maryland
Preserving the History of the Voting Rights Struggle
Wednesday, September 30, 2020
4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. EST
On February 29, 2019, the Board of Directors of the Association of African American Museums (AAAM) announced Vedet Coleman-Robinson as its next Executive Director. Coleman-Robinson’s hire came on the heels of AAAM’s 40th Anniversary year, during which the all-volunteer Association embarked on an ambitious fundraising effort to bring on this full time staff member. With generous support from its members, long-timer sponsors, and a three-
year, $400,000.00 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, AAAM was poised to grow and continue its important role serving the black museum field.
Coleman-Robinson comes to AAAM from the National Park Service (NPS) where she served for eleven years as a Grants Management Specialist within the State, Tribal, Local, Plans & Grants Division (STLPG). During her time at the NPS, Vedet was the Program Lead for the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Grant (HBCU) and the Underrepresented Community Grant programs for STLPG. She has devoted herself to helping bring voice to communities that lacked representation in the fabric, space and time of American history, and was the subject-matter expert in the STLPG Division on the policies and procedures of museums who were awarded grants. In her eleven years with the NPS, Vedet worked closely with numerable grantees to help preserve their stories through grant programs such as Save America’s Treasures, African American Civil Rights, HBCU, Preserve America, Underrepresented Communities, and the Native Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). She also served in leadership roles within the National Park Service’s Employee Resource Groups to help foster and promote relationships and visibility of employees and sites that are underrepresented within the National Park Service and was often called upon for historic research studies that pertained to African American history and culture. Coleman-Robinson is a long-time and life member of AAAM and has played an important role growing the ranks of the Association’s members, through her role on the Membership Committee.
Prior to her role at the NPS, Vedet worked for and with several museums within the DC Metro Area and helped to either create diversity plans for Board of Directors, visitors, and staff, social media fundraising plans, facilitated stakeholders meetings and assisted in the overall sustainability of several programs and grants. Of particular note, she highlights the following as significant accomplishments:
-African American Civil Was Museum – Assisted the National Park Service in acquiring the African American Civil War Monument.
-National Museum of Women in the Arts – Spearheaded an initiative to forge relationships between the museum and the African American community within D.C. as well as increase African American visitation.
-The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture – Co-curated the museum’s inaugural community exhibition as well as collected materials and built relationships throughout the State of Maryland for the museum.
-National Electronics Museum – Increased Board diversity and helped the museum appoint the first African American to the Board.
-Lord Cultural Resources/National Museum of African American History and Culture – Facilitated national stakeholder meetings within African American professional organizations in 2008.
-Carter G. Woodson Home – Co-Chaired a social media fundraising campaign which helped secure an American Express Grant for the historic site.
Association of African American Museums
Josephine Bolling McCall was born in Lowndes County, Alabama. She attended G. W. Carver High School in Montgomery, Alabama State University and Auburn University. She is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist, and was the first black president of the Alabama Association of School Psychologists and the first person ever elected to serve two presidential terms. She was the first black to serve as Alabama’s delegate to the National Association of School Psychologists. She retired as Director of Special Education from the Phenix City Public Schools.
McCall served as president of the Montgomery Education Retirees Association, Area Director for the Alabama Education Retirees Association and member of the Alabama Education Retirees Foundation Board. She has served as president of: Montgomery Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., the Montgomery Chapter of The Links, Inc., and the Elite Social and Civic Club. She is a member of The Carats, Inc., and a Life Member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. She currently serves as the president of The Elmore Bolling Foundation which she founded to preserve the legacy of her father. Josephine is the author of The Penalty For Success: My Father Was Lynched in Lowndes County, Alabama.
Josephine and husband, Charlie, have two children, Carlton Alan (Chuck) McCall and Jerilyn McCall Corlew and three grandchildren Adam McCall and Matthew and Clark Corlew.
Josephine Bolling McCall
The Elmore Bolling Foundation
Ajena Cason Rogers has been the Supervisory Park Ranger at Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site since 2010 where she manages day-to-day interpretive operations, program development, and community outreach. Ajena has been a National Park Service interpreter since 1984 and often feels she “grew up in the Park Service.” During her career she has worked on the Blue Ridge Parkway, at Booker T. Washington National Monument, Independence National Historical Park, and Valley Forge National Historical Park, but feels that being at Maggie L. Walker NHS is the perfect fit. “It allows me to bring together my love of historical storytelling, my passion for interpreting the experiences of women and African Americans, and the community leadership and public history skills I learned through the years to help more people know about a wonderful, inspirational leader such as Maggie Walker – a dream come true!”
Maggie Lena Walker National Historic Site
Alan Spears – Senior Director for Cultural Resources
Alan Spears uses real-life stories and a conversational style to connect with his audiences to promote NPCA’s advocacy and the critical role the National Park Service plays in protecting, interpreting and managing this nation’s historic and cultural resources. A veteran advocate and member of the Government Affairs department, Alan leads community outreach and legislative engagement on a variety of park protection issues. Recent victories include joining with NPCA colleagues, partners and allies to win the designation of the Fort Monroe, Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad, Colonel Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers, Pullman, and Birmingham Civil Rights National Monuments. Alan’s current efforts include National Heritage Area program defense and serving as NPCA’s lead coordinator for the Julius Rosenwald & Rosenwald Schools national park designation campaign.
He remains the only NPCA staff person ever to be rescued from a tidal marsh by a Park Police helicopter.