Lieutenant Colonel Myles B. Caggins III previously served as Director for Strategic Communications and Assistant Press Secretary for the National Security Council at the White House. He was also a former White House Military Social Aide for former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and a Term Member in the Council on Foreign Relations.
During his service, he has received numerous military awards, including two Bronze Star Medals and the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal. He was awarded the Spirit of Georgetown Alumni Award in 2010 for his community service and work with Metro TeenAIDS, a nonprofit focused on HIV prevention, run through Georgetown University’s Center for Social Impact Communication. He is a graduate of Hampton University and earned a Master’s Degree in Public Relations at Georgetown University.
Dr. Jacquetta M. Chatman is the Founder and CEO of Mothers of Black Boys, Inc. (MOBB). She is also the Chief Consultant of MOBB Educational Consulting Group, LLC. Dr. Chatman is an Adjunct Professor/Faculty Supervisor at Grand Canyon University. Dr. Chatman earned a B.S. degree in Elementary Education from Benedict College, a M.Ed. from Columbia College in Divergent Learning, and an Ed.D. from Nova Southeastern University in Educational Leadership. Dr. Chatman is a member of Brookland Baptist Church, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, PAGE Five, Palmetto State Teachers Association, and other community outreach organizations.
Donna M. Christensen was elected into the U.S. House of Representatives in 1996 as the first woman to represent the U.S. Virgin Islands. She began her political career as a Democratic National Committeewoman and Vice Chair of the Territorial Committee of the Democratic Party of the Virgin Islands.
Christensen earned her B.S. from St. Mary’s College at Notre Dame in South, Bend Indiana. She received her M.D. from the George Washington University School of Medicine in 1970.
Ty-Ron M. O. Douglas is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Missouri. Born and raised in Bermuda, Dr. Douglas’ work explores the intersections between identity, community space (e.g., barbershops, sports fields, and churches) and the socio-cultural foundations of leadership and education. The author of three books, including his new project (October, 2016), Border Crossing Brothas: Black Males Navigating Race, Place, & Complex Space, Douglas offers high impact, high energy presentations that draw on his work in college and professional athletics, Black male success, Black family studies, diversity and equity, critical spirituality, and leadership, teaching and learning.
Dr. Douglas has delivered keynotes, motivational talks, and lectures in Africa, Europe, Bermuda, Brazil, the Caribbean, and the United States. His most recent speaking events include sharing the stage with renown motivational speaker “ET The Hip Hop Preacher” and speaking for the NCAA, drawing on his 2015 NCAA grant funded study report on Black male student-athletes.
A proud graduate of Bermuda College, Dr. Douglas is a border crossing brotha-scholar who is operationalizing his scholarship for maximum community impact. The co-editor of a new special issue (with Drs. Chezare Warren and Tyrone C. Howard) on the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative in Teachers College Record, Douglas’ work is truly crossing borders!
Dr. Anderson J. Franklin is the Honorable David S. Nelson Professor of Psychology and Education in the Department of Counseling, Developmental and Educational Psychology at Boston College Lynch School of Education and Professor Emeritus of Psychology from The Graduate School of The City University of New York. Dr. Franklin holds a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Oregon. He directs the Nelson Chair Roundtable for Networking Community Based Programs and the Boston College Collaborative Extended Learning Project strengthening ties between schools, families and community partners engaged in out of school time activities to address the achievement gap and mental health of students.
Dr. Franklin was the speaker at 2010 Lewis and Clark College Commencement during which he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters. He received the 2010 Outstanding Alumnus Award from the University of Oregon College of Education. Recently Dr. Franklin was honored for his civil rights legacy by the Commonwealth of Virginia General Assembly, The Mayor’s Office of the City of Richmond, and Virginia Union University as a member of the “Richmond 34” students who by civil disobedience through Sit-Ins and arrests led to the desegregation of Richmond and the State of Virginia. Dr. Franklin also received the Groundbreakers Award from All Stars Project Annual Gala at Lincoln Center, New York City in 2012. In 2013 he was a Visiting Scholar at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape South Africa. He is co-author with Dr. Nancy Boyd-Franklin of Boys Into Men: Raising our African American Teenage Sons published by Dutton. His last book is From Brotherhood to Manhood: How Black Men Rescue Their Relationships and Dreams From the Invisibility Syndrome by John Wiley & Sons which was placed on Essence magazine best sellers list.
In the current national movement to bring about a world where “Black Lives Matter,” the “I AM A MAN!” declaration of the Civil Rights struggle against oppression expresses the being of William Edward Burghardt Du Bois’ life’s work. Du Bois argued for a broader education that would strengthen the intellectual resources needed to advance the struggle against racial oppression and validate the humanity of a Black man’s manhood. Foretelling the need for the current actions we see in the U.S., Du Bois stated, “We have no right to sit silently by while the inevitable seeds are sown for a harvest of disaster to our children, Black and white.” Education, Du Bois contended, was not only the lever of uplift to bring about a “better and truer self,” but a lever for learning about life, character, and respect for one’s cultural identity and knowledge of the world. This keynote address uses a Du Boisian framework (i.e., theory and “structural situatedness”) to discuss three parent/community approaches in the education of Black children, aimed at educating Black males to act on Du Bois’ argument. These include an academic approach (e.g., Joyce Epstein’s six models of parent involvement), a governmental approach (e.g., President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative), and a parental approach (e.g., Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between The World and Me).
Dr. Carl A. Grant is the Hoefs-Bascom Professor in the Department of Curriculum and former Chair of the Afro Studies Department at the University Wisconsin-Madison. He has authored or edited more than 50 books and has written more than 100 journal publications. Professor Grant’s recent books include: Intersectionality & Urban Education: Identities, Policies, Spaces and Power, with E. Zwier (Ed.) (2014); The Selected Works of Carl A. Grant (2014); and Black Intellectual Thought in Education, with Keffrelyn and Anthony Brown (Sept. 2015); The Moment: Barack Obama, Jeremiah Wright and The Firestorm at Trinity United Church of Christ, with Shelby Grant (2013).
Dr. David Hall is the President of the University of Virgin Islands. In 2009, Dr. Hall created the “Brothers with a Cause” Organization, which is comprised up of male students on the University’s St. Thomas and St. Croix campuses who aim to increase recruitment, retention, and graduation rates of young Black males.
Dr. Hall received his bachelor’s degree from Kansas State University and his doctor of jurisprudence (JD) from the University of Oklahoma, where he also earned a master’s degree in Human Relations. Dr. Hall made history in 1993 by being the first African American to be appointed Dean of the Northeastern University School of Law.
He has written numerous publications focused on Civil Rights, race, social justice, and legal education. He is the author of the book The Spiritual Revitalization of the Legal Profession: A Search for Sacred Rivers.
Shaun R. Harper is Professor of Education and Founder of the Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education at the University of Pennsylvania. He is author of over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and other academic publications. Journals in which his studies are published include Review of Research in Education, Teachers College Record, Harvard Educational Review, Journal of Higher Education, Review of Higher Education, and Journal of College Student Development. Dr. Harper’s research has been cited in over 4,000 publications. His twelve books include Advancing Black Male Student Success from Preschool through Ph.D.
He is currently leading RISE for Boys and Men of Color, a three-year interdisciplinary project that aims to advance research that will improve the lives, experiences, and outcomes of Asian Americans, Blacks, Latinos, and Native Americans. RISE focuses on four fields: education, health, juvenile and criminal justice, and workforce development. Funders of RISE include The Atlantic Philanthropies, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Annie E. Casey Foundation, and members of the Executives Alliance to Expand Opportunities for Boys and Men of Color.
Dr. Harper is president-elect of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) and an elected member of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Executive Council. He serves on editorial boards for the Journal of Higher Education and American Educational Research Journal, and was previously associate editor of Educational Researcher. AERA presented Dr. Harper the 2010 Early Career Award (Division G) and 2014 Relating Research to Practice Award. He also received the 2008 ASHE Early Career Award, the 2012 National Association of Student Personnel Administrators Robert H. Shaffer Award for Faculty Excellence, and the 2014 American College Personnel Association Contribution to Knowledge Award.
Dr. Harper has been interviewed on CNN, ESPN, and NPR, and featured or quoted in The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Sports Illustrated, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, and over 11,000 other media outlets. He was appointed to President Barack Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper advisory council in 2015, and recognized in Education Week as one of the 12 most influential professors in the field of education in 2016.
Dr. Ricky L. Jones is Professor and Chair of the Pan-African Studies Department and the Founding Director for the Center on Race and Inequality at the University of Louisville. He is also the host of the “Ricky Jones Show” on 93.1 The Beat FM Louisville from iHeart Media. Dr. Jones previously served as a Lyman T. Johnson Fellow at the University of Kentucky and a National Science Foundation Multi-Cultural Teaching Fellow at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Dr. Jones received his Ph.D. in Political Science from University of Kentucky. He has written numerous articles and books, including Black Haze: Violence, Sacrifice, and Manhood in Black Greek-Letter Fraternities and What’s Wrong with Obamamania? Black America, Black Leadership, and the Death of Political Imagination.
Dr. Law is a Professor and the Founding Director for the Centre for Ethnicity and Racism Studies at the University of Leeds, established in 1998. He also currently serves as a Research Professor in the School of Social Sciences at Södertörn University in Stockholm, Sweden.
Dr. Law’s research focuses on global racism studies. He received his Ph.D. in Racism and Housing in Liverpool. He has published several book and book chapters, as well as other scholarly articles, including his upcoming book Rethinking Roma.
Dr. Richard Majors is currently the Director and Founder of the newly established Applied Centre of Emotional Literacy Research & Leadership (ACELLR). Moreover, he is also an international trainer, a counselling psychologist in private practice, and an honorary professor at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs (USA). Dr. Majors has been working in the UK for well over 10 years. His research, training and interest areas include: gender, class, race, masculinities, youth development, cultural competence, social inclusion/social justice, leadership development, multicultural psychotherapy, corporate leadership development, emotional intelligences and wellness, soft skills in business, communication skills in health and social care, international and sustainable development in African countries, and creating fair trade policies.
He is the founder and former deputy editor of the Journal of African American Men (now the Journal of African American Studies), the first refereed journal on African American men in the U.S. Dr. Majors was invited to the White House in 1994, to meet with members of President Clinton’s administration to discuss youth policy. He is the author of 3 books and dozens of scholarly articles. One of his books Cool Pose: The Dilemmas of Manhood in America (1992), was submitted for Pulitzer Prize consideration by the publisher and was on the publisher’s bestsellers list in 1992. This book is one of the most cited books in gender, culture and race relations, and is considered a classic in the field. Cool Pose has generated and inspired many publications, debates, articles, reports, studies, and doctoral dissertations by other scholars and community leaders. His work and research has been translated into several languages.
Dr. Bryant T. Marks is a tenured Associate Professor of Psychology at Morehouse College and former Executive Director of the Morehouse Research Institute. Previously, he served as a Presidential Advisor with the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans, and Special Advisor to the White House Initiative on HBCUs.
Dr. Marks received his B.A. in Psychology from Morehouse College, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of Michigan. Dr. Marks has taught courses on the psychology of Black males, research methods, racial identity, and prejudice and racism. His research has helped develop programming to improve the academic achievement of Black men across the nation.
Dr. Lou Edward Matthews is an accomplished educator and community leader. He is currently serving as Director of Educational Standards and Accountability for the Bermuda Public School System where he oversees the leadership of principals in the island’s 26 primary, middle, and senior schools across the island. He has engaged audiences internationally over the past 20 years as a speaker, scholar, editor, consultant, and community activist. He has also authored several studies and book chapters around the education of Black children. His most recent work “Advancing a Framework for Culturally Relevant, Cognitively Demanding Mathematics Tasks” was featured nationally in the book: The Brilliance of Black Children in Mathematics. The work focused on examination of how teachers can be empowered to create mathematics tasks which challenge students to think more deeply about themselves, their community, and the world around them.
Dr. Matthews was the founding Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Urban Mathematics Education, a free international journal focused on urban mathematics research launched in 2008. The journal through six volumes has published over 1000 pages of research to-date, exceeding 100, 000 downloads. Dr. Matthews graduated from the Victor Scott Primary, Bermuda Institute, and holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics Education from Illinois State University.
Dr. McCurtis has had a diverse career in education and a wealth of experience as a career and leadership coach, having facilitated well over 100 personal and professional development workshops over the past 15 years. She currently serves as the Assistant Vice Provost for Diversity and Senior Director of the Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program at New York University and has been charged with developing university, state and national strategic partnerships that will assist in assessing and increasing diversity for students, faculty and administrators at a global private research university. As a first generation college student and graduate of an opportunity program, she attributes much of her academic and professional success to the holistic support she received as an undergraduate and has spent the past 20 years committed to doing the same for others.
A few of the accomplishments she is most proud of are: the mentoring relationships she has maintained for 10+ years; being recognized by the New York Times with a Teachers Who Make a Difference award for service to young people; a 2006 TRIO Achiever by the Council for Opportunity in Education for civic and professional achievements; the Dr. Brenda Pfaehler Award of Excellence from the University of Wisconsin-Madison CeO program; and receiving the distinction of Outstanding Dissertation of the Year. In addition to several career and personality assessment certifications, Dr. McCurtis holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Marquette University, a Master’s degree in Student Personnel Administration from Teachers College, Columbia University and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Dr. James T. Minor is the Senior Strategist for Academic Success at California State University. He previously served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Higher Education Programs in the Office of Postsecondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education from 2014-2016. He previously was the Senior Program Officer and Director of Higher Education Programs for the Southern Education Foundation in Atlanta, Georgia.
His previous positions include a tenured associate professor of higher education policy at Michigan State University, a fellow at the University of Georgia’s Institute for Higher Education, and Research Associate at the Pullias Center for Higher Education at the University of Southern California.
Dr. Minor received his B.A. from Jackson State University, a M.A. from the University of Nebraska, and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Wizdom Powell is Associate Professor of Health Behavior at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Gillings School of Global Public Health. Dr. Powell is also faculty member at UNC’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and Director of UNC’s Men’s Health Research Lab. In 2011-2012, she was appointed by President Obama to serve as a White House Fellow to the Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel & Readiness and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. In this role she served as Special Advisor on Military Mental Health (e.g., PTSD, suicide, and military sexual trauma). Her community-based research focuses on the role of modern racism and gender norms on African American male health and healthcare inequities. In addition to being a KP Burch Fellow, she is an American Psychological Association (APA) Minority, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellow who received a Ph.D. and MS in Clinical Psychology and MPH from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. In recognition of outstanding dissertation research, Wizdom received APA’s Division 51 (D51) Loren Frankel Award. She serves as chair of the APA’s workgroup on Health Disparities in Boys and Men and was elected in 2014 to serve as co-chair of the Health Committee for President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative in Durham County. In recognition of her public service to young males of color, she received the American Psychological Association’s (D51) Distinguished Professional Service Award. She recently received the prestigious Phillip and Ruth Hettleman Prizes for Outstanding Artistic and Scholarly Achievement by Young Faculty.
Dr. Ivory A. Toldson is the President and CEO of the Quality Education for Minorities (QEM) Network, Professor of Counseling Psychology at Howard University, and the Editor-In-Chief of The Journal of Negro Education.
Previously, Dr. Toldson served as Deputy Director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). He also served as Senior Research Analyst for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and Contributing Education Editor for The Root.
Dr. Toldson received a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at Temple University and holds an honorary doctorate from Florida Memorial University. His research has appeared in multiple journals and publications nationwide.
Ron Walker has over 45 years of experience serving as a teacher, principal, staff developer, and consultant in various educational communities. Currently, Ron serves as the Executive Director and is a founding member of the Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color (COSEBOC). The mission of COSEBOC, founded in 2007, is to connect, inspire, support and strengthen school leaders dedicated to the social, emotional and academic development of boys and young men of color. Under his leadership COSEBOC is impacting over 600 schools across the nation with a combined student population of over 300,000. COSEBOC has been recognized for its work on changing the negative narrative often perpetuated by the media and others to a positive counter-narrative that lifts up the gifts, talents and promise possessed by boys and young men of color.
COSEBOC is recognized as a critical organization in the efforts to eliminate the academic achievement gap. In this regard, recognition has come from many organizations including the Council of Great City Schools, Education Trust, Cities United, The Center for Law and Social Policy, The Panasonic Foundation, The Kirwan Institute, Harvard University and the American Public Health Association. COSEBOC has also been awarded major national grants by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Open Society Foundation.
Dr. Paul Warmington is the Associate Professor for the Centre for Education Studies at the University of Warwick. Prior to his role at the Centre, he taught for eleven years in higher education, with a speciality in English and Black Studies. His research focuses on race equality and education policy.
Dr. Warmington received his Bachelor’s Degree in English and European Literature from University of Essex, his PGCE in English and Drama from University of Warwick, and his Ph.D. in Education from University of Birmingham. His work has been featured in numerous scholarly journals and publications. His most recent book is titled Black British Intellectuals and Education: Multiculturalism’s Hidden History.
Joseph L. White is Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of California, Irvine and "godfather" of the field of Black Psychology. While his main field of study was clinical psychology, Dr. White focused a lot of his attention on aiding and supporting disadvantaged students of color in their path to acquire knowledge by developing curriculum that caters to the needs of students of color. In his quest to reform the education system, White rejects the use of White middle class norms in determining the standards of education. In 1968, White helped found the Association of Black Psychologists along with a few other Black Psychologists during the 1968 conference of the American Psychological Association. During this same time, while serving as a professor and dean of undergraduate studies, White yielded to the needs of the students in helping to establish the first Black Studies Program during the 1968 strike at San Francisco State University.
Dr. White's 1970 article "Toward a Black Psychology,” published in Ebony Magazine, was a seminal document in the formation of African American Psychology as a professional field and the rise of ethnic and cultural psychology. The article argued that whatever the future of race relations and the destiny of Black people, the creation of a Black Psychology was necessary because the psychology created by White people could never adequately apply to African Americans. Dr. White went further to point out that the application of mainstream White psychology to Black people resulted in weakness-oriented deficit finding, rather than an accurate appraisal of the situation of people of African descent.
DeVon L. Wilson is a Research Associate for Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB) and Director of the L&S Center for Academic Excellence at University of Wisconsin-Madison. His main focus is on increasing the retention and graduation rates of first-generation students, students of color, and other students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds for the College of Letters & Science at UW-Madison.
Wilson received his B.A. in Psychology from Beloit College and his M.S. Ed in Adult Continuing Education and Higher Education from Northern Illinois University. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Kimberly A. Worthy is a Teacher at Friendship Woodridge International School IB in Washington D.C. She previously served as the Special Assistant in the Office of Undergraduate Studies at Howard University and as an ANC Commissioner for The Advisory Neighborhood Commissions in Washington D.C.
Worthy received her B.A. in Political Science from Spelman College. She received the Marcus Foster Distinguished Educator Award from the National Alliance of Black School Educators in 2009 and was honored as the 2009 District of Columbia Teacher of the Year.