Speaker Bios

Dr. Khaalisha Bintu Ajala, MD, MBA,FHM is an assistant professor, assistant site director of education of hospital medicine and co-director of the division of hospital medicine’s education council at Emory University School of Medicine and based at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, GA. She is a Baltimore, MD native, a graduate of Tennessee State University, American University of Antigua College of Medicine and the internal medicine residency program at Morehouse School of Medicine. Dr. Ajala is a member of the Society of Hospital Medicine as well as its Diversity, Equity & Inclusion taskforce and was honored with the Society of Hospital Medicine’s 2020 Excellence in Humanitarian Services award. In 2020, she founded and lead the Emory Hospital Medicine at Grady’s DEI special interest group and is now an active member as she has supports upcoming junior faculty in role of leadership. She was named OKAY Africa’s 100 Women of 2020, 100 Most Inspiring Nigerian Women by leading Ladies of Africa, and was honored with the Emory Hospital Medicine Advocacy Award 2021. She is currently a Society of General Internal Medicine Leader in Health Policy (LEAHP) Scholar 2021-2022. She is a clinical educator within global health, she has traveled annually to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with the Emory Global Health Scholars Residency Program (GHSRP) where she serves as an attending on the medicine wards of Tikur Anbessa/ Black Lion Hospital. She served with the Emory Health Against Human Trafficking (E.H.A.H.T) organization while providing annual physical exams for adults and children Chiang Saen, Thailand and educating medical students about providing care in a global health setting. She is the current rising chair and leader of the SHM Global Hospital Medicine special interest forum, which connects hospitalists from around the world. She is also a medical justice advocate, community health educator, mentor, DJ and founder of an health education nonprofit organization, A Tribe Called Health/ Heartbeats & HipHop, Inc. (HBHH). HBHH focuses on utilizing hip-hop culture as a global language to erase health inequity and disparity. As a DJ and lover of music she has found the importance of identifying hip-hop culture as a way to connect with various communities and age groups in order to promote healthy practices.

Dr. Mark Auslander is the author of “The Accidental Slaveowner: Revisiting a Myth of Race and Finding an American Family” (University of Georgia Press, 2011). He has published extensively on slavery and its legacies at Emory and other spaces, as well as ritual and remembrance in Africa and the Afro-Atlantic world.

Laura Cummings Balgari, FNP-C, RN is a nurse at the Emory Clinic, co-director of the Atlanta Indigenous Peoples Association, and nurse practitioner for Pine Hill Health Network, a tribal health hub in her native South Carolina. She is a proud member of the Pee Dee Tribe of SC. Laura is passionate about improving Native health and fostering Indigenous networking and visibility in metro-Atlanta.

Valerie Boyd is a professor of journalism and narrative nonfiction writing and the Charlayne Hunter-Gault Distinguished Writer in Residence at the University of Georgia, where she founded and directs the low-residency MFA Program in Narrative Nonfiction. In addition to her work as an educator, Valerie is the senior consulting editor at The Bitter Southerner magazine. She is author of the critically acclaimed Wrapped in Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston, which was hailed by Alice Walker as “magnificent” and “extraordinary”; by the Boston Globe as “elegant and exhilarating”; and by the Denver Post as “a rich, rich read.” Formerly arts editor at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Valerie has written articles, essays and reviews for The Washington PostThe Los Angeles TimesBon AppetitThe Oxford AmericanEssence and Atlanta Magazine, among other publications. She is currently editing an anthology—to be published in 2022—called Bigger Than Bravery: Black Writers on the Pandemic, Shutdown and Uprising of 2020. Valerie has spent the past several years curating and editing a collection of the journals of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker. Simon & Schuster will publish Gathering Blossoms Under Fire: The Journals of Alice Walker in April 2022.

Dr. Randall K. Burkett was hired in 1997 as the first curator for African American collections at Emory University, and for twenty-one years was responsible for building the library’s collection of rare books, manuscripts, photographs, and print ephemera. In addition to acquisitions, he was responsible for developing programs and exhibitions, for encouraging research use of the collections, and for raising money to support the collections. He retired in September 2018.

He received his PhD from the University of Southern California where he wrote his dissertation on Marcus Garvey and African American religious history. He published two books on Garvey and with others compiled a four-volume index to biographical sketches and portraits of nearly 35,000 African Americans, now accessible online via ProQuest’s “African American Biographical Database.” He served as associate editor of the “Harvard Guide to African American History” and for twenty years edited a newsletter on African American religious history.  From 1985 to 1997 he served as associate director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for Afro-American Research at Harvard.

Jonathan Peraza Campos (he/him/él) is a 2018 graduate of Emory University where he was a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow and earned a Bachelor's degree in Sociology. He was active at Emory and in metro-Atlanta in struggles for racial, immigrant, and educational justice, including the campaigns to admit and fund undocumented students at Emory and for a Latinx Studies department and Latinx professor hirings. Jonathan has obtained a Master's degree in Social Foundations of Education at Georgia State University and is now pursuing a Master's in History and Latin American Studies at Georgia State University. He develops programs in the metro-Atlanta to support Latinx and immigrant student success as an educator and educational consultant. He also organizes with the Abolitionist Teaching Network and the Buford Highway People's Hub for abolitionist education and liberation. As the Migration Curator for Central American News, he documents weekly current events related to migration and issues from Central American countries and in the U.S.

Dr. J. Vern Cromartie was born and raised in southeast Georgia and he is proud to be a man of Black African descent with a Geechee and Gullah heritage. He is a professor of sociology and chairman of the Sociology Department at Contra Costa College. Dr. Cromartie earned his Ed.D. (Doctor of Education) in organization and leadership from the University of San Francisco. His second area of doctoral specialization was curriculum and instruction. Dr. Cromartie also has earned a M.A. in sociology from California State University, East Bay and a B.S. in human relations and organizational behavior from the University of San Francisco. Dr. Cromartie is a member of the National Association of Social Science (NSSA) Board of Directors; and a member of the African Heritage Studies Association (AHSA) Board of Directors and the chairman of the AHSA Education Commission. He also serves as the editor of the California Sociological Association Bulletin and on the editorial board of several journals, including the National Social Science Journal. His research interests include race and ethnicity, social movements, and the sociology of education. Dr. Cromartie is the author of several books, including Morgan-Frazier Family Clan: Chronicles of a Black Family with a Geechee and Gullah Heritage in Essays, Interviews, Research Reports, Documents, and Photographs. His individual essays have been published by the National Social Science Association; Oxford University Press; Greenwood Press; National Association of African American Studies; California Sociological Association; Clute Institute for Academic Research; Black Languages, Arts & Culture Foundation; Jeremiah B. Sanderson Leadership Institute; and other entities. In addition to his scholarly works, Dr. Cromartie is the author of several books of poetry, including Intercommunal Street Poems.

Dr. Rosanna Dent researches at the intersection of history of science and medicine, Latin American history, Native studies, and feminist science and technology studies. She is an assistant professor in the Federated Department of History of New Jersey Institute of Technology and Rutgers—Newark. Broadly, she is interested in how human interactions unfold in the context of knowledge production, and the implications of these relationships for questions of political and social justice. Rosanna has published on twentieth-century histories of human genetics and epidemiology in Brazil and is currently working on a monograph on the history of human sciences research in Indigenous A’uwẽ (Xavante) communities in Central Brazil. Her work has been supported by a variety of fellowships, including from The Mellon Foundation, The Max Planck Center for the History of Science, The Social Science Research Council, and Fulbright IIE. For 2021-2022, she is a member of the School for Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and in 2022 she will be a Fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies.

Dr. Clinton R. Fluker serves as the Curator of African American collections at Emory University’s Stuart A. Rose Library where he develops archival collections and innovative programming about African American history and culture. Fluker is also affiliate professor of Digital Humanities and American Studies at Clark Atlanta University’s Humanities Ph.D. program. Fluker is the co-editor of The Black Speculative Arts Movement:  Black Futurity, Art + Design (2019), a collection that enters the global scholarly debate on the emerging field of Afrofuturism studies. As a visual artist, Fluker’s most recent work was included in the New York Live Arts 2020 exhibition, Curating the End of the World, where his interdisciplinary pieces are presented as meditations on the themes of memory and fragmentation. 

Salaam Green, M.S. is an award-winning Poet and Author, 2020/21 Eco Poetry Fellow, Artist in Residence for UAB’s Institute for Arts in Medicine, the 2016 Poet Laureate for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and TEDx speaker Birmingham alum, and daughter of Alabama's Black Belt. Salaam is a Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Facilitator with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and founder and owner of theliteraryhealingarts.com. She is a New Economy Coalition Climate Solutions Fellow and an advocate for environmental and restorative justice in rural Alabama. A writer and storyteller her work has appeared in The Birmingham Times, Scalawag, Bust, Feminist Review, Black Youth Project, Elephant Journal, Southern Women’s Review, AL.com, Birmingham Arts Journal and more.

Will Hansen is Director of Reader Services and Curator of Americana at the Newberry Library. He holds a master’s degree in library and information science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He has been in his current position since 2014; from 2007 to May 2014 he was Assistant Curator of Collections at Duke University’s David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library. Mr. Hansen has published articles on Herman Melville, active learning with primary source materials, archives of “born-digital” materials, and other topics. He has led hundreds of hands-on instruction sessions with rare books and other primary sources, as well as teaching Adult Education Seminars at the Newberry on a variety of American literature and history topics. His recently curated exhibitions at the Newberry are “Melville: Finding America at Sea” and “¡Viva la Libertad! Latin America and the Age of Revolutions,” in addition to smaller scale exhibitions of materials from the American Indian and Indigenous Studies collections.

Dr. Leslie M. Harris, Professor of History at Northwestern University, is the author or co-editor of three award-winning books: In the Shadow of Slavery: African Americans in New York City, 1626-1863 (University of Chicago, 2003); co-editor with Ira Berlin of Slavery in New York (The New Press, 2005), which accompanied the groundbreaking New-York Historical Society exhibition of the same name; and Slavery and Freedom in Savannah (University of Georgia Press, 2014), co-edited with Daina Ramey Berry, in collaboration with Telfair Museums' Owens-Thomas House. From 2004 to 2011, she co-founded and co-directed the Transforming Community Project (TCP) at Emory University, which used history to engage members of the university community in dialogue, research and teaching on racial and other forms of human diversity. In 2011, the Transforming Community Project organized the first international conference on the history of slavery in higher education. Harris has recently completed Slavery and Sexuality: Reclaiming Intimate Histories in the Americas (University of Georgia, 2018), with Daina Ramey Berry; and Slavery and the University: Histories and Legacies (University of Georgia, 2019) with James T. Campbell and Alfred L. Brophy. 

Ty’Reanna Harris is a native of Jacksonville, Florida. She is a photographer, Womanist preacher, and a digital media consultant. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in Psychology at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, FL. As an innovative, trendsetting, and progressive thinker, Ty’Reanna connects the digital world to all other aspects of her clients’ businesses, driving opportunities for growth. She is the owner and lead photographer of Ty’Nichole Photography, serves as the Youth and Young Adult Pastor at Shaw Temple AME Zion Church, and is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. 

Klamath Henry (19C) is a research librarian at Chachalu Tribal Museum and Cultural Center (Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde). Henry is from the Shasta Tribe of California and Tuscarora Nation of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. She is currently finishing up her graduate degree in cultural anthropology at California State University, Fullerton, while working for both the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde as well as at Chemeketa Community College as a head coach for the softball program. 

Dr. Sheryl Heron is a Professor and Vice Chair of Faculty Equity, Engagement, and Empowerment in Emergency Medicine, the Associate Dean for Community Engagement, Equity and Inclusion and Associate Director of Education and Training for the Injury Prevention Research Center at Emory (IPRCE) at Emory University School of Medicine (SOM). She is an editor of two textbooks in Emergency Medicine on Diversity and Inclusion in Quality Patient Care (2016 &2019). She was awarded the SOM’s inaugural Excellence in Diversity and Award. Dr. Heron has lectured extensively on Wellness & Well-Being in medicine and Diversity, Equity & inclusion in Medicine. 

Makoto Hunter is a senior at Brigham Young University (BA History 2022) and is a research assistant for the BYU Slavery Project and the website Intermountain Histories. As an undergraduate, Hunter has been especially interested in the Intermountain West and Japan in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He is the author of "Public Confederate Markers in the United States," published online by the Ballard Brief (May 2021), and of two forthcoming microhistory series for Intermountain Histories titled "Confederate Imagery in the Intermountain West" and "Mapping the Polygamy Underground" (Fall 2021). For his senior capstone in history, Hunter is currently researching and writing about the "Secessions" of "Utah's Dixie," two Confederate-themed gala-fairs held in southern Utah in 1987 and 1988. After graduating in April 2022, Hunter plans to pursue a master's degree, emphasizing public history and museum studies, with the goal of building a career in connecting publics with their pasts in ways that promote truth, justice, and belonging.

Dr. Lori M. Jahnke is the Librarian for Anthropology at Emory University. Prior to joining Emory, she was a Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Postdoctoral Fellow at The College of Physicians of Philadelphia where she developed the Medical Heritage Library as a multi-institutional collaboration for the digitization of rare materials in the history of medicine. She was also a Research Lead for the CLIR/DLF study of data management practices among university researchers sponsored by the Sloan Foundation. Her research focuses on how institutional structures, market dynamics, and academic norms affect which knowledges are preserved and deemed authoritative and who is valued as a knowledge producer. In support of her work in anthropology, archives, and digital collections, Lori has been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Philosophical Society, the Field Museum of Natural History, and the Roger Thayer Stone Center for Latin American Studies. She has presented her work at numerous conferences including the Coalition for Networked Information, the Digital Library Federation Forum, the Latin American Studies Association, and the American Anthropological Association. 

Jay Jones (they/them) is a sophomore at Oxford College interested in exploring the power of writing and visual art in service of movements for social transformation, particularly queer liberation, disability justice, prison and police abolition, and transformative justice. Although they are undecided about their college major and future career, writing and graphic design have long been and remain a powerful outlet for their creativity and dedication to social change. With the goal of making informative and transformative digital content, Jay hopes to follow in the footsteps of radical artists and organizers of the past and present.

Dr. Lucas P. Kelley received his PhD from the University of North Carolina in 2021 and is now an assistant professor of history at Valparaiso University. He is the author of several articles on Native history, the American Civil War, and the nineteenth-century U.S. South. His investigation into UNC’s benefit form Native dispossession emerged from his current project, tentatively entitled “‘It is Right to Mark Our Boundaries on the Map’: Native Sovereignty and American Empire in the Tennessee and Cumberland Valleys, 1770-1820.” This work would not have been possible without the guidance of archivists in UNC’s Southern Historical Collection and University Archives. Garrett Wright also contributed to this project, and Adrienne Hall created a digital visualization of UNC’s land claims.

Jennifer Gunter King serves as the Director of the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library at Emory University. King has previously served as Director of the Harold F. Johnson Library and Knowledge Commons at Hampshire College, from 2012-2018, and as Director of Archives and Special Collections at Mount Holyoke College from 2004-2012. King is active in the Society of American Archivists, Association of College and Research Libraries and New England Archivists. She serves as co-chair of the Society of American Archivists Committee on Research, Data, and Assessment. Her interests include adapting libraries and special collections to 21st century challenges and opportunities and advancing the accessibility of archival resources and digital strategies that elevate access to art, archives, and object-based collections. King holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and a Master of Art’s degree in history, and a Master of Library Science degree from the University of Maryland. 

Dr. Beverly Guy-Sheftall has published a number of texts within African American and Women’s Studies which include the first anthology on Black women’s literature, Sturdy Black Bridges: Visions of Black Women in Literature (Doubleday, 1979), which she co-edited with Roseann P. Bell and Bettye Parker Smith; her dissertation, "Daughters of Sorrow: Attitudes Toward Black Women, 1880-1920" (Carlson, 1991); Words of Fire: An Anthology of African American Feminist Thought (New Press, 1995); an anthology she coedited with Rudolph P. Byrd entitled Traps: African American Men on Gender and Sexuality (Indiana University Press, 2001).  

Guy-Sheftall is the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards, among them a National Kellogg Fellowship; a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship for dissertations in Women’s Studies; and Spelman’s Presidential Faculty Award for outstanding scholarship. She has been involved with the national women’s studies movement since its inception and provided leadership for the establishment of the first women’s studies major at a historically Black college. Beyond the academy, she has been involved in a number of advocacy organizations which include the National Black Women’s Health Project, the National Council for Research on Women, and the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, on whose boards she has served.  In her role as Director of Spelman’s Women’s Center, she has also been involved with the development of student activism around misogynist images of Black women in hip hop as well as a broad range of social justice issues, including reproductive rights and violence against women. She teaches women’s studies courses, including feminist theory and global Black feminisms. 

Farina King, a citizen of the Navajo Nation, is Associate Professor of History and affiliated faculty of Cherokee and Indigenous Studies at Northeastern State University, Tahlequah, Oklahoma. She is also the director and founder of the NSU Center for Indigenous Community Engagement. She received her Ph.D. at Arizona State University in U.S. History, and she received her MA in African History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is a Native American alumna of Brigham Young University since she studied there for an undergraduate degree. King specializes in Native American and Indigenous Studies, especially American Indian boarding school experiences. She is the author of The Earth Memory Compass: Diné Landscapes and Education in the Twentieth Century, and co-author with Michael P. Taylor and James R. Swensen of Returning Home: Diné Creative Works from the Intermountain Indian School (November 2021). Dr. King is a member of the BYU Slavery Project Advisory Board. 

Aïsha Lehmann is currently an undergraduate student at Brigham Young University majoring in Art with minors in Sociology and Africana Studies. She has assisted in quantitative research on the residential mobility of mixed-race couples, archival research on the racial rhetoric of Christian missionaries in the Pacific Islands, and qualitative research examining the experiences of students in Brigham Young University’s Civil Rights Seminar. She has conducted her own research for the BYU Slavery Project reviewing the school’s original race related curricula. Her work has received awards such as the David M. Kennedy Center Research Fellowship Award, the Africana Studies Student Research Symposium Creative Works Award, and the Ballard Center for Economic Self-Reliance Y-Prize Problem Mastery Competition. She also created the logo for the BYU Slavery Project. 

Analú María López (Guachichil/Xi’úi), is a Librarian, Archivist, and Photographer born and raised on the Southwest side of Chicago in the neighborhood of Little Village, where she still resides. Interested in Indigenous language preservation, revitalization, and education along with underrepresented Indigenous narratives dealing with identity, language, and decolonization, she writes and creates photographic-based projects exploring these topics. She holds a Master of Library and Information Sciences with a certificate in Archives and Cultural Heritage Resources and Services from Dominican University and a Bachelor of Arts in Photography with a minor in Latin-American Studies from Columbia College Chicago. Currently, she co-teaches a beginners Nahuatl language class and works at the Newberry Library of Chicago as the Ayer Indigenous Studies Librarian. 

Tiffanie Mackey, also known as Tiffanie Lanelle, is a seminarian, social and criminal justice advocate, writer, entrepreneur, creative, and budding Womanist ethicist. She is the host of Tiffanie Talks, a show and podcast that discusses Womanist intersectionality, spirituality, and politics. As a graduate of Spelman College, she's passionate about the growth and development of black women, the black community, persons of color, and disenfranchised communities. When she is not advocating or creating, she is teaching the principles of spirituality versus religion. These teaching moments occur in the forms of pulpit proclamation, in class, workshops, or random conversations. Tiffanie’s soul work involves the promotion and support of each black, brown, and disenfranchised individual and community. She is committed to the fight for them until her last breath. She has a keeps hold of her vision for others becoming their best self, alone and with others, and cultivating equitable and just communities. 

Matthew Mason is a professor of history at BYU. He received his PhD in history from the University of Maryland in 2002, and started at BYU in fall 2003 after a year at Eastern Michigan University. He teaches a variety of courses on the history of slavery, early America, and Britain. He has published articles in a variety of journals of national and international reach. He has written two monographs: Slavery and Politics in the Early American Republic (2006); and Apostle of Union: A Political Biography of Edward Everett (2016). He has co-edited books including John Quincy Adams and the Politics of Slavery: Selections from the Diary (2017); and Contesting Slavery: The Politics of Bondage and Freedom in the New American Nation (2008).  His current research is a study of the Anglo-American politics of slavery in the 18th and 19th centuries.  He is a member of the steering committee for the BYU Slavery Project and has team-taught the related class twice with Dr. Christopher Jones. 

Lindsey Meza is an undergraduate student at Brigham Young University. She is currently majoring in History and minoring in Spanish and Latin American Studies. This past summer, Lindsey had the incredible opportunity to work for the BYU Slavery Project, which further taught her the complexities of analyzing history. She plans to pursue graduate study in History and hopes to someday work at the recently announced National Museum of the American Latino. 

The work of artist-activist Charmaine Minniefield preserves Black narratives as a radical act of social justice. Firmly rooted in womanist social theory and ancestral veneration, her work draws from indigenous traditions as seen throughout Africa and the Diaspora, to explore African and African-American history, memory, and ritual as an intentional push back against erasure. Her creative practice is community-based as her research and resulting bodies of work often draw from the physical archives as she excavates the stories of African-American women-led resistance and spirituality and power.

Minniefield’s Remembrance as Resistance: Preserving Black Narratives in Atlanta’s historic Oakland Cemetery honored the over 800 unmarked graves recently discovered within the African American Burial Grounds through the multimedia installation of a Praise House. Her Praise House Project went on to receive a prestigious Our Town grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Minniefield’s work is featured in a number of public and private collections, and as a muralist, her walls can be seen throughout the City of Atlanta and beyond. She was honored by Mercedes Benz as a part of their Greatness Lives Here campaign. She is featured in the 2020 US Census commercial with her recent mural in Brooklyn depicting women who shaped the future. Minniefield recently served as the Stuart A. Rose Library artist-in-residence at Emory through a collaboration with Flux Projects and as the curator of Elevate for the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. She currently resides between Atlanta and The Gambia, where she continues to study the origins of her cultural identity and indigenous traditions by tracing ancestral memories and evidence of the Ring Shout.

Mr. Billy Rice, MPA, MDP, is a Coquille Tribal Member who has devoted his career to economic development and implementing sustainability initiatives. He received his master’s degree in Development Practice at Emory University Langley Graduate School, as well as a master’s degree in Public Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology at University of Georgia.

Mr. Rice leads ALPLA Inc.’s sustainability efforts across 16 plants in North America. With focus on reducing scope 1-3 emissions, his efforts align with the company’s global pledge to increase sustainable practices and influence customer decisions for the more conscious buyer. His implementation of strategy includes innovative operational processes, cultivating company culture while increasing value for stakeholders and advocating for honest change within the packaging industry.  He previously led the strategy and implementation of sustainability programs in collaboration with key stakeholders for Pembina Pipeline Corporation.  Mr. Rice worked to ensure that Tribal nations were economically included in the largest investment in infrastructure ever seen in southwestern Oregon from a private enterprise. He ensured that the supply chain process in the US included international best practices promoted by the United Nations System of Organizations in a manner such that the US context, with its geopolitical and social realities, was accounted for. Thus, leading to a procurement process that will help foster a variety of Tribal business opportunities to generate an increase in revenue for Tribal governments allowing Tribes to exercise greater sovereignty.

Mr. Rice has also previously worked in Liberia and China for the Carter Center and the Tibetan Village Project, respectively. While at both organizations he committed himself to social sustainability projects. At the Carter Center he worked to ensure that Tribal communities had access to justice in a post-conflict society. At the Tibetan Village Project, he focused his efforts promoting sustainable business models for Tibetan businesses to successfully compete in a market-based economy.

Mr. Rice has worked as a secretary and treasurer on the board for both the Coquille Economic Development Corporation and the Mith-ih-Kwuh Economic Development Corporation to increase revenue for Tribal government programs. Previously Mr. Rice served as a board member implementing Tribal programs on the Advisory Health Board and Fish and Wildlife Committee.

Koan Roy-Meighoo is a first-year undergraduate student at Emory University, student leader for the Beacon Hill Black Alliance for Human Rights, and founding member of City Schools of Decatur’s Student Coalition for Equity. As part of Beacon Hill’s Decolonizing Decatur Committee, Koan has advocated for the removal of white supremacist artifacts and monuments from Decatur and was an early organizer for the Art for the People Project, a public art initiative designed to empower artists of color and educate the community about the importance of decolonization. As a leader in the Student Coalition for Equity, he has designed a three-year program called Justice, Action, Diversity and Equity (JADE) to be instituted at the middle school which will address current curricular failures in Georgia, teach students how to be activists in their communities, and help them develop ideological frameworks for their activism. 

Rebecca de Schweinitz is an Associate Professor of History at BYU where her specialty classes include African American History, U.S. Women’s History, and an interdisciplinary Civil Rights Seminar. A graduate of the University of Virginia (PhD 2004), she has been a fellow at the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition, and is the author of If We Could Change the World: Young People and America’s Long Struggle for Racial Equality (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2009), as well as several articles and book chapters that explore youth in American history. Her current monograph research, which focuses on the movement to lower the voting age to eighteen, follows her interests in twentieth century youth political activism, changing notions of youth and youth rights, the long black freedom movement, and the expansion of American democracy. Her most recent publication, “‘Loving Hearts’ and ‘Brave Ones’:  Slavery, Family, and the Problem of Freedom in Antebellum America,” appeared in Slavery and Abolition: A Journal of Slave and Post-Slave Studies vol. 41, no. 3, (Fall 2020): 479-504. She is a member of the steering committee for the BYU Slavery Project. 

Grace Soelberg is a recent Honors Graduate from Brigham Young University. She majored in History with an emphasis on 20th Century U.S. History with minors in Africana Studies and Sociology. She was one of the first students to work with the BYU Slavery Project and through her research discovered the identity of BYU’s first Black graduate, Dr. Norman Wilson. Her honors thesis, Peculiar Students of a Peculiar Institution, examines the full run of The Banyan, BYU’s yearbook, and analyzes the ways in which white students otherized and peculiarized students of color as well as how they presented and defended their own white identities. She is currently applying to graduate programs in U.S. History.

With over a decade in environmental, climate, and social justice non-profit work, Eriqah R. K. Vincent self identifies as an EcoWomanist, committed to the intersectional fight for climate justice through her spiritual and moral connection to creation, black women, and people of the African Diaspora globally. Currently, Eriqah serves as the Network Engagement Director for the Power Shift Network, a decentralized network of 90+ organizations that mobilizes the collective power of young people to mitigate climate change and create a just, clean energy future and resilient, thriving communities for all. A proud native of Newark, NJ, Eriqah R. K. Vincent is a 2010 departmental honors graduate of Spelman College with a bachelor’s degree in Comparative Women’s Studies. Eriqah’s personal and professional passion is to provide resources and in-depth leadership development to communities of color including, but not limited to, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, like her beloved alma mater. "An EcoWomanist way of being is rooted in commitments of social justice and human rights, as well as earthling rights to belong to the Earth community" - Rev. Dr. Melanie Harris 

Dr. Kimberly Wallace-Sanders is an Associate Professor of American and African American Studies in the department of African American Studies. Professor Wallace-Sanders’s edited volume Skin Deep. Spirit Strong: Critical Essays on the Black Female Body in American Culture (University of Michigan Press, 2002) was the first academic volume nominated for an NAACP Image Award in Literature.

Professor Wallace-Sanders is currently completing a book called “Framing Shadows: Portraits of Black Women with White Children.” It will be the largest collection of portrait photographs of its kind. As the natural sequence to her book Mammy: A Century of Race, Gender and Southern Memory (University of Michigan Press, 2007), this new book project represents a shift in her scholarly interests from the cultural representations of “the mammy” as a character to the African American women whose daily lives were focused on caring for white children.  

Wallace-Sanders is a recipient of the 2021-2022 Emory University Research Council Fellowship. She was selected to as a 2021 NEH Selected Summer Institute Faculty Participant: “Visual Culture, The Civil War and its Aftermath” and was a finalist for the 2021 HistoryMakers Innovations in Pedagogy and Teaching Fellowship.”

Wallace-Sanders first curated exhibition, “Framing Shadows: Portraits of African American Nannies with White children from the Robert Langmuir African American Photograph Collection”, (2019) was selected to become Emory University Inaugural Online Exhibition and won the 2021 Southeastern Museums Conference Silver Medal for Academic Exhibitions. https://exhibits.libraries.emory.edu/framing-shadows/ 

Dr. James R. Welch is Associate Researcher of human ecology and public health at the National School of Public Health, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Research Fellow at the Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq). From 2011 to 2018 he served as co-editor of Ethnobiology Letters, a journal of the Society of Ethnobiology. His primary research focuses on Indigenous A’uwẽ (Xavante) communities in Central Brazil, addressing such topics as social organization, health and wellbeing, fire ecology, environmental knowledge, territorial rights, and digital sovereignty. He authored and organized books including “Fire Otherwise: Ethnobiology of Burning for a Changing World” (University of Utah Press, 2017), “Antropologia e História Xavante em Perspectiva (Museu do Índio, 2014), “Na Primeira Margem do Rio: Território e Ecologia Humana do Povo Xavante de Wedezé (Museu do Índio, 2013), and “Sprouting Valley: Historical Ethnobotany of the Northern Pomo from Potter Valley, California (Society of Ethnobiology, 2013). His most recent book entitled “A’uwẽ Life Cycles: Age Organization, Environment, and Well-being” is currently under review by the University of Arizona Press.

Vonnetta L. West is the principal owner of Go West Consulting LLC, which facilitates experiences and produces content, inclusive of social media, podcast, website, training, and speech content, purposed to connect, transform and engage people for good. Vonnetta leads Go West Consulting in providing trainings Creating Cultures of HonorEradicating RacismThe Bias ChallengeLeadership That GrowsSalvation vs. CommunityThe Language of the Beloved Community, Your Justice Footprint: Evidence of Love In Action, and other sessions aimed at building and sustaining community, including in professional spaces. She is the host of the Let Your Life Be Your Sermon podcast, pastor of Our Neighbor's House, and Senior Nonviolence Instructor for The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change (The King Center). Vonnetta is also a leader with The National Center for Civil and Human Rights’ Interfaith Response to White Supremacy. She is an educator who helped found a computer and professionalism school in Liberia, West Africa, where she resided for two years. Under her leadership, Our Neighbor’s House is building an Educational Center in Liberia, West Africa. 

Louise Wheeler is a clinical psychologist, assistant director of diversity and inclusion, and clinical assistant professor at the Brigham Young University Counseling and Psychological Services. She also has a joint appointment with the Counseling and Special Education department. Dr. Wheeler is originally from France and graduated with a Bachelor Degree in Psychology from the Université de Provence in 2008. She then received her Ph.D in Clinical Psychology from Brigham Young University in 2017. Clinically, Dr. Wheeler works with college students who experience various emotional and behavioral concerns. She specializes in race-related stress and sexual trauma. Academically, her work is centered around social justice issues. She currently teaches course about multicultural counseling and clinical practice to graduate students. ). Dr. Wheeler is a member of the BYU Slavery Project Advisory Board. 

Ricky White, Niigonanakud, is Anishinabe from Whitefish Bay First Nations in Ontario, Canada. He is Pizhew or Lynx Clan and a lifetime member of the renowned drum group, the Whitefish Bay Singers. As a result of growing up on an isolated reservation, Ricky retained deep knowledge of the Anishinaabe language and culture and those teachings continue to guide his spirit and work today.

Over the last 22 years, Ricky has served as an Ojibwe Language and Culture Teacher, Assistant Principal, Principal, Executive Director of Education, and Superintendent of Schools. He was exposed to world class professional development, especially in the area of school improvement, school climate, and reaching students with whom our school systems struggle. Ricky has shifted his professional career to generously sharing the blueprints of best practices for student success and working to help turnaround schools, programs and communities. He started a consulting company fittingly called “First Nations Consultants ” and is now sharing his strategies all over Canada and the United States to inspire and unite his methods and messages for enhancing education.

Ricky’s accomplishments go far beyond schools and classrooms. He was recognized as the next leader of the Anishinabe Nation of Treaty #3 (1989), Minnesota Indian Education Teacher of the Year (2001), Minnesota Indian Education Administrator of the Year (2013), and is now a sought after emcee for pow- wows, gatherings, conferences, keynote addresses, radio, television, and other public speaking engagements.

Dr. Craig Steven Wilder, the Barton L. Weller Professor of History at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is a historian of American institutions and ideas. Professor Wilder’s most recent book is Ebony & Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities.