Thursday, June 18
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7PM - 10PM ET
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Pi-Isis S. Ankhra, founder and president of P.S. 314, Inc., brings over 20 years of experience developing strategic initiatives targeted at leveraging private and public investments. She has secured over $150 million for a diverse range of community-based and major institutions, specifically within the fields of arts, education, social justice, and advocacy. Ankhra has partnered with the Ford Foundation, Democratic National Committee, and the NAACP, on planning, fundraising, and event production.
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Charles M. Blow an Op-Ed columnist at The New York Times where is His column appears on Thursdays and Mondays. Mr. Blow is the author of the critically acclaimed, New York Times bestselling memoir “Fire Shut Up in My Bones.” The book won a Lambda Literary Award and the Sperber Prize and made multiple prominent lists of best books published in 2014.
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Visionary. Civil rights activist. Community organizer. Dr. Jamal- Harrison Bryant combines sound Biblical teaching, business acumen and political insight to propel the Body of Christ to action and greater levels of faith. Dr. Bryant has prevailed against the odds – rising from G.E.D to Ph.D. Prior to pastoring, he served as the national youth and college director of the NAACP for six years, where he helped to mobilize over 70,000 youth worldwide in non-violent campaigns.
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With a Psychology degree and Master's degree in Education, Atoya built a career as a business woman, coach, model, motivational speaker, and activist. She currently hosts the successful podcast called inSIDELINES, that discusses football from her perspective as a wife, mother, and fan after eleven years inside the NFL. She is currently working on political activism, wellness, coaching, mentoring children and making a difference in the community.
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Nate Burleson had an 11yr NFL career. He retired in 2014 and is now host of Good Morning Football on the NFL Network, NFL Today on CBS & Extra. Nate has owned a restaurant, launched 3 clothing lines and also helps young players transition out of the game.
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Kenny Burns is an entrepreneur, producer, trendsetter, author, brand development, marketer, mentor, motivational speaker and most of all loving father and husband, earning and creating the title “The Lifestyle Specialist”. Kenny Burns’ 20 plus year career started as a party promoter and has since organically woven across the entertainment, music, fashion, spirits, radio, television, and marketing industries.
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Dr. Michelle Callahan is a Psychologist, TV personality and the author of the bestselling book Ms. Typed: Stop Sabotaging Your Relationships and Find Dating Success. She hosted the TV show “Wedlock or Deadlock“ and she is a regular guest on Good Morning America and the Today Show. As a consultant to Fortune 500 companies, Dr. Michelle provides training and leadership development coaching to CEOs and business leaders.
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Affion Crockett is one of the most versatile entertainers around, an accomplished actor, writer, dancer, rapper, comedian, music producer, and director – his YouTube videos have become an internet sensation. Affion began his career as a dancer at age 10, winning breaking and popping contests with his older brother. Later, he honed his impression skills by imitating anyone from his mother’s West Indian dialect or his schoolteacher’s southern drawl to the Scarface’s choppy Cuban accent.
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Derrick “D-Nice” Jones, with a multi-decade music career that has taken him from the Apollo to Singapore, and seemingly everywhere in-between, can proudly say he’s earned it.
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Ebro Darden is Apple Music’s Global Editorial Head of Hip Hop and R&B and a daily host on Apple Music’s Beats 1 global radio station. A cultural authority and arbiter of taste in the Hip Hop and R&B community, Darden has been instrumental in bringing up authentic conversation around music and spotlighting some of the largest artists on the globe.
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Dr. Arthur Evans is CEO of the American Psychological Association, the leading scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the U.S. He previously served in public policy positions in Philadelphia and Connecticut and has held faculty appointments at Yale University’s and the University of Pennsylvania’s Schools of Medicine. His career has centered around equity and social justice, and his work has been nationally and internationally recognized, including multiple awards named for Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
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Internationally known on the microphone as the “World’s Greatest Entertainer,” Doug E. Fresh is the Creator of the Human Beatbox. His song, “La Di Da Di,” a duet with fellow hip-hop icon Slick Rick, is one of the top five most sampled songs in music history. On and off the road, Fresh is a lifelong activist, with a proven commitment to using his talents and resources to unite and inspire social justice.
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When Kyren Gibson, a former hustler from rural North Carolina, became a father he knew that he wanted to build generational wealth. He went viral posting various videos on social media showcasing his young son’s in-depth financial literacy. Igniting a conversation on teaching the African American community to build legacies instead of debt. He realized the opportunity to empower his community was similar to how he creatively taught his son in creating "Kyren & Kyng", a financial education and motivational speaking company.
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Marc Lamont Hill is host of BET News and a Professor of Media Studies at Temple University. He is the author of the New York Times Bestseller "Nobody: Casualties of America's War on the Vulnerable, From Ferguson to Flint and Beyond.
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David J. Johns is known for his passion, public policy acumen and fierce advocacy for youth. He is an enthusiast about equity—leveraging his time, talent and treasures to address the needs of individuals and communities often neglected and ignored. A recognized thought leader and social justice champion, David’s career has focused on improving life outcomes and opportunities for Black people.
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Jeff Johnson is a social architect and storyteller committed to black men. Jeff has been on a journey to liberate himself from the trauma and character flaws that he believes contributed to periods of his own arrested development. Jeff is a journalist, producer, and TV host, as well as successfully running a strategic communications firm. From creating, producing, and hosting BET’s Mancave to launching the Men Thrive community, he is intentionally curating experiences for black men.
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Van Jones is the CEO of REFORM Alliance, and CNN host and political commentator. Jones has been a leader in the fight for criminal justice reform for more than 25 years. He has founded and led many thriving social enterprises, including the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Color of Change, and the Dream Corps – a social justice accelerator that houses #YesWeCode, #GreenForAll, and #cut50, which recently led the charge to pass the FIRST STEP Act.
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Sekou Kaalund is Head of Advancing Black Pathways, a JPMorgan Chase program aimed at helping black people, families and businesses share fully in economic growth. Prior to this role, Kaalund served for 11 years in JPMorgan's Corporate and Investment Bank in numerous leadership positions—including as Head of U.S. Pension Fund Coverage and as a senior relationship manager for some of the firm’s largest clients.
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In 1969, Edward Lewis co-founded Essence magazine and went on to serve as CEO and publisher of Essence Communications, Inc. for three decades. In the 1980s and 1990s, Lewis expanded Essence Communications to include a weekly television show, fashion line and mail order catalogue, as well as an annual awards show and Essence music festival. He also served on President Barack Obama’s Board of Advisors for the Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
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Tamika D. Mallory is a 39 year old mother to her young-adult son and a nationally recognized activist who is well known as the Co-Founder of Until Freedom, and one of four co-chairs for the 2017 Women’s March on Washington. President of Mallory Consulting, a strategic planning firm and a former board member of The Gathering for Justice, Tamika has landed on the 2017 Time 100 Pioneers list and Fortune’s 2017 list of the World’s Greatest Leaders. She is a prominent voice of civil rights, social justice and the new wave of feminism.
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Avery Mitchell has been an active member of (ATAB) the Anti-Terrorism Accreditation Board since 2004 and holds the designations of “CMAS” Certified Master Anti-Terrorism Specialist, “CMEPS” Certified Master Executive Protection Specialist” and "CHEPS" Certified Health Emergency Preparedness Specialist. Avery has been in the martial arts for 42 years and is the Founder of Urban Survival Sciences™️ Combative System. Avery has extensive experience teaching, training and working internationally in forty-five (45) countries.
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Leon is currently starring in the national tour of the hit play “SET It Off” as well as Showtime’s “City On The Hill”. In 2019 Leon starred in “Her Only Choice” movie, an International Press Academy nominee for Best Movie Made for TV. Leon also co-starred and executive produced the international TV series “40 & Single” Leon is a star of the ESSENCE Studios upcoming series “A Luv Tale” and a reoccurring role on CBS’ “Blue Bloods.”
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On April 19, 1989, a young woman was brutally attacked and raped in Central Park. When she recovered, she had no memory of the assault. Five boys, including Raymond Santana, were tried and convicted of the crime. They became known collectively as “The Central Park Five.” On December 19, 2002, the convictions of the five men were overturned. Santana had spent five years in prison for a crime he did not commit.
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Four-time Emmy Award winning news correspondent Mara Schiavocampo is the Senior Investigative Correspondent for TheDr. Oz Show, covering everything from health and wellness issues, to the big crime and news stories of the day. Mara is also the host of The Trend Reporter podcast and YouTube Channel. Mara has worked as Correspondent for Good Morning America and The Today Show, and appeared on The View, The Chew, The Oprah Winfrey Show and more.
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Antjuan has led extensive grassroots and strategic efforts for political clients at every level. He has advised campaigns for Governors, Senate, Congress, State Legislature and down ballot races. He advised the 2008 & 2016 Presidential Campaigns for Hillary Clinton and the DSCC in 2016. He is currently a Senior Advisor to the DCCC & DNC.Additionally, he manages corporate, non-profit, governmental, and sports marketing clients. Antjuan is a Buzz Feed News, The Hill.com opinion writer and a CBS News political contributor.
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Bakari Sellers made history in 2006 when, at just 22 years old, he defeated a 26-year incumbent State Representative to become the youngest member of the South Carolina state legislature and the youngest African American elected official in the nation. In 2010 he was named to TIME’s “40 Under 40” list. In 2014 and 2015 he was named to The Root’s 100 “Most Influential African Americans” list. Sellers practices law with the Strom Law Firm, LLC in Columbia, SC and is a Political Commentator at CNN.
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Shaka Senghor is the President of Shaka Senghor, Inc. and the Founder of Redeemed Sole. His memoir, Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death and Redemption in an American Prison, debuted on The New York Times Best Seller List. Today, his priority is shifting societal narratives through storytelling. Shaka builds and executes global strategies, develops thought focused leadership and cultural campaigns as a consultant for businesses and non-profit organizations internationally.
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Janell Snowden is an award-winning TV journalist, producer, and writer. Through her work with VH1, CNN, BET, HLN, CBS, and NBC, she has reported internationally on current events, provided pop culture commentary, and covered monumental news stories including the 9/11 tragedies, presidential elections, and the deaths of entertainment icons. A red carpet veteran, she has hosted live pre-shows for premiere awards programs like the Oscars, Grammys, and Black Girls Rock!.
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Extremely talented and hilarious, this quick-witted funnyman has a resume spanning over 30 years since his start in the business at six years old. Today, his resume ranges across several sectors of the industry – acting, writing, producing, directing and stand-up. With more than thirty television commercials, nine feature films, numerous television show appearances, a published book and nationwide comedy tours under his belt, Spencer is truly at the top of the entertainment game.
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Tank is a multi-Grammy-nominated platinum-selling singer, songwriter, producer, and actor whose career spans more than 20 years. He’s produced several hit albums including the most recent SAVAGEand Elevation on his label R&B Money. His TV and film credits include HBO’s Togetherness, VH-1’s Hit The Floor, Bounce TV’s Saints & Sinners, TVOne’s Born Again Virgin, BET’s Mancave,and hit movies The New Edition Story and The Bobby Brown Story.
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Prior to founding Walker & Company, he was an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Andreessen Horowitz and Director of Business Development for foursquare. In 2019, he was named one of Fortune Magazine’s 50 “World’s Greatest Leaders.” Tristan holds a B.S. in economics from Stony Brook University and an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. He currently lives with his wife and two sons in Atlanta, Georgia.
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Caroline A. Wanga is currently the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer and Vice President of Human Resources at the Target Corporation. She was recently announced as the Chief Growth Officer at Essence Ventures, the independent Black-owned consumer technology company focused on merging content, community and commerce to meet the evolving cultural and lifestyle needs of people of color, effective June 29.
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A three-time Emmy nominee, Dondré Whitfield’s career has spanned over a quarter century and has seen him work with such industry heavyweights as John Travolta, Helen Mirren, David Oyelowo, Michael B. Jordan and Kevin Hart to name a few. A series regular on the Ava DuVernay series QUEEN SUGAR playing Remy Newell, a role which earned a nomination for a 2018 NAACP Award. Dondré also recently starred in the hit BET comedy series “Real Husbands of Hollywood”.
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Fanon Che Wilkins hails from Los Angeles, California. He is currently Associate Professor of History and American Studies in the Graduate School Global Studies at Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan. A graduate of Morehouse College (1991), Wilkins holds a Masters degree in history from Syracuse University (1995) and a Ph.D in history from New York University (2001). Wilkins is the father of two, an avid outdoor adventurist and a backcountry snowboarder.
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will.i.am is a multi-faceted global entertainer, producer, creative innovator, who has won seven Grammy Awards, an Emmy and a CLIO Award. Leveraging his success in the music industry as the frontman for Black Eyed Peas, will.i.am is also a philanthropist who supports equal access to quality public education that prepares students to attend college. His i.am.angel Foundation funds STEAM education tutoring and magnet school programs for students K-12.
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Earlonne Woods was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles. In 1997, he was sentenced to 31years-to-life in prison. While incarcerated, he received his GED, attended Coastline Community College and completed many vocational trade programs. In November 2018, California Governor Jerry Brown commuted Earlonne’s sentence after 21 years of incarceration. Upon his release Earlonne was hired by PRX as a full-time producer for Ear Hustle, contributing stories about re-entry.
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The Reverend Al Sharpton is an internationally renowned civil rights leader, and founder and President of the National Action Network (NAN), which has more than 100 chapters across the country. Hailed by former President Barack Obama as a “champion for the downtrodden,” Reverend Sharpton is the host of “Politics Nation” on MSNBC, a nationally syndicated daily radio show “Keepin’ It Real”, and a nationally broadcast radio show on Sunday titled, “The Hour of Power.”
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