Meet Our Presenters
Dean of Student Affairs
David’s experiences are primarily from working in various departments in Higher Education/Student Affairs for the past 15 years. Those departments have included Multicultural Affairs, Fraternity/Sorority Life, Residence Life, Student Life and recently the Dean of Student Affairs office where he oversees Accessibility Resources. David is thrilled to be working at Tulsa Community College for the past five years, is trained in Change Management and has presented on the topic numerous times.
DR. CATHY BANKSTON
Dr. Cathy Bankston, a Star Wars enthusiast and dark-chocolate connoisseur, has been teaching various English courses for over 25 years. She has a Ph.D. in Curriculum Studies from OSU and is currently working on a second master's degree in Rhetoric and Composition from Bowling Green State University. Her research interests include prison education, composition pedagogies, and nonviolence in education. She is currently exploring the role service learning can play in the developmental classroom.
Dr. Cathy Bankston and Kayla Harding have presented on literacy capital and code-switching at Tulsa Community College’s Professional Development Day and at the state conference for the Oklahoma Association for Developmental Education.
Lamar K. Cheston was born on September 25th in Brooklyn, New York to loving parents. At a young age he had an affinity for performing. Singing in church choirs and dancing with local teams as a youth in New York City, Lamar found several different ways of expressing his zeal for artistry. It would not be long before his talent was recognized on a more grand scale.
The year 2000 was a very important year in Lamar's artistic development. While attending the Police Athletic League (PAL) summer camp, Lamar was cast in his first play, The Wiz, by his mentor Brian Hawthorne. This experience opened up several doors, as he would then begin studying under Caroyn Devore at Devore Dance Center in Queens, New York. This array of classes and technique made him a very versatile dancer.
Lamar continued to pursue his dream of performing, and in 2003, alongside a group of young talented artists donned the "PAL Players," he was cast in his first lead role as "Othello" in William Shakespeare's, Othello. This particular adaptation, which included music and dance, made his passion for theatre grow exponentially. The momentum from this production propelled Lamar into his next leading role, and as a high school senior he was cast in his first ever musical as "Tony" in West Side Story. It was apparent from the feedback received, that a professional career was on the horizon.
Thankfully, Lamar was accepted into Hofstra University. He actively pursued artistic endeavors while taking up Accounting as a major: this was very short lived. After a few years in the Accounting program, it was apparent to him that this area of expertise was not fulfilling, which prompted him to change his major to Drama. Upon doing so, Lamar was given the opportunity, to be seen in The Great White Hope, A Raisin in the Sun, Macbeth, and various other plays and student films.
Life after Hofstra has been good to Lamar, and blessings continue to come his way. He was a part of the national gospel sensation "Judacamp," under the direction of Jules Bartholomew, traveled both nationally and internationally with the brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha, Fraternity, Inc. and his step team (New York City A-team). His acting resume ranges from multiple regional theatre exploits, to numerous roles on television, and in 2019 he booked his first major motion picture, "The Untitled Fred Hampton Project."
Lamar uses all forms of art to express his creativity, and believes no matter what your passion is, always be sure to #mAxximizeyouRpoTential.
MIGUEL DA CORTE
Project Coordinator for Academic Affairs
Miguel Da Corte grew up in a bilingual, Spanish-Portuguese, multicultural environment that respected and embraced the differences that exist among people. Early on in his life, he developed an appreciation for people from different ethnicities, racial backgrounds, and cultures. This appreciation became stronger twelve years ago when the United States welcomed him as a political refugee.
For the past ten years, he has furthered his education and professional experience by serving as an advocate for traditional and non-traditional college students who possess different learning and social functioning levels. In his roles as Academic Counselor, Assistant Director of Academic Advising, Part-time Spanish Instructor, and most recently as a Project Coordinator for Academic Affairs, his motto has always been to serve, equip, and empower.
Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of Tulsa
He is the retired Tulsa Chief of Police. Prior to joining TPD he was an employee of the FBI until entering the Army becoming a CID Agent. After retiring from TPD he became Director of Training for the Police Executive Research Forum following that an Administrator with Union Public Schools. He is a graduate of NSU, the FBI National Academy and the FBI National Executive Institute.
Andrew Drake is a world-traveled actor currently residing in New York City. Growing up in places such as Brussels, Chicago, Germany, Fayetteville, Miami, Baltimore and Alabama, Drew has learned to adapt to various cultures and constant change. His love for theatre and acting began in college during his time at Elizabeth City State University (an HBCU in eastern NC), and this passion eventually led him to transfer to Western Carolina University to receive his BFA in Theatre. During his time in undergrad, Drew worked in many professional and regional theatres along the east coast and, in spring 2013, Drew was awarded a full ride scholarship and fellowship to become a MFA candidate focusing on Theatre performance at the University of Tennessee.
During his time at Western Carolina University, Drew became heavily interested in creative writing and especially poetry. “I believed that poetry gave me the outlet to voice an opinion and perspective that was different from the perspective I have been forced to play on stage and film”, he said. Since graduating from Western Carolina University (2012), he has performed original poetry in many venues throughout the US. Drew competed in both National and Regional Poetry Slams, including Louisville SoulSpit (finalist), Asheville Battle for I-40 (2nd place), Nuyorican Poets Café (semifinalist), Bowery Poetry Slam, Greenville 2014 Poetic Expression (3rd place) and the Southern Fried Poetry Slam multiple times. He is an avid community writer and facilitator, creating and leading theatre programs and writing workshops for young people across race and class. In the summer of 2016, Drew was a core creator and facilitator in the Greater Partnership of Knoxville and Knox County Schools' joint project entitled “Shakespeare in Shades”, a program that uses Poetry and Theatre to increase reading and writing skills of underprivileged youth. Drew’s recent project “The Soulfood Sessions: A Poetry Mixtape” is his first collection of work that addresses issues varying from veteran rights, the impact of capitalism and racism on college athletics, inherent fears, faith, and the ongoing journey of self-love.
Drew Drake is now an MFA Acting Graduate of University of Tennessee (Spring '16) last seen in Folger Shakespeare Theatre's production of "The Winters Tale", River and Rail Theatre's production of "The Unusual Tale of Mary And Joseph's Baby", Drama Garden's production of "Brother, Mine" as well as SkyTechOne's Independent Feature Film "The Adventures of Cheap Chad". Clarence Brown Theatre's credits include Titus Andronicus and South Pacific. He is currently working on a new collection of poetry entitled A Black Man's Cacophony set to be published this Fall
MOISES ECHEVARRIA, MHR
President & CEO of the Oklahoma Center for Community & Justice
Moises Echeverria serves as President and CEO of the Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice. He has served as a consultant for organizations committed to improve their diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. Moises is passionate about inclusion of diversity, equity, and giving back to the community. He serves in the Oklahoma Advisory Commission of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Tulsa City-County Library Commission as a Mayoral appointee, in the Tulsa Public School Superintendent Community Advisory Committee, and in the Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Society.
Moises obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Oklahoma State University and a Master’s Degree in Human Relations from The University of Oklahoma.
RON GRAHAM SR.
Ronald Graham Sr. was born in Okmulgee, OK. He graduated from Okmulgee High School, and attended Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College in Miami, OK, and Langston University. He’s a member of First Baptist Church of Hicks Addition in Spencer, OK. Mr. Graham currently serves as Genealogy Chair for the Descendants of Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes Association, and Vice President for the Black Genealogy Research Group of Oklahoma. Also, he was the former President of the Muscogee Creek Indian Freedmen Band and President for the NAACP in Okmulgee, OK. As well as being fully engaged with the genealogy and history of the descendants of Freedmen in Indian Territory/Oklahoma for over 36 years. Mvto.
Board Member - 1866 Creek Freedmen
Rhonda received her education in the Oklahoma City public school system, a graduate of Douglass High school. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Central Oklahoma in 1991.
In her professional career, Rhonda manages a large department for a Fortune 100 corporation where she has been employed for the past twenty years in the Oklahoma City market.
She enjoys family research and is passionate about the history and plight of the African Indian people. Because of the influence of her grandfather, Mitchell Grayson, Rhonda has always been keenly aware of her African Creek and Chickasaw ancestry. Her grandfather spoke often of his grandmother, Adeline Boxley-Grayson, and the fact that she only spoke the Creek language and attended the Creek Indian Church.
Rhonda’s great grandmother, America Cohee, was an original allottee of Creek Nation, she received 160 acres of land; her roll number was 4661. In addition, her forefather, Peter Wolf, (also known as Peter Spencer), was a Loyal Creek refugee.
Little did Rhonda know that her casual family research would lead her to embark upon a long journey of advocating for the rights of African Creek people; a journey that would open doors for her to exercise the privilege of helping to serve and assist in preserving the history of the African Indian Freedmen.
Rhonda has chaired numerous Freedmen conferences and cultural events that have attracted academics, world-renowned scholars, anthropologist, and historians from across the globe. In 2013 Rhonda spearheaded the MCIFB’s traveling exhibit which has been exhibited at the Oklahoma Black Museum of Performing Arts Center and the Metro Library System.
Rhonda’s desire is that, in the very near future, the world will have access to educational programs that accurately reflect the history of African Indian people.
Family surnames: Grayson, Cohee, Williams, Thompson, Webster, Boxley, Simpson, Fowler, Bennett, Spencer/Wolf, Carolina, and Hawkins.
Associate Professor - Tulsa Community College
Kayla Gardner Harding, a North Tulsa native, has earned two baccalaureate degrees from Langston University and a Master of Education in Reading from Northeastern State University. She is a candidate for a Doctor of Education in Developmental Education Administration. She describes herself as a happiness ambassador and a teacher-scholar-activist. Her research interests include adult literacy, stigma and help-seeking, language acquisition, and cultural capital. She has taught at Tulsa Community College since 2003. Kayla is a Capricorn who enjoys short walks near the creek.
Kayla Harding and Dr. Cathy Bankston have presented on literacy capital and code-switching at Tulsa Community College’s Professional Development Day and at the state conference for the Oklahoma Association for Developmental Education.
Director of Intercultural Engagement
Karen has served in numerous leadership roles that have allowed her to work directly with the issues of race, poverty, homelessness and others. She currently serves at Tulsa Community College as Director of Intercultural Engagement and previously served at Louisiana Delta Community College, Monroe, Louisiana. Previous to her current role, Ms. Harmon served as Director of Military Student Support Services & Specialized Programs at the TCC Northeast Campus. Previous to that role, she served as Associate Dean of Liberal Arts & Communication at TCC’s West Campus. While working at Louisiana Delta Community College, Karen served as Dean of Liberal Arts & Humanities, and also as Associate Professor of English, for which she received the Faculty of the Year Award, and was honored by the State Senate of Education for her work in developing Louisiana’s first “Alternative High School Within a School,” serving several of the poorest communities in America, where she also served as Principal for six years. Most recently, she received the Professional Staff Excellence Award for TCC’s Northeast Campus.
DR. PAULINE HARRIS
Onboarding & Training Coordinator
Dr. Pauline Harris is the Tulsa Public Schools’ (TPS) Operations Onboarding and Training Facilitator, formerly the Human Rights & Title IX Coordinator and Principal owner for Administrative Consultants, LLC. Dr. Harris is a professor at Tulsa Community College, Southern Nazarene University-Tulsa, and Langston University-Oklahoma City campuses. Dr. Harris serves on many boards; Tulsa Arts and Humanities Council, John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation, North Tulsa Economic Development Initiative (NTEDi), and Martin Luther King Commemoration Society (MLK). Her current research includes capturing the oral history study on the generational stories surrounding Tulsa’s 1921 Race Massacre, Oklahoma’s State Negroes and the Natives-of-African descendant’s experience in Indian and Oklahoma Territory. Dr. Harris received her master’s and doctorate degrees from Oklahoma State University; and Bachelor’s is from Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kansas.
LISA IVERSEN, MSW, LCS
Director of the Center for Ancestral Blueprints
Lisa is the director of the Center for Ancestral Blueprints. She has been a psychotherapist since 1993 & Systemic Family Constellations facilitator for 21 years. Her work promoting consciousness regarding race and historic trauma includes the program, “Whiteness Is Not An Ancestor: An Embodied Dialogue with the Internalized Colonizer”. She is the author of the book, Ancestral Blueprints: Revealing Invisible Truths in America's Soul (2009) & lives in Washington state. This is her second time presenting at the JHF Symposium. “I’ve been looking forward to returning to this conference for eight years. The JHF Center for Reconciliation is so very inspiring.” www.ancestralblueprints.com
TIMOTHY JANAK & CARMEN WHITE JANAK
Mr. Janak - Attorney & Adjunct Professor
Mrs. Janak - Diversity Consultant, Speaker/Coach, & Ordained Minister
Tim is of Czech descent. He is an Attorney and Adjunct Professor in Government and Humanities Professor at Tulsa Community College. Tim was born and raised in a small town of less than 3,000 that contained a series of abandoned railroad tracks that served as the de facto dividing line between its black and white citizens.
Carmen is of African and Native American descent. She is a diversity consultant, speaker/coach, and ordained minister. She is certified as a trainer in Intercultural Competency. She is also an Army brat whose family experienced the challenges and successes of race within military settings.
Tim and Carmen have presented and facilitated classes and workshops pertaining to interracial marriage and relationships for over 25 years by encouraging open dialogue concerning complexities of interracial relationships and biracial individuals.
Carmen and Tim have been married for over 27 years and they have four children. Their oldest child is a graduate of Notre Dame Law School, their second child is a Donald D. Harrington PHD Fellow studying Africa Diaspora and History, their third child is a graduate of the University of Central Oklahoma, and the youngest child attends college in Stillwater.
REV. ROBERT JOHNSON
Rev. Robert G. Johnson is senior pastor of Saint Mark United Methodist Church, beginning his tenure on August 1, 2016
Prior to his present position, Rev. Johnson was pastor of Aldersgate United Methodist Church, predominantly Anglo congregation in College Station, TX, where, in just 1.5 years, he helped the church experience a turnaround from years of decline in membership and attendance. The turnaround was marked by a burst of growth in the presence of young adults and young families. Several young adults embraced their call into the ministry candidacy process while serving under Pastor Johnson’s leadership. Already a diverse congregation before Pastor Johnson’s arrival, Aldersgate continued to evolved into becoming one of the most racially and economically diverse congregations in the United Methodist Church.
Rev. Johnson received his undergraduate degree in psychology, with a minor in philosophy and religion, at the University of Southern Mississippi, in Hattiesburg, MS. While attending USM, he joined Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, Inc., the nation’s oldest Black Greek organization. During his undergraduate studies, Rev. Johnson joined the United Methodist Church, and began the ministry candidacy process at St. Paul UMC in Laurel, MS, where he also served as student intern during his final two years of undergraduate studies.
Rev. Johnson began did graduate work at Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, earning his Master of Divinity degree in May, 1994, graduating with high honors (magna cum laude). He was awarded the Flinn Award from Perkins, given each year to the student whom the faculty feels best represents the school’s emphasis on both practical ministry and excellence in scholarship.
Rev. Johnson was ordained a deacon and probationary member of the Texas Conference in June of 1994, and ordained as an elder in the same conference in June of 1996.
In June, 1993, while still a full-time student at Perkins School of Theology in Dallas, TX, Rev. Johnson began as the full-time pastor of Disciples UMC in Houston, TX, a small, dying congregation that had been undergoing a racial transition consistent with the changes in the racial demographic of the surrounding community. Under Rev. Johnson’s 3-year leadership, 1 of which was served simultaneous to his serving as the full time Director of the Wesley Foundation at Texas Southern University.
In June of 1997, Rev. Johnson was appointed to serve as the senior associate pastor of Windsor Village UMC, which was, at that time, the largest United Methodist Church in
the world. Serving under the dynamic leadership of Kirbyjon Caldwell, Rev. Johnson had the duties of hiring new staff, managing staff, managing budgets, preaching at least twice a weekend at one of Windsor Village’s 6 worship services, and serving as the executive leader of Windsor Village’s national leadership development conference.
In June of 2007, Rev. Johnson was appointed to serve as the planting pastor of NewWorld UMC, a church which closed in 2014 due to financial challenges, but in its 7 years of existence, led several hundred people to profession of faith, and led several hundred people into mature discipleship.
Rev. Johnson is a highly committed Pastor with 25+ years of pastoral leadership experience in a variety of ministry contexts: rural, urban, suburban, new church plant, transitional, mega-church, small church, cross-cultural, campus ministry, and dual appointments.
Rev. Johnson served two terms on the Texas Conference Board of Ordained Ministry, was trained in the Discipleship Ministries’ Path1 Coaching curriculum, and served as consulting editor of Abingdon’s New Interpreter’s Bible Dictionary. He has served as a mentor to boys in the Alief School District of Houston, TX, served for 5 years as an instructor in the Texas Conference’s Local Pastor’s School, and has taught Spiritual Formation and Missions in St. Paul School of Theology’s Course of Study. Johnson now serves on the board of Kansas Interfaith Action.
Rev. Johnson resides in Wichita, KS, and is married to Linda Y. Johnson, a recently-retired financial manager with Shell Oil. They have two daughters, Giselle and Kayla.
DR. THOMAS JORSCH
Instructor of American Studies
Thomas F. Jorsch is Instructor of American Studies at Oklahoma State University and a contributor to OSU-Tulsa’s Truth and Reconciliation minor. His scholarship focused on social justice matters has appeared in The Historian, Liberal Education, Kansas History, and Socialist History.
DR. JEFFREY KENNEDY
Chairman - 1866 Creek Freedmen
Jeffrey D. Kennedy was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to Jack E. Kennedy of Rosedale, Ok and Nettie J. Carter-Kennedy of Elmore City, Ok. Jeffrey attended the Oklahoma City, public school system, a graduate of John Marshall high. Jeffrey accepted a scholarship to attend The University of Oklahoma to study Architecture. Jeffrey competed for the University in the swimming and diving program to later embark upon a Professional High diving Career with the Great American High diving Team. He toured with the Labatt’s Blue High diving team in Canada and competed on the USA Master’s National Diving Circuit as a Master’s Champion and Grandmaster’s Springboard and Platform Diver.
He later earned a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Oklahoma where he received the School of Architecture’s “5th year Award of Distinction” and recognition for the Dean’s honor roll.
Jeffrey currently practices as a Project Architect/Manager/Designer in the State of Oklahoma for 25 years. He is a member of the National Organization of Minority Architects.
Jeffrey became a novice Genealogist in 1999 after being questioned about his heritage. Perplexed, his Sankofa began. He traced his Native Indian and African family origins back to Old Creek and Chickasaw Nation in Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi. Later he traced his roots to Texas, Tennessee, Kentucky, and to the Chesapeake area in Maryland of the Thirteen Colonies in the mid 1700’s.
Jeffrey’s tribal affiliation is Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Seminole. His great grandfather Ben Grayson was an original allottee of Creek Nation, Dawes roll number 5329, North Fork district 1890. He is also a direct descendant of the Carolina, Hawkins, and McIntosh families who were citizens of Creek Nation. Additionally, he is a descendant of Crawford, Gaines, Newberry, Shannon, Taylor and Williams’ family of the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nation. The Oklahoma Historical Society recognized all of the aforementioned Families as one of the First Families of the Twin Territories.
Jeffrey’s recent Sankofa experienced the African Diaspora across the Atlantic to the west coast of Africa. The Senegambia area where the Mandinka’s from Mali occupied the Gambian River. The place where Alex Haley’s ancestor Kunta Kinte spoke of the “Kamby Bolongo”
Board Member - 1866 Creek Freedmen
Sharon Lenzy-Scott was born and raised in Muskogee Oklahoma. She completed her elementary and high school education in Muskogee Ok, and received her college education in Nebraska. Sharon has written and published two poetry books, where Angles abide, and World of reality. In her professional career, Sharon has worked in the health care profession for over 20 years.
Sharon is a descendant of the Perryman family. Her forefather Lequest Choteau Perryman was the principal chief of Creek Nation in 1887. As described in the Extra Census Bulletin “The principal chief, virtually a Negro, comes of a famous family in creek annals his name is Lequest Choteau Perryman”.
The Perryman’s were long time members of Creek Nation prior to the civil war. They served in the Union war, and were listed as Loyal Creeks. They were Interpreters, Judges, Senators, and Chiefs of Creek Nation.
Jackson Perryman, Creek roll number 3635, great grandfather of Sharon Lenzy-Scott. Sharon is a descendant of Jackson Perryman, an original Dawes enrollee. Jackson’s father was Sandy Perryman, Creek-Interpreter, who came to Indian Territory around 1829.
Sharon’s mother, Mrs. Adlene Perryman-Lenzy was disenfranchised from the tribe in 1979. In the eyes of Creek Nation she was no longer regarded as a citizen of the Nation because her family was listed on the Creek Freedmen Dawes Roll.
Countless attempts were made in 1979 through 2000 by Mrs. Perryman-Lenzy to regain her citizenship. She fought tirelessly until she could no longer fight. Mrs. Adlene Perryman-Lenzy died with the memory of Creek Nation stripping her from her birth right as a citizen of Creek Nation.
Hence, Sharon quest began to regain her families’ citizenship shortly before the death of her mother. Sharon has been fighting this battle for more than a decade; she states will continue to fight this battle until the wrong that has been done to the Freedmen has been made right.
Elizabeth Letcher spent years working in information technology in the healthcare field, eventually rising to the Director of IT for a company that manages sixty medical clinics nationwide. Upon retirement, she wrote a book that pulled data from government sources and used these sources to tie daily life choices to social connection, physical strength, and financial outcomes, all with humor and images that anyone can understand. "Welcome to Boomtown" is available for purchase on Amazon.
Executive Director - Listening Between the Lines, Inc.
Alan Lipke is Executive Director of Listening Between the Lines, Inc. and Director/ Writer/ Producer of its Between Civil War and Civil Rights audio-documentaries, www.listeningbetweenthelines.org. As contributor to NPR, Pacifica Radio, and various nationally syndicated programs for several decades, his programs received Edward R. Murrow, New York Festivals’, Society of Professional Journalists’ and other national and regional awards. With degrees from Yale, the University of Maryland and the University of South Florida, he’s writing The Last Black King of Boston: The Strange Life and Stranger Afterlife of King Dick! a metabiography of Richard Cephas, POW-leader, boxer and cop (1790?-1831).
Kevin Mambo raised in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, and attended Brentwood College School in Mill Bay, BC, Canada. Kevin earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Southern California. He's been playing the saxophone since he was ten years old. He also plays the piano, bass, and guitar. Won a Daytime Emmy for Younger Actor in a Drama Series in 1996 and 1997 for his work in Guiding Light.
Known for his recent work as Sheldon on Marvels' Luke Cage, Lynn Nottages' productions of Mlima’s' Tale, Ruined, an upcoming production of SWEAT, Junior in Fortress of Solitude, Broadway shows Book of Mormon, The Color Purple and starring in Fela!, Kevin Mambo's range is vast. In addition to his skill as a vocalist he is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist (vocals, keys, guitar and sax) and composer with Blaz and the 88 Sound and Audio Deluxe. Born in Harare, Zimbabwe, Kevin was raised in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada; while pursuing a degree in political science and African studies at McGill University. Upon completion of earning a BFA at the School of Dramatic arts at USC in Los Angeles, Mambo gained critical acclaim on the Guiding Light, 3 consecutive nominations and two consecutive Emmys for Outstanding Younger Actor in Drama Series(96, 97, 98). His career has been a reflection of his range and prowess since. He is sought after for his abiliy to channel specific dialect and character work ranging from Vietnamese, Cantonese, Mandarin and characters from the African Diaspora on screen and video games (Grand Theft Auto).
Kevin Mambo 1-15-2020
I am an artist.
I always have been.
I hear music in everything,
I hear poetry in the street.
I was fortunate to star in Fela!, Book of Mormon, and work with Lynn Nottage.
We as artists are the Shamans—we bind the past and predict the future.
Though I do film and television as well, I want to make an impact, a lasting one. I have shiny awards and sign autographs—but the truth is that can be quite hollow.
When this project came to me, it was a lift to the spirit to tell a tale that is real— a tale we don't ever hear was special to me.
As Fela, I came to understand how art impacts lives.
This is the same type of story.
Playing jazz always was deep and had impact, but to a crowd that was already ready to receive.
When we performed The Flying Hobos at Rippon Middle School, I forgot the lyrics to the song I wrote. I riffed, changing the lyrics to include cooperation and determination.
The principal came to me afterwards and told me that the words of that song and the words in the play were exactly what he tried to teach these kids everyday.
It helped him.
DR. KRISTEN MARANGONI
Assistant Professor of English
Dr. Kristen Marangoni is an Assistant Professor of English as well as Service-Learning Coordinator at Tulsa Community College. Believing that students learn best when they see how their writing matters in their communities, Kristen works to design writing assignments that benefit the Tulsa community. Currently her students are working with several other courses to try to map the Greenwood area. Kristen has published on the importance of memory in learning from racially charged objects and texts and serves as an active member on the John Hope Franklin symposium planning committee.
Director of Programs
Avery Marshall serves as the Director of Programs for the Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice. He received a B.A. in History from Friends University in Wichita, Kansas. His background and passion has been in non-profit and social justice work. In Kansas, he served as the Director of Education for the Kansas Aviation Museum and co-authored the book African Americans of Wichita with the Kansas African American Museum. He also served as the Director of Diversity and Inclusion for OU-Tulsa which gave him the opportunity to create an inclusive culture in the higher education setting. Avery has facilitated trainings for non-profits such as New Hope Oklahoma and Oklahomans for Equality
DR. VALERIE MCGAHA
Associate Professor - Community Health Sciences, Counseling and Counseling Psychology
Valerie McGaha , Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Applied Health and Educational Psychology at Oklahoma State University. She is licensed as a Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and Licensed Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor. Her research interests center around multicultural counseling, psychosocial adolescent development, mental and addictive disorders, at-risk adolescents’ court-mandated interventions, and suicide prevention and education. In her scholarly work, she has examined individual and collective factors related to academic, personal, and social success of various populations.
Carlos Moreno is the in-house graphic designer at CAP Tulsa, and leads Tulsa's Code for America brigade, working to make local government work for the people, by the people, in the 21st century. Carlos also serves on the board of the Urban Coders Guild, and as an Advisory Board member for the City of Tulsa’s Office of Performance Strategy and Innovation. Carlos is currently enrolled at the Master of Public Administration (MPA) program at OU-Tulsa.
M. VON NKOSI
As a licensed design professional Mr. Nkosi works in community development for philanthropy as both consultant and grantee-partner to support social justice eﬀorts. Over two decades, von built a network for over 200 consultants who support local community stakeholders. He raised capital from 45 of these professionals, 90% of whom are people of color, over 50% woman and 05% LGBTQx to bring the Mi Rialiti [my reality] platform to market as social justice platform.
Jim North is in the Professional Writing Graduate Program at the University of Oklahoma’s Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication. His background, training, and experience in the technology of writing has inspired him toward human-interest storytelling. During 2019, his depictions of Native American removals to Indian Territory in the 19th century were published in the Gaylord News and in the Tulsa World. His 2016 article on the Tulsa Race Riot and its Centennial won first-place in the Society of Professional Journalists, Oklahoma and Texas region. He will share the power of stories with a heartbeat.
DR. ALICIA ODEWALE
Assistant Professor of Anthropology University of Tulsa
Dr. Alicia Odewale is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Tulsa. She specializes in African Diaspora archaeology in the Caribbean and Southeastern United States. Since 2014 she has been researching archaeological sites related to Afro-Caribbean heritage on St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands but continues to research sites of African heritage in Oklahoma, Virginia, Arkansas, and Mississippi. While she continues to research both urban and rural sites of enslavement in St. Croix, her latest research project based in Tulsa, OK seeks to reanalyze historical evidence from the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, launch new archaeological investigations in the historic Greenwood district, and use radical mapping techniques to visualize the impact of the massacre through time on the landscape of Greenwood, utilizing a slow community-based approach. Her research interests include the archaeology of enslavement and freedom in urban contexts, Caribbean archaeology, rural and urban comparative analyses, community-based archaeology, ceramic analysis, transferware studies, mapping historical trauma from the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, and investigations into different forms of cultural resistance. Her research has received awards and support from the American Anthropological Association, the National Science Foundation, the Society of Historical Archaeology, the Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission, and the Digital Archaeological Archive of Comparative Slavery (DAACS). In addition to her role as faculty, she also serves as the director of the Historical Archaeology and Heritage Studies Laboratory at TU and serves as the co-creator of the Estate Little Princess Archaeological Field School in St. Croix that trains local students in archaeological methods and other STEM related skills for free.
Director of Holocaust Education - Jewish Federation of Tulsa
Nancy Pettus, Director of Holocaust Education, Jewish Federation of Tulsa. Nancy’s 25-year involvement with Holocaust education provided opportunities to reach countless Jenks Holocaust Studies students during her 30-year teaching career and educate teachers through local and national presentations. A 2005 Museum Teacher Fellow, Nancy‘s association with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. enriches her involvement with area schools and Holocaust-related events and the Jewish Federation.
DR. GAY PHILLIPS
Associate Professor of Sociology
Dr. Gay Phillips is an Associate Professor at Tulsa Community College where she teaches sociology and anthropology courses. Prior to coming to TCC, she co-owned a consulting business providing training and technical assistance to organizations who work with children, youth, and their families experiencing out-of-home care. Dr. Phillips’ favorite class to teach is Inter-Cultural Dynamics and Inclusion because she enjoys developing students’ knowledge and skills in cross-cultural understanding and communications. Gay is also dedicated to providing community engagement/service learning experiences for students where they get involved in working with local, predominantly smaller agencies. Her students have provided volunteer work for a literacy-focused agency placing Little Free Libraries in Tulsa Parks; an internationally-focused organization where students helped develop an impact study with their trip volunteers; a food drive for TCC’s Food Pantry; and assisting Up with Trees prepare saplings and watering materials.
DR. PAULA PRICE
Paula A. Price is a strong and widely acknowledged international voice on the subject of apostolic and prophetic ministry. She is recognized as a modern-day apostle with a potent prophetic anointing. Active in full-time ministry since 1985, she has founded and established three churches, Kingdom Embassy University, Flaming Vision Consultation, and introducing her spiritual advocacy and consulting firm Omni Executive Services, and New Era Apostleship Restitution (N.E.A.R.)- a global collaborative linking apostles and prophets together for the purpose of kingdom vision and ventures. Dr. Price also hosts the television show Taking It On with Paula Price where she tackles relevant and often controversial kingdom and global issues. Here weekly global broadcasts also include The ABC’s of Apostleship 2: Discipling Apostolic Christians and Prophetic Ed. Through this international ministry, she has transformed the lives of many through her wisdom and revelation of God’s kingdom.
As a former sales and marketing executive, Dr. Price effectively blends ministerial and entrepreneurial applications in her ministry to enrich and empower a diverse audience with the skills and abilities to take kingdoms for the Lord Jesus Christ. A lecturer, teacher, curriculum developer and business trainer, Dr. Price globally consults Christian businesses, churches, schools and assemblies. Over a 30-year period, Dr. Price has developed a superior curriculum to train Christian ministers and professionals, particularly the apostle and the prophet. Her programs often are used in both secular and non-secular environments worldwide. Although she has written over 25 books, manuals, and other course material on the apostolic and prophetic, she is most recognized for her unique 1,600-term Prophet’s Dictionary the Ultimate Guide to Supernatural Wisdom, and her concise prophetic training manual entitled The Prophet’s Handbook. Other releases include The ABC's of Apostleship, a practical guide to the fundamentals of modern apostleship; Divine Order for Spiritual Dominance, a five-fold ministry tool; Eternity’s Generals, an explanation of today’s apostle; and When God Goes Silent: Living Life Without God’s Voice. Additional publications include Before the Garden: God’s Eternal Continuum, The ABC’s of Apostleship 2: Discipling Apostolic Christians, Constructing the Contemporary Prophet, God’s Apostle Revived, Biblical Prophetics, The Five- Fold Ministry Offices, The Gambler’s Faith, Prophecy: God’s Divine Communications, 3D: Distress to Success and numerous training manuals and workbooks.
In 2002, Dr. Price created one of the most valuable tools for Christian Ministry called the Standardized Ministry Assessment series which includes The Ministry Assessment Questionnaire, The Prophetic Aptitude Questionnaire and The Apostolic Diagnostic Questionnaire. It is a patent pending, destiny discovery tool that tells people who they are in God, what He created them to do, and how He created them to do it. The assessment series pinpoints those called to the church, its pulpit or other ministries, and those who would better serve the Lord outside of the church. The Paula Price Success Center and Price University facilitate soul deliverance, life recovery and post-secondary education emphasizing apostleship and the prophetic.
Beside this, Dr. Price has also developed credentialing tools for ministers and professionals, commissioning criteria and practices, along with ceremony proceedings for apostles and prophets. To complement these, she designed extensive educational programs for the entire five-fold officers and their teams.
Dr. Price serves as the Chief of Apostle of The Congregation of the Mighty in Bixby, Ok. In addition to her vast experience, Dr. Price has a D.Min. and a Ph.D. in Religious Education from Word of Truth Seminary in Alabama. She is also a wife, mother of three daughters, and the grandmother of two.
ckgrounds, and cultures. This appreciation became stronger twelve years ago when the United States welcomed him as a political refugee.
For the past ten years, he has furthered his education and professional experience by serving as an advocate for traditional and non-traditional college students who possess different learning and social functioning levels. In his roles as Academic Counselor, Assistant Director of Academic Advising, Part-time Spanish Instructor, and most recently as a Project Coordinator for Academic Affairs, his motto has always been to serve, equip, and empower.
DR. THEOPHUS "THEE" SMITH
Board President - Southern Truth and Reconciliation - STAR Inc.
Theophus "Thee" Smith is an emeritus professor in the Religion Department of Emory University, now serving as an Episcopal priest at the Cathedral of St. Philip in the Diocese of Atlanta. His book, "Conjuring Culture: Biblical Formations of Black America," won the American Academy of Religion award for excellence in 1994.
His scholarship spans the fields of religion and theological studies, African American spirituality, and violence studies including co-editing "Curing Violence." From Atlanta he consults and facilitates forums and workshops on reconciliation and remains the co-founding board president of Southern Truth and Reconciliation (www.southerntruth.net).
DR. DANIEL SNELL
L. J. Semrod Presidential Professor of History Emeritus, University of Oklahoma, Norman
Daniel C. Snell, Ph.D. (Yale, 1975) is emeritus professor of History at the University of Oklahoma, where he taught from 1983 through 2017, specializing in the history of the Middle East. He has published ten books and edited two more. He writes on the history of religions, societies, and slavery. Snell has served on the board of Norman Public Schools since 1997, and he was president of the Oklahoma State School Boards Association in 2012-2013. He and his wife, Dr. Katie Barwick-Snell, also retired from OU, have two grown children and a son-in-law, also three geriatric dogs.
Executive Director of Urban Coders Guild
Native Tulsan, Mikeal Vaughn, is the and Executive Director of Urban Coders Guild, a Tulsa-based organization that provides STEM educational opportunities to underserved communities.
Mikeal is an IT industry veteran who understands the tremendous opportunities STEM provides young people of color and women. He sees STEM as a powerful focal point around which to build an ecosystem in which they learn and thrive. Such an ecosystem, he believes, is the legacy of Black Wall Street.
Assistant Director - Community Health Sciences, Counseling and Counseling Psychology
Crystal Wilson has spent her life serving others, and brings that passion to Oklahoma State University where she is the Assistant Director for the School of Community Health Sciences, Counseling and Counseling Psychology.
She began her career in the for-profit sector, then transitioned to the nonprofit world where she quickly worked her way up to the position of chief professional officer at the Boys and Girls Club organization.
Her higher education experiences began as she volunteered on a college campus. It was there where she found her love for young adults and supporting marginalized students in their academic success.
Wilson’s education includes a bachelor's degree in psychology from Wake Forest University and a MBA from Strayer University. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology at OSU and plans to continue to the PhD.
GARY YOUNG-ALLEN, MA, PDSO
Director of International Student Services
I am the Director of International Student Services at Tulsa Community College. I have a bachelor’s degree in English, and master’s degree in Administrative Leadership from the University of Oklahoma. I have lived and worked in Germany, Kuwait, Thailand, China, and South Korea. I have taught English as a Second Language at a Mexican international high school, as well as schools in China, and South Korea. For the past seven years, I have been researching human migration as monitored through national records, as well as through genetics, and human ancestry websites.
JOHN W. FRANKLIN
President - Franklin Global LLC
John W. Franklin has specialized in the history and culture of Africa and its Diaspora for the past 50 years. He has lived in Senegal and worked and traveled extensively in Africa, the Caribbean, Brazil, Canada and Europe. Franklin’s focus has been on France, its role in the TransAtlantic Slave Trade, French Colonization, and the contemporary French-speaking world, from Louisiana to Mauritius. Fluent in French, he is a sought-after speaker in the us, the French-speaking world and beyond.
John Franklin studied Cultural Anthropology at Stanford University. Franklin’s career at the Smithsonian Institution began in Senegal, while he was teaching English for the Senegalese Ministry of Higher Education He served as the Africa-based researcher for the Smithsonian’s 1976 Bicentennial Folklife Festival and presented the African and Caribbean delegations in Washington and across the United States. From 1987-1992 he organized seminars and symposia for the Smithsonian’s Office of Interdisciplinary Studies. From 1992-2005 he served as curator for the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage’s festivals on the Bahamas (1994), Cape Verdean Culture (1995), Washington, D.C. (2000), and Mali (2004).
In 2005 Franklin was among the first staff members of the Smithsonian’s 19th museum, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which opened in 2016. As Senior Manager in the Office of External Affairs, he built partnerships for the museum with universities and museums in the United States, Canada, Brazil, The United Kingdom, France, West, East, and Southern Africa and the Caribbean.
He served on and chaired the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture, during which he was a member of the team which built the $3 million expansion of the Banneker-Douglass Museum in Annapolis, Maryland and the $30 million Reginald Lewis Maryland Museum of African American History and Culture in Baltimore, Maryland. Franklin also served on the Board of Governors of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a think tank. He edited “My Life and an Era: The Autobiography of Buck Colbert Franklin,” with his father, John Hope Franklin.
Since his retirement from the Smithsonian in 2019, John Franklin established Franklin Global LLC, to continue to lecture on cultural issues and consult with cultural and educational institutions He currently serves on the French President’s Commission for the Memory of Slavery and the Slave Trade. He works closely with UNESCO’s Slave Route Project, developing conference on the contemporary impact of slavery. For the past several years, he has focused on the legacy of slavery at American universities and is currently advising Davidson’s College’s Race and Slavery at Davidson Commission. As we approach 2021, he is engaged in discussions in Tulsa, Oklahoma on facets of the commemoration of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, which his grandfather survived.
Attorney - Riggs Abney Law Firm
Damario Solomon-Simmons is an attorney with Oklahoma’s premier law firm Riggs Abney where he specializes in Civil Rights, Wrongful Death, Personal Injury, and Sports Law. He has a nationwide practice and has successfully represented clients in federal, state, tribal, and administrative courts. Damario has represented dozens of high-profile clients and causes such as advocating for Reparations for the survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre and managing the business and legal affairs for several NFL and Olympic athletes.
Damario is an adjunct professor at the University of Oklahoma African & African-American Studies Program and a professional speaker and commentator.
Retired Interior Designer
Tribal citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. Raccoon Clan and Eufaula Canadian Tribal Town descendant. Retired Los Angeles, Ca. Interior Designer/Home Builder/Set Decorator. Former president of the California Muscogee (Creek) Association. 2014 Muscogee (Creek) Nation Hall of Fame Inductee. Washington DC Advocate and Historian for the Descendants of Freedmen of Five Civilized Tribes. Organizer of numerous Freedmen rallies, meetings and conferences to end racism with in the Five Civilized Tribes and the Federal Government against people of African descent who are historically connected to these tribes either as Free mixed-race Blacks or enslaved people of African descent.
“The Muscogee (Creek) Nation harps an old familiar tune whistling ‘tribal sovereignty rights’ when denying the 1866 treaty rights granted to the descendants of its former enslaved people of African descent.” To the ears of Black Creeks, it sounds like Jim Crow songs of the Confederate South, when southern Whites proclaimed loudly that ‘State Rights’ allowed them to treat Black Americans with the same lofty disdain.”
President - The Jackson Design Group
Veronica Jackson makes connections across the various disciplines of visual culture—art, architecture, and design—as embodied in a multi-decade practice consisting of exhibition, interpretive, and communication design. She honed her conceptual and practical skills by working on culturally significant and historically prominent projects. Examples range from the inaugural and permanent exhibit at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture to the reinstallation of the Hall of African Culture at Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Jackson’s multi-decade career includes exhibit design and interpretive story development, in addition to recently cultivating a curatorial and visual artmaking practice. She engages with clients, industry professionals, and the public to ensure elegant and accessible experiences from concept to implementation.