Black Health Matters

Registration Form


BERTRAM THOMAS, JR.

Bertram Thomas, Jr. was admitted to the College of Public Health DrPH program as a part-time student in 2012. Mr. Thomas previously earned an MPH in Health Policy from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a BA (honors) in Psychology from Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA. While attending Morehouse College, he was selected to be a Ronald McNair Scholar. He completed his research internship at the Georgia Institute of Technology and represented the TRIO Programs on Capitol Hill as an intern at the United States Student Association.

Professional was a member of the Clinical Outcomes Team in the Behavioral Clinical Surveillance Branch of the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention (DHAP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where he and his team earned the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP) Director’s Award in May 2012. During his previous years at the CDC, he has presented an HIV/AIDS Geographic Information Systems analyses oral presentation at several national conferences, including the 2002 American Public Health Association Conference and the 2005 CDC National HIV/AIDS Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. He was also published in the 2002 “Special Supplement to AIDS Education and Prevention.” Mr. Thomas was selected by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement to attend their 2013 Quality Leadership forum in Cambridge, MA, and is a graduate of the 2017-2018 University of Georgia Graduate School Emerging Leaders Program. His doctoral dissertation research is in Health Department Accreditation and Quality Improvement metrics, and he anticipates completing the Doctor of Public Health Degree in 2022. Mr. Thomas plans to advance his leadership career in public health and focus on the changing dynamics of health department accreditation in rural and socioeconomically depressed communities through his current position as a Public Health Analyst at the Centers for Disease Control and prevention. Mr. Thomas is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and the Prince Hall Shriners. He is a Past Potentate of Al-Karim Shriners Temple No. 242 and currently serves as the second Imperial Director of the National Community Health Initiative. He enjoys spending his free time traveling with his wife, Ann Thomas, and their two children, Bianca and Madison.

Kamila Barnes, DNP, FNP-C

Dr. Kamila Barnes has been a RN for 14+ years and is currently an Assistant Professor of Nursing at Long Island University - Brooklyn and a NP clinician at Northwell Health. She is also the Founder/Owner of Barnes Health Affiliates, LLC at www.bhapro.com a multifaceted healthcare support services company dedicated to educating healthcare leaders, informing best practices, and elevating standards of care within communities. She completed her Doctorate (DNP) and Masters (MS) degrees at the University of Rochester, School of Nursing. She also graduated from Binghamton University with a Bachelors of Science in Nursing and a minor in Spanish.

Dr. Barnes is an active community volunteer in her nursing organizations as the President of Theta Chi Chapter, Inc. of Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Inc. and Former 2nd VP (Founding Board Member) of Greater New York City- Black Nurses Association, Inc. Previous Special Awards and Recognitions include the NBNA Under 40 Award, National Sojourner Truth Award, Marguerite Creth Jackson Award, and Mary E. Mahoney Award.

Selena Gilles, ANP-BC, ANP-BC, CNEcl, FNYAM

Dr. Selena A Gilles is Clinical Associate Professor and Associate Dean of the Undergraduate Program a New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing. Dr. Gilles has a DNP from Monmouth University (2014), a MS in Adult Health Nursing from Hunter College, City University of New York, (Cum Laude, 2010) and a BS with a major in Nursing degree from Long Island University (With Honors, 2005).

Dr Gilles is a certified Clinical Nurse Educator and is also certified in Critical Care Nursing. She has been a Nurse Educator for 12 years. Dr Gilles has been an Adult Nurse Practitioner for 12 years, specializing in Neuro and Pain Management. Dr Gilles is passionate about the management of acute and chronic pain, as well as opioid overdose prevention. She is the Program Director of the Greater NYC Black Nurses Association Opioid Overdose Prevention Program. She has strong community advocacy and passion for global health, currently working with organizations aimed to serve the underprivileged and underserved communities in Haiti and Ghana.

Dr. Gilles is currently a member of six professional organizations/associations, including serving as Past President and current Treasurer of Meyers’ Sigma Upsilon Chapter, and Programming and Community Service Committee Chair for the Greater NYC Black Nurses Association. Dr Gilles is an NLN LEAD Alum (2019) Penn Wharton Nurse Executive Leader Alum (2020). She has received the NBNA Under 40 Award (2019) and Nurse of the Year Award for Community Service (2020). She has also received the Leota P Brown Community Service Award from Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Inc (2021). Dr Gilles is the recipient of the GNYCBNA Nurse of the Year for Community Service (2021) and the NYU Meyers Humanitarian Award (2021). Dr Gilles is also a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine (2020).

Dr. Brittany Richards, DNP, FNP-BC, RN-BC, NEA-BC

Dr. Brittany R. Richards is a Brooklyn Native, a first-generation American, and proud daughter of Jamaican parents. She is an alumna of the University at Buffalo where she completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Magna Cum Laude, and was the sole recipient of the Excellence in Nursing Award.

Dr. Richards is a Doctoral prepared and Board-Certified Family Nurse Practitioner and an experienced Nurse Educator. While working as a full-time Critical Care Registered Nurse, Brittany concurrently pursued her Master of Science in Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice at Columbia University. Her passion to be of service to all extends to her membership in various organizations such as Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated., Church of God of Prophecy, Board member of Friends of NYC Nurse-Family Partnership, where she is able to influence change surrounding the Black Maternal Health crisis.

Dr. Richards is the Chair of the Health Policy Committee for the Greater NYC Chapter of the National Black Nurses Association (GNYCBNA) and was instrumental in coordinating informative town halls about COVID-19. When NYC became the Epicenter of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Dr. Richards continued to work as a Nurse Educator remotely, while battling the virus on the frontline as a Critical Care Registered Nurse.

Kamila Barnes, DNP, FNP-C

Dr. Kamila Barnes has been a RN for 14+ years and is currently an Assistant Professor of Nursing at Long Island University - Brooklyn and a NP clinician at Northwell Health. She is also the Founder/Owner of Barnes Health Affiliates, LLC at www.bhapro.com a multifaceted healthcare support services company dedicated to educating healthcare leaders, informing best practices, and elevating standards of care within communities. She completed her Doctorate (DNP) and Masters (MS) degrees at the University of Rochester, School of Nursing. She also graduated from Binghamton University with a Bachelors of Science in Nursing and a minor in Spanish.

Dr. Barnes is an active community volunteer in her nursing organizations as the President of Theta Chi Chapter, Inc. of Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Inc. and Former 2nd VP (Founding Board Member) of Greater New York City- Black Nurses Association, Inc. Previous Special Awards and Recognitions include the NBNA Under 40 Award, National Sojourner Truth Award, Marguerite Creth Jackson Award, and Mary E. Mahoney Award.

Jewels Adams, MSN, FNP, NEA-BC

Jewels Adams is an experienced nurse leader with a passion for serving in under served communities. Graduate of Emory University MSN as a family nurse practitioner. Undergraduates University of Phoenix BSN. Currently working as an Administrative Nurse Manager at Montefiore Wakefield. I am a member of GNYCBNA and past treasurer.

Yolanda Mageto, MD, MPH

Yolanda Mageto, MD, MPH, a pulmonary critical care specialist with nationally recognized expertise in interstitial lung disease (ILD), has assumed the role of Medical Director of Interstitial Lung Disease at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas. Dr. Mageto attended medical school at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri and completed her residency and training at University of Texas Southwestern and her fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle with a focus in ILD. Since that time she has held faculty positions at the University of Washington Seattle, University of Texas Southwestern and most recently University of Vermont where she rose to the rank of full Professor.

Dr. Mageto is a clinician, educator and researcher involved in multiple idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis/ILD trials over last 20 years including collaborations with investigators from other centers in sarcoidosis related lung disease. She remains actively involved in the total care and management of her patients. Dr. Mageto is dedicated to the development of a Comprehensive Integrated Interstitial Lung disease program optimizing delivery of care to patients with interstitial lung disease in the Dallas Fort Worth Area.

Reverend Al Sharpton

The Reverend Al Sharpton is an internationally renowned civil rights leader, 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.”

A disciple of the teachings of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Reverend Sharpton has been at the forefront of the modern civil rights movement for nearly a half of a century. He has championed police reform and accountability, calling for the elimination of unjust policies like “Stop-and-Frisk.” He has fought for voting rights, equity in education and healthcare and LGBTQ rights. Across the years, Reverend Sharpton has advocated for those who have been victimized including Yusef Hawkins, Michael Stewart, Amadou Diallo, Abner Louima, Sean Bell, the Jena Six, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner and others.

A native of Brooklyn, New York, Reverend Sharpton preached his first sermon at the age of 4 at the historic Washington Temple Church of God in Christ. He was ordained at the age of 10 and by 13, he had been appointed Youth Director of New York’s Operation Breadbasket—the economic arm to Dr. King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).

Under the tutelage of his mentors—the Reverends Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., and William Augustus Jones, Jr—Reverend Sharpton honed his organizing and protest skills around economic and political boycotts and quickly emerged as a national figure. By the time he turned 16, Reverend Sharpton had founded the National Youth Movement, Inc, which organized young people around the country to push for increased voter registration, cultural awareness and job training programs. A fierce believer in the philosophy of nonviolent, direct-action protest, Reverend Sharpton founded National Action Network in 1991 and headquartered the organization in Harlem, all the while serving from 1993 to 1998 as director of the Minister’s Division for Reverend Jackson’s Rainbow Push Coalition.

Donna Richardson Joyner

Donna Richardson Joyner is a best-selling author, international motivational speaker and TV Host. She has spread the gospel of good health; mind, body and spirit. She has traveled to 50 states, 50 countries and 6 continents empowering, educating and energizing women, children and families. She started the business because she was sick and tired of seeing loved ones, church members and people in African American communities dying from preventable illnesses. Her mission is to help people become a witness to fitness by combining faith, fitness, food and fellowship.

For over 25 years Donna and her mom who is 81 years young blessed family, friends and celebrities with their historically rich family recipe, Mama LaVerne’s Chicken and Waffles. They are passing down a generational legacy and for the first ever they have packaged chicken seasoning waffle and pancake mix so you can enjoy at home. In the midst of the pandemic, personal loss of loved ones, family illnesses, uncertainties and challenges they stepped out on faith and packaged love and legacy into the mixes so you, family and friends can share traditions and create memories.

Donna attended Hollins University and was a teacher at Montgomery County Community College. She is the only council member appointed by President Bush and President Obama to serve on the President’s Council for Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. She was an ambassador for First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move Initiative.” Donna has starred in over 25 award winning videos including best-selling “Buns of Steel” which sold over 10 million copies. She starred in best- selling videos ESPN, Nike, Sweating in the Spirit, Body Gospel and her own line of videos. Her Sweating in the Spirit DVD was featured in Tyler Perry’s movie “Diary of a Mad Black Woman.” Donna was one of Nike’s Female Athletes to have her own signature shoe, The Donna Richardson “Air Max Mundo.” She created the first Tiny House for retail for women and men clothing and accessories. Donna continues to be a strong leader and innovator.

Donna is a TV Contributor for CNN, MSNBC, FOX, ABC, TBN and other networks. She was the producer and host of “The Donna Richardson’s Mind, Body and Spirit Show,” and “The Sweating in the Spirit Show” on the Word Network. She also was the former co-host of the ESPN Fitness Pro’s Show” and fitness expert for NBC “Today Show.” Donna has appeared in commercials and print advertisement for Proctor & Gamble, Kellogg’s, McDonald’s, Kmart, Walmart, ESPN, Nike, PGA, LPGA, etc.

Donna has lectured and conducted seminars at schools, community centers, churches, corporations, universities and senior centers around the globe. She has been a featured speaker with God’s Leading Ladies, Sisters in the Spirit, Pantene Total You, Eliminating Childhood Obesity and many other tours. Donna climbed the tallest free standing mountain in the world, Kilimanjaro and served on a missionary that provided food, clothes and school supplies for thousands of children at orphanages in Arusha, Africa. She led the first team of African American Women to run 200 miles in the Hood to Coast Relay and raised funds for the American Cancer Society. She ran in the Paris Marathon, raising awareness and funds for the North Dallas Suicide Crisis Center. Donna continues to create change and make a difference through her philanthropic and humanitarian work.

Donna was inducted into The National Fitness Hall of Fame and was named by Essence Magazine “One of Twenty Five of The Most Inspiring Women in America.” She received the Mental & Physical Health Award from the Congressional Black Caucus. She was awarded the “Family Leadership Legacy Award” by the Jack & Jill of America Foundation. Donna broke the Guinness Book of World Records for the world’s largest line dance with over 50,000 participants at Mega-fest with Bishop T.D. Jakes. She was also selected by Fitness Magazine as one of the top movers and shakers. She received The Centennial Health Award from Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the Presidential Award from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Donna was on the advisory board for The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Boys and Girls Club of America. She served on the board for Women Sports Foundation and the Tom Joyner Foundation. Donna was a board member for The LPGA Foundation and a former Spokesperson for the PGA of America. She taught for several years in South Africa at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for girls.

Ramona Burress

Ramona Burress is the Associate Director, Diversity & Inclusion in Clinical Trials at Janssen. In this role, she is committed to leading activities necessary to increase participation of underrepresented and underserved populations in clinical research through partnerships with community organizations. Ramona joined Janssen in 2019 as an Infectious Disease Senior Medical Science Liaison (MSL). She established relationships with key opinion leaders and engaged in scientific exchange while supporting company-sponsored trials and responding to unsolicited medical information requests.

Ramona’s decade-long career of healthcare leadership has been dedicated to promoting health equity. Her prior role as a Healthcare Specialty Supervisor with Walgreens, required extensive medical and business knowledge to manage 13 specialized-locations serving patients with HIV, Hepatitis, Chronic Inflammatory Diseases, Cancer and other complicated health conditions. Ramona has earned multiple degrees, including a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Dr. Randolph D. Sconiers, DSW, LCSW (Dr. S)

Dr. Randolph D. Sconiers, DSW, LCSW (Dr. S) is a Doctor of Social Work (2014) and a NJ Licensed Clinical Social Worker (2011). Dr. S is a Mental-Health Therapist in Private Practice with over 20 years of experience in Mental-Health Therapy, Mental-Health Education and Advocacy. As a Mental-Health Therapist, Dr. S has been featured in the Huffington Post, by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), and has appeared multiple times on NYC’s Hot97/Fox5’s Street Soldiers Show with Lisa Evers for his work in the areas of Mental-Health and Hip-Hop Culture! Dr. S is the Owner and Creator of Mental-Hop, which focuses on Mental-Health Education through Hip-Hop Culture as well as an Adjunct Professor for the Graduate School of Social Work at Kean University in NJ.

Dr. Cesar Rodriguez Valdes

Dr. Cesar Rodriguez Valdes, an experienced multiple myeloma physician, sees patients at both Mount Sinai Brooklyn and the Ruttenberg Treatment Center. Dr. Rodriguez is Associate Professor of Medicine (Hematology and Medical Oncology) and Clinical Director of Multiple Myeloma at The Mount Sinai Hospital. He completed specialized training in cancer biology and therapeutics at Harvard Medical School and has expertise in early phase clinical trials.

Dr. Rodriguez is particularly interested in early development drugs and immunotherapy; he serves as committee leader for immunotherapy in myeloma for the Clinical Trials Network Myeloma Intergroup. Dr. Rodriguez is fluent in English, Spanish, and French.

Lisa Lewis, MPH

Lisa Lewis is the Director, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in Clinical Trials, Oncology. Lisa’s primary responsibility is to partner with key stakeholders in the Oncology Therapeutic area, to lead, develop and implement diversity and inclusion strategies to enhance Janssen company-sponsored studies, to ensure that the oncology trial patient population more closely represents real world patients who use our products.

Jaszianne Tolbert, MD

Dr. Tolbert is a board-certified Pediatrician and Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist formally trained in Pediatric Clinical pharmacology. She worked as a Physician Scientist in Academia and Director of a Pediatric Early Phase Clinical Trial program before joining Janssen in 2019. While at Janssen she has worked in the solid tumor DAS on Erdafitinib (Bal versa) tumor agnostic and bladder cancer clinical trials and currently works in the Heme DAS on cusatuzamab clinical trials for Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) and talquetamab clinical trials for relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma.

Darla Miles

Darla Miles is an Emmy Award winning reporter for the number one news station in the country, WABC-TV Eyewitness News in New York City. She joined the team as a general assignment reporter in 2009. In 2020, her role broadened in scope as the creator, executive producer, director and writer of the documentary “Set the Record Straight: The Jam Master Jay Case,” which aired on all ABC Owned Television Station across the country, its streaming platforms and Hulu. Darla has also served as a fill-in anchor for ABC News World News Now and America This Morning.

In addition to her work at WABC-TV, Darla volunteers often as a moderator and public speaker, serving generously as an emcee for countless award ceremonies and civic events across the Tri-State area. She was honored in June 2021 by the National Coalition of 100 Black Women with the “We are the Light Award” for community service. As a member of the Links, Incorporated, Darla has been instrumental in implementing programming for at-risk youth, children in foster care and homebound seniors in her community. Abroad, Darla has participated in a mission trip to rural schools in Jamaica and also introduced a high-tech concept to the Angel Rock Project South Africa that ultimately brought a clean a drinking water system to three schools in an impoverished township in Johannesburg. Prior to moving to the Tri-State area, Darla has served as mentor for Big Brothers and Big Sisters and as a board member of Communities in Schools.

Fluent in Spanish, Darla began her journalism career as a technical operator with CNN Español in Atlanta, helping to launch the 24-hour network in 1997. From CNN en Español, Darla moved to reporting and anchoring roles at WJBF in Augusta, WTVD in Raleigh-Durham, and WFAA in Dallas/Fort Worth – and has worked as a weekend anchor for CNN Headline News – before landing in her current position in New York City in 2009.

A native of Ft. Worth, Texas, Darla earned a B.A. in English with a minor in Spanish from Atlanta's Spelman College. During her undergraduate studies, she spent a semester abroad through Syracuse University’s Division of International Programs Abroad at the Instituto Internacional in Madrid, Spain and her post-graduate studies include attending the prestigious Yale University Writers Workshop in New Haven, CT. Darla is also a member of the National Association of Black Journalists.

Elijah Westbrook

Elijah Westbrook is an Emmy-Award Winning journalist. He joined CBS2 News and CBS News New York in January 2022. Elijah graduated from Quinnipiac University in 2015 earning his bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism with a minor in marketing. His first job out of college was a news associate at "CBS This Morning" (now "CBS Mornings"). After spending a year working for that show, he landed his first on-air job as a reporter for WROC News 8 in Rochester, New York. There he covered high profile court cases, politics and chased major weather events such as blizzards and flooding.

In 2019, Elijah was then hired to work as a morning news reporter and later became a fill-in anchor for WBFF Fox45 in Baltimore, Maryland. There he exposed political corruption inside city hall, including being one of the first to break the news about a scandal that eventually led to criminal charges for former Mayor Catherine Pugh. Elijah also won an Emmy for his live in-depth reporting on a Black Lives Matter protest in the summer of 2020.

When Elijah is not on the air, he loves traveling, running, spending time with family and friends, and out of all things, watching documentaries about infrastructure.

Fun Fact: Elijah wanted to be a civil engineer and design city neighborhoods prior to pursuing journalism. Elijah and his family are from Harlem, NYC and avidly watched CBS2 News growing up. It's a full circle moment and dream come true for him to work with the station. He is excited to be reporting in the Big Apple.

Donna Hubbard McCree, PhD, MPH, RPh

Dr. Donna Hubbard McCree is the Associate Director for Health Equity, National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSPT), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia.

She has forty years of experience in Public Health and Pharmacy; twenty-one years at CDC. She completed the Doctor of Philosophy, Delta Omega (1997) and Master of Public Health (1987) degrees at The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland in Health Policy and Management with a specialty in Social and Behavioral Sciences. She also completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Preventive Medicine with a specialty in sexually transmitted disease prevention at Emory University Rollins School of Public Health. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree, summa cum laude, (1982) in Pharmacy from Howard University and is a registered pharmacist. She has held numerous positions in the fields of Public Health and Pharmacy including academia, bioavailability research, professional association management, and retail and hospital pharmacy practice. Her work has resulted in more than 80 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters, and 200 presentations at international and national scientific meetings.

Dr. McCree served as CDC Co-Chair for the Health Equity Goal, HIV National Strategic Plan 2021-2025. She is Guest Co-Editor for an AIDS and Behavior Supplement on HIV and Stigma (2021), was lead Co-Editor of a book focused on HIV in African American communities, African Americans and HIV: Understanding and Addressing The Epidemic (2010, Springer) and Guest Co-Editor for a theme issue of the American Journal of Public Health (2009). Dr. McCree was also recently featured in the Hopkins Bloomberg Public Health magazine Masters of Public Health: The MPH Centennial, and the CDC 75th Anniversary Series. Additionally, she is the recipient of numerous awards including election as the inaugural Non-Academic Co-Chair of the American Public Health Association Pharmacy Section; a 2018 Outstanding Service and Leadership Award, American Public Health Association, Pharmacy Section; 2017 HUCOP Alumni Legacy by Decades Award from the Howard University Pharmacy Alumni Association; 2016 NCHHSTP Deputy Director’s Mentoring Award; a 2015 NCHHSTP Award for Excellence in Program or Policy Evaluation; and a 2009 DHAP Minority Health Mentor/Champion of Excellence Award for outstanding commitment and achievement as a mentor. On August 30, 2012, Dr. McCree was honored with a prestigious Distinguished Alumna Award from The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. This award is presented to alumni who typify the Johns Hopkins tradition of excellence and have brought credit to the university by their personal accomplishments, professional achievement, or humanitarian service.

Dr. McCree is a Life Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated (Alpha Chapter 1979; charter member of Phi Phi Omega Chapter) and a member of The Links Incorporated, Azalea City (GA) Chapter. She currently serves as the National HIV Initiative Chair for The Links, Incorporated. She has been married to CDR. Victor M. McCree, CDR, USNR-R, for 39 years. They are the proud parents of two adult sons, Jarryd (Antoinette) and Micah (Tiffany).

Beverely Elliott, MA

Beverely Elliott is a retired educator but is presently the Executive Director of the African American Museum of Southern Arizona www.aamsaz.org. She has been a part of the helping professions her entire life. She began her career as a respiratory therapist but due to beginning a family she changed career and became an educator. Beverely taught health and fitness for over 10 years, at the prestigious Canyon Ranch Resort becoming the Fitness Director. Her next move was to public education. Her tenure with the Tucson Unified School District lasted for more than 25 years. She started as a strategies project specialist working in various high schools. She became an advisor to at-risk students; working with the African American Studies Department. With success in tow she became a school counselor at various high schools for many years and also worked at Alice Vail Middle School specializing in academic, career, social and personal counseling.

Additionally, Beverely has been a graduate counseling advisor for the University of Arizona, the University of Phoenix and Prescott College. She is a member of the American School Counselors Association and the Arizona School Counselors Association. She has served as Special Recognitions Chair, Membership Chair, and Secondary Vice President and received special recognition with the Arizona State School Counselors Association. She is a grant recipient of the Rocky Mountain Association of College Admissions Counselors. Beverely appeared on a National PBS television Series “Transforming Higher Education: Access and Affordability for all Students”. Participation in this live broadcast is one example of Beverely’s regard as a national expert in the field of counseling and guidance.

Beverely has placed numerous students at Clark, Tuskegee, Alabama A & M and the University of Arizona to name a few. Many have graduated and are working in corporate America as managers and directors. In 2003, the Arizona School Counselors Association (AZSCA) acclaimed Beverely as the “High School Counselor of the Year”. She once again received national recognition in 2006, as The “Secondary/ High School Counselor of the Year” by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA).

No situation or problem is too big for this woman. Anything God lays before Beverely, she is going to get through it! She is a two-time cancer survivor; was a full time student while she was rearing her children and working; she is an active participant in supporting her husband; and she is a leader in professional and civic organizations of which she is a member. She has been a member of the Tucson Chapter of The Links, Incorporated for 32 years.

Joe Barksdale

Singer/songwriter/producer Joe Barksdale describes his musical path as beginning with “gospel, rap, soul, and R&B, the four major food groups for black, inner-city Detroit.” With a style fueled by an eclectic genre mix, influences included Jimi Hendrix, Marvin Gaye, Sly and the Family Stone, Teddy Pendergrass, and Kanye West. His unique sound smoothly blends aspects from blues, soul, jazz, rock, and more, creating an immersive experience at once both upbeat and up-close-and-personal — a captivating world spreading a message of love and unity, harmoniously uniting people through music.

Joe’s 2017 debut album, Butterflies, Rainbows & Moonbeans, was followed in rapid succession by Electric Soul (2019), produced by the legendary Narada Michael Walden, Sincerely (2020), R & B(eats) (2020), and most recently, 2021’s The Kyber Tapes, an homage to his Star Wars obsession.

A passion for engineering led Barksdale to the Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program at age 13. When that didn’t work out, football was one of few summer activity options available. All-American honors as a Cass Technical High School lineman led to scholarship offers, and acceptance of Louisiana State University’s offer, enhanced by its engineering program. After starting on LSU’s 2008 NCAA championship team, he played with the Raiders, Rams, Chargers, and Cardinals. Concluding an 8-year NFL run, Barksdale hung up his cleats in 2019 to pursue music full-time, settling in Austin, Texas with his wife Brionna and two young daughters.

Depression, long-undiagnosed Autism Spectrum Disorder, and a childhood peppered with abuse, rejection, and neglect fed a strong inner critic clamoring to divert Barksdale from his goals. In his youth, football and music lessons fostered resilience, while therapy as an adult re-channeled his energies to focus on excellence. After the passing of Cass coach and mentor Charleston Fobbs in 2013, Rams coach Jeff Fisher encouraged rekindling his love for music as a creative outlet to cope with grief. Music became a voice previously missing from his life, with professional instruction fine-tuning his multiple gifts. Concurrently, he fosters awareness to tackle the stigma surrounding mental illness — including publicly sharing his own experience of 20+ years silently suffering with depression and suicidal thoughts — to encourage others to seek help.

Focused, driven, and competitive in all pursuits, Barksdale is committed to emerging as his generation’s premier guitar player, eyeing Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction. Refusing constraint to a single creative outlet, he’s an avid journaler and poet, and relishes his role as Tech Lord of the Sith, producing quick, irreverent product review videos. Simultaneously enamored with comedy — citing Bill Burr, Dave Chappelle, and Patrice O’Neal as primary influences — he includes the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor among future ambitious goals. A dedicated artisan defying singular categorization, Barksdale is confidently making his mark across a far-reaching creative galaxy, forcefully checking multiple boxes along his journey.

Rolonda Watts

For almost four decades, her name, face, and distinctive voice have been known by audiences everywhere, thanks to her many award-winning works in television, radio, film, digital media, comedy, and her romance suspense novel, DESTINY LINGERS, endorsed by Dr. Maya Angelou.

Most know her by one name, Rolonda, under which she launched her own internationally syndicated talk show (1994-1998), produced by King World Productions in association with her company, Watts Works Productions.

Years before her talk show, Rolonda was an Emmy Nominated investigative news reporter, anchorwoman and producer for Inside Edition, WABC-TV Eyewitness News, WNBC, New Jersey Nightly News, and WFMY-TV.

From News to Talk to Hollywood to Stage, Rolonda, forever The Reinventionist, just made her Off- Broadway debut in “Sandblasted” - a joint theatrical project by The Vineyard Theatre and The Women’s Project Theatre in NYC, where she now lives. In TV & movies, Rolonda stars as Hazel Wilson in the new MC Lyte sitcom, Partners in Rhyme on ALLBLK ... She plays Adaline Palmer, Chunk’s mother, on BULL (CBS). She was also FBI Forensic Pathologist, Dr. Melissa Meyers, on Criminal Minds (CBS). In stand up comedy, Ro headlined at Caroline’s on Broadway in NY and in LA at The Comedy Store, The Ice House, Flappers, Ha! Ha!, The Comedy Union, The J Spot and more.

Ro’s deep, rich, and raspy voice is one of the most recognized in the VoiceOver business where she is also a top voice coach with her Voice Acting Master Class. Rolonda is heard in dozens of commercials and as the Announcer and Promo voice for Divorce Court (FOXTV), Judge Joe Brown (CBS), The Daily Helpline, and Temptation, the game show.

In animation, Rolonda voices the role of Professor Wiseman on Curious George, Mary Sinclair in LEGO City Adventures, Aunt P. In The Incredible Fight Girl, Madagascar, King Fu Panda, Cannon Busters, and stars with Tyler Perry in his first animated movie, Tyler Perry’s Medea’s Tough Love.

In video games, Rolonda is the voice of Warrior Priestess Illaoi in League of Legends. The McDonald’s Corporation honored Ro as “A Broadcast Legend.” Facebook & Business magazine calls her “The Queen of All Media.”

There are official “Rolonda Days” in New York City and Newark, New Jersey. Rolonda holds degrees from Spelman College and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and an Honorary Doctorate from Winston-Salem State University. Rolonda lives in New York City with her rescue Terrier, Langston Hughes.

You can check out Rolonda’s podcast - Rolonda on Demand, visit her website at rolonda.com and follow her on social media @rolondawatts

Alicia Butler

Alicia Butler is a native of Seattle, WA and currently serves as the Health and Wellness PolicyAdviser for the National Action Network (NAN), where she is charged with handling all of theirnational health and wellness initiatives centering black health equity. She has worked diligentlyleading the charge on NAN’s Covid-19 response efforts, engaged in conversations on theexpansion of the Affordable Care Act, and worked with other civil rights organizations andcorporate partners to address pressing health inequities in the African American community.She also works closely with Capitol Hill; acting as a congressional liaison, tracking importanthealth legislation and recommendations for NAN to take the charge on.

Prior to this, she obtained a degree in Political Science from Southern University and A&MCollege in 2018 and went on to work on Capitol Hill for three years, handling policy andconstituent correspondence for the citizens of Washington state. In her free time, she enjoysreading, taking walks and plans on resuming writing content for her mental health inspired blog“Maybe It’s Me.”

FIYINFOLU “FOLU” BALOGUN, MD, PhD

Dr. Fiyinfolu Balogun is a medical oncologist specializing in gastrointestinal tumors, particularly pancreatic, colorectal, and biliary tract cancers. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Maryland Baltimore County then obtained his MD/PhD degrees at the University of Chicago with a dissertation exploring how eukaryotic cells respond to DNA damage. At New York University, he trained in internal medicine and stayed on to complete a fellowship in hematology/oncology, during which time he was awarded for his education of residents. Throughout his training, he has led cancer-related research in the laboratory. Upon completion of his training, Dr. Balogun joined the GI oncology team at Memorial Sloan Kettering, where he continues to pursue his passions of clinical care, research, and education. His research continues in the form of clinical trials on pancreatic and colorectal cancers with an emphasis on cancer care equity – locally and abroad. Folu enjoys adventures with his wife and their two sons. Other interests include cooking, music, arts, history, and sports.

Dr. Monroe Butler

Dr. Monroe Butler is passionate about brain health. He is an expert in dementia and the science of aging. He leads a team at Biogen to develop tools that empower patients to track their brain health and use strategies to slow decline.

Dr. Butler is a behavioral neurologist and neuroscientist who completed his doctoral degrees and medical training in Boston and specialist training in dementia at the University of California, San Francisco. He cares for patients with disorders in memory, movement, and thinking, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. At Biogen, Dr. Butler has pioneered work in digital medicine and is medical director for a virtual research trial called Intuition: a brain health study.

Dr. Sheri

Dr. Sheri (pronounced Sher-Ree) Prentiss is a proven visionary, best-selling author, and highly sought-after physician leader. Since 2017, she has served as Chief Medical Officer and Public Health Lead at CIEN+ to bring both an inclusive and evidence-driven approach to promoting health equity and better outcomes. She is an occupational & environmental medicine physician, public health expert, professional speaker—CSP® (Certified Speaking Professional™), and a breast cancer survivor. She has served as National Spokesperson for Susan G. Komen as well as their National Ambassador for Health Equity.

After breast cancer treatment left her disabled from lymphedema in her right upper extremity, stripping her of her life-long dream of being a practicing physician, she re-invented herself and went on to become a national public figure, professional speaker, and entrepreneur/owner of her own healthcare consulting business. She has been the catalyst for transformation in the space of cultural and workplace diversity for a myriad of organizations for more than two decades.

In addition to helping patients and healthcare practitioners transform how healthcare is delivered and experienced she also shares her story, her voice, her life, and her victory in awe-inspiring and motivational ways. Dr. Sheri brings the unique perspective of being a patient and a physician to her impassioned and captivating speeches. Her remarkable story of pain, loss, and change has inspired hundreds of thousands of people across the country and abroad. As an expert in transformative medicine, a natural extension of her personal vision and mission in life is to educate consumers that healthcare and being healthy should be experienced joyfully. As such she has become the Queen of How to Let Go & LIVE and creator of Medicine Meets Ministry: Dr. Sheri’s Blueprint on How to Let Go & LIVETM, a step-by-step program that teaches individuals how to shift their focus from what they’ve lost to what remains in order to bring a new vision, path, and purpose for their life into view.

She has been featured in The New England Journal of Medicine, MORE, Essence, Oxygen, Today’s Chicago Woman, Weinberg Magazine, and the Chicago Tribune among other notable publications. She has also been featured in hundreds of television and radio interviews reaching millions with her expertise in helping individuals unlock their potential, boost their self-esteem, set new directions, and prepare for life-long achievements. Dr. Sheri is the founder of the LIVE Today Foundation, Inc., a 501c3 nonprofit organization meeting the needs of under-resourced cancer patients and survivors living with lymphedema. She is also the creator and host of The LIVE Today Show, which airs at 5:30 pm CST every 2nd Wednesday of the month on CANTV Channel 21 and streams live at cantv.org/hotline. She is also the creator of the one of its kind podcast “Where Medicine Meets Ministry: Dr. Sheri Talks Faith & Facts” addressing fundamental questions when it comes to spirituality, health, medicine, death, dying, and faith using a combination of a solo-cast, case studies, testimonies, and interviews with guest experts. Dr. Prentiss obtained the following degrees: BA, with honors, Northwestern University 1989; MD, with honors, Loyola Stritch School of Medicine 1993; MPH, with a 5.0 GPA University of Illinois School of Public Health 1998; CPE (Certified Physician Executive), CCMM 2007; CSP® (Certified Speaking Professional™), National Speakers Association. She is a member of the American College of Occupational & Environmental Medicine as well as a Fellow, Former Director of the Board, and CPE Tutorial teaching Fellow of the American Association for Physician Leadership.

Wanda Barfield MD, MPH, FAAP, RADM USPHS

Dr. Wanda Barfield is the Director of the Division of Reproductive Health (DRH) within the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She is a retired Assistant Surgeon General in the U.S. Public Health Service. Dr. Barfield joined CDC in 2000 as part of its Epidemic Intelligence Service where she worked in neonatal and perinatal health. She was named Division Director in 2010 but has been dedicated to the improvement of maternal and infant health outcomes for over 30 years.

Dr. Barfield’s research and public health practice focuses on maternal/infant morbidity and mortality, early child health services utilization, improving access to risk-appropriate perinatal care, and advancing the quality of maternal, infant, and reproductive health data for public health action. She has published over 120 scientific articles in these areas. As DRH Director, Dr. Barfield has led efforts to provide optimal and equitable health to women, infants, and families through improved surveillance and applied public health research during the critical junctures of population health; pregnancy, infancy, and adolescence. She has built and strengthened numerous strategic partnerships with multiple MCH organizations. In addition, Dr. Barfield is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics with the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Emory University School of Medicine. She is a Fellow with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and is the CDC liaison to the AAP Section on Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine (SoNPM) and Committee on Fetus and Newborn (COFN). She also serves as ex-officio member to the HHS Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Infant Mortality. She continues to do clinical work in neonatology, providing care to premature and other critically ill newborns.

Dr. Barfield enjoys being a mother, mentor, teacher, gardener, and continues to do clinical work in neonatology, providing care to premature and other critically ill newborns.

Dr. Erin M. Sorrell

Dr. Erin M. Sorrell is an Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and a member of the Center for Global Health Science and Security at Georgetown University.

Dr. Sorrell works with partners across the U.S. government, international organizations, and ministries around the world to identify elements required to support health systems strengthening and laboratory capacity building for disease detection, reporting, risk assessment, and response. She is also interested in operational and implementation research questions related to sustainable health systems strengthening, with an emphasis on the prevention, management, and control of infectious diseases in humanitarian situations, and particularly countries and regions affected by conflict.

Dr. Sorrell co-directs the Biohazardous Threat Agents & Emerging Infectious Diseases M.S. Program. Erin received her undergraduate degree in animal science from Cornell University and an M.Sc. and Ph.D. in animal science and molecular virology from the University of Maryland.

Dr. Colette Brown-Graham

Dr. Colette Brown-Graham is a board-certified Obstetrician/Gynecologist practicing in the West Palm Beach for the past 25 years. She attended Duke University for her undergraduate degree, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine for medical school. She also has a Master's in Public Health with a concentration in Maternal Child Health from Harvard University. Dr. Brown-Graham enjoys the continuity of care that is afforded with obstetrics and gynecology because of the deep and lasting relationships built with patients. She is an accomplished Robotic surgeon and is committed to providing excellent care to all patients. She is an active member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Alpha Alpha Upsilon Omega Chapter and is a board member of the Marjorie S. Fischer Boys and Girls Club of West Palm Beach. To continue the pipeline of students of color interested in medicine, Dr. Brown-Graham mentors in several programs like Take Stock in Children.

Kurtis Blow

Kurtis Blow is one of the founders and creators of recorded rap. A timeless artist and hip-hop legend, Kurtis Blow blazed the trail for early Hip-Hop artists, and he will soon carry the torch for Hip-Hop music into new arenas.

Kurtis is credited with many firsts, including:
•1st Rapper signed to a major label
• 1st Certified gold rap record (The Breaks)
• 1st Rapper to tour the US and Europe, with The Commodores,1980)
• 1st Rapper to record a national commercial (Sprite)
• 1st Rap music video (Basketball)
• 1st Rapper to appear in a soap opera (One Life to Live)
• 1st Rapper millionaire

In 1979, at the age of twenty, Kurtis Blow became the first Rapper to be signed by a major label. Mercury released “Christmas Rappin,” and it sold over 400,000 copies and it became an annual classic. Its gold follow-up “The Breaks” helped ignite an international “Rap Attack.” He released 10 albums over 11 years -- The first entitled “Kurtis Blow”, his full length debut, and his second, a Top 50 Pop Album “Deuce,” a big hit across Europe; “Party Time” which featured a pioneering fusion of Rap and GoGo; “Ego Trip,” which includes the hits “8 Million Stories”, “AJ”, and “Basketball”, and in 1985, “America.” “America’s video innovation received a MTV Monitor Award. From this album, the song “If I Ruled the World” became a top 5 hit on Billboard’s R & B chart. Columbia/Sony recording artist Nas debuted at #1 on the Billboard’s Pop Album chart with a cover of the song in 1997.

He was honored to coordinate “Martin Luther King Holiday”, along with Dexter Scott King, a song to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King’s Birthday. The Mercury/Polygram single co-produced by Kurtis Blow includes the collaborative efforts of Whitney Houston, New Edition, Stephanie Mills, El Debarge, James “JT” Taylor of Kool & the Gang, The Fat Boys and Run DMC among others. It has become an annual Holiday Classic.

Besides his own work, Kurtis has been responsible for Rap hits by The Fat Boys and Run DMC. Run began his career billed as “The son of Kurtis Blow.” Love Bug Starski, Sweet Gee, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Full Force, Russell Simmons and Wyclef Jean all have been produced or have worked with Kurtis Blow in the past. Additionally, former label mates Rene & Angela had their chart-topping debut “Save Your Love for #1” gift wrapped by Kurtis Blow.

Kurtis Blow's acting performances and music coordination in several movies including Leon Kennedy’s “Cry of the City” and the hit film “Krush Groove” has won him continual praise. The New York Daily News called his cinematic works “Noteworthy, A Dynamic Presence.” As host and coproducer for “Das Leben Amerikanischer Gangs” an international film production's focus on the West Coast gang scene, Kurtis Blow crossed international waters for inner city justice (1995). As host and associate producer for "Rhyme and Reason” a Miramax film, Kurtis Blow gives an informative account of the present status of HipHop (1998). "The History of Rap" produced and written by Kurtis Blow, is soon coming to a theatre near you.

Kurtis Blow has become known as somewhat of an activist, speaking out against racism and drug use. His innate ability to reach people is also evident in his selection as spokesperson for The National Ad Counsel. He is an integral part of its youth campaign and can be seen and heard in print, radio and television nationwide as the first to “Say No To Drugs.” He has also been involved with Phoenix House of California, a substance abuse organization with Black community emphasis.

In 1995, Kurtis Blow started working on-air in radio. Power 106, the #1 CHR Radio station in Southern California, had Kurtis on-air Sunday nights with The Old School Show, a highly rated specialty show that features Kurtis Blow spinning the hits from the past. The show was rated #1 for 4 years. Kurtis later worked for Sirius Satellite Radio on the Classic Old School Hip-Hop station Backspin 43.

In 2002 after 9/11, Kurtis went overseas to the Middle East to tour the Armed Forces Bases for 17 shows to bring a little bit of back home to the troops stationed there. The tour consisted of shows in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Krgystan, Jordan, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman “It was a tour I will never forget,” Blow says, “I did the Bob Hope thing.” Since then, Kurtis Blow has kept busy. He has completed multiple world tours since the turn of the new millennium, and continues to work on other creative endeavors in the music and film arenas.

Kurtis Blow helped legitimize Hip Hop, and now, he intends to help redeem it. Having made a deep commitment to the ways and teachings of Jesus Christ, Kurtis went back to school studying theology at NYACK College - he became an ordained minister in 2009. As Co-founder of the Hip Hop Church, Kurtis serves as rapper, DJ and worship leader. There are several Hip-Hop Churches around the country and Kurtis is involved with many of them. “Don't get it twisted, God has always existed,” says Kurtis, “and in terms of these young people out here who love God but do not like to go to church, only Hip-Hop can bring them back to the church.”

MALIK YOBA

ACTOR, MUSICIAN, AUTHOR, ENTREPRENEUR, EDUCATOR PHILANTHROPIST, SOCIAL JUSTICE WARRIOR

Born in the South Bronx and raised in Harlem, Yoba offers almost three decades of commitment to the arts and his credits include over fifty films and more than a dozen roles in network/cable tv series. His debut in Disney’s Cool Runnings and his performance as NYPD Detective J.C. Williams in the ground breaking police drama, New York Undercover, catapulted Malik into the fabric of American culture. He recently premiered his musical auto-biography, Harlem to Hollywood at the Apollo theater with his co-writer/director and Broadway veteran, Kevin Ramsey. The show features Yoba’s original music and extensive character work as he brings over 20 personalities to life. This fall, the newly accredited real estate developer with projects in NYC and Baltimore can be seen opposite Jill Scott in The First Wives Club (BET) and soon in a re-launch of New York Undercover.

Michelle Morse, MD, MPH

Dr. Michelle Morse is the inaugural Chief Medical Officer and Deputy Commissioner for the Center for Health Equity and Community Wellness (CHECW) at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYCDOHMH). Dr. Morse leads the agency’s work in bridging public health and health care to reduce health inequities, guiding CHECW’s place-based and cross-cutting health equity programs, and serving as a key liaison to clinicians and clinical leaders across New York City.

Dr. Morse is an internal medicine and public health doctor who works to achieve health equity through global solidarity, social medicine and anti-racism education, and activism. She is a general internal medicine physician, part-time hospitalist at Kings County Hospital, Co-Founder of EqualHealth, and Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Morse’s continued commitment to advancing health equity and justice is informed by her experience in leadership roles as Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Partners In Heath, as a Soros Equality Fellow launching a global Campaign Against Racism and as a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy fellow with the Ways and Means Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Donna Richardson Joyner

is a best-selling author, international motivational speaker and TV Host. She has spread the gospel of good health; mind, body and spirit. She has traveled to 50 states, 50 countries and 6 continents empowering, educating and energizing women, children and families. She started the business because she was sick and tired of seeing loved ones, church members and people in African American communities dying from preventable illnesses. Her mission is to help people become a witness to fitness by combining faith, fitness, food and fellowship.

For over 25 years Donna and her mom who is 81 years young blessed family, friends and celebrities with their historically rich family recipe, Mama LaVerne’s Chicken and Waffles. They are passing down a generational legacy and for the first ever they have packaged chicken seasoning waffle and pancake mix so you can enjoy at home. In the midst of the pandemic, personal loss of loved ones, family illnesses, uncertainties and challenges they stepped out on faith and packaged love and legacy into the mixes so you, family and friends can share traditions and create memories.

Donna attended Hollins University and was a teacher at Montgomery County Community College. She is the only council member appointed by President Bush and President Obama to serve on the President’s Council for Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. She was an ambassador for First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move Initiative.” Donna has starred in over 25 award winning videos including best-selling “Buns of Steel” which sold over 10 million copies. She starred in best- selling videos ESPN, Nike, Sweating in the Spirit, Body Gospel and her own line of videos. Her Sweating in the Spirit DVD was featured in Tyler Perry’s movie “Diary of a Mad Black Woman.” Donna was one of Nike’s Female Athletes to have her own signature shoe, The Donna Richardson “Air Max Mundo.” She created the first Tiny House for retail for women and men clothing and accessories. Donna continues to be a strong leader and innovator.

Donna is a TV Contributor for CNN, MSNBC, FOX, ABC, TBN and other networks. She was the producer and host of “The Donna Richardson’s Mind, Body and Spirit Show,” and “The Sweating in the Spirit Show” on the Word Network. She also was the former co-host of the ESPN Fitness Pro’s Show” and fitness expert for NBC “Today Show.” Donna has appeared in commercials and print advertisement for Proctor & Gamble, Kellogg’s, McDonald’s, Kmart, Walmart, ESPN, Nike, PGA, LPGA, etc.

She has lectured and conducted seminars at schools, community centers, churches, corporations, universities and senior centers around the globe. She has been a featured speaker with God’s Leading Ladies, Sisters in the Spirit, Pantene Total You, Eliminating Childhood Obesity and many other tours. Donna climbed the tallest free standing mountain in the world, Kilimanjaro and served on a missionary that provided food, clothes and school supplies for thousands of children at orphanages in Arusha, Africa. She led the first team of African American Women to run 200 miles in the Hood to Coast Relay and raised funds for the American Cancer Society. She ran in the Paris Marathon, raising awareness and funds for the North Dallas Suicide Crisis Center. Donna continues to create change and make a difference through her philanthropic and humanitarian work.

She was inducted into The National Fitness Hall of Fame and was named by Essence Magazine “One of Twenty Five of The Most Inspiring Women in America.” She received the Mental & Physical Health Award from the Congressional Black Caucus. She was awarded the “Family Leadership Legacy Award” by the Jack & Jill of America Foundation. Donna broke the Guinness Book of World Records for the world’s largest line dance with over 50,000 participants at Mega-fest with Bishop T.D. Jakes. She was also selected by Fitness Magazine as one of the top movers and shakers. She received The Centennial Health Award from Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the Presidential Award from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She was honored with The Christian Literary Trailblazer Award, and The All-Star Gospel Celebration Slam Dunk Award. Recently, Donna was awarded The Ruby Award for her outstanding work in empowering and mentoring young girls and women.

Donna was on the advisory board for The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Boys and Girls Club of America. She served on the board for Women Sports Foundation and the Tom Joyner Foundation. Donna was a board member for The LPGA Foundation and a former Spokesperson for the PGA of America. She taught for several years in South Africa at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for girls.

S. Epatha Merkerson

Merkerson a native of Detrroit, Michigan has won critical acclaim for her work in theatre, television and film. She is best known for her 17-season run as Lieutenant Anita Van Buren on NBC’s “Law & Order,” (three NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a drama) and has currently teamed up with producer Dick Wolf for the Chicago One series where she plays Sharon Goodwin the hospital administrator on CHICAGO MED now in it’s 7th season.

Her role in the HBO film “Lackawanna Blues,” earned her an Emmy, Golden Globe, SAG Award, Gracie Allen Award, NAACP Image Award and a IFP Spirit Award nomination. Other credits include “Radio,” which garnered her a Cammie Award, “Black Snake Moan,” “Terminator II: Judgement Day,” “Random Hearts,” “Navy SEALs,” “Mother and Child,” “The Six Wives of Henry Lefay” “Peeples,” Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” and independent films: “The Challenger” with Michael Clark Duncan; and “Year by the Sea” opposite Karen Allen.

Her theatre credits include the 2008 Broadway revival of “Come Back Little Sheba,” (Tony nom); August Wilson’s “The Piano Lesson,” (Tony, Drama Desk, Helen Hayes Award noms); “Birdie Blue” and “I’m Not Stupid,” (Obie Awards); “The Old Settler (Helen Hayes Award); “F*cking A” and “While I Yet Live” (Lucille Lortel noms.) “The Roommate” (2017) and “ A Raisin in the Sun” (2019 ) at The Williamstoen Theatre Festival.

On television she was a series regular on “Peewee’s Playhouse,” “The Cosby Show” spin-off “Here and Now,” Dick Wolf’s “Mann and Machine” and also served as host of “Find Our Missing” for TVOne. Merkerson has made guest appearances on “Deception,” “The Cosby Show,” “Frasier,” “The Closer” and “Being Mary Jane.” Her television movies include “A Mother’s Prayer”, “A Place for Annie”, “Breaking Free”, Lifetime’s “The Gabby Douglas Story” and NBC’s “Exiled,” that also featured Chris Noth.

Merkerson directed “Conversations with Mary Lou Williams” a collaboration with composerpianist the late Geri Allen, author Professor Farah Jasmine Griffin and jazz vocalist Carmen Lundy. “Conversations” premiered at The Gatehouse at Harlem Stage and moved to the Kennedy Center for performances at The Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival.

Ms. Merkerson holds a BFA in Theatre performance from Wayne State University and is the recipient of four Honorary Doctorates; from her alma mater WSU (2009), The University of Maryland Eastern Shore (2012), Montclair State University (2013) and The University of Pittsburgh (2017)

Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH

is the 19th Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the ninth Administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. She is an influential scholar whose pioneering research has helped advance the national and global response to HIV/AIDS. Dr. Walensky is also a well-respected expert on the value of testing and treatment of deadly viruses.

Dr. Walensky served as Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital from 2017-2020 and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School from 2012-2020. She served on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic and conducted research on vaccine delivery and strategies to reach underserved communities.

Dr. Walensky is recognized internationally for her work to improve HIV screening and care in South Africa and nationally recognized for motivating health policy and informing clinical trial design and evaluation in a variety of settings. She is a past Chair of the Office of AIDS Research Advisory Council at the National Institutes of Health, Chair-elect of the HIV Medical Association, and previously served as an advisor to both the World Health Organization and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS.

Originally from Maryland, Dr. Walensky received her Bachelor of Arts from Washington University in St. Louis, her Doctor of Medicine from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and her Masters in Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health.

Tatyana Ali

With a career spanning 35 years, Tatyana Ali is best known to millions, worldwide, for playing "Ashley Banks" in the iconic comedy series "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”. Born in Brooklyn, NY, she is a Broadway-trained actress, singer, producer, activist and Harvard University graduate.

Ali has appeared in numerous television, film and theatrical projects over her career, which began at four years old including Sesame Street, the Pulitzer Prize winning Broadway production of Fences, The Young and the Restless and Disney’s Glory Road. The 5-time NAACP Image Award winner, Harvard Aspiring Minority Business Leader and Black Girls Rock! honoree, was named one of most beautiful women in the world by People Magazine en Español and People Magazine.

She holds a gold record for her 1998 debut album Kiss the Sky, which included the hit singles "Daydreamin' " and "Boy You Knock Me Out” and joined both the *NSYNC and The Backstreet Boys world tours. In 1999, her recording of "Precious Wings" for The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland soundtrack won a Grammy Award for "Best Musical Album for Children." In 2013 Ali digitally released the independent EP “Hello”.

She co-founded HazraH Entertainment, a production company dedicated to creating quality content for underserved communities. The company was a production partner on the Martin Lawrence executive-produced sitcom "Love That Girl!", the first original scripted program on the TV One Network. HazraH Entertainment also produced the acclaimed web series "Buppies" for BET.com.

Ali has spent the majority of her career engaging in humanitarian efforts. During the 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns, she served as a surrogate for President Obama, speaking to communities and young people across the country about voting as an imperative. She did the same grass roots work for Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2016. She has hosted the United Negro College Fund's "Empower Me" Tour 3 years in a row, has been a spokesperson for the Millennium Momentum Foundation for 8 years and is actively involved in Black Girl’s Rock!, an organization dedicated to educating and mentoring young women. After publishing her first op-ed in Essence magazine in 2019 entitled "Birthright", Tatyana was asked to serve as a Celebrity Council Advocate for the March of Dimes.

She resides in California with her husband and two sons.

Dr. Perlita R. Dicochea

TBA

Amine-El-Kadmiri

Dr. Mohammed El Kadmiri is an internal medicine provider who specializes in hematology and oncology at Meharry Medical Group.

Dr. El Kadmiri received his medical degree from Université Mohammed V Faculté de Médecine et de Pharmacie in Rabat, Morocco. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Howard University Hospital in Washington, D.C. He completed fellowships in Hematology and Oncology at Howard University Hospital and the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md.

Dr. El Kadmiri is an assistant professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at Meharry Medical College. He is a member of the American Society of Hematology and the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Christine Williams, MBA

Christine Williams currently servesas President ofthe Auxiliary to the National Medical Association (ANMA) and the Past-President of the Auxiliary to the Medico-Chirurgical (Med-Chi) Society, District of Columbia, Inc(AMCS)and also its Program Chair. As the ANMA Presidentshe leads the organization in its National Health Agenda with its Theme for the 2021-2022 year “A Call for Action against COVID-19, Opioid Misuse, HIV Aids, and Vaping in the African American Community”. Mrs. Williams is honored to lead the ANMA in aiding the National Medical Association (NMA) in its effort to educate and serve the public in maters of health, and also continue to promote a National Auxiliary Program on health, education and legislation.

The ANMA plan and executes educational seminars to the public across the U.S. through its six regions covering 49 states, the District of Columbiaon health issues affecting the African American Community. Mrs. Williams recently retired from the Federal Government as an Information Technology Manager and Contracting Officer’s Technical Representative. She served asa Senior Information Specialist and Project Manager for the U.S. Department of Education, and several agencies throughout the United States, where she was responsible for managing multi-million-dollar contracts. She has excellent oral and written communicationskills, strong interpersonal skills and demonstrated strength in managing and collaboratingwith people.

Mrs. Williams completed a Master of Business Administrations (MBA) from the University of Maryland, University College, College Park, Maryland and Bachelor of Science from Alabama State University – Montgomery Alabama.

Mrs. Williams is a member of Zion Baptist Church where she serves as a Trustee, member of the Health Ministry, Scholarship Ministry and the Charles B. Walker Culture Club.

Mrs. Williams resides in Washington District of Columbia with her husband Melvin Williams, M.D. and they have two sons Melvin and Christopher. Hobbies include traveling, swimming,

Dan Pearson

As President and Founder of Dan 4 Entertainment (D4E), Dan has created and managed numerous successful projects across the spectrum of entertainment. He has produced tv/film/music projects, authored books, managed talent, and much more. Dan is the creator and Executive Producer for the highly rated TV series “I Married a Mobster,” a production for Investigation Discovery; he was also Producer of the award winning documentary “Harlem Diaries: Nine Voices of Resilience” and acclaimed documentary “Justifiable Homicide” at Gabriel films. He is currently an Executive Producer for an 80’s Mafia series with APPIAN WAY and Leonardo DiCaprio. Dan is the author of “LAST DON STANDING,” (St. Martin's Press) an exclusive tell-all bio of notorious Philadelphia mafia boss Ralph Natale, the first Mafia Boss in history to tell his story in the first-person, no-holds-barred. Dan is also the creator of “A little Piece of Light,” (Hachette Books); both properties are owned by D4E and are currently represented by FOLIO Literary Agency. Dan Pearson has worked and continues to work with companies such as Simon & Schuster, Discovery Channel, Universal Music Group, Sony Music, Major League Baseball, and EA Sports.

Dr. Ogo Egbuna

Dr. Ogo Egbuna is a passionate physician scientist with nearly two decades of clinical, academic, and drug development experience. Originally from West Africa, he completed medical school at the University of Nigeria before emigrating to the United States, where he completed his residency in internal medicine at Mount Sinai followed by clinical fellowships in nephrology and kidney transplant medicine at the University of Rochester and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, respectively. Dr. Egbuna then completed a Masters in Clinical Investigation from the Harvard/MIT School of Health Sciences and Technology and was on faculty teaching residents, caring for patients, and conducting National Institutes of Health-funded research at the Harvard Medical School.

Throughout his early career, Dr. Egbuna received several honors and awards for his exceptional academic and clinical work and received over a dozen invitations to give oral presentations on topics ranging from kidney disease clinical research to disparities in access to kidney care and transplantations for underserved minorities. He spent ten years at Amgen as a Clinical Research Medical Director for both early and late phase clinical development programs, interacting with a wide range of medical, regulatory, and business stakeholders. During this time, he also began teaching and mentoring medical students as an assistant clinical professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

Currently, Dr. Egbuna is the Vice President, Clinical Development and also the Global Clinical Development Lead for Vertex Pharmaceutical’s APOL1-mediated focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) program, which aims to develop a potentially curative treatment for the underlying cause of APOL1-mediated Kidney Disease. In addition to his role at Vertex and his professorship, Dr. Egbuna also offers pro bono advice to the leadership of KidneySolutions, a kidney disease and dialysis center in Lagos, Nigeria, on standardization and implementation of policies and clinical procedures as well as the use of modern technologies for dialysis and electronic medical records.

Keli Ferguson

Keli Ferguson, née Fulton, is an Emmy award-winning television and radio personality, speaker and host. Her work has been featured on Destination America, MSNBC, NBC Sports Washington, FOX Sports Bay Area, and multiple local affiliates throughout the United States.

Keli began her career as a high school sports reporter in the San Francisco Bay Area and since then the Fort Worth, TX native has covered NCAA Championships for football and basketball, the NBA Playoffs, NBA All-Star Weekend, the Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl.

During her time in the industry, Keli has interviewed countless coaches, athletes, and entertainers, including Tony Dungy, the First Black head coach to win a Super Bowl, and Hall of Famer Ed Reed.

Keli is also a seasoned emcee, host, and moderator. She has hosted several charity events, award shows, and television shows including “America’s First Resort Destination” on the Discovery Network’s Destination America, the Palm Beach County Sports Hall of Fame and the Lou Groza Awards which is part of the Home Depot College Football Awards.

When she is not on air, the South Florida resident spends her time researching therapies and advocating for her son Xavier, who is on the autism spectrum; and spending time with the other members of her family-- a feisty preschooler named Abigail and her husband of nearly 10 years Edwin, an attorney and community leader.

Kim-Marie

Kim-Marie is a 23-year-old woman who is passionate, ambitious and resilient. She is a first-generation graduate having obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Banking and Finance from the University of the West Indies. It is her aspiration to become a charted accountant on completion of the relevant educational qualifications and work experience. Spence is currently a model and believes that being in this competition, she’ll be able to promote the fact that everyone can be a positive influence in the development of their communities, by using this platform to be this influence to others, it’s her dream to impact the lives of young men and women in aspiring them to find their passion and pursue it to make our communities a reservoir of skills and creativity.

From a very young age, Kim-Marie developed a great passion for serving her community. This desire to help others has given her the opportunity to partner with non-profit organizations and create her foundation Find Her Voice. This initiative has impacted a wide demographic that includes children, teenagers and women across Jamaica.

Kim-Marie believes that education, preparation and passion are key ingredients for real progress and empowerment in people. As an ambassador for women’s empowerment, she wrote “Finding Her Voice”, a book which seeks to inform everyone of the importance of finding their voice to actualize their dreams and it has really helpful tips to aid their journey.

Kim-Marie Spence is from a rural community in the breadbasket parish of St. Elizabeth. She aspires to become an example to the youth in her community and dreams of inspiring new generations to be agents of change, reclaim spaces of visibility and representation and bring a spotlight on the community to showcase its diversity, resilience and unique and beautiful charm. That’s the mark she would love to imprint in this world.

MATHEW KNOWLES

Author, professor, lecturer, motivational speaker, music executive, artist manager, entrepreneur, fighter and cancer survivor would be the words used to sum up the life and career of Mathew Knowles. Dr. Knowles possesses an MBA in Strategic Planning and Organizational Culture, Ph.D in Business Administration and recently attended Harvard's Professional Development courses in Ethical Leadership as well as Developing Cultural Intelligence. He currently holds a professorship at Point Blank Music School – Los Angeles, University of Houston, Prairie View A&M University and The Art Institute. As a pioneer for African American success in the corporate world, Knowles corporate career includes sales and marketing at Xerox Medical Systems, Phillips Medical System and Johnson & Johnson. In music having sold over 450 million records worldwide, he has architected the careers of Destiny’s Child, Beyonce and Solange, just to name a few, and has worked with legends such as Chaka Kahn, O’Jays, Earth, Wind & Fire, and many others.

Jermaine Hogstrom, D.O. & Jeremy Hogstrom, D.O.

Twin Drs. Jermaine and Jeremy Hogstrom, also known as “@Twin.Doctors.J” on social media, are Chief medical residents for the Authority Health GME Consortium in Detroit, Michigan and are specializing in Internal Medicine. They both chose the field of medicine due to their love for helping those most in need and are dedicated to being leaders their community. They graduated medical school from Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine in Auburn, Alabama and are passionate about primary care.

In the world of social media, Drs. Jermaine and Jeremy have garnered over 3 million followers through Instagram and TikTok using their platform to share informative medical information and messages of inspiration while using their comedic style to educate their followers as they explore their passion for media and creativity. They have been involved in multiple Covid-19 vaccine campaigns involving the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services and Lieutenant Governor of Michigan. They strive to serve as positive role models for minority youth and are passionate about community outreach. Their philosophy is that laughter truly is the best form of medicine.

Pamela Freeman Fobbs, J.D.

Pamela Freeman Fobbs, J.D. received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Houston in Houston, Texas.

Mrs. Fobbs has been a consultant for state and federal agencies. With the passage of California’s Stem Cell nitiative. In 2006, she was appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger as Chair of the Diversity Council for the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Ms. Fobbs was a member of The Food and Drug Administration’s Consumer Consortium, an advisory committee for the FDA’s medical devices panels. She was invited to train at the National Institutes for Health, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute as a lay-trainer for Women’s Heart Health. As 66th President of the Auxiliary to the National Medical Association,

Fobbs, along with her husband, incepted Save Africa Save Our World, Inc., in 2009 and completed a successful medical mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Their non-profit continues to engage with/and support the Nebobongo Hospital community in the DRC. Fobbs is honored to have served her local community through her membership on the Community Medical Centers Foundation Board and Valley Public Television’s Board of Directors. She has served as a community advisor for California State University Fresno STEM Scholarship Programs and State Center Community College Scholarship and Development Programs.

Fobbs is a member of the The Links, Incorporated and was appointed in 2018 to serve as its National Director of Programs. As a longtime member and past president of the Auxiliary to the National Medical Association (ANMA). She also Chairs its National African American Youth Scholars Initiative (NAAYI) in its need to pivot to a virtual platform.

Vivian J. Bea, MD

Vivian J. Bea, MD is an Assistant Professor of Surgery at New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, NY and section chief of Breast Surgical Oncology at New York Presbyterian-Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, Brooklyn NY. Dr. Bea received her master’s degree in biology from Drexel University and her medical degree from Morehouse School of Medicine. She completed her training in general surgery at the Medical University of South Carolina and a fellowship in breast surgical oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. She is a breast cancer disparities researcher, educator and community outreach leader. As a leader in the community, Dr. Bea has focused on bridging the gap between multidisciplinary breast cancer treatment and community barriers. She is doing just this with her multi-institutional community outreach grant designed to address breast cancer disparities in Black women through increased breast cancer screening, innovative community education, and navigation. She is the course director for the Weill Cornell Breast Health Disparities annual CME course whose goal is to provide breast cancer education to community clinicians within targeted communities. Most recently, Dr. Bea was awarded the prestigious American Medical Association’s National Minority Quality Forums Braintrust, “Top 40 under 40 in Minority Health” for her dedication to community outreach and research. Her clinical and research interest include management of the axilla, inflammatory breast cancer management in underserved populations as well as identifying and eliminating breast cancer diagnosis and treatment disparities.