Harry Colbert, Jr.
A reporter and editor, Mr. Colbert has worked in newspaper and radio for outlets including Suburban Journals, St. Louis American, St. Louis Post‐Dispatch, Metro Networks and 88.1 FM – KDHX. Mr. Colbert is currently an editor and reporter for Insight News in Minneapolis. Mr. Colbert is a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., former executive board member of both the Greater St. Louis Association of Black Journalists and the St. Louis chapter of the Urban League Young Professionals and past president of the NAACP, University of Missouri ‐ Columbia Chapter.
Follow Harry on Twitter @harrycolbert.
Jolie Alexandria Doggett is a 23-year-old blogger from Hampton, VA working in the D.C. Metro Area. Jolie began writing professionally at age 15 for a local youth magazine. Since then, her career has been devoted to multi-media storytelling and social commentary. After receiving her Bachelor’s in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park, Jolie interned at National Public Radio before launching her own endeavors including a full-length documentary about Black fraternity and sorority life. Her writing has been featured on numerous blogs and publications and she’s done work for ESSENCE Online, Sister2Sister Magazine, The National Congress of Black Women, Patch.com, Thought Catalogue, and more. Her personal musings can be found on her blog, JolieDoggett.com. She’s a feminist with an afro, a self-proclaimed Harry Potter expert, and professional Chipotle eater. When she’s not writing, she’s volunteering in local elementary schools or chasing her baby nephew.
Lindsay Gary is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of the University of Houston. She obtained a Bachelor of Art in History, with a minor in Business Administration and Dance, and was a member of the Pre-Law Program. She currently works as Politics Editor and History Columnist for The Texas Southern University Herald in addition to pursuing a Master of Public Administration in Public Policy and a Master of Art in History.
Her passions for social justice, education, and public policy can be seen through her work with the NAACP, CHILDREN AT RISK, and the Texas League of Young Voters Education Fund. Her organizing work across the state resulted in record-breaking voter participation in the 2012 Presidential Election.
A global citizen, Lindsay has traveled to over twenty countries including Turkey, South Africa, Morocco, St. Maarten, Tanzania, and Croatia.
Follow Lindsay on Twitter @fleur_de_linds.
Dr. Bruce Ormond Grant
Dr. Grant is an academic researcher from Brooklyn, New York. Dr. Grant’s work centers on the experiences of African people on the continent and in the diaspora. Dr. Grant earned a PhD in African Studies and Research from Howard University; this is his first time contributing to a blog.
Follow Dr. Grant on Twitter @BOrmondGrant.
Dr. Deborah Collage Grison
Dr. Grison was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. A published author, poet and college professor, she identifies herself as a purveyor of truth and power through word, sound and scholarship. Dr. Grison’s work has been supported both creatively and professionally by renown author, poet and University Distinguished Professor Nikki Giovanni, Dr.
Sonia Sanchez, Tom Lux, former Brooklyn Poet Laureate Dennis Nurkse, The Last Poets, Saul Williams of the critically acclaimed film SLAM, Regie Gibson from the movie LOVE JONES, actress Sheryl Lee Ralph of Dreamgirls fame and ZUREK “The Voice of BET”.
Dr. Grison is the founding principal of the EAT LIFE! IT’S A MOVEMENT, NOT A MOMENT Health Initiative that advocates and celebrates healing, wholeness and wellness by embracing and living this simple truth, “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
A member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Dr. Grison holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in Urban and Regional Planning-Sustainable Urban Design from Jackson State University. She currently lives between Chicago & Harlem, New York.
Anthony Hales, Jr.
Anthony Hales Jr. works in the federal government as a data analyst and is the President of Hales Creative Solutions, a small creative services firm that specializes in supporting start-ups, small businesses and political campaigns.
Prior to launching Hales Creative Solutions, Anthony worked as a public relations consultant in the District of Columbia where he executed community outreach plans for the District Department of Transportation, District Office of Planning, and Deputy Mayor’s Office for Planning and Economic Development. He has also served stints at Clear Channel Radio of New Orleans and has worked with the Louisiana Democratic Party.
Anthony is a native of Poplarville, MS and a graduate of Jackson State University with a Bachelor’s in Mass Communications and a Master’s in Public Policy from George Mason University. He currently resides in Washington, D.C. with his wife, Shari.
Tikeisha Harris is passionate about empowering women and girls. As Director of “Just Be!” Young Women’s Ministry, she leads programs and workshops in her community to encourage young women to embrace their individuality and the gifts they bring to the world. That desire also led to the establishment of T. Harris & Co., a coaching firm that empowers women to pursue their life passions and dreams. She also works with non-profit organizations to help them strategize and create programming that embodies their mission and goal statement. Additionally, Ms. Harris serves as the Secretary of the Board for the Real Life Resource Center, Inc.
She is a graduate of Lincoln University with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a Master of Divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary. She is an ordained Elder within the African Methodist Church and serves in ministry at Hunter Memorial AME Church. She currently resides in Prince George’s County, Maryland.
Follow Tikeisha on Twitter @womengonelive and visit her website at www.womengonelive.com
Jasmine Hockett is digital media veteran who is currently a Social Media Director for Valerie June Tunes, Inc. In her past she has managed social media campaigns for Humana,a healthcare corporation; First Horizon National Corporation, a financial institution and several small businesses. Hockett is originally from Jackson, TN. She attended undergraduate school at the the University of Memphis majoring in broadcast journalism. She is currently active as a board member of the Luther C. McClellan Alumni association chapter at the University of Memphis. She is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated. As a former intern for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Hockett handled digital and press relations for United States Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-D9) and worked in the communications department for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. Currently, she is an MBA candidate at Union University. With experience in radio, television and print, the business savvy, Hockett has a plethora of experience in regards to media relations and how they relate to everyday topics.
Follow Jasmine on Twitter at @jasminekatrina
Tarra Jackson makes learning about personal finance easy and fun! Tarra is a nationally recognized economic empowerment speaker, syndicated financial blogger, radio commentator, author and an authority on personal finance success. In 2012, Tarra transitioned from her position as the executive vice president of a financial institution in Atlanta to become a consumer advocate as a money coach, financial planner and licensed insurance agent based in Atlanta, GA. Known as Madam Money, Tarra is the founder of the popular #WomensWealth Workshops. Tarra is the executive producer and host of the #WomensWealth Wednesdays Hangout that focuses on helping women building wealth financially, emotionally, physically, personally, professionally and spiritually to make better decisions for themselves and their family’s desired prosperity. Tarra is also the creator and host of #CashChat Twitter Chat, ranked in the top Personal Finance Chats on Twitter, every Friday at 12p.m. EST.
Sharon Jenkins is an accomplished marketing communications professional with a background that includes work in the financial services arena in Chicago, Illinois, independent film production work in Los Angeles, California and skillful communications work in national policy and faith-based issues. Her experience on Capitol Hill includes serving as Communications Director for House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee Chair Bobby L. Rush where she helped implement an advocacy and messaging strategy that led to the adoption of key legislation including the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008. She’s a former Communications Director for the National Women’s Law Center and the National AIDS Fund. She’s also worked for leading PR agencies, including Golin Harris Communications where she was part of a team that won top honors from the Public Relations Society of America for a national exhibit that commemorated the first national holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Originally from Indianapolis, Indiana she earned a four-year academic scholarship and graduated, with honors, from Indiana University with a BA in journalism. She’s won several national public relations awards for her accomplishments in marketing communications and she’s set to release her first book, a personal reflection on faith and family, in the coming months.
A native of Miami, Florida, Kerline Jules is one of South Florida’s leading young professionals and community leaders invested in public service and is passionate about elevating the message of social and economic empowerment. With the tagline “Passion. Purpose. Impact.”, Kerline is the visionary behind The K.Jules Project, a social impact venture. She is the immediate past president of her local National Urban League Young Professionals chapter, a member of the women’s public service group, Women With HEART and serves on the advisory board for I.C.A.B.A. (Identify Connect Activate the Black Accomplished).
Kerline has been recognized by Legacy Magazine as one of South Florida’s 40 under 40 Black Leaders, by the Young & Powerful Group as a Rising Star Community Leader, and as an ICABA Honors Rising Star Community Leader. She was recently inducted into the 100 Outstanding Women in Broward County. She is also a proud graduate of the 2013 Congressional Black Caucus Leadership Institute’s Political Leadership “Boot Camp”.
Kerline holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Computer Information Systems and Finance from the University of Miami.
Follow Kerline on Twitter @KerlineKJules.
Karima Mariama-Arthur, Esq.
As the founder and chief executive officer of WordSmithRapport™, Karima brings more than two decades of comprehensive, blue chip experience in law, business, and academia to the field of professional development. As an expert facilitator, executive communications consultant, and strategic leadership advisor, she trains, coaches, and consults individuals and organizations on the dynamics of complex communication and high performance leadership competence.
Karima is a Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM), United States Senate and a certified corporate speaker with the International Association of Corporate Speakers (IACS).
Prior to founding WordSmithRapport™, Karima spent more than a decade working exclusively with corporate litigation based firms where she focused on corporate compliance, commercial transactions, and complex foreign litigation. For the past seven years she has served diligently as a trusted advisor to the Lawyer Assistance Committee for the Lawyer Assistance Program of the District of Columbia Bar, a confidential program that provides assistance to lawyers, judges, and law students who experience problems that interfere with their personal lives or their ability to serve as counsel or officers of the court.
When not coaching executives, Karima enjoys helping young adults to increase their self-confidence through communication and leadership excellence.
Christian Motley is a Democratic political strategist based in Lexington, Kentucky. His political career began as a student organizer registering new voters in the West End of Louisville, Kentucky, and he has since gone on to organize campaigns for the Kentucky State House, Senate, Governor, and spent 2012 presidential election in Pennsylvania. He most recently served as an aide to Acting Deputy Secretary Jim Shelton at the U.S. Department of Education. Motley’s true passion is engaging young people – encouraging a generation of millennials to organize, and run for office.
Aside from his work in politics Motley is a published poet who has performed in spoken word SLAM competitions across the southern United States and in Paris, France.
Christian Motley holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the historic Berea College, in Berea, Kentucky.
Follow Christian on Twitter @christianjalil,
Regina M. Moorer
Regina M. Moorer is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Political Science at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama. Her dissertation research focuses on the policy consequences of political and economic inequalities. In her dissertation, she examines how local government structures impacts the way particular social safety net programs are administered. Her broader research agenda focuses on economic inequality, poverty, and social welfare policy. She has received numerous fellowships and awards, including 2012 Doctoral Student of the Year for Political Science at Auburn University. She also teaches undergraduate political science courses.
Follow Regina on Twitter @RM_Moorer
Kendra Pierson is a loving wife to her husband of 10 years and mommy to two active young boys. Professionally, she is the director of research at TCG Consulting Inc., a consulting firm located in Atlanta. She has more than 14 years of health communications, marketing and strategic planning/research experience in the public and private sectors. She holds a master’s degree from The George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree from Spelman College. Additionally, she holds the designation of Certified Meeting Professional (CMP).
She is the creator of Headband for Today, a blog focusing on real women who are constantly juggling multiple headbands. In addition to being a wife and mom, she wears the headbands of business owner, board member, community volunteer and philanthropist. Personally, she spends her time volunteering with organizations that support women and children, loves to make connections and learn new things. She is a current co-president of the Metropolitan Atlanta Chapter of Mocha Moms, Inc and former national officer for the National Alumnae Association of Spelman College.
Dr. Juneaeu K. Robbins
Originally from Toronto, Canada, Dr. Robbins is a graduate of Northwestern Health Sciences University in Bloomington, Minnesota. A strong advocate of drug-free healthcare and self-empowerment through means of self-responsibility, he is the recipient of several professional honors, including the President’s Choice and Chiropractor of the Year awards from the American Black Chiropractic Association.
Known for his friendly ability to provide top-notch chiropractic, nutrition and wellness care to patients while working closely with other professionals, Dr. Robbins speaks frequently at schools, churches and community organizations on the topics of drug-free healthcare, nutrition, self-empowerment and overall well-being.
Along with his late father, Larry Mansfield Robbins, B.A., M.Ed., Dr. Robbins is the co-author of a parenting tip book titled 121 Tips on Raising a Child of Color. Together with his wife Anika, he owns Robbins Urban Wellness Retreat & Cultural Chiropractic in Minneapolis.
Follow Dr. Robbins on Twitter @DrJuneau and visit his personal website at www.DrJuneauRobbins.com.
Rachael Ruffin, a native Memphian, is an up and coming public health professional with a background rooted in maternal and child health. She currently serves as the program manager for the National Healthy Start Association. Her duties include management of programs designed to combat infant morbidity and mortality and promotion of early childhood development amongst minority populations.
Rachael’s passion for public health extends well beyond her career. Utilizing her membership in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated and her position as vice president of the junior board of directors for Girls on the Run of Montgomery County Maryland, Rachael breathes health and wellness into the lives of others.
Rachael holds a Master of Science in Public Health from Meharry Medical College and a Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology from Tennessee State University.
Follow Rachael on Twitter @Rachael_Ruffin and visit her blog http://lifelaughluv.blogspot.com/.
Christine Marie Slaughter is from Petersburg, Virginia and is rising senior at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia where she majors in political science and comparative women’s studies. While at Spelman, Christine has served in various capacities for the college chapter of the NAACP, the Social Justice Fellows Program, and Morehouse College’s student newspaper, The Maroon Tiger.
Christine intends to apply to graduate school to obtain her Ph.D. in political science. Her ultimate career goal is to make an impact, measured or unmeasured, within the academy as a college professor. She enjoys walking, visiting libraries, discussing politics, reading James Baldwin, tweeting, gardening and traveling. She recently returned from living and studying in South Africa and anticipates returning.
She considers herself an advocate for HBCUs, an outspoken feminist and scholar-activist. She is motivated by the spirit and energy of Dorothy Height, Ida B. Wells and Shirley Chisholm, whom is the voice of her motivating quote, “service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on this earth.”
Follow Christine on Twitter @chrismarie_.
Patricia St. Clair
Patricia St. Clair is a Senior Employment Attorney in the federal government who oversees and provides training, technical assistance and guidance to all federal agencies on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Equal Pay Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, and Rehabilitation Act. She has experience in labor management, employment discrimination and diversity management and presents at EEO and Diversity conferences in the federal and state governments as well as private sector. When not in the legal arena, she serves as motivational speaker, educator and 7th Peace coach supporting people on their journey toward divinely inspired intentional living. She is founder of 7th Peace Transformational Well-Being and Holistic Health Institute, in the Washington Metropolitan area. Ms. St. Clair applies over 20 years of knowledge and professional abilities to her calling as “7th Peace Coach” to motivate individuals to live authentically.
Michelle Y. Talbert is a relationship strategist with expertise in improving business networking and romantic relationships using social media. She left the full-time practice of law in 2012 and now uses her knowledge and expertise in social media to write, speak and build programs for relationship building for individuals and corporations. Michelle is a social media correspondent and contributor for a number of organizations and annual conferences, including Black Enterprise, PaulCBrunson.com and Michael Fiore’s Digital Romance. She co-authored, Don’t Do What We Did! in 2011 and has been featured in USA Today and EBONY.com. In addition to her own popular weekly podcast, They Met Online, Michelle has been a guest on many radio programs, including WHUR/Sirius/XM Black Voices. After seven years of attending community college at night while a secretary by day, Michelle and her two children relocated to Ithaca, NY where Michelle obtained her B.S. from Cornell University, then went on to receive her law degree from the University of Pennsylvania and her certificate in Business Policy and Management from the Wharton School.
Vannessa is an award-winning PR Expert and Founder of Connect The Dots PR where she loves getting her clients favorable publicity. Vannessa has appeared in Entrepreneur, Black Enterprise, New York Magazine and continues to be recognized for her unmatched spunk and talent. From the halls of the U.S. Office of Presidential Correspondence to UNICEF, Vannessa has been able to create strong engaging brands that appeal to consumers – and it shows!
Her strengths lie in building solid client relationships, crafting effective personalized campaigns and listening to her client’s needs.
Vannessa, a graduate of The University of Houston, is as driven about public service as she is about public relations. She volunteers her time and expertise to various civic organizations including Kids Meals, The Sickle Cell Association and The Girl Scouts of America. She is a League of Women Voters board member and received a Top 30 Women in Business Award and a Future Business Leader Award.
A writer at her core, Ashley Wilson is a graduate of Dillard University (B.A. in Mass Communications) and Boston University (M.S. in Public Relations). She started her time in D.C. on Capitol Hill working in press and legislative capacities before leaving to work in the classroom.
She is currently the Communications Manager at the Global Campaign for Education-US Chapter—a coalition member organization working to ensure that all children around the world have access to a quality education.
Follow Ashley on Twitter at @WordsmithWilson