Rainbow Push Convention App

A More Perfect Union From Freedom to Voting rights to Economic Justice
This the 50th Anniversary of Operation Breadbasket. The 45th Annual convention held every year in Chicago.
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  • 24 June
  • 25 June
  • 26 June
  • 27 June
  • 28 June
  • 29 June

Axel Adams

National Director
Rainbow PUSH Coalition
Axel D. Adams is the National Director of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition 1000 Churches Connected Program (OTCC). His responsibilities include but not limited to building, deepening and leveraging partnerships with over two thousand Pastors, representing three million congregant’s around the country. The focus is on what Rev. Jackson calls “A program created to deliver a message of economic and health responsibility through the church.” Axel also held the position of Chief Operations Officer (COO) and Deputy Executive Director in the Chicago Headquarters’ Office before taking the leadership of OTCC. His previous employment was with Westinghouse Savannah River Company, a Federal Government Nuclear Facility as a supervisor. During his employment there, he was the first African-American to receive the Company’s Community Service Award. He’s a recipient of many awards namely NAACP on the local, state and national level. The South Carolina Youth and College Division named their State Advisor of the Year Award, the “Axel Adams Advisor of the Year Award” in his honor for exemplary service. Axel was the first African American elected to City Council in his hometown of New Ellenton South Carolina at the early age of 22 years old. There he served two-four year elected terms. Now serving on several boards and committee’s as well as manager for the dynamic, melodious and anointed national gospel recording artist group ‘The Wardlaw Brothers” TWB. He is an honors graduate of the University of Phoenix with an Associate’s Degree and Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management. Axel says that God is first and foremost in his life.

Ms. Ibada Ahmed

Vice President
Africa's Young Entrepreneur
A Kenyan Citizen of Somali Descent. Ms. Ibada Ahmed is the Vice President of Africa’s Young Entrepreneurs. She is tasked with Expansion and Overall management of AYE. A career Banker, Ms. Ahmed began her career at Chase Bank as a Trader in Treasury and later on in Senior Management. At the age of 23, Ms. Ahmed was recognized as the youngest bank manager in Kenya, an achievement not before accomplished. In 2012 Ms. Ahmed received an award and recognition in the Top 40 under 40 Kenyan women, for show of extraordinarily leadership skills and growth contribution to the banking and Micro finance sector. In 2011 Ms. Ahmed went to start Fursa Leo Micro-finance and as its General Manager/C.E.O , she set up the entire operations of the organization merging models from Ujjivan Microfinance in India, Grameen Bank in Bangladesh and Commercial Banking. Fursa Leo focuses on lending to women entrepreneurs as well as providing financial literacy skills to thousands of women in Kenya. Ms. Ahmed is a member of Bankers without borders as well as a mentor and speaker on various platforms. She is business strategy consultant, Avid reader and Writer. She holds a degree in Arts from University of Nairobi as well as other professional qualifications

27 June

Linda Alvarado

Colorado Rockies
Linda Alvarado is an owner of the COLORADO ROCKIES. In keeping with breaking nontraditional roles, Linda made history in 1992 as the first Latino owner (male or female) of a Major League Baseball Franchise, COLORADO ROCKIES. Her ownership role is also significant as it marked the first time that any woman was involved in a bid for ownership of a major league baseball team. She is a director of 3M Company, Pitney Bowes, and the Mayo Clinic. She previously served on the board of directors of Pepsi Bottling Group, Lennox International, Qwest Communications, Cyprus Amex Minerals and the United Banks of Colorado. LINDA is an inductee in the National Minority Business Hall of Fame, the Women’s Business Enterprise Hall of Fame, the Latin American International Sports Hall of Fame, the National Women’s Hall of Fame, and named one of the “100 Most Influential Hispanics in America” by Hispanic Business, Poder, and Latino Leaders magazines, and voted by viewers as the “Most Inspiring Latino in America” for the American Latino Television Awards. She is a founding member and past Chairman of the Board of the Denver Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Presidential appointee as a Commissioner of the White House Initiative for Hispanic Excellence in Education. She has served on the Board of Trustees of The Rose Community Foundation, Qwest Communications Foundation, Taco Bell Foundation and is a founding member of The Colorado Latino Community Foundation.

28 June

Mr. Oliver Andrews

Chief Investment Officer
Africa Finance Corporation
Oliver is the Executive Director and Chief Investment Officer of the Africa Finance Corporation. His oversight functions include end to end origination end to end origination and execution of transactions for AFC. An entrepreneurial engineer and transport economist with extensive back ground in engineering, transport and project finance. Oliver has over 30 year experience in the infrastructure sector as an infrastructure project, developer, financier and strategic adviser. He has successfully directed numerous infrastructure deals in Africa leading project development teams providing strategic, policy, programme and commercial advice on infrastructure development issues to development financial institutions, international blue chip corporations, and Governments both in Africa and Europe He was the project director for Cenpower leading a multidisciplinary project team drawn from a number of institutions that successfully achieved financial close for a 900 million USD landmark project in Ghana, which won the 2014 Africa power deal of the year. Oliver is a former CEO of TCI Infrastructure Limited (TCII) and the Gambia Ports Authority. He holds an MBA from the University of Wales, he is an Electrical and Electronic Engineer, a member of the Chartered Institute of Transport and Logistics and a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. He is also the non-executive director of several companies and the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Africa Centre, a Uk registered charitable organisation.

27 June


Dr. Damon Arnold

Blue Cross Blue Shield

29 June

Barbara Arnwine

President & Founder
Transformative Justice Coalition
Barbara R. Arnwine, president & founder of Transformative Justice Coalition, is internationally renowned for contributions on critical justice issues including the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1991 and the 2006 reauthorization of provisions of the Voting Rights Act. She also created the legendary Voting Rights “Map of Shame” in 2011, which remains popular. A graduate of Scripps College and Duke University School of Law, she continues to champion civil rights and racial justice issues nationally and internationally in the areas of housing and lending, community development, employment, voting, education, and environmental justice. Ms. Arnwine’s work also includes women’s rights, immigrant rights, judicial diversity, criminal justice reform, racial profiling, health care disparities and LBGTQ rights. A prominent leader in the civil and human rights community, she continues to fight for the preservation of affirmative action and diversity programs. In addition to Ms. Arnwine’s instrumental work leading to the passage of the 1991 Civil Rights Act, she has served in numerous other prestigious capacities, including international civil, human and women’srights matters. Under her leadership, the Lawyers’ Committee continues to participate in monitoring treaty compliance and responding to reports written by the United States regarding the requirements of both the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination following the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review.

Anna Astalas

Brady Campaign

27 June

Sandra Austin

Alverez & Marsal Healthcare Industry Group
Sandra Austin is a Managing Director with Alvarez & Marsal Healthcare Industry Group. With more than 20 years of experience, Ms. Austin brings substantial experience managing all aspects of large, complex, multi-site organizations and a proven record of achieving results. Austin previously served as managing director of Alvarez & Marsal Healthcare Industry Group, as chief management officer for the Louisiana State University Interim Public Hospital in New Orleans, and in several other strategic leadership positions at large hospitals over the past 35 years. Ms. Austin earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Case Western Reserve University and a master’s degree in public health, with concentrations in health and hospital management, from the University of Michigan. She earned a certificate in a finance course for senior executives from Harvard Business School and a juris doctor from Cleveland State University, Cleveland Marshall College of Law. Ms. Austin has extensive experience on corporate boards, including National City Corporation, Ferro Corporation, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Gambro AB and NCCI Holdings, Incorporated

Ken Barrett

Global Chief Diversity Officer
General Motors
Ken Barrett, became General Motors’ first Chief Diversity Officer in 2012. He has 14 years of executive experience, including five years of award-winning performance as the U.S. Navy’s Diversity Director, where he achieved historic levels of minority and female officer additions and transformational worklife balance initiatives. Before joining GM, he served as the Under Secretary of Defense’s Acting Director, Office of Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity. He began his career with the U.S. Navy in 1984, and after commissioning through the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps, he held positions in engineering and operations.

29 June

Attorney Lezli Baskerville

President and CEO
National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education
Lezli Baskerville is President and CEO of the National Association for Equal Opportunity (NAFEO). She is also a constitutional rights attorney and advocate, providing an international voice for HBCUs, PBUs and Blacks in higher education. Baskerville served as Vice President for Government Relations at the College Board. For 10 years she also managed a private legal and legislative collective. She wrote significant portions of five Supreme Court amicus curiae briefs, 28 national public policy documents, as well as provided policy/ mobilization counsel to 24 candidates for U.S. Congress, 10 candidates for U.S. Senate and three candidates for President of the United States. She served as CEO of NBLR; Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Appellate Counsel; NAACP National Legislative Counsel; and administrative appeals judge in the District of Columbia. Baskerville is featured in STEMConnector as one of “100 Women Leaders in STEM,” in Diverse Issues in Higher Education, as one of “25 Women Making a Difference,” in AOL Black Voices as one of the nation’s “Top 10 Black Women in Higher Education,” in Ebony Magazine for five years as one of America’s Top 100 Most Influential Association Leaders and in The HistoryMakers, as distinguished “Lawmaker.” Baskerville received her B.A. with honors from Douglas College at Rutgers University. She was later inducted into Rutgers University’s Hall of Fame. She earned a J.D. from Howard University School of Law, and received an Honorary Doctorate of Law from Benedict College and Shaw University. She is also a graduate of the Executive Management Program at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School.

27 June

27 June

Hon. Karen Bass

U.S. House of Representative Ranking Member
Congressmember Karen Bass was re-elected to her third term representing the 37th Congressional District in November 2014. Congressmember Bass serves on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs where she is Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations. As a member of the House Judiciary Committee, Congressmember Bass is also working to craft sound criminal justice reforms as well as protect intellectual property right infringements that threaten the economic health of the 37th District.

27 June

Thomas L. Battles Jr.

Grand Polemarch
Kappa Alpha Psi
Thomas L. Battles Jr. is the Grand Polemarch of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated. He was elected as the 33rd Grand Polemarch at the 82nd Grand Chapter Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana. Brother Battles was initiated on May 11, 1973 at the Florida A&M University Chapter, the Alpha Xi of Kappa Alpha Psi. Prior to becoming Grand Polemarch, Battles was the fraternity’s Senior Grand Vice Polemarch. His broad experience with Kappa Alpha Psi also includes serving as Chairman of the Constitution and Statutes Committee, Hearing and Appeals Committee, Board Representative to the Membership Status Committee. Professionally, Brother Battles is a regional director for the U.S. Department of Justice, Community Relations Service, where he oversees eight southeastern states. The Community Relations Service is responsible for mediating and conciliating racial and ethnic disputes and providing assistance to communities experiencing hate crime tension. Brother Battles was recognized regionally and nationally for his work, including receiving the Distinguished Service Award from the U.S. Attorney General. Battles received a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and a master’s degree in Applied Social Science both from Florida A&M University. Additionally, Brother Battles received a Certificate in Ministerial Studies from the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia. He is married to Geraldine Woods Battles and together they have five children: Brother Thomas Eric Battles, a life member of Kappa Alpha Psi, Clarence, Eric, Artamesa and Medina.

Charlene Beasley

Martial Arts Champion
Shihan Charlene Beasley (Quiet Storm) is a 6th degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and a 2nd degree black belt in Pagoda Ryu (mixed martial arts system). Charlene has been training in various martial arts styles since 1973 and also has training in Wing Chung Kung Fu (yellow belt), Aikido (blue belt), Shorin Ryu, Shorei, and Jujitsu. She has been a chief instructor in the Chicago metropolitan area since 1997 and is a Certified Master Instructor by the United States Martial Arts Association (USMA). Her instructional emphasis goes far beyond physical fighting, self defense and fitness, and extends holistically to training the spirit, mind, and body to achieve a life of excellence. Charlene is a local, state and regional martial arts champion. She is also an eight time world martial arts champion and was named Quiet Storm after her first win. She prepares in quiet meditation and prayer outside of the tournament ring but when inside fights with the confidence, zeal, and passion that the word “storm” implies. Her opponents often underestimated the fight in her. She is also a three time Martial Arts Hall of Fame inductee and was featured in Essence Magazine and other local and organizational publications in Chicago and Merriville, Indiana. Charlene has a Bachelor in Accounting from the University of Illinois Chicago and is a Certified Public Accountant with more than thirty nine years of accounting, financial management, management consulting, tax, auditing, governmental compliance expertise, and related teaching experience in diverse industries. She has been a member of senior management teams as staff or as a consultant for over thirty years and the Chief Financial Officer/ Controller of a number of companies.

28 June


Dr. Carl Bell MD

29 June

Mr. Drew Bennett

Power Africa USAID
Drew has over 10 years of experience working in government, non-profits, and the private sector on policy, economic, and business issues impacting global technology and energy markets. As a member of Power Africa’s Private Sector Team, Drew works with energy companies and investors who have committed more than $43 billion to advancing the development of the power sector and enabling electricity access in Sub Saharan Africa by adding 60 million new electricity connection and 30,000 megawatts of new and cleaner power generation. Before joining the Power Africa team, Drew spent 7 years at the Department of Commerce as a senior trade specialist and industry analyst managing programs, projects, and various industry portfolios, including renewable energy, smart grid, energy efficiency, and Information and Communication Technologies. Drew has also worked on policy, technology, and economic development issues for the State Government of Massachusetts, America Online (AOL), and university and non-profit institutions in South Africa, Botswana, Uganda, and Ethiopia. Drew has a Bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College and he received a Master’s degree from the Fletcher School at Tufts University where he focused on international communications policies and economic

27 June


Hip Hop Weekly

28 June

Lori George Billingsley

President of Community Relations
Coca Cola
Lori George Billingsley has 30 years of public relations experience in developing and implementing breakthrough programs that meet organizational goals, target audience needs and produce results. Currently, she is the Vice President of Community Relations for Coca-Cola North America (CCNA). In this role, she oversees community giving and engagement for The Coca-Cola Company’s (TCCC) North America operating unit. She has been in the Public Affairs and Communications (PAC) function of TCCC for the past 14 years in a variety of positions: Director of Community and Multicultural Communications and Executive Assistant to the Senior Vice President of CCNA PAC, Director of Shareowner Affairs, Director of Issues Communications and Director of Regional Communications. She was an associate professor of public relations at Ohio Dominican College in Columbus, Ohio; taught classes as an instructor and lecturer at World Harvest Bible College in Columbus, Ohio; and Howard University in Washington, D.C. Lori was a founding member of the Washington, D.C. Chapter of the Black Public Relations Society. In addition to serving on several national and local boards and committees and receiving numerous awards for her work, she has judged national communications-related awards competitions; has authored papers, publications, articles and reports; and has conducted workshops and presentations on a variety of topics. She received her Bachelor of Arts in public relations at Howard University and her Master of Arts in public communications at American University, both in Washington, D.C. Lori also is an ordained minister.

Maria Bohacsik

Chicago Public Schools
Maria Bohacsik began her career in 1985 as a special needs teacher for Chicago Public Schools. Her career has spanned more than 30 years. She has worked predominately in low-income, minority and first generation neighborhoods and with students with disabilities. After six years, she secured a position at CPS Central Office as a Truancy Prevention Administrator serving students, parents and schools on the South and West sides of Chicago. Soon, she was tapped to manage the Safe and Drug Free Program headed by former First Lady Nancy Regan. Born to immigrant refugee parents who fled the uprising in Hungary, Maria understood that success in life is determined by where you end-- not where you start. Maria’s sister was born with a significant disability and then her father died when she was 11. This sense of responsibility to families who are less fortunate has become her drive and motivation. Memorable highlights include—Mobilizing the Englewood High School Choir to sing Christmas Carols at the White House; annually collecting and providing over 100 coats for students without winter apparel, and leading Chicago Public Schools with raising over $100,000.00 for 5 consecutive years for the United Negro College Fund. Maria is a strong advocate of civic and personal responsibility, as well as education. She is currently at Hedges Elementary at Chicago Public Schools, in the Back of the Yards Neighborhood teaching Special Education.

Richard Boykin

Cook County Illinois

27 June


Mea Boykins

Mea Boykins is a graduate of Spelman College with a Bachelors in Psychology and Kings College London where she received her Masters in Child Mental Health. During her undergraduate years, Mea provided financial support to students at risk of expulsion by creating the Student Emergency Assistance scholarship fund (S.E.A.). Through S.E.A., five scholarships were awarded to Spelman College students. Mea is also the Founder of S.E.A. Inc. nonprofit, which she utilizes to help disadvantaged people around the world with partners like the United Nations Refugee Agency, MTV and celebrities from various fields. In two weeks, Mea will have completed her second Masters degree in Global Entrepreneurial Management through the University of San Francisco where she has lived and interned in Spain, Taiwan & California. She is currently working as a consultant and public speaker with plans to launch her first international company in the near future! For more information, visit www.meaboykins.com or @meaboykins on Twitter, Instagram & Faceboo

Tommy Brewer

Circuit Judge
State of Illinois Circuit Court of Cook County
Tommy Brewer was born in Chicago and reared in public housing on Chicago’s Southside. Tommy Brewer’s career includes service in the offices of the Cook County State’s Attorney, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In 1996, Attorney Brewer established his own criminal defense firm and quickly gained a reputation as one of the best litigators in the state. In 2002, Attorney Brewer was one of four attorneys appointed as special prosecutors mandated to investigate allegations that members of the Chicago Police Department, led by Lieutenant Jon Burge, beat and tortured prisoners held in police custody during the late 1970’s and through the early 1990’s.In November of 2010, attorney Brewer was appointed Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County by the Honorable Justice Charles Freeman. He is presently assigned to the First Municipal Division where hehears misdemeanor criminal cases.

25 June

Cornelll William Brooks

President and CEO
National Association of the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
Cornell William Brooks is the president and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). In 2014, he became the 18th person to serve as chief executive of the Association, whose members in the United States and worldwide are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. A graduate of Head Start and Yale Law School, Brooks considers himself “a grandson, heir and a beneficiary” of the landmark decision Brown v. Board of Education argued by legendary NAACP litigator Thurgood Marshall. As a civil rights attorney, social justice advocate, fourth generation ordained minister and coalition-builder, Brooks’ life and experience exemplify the NAACP’s mission to secure political, educational, social, and economic equality for all citizens.

25 June


Brother Jimmy

Producer, Activist, and TV Presenter

26 June

Rushia Brown

WNBA Alumni Association
Rushia Brown was born in Bronx, NY and raised in South Carolina. Through hard work and dedication, she was one of the top student-athlete recruits in the state of South Carolina as a senior; being courted by esteemed universities such as Harvard, Duke University and her then dream school, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. With the recent loss of her father, Rushia chose to stay close to home and attend Furman University. Rushia’s collegiate years lead to a 10 year professional career overseas, which spanned 5 countries; Spain, France, Italy, Greece and Korea and 7 years in the WNBA; 6 years in Cleveland and 1 year in Charlotte. Winning a number of International Championships and 4 European Championships, her work ethic and 3 years playing professionally in Europe prepared her for the WNBA. During her 7 years in the WNBA, Rushia was a part of the Eastern Conference Championship team but never captured a WNBA title. The experience and relationships built during her tenure assisted in forming her post career aspirations. Rushia decided to transition into her life after basketball. To date she has founded multiple companies including President and CEO of OverTime Basketball Academy and development of the Women’s Professional Basketball Alumni Association (WPBAA). Based in Atlanta, GA is where she continues to be a vessel of growth for the very game that changed her life. She humbly uses her experiences and influence to move everyone she comes in contact with to transform their lives.

28 June

Dr. Joseph Bryant Jr.

National Director
Rainbow PUSH Sports
Dr. Bryant is the National Sports Director for Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, serving as liaison to the sports industry, organizing sports workshops and training events, and facilitating partnership engagements with the NCAA, NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball. Dr. Bryant also serves as a consultant to sports organizations, agents and others leaders in the sports world, and is the Life Coach and Advisor for the Pro Athlete Business Group. Known to many in the athletic world as “The Players’ Pastor”, Dr. Joseph Bryant, Jr. is a prolific strategist and organizer, using his vast knowledge and experience for community networking, corporate assistance with community engagements, sports and athletic business development and diversity within the sports industry. Dr. Bryant has most recently launched during Super Bowl 50 JBLC PROSPEAKSpeaker Bureau, a network of current and former professional athletes who are committed to using their voices and their unique life journey to inspire and impact the lives of others. After reaching the pinnacle of athletic success within their given sport, these men and women of character are dedicated to imparting wisdom, tools and knowledge from their personal experiences that can then translate into a game plan for success both on and off the field. The objective of each Speaker is to utilize their platform, visibility and personal brand all for the greater good, as they seek to share messages of hope and success which have led them to become Winners in Sports and Winners in Life.

28 June

Jerry Butler

Vice President
Safer Foundation
In a nation having the highest incarceration rate in the world, Jerry Butler has been at the helm of the Safer Foundation for 15yrs helping former inmates secure essential employment that will reduce their likelihood of returning to jail by 58% Of the estimated 4.5 million persons on parole or on probation in the U.S., 46% are Black. With over 400 employers partnering in their effort, the Safer Foundation has kept the recidivism rates low in Illinois for the past 30 years. Jerry Butler oversees the secured adult transition centers operated by Safer Foundation under contract to the Illinois Department of Corrections. He is also responsible for developing new and effective correctional programs for Safer. Mr. Butler brings extensive management experience in Illinois correctional systems, is the immediate past president of the Illinois Correctional Association and a retiree from the Illinois Department of Corrections after 31 years of service.

25 June

Jineea Butler

The Social Services of Hip Hop, College Basketball Legend
Jineea Butler (@newamericanfly) is a Hip Hop Analyst, Motivational Speaker, Innovator, and Editor and Chief of The New American Newspaper. In addition, she is a Division 1 NCAA Collegiate Basketball Player who was inducted in Long Island University Brooklyn Hall of Fame in 2007. She graduated as the school’s all time leading scorer/ rebounder with over 1000 points and 1000 rebounds in 1997. She was 23rd in the nation in shooting percentage hitting 63.4 percent of her shots. She holds an NCAA record for going 10 for 10 in a game. Standing about 5’8 and a half (5’10 in the books) Jineea ranked 15th in the nation in rebounding at 10.1 rbs a game. Her team coined the term ‘Little Big Girl’ to describe her heart and style of play. She went on to reserve for the WNBA and play for the Semi-Professional New York Gazelles. She transitioned into Coach with Wings Academy High School in the Bronx and took the first girls basketball team from the Bronx to a city championship and win. She likes to be known as a Scholar who happens to be an Athlete, with a lot of accolades. As one of the most influential intellectuals of her time, Jineea has been on the front lines fusing Hip Hop Culture into Education, Politics and Sports. She currently serves as the President and Founder of the Hip Hop Union and the Hip Hop United Super PAC and provides technical assistance to schools, programs, small businesses and corporations who want to effectively motivate and engage Hip Hop Citizens.

28 June


Kevin Butts

KS Credit Education Solutions LLC
Kevin J. Butts, COO of KS Credit Education Solutions LLC. Mr. Kevin J. Butts brings a wealth of knowledge with credit reports, credit scores, 3rd party debt collections, marginal credit, and credit strategies. His extensive youth and adult consumer credit background/financial education allow him to offer indepths principles for all consumer profiles. Several years of professional experience in the consumer credit industry has allowed KS Credit Education Solutions to offer his expertise and impact the lives of many youth/ adult consumers which includes, financial institutions-national webinars, Michigan State Housing Development Authority, United Way of SE Michigan, U.S Conference of Mayors, Chase Credit Card Services,, NAACP National Conference, Mortgage University, Rainbow Push Wall Street Project-NY, FDIC Alliance for Economic Inclusion, FDIC Money Smart National Youth Evaluation Study, Michigan Civil Rights Commission, US Department of Treasury-African American Financial Literacy Roundtable, Detroit Housing Commission, and reviewed financial literacy proposals for United Way of SE Michigan and featured on local and national radio programming along with extensive community support which include colleges, school districts and non-profits.

24 June


Dr. Thomas Calhoun Jr

Chicago State University

27 June

Pam Carter

Vice President, Global Diversity, Inclusion & Supplier Diversity,
Pam Carter is vice president of Global Diversity,
Inclusion & Supplier Diversity. In this role within
Supplier Management – a function within Boeing
Defense, Space & Security (BDS) – she oversees
supplier diversity, as well as BDS diversity and
inclusion efforts. She helps enhance Boeing’s strong
professional and strategic relationships with small and
small disadvantaged businesses and organizations. She also surveys the existing
diversity and inclusion efforts in place across BDS to determine program changes.
Previously, Carter was vice president of Global Sales & Marketing for Global
Services & Support (GS&S), a BDS business unit. In this position, she developed
and implemented strategies that drive global business growth and enhance
customer relationships.
Carter has more than 35 years of experience in aviation management. She
previously served as director of Business Development for GS&S’ Integrated
Logistics business. In this position, Carter led Boeing’s global Performance-Based
Logistics efforts and championed initiatives designed to create more effective
business relationships.
Carter has bachelor’s degrees in psychology and philosophy from West Virginia
State University, and a master’s degree in education from the University of
Maryland. She also has a master’s degree in National Security Policy Resourcing
from the National Defense University’s Industrial College of the Armed Forces.

29 June

Michael Casserly

Executive Director
Council of Greater City Schools
Michael Cassery has served as Executive Director of the
Council of the great City Schools since January 1992.
As head of the nation’s primary uban-school coalition,
Casserly has unified big-city school districts nationwide
around a vision of reform and improvement. He is
spearheading efforts to boost academic performance
in the nation’s large urban public school systems,
facilitating the implementation of the Common Core Sate Standards in big city
schools, strengthening district management and operations, and improving the
public’s image of urban education. The U.S. Army veteran earned a Ph.D from the
University of Maryland, and is a graduate of Villanova University

27 June

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Presidential Candidate
Presidential Candidate 2016 Former Secretary of State of the United States of America

27 June

Maurice Coleman

Vice President
Bank of America
Maurice Coleman is a Senior Vice President and
Senior Client Manager for the Bank of America
Merrill Lynch Global Commercial Banking team
focused on Community Development Banking. He is
responsible for delivering both debt and tax credit
equity financing for affordable housing, retail, charter
school and community development real estate
projects in the metro New York and New Jersey markets. Throughout his career,
Maurice has been the recipient of numerous awards and recognition including the
Crain’s New York Business Journal Rising Stars Award and the Urban Financial
Services Coalition Executive of the Year Award. Mr. Coleman serves as the
Chairman of the Board of Directors of three national Community Development
Financial Institutions — the Local Initiatives Support Corporation New York,
TruFund Financial Services, and the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone.
Maurice received his B.A. in History and Economics from Columbia University,
MPA from the School of International and Public at Columbia University with a
concentration in Public Finance.

28 June


Jacob M. Cooper

Jacob M. Cooper, Jr. was born and raised in Harvey,
IL and is a proud alumnus of Thornridge High School.
He went on to earn his B.S. in Industrial Technology
Education from Illinois State University, a M.S. in
Instructional Technology from Lewis University, and
a M. Ed. in Administration from the American College
of Education. Mr. Cooper is a former classroom
teacher who now serves as a technology director for Exceptional Children
Have Opportunities in South Holland, IL. He has been involved with integrating
technology across the curriculum for 15 years and is closing the digital divide
by facilitating technology enrichment classes for students and internet safety
workshops for parents.

27 June

27 June


Teresa Cordova

Director and Professor
Great Cities Institute; University of Illinois at Chicago

27 June

Helen Crawley Austin

Budgeting Basis
A native of Steubenville, Ohio, Helen holds a Bachelor
of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from
Ohio University and a Masters of Science degree in
Computer Science from Howard University. She has
presented to, mentored and helped thousands of
individual with their personal finances.
Crawley-Austin’s story of her own family challenge confirms the idea that when
partnering with groups of like-minded people you can succeed in changing
your financial future. In 2012, she challenged her family to become masters of
their money. She and 15 family members committed to reducing their debt and
building wealth during a yearlong campaign. Under her expertise and guidance,
the family paid off more than $300,000 in debt.
Helen has spent most of her adult life climbing the corporate ladder and
managing others. She loved the work she was involved in, but her goal in life is
to help people. She started Mastering Money, because it was her passion. She
believes that the work she does with Mastering Money is more than just financial
planning. She wants to impact lives and instill long-term change in the people
involved with her financial programs.

24 June

Russ Cross

Regional Vice President
Wells Fargo
Russ Cross began his career with Wells Fargo 30 years
ago as a commercial banker in Des Moines and is
currently senior vice president/regional director for the
Wells Fargo Local Market Outreach team.
Russ’s primary focus is to represent the company’s
homeownership and home preservation efforts,
mortgage servicing matters, plus community
relationship building and outreach initiatives. These activities are accomplished
through working with a variety of nonprofit housing counseling organizations,
local officials, neighborhood leaders and internal business partners to stem the
tide of foreclosure, restore neighborhoods and support efforts to bring greater
access to credit.
While Russ’ position revolves around community support and mortgage servicing,
Russ has a personal commitment to it outside of the office through his active
involvement with several organizations including:
• Board Member – Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity
• Economic Growth Policy Chair – Iowa Association of Business &
• Chair – Des Moines’ Neighborhood Improvement Committee
• Board Member -- Iowa State University Research Park
• Member – Des Moines Neighborhood Revitalization Board

28 June


Rev. Dr. Williams E. Crowder

Jr., Pastor
Park Minor Christian Church, Chicago IL
The Rev. Dr. William E. Crowder, Jr., the charismatic
Pastor of Park Manor Christian Church of Chicago,
Illinois, is a shepherd with the spiritual conviction,
moral aptitude and old-fashioned wisdom to return
a people to God. Reared in Memphis, Tennessee, Dr.
Crowder grew up in a household parented by Marie J.
Dr. Crowder received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Central State University in
Wilberforce, Ohio; a Master of Divinity Degree from United Theological Seminary
and a Doctor of Ministry Degree from Memphis Theological Seminary. Particularly,
he credits Central State University with giving him the passion to serve the least
and the left out. At each university, however, he was surrounded by some of
America’s leading academic minds, which proved invaluable to him. Dr. Crowder is
also a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.
Dr. Crowder is married to the former Dr. Stephanie Buckhanon. She is a New
Testament Scholar and the prolific writer of numerous books and articles. The
Crowder’s are the very proud parents of two sons, William Rowland Jackson
Crowder and Sollomon Rowland Buckhanon Crowder.
Throughout his life and ministry, Dr. Crowder has demonstrated a caliber of
leadership well beyond his years. Recognized as a man from humble beginnings,
he is a preacher, humanitarian, community volunteer and pastor. Dr. William E.
Crowder, Jr. is an anointed man of God and is rapidly becoming a national voice
calling for leadership that empowers and enhances quality of life for all people.

27 June

Rebecca Cruz

Business Development Manager
RPC Wall Street Project

Hon. Tom Dart

Cook County Sheriff
Cook County Illinois

27 June


Carey Davis

Superbowl Winner

28 June

28 June

Danny K. Davis

Gift of Hope
Danny K. Davis was chosen by the people of
the 7th Congressional District of Illinois as their
Representative in Congress on November 5, 1996. He
has been re-elected by large majorities to succeeding
In the 113th Congress, Representative Davis serves on Oversight and Government
Reform including subcommittees: Economic Growth, Job Creation and Regulatory
Affairs; Energy Policy, Health Care and Entitlements; and Subcommittee on
Human Resources and the Committee on Ways and Means including the
Subcommittee on Oversight. Congressman Davis is a member of several
Congressional Caucuses including the Congressional Black Caucus, the Progressive
Caucus, the Urban Caucus, the Community Health Center’s Caucus, and the
Congressional Sugar Caucus.

29 June

Dr. Blondean Y. Davis

Matteson Elementary School District #162
Dr. Blondean Y. Davis is recognized for her vision and
leadership in raising student achievement levels and in
the reform of education.
The former Chief of Schools and Regions of Chicago
Public Schools from 1995 to 2001, where she was
responsible for the daily management of seven regions
and 601 schools, Dr. Davis joined Matteson School District 162 as Superintendent
in 2002. At the time, only 55 percent of the district’s students met or exceeded
the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) proficiency goals. With the
implementation of more rigorous curriculum and instructional program under the
leadership of Dr. Davis the state exam scores increased by almost 50%.
A product of Chicago Public Schools, Dr. Davis earned bachelor, master, and
doctorate degrees in education from Loyola University Chicago. Dr. Davis holds
a Doctor of Humane Letters from both Governors State University and Tougaloo
College. She began her educational career as a Chicago Public School teacher
and counselor and later served as assistant principal, principal, and district
superintendent until her appointment as Deputy Chief Education Officer of the
Chicago Public School system.
Immediately prior to joining District 162, Dr. Davis was Associate Professorial
Lecturer at Saint Xavier University where she trained prospective school principals.
She has served as a senior consultant to the Illinois State Board of Education.
Dr. Davis currently serves on the Illinois Network of Charter Schools Board of
Directors and the Governors State Foundation Board.

27 June


Khaliha Davis


Darryl Dennard

iHeart Radio

29 June


J. Alexander (Sandy) M. Douglas Jr.

Executive Vice President and President

Eric R. Drew

Founder and Chairman
We Heal

29 June


Melinda F. Emerson


H.E Udom Emmanuel

Executive Governor
Aka Ibom

27 June

Dr. Ewa Ewa

Finance Officer
State of Illinois
Dr. Ewa I. Ewa received his formal education at the
University of Illinois in Chicago where he received a
Masters degree in Urban Planning and Policy (MUPP)
and a Ph. D in public Policy Analysis.
He has served as the President of the Nigeria National
Alliance; President of the Nigerian American Forum;
Member, and Chairman of the Continental Africa Chamber of Commerce;
appointed by the Mayor of Chicago as Commissioner and Chairman, Board of
Directors Marquette Park Service Area; Chairman Nigeria American Professionals
Association; Member Board of Directors African International House; Co-founder
and Board member African Global Chamber of Commerce; Serves as an election
judge in Cook County.
Dr. Ewa has served in various high level positions in Government and in 2005 was
appointed by Illinois State Governor as Chief Financial and State Procurement
Officer, Historic Preservation Agency, and currently serves in that capacity with the
Illinois Human Rights and Torture Inquiry and Relief Commissions. In November
2014, Dr. Ewa was selected by President Barack Obama to be his liaison to People
of African Descent (Goodwill Ambassador) on his immigration policy. He is an
author of several articles in planning and policy analysis, political and economic
development issues.

27 June


Renee Ferguson


29 June


Bob Fiorreti

Former Chicago Alderman

29 June

Mary Flowers

State Representative
Illinois House of Representatives
State Rep. Mary Flowers has been a strong
and passionate voice for our children, seniors,
unemployed and those in need of critical health care.
In the face of fiscal challenges and devastating
budget cuts in recent years, Flowers passed budgets
that increased needed funding for our schools. For far too many students, gang
violence and dangerous streets stand between them and their education. For this
reason Flowers passed a law requiring the Chicago Public Schools to provide free
transportation for students who walk along safe passage routes.
Prior to serving in the Illinois House of Representatives, Flowers held a position at
the University of Chicago and served as a volunteer for many prominent officials.
Flowers attended Kennedy King Community College and the University of Illinois-
Chicago. She is married and has a daughter and granddaughter.
Flowers serves the 31st Representative District, which includes portions of Burr
Ridge, Chicago, Chicago Ridge, Countryside, Hodgkins, Hometown, Palos Hills,
and Willow Springs.

29 June

Lula Ford

Board Member
Illinois State Board of Education
Lula Ford brings 34 years of experience as a teacher,
principal and assistant superintendent to the Board.
She also served as a commissioner on the Illinois
Commerce Commission and as the assistant director of
Illinois Central Management Services.
Ford began her career as an elementary school teacher
in Chicago Public Schools. Throughout her three decades at CPS, she was also a
math coordinator and principal. Ford earned the Principal of Excellence Award
from 1992-94. She also served as an assistant superintendent and the chief
instruction officer.
Most recently, Ford was a commissioner on the Illinois Commerce Commission.
She served on that board for 10 years until 2013. Before that, she was the assistant
director of Central Management Services.
Ford earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Arkansas at
Pine Bluff. She also holds two master’s degrees - one in inner city studies from
Northeastern Illinois University and the other in vocational counseling from the
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

27 June

Willie E. Gary

Attorney at Law
Attorney Willie E. Gary earned the reputation as
“The Giant Killer” by taking down some of America’s
most well- known corporate giants on behalf of his
clients. He has won some of the largest jury awards
and settlements in U.S. history, including cases valued
in excess of $30 billion. Gary’s amazing success
has earned him national recognition as one of this
country’s leading trial attorneys.
In May 2002, he was featured in Ebony magazine as one of the “100 Most
Influential Black Americans.” Forbes Magazine has listed him as one of the “Top
50 attorneys in the U.S.” Gary has been featured in many of the nation’s most
respected media publications, such as The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune,
The Boston Globe, Ebony, Jet, People, Black Enterprise, Fortune, The New Yorker
and The National Law Journal.
Gary is a member of the National Bar Association, the American Bar Association,
Association of Trial Lawyers of America, American Association for Justice, Martin
and St. Lucie County Bar Associations and the Million Dollar Verdict Club. He
has tried cases in 45 states and is in great demand as a motivational speaker
throughout the U.S., delivering speeches at law schools, universities, churches,
chambers of commerce and to various groups throughout the country.
Known as a businessman, churchman, humanitarian and philanthropist, Gary is
deeply involved in charity and civic work. He is committed to enhancing the lives
of young people through education and drug prevention. He has also donated
millions of dollars to dozens of Historically Black Colleges and Universities
throughout the U.S.

29 June

Dr. Glenda Glover

Tennessee State University
President of Tennessee State University

27 June

Tony Godinez

Salvator Godinez is a national expert on non-violence
and correctional policy amassed from his 42 years
of prestigious service in the field of Corrections. He
began his career as a Re-entry Counselor for the Illinois
Department of Corrections (IDOC) in 1973 and progressed
to the Juvenile Division Parole Counselor before
becoming a Unit Administrator. He served as Warden for
a supermax prison in Nevada; Assistant Warden of Programs (1989)and Warden
of Stateville (1991). He served the Michigan Department of Corrections as Deputy
Director of Administration Programs (1995-1997) and the Wackenhut Corrections
Department as Facility Administrator (Pennsylvania and Puerto Rico) and
Administrator of Juvenile Field Services (Louisiana and Florida). In 2001 he became
the Deputy Chief of Juvenile Probation (electronic monitoring and home detention)
for Cook County Jails. He moved to IDOC as Chief of Operations (2003) ;Chief of
Staff (2005); and Director of IDOC (2011) where he retired in 2014.

25 June


Sherrod Gordon

Associate Vice Chancellor
City Colleges of Chicago

27 June

Tom Goss

Chief Executive
Goss LLC
Tom A. Goss is the Chairman of Goss LLC, a Principal
in The Goss Group Inc., & CEO of Goss Trade Services.
A graduate of the University of Michigan, Ann
Arbor, Mr. Goss holds a Bachelor of Science degree
in Education. Mr. Goss is licensed by the State of
Michigan as a resident insurance agent in the lines
of Life/Health & Accident and Property & Casualty
Mr. Goss’s loyalty to his alma mater led to his acceptance of the position of
University of Michigan Director of Intercollegiate Athletics (AD).
As part of his current insurance practice, Mr. Goss developed a Sports Risk
Assessment Manual for ten different sports that can be utilized for secondary
education as well as for Universities. In addition, Mr. Goss is involved with an
overall look at student benefits for athletes within the NCAA. Mr. Goss client
base ranges from small suppliers and business owners, disability insurance for
Collegiate as well as Professional Athletes to General Motors and Boeing.
Mr. Goss has been recognized as a knowledgeable business leader as evidenced
by his inclusion on several boards; he serves as Chair of the Karmanos Cancer
Hospital Board, was appointed by President Obama to a six year term to the
National Park’s Foundation which is chaired by Secretary of the Interior, Ken

29 June


Chris Gotti

Add Ventures Music

28 June


Kevin Gray

Political-Cultural Writer

25 June

Jeremy C. Green JD, LL.M

Founder and CEO
Life Before Monday LTD
Mr. Green is an attorney and business manager
who strictly focuses on corporate transactions and
entertainment law. A graduate of McKendree University
and the University of Arkansas School of Law, he is
the CEO and Founder of Life Before Monday Ltd.,
and through its subsidiaries and partnerships with
companies such as The DMA Agency, Sony Music,
EventBrite, Google, and MGM, is a premier provider in the entertainment industry
by developing, representing, and/or financing films, digital media projects,
concerts, festivals, musicians, and tours.
Mr. Green also serves as in-house counsel and consultant for a variety of
production companies securing deals and financing for concerts and theatre
productions at the MGM Grand Las Vegas, House of Blues, and Universal Studios in
Hollywood and Orlando.

28 June

Matt Gutierrez

Former NFL Quarterback
Matt Gutierrez is a Co-Founder of Kenion Training.
Kenion Training is a non-profit organization aimed
at assisting underserved high school aged boys
achieve their dream of attending college. KT
offers innovative, comprehensive and customized
development programs for young men from around
the Bay Area. With expert instruction, a proven
training methodology, and professional-quality facilities, Kenion Training
provides a challenging and motivating learning environment in the classroom
and on the athletic field.
A Bay Area native, Gutierrez has long been fascinated with the intricacies of
technological innovation. Currently, he is lead consultant, content expert and
brand ambassador for RADD 3, a virtual reality software company based in
Oakland, CA. Matt is also a member of the North American team at Bizagi, a
fast growing, disruptive software company on a mission to help organizations
innovate faster and operate more efficiently.
Gutierrez, a 5 -year NFL Quarterback, began his professional football career
with the New England Patriots as an undrafted free agent in 2007. He later
went on to play for the Kansas City Chiefs, St. Louis Rams, Washington Redskins
and Chicago Bears.
Gutierrez was a student athlete at the University of Michigan and Idaho
State University, where he started as a quarterback in 2006. He received his
Bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan.

28 June


Rev. Dr. Marshall Hatch

Member Board of Trustees
Chicago State University

27 June

Dr. Federick D Haynes III

Senior Pastor
Friendship-West Baptist Church

28 June

Mike Hechtner

Central Region President
Regional Agribusssiness Banking Group
Mike Hechtner is responsible for managing the
agribusiness lending operations of CoBank’s Central
Region, which includes the Minneapolis, Omaha and
Fargo banking centers. These banking centers support
agribusiness customers in eight Midwestern states.
Mr. Hechtner’s team specializes in serving the needs
of agricultural cooperatives and other commercial
agribusinesses that process, market, transport and export agricultural
commodities. The majority of these customers are in the grain and farm supply
industries. Regional Agribusiness also supports the fruit, nut and vegetable,
dairy, livestock and biofuels industries, as well as credit and finance companies.
Mr. Hechtner also coordinates efforts with Farm Credit associations in the upper
Midwest. He is based in Omaha, Nebraska and is a member of the bank’s Senior
Leadership Team.

27 June

Dr. Obrey Hendricks

Emeritus Professors
Biblical Interpretation at New York Theological Seminary
Obery M. Hendricks, Jr., Ph.D. is the author of The
Universe Bends Toward Justice: Radical Reflections
on the Bible, the Church, and the Body Politic (Orbis,
2011) and The Politics of Jesus: Rediscovering the True
Revolutionary Nature of Jesus’ Teachings and How
They Have Been Corrupted (Doubleday, 2006). In
2004, Harper Collins published Hendricks’ acclaimed biblical-era novel Living Water,
an ESSENCE bestseller.
Hendricks is one of the nation’s most provocative and innovative commentators on
the intersection of religion, politics, and social policy in America. The Dictionary of
Biblical Interpretation calls his work “the boldest post-colonial writing ever seen in
Western biblical studies.” A former Wall Street investment executive, Dr. Hendricks
is also past president of Payne Theological Seminary (the oldest African American
theological seminary in the United States).
A widely sought lecturer and media personality, Dr. Hendricks has been featured on
MSNBC, CNN, C-SPAN, PBS, National Public Radio, BBC, al-Jazeera Television, NHK
Japan Television, Fox News, the Discovery Channel, the Bloomberg Network, and
countless other media outlets. He is currently an Affiliated Scholar at the Center for
American Progress and a Trustee of the Public Religion Research Institute.
Dr. Hendricks is Emeritus Professor of Biblical Interpretation at New York Theological
Seminary and a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Religion as well as the
Institute for Research in African American Studies at Columbia University. He holds
the Master of Divinity with academic honors from Princeton Theological Seminary,
and both the M.A. and Ph.D. in Religions of Late Antiquity from Princeton University.

28 June

Judge Stanley Hill

Associate Judge
Circuit Court of Cook County Illinois

27 June

27 June

Terry L. Hinds

Chief Leading Officer
1st Farm Credit Services
Terry L. Hinds is Chief Lending Officer-Diversified
Markets. In his current role, he is responsible for
capital markets, agribusiness, trade credit, leasing
and mission related investment. Terry grew up on
a farm in Coles County where he was very active in
4-H and the family farming operation. His family is
deeply rooted in Illinois agriculture and still owns and
operates the first Illinois farm the family purchased in 1848. He is a graduate of
the University of Illinois with a degree in agricultural economics and University
of Wisconsin’s Graduate School of Banking. He has spent more than 38 years in
various positions with in the Farm Credit System including AgriBank, Farm Credit
Bank of St. Louis and several Illinois Farm Credit associations.

27 June


Lesha Hollins

Westside Activist

27 June

Jacquelne Jackson

Chairwoman Womens Luncheon
Rainbow PUSH Coalition
“Mrs. Jacqueline Jackson is a God fearing woman, the
wife of Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. and the proud mother
of five children.” And this is who I am.-Mrs. Jacqueline

27 June

Lisa P. Jackson

Vice President of Environment Policy and Social Initiatives,
Lisa Jackson is Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, reporting to CEO Tim Cook. Lisa oversees Apple’s efforts to minimize its impact on the environment by addressing climate change through renewable energy and energy efficiency, using greener materials, and inventing new ways to conserve precious resources. She is also responsible for Apple’s education policy programs such as ConnectED, its product accessibility work, and its worldwide government affairs function. From 2009 to 2013, Lisa served as Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Appointed by President Barack Obama, she focused on reducing greenhouse gases, protecting air and water quality, preventing exposure to toxic contamination, and expanding outreach to communities on environmental issues. She has also served as Chief of Staff to New Jersey Governor Jon S. Corzine and as Commissioner of New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection. Lisa holds a master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University and a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Tulane University. She serves on the boards of Princeton, Tulane, and the Clinton Foundation.

29 June


Phillip Jackson


27 June

Prof. Jonathan L. Jackson

Sr. National Spokesperson
Rainbow PUSH Coalition

29 June

Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr

Founder and CEO
Rainbow PUSH Coalition

25 June

25 June

26 June

Louis James

President and CEO
A prolific entrepreneur, Louis E. James has successfully
operated various companies for more than three
decades, the majority of which have been automotive.
One of his most successful ventures, MCL Jasco, Inc.,
provides a diverse range of supply chain management
and logistics services. James also owns and operates
JASCO International, 2-time GM supplier of the
year; QIC, a business that provides quality containment, sorting, inspection and
engineering service; SEEL, an energy efficiency program management company,
and a MRO company. Committed to economic development, James’ companies
employ more than 500 employees across the country, most of which are hired
from the inner cities where his companies operate. James is a dedicated
community leader who volunteers in numerous philanthropic roles. He is married
to Dr. Pamela James and they have two adult daughters and two grandchildren.

29 June


Eddie Johnson

Chicago Police Department

27 June

Juanita Jordan

Chicago President of UNCF
Juanita Jordan is a product of Chicago Public Schools.
She graduated from Elihu Yale Elementary and
Lindblom Technical High School. She was in the
second class to be chosen for selective enrollment at
Lindblom. She received her B.A. from Wiley College
(Home of the Great Debaters) in Marshall, Texas, and
her M.Ed from Governors State University in University
Park, Illinois. She retired from CPS in 2007 after a 32 year career. After retirement
she served as adjunct faculty in the School of Education at St. Xavier University in
Chicago, Illinois for five years. She currently is a school board member in Prairie-
Hills ESD 144, and a Governing Board member on the SPEED District 802. She
serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Retired Teachers Association
of Chicago. She is the current President of the Chicago Inter-Alumni Council of the
United Negro College Fund (CIAC/UNCF). She is the proud mother of two adult
daughters, and the adoring grandmother of three.

27 June

27 June

27 June

Oliver Kamanzi

President and CEO
Africa Global Chamber of Commerce
Olivier Kamanzi is International Financial Manager,
and Capital markets expert. Currently, he is
President of Africa Global Chamber of Commerce
headquartered in Chicago. He is Founder and CEO of
Globrock Financial Group Inc., a global management
Consulting and investment advisory firm. Kamanzi
is owner of Africa Infrastructure Investment Group
based in Dakar, Senegal. He is former Senior Investment Specialist employee of
Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase. He is Executive Chairman of The Olivier Kamanzi
Foundation – a charitable organization (www.kamanzifoundation.org).
Mr. Kamanzi assisted in establishment the Rwandan capital markets industry – a
national project completed successfully and the creation of the first in kind of the
Rwanda Stock Exchange. He initiated different policies and program including
East Africa Payment System policy, East Africa (Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania,
Burundi, and Uganda) Financial Sector/Capital Markets harmonization and
integration policy, Rwanda Privatization Policy through Capital Markets, and the
Chicago Africa Trade Center. Mr. Kamanzi holds MBA in Finance from Ashford
University, the Forbes School of Business in Iowa and a bachelor degree in
Business Administration from University of Fribourg in Switzerland. He fluently
speaks 5 languages including English, French, Russian, Swahili, Kinyarwanda, and
basics in Germany.

27 June

Robin Kelly

Illinois 2nd Congressional District

27 June

Karen Kent

In 2013 Karen Kent was installed as President of UNITE
HERE Local 1, Chicago’s hospitality workers union.
Karen started in the hospitality industry more than
20 years ago. In the late 1980s, as a banquet server
and union committee at the Holiday Inn in Palo Alto,
California, she began organizing the union. Since that
time, Karen has led campaigns with UNITE HERE across
the country in California, Las Vegas, New York City, Dallas, Chicago and beyond.
Before serving as President, she was elected Executive Vice President of Local 1 in
During her tenure with Local 1, Karen has played a key role in leading the
transformation of Local 1 into a dynamic organization that has achieved significant
victories. In the last decade, Local 1 has organized thousands of new workers in to
the union and doubled wages for housekeepers and other workers in Chicago’s
hospitality industry.

28 June

Sarah Kunst

Founder and CEO
Proday is a subscription fitness app that allows
subscribers access to exclusive workouts from
professional athletes and celebrities. The athletes and
celebrities in our app lead workouts with a mix of
video clips, gifs and photos that make it fun to get fit.
Proday was founded in August 2015 by Sarah Kunst, a
venture capital investor and startup exec who’s been
named a Forbes 30 under 30 pick, a Business Insider Top Woman Under 30 and
Top African American in Tech and one of Cool Hunting’s Most Innovative People.
Judge Bertina Lampkin began her career as
Assistant State’s Attorney (1974-1985) and an
Assistant Corporation Counsel (1985-1987) before her
appointment as an associate judge. She served as an
Associate Judge from 1987 to 1992, serving as Assistant
Supervisor of the Traffic Division, and as a Circuit Court
Judge from 1992 to 2009, serving as supervisor of the Domestic Violence Courts
and as supervisor in the Criminal Division. She was appointed to the Appellate
Court in 2009. She has served as a member of four different Illinois Supreme
Court committees She has taught judges in various aspects of the law for 20
years, including death penalty litigation, proper handling of guilty pleas and jury
selection. She is a member of the Illinois Judges’ Association, The Illinois Judicial

28 June

Bertina Lampkin

Illinois First District Appellate Court
Judge Bertina Lampkin began her career as
Assistant State’s Attorney (1974-1985) and an
Assistant Corporation Counsel (1985-1987) before her
appointment as an associate judge. She served as an
Associate Judge from 1987 to 1992, serving as Assistant
Supervisor of the Traffic Division, and as a Circuit Court
Judge from 1992 to 2009, serving as supervisor of the Domestic Violence Courts
and as supervisor in the Criminal Division. She was appointed to the Appellate
Court in 2009. She has served as a member of four different Illinois Supreme
Court committees She has taught judges in various aspects of the law for 20
years, including death penalty litigation, proper handling of guilty pleas and jury
selection. She is a member of the Illinois Judges’ Association, The Illinois Judicial
Council, The Women’s Bar Association of Illinois, and the American, Chicago, Cook
County and Black Women Lawyers Bar Associations.

25 June


Troy LaRaviere

Chicago Principals Association

27 June


Chuck Lay

Benneth Lee

Northeastern Illinois University
A former leader of the Vice Lord Nation, Benneth
Lee’s life took him from gangs, being in and out of
the Illinois Correctional System since he was 15 to
college professor, community leader and mentor.
A Professor of Criminal Justice at Northeastern
University, Lee teaches Introduction to the Criminal
Justice System; Theories of Criminal Behavior; Prisons
and Jails; and Gangs in Chicago. His expertise include gangs, jails, ex-convict
recidivism and prisoner re-entry systems. Turned around though re-entry
programs like TASC, he co-founded the National Alliance for the Empowerment of
the Formerly Incarcerated (NAEFI) where he dynamically combines his academic
interests in inner city gangs, prisons and jails, and life expertise to help others.
Through NAEFI parolees on the South and West sides of Chicago find mentoring
and employment support through a platform of weekly re-entry circles. Professor
Lee’s service to community has been recognized by the Department of Justice.

25 June

Carol D. Lee

Northwestern University
Carol D. Lee is the Edwina S. Tarry Professor of
Education in the School of Education and Social Policy
and in African-American Studies at Northwestern
University in Evanston, Illinois, U.S.A. She received
her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. She is a
past president of the American Educational Research
Association (AERA), AERA’s past representative to
the World Educational Research Association, past vice-president of Division G
(Social Contexts of Education) of the American Educational Research Association,
past president of the National Conference on Research in Language and Literacy,
and past co-chair of the Research Assembly of the National Council of Teachers
of English. She has led three international delegations in education on behalf of
the People to People’s Ambassador Program to South Africa and the People’s
Republic of China. She is the author or co-editor of three books, the most recent
Culture, Literacy and Learning: Taking Bloom in the Midst of the Whirlwind, 4
monographs, and has published over 62 journal articles and book or handbook
chapters in the field of education. Her career spans a 50 year history, including
work as an English Language Arts teacher at the high school and community
college levels, a primary grade teacher, and a university professor. She is a
founder of four African centered schools that span a 44 year history, including
three charter schools under the umbrella of the Betty Shabazz International
Charter Schools where she serves as chair of the Board of Directors. She is
married to Dr. Haki R. Madhubuti, poet and publisher of Third World Press, and
is the mother of three adult children and three grandchildren, and together they
have six adult children and seven grandchildren.

27 June

Jane Lemke

Wisconsina dn Northern Illinois Market Relationship Manager
Wells Fargo Education Financial Services
Lemke is the Wisconsin and Northern Illinois
Market Relationship Manager for Wells Fargo
Education Financial Services. Jane has over 30
years of experience in the financial aid profession
and joined Wells Fargo in 2000. Over the last 16
years, she has specialized in working with schools in
Wisconsin, Upper Peninsula of MI, Northern Illinois
and South Carolina. Prior to joining Wells Fargo, Jane was the Director of Student
Financial Services at Carroll University in Waukesha, WI; Director of Financial Aid
at Marian University in Fond du Lac, WI; and Associate Director of Financial Aid
at Lawrence University in Appleton, WI. Jane has served on the WI Association
of Financial Aid Administrators (WASFAA) Executive Committee and has been
selected as a trainer for both NASFAA and WASFAA. Jane holds a B.S. degree
in Mathematics from Marian University in Fond du Lac, WI. As a First Generation
college student, Jane looks forward to opportunities to share her experience and
to assist families in achieving their education dreams.

27 June

Joe Leonard Jr., Phd

Assistant Secretary
Civil Rights
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack swore in Dr. Joe
Leonard, Jr., as Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights on
April 6, 2009. Nominated by President Barack Obama
and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on April 2, 2009,
Assistant Secretary Leonard is the longest serving
Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in USDA’s history.
Assistant Secretary Leonard is a native of Austin,
TX. He holds a Ph.D. in American history with a specialization in civil rights
history from Howard University, Washington, DC; an M.A. degree from Southern
University, Baton Rouge, LA; and a B.A. degree from Huston-Tillotson University in
Austin, TX.
Before joining USDA, Assistant Secretary Leonard served as Executive Director
of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) under the leadership of Representative
Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (D-MI)). While at the CBC, Leonard managed the
daily activities of the Caucus and helped guide the legislative policy for its 43
congressional members.
Prior to his role at the CBC, Assistant Secretary Leonard served as the Executive
Director of the Black Leadership Forum, an umbrella organization of 32 member
groups that together work to develop and implement progressive public policies
for social change. He has also served as the Washington, DC Bureau Chief of
the Rainbow/ PUSH Coalition and Director of the Arthur Fleming Institute of the
Center for Policy Alternatives.
Assistant Secretary Leonard and his wife, Dr. Natasha Cole-Leonard are proud
parents of a 12-year-old son, Cole.

27 June

Karen Lewis

Chicago Teachers Union

27 June

Wendy Lewis

Executive Vice President
Diversity and Strategic Alliances Major League Baseball
Wendy Lewis is responsible for implementing game
changing Diversity and Inclusion strategic platforms
for Major League Baseball’s Club franchises, its
Central Office, MLB Advanced Media and MLB
Network. She has developed and implemented
numerous innovative and successful metric-driven
strategies and initiatives throughout the League and
the sports industry. MLB’s Diversity Economic Impact Engagement (DEIE) model
was designed and developed by Lewis and is the catalyst for one of the most
impactful and effective D & I pipeline platforms in sports. “DEIE” was designed
to advance the level of MLB’s workforce and supply chain engagement levels,
Wendy is also responsible for the MLB’s Diverse Business Partners Program,
the premier supplier diversity program in professional sports. Under Wendy’s
leadership, a greater number of diverse businesses have had an opportunity to
participate in the procurement process for MLB��s desired goods and services.
Since its formation, more than $1 billion has been spent with thousands of
She has been recognized at the national and international level and is the
recipient of numerous awards and recognitions, publication features and is a
highly regarded key note speaker and subject matter expert.

28 June

Ronald C. Long

Wells Fargo
Ronald C. Long currently is the Director of Regulatory
Affairs and Elder Client Initiatives, reporting to the
Chief Compliance Officer of Wells Fargo Advisors,
LLC. Since 2006, Ron has taken a leading role in the
securities industry in reviewing how it engages its
older clients. He has spoken at numerous conferences
for those in financial services as well as at meetings
sponsored by the Institutes of Medicine, American Society on Aging, and the
White House Conference on Aging to name a few.
Prior to his current position, Ron worked in Wachovia Securities’ Legal
Department starting in June 2002, heading up the team focused on regulatory
inquiries. Before joining Wachovia Securities, Ron was District Administrator
of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Philadelphia District Office from
March 1997 to June 2002. He joined the SEC staff in 1990 as an attorney in
the Division of Enforcement. In 1994, he assumed the position of Counselor to
Chairman Arthur Levitt. In that capacity, he provided guidance to the Chairman
on Commission enforcement matters as well as various regulatory issues. He
also was instrumental in helping the Chairman launch the first-ever securities
arbitration law clinic focused on having law students learn by assisting smaller
investors in pursuing securities arbitration claims.
Ron started his legal career as an associate with the San Jose, California law
firm of Hoge, Fenton, Jones and Appel, Inc., where he conducted civil litigation
in both state and federal courts from 1983 through 1990. He worked in sales
for Armstrong World Industries and West Point Pepperell. He is a graduate of
Williams College and received his law degree from Georgetown University Law

28 June


Jen Ludwig

University of Chicago

27 June

Riana Lynn

Riana Lynn is a young leader in entrepreneurship with
a passion for technology and improving communities.
From her grandmother’s garden to the White House
South Lawn and through the local and international
agricultural pipelines she was inspired to develop
innovative supply chain management tools and create
FoodTrace. A next level sourcing platform, FoodTrace
is a software and traceability application built to help food businesses with the
sourcing and vendor mapping management. Her story and entrepreneurial
accomplishments have been featured in Inc.com, Wired Magazine, Entrepreneur
Magazine, TheGrio 100, and other local and national publications. She graduated
with a B.S. in Biology and African American Studies, along with a minor in
Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she taught
herself how to code and was a top-ranked performer in Discus and Javelin before
pursuing a Masters at Northwestern University. While getting her hands dirty in
the White House Kitchen Garden, her work included major policy initiatives such
as Small Business and Jobs, STEM, and Public Health. In 2014, her technology
consulting startup was acquired for work with CNBC’s top-rated original series
“The Profit.” A native of the Chicago area, Riana is a techie, a food discovery
enthusiast, a world traveler, and an innovative fruit connoisseur!

24 June

Andrea Lyon

Dean of Law School
Valparaiso University
Andrea D. Lyon, author of Angel of Death Row: My
Life as a Death Penalty Defense Lawyer, is the Dean
of Valparaiso University Law School. Previously she
was a Clinical Professor of Law, Director of the Center
for Justice in Capital Cases, and Associate Dean for
Clinical Programs at DePaul University College of
Law in Chicago, and before that she was an Assistant
Clinical Professor at the University of Michigan Law School. . She began her
career at the cook County Public Defender’s Office, working her way up to Chief
of the Homicide Task Force, a 22-lawyer unit that represents people accused of
homicide. Lyon has tried more than 130 homicide cases, both within the public
defender’s office and elsewhere. She has defended more than 40 potential capital
cases at the trial level. Of these, she has taken 19 through the penalty phase, and
won them all.

29 June


Betty Magness

Illinois Political Director
Rainbow PUSH Coalition
C. Betty Magness is the Illinois Political Director for the
Rainbow PUSH Coalition, Vice Chair of the Board of the
Independent Voters of Illinois-Independent Political
Organization (IVI-IPO), and member of the Public
Policy Council of Citizens Action Illinois.
As a frequent contributor to the national “Keep Hope
Alive,” show on iHeart Radio, she discusses national and local political issues.
As a registration advocate, Ms. Magness works tirelessly in the fight to get
thousands of young people registered to vote. In addition, she is pushing to get
an Automatic Voting Rights (AVR) bill passed in Illinois and a National Right to
Vote (NRV) bill passed by Congress.

25 June

Natasia Malaihollo

Founder & CEO
Natasia Malaihollo is the CEO and Programmer at Wyzerr, a startup that builds customer feedback surveys that look and feel like games. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Ms. Malaihollo studied law at Georgetown University Law Center, with a focus on Intellectual Property (IP) and Technology. She worked for several years as an IP specialist and trademark agent, prosecuting patent applications for companies like IBM and Samsung. She was part of the defense team in the infamous Apple vs. Samsung smartphone design patent infringement case, which she credits as the turning point in her career’s focus on more tech, less legal. Ms. Malaihollo received her Bachelors degree from UC Berkeley, where she studied Computer Science and Legal Studies.

27 June


Metoya marsh

Metoya Marsh

27 June

Brigadier General Donna W. Martin

Recruitment of U.S. Army
BG Donna W. Martin graduated from Old Dominion
University with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal
Justice and was commissioned a second lieutenant in
the Military Police Corps in 1988.
She served more than three years as a platoon
leader and executive officer with the 66th MP Company, Karlsruhe, Germany. As
a platoon leader, she deployed to Saudi Arabia in support of Operations Desert
Shield/Storm from December of 1990 to June of 1991. Following her deployment,
BG Martin attended the Military Police Officer Advanced Course at Fort McClellan,
AL. Upon completion, she served as the Battalion S-3 for Headquarters Battalion,
Fort Belvoir, VA.
BG Martin commanded twice at the brigade level. She commanded the 202d
Military Police Group (CID) in Kaiserslautern, FRG from July 2011 until May
2013. In June 2013, she assumed command of the Rear Detachment of the 18th
Military Police Brigade. In June 2014, BG Martin reported for duty as the Chief
of Investigation, HQDA Inspector General Agency. BG Martin’s awards and
decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal with two Oak Leaf
Clusters, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, The Meritorious Service Medal
with five Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Commendation Medal with six Oak Leaf
Clusters, the Army Achievement Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Medal, the
Southwest Asia Campaign Medal, and the Kuwaiti Liberation Medal.
BG Martin has been married for more than 20 years. She and her husband Chris
have a son, Christopher, who attends the University of Virginia.

27 June

Roland Martin

Urban Killing Fields and Poverty
Over the course of a journalistic career that has seen
him interview newsmakers ranging from multiple
U.S. presidents to the top athletes and entertainers in
Hollywood, Roland S. Martin is a journalist who has always
maintained a clear sense of his calling in this world.
Martin is the host and managing editor of TV One’s
News One Now, the first daily morning news program in history to focus on news
and analysis of politics, entertainment, sports, and culture from an explicitly African
American perspective. News One Now airs weekdays on TV One at 7AM/ET.
Martin is also the creator and host of “The Roland Martin Show”, a daily syndicated
radio broadcast in 20 markets across the country; a nationally syndicated columnist
with Creators Syndicate and the Daily Beast; as well as senior analyst for the Tom
Joyner Morning Show.
Honored with the 2013 National Association of Black Journalists’ (NABJ) Journalist
of the Year Award, Martin is a two-time winner of the NAACP Image Award and has
received more than 40 professional media awards, as well as honors by numerous
organizations for his contributions to the media.
Martin is the author of three books: Listening to the Spirit Within: 50 Perspectives on
Faith; Speak, Brother! A Black Man’s View of America; and The First: President Barack
Obama’s Road to the White House as originally reported by Roland S. Martin.
Roland is married to the Rev. Jacque Hood Martin. They reside in Washington, D.C.

25 June

Janice Mathis

Executive Council of Negro Women
Janice Mathis from Greenville, SC, was appointed
Executive Director of the National Council of Negro
Women in 2016. She is responsible for implementing
NCNW’s the Lead, Advocate Empower mission by
activating its Four for the Future program of Education,
Health, Entrepreneurship and Values.
Previously, Janice was Vice President for Legal Affairs for Rev. Jesse L. Jackson’s
Rainbow PUSH Coalition, where she spearheaded civil rights and diversity
initiatives and agreements with many Fortune 500 firms. She is a former
member of both the Georgia Power Company Diversity Advisory Council
and the Coca-Cola Supplier Diversity Council. In 2015, Janice led a successful
effort to include diverse contractors in $3 billion dollars’ worth of state funded
transportation contracts in Georgia.
Janice testified before the U.S. Sentencing Commission on the crack/powder
cocaine disparity and before the UN Commission to End Racial Discrimination in
Geneva. She organized and led a national fight based in Atlanta to reauthorize the
Voting Rights Act in 2005 and was instrumental in urging Greenville County, SC to
become one of the final counties in the nation to recognize the Martin Luther King
Janice earned Bachelors of Arts degrees in both economics and public policy
studies at Duke University in only three years and was a recipient of the
prestigious Angier Biddle Duke Scholarship. Janice studied British Politics and
History at Oxford University in England and finished law school at UGA.

25 June

Judge Greg Mathis

In 1995 Judge Greg Mathis was elected one of the
youngest Judges in America. His election became a
national success story and a symbol of hope for urban
youth who are struggling to overcome the modernday
pressures and hardships of poverty, drugs and
violence. A former street youth and high school
dropout, Mathis’ lawlessness brought him before a
Judge who cared, a Judge who ordered the teenaged dropout to get a G.E.D.
or face jail time. He obtained his G.E.D. as ordered by the Judge and went on to
become a lawyer, a committed civil rights activist, public servant and currently a
T.V. Judge with his own nationally syndicated show distributed by Warner Bros.
Judge Mathis’ public service career began at Eastern Michigan University. In 1983,
after graduating from college, he joined the staff of Detroit City Councilman Clyde
Cleveland and continued his civil rights activities as an activist with Reverend
Jesse Jackson’s Operation P.U.S.H. In 1986 he founded Young Adults Asserting
Themselves (Y.A.A.T.), a youth agency that now serves thousands of youth. From
1989 through 1993 he worked for legendary Detroit Mayor Coleman A. Young as
Manager of Detroit Neighborhood City Halls.
He has served as campaign coordinator for over 10 successful political campaigns,
and as a national assistant and Detroit campaign manager in Reverend Jesse
Jackson’s historic Michigan presidential campaign victory. Mathis continued his
civil rights activities as an officer of Operation P.U.S.H. and the Rainbow Coalition.
Most importantly, he is a Christian and a married father of four.

27 June


Dave Mays

Sources Magazine Founder
Hip Hop Weekly

28 June

Melissa Mays

Flint Michigan Resident
I’ve proudly lived in Flint since 2002. I support local
musicians, bands and charities. Before the poisoning
of our city, my life was all about music and my family.
That changed in January 2015 when we received the
TTHM violation notice telling us that our water had
a cancer-causing byproduct in it for 9 months and
they never told us. I realized that every time they had
told us the water was safe, they were wrong. I decided to start doing research
and contacting environmental experts and activists like Erin Brockovich, Robert
Bowcock, Scott Smith, Mark Ruffalo, Lois Gibbs and more. My husband and I
formed Water You Fighting For and held a huge march February 14, 2015 which
helped us launch and educational campaign to hold meetings, rallies, protests and
marches to keep the attention on what was happening to us.
We pushed hard so the media would cover the mass poisoning of a community.
I’m also proud to have testified in front of state legislature. Now there are several
bills in committee to create laws to make what happened to us a crime and to
ensure everyone has access to clean, safe, affordable water. We also have several
lawsuits in place to demand accountability, lead service line replacement, and a
change in the way the State tests and monitors our water so this never happens
again, anywhere.
I’ve been able to speak in several different states to explain to the world what has
been done to us and how it can happen to them. Now we have people speaking
up for us all across the world to help. I’m very proud to have proven that Flint is
worth fighting for and the worst can and will happen when water is treated like a

25 June


Dr. Gerrard McClendon

Chicago State University

27 June

Bernard McCune

Deputy Chief
Bernard McCune has been an educational professional
for over 20years and currently is the Deputy Chief
of the Office of Post-Secondary Readiness for the
Oakland Unified School District. His leadership
responsibilities include supervision of all college and
readiness systems and initiatives including counseling,
Advanced Placement, dual enrollment, Linked Learning,
International Baccalaureate programs, AVID, ROTC, Athletics and Activities,Physical
Education, and the Oakland Promise which seeks to triple the number of college
graduates from the city of Oakland.
Prior to his work in Oakland , Mr. McCune led college success efforts in both
Chicago and Denver which resulted in significant increases in high school
graduation, college enrollment and college completion. Mr McCune is a graduate of
Knox College, holds a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Concordia
University, and is a doctoral candidate and National-Louis University.

27 June