The Team

The Panelists

Stephen O. Aisebokhae

Born in Nigeria, Stephen grew up in an extremely religious and educational focused family setting. Later phases of his career included obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from a prestigious university in Nigeria. In 2017, he obtained a Master's in Community Development at Prairie View A&M University. He is pursing Doctoral degree in Educational Leadership; research with a focus on Black male development and intervention strategies for academic excellence.

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Stephen O. Aisebokhae
Imani Baskin

Imani Baskin is the Founder & CEO of Empowered Squared, Inc., a personal transformation company based in metropolitan Atlanta, GA.  She holds a BA in psychology, a MA in counseling psychology, and pursuing a doctorate in counseling psychology. In addition, she is certified in Mindfulness and Neuro Linguistic Programming. She is the author of Unveiling the I AM: Discovering the Path to the Authentic Self and Today is the Miracle: A 30-Day Guide for Overcoming Challenges & Creating Miracles.For 16 years, Imani served as the Executive Director & Founder of Women Healing Women, a non- profit organization dedicated to the eradication of violence against women and girls. 

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Imani Baskin
Derek Blackwell, Ph.D.

Derek Blackwell, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Communication at Prairie View A&M University. Drawn to academia by a passion for teaching and mentoring, he teaches a variety of courses dealing with media, culture, and society. His previous research focuses on the impact of new digital tools on romantic relationships. He has written on a number of topics in this area, from the design of online dating websites to depictions of digital romance in popular media to the ways new technologies impact understandings of infidelity.

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Derek Blackwell, Ph.D.
Gretta Blackwell, Ph.D.

Gretta Blackwell, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of communication at Prairie View A&M University. Her research focuses on race, class, and popular media.

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Gretta Blackwell, Ph.D. 
Fred A. Bonner, II, Ed.D.

Fred A. Bonner II is an East Texas native. He graduated with a B.A. in chemistry from the University of North Texas, a Master's in curriculum and instruction from Baylor University, and an Ed.D. from the University of Arkansas in Higher Education Administration. He currently serves as Professor and Endowed Chair in the College of Education at Prairie View A&M University.

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Fred A. Bonner, II, Ed.D.
Ashlee B. Daniels

Ashlee B. Daniels is a lecturer in the Languages and Communications Department at Prairie View A&M University. Also, she is a doctoral candidate in the Educational Leadership Program at the University; and, her research focus is on how to best accommodate Black women in higher education.

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Ashlee B. Daniels
Dr. La'Shawn Dennis

Dr. La'Shawn Dennis is a Pharmacy Supervisor and District Leader for CVS Health in Atlanta, GA. She earned her Doctor of Pharmacy from Hampton University in 2002. Dr. Dennis is currently among the leaders setting up COVID testing sites in Atlanta.,

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Dr. La'Shawn Dennis
Aviva Dove-Viebahn, Ph.D.

Aviva Dove-Viebahn is an Assistant Professor of Film and Media Studies at Arizona State University, a Contributing Editor, Scholar Writing Program, for Ms. Magazine, and a screenwriter. Her academic work explores the representation of gender and race in popular culture, especially television.

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Aviva Dove-Viebahn, Ph.D.
Michelle A. Dowell-Vest

Rev. Chelle is a Metaphysical Minister, Family Constellation Facilitator & Clinical Hypnotist. She guides women as they connect the dots from their mother wound to issues in their relationships, career, finances, fertility, health and parenting. She does this with a trauma informed healing experience that breaks generational and subconscious cycles of pain between daughters and theirs mothers. 

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Michelle Dowell-Vest
Jeremy Erwin

Jeremy Erwin is an LA-based Creative, fresh off the Asian international tour of the hit Broadway musical "Dreamgirls" (Curtis Taylor Jr). He’s a 1st place winner of the legendary Apollo Amateur Night in New York City. Founder of Erwin Entertainment - which produces one of Hollywood’s most respected concert series called "The Soul Spot" (@soulspotla). TV Appearances as follows: Steve Harvey Show (NBC) - Revolution (NBC) - The Coroner (ID Channel) Graduate of AMDA College (LA/NYC). For booking - Manager: Kevin Ramsey kevin@IBMG365.com

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Jeremy Erwin
Tiffany Flowers

Tiffany Flowers is an activist, organizer, wife, breast cancer survivor, DJ, and in her full time capacity serves as the Coalition and Partnerships Director at Democracy for All 2021, a structural democracy reform campaign. Tiffany resides in Baltimore, Maryland by way of New London, Connecticut.

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Tiffany Flowers
Dr. Carolyn L. Gordon

Dr. Carolyn L. Gordon is the Associate Professor of Mass Communication at Mississippi Valley State University. She is also a national and internationally known Baptist minister.

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Dr. Carolyn L. Gordon
Harrison Guy

Harrison Guy began his dance journey in LaMarque, TX at Ruth Elfin Dance Studios. He studied dance at Prairie View A&M University and Sam Houston University, Deeply Rooted Production in Chicago, Dallas Black Dance Theater, and the Ailey School in New York. In 2004, he debuted his dance company, Urban Souls Dance Company. In 2016 he launched Houston's first African American Dance Festival. He is the founder of  Black Arts Movement Houston. Harrison is a faculty member of the dance department at the Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. Harrison is the Director of Arts & Culture for Houston's 5th Ward Cultural Arts District. Harrison is the Chair of Mayor Sylvester Turner's LGBTQ Advisory Board.

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Harrison Guy
Alexander Hardy

Alexander Hardy is a writer, mental health advocate, dancer, educator, and lupus survivor. He battles spiritual ashiness as CoFounder of GetSomeJoy, a creative wellness agency promoting mental and emotional wellness to marginalized, underserved communities via soulful storytelling, dynamic live events, and accessible wellness resources. He has written for Ebony, CNN.com, Esquire, Food & Wine, Courvoisier, The Root, Saint Heron, and Very Smart Brothas, and is a bilingual Youth & Adult Mental Health First Aid Instructor and community wellness program developer. Alexander does not believe in snow or Delaware.

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Alexander Hardy
Danny Harvey

Also known as the Education Motivator, Danny is the Director of the Financial Planning Program & Finance Instructor in the College of Business at Prairie View A&M University. Danny, a professional speaker, has a TED Talk, delivered Keynote addresses, presented at the New York Federal Reserves Bank, at Columbia University's Teachers Collage, has appeared on radio and podcasts. Danny's undergraduate degrees from Texas A&M University and attained a MBA from the University of Houston. Danny serves in the deacon ministry at Brookhollow Baptist Church and is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi, Fraternity, Inc. 

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Danny Harvey
Dr. Tammy L. Holmes

Dr. Tammy L. Holmes is a graduate from Twenty years, teaching in the areas of Communication, Leadership, Africana Studies, and Adult Learning. Currently, a Lecturer at Prairie View A&M University in Language & Communication Department. Her research focuses on study abroad and documentary filmmaking. She is a licensed trainer and practitioner in Restorative "Justice" Practices and a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Holmes emphasizes the motto: “Good is not enough, when better is possible.”

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Dr. Tammy L. Holmes
G. Paris Johnson

G. Paris Johnson is a Black Feminist, author, freelance writer fo the Houston Press, Community Contributor for Blavity. com, professor of English at Prairie View A&M Univeristy, and graduate of Texas Southern University.

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G. Paris Johnson
Taya Dunn Johnson
Taya Dunn Johnson

Taya Dunn Johnson is an author, speaker, storytelling coach, grief counselor and workshop facilitator. Her husband died suddenly in June 2012, leaving her widowed at 35 with their son, a 3.5-year-old non-verbal boy living with autism. Over the last 8 years, she has worked relentlessly to rebuild their lives. Taya has used her personal challenges as a young widow and solo parent to a child with autism to strengthen the community around her through writing, speaking, teaching and performing advocacy work. Taya is a published author and the Vice President on the Board for the Autism Society of Baltimore Chesapeake.

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Justin D. Key

Justin Key is a working actor, entrepreneur, published author, and keynote speaker. Guest star in the second season of Amazon Prime’s of GodComplX. Justin is the author of Mind Control Book, a how-to, self-help book that centers around living a life without limits. Mr. Key received the key to the city of his hometown of Rossville, TN and where February 24th is officially known as Justin Key Day. He has been named one of Black Enterprise Magazine’s 2019 Men of Distinction. Justin is the creator of Mama Knows Best, a comedic audiobook series based on the conversations between a southern mom and he project is now being turned into an animated television series. Alumnus of LeMoyne-Owen College, AMDA College of the Performing Arts, the American Conservatory Theater, and Mount Saint Mary's University. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

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Justin D. Key
Quincy LeNear-Gossfield

Chicago born multi-disciplinary artist Quincy LeNear-Gossfield is best known as the award-winning filmmaker and co-creator of the GLAAD award-winning cable se ries The DL Chronicles, the Daytime Emmy nominated streaming series The Chadwick Journals, and co-founder of the &Seen Networks. LeNear is also known for his work as a producer for TV series such as HBO Max's Legendary, BET's Sunday Best, FYI's Kocktails with Khloe, and more. As a prominent public figure in the LGBTQ community, LeNear and his husband, Deondray Gossfield, made history while being married on the 56th Annual Grammy Awards and were recently featured as the first male couple on season 3 of OWN network's Black Love. The Gossfields currently resides in Atlanta, GA, and are continuing to develop multiple scripted and non-scripted television and film content for POC and the LGBTQIA community.

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Quincy LeNear-Gossfield
Kelly Macías, Ph.D.

Kelly Macías, Ph.D. is a writer and organizational consultant specializing in diversity, equity and inclusion. She was a founding faculty member in Adler University's Master of Arts program in Media and Communications for Social Change and is currently working on a book about how Black women have saved the Internet.

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Kelly Macías, Ph.D.
Verta Maloney
Verta Maloney

i am verta maloney and i am all love {with appropriate doses of rage}. i run my own business helping individuals and organizations share their racial autobiographies and stories in order to act on and undo racism in this lifetime. it is my hope that in every encounter Black, Indigenious and folks of color will leave seen, heard, healed and loved. i am chief community officer and co-founder at the*gameHERs because all kinds of women in gaming are dope. i am a founding team member at Civics Unplugged because i know #TheKidsWillLead. i am also a national leadership facilitator for New York City Leadership Academy where i do more dope shit focused on anti-racism and equity. (TDV i hate BIOS. this is a perpetual work in progress and i reserve the right to edit. lol)

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Risikat "Kat" Okedeyi
Risikat "Kat" Okedeyi

Risikat “Kat” Okedeyi is a self-defined cultural architect and owner of LiL SoSo Productions, LLC (www.lilsoso.com). Her mission is to create meaningful Black content and experiences by producing high-quality cultural events, digital media, and conversations on and around progressive Black culture and aesthetics. In addition, she is an associate professor in the English department at Prince George's Community College where she teaches courses in composition writing, specializes in African-American and world literatures and also serves as the college's director for its Book Bridge Project. She is also adjunct faculty at Bowie State University where she teaches in the university's Visual Communication & Digital Media Arts program.Most recently she has been named to the 2019-2021 Culture Caucus a new creatives' incubator at The Reach at The Kennedy Center

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Dr. Tina Opie
Dr. Tina Opie

The founder of Opie Consulting Group LLC, Dr. Opie brings more than 20 years of experience in strategic management and organizational behavior. An award-winning researcher, consultant and Associate Professor of Management at Babson College, Dr. Opie advises large firms in the financial services, entertainment, media, beauty, educational, and healthcare industries.  Her consulting work has helped organizations such as American Express, Hulu and the NFL. Dr. Opie’s work has appeared in such outlets as O Magazine, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe and Harvard Business Review. She is also a regular commentator on Harvard Business Review’s Women at Work podcast and Greater Boston’s NPR affiliate television station WGBH.

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Natriez Peterson

Raised in a small town called Artesia, MS, Natriez quickly learned the value of family and community. Natriez "Nate" Peterson is a servant, husband, father, entrepreneur, doctoral student, and dreamer fueled by his faith, passion, and purpose. In addition to being a doctoral student, Mr. Peterson serves as an Extension Program Specialist, specializing in Community & Economic Development with the Cooperative Extension Program at Prairie View A&M University. He is responsible for developing innovative programs that focus on small business development, workforce development, and homeownership throughout the State of Texas. Working in higher education, along with his love for entrepreneurship and economic development, is one of Peterson's greatest passions.

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Natriez Peterson
Leslie M. Scott-Jones

Leslie M. Scott-Jones is a African-American southern woman from Virginia, encompassing all that entails, and has been writing, acting and directing since her teens. The world premiere of her first play Desire Moments was part of the 2014 Capital Fringe Festival. Book Ends, her first full length novel, hit the shelves Valentine’s Day Weekend 2016. Leslie is the Artistic Director of the Charlottesville Players Guild at the Jefferson School African-American Heritage Center, which the Guild calls home. She played Louise in Seven Guitars by August Wilson in November 2017 with UVa.’s Drama Department. Leslie is the co-founder of EugeneMartin LLC, an artist development firm in Charlottesville, Va. She is mother of two children and Mimi of two grandsons.

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Leslie M. Scott-Jones
Derek Shaun

A Tennessee native, Derek Shaun has worked in film, television, print, commercials, and continues to do more and more voiceover work. He is honored to be a part of this brilliant piece, with such an amazingly talented cast. He can be contacted at poetjazz@aol.com.

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Derek Shaun
Slam, The Poet

Your favorite poets favorite poet

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Slam, The Poet
Dr. Stella L. Smith

Dr. Stella L. Smith is the Associate Director for the Minority Achievement, Creativity and High-Ability (MACH-III) Center in the Whitlowe R. Green College of Education at Prairie View A&M University. Her research focuses on the experiences of faculty and administrators of color in higher education; African American females in leadership in higher education; and access and inclusion of underserved populations in higher education. Dr. Smith earned her doctorate in Educational Administration from The University of Texas at Austin.

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Dr. Stella L. Smith
Marla Renee Stewart, MA

Marla Renee Stewart, MA is a sexologist and a sex coach who runs her own sexuality education company, Velvet Lips. She is also a Co-Founder of the Sex Down South Conference and the Sexual Liberation Collective. She has studied human sexuality for more than 19 years and has been featured on a variety of media outlets, as well as spoken to various audiences around the world.

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Marla Renee Stewart, MA
Red Summer

Red Summer is making the most of her time in quarantine by acting in an online series, recording a podcast, starring in a Youtube show, e-curating a Hip Hop Museum and producing a short film all while virtual teaching her high school students from her bedroom/office/studio.

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Red Summer
Monique L. Thomas

Monique Thomas is the Program Coordinator at the Caltech Center for Inclusion and Diversity (CCID) in Pasadena, California where she coordinates programs, trainings, and resources for undergraduates and underrepresented communities including African-American/Black, Latinx, and Native American students. Monique studied communications and performance studies at CSU San Bernardino and CSULA, and has participated in a summer performance program at Northwestern University. Her creative works are centered around issues of identity, representation, and family. Her most recent work, “Hair Journey: An Autoethnographic Performance,” explores Black women’s hair as the site of cultural performance and the source of joy, pain, struggle, redemption, and resistance.

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Monique L. Thomas
Darnell L. Walker, Ph.D.

 Darnell is an award winning documentary filmmaker. Is writes for HBO’s Sesame Street and the new Blue’s Clues. Darnell is a travel influencer as the founder /CEO of Passport Required.  Featured in GQ, Cassius, The Root, Daily Beast, Rolling Out, Vogue + more. Darnell is a proud graduate of bethune-cookman UNiversity and howard UNiversity. He is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. 

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Darnell L. Walker, Ph.D.