Speaker Bios

Lecture I 

 

Paul Parravano

Paul Parravano,  Co-Director, Government and Community Relations, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

 

Paul Parravano has been part of the MIT community since 1991. His role in the Office of Government and Community Relations involves guiding and fostering communication and understanding between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and all levels of government, major constituency groups, and MIT’s surrounding community. He serves as a liaison and resource for people within MIT who may need to work with external parties and those in the surrounding region who have a similar need to interact with the Institute. Mr. Parravano works closely with the MIT Washington office, accompanying MIT’s President on regular visits to Washington, to meet with leadership from the executive and legislative branches of the federal government. He also serves as host for campus visits by elected officials and other dignitaries.

 

Locally, Paul works to strengthen MIT's involvement in science education with schools and nonprofits through a growing list of partnerships, and leading MIT’s efforts to annually host the Massachusetts Science and Engineering State Fair. Paul serves on a variety of boards, including the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, National Braille Press, Just A Start Corporation and represents MIT with the New England Council. Paul serves on the Arlington Massachusetts Commission for Persons with Disabilities. In all of his work and travel, both in Washington and locally, Paul’s most critical task is to represent the Institute in a personal way as a resource for knowledge, neighborly support, and the advancement of MIT’s mission of scientific education and research.

 

Prior to his employment at MIT, Paul worked as a legal adviser in a civil rights consulting firm in the Boston area, providing advice and consultation for corporations on the implementation of civil rights regulations. He received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University and a law degree from Northeastern University School of Law. Paul likes to highlight his strong affinity for soccer, barbecue, and appreciation for the Great Lakes where he grew up. His greatest delight flows from his family, which includes two absolutely splendid daughters, Emily and Eleanora, and his wife Martha.



 

Danny Glover

Danny Glover is a legendary actor, producer, and humanitarian activist.  His coming of age story is rooted in the many campaigns  for human rights  here, in the civil rights Movement of the 1960’s, and abroad most notably in the  anti-apartheid war for South African independence. He has been on  The Algebra Project Board of Directors for 22 years .   He is the recipient of numerous  awards for his brilliance in theater and film.  This year,  the academy of motion picture arts and sciences is honoring Danny Glover at the 12th annual Governors Award.   He is the recipient of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award given to an individual in the motion picture arts and sciences whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry. 

 

Janet Moses

In the summer of 1964, Bronx native Janet Jemmott  joined the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.  She worked in Mississippi and Lowndes County, Alabama, organizing African Americans to vote.   Her work in Mississippi and Alabama was book ended by stints teaching in  NYC public middle schools.  She and her husband, Bob Moses,  were employed by  the Tanzanian Ministry of Education to teach in rural Tanzania. Upon returning to  the U.S.,Janet  entered the Boston University School of Medicine.  She practiced Pediatrics at the  Massachusetts Institute of Technology until she retired in 2004.  She and Bob have 4 children and 7 grandchildren. She is involved in several  local initiatives to extend Bob’s legacy through the Bob Moses Conference Series.   She is one of the contributors  to Hands on the Freedom Plough, personal accounts of women in SNCC, and producer of “Caste in the Classroom”, an award winning  documentary in the BronzeLens Film Festival in 2021 about American educational apartheid. She is an advisor to Mathtalk, a multimedia initiative spearheaded by son, Omo Moses, to provide young  children with early conceptual math learning.

 

Nicholas Lemann

Joseph Pulitzer II and Edith Pulitzer Moore Professor of Journalism; Dean Emeritus of  The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism; Director, Columbia World Projects Lemann continues to contribute to The New Yorker as a staff writer. His books include "Transaction Man: The Rise of the Deal and the Decline of the American Dream" (2019); "Redemption: The Last Battle of the Civil War" (2006); "The Big Test: The Secret History of the American Meritocracy" (1999), which helped lead to a major reform of the SAT; "The Promised Land: The Great Black Migration and How It Changed America" (1991), which won several book prizes. He has written widely for such publications as The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, The New Republic, and Slate; worked in documentary television with Blackside, Inc., "FRONTLINE," the Discovery Channel, and the BBC; and lectured at many universities. Nicholas has been a stalwart supporter of the mission of The Algebra Project.

 

Maisha Moses

Since 1991 my work with the Algebra Project (AP) and then Young People’s Project (YPP) has focused on broadening the participation of groups underrepresented in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology.  From 1991 – 1995 I worked for the Algebra Project in Oakland CA with the math department of a local junior high school, where I provided classroom support for students and teachers, instructional guidance in the use of the AP Transition Curriculum, and helped to lead efforts to establish an Algebra for all policy in the school.  In 1993 I began training and coaching teachers in AP schools across the country in the use of the Transition Curriculum, which led to becoming certified as a national trainer for the AP, becoming co-Coordinator of the AP National Training of Trainers Program, and involved training trainers and developing a competency model for Teachers and Trainers (the AP Model of Excellence). In 1997 I began supporting the development of YPP math literacy workers by applying the training principles from the AP to the challenge of developing a training program for peer instructional leaders in YPP, for the purpose of developing young people from our constituent population, who are equipped with the skills and competencies to facilitate experiential learning activities in mathematics for their younger peers. In 2003 I began doing this work as a YPP employee, and from 2005 - 2010 focused on formalizing the training model and developing a YPP trainer training program through work supported by NSF/ISE (award # 0515589), producing a formal 2-week training institute, training materials, and an ongoing development and certification process for trainers. From 2011–2014, I was a co-P.I. on YPPs NSF/ITEST award (#1031633), which introduced coding to YPPs near peer learning and teaching model. I became YPP Co-Director in 2010, and in 2013 the Executive Director.

 

Dani Johnson

Meet Dani Johnson. With over 20 years of experience in producing social justice results-based event campaigns, dani brings a deep passion for strategic advising, innovations, communications, branding, wellness, and healing modalities - all centered in love, equity, and justice.

 

Peggy Cooper Davis

Peggy Cooper Davis joined the NYU Law faculty in September 1983 after having served for three years as a judge of the Family Court of the State of New York.. She has published two books and more than 50 articles and book chapters, most notably in the premier journals of Harvard, Yale, NYU, and Michigan law schools. Her 1997 book Neglected Stories: The Constitution and Family Values and her book-in-progress Enacting Freedom illuminate the importance of anti-slavery and civil rights traditions as guides to the scope and meaning of Fourteenth Amendment liberty interests. Davis’s scholarship has also influenced the critique and evolution of legal pedagogy. She now directs the Experiential Learning Lab, through which she develops learning strategies for addressing interpretive, interactive, ethical, and social dimensions of legal practice.

 

Mark Rosenbaum

California Lawyer of the Decade who has argued four times before the Supreme Court, Rosenbaum has been Public Counsel, in landmark cases in the areas of K-12 public and higher education, voting rights, criminal defender rights, poverty law and homelessness, racial, gender, class and sexual orientation discrimination, health care, immigrants’ rights, foster care and criminal defendants’ rights.

 

Among his many high profile cases, Rosenbaum was successful in securing over $1 billion for underserved schools in textbooks, qualified teachers and safe and sanitary school facilities (Williams v. California); securing a historic ruling in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals recognizing the constitutional right to literacy (Gary B. v. Whitmer); redistricting Los Angeles County Board of Supervisor district lines to end over 118 years of discrimination against Latinos (Garza v. Board of Supervisors); overturning the conviction of Black Panther Geronimo Pratt; and obtaining relief on behalf of severely disabled homeless veterans (Valentini v. Shinseki).

 

Rosenbaum graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Michigan and from Harvard Law School. He is the recipient of numerous awards for his advocacy – including twice being named “California Lawyer of the Year” in civil rights and being selected to the Daily Journal’s “Top Lawyers of the Decade” for 2011-2020. Rosenbaum also helped represent Elmer “Geronimo” Pratt, high ranking Black Panther Party (BPP) leader.

 

Jon Rochkind

Jon Rochkind is the Senior Director of Administration for the Policy Evaluation and Research Center (PERC) at ETS, which focuses on expanding access, elevating achievement and increasing attainment for all learners. He recently hosted the Building the Black Male Teacher Pipeline webinar series, which looked at recruiting, retaining; and identifying opportunities to make progress in building the pipelines of Black male educators and enlivening their experience as teachers.  Jon is the former Vice-President and Director of Research at Public Agenda where he conducted research on a variety of education topics with a particular focus on teacher retention and job satisfaction. 

 
Ben Moynihan

Benjamin Moynihan is Interim Executive Director of the Algebra Project, Inc., Cambridge, MA.  He received a BA in Non-Western Music from Dartmouth College (1987), and a M.Ed., Technology in Education, from Harvard University Graduate School of Education (1999).  Moynihan worked closely with the late Robert P. (Bob) Moses, facilitating the implementation of the Algebra Project, 1992 – 2021, and co-developed the Algebra Project’s African Drums & Ratios Curriculum materials for late elementary grades (1992-2000).

 

Lecture II

 

Ben Moynihan

Benjamin Moynihan is Interim Executive Director of the Algebra Project, Inc., Cambridge, MA.  He received a BA in Non-Western Music from Dartmouth College (1987), and a M.Ed., Technology in Education, from Harvard University Graduate School of Education (1999).  Moynihan worked closely with the late Robert P. (Bob) Moses, facilitating the implementation of the Algebra Project, 1992 – 2021, and co-developed the Algebra Project’s African Drums & Ratios Curriculum materials for late elementary grades (1992-2000). 

 

Dr. James D. Anderson

Dr. Anderson is the Edward William and Jane Marr Gutgsell Professor of Education at Illinois and is an affiliate professor of history there. He is considered a leading authority on the history of African American education in the South, the history of higher education desegregation, the history of public school desegregation, and the history of African American school achievement in the 20th century.

He joined the faculty as an assistant professor in educational policy studies in 1974 and has been at the University of Illinois for the last 44 years.

 

Dr. Anderson is renowned in his field.

 

In 2012, he was selected as a Fellow for Outstanding Research by the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.

 

He has won numerous awards for his scholarship, including the AERA’s outstanding book award for “The Education of Blacks in the South, 1860-1935.” He serves as senior editor of the History of Education Quarterly. He was elected to the National Academy of Education in 2008. In 2013, he was selected Center for Advanced Study Professor of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership at the University of Illinois.

 

Charles M. Payne

Charles M. Payne is the Henry Rutgers Distinguished Professor of African American Studies at Rutgers University Newark where he also directs the Joseph C. Cornwall Center for Metropolitan Studies.  His interests include urban education and school reform, social inequality, social change and modern African American history. His books include So Much Reform, So Little Change, (Harvard Education Publishing Group, 2008) which examines the persistence of failure in urban schools and a co-edited anthology, Teach Freedom: The African American Tradition of Education For Liberation (Teachers College Press, 2008). He is also the author of  the prize-winning I’ve Got the Light of Freedom: The Organizing Tradition in the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement (University of California, 1995).  His most recent book is Dignity-Affirming Education: Cultivating the Somebodiness of Students and Educators, coedited with Decoteau Irby and Charity Anderson (Teachers College Press, 2022).  He has been named to Edu-Scholars’ list of scholars “contributing most substantially to public debates about education” every year from 2015- 2021.

Later this year, he expects to finish When They Come for the Children: Defending Black Children After the Age of Trump, about the development of Black children in this moment of intense national polarization.  He is working on Schooling the Ghetto: Fifty Years of “Reforming” Urban Schools, updating the discussion from So Much Reform. His undergraduate degree in Afro-/American Studies is from Syracuse; his doctorate in sociology is from Northwestern.

 

Joan T. Wynne, PhD

Joan T. Wynne, Ph.D. directed the Benjamin E. Mays Teacher Scholar Program as a professor at Morehouse College. She operated, along with Dr. Lisa Delit,  two Urban Education Centers, one at Georgia State University in Atlanta and one in Miami at Florida International University, where she was a professor in Educational Leadership. She has published a multitude of research studies in professional journals and books. Her recent book is: Reckoning with our Roots: Unearthing injustice to find our way home.  In 2000, she received the “Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Award” for work in anti-racism, and in 2015 received an Urban Affairs Association-SAGE Activist Scholar Award.

 

Dani Johnson

Meet Dani Johnson. With over 20 years of experience in producing social justice results-based event campaigns, dani brings a deep passion for strategic advising, innovations, communications, branding, wellness, and healing modalities - all centered in love, equity, and justice.

 

Dr. Nettice R. Gaskins

Dr. Nettrice R. Gaskins is an African American digital artist, academic, cultural critic and advocate of STEAM fields. In her work she explores "techno-vernacular creativity" and Afrofuturism.

 

Dr. Gaskins teaches, writes, "fabs”, and makes art using algorithms and machine learning. She has taught multimedia, visual art, and computer science with high school students. She earned a BFA in Computer Graphics with Honors from Pratt Institute in 1992 and an MFA in Art and Technology from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1994. She received a doctorate in Digital Media from Georgia Tech in 2014. Currently, Dr. Gaskins is a 2021 Ford Global Fellow and the assistant director of the Lesley STEAM Learning Lab at Lesley University. She is an advisory board member for the School of Literature, Media, and Communication at Georgia Tech. Her first full-length book, Techno-Vernacular Creativity and Innovation is available through The MIT Press. 

 

Gaskins' AI-generated artworks can be viewed in journals, magazines, museums, and on the Web. Her series of 'featured futurist' portraits are on view at the Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building through early July 2022.

 

Lynne Godfrey

Lynne designs and facilitates professional development with coaches, teachers and administrators to develop and sustain ambitious, equitable learning communities in their schools. As an educator Lynne served as a classroom teacher grades 2-8 in Cambridge and Boston, district math coach for Cambridge Public Schools, upper school coordinator and math coach at Young Achievers Science and Math Pilot School and the director of instruction, curriculum and adult development for mathematics at the Dudley Street Neighborhood Charter School. She has taught  elementary mathematics content methods courses for Boston Teacher Residency and Wheelock College. It was her work with Bob Moses and the Algebra Project for over thirty years, both locally and nationally, that has influenced and sustained her ongoing commitment to access and equity for all adults and all children in mathematics, where ambitious teaching and learning are a civil right.

 

Alan & Michelle Shaw

Alan and Michellle were student activists at Harvard and  worked with Bob to recruit the first, fledgling cohort of Algebra Project students. They have continued to support and work for the Algebra Project in various volunteer capacities since those early days.

Alan graduated with honors from Harvard University with a B.A. in Applied Mathematics in 1985.  He then received his M.S. from MIT in 1988 in Computer Science and his Ph.D. in Media Arts and Sciences at the MIT Media Laboratory in 1995.  In 2005, Dr. Shaw was appointed to the position of Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, where he taught courses in Computer Science and began research that involved using simulations and virtual reality for educational purposes.  In 2006, Dr. Shaw was appointed to the position of Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Information Systems at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia. He is currently a tenured professor teaching courses in Computer Science and where he is researching the potential educational benefits of virtual and collaborative technologies.

Dr. Shaw is also an ordained minister and the pastor of a church in Georgia. 

Michelle received her B.A. with honors in Economics from Harvard College in 1985 and her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1989.  She practiced law for six years before she chose to focus on homeschooling her children.  Michelle and Alan have homeschooled their five children from birth.  Their three sons have graduated from college and their daughters are currently working their way through college.  Michelle taught Debate/Economics/Government to high school homeschoolers for 7 years and is now the director of the homeschool hybrid program, Eastside Academic Studies.  She is also the director of the Northeast Independent Preparatory Academy (NIPA), a homeschool accrediting organization.  In addition, she is the administrator for her church, Christ First Community Church, serving alongside her husband.

 

Cliff Freeman

Cliff Freeman is a Ph.D candidate at Boston University studying Computer Science Education.   Cliff’s journey  began in the 10th grade when he started  working for  the Young People’s Project.  When YPP was awarded a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation,  Cliff was given the  responsibility to design, prepare, and implement how he and his peers would teach math and computer science lessons to hundreds of middle and elementary school students in his neighborhood. Cliff’s STEM story is a story he hopes millions of other  youth can replicate: in his case, this journey led him from being a student, to professional work as a young adult, and eventually into research in the STEM education field.

 

Lecture III

 

Phillip Agnew

Phillip is a native of Chicago, IL and a 2008 graduate of Florida A&M University. He is the Director of the Dream Defenders, an organization committed to bringing social change by training and organizing youth and students in creating a sustainable network of youth and student leaders to take action and create real change in their communities.

 

Jarvis R. Givens

Jarvis R. Givens is an assistant professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a faculty affiliate in the department of African & African American Studies at Harvard University. He specializes in the history of education, African American history, and theories of race and power in education. His first book, Fugitive Pedagogy: Carter G. Woodson and the Art of Black Teaching, was published by Harvard University Press in 2021 and it recently won the 2022 Association for the Study of African American Life and History Book Prize. Professor Givens is currently building The Black Teacher Archive, an online portal which will house digitized records documenting the more than one-hundred-year history of "Colored Teachers Associations.” His research has been supported by fellowships and grants from the Ford Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the William F. Milton Fund. Professor Givens earned his PhD in African American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. He is a native of Compton, California and currently resides in Roxbury, Massachusetts.

 

Cliff Freeman

Cliff Freeman is a Ph.D candidate at Boston University studying Computer Science Education.   Cliff’s journey  began in the 10th grade when he started  working for  the Young People’s Project.  When YPP was awarded a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation,  Cliff was given the  responsibility to design, prepare, and implement how he and his peers would teach math and computer science lessons to hundreds of middle and elementary school students in his neighborhood. Cliff’s STEM story is a story he hopes millions of other  youth can replicate: in his case, this journey led him from being a student, to professional work as a young adult, and eventually into research in the STEM education field.

 

Dani Johnson

Meet Dani Johnson. With over 20 years of experience in producing social justice results-based event campaigns, dani brings a deep passion for strategic advising, innovations, communications, branding, wellness, and healing modalities - all centered in love, equity, and justice.

 

Dr. Gregory Budzban

Dr. Gregory Budzban, Emeritus Dean, College of Arts and Sciences

Professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

 

Dr. Gregory Budzban joined the Department of Mathematics of Southern Illinois University-Carbondale in 1991, was promoted to the rank of Professor in the department in 2006, and served as Chair of the department from 2010-2015.  He was named Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences of SIU-Edwardsville in August 2015, a position from which he has recently retired. Since 2001, he has collaborated with Bob Moses and his colleagues at the Algebra Project and Young People’s Project to help design novel curriculum materials based on mathematically-rich experiences to help all students in the country receive the mathematics education they truly deserve.

 

Nell Cobb, EdD

Nell Cobb, EdD, Professor Emerita, DePaul University- College of Education

 

Dr. Cobb is an Emerita Professor of Mathematics Education at DePaul University, College of Education in Chicago, Illinois.  She continues to serve as the founder and Director of the DePaul University, Inspiring STEM in Girls (inSTEM) program for middle school girls. Dr. Cobb currently consults on several educational programs under the Cobb Educational Group.

 

While at DePaul University, Dr. Cobb served as the Associate Chairperson of the Department of Teacher Education.  She was responsible for teaching middle and elementary mathematics education courses on the undergraduate and graduate levels.  Dr. Cobb also taught mathematics for elementary teachers’ content courses in the Mathematical Sciences Department. 

 

Dr. Cobb was the co-director of the Master of Science in Middle School Mathematics Education (MSME) Program, a jointly developed effort between the College of Education and Liberal Arts-Mathematical Sciences Department.  She has also served on several university, college, and professional committees.

Dr. Cobb coordinated the Algebra Project Teacher Resource Materials Team, she has also coordinated several Algebra Project Professional Development Institutes and workshops.  Nell has presented at several conferences and published articles in the areas of mathematics teacher competencies and general mathematics education.

 

Bill Crombie

Director of Professional Development, The Algebra Project Inc

 

Abdi M. Ali, Ed.D.

Abdi M. Ali, Ed.D. (he, his, him), Senior Director of BPS Teacher Pipeline Programs, Office of Recruitment, Cultivation & Diversity Programs

Division of Equity, Strategy, & Opportunity Gap, Boston Public Schools 

 

In his 27th year in the Boston Public Schools, Abdi Mohamed Ali, Ed.D has taught students in grades 5-12, and is the Senior Director of BPS Teacher Pipeline Programs, a multigenerational, community-based teaching and licensing program in the BPS Office of Recruitment,

Cultivation & Diversity, Division of Equity, Strategy & Opportunity Gaps. He earned a doctorate from Harvard University by conducting an ethnographic study on the creativity of young men in a public high school with the guidance of Emily Hargroves Fisher Research Professor of Education, Dr. Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot.

 

He was the founding Humanities faculty of  Boston Arts Academy and Boston Green Academy, and developed and taught a writing program at Boston Latin Academy and the humanities program at Boston Latin School. His last assignment was teaching 5th and 6th graders at the Mission Hill School. He designed Journey to Brotherhood, an online curriculum for young men to contest toxic masculinity, to heal and to build solidarity. He is the co-founder and chair of the Michael E. Haynes Legacy, Inc., and serves on the AHDI/Promise, the Farm School, the Urban Farming Institute and the Puzzle School boards. He lives in Roxbury with his two children, and is a recipient of the Boston Neighborhood Fellows Award.

 

Kathleen FitzGerald

Kathleen FitzGerald is a teacher at Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School where she also facilitates student internships and community-based projects. She was instrumental in developing a program in which H.S. seniors investigated racially motivated cold cases in conjunction with the Civil Rights and Restorative Justice program of the Northeastern University Law School.  She is currently developing a professional development course at Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School about the history and legacy of lynching as

a means of social control.

 

Rachel R. Williams-Giordano

Rachel R Williams-Giordano serves as social science teacher at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School. Since transitioning from her role as a principal, she has taught AP United States History, African-American History and AP United States Government and Politics. She is a co-leader of Student Government and participates in two advisory groups to the district’s administration. Rachel is currently developing the pilot for AP African-American Studies; which is a course that will launch in the Fall of 2022.

 

Lecture IV

 

Cynthia Silva Parker

Cynthia Silva Parker is an advocate for equity and justice and builds the capacity of individuals, organizations and networks to work collaboratively for social justice. She has served as a Senior Associate at the Interaction Institute for Social Change since 1998. She delivers training, consulting, coaching, and facilitation services to nonprofit and public organizations and networks focused on racial equity, environmental sustainability, community development, and social justice. She has led or co-led the development of several IISC workshops, including Advancing Racial Justice in Organizations and The Fundamentals of Facilitation for Racial Justice Work.

 

Cynthia’s connections to The Algebra Project go back to being a volunteer tutor during her college days. She also served as Project Administrator as the Algebra Project transitioned from its roots in Cambridge and Boston to become a national movement. Following her work with AP, Inc. Cynthia served as Director of Boston Freedom Summer, the Ten Point Coalition’s faith-based youth leadership and community development project. She currently volunteers with the Massachusetts Poor People’s Campaign. 

 

Cynthia holds a BA from Harvard-Radcliffe Colleges and a Master of Public Policy/MCRP from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. She is the proud mother of three adult sons.


 

Imani Perry

Imani Perry is the Hughes-Rogers Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University and a faculty associate with the Programs in Law and Public Affairs, Gender and Sexuality Studies and Jazz Studies. She is the author of 6 books, including Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry, which received the Pen Bograd-Weld Award for Biography, The Phi Beta Kappa Christian Gauss Award for outstanding work in literary scholarship, the Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ Nonfiction and the Shilts-Grahn Award for nonfiction from the Publishing Triangle. Looking for Lorraine was also named a 2018 notable book by the New York Times, and an honor book by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. It was a finalist  for the African American Intellectual History Society Paul Murray Book Prize. Her book May We Forever Stand: A History of the Black National Anthem, winner of the 2019 American Studies Association John Hope Franklin Book Award for the best book in American Studies, the Hurston Wright Award for Nonfiction, and finalist for an NAACP Image Award in Nonfiction. Her most recent book is: Breathe: A Letter to My Sons (Beacon Press, 2019) which was a finalist for the 2020 Chautauqua Prize and a finalist for the NAACP Image Award for Excellence in Nonfiction.

 

Perry is a scholar of law, literary and cultural studies, and an author of creative nonfiction. She earned her Ph.D. in American Studies from Harvard University, a J.D. from Harvard Law School, an LLM from Georgetown University Law Center and a BA from Yale College in Literature and American Studies. Her writing and scholarship primarily focuses on the history of Black thought, art, and imagination crafted in response to, and resistance against, the social, political and legal realities of domination in the West. She seeks to understand the processes of retrenchment after moments of social progress, and how freedom dreams are nevertheless sustained. Her book: Vexy Thing: On Gender and Liberation (Duke University Press 2018) is a work of critical theory that contends with the formation of modern patriarchy at the dawn of capitalism, the transatlantic slave trade, and the age of conquest, and traces it through to the contemporary hypermedia neoliberal age. Her book More Beautiful and More Terrible: The Embrace and Transcendence of Racial Inequality in the United States (NYU Press, 2011) is an examination of contemporary practices of racial inequality that are sustained and extended through a broad matrix of cultural habits despite formal declarations of racial equality.

 

Perry’s forthcoming book under contract with ECCO Press is a narrative journey through the South, arguing that it is the nation’s heartland for better and worse. Future planned projects include an examination of African American theories of law and justice, and a meditation on the color blue in Black life.

 

Dr. Nettrice R. Gaskins

Dr. Nettrice R. Gaskins is an African American digital artist, academic, cultural critic and advocate of STEAM fields. In her work she explores "techno-vernacular creativity" and Afrofuturism.

 

Dr. Gaskins teaches, writes, "fabs”, and makes art using algorithms and machine learning. She has taught multimedia, visual art, and computer science with high school students. She earned a BFA in Computer Graphics with Honors from Pratt Institute in 1992 and an MFA in Art and Technology from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1994. She received a doctorate in Digital Media from Georgia Tech in 2014. Currently, Dr. Gaskins is a 2021 Ford Global Fellow and the assistant director of the Lesley STEAM Learning Lab at Lesley University. She is an advisory board member for the School of Literature, Media, and Communication at Georgia Tech. Her first full-length book, Techno-Vernacular Creativity and Innovation is available through The MIT Press. 

 

Gaskins' AI-generated artworks can be viewed in journals, magazines, museums, and on the Web. Her series of 'featured futurist' portraits are on view at the Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building through early July 2022.

 

Charles Payne

Charles M. Payne is the Henry Rutgers Distinguished Professor of African American Studies at Rutgers University Newark where he also directs the Joseph C. Cornwall Center for Metropolitan Studies.  His interests include urban education and school reform, social inequality, social change and modern African American history. His books include So Much Reform, So Little Change, (Harvard Education Publishing Group, 2008) which examines the persistence of failure in urban schools and a co-edited anthology, Teach Freedom: The African American Tradition of Education For Liberation (Teachers College Press, 2008). He is also the author of  the prize-winning I’ve Got the Light of Freedom: The Organizing Tradition in the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement (University of California, 1995).  His most recent book is Dignity-Affirming Education: Cultivating the Somebodiness of Students and Educators, coedited with Decoteau Irby and Charity Anderson (Teachers College Press, 2022).  He has been named to Edu-Scholars’ list of scholars “contributing most substantially to public debates about education” every year from 2015- 2021.

Later this year, he expects to finish When They Come for the Children: Defending Black Children After the Age of Trump, about the development of Black children in this moment of intense national polarization.  He is working on Schooling the Ghetto: Fifty Years of “Reforming” Urban Schools, updating the discussion from So Much Reform. His undergraduate degree in Afro-/American Studies is from Syracuse; his doctorate in sociology is from Northwestern.

 

Maisha Moses

Since 1991 my work with the Algebra Project (AP) and then Young People’s Project (YPP) has focused on broadening the participation of groups underrepresented in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology.  From 1991 – 1995 I worked for the Algebra Project in Oakland CA with the math department of a local junior high school, where I provided classroom support for students and teachers, instructional guidance in the use of the AP Transition Curriculum, and helped to lead efforts to establish an Algebra for all policy in the school.  In 1993 I began training and coaching teachers in AP schools across the country in the use of the Transition Curriculum, which led to becoming certified as a national trainer for the AP, becoming co-Coordinator of the AP National Training of Trainers Program, and involved training trainers and developing a competency model for Teachers and Trainers (the AP Model of Excellence). In 1997 I began supporting the development of YPP math literacy workers by applying the training principles from the AP to the challenge of developing a training program for peer instructional leaders in YPP, for the purpose of developing young people from our constituent population, who are equipped with the skills and competencies to facilitate experiential learning activities in mathematics for their younger peers. In 2003 I began doing this work as a YPP employee, and from 2005 - 2010 focused on formalizing the training model and developing a YPP trainer training program through work supported by NSF/ISE (award # 0515589), producing a formal 2-week training institute, training materials, and an ongoing development and certification process for trainers. From 2011–2014, I was a co-P.I. on YPPs NSF/ITEST award (#1031633), which introduced coding to YPPs near peer learning and teaching model. I became YPP Co-Director in 2010, and in 2013 the Executive Director.

 

Cliff Freeman

Cliff Freeman is a Ph.D candidate at Boston University studying Computer Science Education.   Cliff’s journey  began in the 10th grade when he started  working for  the Young People’s Project.  When YPP was awarded a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation,  Cliff’s was given the  responsibility to design, prepare, and implement how he and his peers would teach math and computer science lessons to hundreds of middle and elementary school students in his neighborhood. Cliff’s STEM story is a story he hopes millions of other  youth can replicate: in his case, this journey led him from being a student, to professional work as a young adult, and eventually into research in the STEM education field.

 

Janet Moses

In the summer of 1964, Bronx native Janet Jemmott  joined the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.  She worked in Mississippi and Lowndes County, Alabama, organizing African Americans to vote.   Her work in Mississippi and Alabama was book ended by stints teaching in  NYC public middle schools.  She and her husband, Bob Moses,  were employed by  the Tanzanian Ministry of Education to teach in rural Tanzania. Upon returning to  the U.S.,Janet  entered the Boston University School of Medicine.  She practiced Pediatrics at the  Massachusetts Institute of Technology until she retired in 2004.  She and Bob have 4 children and 7 grandchildren. She is involved in several  local initiatives to extend Bob’s legacy through the Bob Moses Conference Series.   She is one of the contributors  to Hands on the Freedom Plough, personal accounts of women in SNCC, and producer of “Caste in the Classroom”, an award winning  documentary in the BronzeLens Film Festival in 2021 about American educational apartheid. She is an advisor to Mathtalk, a multimedia initiative spearheaded by son, Omo Moses, to provide young  children with early conceptual math learning.

 

Dr. Cornel West

Dr. West, a renowned  public intellectual, and activist,  is a tenured professor at Princeton University.   He  has taught at Harvard University, the University of Paris, and most recently at Union Theological Seminary. Dr. West is a prolific writer, and  author of more than 20 books.  His  deep and broad  interests span existential questions of democracy, and justice.  He is a connoisseur  of African American art and culture.