Diane Ravitch is a historian of education. She grew up in Houston, Texas, and graduated from Houston public schools. She earned her BA at Wellesley College in 1960 and her Ph.D. In the history of American education at Columbia University. She was in the faculty of Teachers College, Columbia University, until 1991, when she was […]
Laurel Isbister excels in change-management and strategy for nonprofits and small businesses. Originally from North Carolina, she is a former Fulbright Scholar and completed a master’s degree at UCLA. She served in leadership roles for the Greater Belhaven Foundation, the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi and the D. L. Dykes Jr. Foundation. Laurel’s experience working in […]
Elaina Jackson serves as Vice President of Strategic Communications for Concordia University Texas in Austin. She leads the Office of University Communications and oversees the university’s internal and external communications strategy and branding. In addition to her extensive communications work with nonprofit organizations, higher educational institutions, and government agencies, she serves as an adjunct professor for the graduate communications program at Jackson State University in Jackson, MS.
Randall Pinkston is a semi-retired award-winning journalist who covered national and international issues. Pinkston worked freelance as a reporter and anchor at Al Jazeera America from September 2013 until April 2016. Prior to joining Al Jazeera America, Pinkston worked at CBS for more than 30 years.
Mary Blessey is a documentary filmmaker and media producer with a passion for using media to educate and influence positive social change. She is committed to complex and honest storytelling about the American South and her home state of Mississippi.
Ayesha K. Mustafaa has been editor of the Muslim Journal weekly newspaper since January 1989. She is a graduate of Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Penn., with a BA Degree and Double Major in Psychology and Political Science. She has a Master’s Degree in Journalism from Columbia College of Chicago, Ill. She is the third woman […]
Nader Dabit is a software engineer from Jackson, Miss., currently working as a Senior Developer Advocate at Amazon Web Services. Nader has spent much of his career teaching software development both locally and internationally to companies like Amazon, Microsoft, American Express and Warner Brothers. He founded CodeSouth Labs, the first coding school in Jackson, in […]
Okolo Rashid was born in Mississippi, the daughter of sharecroppers, and grew up in America’s turbulent era of overt segregation and racial oppression. She has, thus, been a life-long advocate of humanity dignity, social and economic justice, and racial harmony. Living through Mississippi’s turbulent ‘60s, it was during this time that Okolo (and Sababu) embraced Islam and have sought to live out their faith among family, friends, and neighbors, embracing many faith traditions. Okolo (and Sababu) have four children: a son, Ismail, three daughters, Khadijah, Maryam, and Aseelah, ten grandchildren, and a great-grand son and daughter.
Award-Winning Filmmaker Keith A. Beauchamp attended Southern University in Baton Rouge where he studied Criminal Justice with the intention of becoming a Civil Rights Attorney. As a young boy in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Beauchamp had his share of runins with racism but it wasn’t until an incident where he was assaulted by an undercover police officer after dancing with a white classmate at a party that he felt compelled to fight racism and move to New York. It was here he could pursue a dream in becoming filmmaker. And through this feat, he’d attempt to remedy some of the past and present injustices that plague communities abroad. Beauchamp served as the Executive Producer/Host of Investigation Discovery’s Award-winning crime reality series, ‘The Injustice Files,’ produced by CBS News. He is currently the producer of the upcoming feature film “Till,” which is being co-produced by Frederick Zollo, Whoopi Goldberg and Barbara Broccoli. Beauchamp is also a frequent lecturer at colleges and universities around the country.