Emmy Award Winning Actress
Author, Producer, Activist, Los Angeles, CA
From bringing characters to life on screen, performing on Broadway, producing, landing the title of national bestselling author with her literary debut, and her deep rooted philanthropic endeavors which touch lives across the
Faith Leader, Social Engineer, Entrepreneur, Idea Maker
Faith Leader, Social Engineer, Entrepreneur, Idea Maker, Communicator, and Friend are just some of the words that describe Charles Jenkins. He is a multi-award winning gospel artist and producer. Jenkins
Journalist, MSNBC Political Analyst and
Host of “The ReidOut", New York, NY
Joy-Ann Reid is a political analyst at MSNBC and host of "The ReidOut". She is the author of three books: Fracture: Barack Obama, the Clintons and the Racial Divide, We Are the Change We Seek: The Speeches of Barack Obama,
Director, Institute for Black Catholic Studies (IBCS)
New Orleans, LA
Kathleen Dorsey Bellow, D.Min. is the Director of the Institute for Black Catholic Studies (IBCS), the first and primary national center for the study of the Black Catholic experience, at Xavier University of Louisiana.
President & CEO,
International Myeloma Foundation (IMF)
IMF Patient, President & CEO Yelak Biru drives the organization’s mission of improving the quality of life of myeloma patients while working toward prevention and a cure. He sees his role as a way “to pay it
Professor of Oncology; Enterprise Deputy Director for Community Outreach & Engagement, Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center; Assoc. Director, Center for Health Equity and Community Engagement Research (CHCR); Director, CHCR Global Health Equity Initiatives
Prof. Folakemi Odedina is the Assoc. Director for the Center for Health Equity and Community Engagement Research (CHCR), site Director of CHCR Florida, and Director of Global Health Equity
Presiding Prelate, 15th Episcopal District,
The African Methodist Episcopal Church
On July 11, 2021, during the General Conference, Dr. Beaman was elected and consecrated as the 139th Bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Orlando, Florida. He has been assigned to serve the
Self development coach, author, movement expert
Podcast host, “WORKOUT THE DOUBT”, Los Angeles, CA
Known for six seasons on the hit NBC show “The Biggest Loser,” Dolvett is proving that his passion, regimen and dramatic transformational results are making him one of the most in-demand fitness specialists in the country.
Executive Director, Gullah Geechee Cultural
Heritage Corridor Commission, Beaufort, SC
A recipient of the 2022 US President’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest civilian honor awarded in the United States for volunteer service, Victoria A. Smalls is the Executive Director of the Gullah Geechee
Saidi Mpendu, MD, MPH, is the Country Director of The Balm In Gilead – Tanzania. Dr. Mpendu also serves as Deputy Chairperson of Institutional Review Board (IRB) @ Ifakara Health Institute (IHI) and his
Rimsky Denis is an interventional and structural cardiology fellow at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. Rimsky holds a masters degree in public health with a concentration in disease prevention, and a masters degree
Dr. Kevin B. Sneed is a tenured Professor and the founding Dean of the University of South Florida Taneja College of Pharmacy. He also serves as a Senior Associate Vice-President for USF Health. Dr. Sneed
Methodist Hospitals, Inc.
Heart and Vascular Institute
Dr. Andre K. Artis is a general and interventional cardiologist in Merrillville, Indiana and is affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area, including Methodist Hospitals and St. Mary Medical Center-Hobart. He
Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs
Tyler Hanson serves as the Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs at Biogen. In her role, she represents Biogen on a variety of health care issues in Congress, with an emphasis on biosimilars and
Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs (Midwest Region)
Jonathan Buckner, Esq is Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs (Midwest Region) at Biogen. In his current role, Jonathan leads Biogen’s day-to-day State and Local Public Policy, and Government Affairs
Clinician, Educator, Researcher,
Leader in Biopharmaceuticals and Life Sciences Industries
During her 35-year career in medicine, Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall has been on the frontlines of health care as a clinician, researcher, and leader in the biopharmaceuticals and life sciences industries. An award-winning
The Rev. Dr. Dominique A. Robinson, a New Jersey native, is a millennial Womanist
homiletician and justice advocate. Reared in the Pentecostal tradition, she answered her call to
ministry at the age of 13. Dominique earned her Bachelor of Arts in Government from
Georgetown University, Master of Divinity concentrating in Biblical Interpretation, and Master
of Theology concentrating in Homiletics, both from Candler School of Theology. She earned a
Doctor of Ministry degree from Columbia Theological Seminary in Gospel and Culture. Her
dissertation, "iHomiletic™: Preaching that Clicks," is groundbreaking research and consulting
services to assist faith leaders with developing impactful ministry that employs technology and
social media linguistics. She currently is a Ph.D. student at Christian Theological Seminary in
the world's first African American Preaching and Sacred Rhetoric Ph.D. program.
Dr. Robinson is the new John Hines Assistant Professor of Preaching at the Seminary of the
Southwest in Austin, TX. She takes great pride in being the former inaugural Dean of Chapel and
Assistant Professor of Religion at Wiley College in Marshall, TX.
Dr. Robinson is an ordained itinerant elder in the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Zion
Church and a member of the illustrious Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.
She is continuously humbled by opportunities to share God's Word and desires to march to the
drumbeat of God's heart.
Freda Lewis-Hall, MD
During her 35-year career in medicine, Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall has been on the frontlines of health care as a clinician, researcher, and leader in the biopharmaceuticals and life sciences industries. An award-winning advocate for health equity and improved outcomes for all patients, she provides advice and consumer health information on national programs such as "Dr. Phil," and "The Doctors," and is a regular speaker making dozens of appearances a year at consumer and health care conferences.
Dr. Lewis-Hall is co-editor of the book Psychiatric Illness in Women: Emerging Treatments and Research and gives health analysis, tips, and wellness information through the consumer health website, GetHealthyStayHealthy.com. A graduate of Johns Hopkins University and Howard University College of Medicine, she serves on numerous boards including Harvard Medical School, Dell Medical School, the Foundation for the NIH, FasterCures, SpringWorks Therapeutics, and PCORI.
Hani Houshyar, PhD
Hani Houshyar is Vice President, PDC Lead Zuranolone at Biogen. In this role, she oversees the Zuranolone PDC and commercial teams accountable for driving Biogen’s pipeline assets toward global launches across all of Biogen’s disease areas, inclusive of neuropsychiatry, neuromuscular, neurodegeneration, neurovascular, immunology, ophthalmology and pain.
As the Zuranolone PDC Lead, Hani partners with Sage Therapeutics in Phase III development for treatment of postpartum depression and major depressive disorder.
Hani joined Biogen’s R&D organization in 2015 as the early stage program leader for the ALS portfolio. In that role, she managed Biogen’s alliance with Ionis and led cross-functional teams across R&D, PO&T, medical, and commercial to advance several programs from research through early clinical development. In 2017, Hani established the portfolio leadership team within R&D with her organization responsible for supporting establishment, communication and execution of the R&D strategy. In 2018, Hani joined the Global Product Strategy and Commercialization team as the global PDC lead for tofersen, Biogen’s leading asset in Phase III development for the treatment of ALS patients with a mutation in the superoxide dismutase 1 gene.
Previous to Biogen, Hani was at Merck for over ten years where she started as a bench scientist and advanced to the head of in vivo lead optimization at Merck Research Laboratories in Boston. During her tenure at Merck, Hani led a high priority rheumatoid arthritis program from exploratory research through Phase II clinical development.
Hani obtained her Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of Michigan and conducted her post-doctoral studies in neuroscience at the University of California, San Francisco.
Jonathan Buckner, Esq
Jonathan Buckner, Esq is Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs (Midwest Region) at Biogen. In his current role, Jonathan leads Biogen’s day-to-day State and Local Public Policy, and Government Affairs efforts throughout the Midwestern United States.
Prior to joining Biogen, Jonathan worked for Lyft, Inc. as Senior Public Policy Manager. where he also managed policy and government affairs activities for the rideshare company in states throughout the Southeastern and Midwestern United States. During his time with Lyft, Jonathan successfully passed statewide ridesharing legislation in Alabama and Legislation.
Prior to joining the private sector, Jonathan served as a Legislative Coordinator and later Director of External Affairs to Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. Before joining President Preckwinkle’s administration Jonathan began his career as a prosecutor in the office of the Cook County State’s Attorney.
Jonathan is native of Columbus, Georgia, who holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Tennessee (09’) and a Bachelor’s Degree in History from Georgia Southern University (06’).
Tyler Hanson, JD
Tyler Hanson serves as the Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs at Biogen. In her role, she represents Biogen on a variety of health care issues in Congress, with an emphasis on biosimilars and issues pertaining to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
Prior to joining Biogen, Ms. Hanson worked for the Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) an organization representing nearly 45,000 clinical oncologists and other oncology professionals. As the Associate Director of Congressional Affairs, she ensured that health care policy proposals from Congress supported access to quality cancer care, and helped pass Medicaid reforms that ensure greater access to and diversity of clinical trials.
Ms. Hanson also spent time as a part of the Government Relations team representing the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and served as a legislative assistant to Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-09), handling his health care portfolio and other related issues.
Ms. Hanson earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Hampton University and earned a Juris Doctor from Loyola University Chicago School of Law.
During her time at Loyola, she was published in the institution’s Public Interest Law Reporter and Annals of Health. During this time, Ms. Hanson also served in Loyola’s Beazley Institute for Health Law’s Health Justice Project, a medical-legal partnership that allowed her to utilize her legal expertise to identify and address social and legal issues that are barriers to health equity. Upon completion of her JD, Ms. Hanson also earned a JD Certificate in Health Law.
She remains passionate about the future of the health care system and the work that can be done through advocacy and policy changes. Ms. Hanson resides in Washington, DC with her daughter and family hamster Princess.
Andre Artis, MD, FACC, FSCAI, FAHA, MBA
Dr. Andre K. Artis is a general and interventional cardiologist in Merrillville, Indiana and is affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area, including Methodist Hospitals and St. Mary Medical Center-Hobart. He received his medical degree from Meharry Medical College School of Medicine and has been in practice for more than 20 years.
Kevin Sneed, PharmD, FNAP, FNPHA
Dr. Kevin B. Sneed is a tenured Professor and the founding Dean of the University of South Florida Taneja College of Pharmacy. He also serves as a Senior Associate Vice-President for USF Health. Dr. Sneed earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology with a concentration in Microbiology from the University of Central Florida. He received his Doctor of Pharmacy from Xavier University of Louisiana College of Pharmacy. He completed an Ambulatory Care Pharmacy Practice Specialty Residency at Bay Pines Veteran’s Administration Medical Center. He has received numerous clinical and leadership awards and most recently received the Distinguished Fellow National Academies of Practice award from the National Academies of Practice, Chauncey I. Cooper Medal from the National Pharmaceutical Association, and the National Pharmaceutical Association Fellow from the National Pharmaceutical Association. Dr. Sneed is the Executive Director of WE-CARE, a community-based participatory research entity that strives to bridge the gap of health disparities by educating diverse communities about the processes and importance of research participation. Dr. Sneed also serves on the board of several organizations and participates in many community endeavors.
Rimsky Denis, MD, MPH, MBA
Rimsky Denis is an interventional and structural cardiology fellow at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. Rimsky holds a masters degree in public health with a concentration in disease prevention, and a masters degree in business administration with a focus in healthcare policy. His research interest pertains to the assessment of health inequities within structural heart disease and interventional cardiology.
Don O. Rowe, MD, FACC
Rev. Raynol Matthys
Saidi Mpendu, MD
Saidi Mpendu, MD, MPH, is the Country Director of The Balm In Gilead – Tanzania. Dr. Mpendu also serves as Deputy Chairperson of Institutional Review Board (IRB) @ Ifakara Health Institute (IHI) and his a Member of Clinical Trail Sub Committee of National Ethics Committee for Clinical Research @ The National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR); Member of Technical Working Group- Public Private Partnership (PPP) @ Tanzania-Ministry of Health & Social Welfare. Dr. Mpendu is the former National Program Director @ The National Muslim Council of Tanzania (BAKWATA) and Medical Officer @ Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center (KCMC). As a public health specialist, Dr. Mpendu continues his work on various research committees @ Muhimbili University of Health and Allied sciences. Dr. Mpendu passion is coordinating public health and social welfare programs and systematically building the technical and institution capacity of faith based organizations to be focus for change.
Cary L. Goodman
Cary L. Goodman, a native of Richmond, VA, has a sincere passion to empower faith communities nationally to operate at their fullest capacity in areas of health promotion, advocacy programs, outreach and development. For over 15 years, he has been dedicated to working with faith communities to establish and expand health programs across the United States by building their capacity to address health disparities that greatly impact their congregations and the communities they serve and strategically leveraging faith-based and community partnership to impact sustainability.
Currently, Cary is a Program & Strategic Development Consultant for The Balm In Gilead, Inc. A highly skilled strategist adept at leading relationship building and engagement opportunities, he has forged various faith based and public health community partnerships and coalitions. With a sincere passion to empower black men, Cary founded Black Men’s Wholeness, an initiative designed to engage black men in conversations focused on areas that reassures wholeness such as trauma, emotional and mental health, and fatherlessness.
An ordained minister, Cary deems himself a “connector”; where he focuses on the significance of outreach and engagement, establishing coalitions, collaborating, and relationship building in order to increase accessibility and sustainability to strengthen congregations and communities.
Rev. Dr. John W. Kinney
An Elder-Sage, Wisdom-Keeper Among Us, Rev. Dr. John Kinney has devoted himself to the pursuit of excellence in theological training and ministerial preparation and has dis¬tinguished himself as a systematic theologian, academician and administrator in a career that spans more than 40 years. This includes 27 years of service to Virginia Union University as Dean of the Samuel Dewitt Proctor School of Theology and Senior Vice President of the university.
Victoria A. Smalls
A recipient of the 2022 US President’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest civilian honor awarded in the United States for volunteer service, Victoria A. Smalls is the Executive Director of the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor National Heritage Area. In this role, she helps to recognize, sustain, and celebrate the important contributions made to American culture and history by the Gullah Geechee; to assist federal, state, and local governments and public and private entities in South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina, and Florida in interpreting the history and ever-evolving story of the Gullah Geechee and preserving the culture for the benefit and education of the public. As a native of St. Helena Island in Beaufort County, SC, she promotes and uplifts her culture as a Gullah Geechee scholar, preservationist, educator, artist, and arts advocate, who proudly served in the National Park Service as a National Park Ranger with Reconstruction Era National Historical Park in Beaufort, SC,; served at Penn School National Historic Landmark District - Penn Center as Director of the History, Art and Culture Program, Director of the York W. Bailey Museum; Program Manager for the International African American Museum in Charleston, SC, due to open in January 2023, and proudly served as a Federal Commissioner on the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission and as a State Commissioner on the South Carolina African American Heritage Commission.
Wafaa El-Sadr, MD
Wafaa El-Sadr is Executive Vice President for Columbia Global, University Professor of Epidemiology and Medicine, Director of ICAP at Columbia University, Director of Columbia World Projects and the Mathilde Krim-amfAR Professor of Global Health at the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health.
As the EVP for Columbia Global, she oversees this University-wide initiative which aims at advancing global research, programs and training. She founded and directs ICAP, a global health center at the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, working in more than 30 countries around the world integrates research, education, training and program design, implementation, scale-up and evaluation.
Dr. El-Sadr received her medical degree from Cairo University in Egypt, a masters degree in public health (Epidemiology) from Columbia Mailman School of Public Health and a masters degree in public administration from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government. She was named a McArthur fellow in 2008, is a member of the National Academy of Medicine in 2009, a fellow of the African Academy of Sciences in 2018 and a member of the Council for Foreign Relations in 2021.
Known for six seasons on the hit NBC show “The Biggest Loser,” Dolvett is proving that his passion, regimen and dramatic transformational results are making him one of the most in-demand fitness specialists in the country.
Born in Stamford, Connecticut, Dolvett and his three siblings were adopted by a Jamaican couple and later moved to Florida, where he finished high school. Dolvett then moved to Atlanta to pursue his passion for fitness and established himself as a leader in his field of health and fitness.
Soon after, Dolvett was cast on “The Biggest Loser.” His connection with the audience garnered the attention of Mark Burnett, who cast him in the NBC series “Stars Earn Stripes,” which followed a group of celebrities accompanied by members of the military and law enforcement, competing in various challenges for their favorite charities. He has also guest starred on the hit BET series “The Real Husbands of Hollywood.”
Dolvett is also a New York Times bestselling author. His first book The 3-1-2-1 Diet: Eat and Cheat Your Way to Weight Loss—Up to 10 Pounds in 21 Days published by Grand Central Publishing came out November 2013. His expertise as a leader in the fitness industry has led to endorsements with Trop 50, Dr. Scholl’s, Banfield Pet Hospitals and a partnership with Brookstone where he designs and develops products like the BodyForm Foam Roller which aids in recovery after a workout.
Currently, he hosts his own podcast titled “Workout the Doubt with Dolvett Quince” His format is a one-on-one, on camera interview where he talks to guests about what motivates them and how that has influenced their personal, professional and physical lives. It's a free-flowing conversation that keeps guests comfortable and engaged.
Charles Jenkins II
Faith Leader, Social Engineer, Entrepreneur, Idea Maker, Communicator, and Friend are just some of the words that describe Charles Jenkins. He is a multi-award winning gospel artist and producer. Jenkins is the pastor emeritus of Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church in Chicago, IL.
Sheryl Lee Ralph
From bringing characters to life on screen, performing on Broadway, producing, landing the title of national bestselling author with her literary debut, and her deep rooted philanthropic endeavors which touch lives across the world, Tony Award nominee, NAACP Image Award nominee and Independent Spirit Award winner Sheryl Lee Ralph has become a staple in the entertainment industry, with an acclaimed career spanning over three decades.
Sheryl is a mother of two with a blended family of four, and lover every moment of motherhood and marriage. She is happily married to State Senator Vincent Hughes of Pennsylvania.
The Right Reverend Silvester S. Beaman
He is married to his childhood sweetheart and best friend, Renée Palmore Beaman, RN. Renée currently serves as the Governor-appointed Director of the Delaware Division of State Service Centers, which oversees Delaware's fifteen social service centers, the State Office of Volunteerism, and the Office of Community Services. They are the blessed parents of two adult daughters, Asaiah (Gregory Fisher) and Kori (Walter Cheatham), and grandchildren, Maliah, Gabriella, and Gregory Mason.
Dr. Beaman has served as the Director on several community boards, organizations, governmental task force, and commissions. He is the past President of the Interdenominational Ministerial Action Council of Wilmington, Delaware. He has been inducted into the Martin Luther King, Jr. Board of Preachers at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a 20-year member of the General Board of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, serving as Chairman of the Nominating Committee and delegates to the World Methodist Council. He is also a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, and Prince Hall Mason Star of the East Lodge #1. He is one of a few clergy persons in the nation that has offered the prayer in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.
The Right Reverend W. Darin Moore
Bishop Moore is a native of Mt. Vernon, NY and began his college education at Livingstone College, graduating from Purchase College, in Purchase, NY with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology. Theological studies were done at Yale University Divinity School obtaining the M.Div. from United Theological Seminary. He received his Doctor of Ministry Degree from UTS as well as an honorary Doctorate from Livingstone College in Salisbury, North Carolina.
In July, 2012 Bishop Moore was elevated to the episcopacy from Greater Centennial A.M.E. Zion Church, Mt. Vernon, NY as the 99th bishop in succession. During his tenure as pastor of Greater Centennial the congregation grew from a few hundred to more than six thousand five hundred members.
Bishop Moore's service to the A.M.E. Zion Church has included Vice Chairman of the Harriet Tubman Board, Treasurer of the New York Conference, Chairman of the New York Conference Board of Trustees, Presiding Elder of the Bahama Islands-Nassau District, Chairman of the Budget Committee during the 2008 and 2012 General Conferences, Member of the Executive Committee of the Connectional Budget Board, Founding Chairman of YACM, and Chairman of the Restructuring Commission. He’s a member of the World Methodist Council, Board of Trustees for Hood Theological Seminary, and he is the treasurer of the Board of Trustees for Livingstone College. He is the Chairman of the National Council of Churches.
Currently, Bishop Moore serves as the Presiding Bishop of the Mid-Atlantic Episcopal District, including: Allegheny, Barbados, East Tennessee-Virginia, Guyana, Philadelphia-Baltimore, Ohio, St. Vincent, and Virginia Conferences.
Mel Mann, MBA, M.ED
Mel was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia in January 1995 and given three years to live. The only possible hope for survival was a bone marrow transplant. Despite numerous marrow drives and adding thousands of people to the marrow registry, he never found a donor. Three years after diagnosis, he entered the phase 1 clinical trial of Gleevec (imatinib) at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Over twenty years later, he is the world’s longest living Gleevec patient.
Leah Szumita, MS, RN, ACNS-BC
In her role as Director of the Clinical Trial Support Center, Leah Szumita supports The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s efforts to educate and support patients and caregivers affected by blood cancers. Through education, advocacy, coaching and decision-support services, Leah and the team of 11 nurse navigators help patients and their caregivers navigate the process of identifying and participating in clinical trials, overcome the barriers to enrollment and providing support through the continuum of their treatment and care. Prior to LLS, Leah was a Clinical Nurse Specialist and Clinical Nurse Educator at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA. Leah is certified as an Adult Health Critical Care Clinical Nurse Specialist. Leah graduated from Saint Anselm College with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and obtained her Master of Science in Nursing at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She currently resides in Foxboro, MA with her husband and three children.
Yaw Nyame, MD, MS, MBA
Dr. Nyame attended medical school at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University and business school at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, graduating in 2012. Prior to medical school, he completed a master’s in health services and administration at the School of Public Health at the George Washington University. Dr. Nyame completed his general surgery internship and urology residency training at the Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute at the Cleveland Clinic. He came to the Northwest to complete a Society of Urologic Oncology accredited fellowship at the University of Washington and joined the faculty upon the completion of his training. Dr. Nyame has a research interest in health disparities in urologic cancers, with a focus in both the molecular epigenomic and health services aspects of health inequities in prostate cancer and other urologic malignancies.
J Christopher Spell, PhD
Vanessa L. Hill, MFA, MPH
Vanessa L. Hill, MFA, MPH is an author, filmmaker, program development consultant, a women’s health and aging advocate and researcher. She has previously served in academia, media, and as a creative services consultant and producer. Ms. Hill serves on several committees including the Patient Education Committee for the Society of Gynecologic Oncology/Foundation for Women's Cancers, is Co-Program Chair for the American Public Health Association’s Caucus on Public Health & the Faith Community, serves on the Howard University Alumni Association - Hampton Roads Chapter, the National Council of Negro Women, and was selected to serve on the Inaugural Alumni Advisory Board of the Milken Institute School of Public Health at The George Washington University (GWU).
Ms. Hill received her Master of Public Health degree and Certification in Social and Behavioral Research George Washington University. She attended Howard University’s School of Divinity and holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Film from Howard University’s School of Communications. In 2019 she received the Center for Medicare Advocacy’s Alfred A. Chiplin Award for Civility and Social Justice and her ongoing research with GWU on aging women’s health programs have been published in a featured chapter in Older Women & Well Being: A Global Perspective, Vol.1, Springer Nature, India, 2021.
Obu Egbuna, MD, MSC, FASN
Dr. Ogo Egbuna is a passionate physician scientist with nearly two decades of clinical, academic, and drug development experience. Originally from West Africa, he completed medical school at the University of Nigeria before emigrating to the United States, where he completed his residency in internal medicine at Mount Sinai followed by clinical fellowships in nephrology and kidney transplant medicine at the University of Rochester and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, respectively. Dr. Egbuna then completed a Masters in Clinical Investigation from the Harvard/MIT School of Health Sciences and Technology and was on faculty teaching residents, caring for patients, and conducting National Institutes of Health-funded research at the Harvard Medical School.
Throughout his early career, Dr. Egbuna received several honors and awards for his exceptional academic and clinical work and received over a dozen invitations to give oral presentations on topics ranging from kidney disease clinical research to disparities in access to kidney care and transplantations for underserved minorities. He spent ten years at Amgen as a Clinical Research Medical Director for both early and late phase clinical development programs, interacting with a wide range of medical, regulatory, and business stakeholders. During this time, he also began teaching and mentoring medical students as an assistant clinical professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
Currently, Dr. Egbuna is the Vice President, Clinical Development and also the Global Clinical Development Lead for Vertex Pharmaceutical’s APOL1-mediated focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) program, which aims to develop a potentially curative treatment for the underlying cause of APOL1-mediated Kidney Disease. In addition to his role at Vertex and his professorship, Dr. Egbuna also offers pro bono advice to the leadership of KidneySolutions, a kidney disease and dialysis center in Lagos, Nigeria, on standardization and implementation of policies and clinical procedures as well as the use of modern technologies for dialysis and electronic medical records.
Kim Barbel Johnson, MD, MPH
Dr. Kim M. Barbel Johnson is community-centric, patient-focused, Florida licensed physician and Principal Research Investigator with years of proven clinical and research experience. Over the past 3 decades, she has impacted the healthcare field as a compassionate provider of direct primary, long-term, and urgent care. She is a well-versed leader with a commendable track record in diagnosing and addressing patient concerns, monitoring patient conditions, and conforming to quality health standards. Equipped with the ability to lead with integrity, inspire, and to collaborate with a multi-disciplinary teams, she is regarded by colleagues and community partners for her clinical trial expertise and her passion for health equity. She has served as the PI or Sub-I on over 100 industry sponsored biopharma clinical trials.
Dr. Kim M. Barbel Johnson, a native of St. Thomas, USVI, attended Hampton University in Hampton, VA, where she was initiated into the Gamma Theta Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and Beta Kappa Chi Scientific Honor Society. She later earned her MPA degree at West Virginia University. After graduating Nova Southeastern University COM, she completed her residency in Family Medicine at the Mayo Clinic Jacksonville. She has been an practicing physician in Jacksonville, Florida for over 25 years where she has contributed her expertise in both academic and community medicine. She has formerly served on the Board of Directors of the Florida Academy of Family Physicians and Hope Across the Globe, Inc. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Richard Webster-Bass Health Institute, Inc. and First Coast American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women Leadership Cabinet. She is a founding member of the Northeast Florida Clinical Trials and Translational Science Consortium and a member of Jacksonville’s Patient Centered Research Collaborative.
Folakemi Odedina, PhD
Prof. Folakemi Odedina is the Assoc. Director for the Center for Health Equity and Community Engagement Research (CHCR), site Director of CHCR Florida, and Director of Global Health Equity Program at Mayo Clinic. Also at Mayo Clinic, she is a member of the Mayo Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCaTS) Clinical Trial Strategy and Governance Leadership team and leads the Community Engagement/Health Equity Clinical Trials Strategy. In addition, she is the PI and Founding Program Director of the NCI-EGRP supported Prostate Cancer Transatlantic Consortium (CaPTC), the Research Core Director for the Florida Health Equity Research Institute, and the Chair of the Research Committee for the African Organization for Research and Training in Cancer (AORTIC). For almost 30 years, her research, education, training and community outreach activities have exclusively focused on addressing health disparities in minority and underserved communities globally. Her research program (funded primarily by NIH/National Cancer Institute and Department of Defense) focuses on the predictors of cancer health disparities and cost-effective, community-based behavioral interventions to improve the health of minority populations, especially Black men globally. She has directed over 40 research projects, mostly using community-based participatory approach, mixed-methods approach and translational behavioral research principles. Her contribution to Health Equity research has resulted in multiple accomplishments and recognitions. As far back as 2009, the American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacy and the Association of Black Health-System Pharmacists with the Inaugural (1st) Leadership Award recognized her leadership in health disparities for Health Disparities. She was selected by the US Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs to give the inaugural Dr. Barbara Terry-Koroma Health Disparity Legacy Lecture in 2013. Her effort in training underrepresented minorities was recognized through the INSIGHT Into Diversity 2016 Inspiring Women in STEM Award. In 2005, her research program evolved into a global program that includes increasing participation of people of African ancestry in clinical trials. Through NIH/National Cancer Center awards, her research program has implemented Community Research Registry for Black and Latinx population, community education programs on clinical trials, clinical trials research training webinars and scientific conferences focused on clinical trials, including the Biennial Global Congress on Oncology Clinical Trials in Blacks. She is currently the site and coordinating CaPTC PI for a global prostate cancer project, the IRONMAN study, which focuses on studying advanced prostate cancer in men globally. Based on her work in the area of clinical trials, she was awarded the Living Legend Award for innovations with health/economic impact during the 1st All Africa Clinical Trial Summit in 2017. Prof. Odedina is personally and professionally committed to eliminating cancer disparities, especially in people of African ancestry.
Olajide Williams, MD
Dr Olajide Williams obtained his medical degree from the University of Lagos, Nigeria, and a Master’s degree from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in New York. He is currently a tenured Professor of Neurology, Chief of Staff of the Department of Neurology, and Associate Dean of Community Research and Engagement at Columbia University. He is a global leader in racial health disparities, Principal Investigator of multiple NIH investigator-initiated awards, and a co-Chair of Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC) Anti-Racism Task Force. Author of numerous peer-reviewed articles, Dr Williams has received many prestigious awards including the European Stroke Research Foundation Investigator of the Year award, Columbia University Outstanding Teacher of the Year award, a National Humanism in Medicine award from the AAMC, American Heart Association Trailblazer award, Fast Company Most Creative 100 list, and has been a regular feature of the annual New York Magazine Best Doctors lists. He is Founder and President of Hip Hop Public Health, a nationally recognized nonprofit organization that leverages music, art, and science for health promotion in communities of color.
Nicole Cyrille-Superville, MD
Dr. Superville is an Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiologist, has a specific interest in amyloidosis, and is experienced in managing patients with hATTR amyloidosis. She currently serves as an associate director of Heart Failure for the Atrium Health Southern Region. She earned her Doctor of Medicine from Columbia University and completed her heart failure and transplant fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Rita is a nurse by training and has worked in the healthcare industry for 30 years, with the last 7 years spent as a patient educator and pharmaceutical liaison. Her experiences have provided her with a much broader perspective on the great need for access and education. She was inspired to become an Alnylam Patient Education Liaison (PEL) when she learned that she could help educate patients and raise awareness of hATTR amyloidosis, a rare condition that disproportionately affects African Americans.
PELs are employees of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals. They are not acting as healthcare providers and are not part of your healthcare team. PELs do not provide medical care or advice. All diagnosis and treatment decisions should be made by you and your doctor.
Dr. Sherry Blake
Dr. Sherry Blake is a licensed clinical psychologist with over 30 years and over 100,000 hours of direct and indirect service. She works with everyone from top celebrities in the entertainment, news, and sports arena to everyday people. Dr. Sherry earned both her Master of Science and her Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. She has served on numerous Boards of Directors and as the former President of the Metropolitan Atlanta Mental Health Association.
Dr. Sherry is one of the most highly sought-after media experts in the area of mental health in the country. Most known as the therapist for WeTv’s longest standing African American family reality series “Braxton Family Values,” she has appeared as a guest expert on countless other shows including The Real Housewives of Atlanta, T.I. & Tiny Family Hustle, Love and Hip-Hop Atlanta, Preachers of Atlanta, and Little Women of Atlanta.
Dr. Sherry has been featured on numerous other networks, radio, and print media including CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, and HLN. She has also authored two books, "The Single Married Woman" and her latest “Care for The Caregiver... Surviving the Emotional Roller Coaster.” She currently curates content for AARP, one of the largest circulation publications in the United States. As a result of her work in the media, she reaches millions of viewers that allow them to see the value of mental health services.
Dr. Sherry successfully combines her direct style, skilled techniques, and a touch of humor to make talking with her non-threatening and her presentations outstanding. Dr. Sherry’s presentations are filled with exciting thought-provoking content, powerful funny stories and practical strategies to meet your goals and objectives. Her high energy, humor, expertise, and life changing insights have a lasting impact on everyone she meets. Much of her work focuses on empowering women to eliminate emotional barriers in order to achieve their goals. She addresses issues that emerge in relationships, especially during transition periods, regardless if it is in someone’s personal or professional life. Dr. Sherry’s work will challenge and transform you to achieve heights that you never knew was possible.
Dr. Sherry is very passionate about helping faith-based as well as other organizations understand
mental health and achieve emotional wellness. She is dedicated to reducing mental health stigma and increasing mental health awareness, especially in the African American and other underserved communities. Dr. Sherry strongly believes “When we Educate Locally, we will Impact Globally!”
IMF Patient, President & CEO Yelak Biru drives the organization’s mission of improving the quality of life of myeloma patients while working toward prevention and a cure. He sees his role as a way “to pay it forward and carry the baton as far and as fast as possible so those who come after me, those who come after us, can go even further.”
Diagnosed with multiple myeloma at the young age of 25, Yelak has lived with the disease for more than two decades. His journey as a patient brought him to the IMF, first in support groups and then as a member of the organization’s Board of Directors.
With his leadership, the IMF has continued to conduct more than 50 ongoing research studies worldwide, to foster support and education for patients and caregivers, to advocate for equitable healthcare access, and to enhance alliances around the globe. His vision is “to find a cure for myeloma so no one dies from the disease by the year 2035.”
Yelak’s decades-long passion for improving the lives of myeloma patients combined with his 25 years of working in Fortune 50 corporations (PepsiCo and Walmart), expertise and deep know-how of technology and HR Analytics, as well as his unique understanding of people, team building, strategy, and operations make him the perfect fit to lead the International Myeloma Foundation—the 32-year-old organization always puts patients at the center of all its endeavors.
Yelak possesses domain expertise in People Analytics and cross-functional skills in supply chain, finance, marketing, and Data Analytics and Strategy development. He has a track record of leading large, diverse, and geographically disparate teams in a global, matrixed business–IT setting; championing data-driven agile product development; and leveraging user experience design principles. He is a change agent with the ability to influence senior stakeholders, to collaborate across lines of business, and to deliver strategic initiatives.
Yelak’s extraordinary set of life experiences—as a 27-year myeloma survivor; an IMF board member; a dedicated member of the National Cancer Institute’s Myeloma Committee, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group, National Cancer Research Advocate organizations; a co-author of published research; a prolific speaker on patient care and myeloma research issues; and his collaborations with both for-profit and non-profit organizations—has afforded him a deeper understanding of the challenges, disappointments, and triumphs that myeloma patients and their care team face on a day to day.
Born in Ethiopia, Yelak completed his undergraduate and master's degrees in Computer Science from the University of North Texas. He and his wife, along with their two dachshunds, live in Los Angeles, California.
Kimberly Alexander is the CEO and founder of Level Health Agency, a health communications firm focused on reducing health disparities. In 2010 she lost her husband, retired NFL linebacker Elijah Alexander to multiple myeloma, a rare blood cancer. Determined to have something purposeful come from the experience, and in honor of his memory, she chose to dedicate her time and efforts to cancer advocacy. Fundraising for cures, raising awareness, and serving as a resource for patients or caregivers is what she’s committed to. In addition to those roles, she also co-hosts a sports talk radio show called The G.A.M.E. on 105.3 The Fan and runs KimConnects, which partners non-profit organizations with businesses for charity-based social experiences. Alexander graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in broadcast journalism. She currently sits on the Family Advisory Board for the Football Players Health Study at Harvard University, the Board of Directors for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the Board of Directors for the Dallas Chapter of the Association of Black Journalist and is a member of Off the Field, Players' Wives Association. She can be found on Instagram and Twitter at @thekimalexander.
Lionel Phillips, MBA
Lionel began his career in the healthcare space as a pharmaceutical representative in the Bronx, New York, where he also lived for most of his childhood. Over the course of 20 years, he forged a reputation for developing innovative solutions to marketing and sales challenges — proven by two blockbuster launches, each achieving #1 in category performance and more than $1 billion in sales.
Lionel founded Inside Edge Consulting Group in 2004 with a clear and simple premise: to help marketing, R&D, and sales leaders across the healthcare industry put the tools and techniques that he had used so successfully to work for them. For Lionel, the key to all of it was in “the human connections”. This belief has been his guide in building out the firm’s services and team and as he approaches every client engagement. For Lionel, the best days are those focused on finding new ways to bring the right minds together — those who can help each other gain a real understanding of the opportunities at hand and how best to capture them.
Under Lionel’s leadership, Inside Edge has expanded its areas of expertise. Although still very much grounded in research, Lionel takes great pride in the company’s successful community-focused work -- designed to bridge the equity gap through programs that support and build trust among underrepresented populations. This includes driving awareness of specific disease states, health practices and treatments, and encouraging clinical trial enrollment. Lionel has pioneered many innovative approaches to meaningfully reaching and educating Black, Hispanic/Latino, Asian and Native American communities.
The focus on connections is what also led Lionel to take on a leadership role in community-building at both the local and national levels. In 2005, seeing a gap in the development of minorities and women in the pharmaceutical industry, he co-founded Get Together Group, an organization that fosters growth through networking, mentoring, education, and community outreach. He has been a member of the Pharma Board of Advisors at Saint Joseph’s University Haub School of Business since 2012, supporting the next generation of leaders from the school where he received his own MBA in Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing. In addition, Lionel is the founder and Chairman of the Make Well Known Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that supports the health of minority and underserved communities by collaborating with a range of not-for-profit, government and commercial institutions to activate solution-oriented initiatives that cultivate better health.
Diversity, equity, & inclusion (DEI) champion, ESG integrator, communications and marketing expert, brand strategist and community engagement professional are just a few words used to describe Keisha Dabrowski.
Throughout her nearly 20-year career, she has leveraged communication and her commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion to help organizations, leaders, and individuals bridge understanding, inspire trust and build loyalty. As a visionary, data-driven and creative leader, she has executed highly integrated and complex communications strategies and marketing campaigns within multi-faceted, fast-paced, and diverse organizations.
In her role as Johnson & Johnson’s first Global Leader of Health Equity Communications, she is responsible for creating engaging experiences and driving health equity communications with key stakeholders around the world. She spearheads communications strategies for Our Race to Health Equity (ORTHE), an enterprise-wide initiative at Johnson & Johnson with a bold ambition of rebuilding healthcare from a diverse perspective so the color of a person’s skin is not a determinant of their access to care, quality of care or health outcomes.
Prior to joining Johnson & Johnson, she served as Associate Vice Chancellor Administration and Engagement for Rutgers University providing university-wide leadership of culture change management and strategic communications. She also served as an Assistant Vice Chancellor for Diversity Strategy, Communications, and Community engagement, and held other roles leading strategic communications and community engagement portfolios.
She co-authored chapters on visionary and inclusive leadership in “LeaderocityTM: Leading at the Speed of Now,” published by Business Expert Press. She has served as Vice President Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for American Marketing Association, New Jersey Chapter; a Diversity and Inclusion Committee Member, Public Relations Society of America, NJ Chapter; a former Board Member of International Girls Academy, and as a DEI Curriculum Advisor to New Jersey Amistad Commission and Middlesex County Public Schools
Keisha holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business from New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), and a Master of Communication and Media from Rutgers University with a specialization in Strategic Organizational Communications and Corporate Purpose & Social Impact (CSR).
Richard Browne, MD
Richard Browne, MD FACC is the Senior Medical Executive for Cardiovascular Integration in Janssen Cardiovascular and Metabolism Medical Affairs. His work focuses on collaboration with US healthcare systems in their efforts to achieve the quintuple aim (i.e. improving the quality of cardiovascular care, promoting cost effectiveness, enhancing the patient and health care provider experiences and striving to eliminate health disparities). His team works to identify IDN-specific needs, advance health equity initiatives, increase scientific exchange, and support Janssen’s strategic and tactical response to the ever-changing healthcare environment.
Prior to this role, Richard served as Medical Director of Cardiovascular Strategy, CVM Medical Affairs where he successfully partnered with the CVM Commercial team to provide medical guidance and educational support of learning activities for the national sales force. In addition, he led the CVM Health Equity Task Force which focused on initiatives aimed at reducing the rates of PAD-related amputations among Black Americans. Richard serves as a co-lead of the Medical and Scientific Affairs (MeSA) Race to Health Equity pillar and represents CVM with the American Heart Association on their PAD National Action Plan. He has worked closely with Janssen Scientific Affairs to help initiate PAD-related research projects at large healthcare systems. Finally, Richard is an active participant in J&J mentoring programs and serves as a trusted advisor for medical and pharmacy school students.
Before joining Johnson & Johnson in 2021, Richard held multiple roles in medical institutions, including Senior Cardiologist at Novant Health Heart and Vascular Institute at Presbyterian Medical Center in Charlotte, NC. There he performed advanced imaging in support of the structural heart program involving procedures like transcatheter aortic valve replacement, percutaneous mitral valve repair, and left atrial appendage closure.
Richard graduated cum laude from Boston University School of Medicine before completing internship and residency training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a major teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. He remained on staff as an attending physician at Harvard Medical School before completing a fellowship in cardiovascular medicine at the University of Virginia, where he became Chief Cardiology Fellow in his final year.
Richard currently serves as a council member of the North Carolina Chapter of the American College of Cardiology. In this position, he is actively involved in the formulation of strategies to reduce health care disparities in cardiovascular patients.
Pierre R. Theodore, MD
Pierre R. Theodore serves as a Vice President of Global Public Health at Johnson & Johnson and is a Thoracic Surgeon on the adjunct faculty of Stanford University. In his role as the Global Health Equity Program Leader, he is responsible for the acceleration of novel technologies and strategies that overcome access and availability barriers to healthcare across lower-resource healthcare system settings.
Board Certified in General Surgery and Thoracic Surgery, Pierre has over two decades of experience in cardiothoracic surgery, surgical education, entrepreneurship, healthcare venture investing and innovation. Pierre’s clinical practice focused on minimally invasive surgical approaches in thoracic surgery, interventional pulmonary procedures, and Global Surgery initiatives to expand surgical capacity in low-income countries.
After obtaining an undergraduate degree in Philosophy from Princeton University, Pierre received his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Virginia. He completed general surgical and cardiothoracic surgical training at Johns Hopkins Hospital and Hospital Universitaire Pitié-Salpêtrière in Paris. Pierre completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Massachusetts General Hospital Transplant Biology Research Center, Harvard Medical School.
Pierre is a commissioned officer in the United States Navy Reserve Medical Officer Corps, holding the rank of Commander. Pierre is an avid cyclist and father of two residing in San Francisco, CA.
Isha Williams is the Head of Culturally Inclusive & Relevant (CIR) Marketing for The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson and Johnson. As part of the Patient Engagement and Customer Solutions (PECS) team, Isha leads the critical work to develop and embed a CIR Marketing capability across Janssen North America, to transform patient lives through inclusive and relevant healthcare. An accomplished strategic marketing leader with proven success, Isha has touched countless consumer lives through her leadership in U.S. and global-based roles in general management, integrated brand and customer marketing, innovation, and multicultural marketing. Isha recently returned to the U.S. from a four-year international work assignment in Latin America, where she led as the Country Manager of Ecuador (based in Quito, Ecuador), leveraging her fluency in the Spanish language, and as the Head of Marketing for Latin America (based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). With a heart for global travel, languages, and culture, Isha’s career and family adventures have taken her around the world, reinforcing her passion for diversity, equity, and inclusion, and transformational business impact. In her free time, Isha is co-founder of the GirlExec professional coaching series on YouTube.
Don Chaney is a former NBA player and coach, a husband, father, and grandfather living with hereditary transthyretin amyloid cardiomyopathy (or ATTR-CM). In 2019, he was caught off guard when he was diagnosed with hereditary ATTR-CM, a serious and often underdiagnosed cause of heart failure. Along with his wife and primary caregiver, Jackie, Don has made it his mission to share his story with others to help raise awareness of hereditary ATTR-CM and is excited to team up with Pfizer on Voices for the Heart to encourage early and appropriate diagnosis of hereditary ATTR-CM.
Deanna Darlington is an Advocacy Relations Professional with more than 25 years of experience in government and external affairs, patient advocacy, policy, reimbursement consulting, and other related fields. She specializes in engaging patient advocacy organizations on access and policy issues which includes a focus on health disparities for vulnerable patient populations. Deanna works closely with advocates on key policy issues that support dialogue and engagement to patient access to quality care and value.
For 13 years, Deanna held various roles at Amgen Inc., that included policy and patient advocacy/alliance development. Deanna also served as Director of Reimbursement and Policy at a number of other Pharma companies.
Before joining the biotech and biopharmaceutical industry, she served as the first Reimbursement Specialist for the American Society of Clinical Oncology where she staffed the Clinical Practice Committee and developed the State Affiliate Program under the Association’s Public Policy arm.
Deanna founded Links2Equity in 2021 after retiring from Amgen Inc. with the goal of serving patients and other healthcare stakeholders in all disease states and underrepresented communities such as Black, Hispanic, Asian Pacific Islander, Aging, Rural, LBGTQ, and others.
Sheri Prentiss, MD, MPH, CSP®
Dr. Sheri Prentiss is a proven visionary, best-selling author, and highly sought-after physician leader. Since 2017, she has served as Chief Medical Officer and Public Health Lead at CIEN+ to bring both an inclusive and evidence-driven approach to promoting health equity and better outcomes. She is an occupational & environmental medicine physician, public health expert, professional speaker—CSP® (Certified Speaking Professional™), and a breast cancer survivor. She created the first Health Ministries department within the Churches of God in Christ. She has served as National Spokesperson for Susan G. Komen as well as their National Ambassador for Health Equity.
She has been the catalyst for transformation in the space of cultural and workplace diversity for a myriad of organizations for more than two decades. In addition, she has used her public health knowledge and experience in epidemiology to help advance health equity initiatives globally.
Dr. Sheri obtained her BA, with honors, from Northwestern University and went on to obtain her medical doctor degree, with honors, from Loyola Stritch School of Medicine. Dr. Sheri obtained her MPH, with a 5.0 GPA from the University of Illinois School of Public Health. Her work history is diverse with such positions as the Associate Area Medical Director for the United States Postal Service, while still in her residency; Global Medical Director of Medical Operations for Hospira, responsible for creating medical affairs departments in 72 different countries; and Program Medical Director for Occupational and Employee health for Advocate Health Care, the largest health care system in Illinois.
Dr. Sheri is a Certified Physician Executive (CPE), as well as a Fellow, Former Director of the Board, and CPE Tutorial Teaching Fellow of the American Association for Physician Leadership.
Iris J. Lundy, MHL, BSN, RN
Iris Lundy is the Senior Director of Health Equity for Sentara Healthcare, a large integrated delivery network health system with over 30,000 team members serving Virginia and North-eastern North Carolina. Ms. Lundy is a proven leader in healthcare administration and health equity. This work includes promoting relationships between and within internal and external stakeholders to transform perspectives related to the fundamental of health disparities, integration of health equity into the health system’s culture, values and policies, and the moderation of healthcare practices through a health equity lens.
Ms. Lundy has over 20 years of healthcare experience with previous leadership roles in Healthcare Accreditation and Regulatory Standards and Nursing. Ms. Lundy serves on local, state and national boards including Sentara’s Health Equity Advisory Board. She served her country as a non-commissioned officer in the United States Army, received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Old Dominion University and her Master of Health Leadership from Western Governors University.
Keith H. Newby, MD
Dr. Keith Newby, a renowned Cardiologist, is President and CEO of Fort Norfolk Medical Associates and serves as the Medical Director of Health Equity for Sentara Healthcare a large integrated delivery network health system with over 30,000 team members serving Virginia and North-eastern North Carolina. A leader in healthcare with a mission to develop programs that address conditions that disproportionately affect under-resourced and underrepresented communities, Dr. Newby is not only a physician, but he is an astute businessman. In 2010, he built the Fort Norfolk Plaza medical facility in Norfolk, a 65-million-dollar complex and owns The Public House, a local restaurant in his hometown of Norfolk, Virginia.
Dr. Newby holds several board positions including Towne Bank, the Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) Board of Visitors and serves as an Assistant Visiting Professor of Medicine at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, Division of Cardiology. He holds Bachelor of Science from Norfolk State University, Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) from Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS), completed his residency at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, and was a fellow in cardiology at Duke University with an emphasis in clinical cardiac electrophysiology.
Rogers Cain, MD, PharmD
Dr. Rogers Cain has been in private practice as a Family Practice Physician in North Jacksonville for over 30 years. Dr. Cain graduated from FAMU School of Pharmacy and was in the first class of the Morehouse School of Medicine. He did his residency at University of Florida, Jacksonville campus where he also served as the Chief Resident of UF Health Jacksonville in 1988. He is the President of the Northeast Florida Medical Society Foundation and President Emerita of the Northeast Florida Medical Society. He is a graduate of Leadership Jacksonville Class of 1995 and Leadership Florida Class of 1996. Dr. Cain is the Co-Founder of the Population Health Consortium of Northeast Florida, a multi-sectoral coalition composed of organizations whose missions address population health and community well-being.
Dr. Cain is passionate about eliminating health disparities in communities of color. He is often asked to speak on these issues at conferences, community engagement events and local media. Educating and informing is important to Dr. Cain, as he has published a health and wellness newspaper and currently cohosts a weekly podcast, “Pause for the Truth”, to educate others about health and societal issues.
Floyd Willis, MD
Dr. Willis obtained his medical degree from the Morehouse School of Medicine in 1986 after graduating from Yale College in 1982 with a B.S. degree in Biology. He completed the Mayo Clinic Family Practice Residency in 1989 and joined the Faculty at Mayo Clinic Florida in 1992. He is licensed to practice medicine in the states of Arizona, Florida and obtained board certification by the American Board of Family Practice in 1995 along with the distinction as a Certified Medical Review Officer (MRO) by the Medical Review Officer Certification Council in 1998.
In May of 2007, Dr. Willis was appointed as Chairman of the Department of Family Practice at Mayo Clinic Jacksonville and served in this capacity until 2017. During his 27 years as a staff physician in Florida, he has served on the Personnel Committee, Diversity Committee, and as the Florida Lead of Mayo Clinic Enterprise Office of Population Health Management. He currently is Director of the Wilson Scholar Program, which seeks to help enrich Mayo GME programs with a diverse pool of learners.
Dr. Willis has been honored to receive the Teacher of the Year Award for Full Time Faculty, Florida Academy of Family Physicians. His research interest focuses on the impact of neurocognitive diseases on cross cultural populations. He has participated in and led multiple community based projects on risk factors for dementia in underrepresented minorities.
Dr. John Paul McGee
Raised in Baltimore, Maryland, John Paul McGee, at the age of four without formal training, began playing familiar hymns and church songs by ear. Aware of his special gift, Dr. McGee's mother made the sacrifices necessary to ensure that John received formal musical training and development. Dr. McGee studied piano and pipe organ under the renowned late Dr. Nathan Carter and graduated in 2002 from Baltimore School for the Arts. He has been recognized for numerous awards and his musical career has taken him around the globe as a keyboardist, vocal arranger, producer, and songwriter working with popular gospel and secular artists from Patti Labelle and The Isley Brothers to the Clark Sisters, the NFL players choir, VaShawn Mitchell, Kim Burrell and Earnest Pugh. His instrumental piano album released in 2018 with EPM records yielded him the #9 spot in the top 10 Billboard recording artists.
Dr. John Paul McGee is the current assistant chair of piano at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. JP earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music with a concentration in Piano Performance from Bethune Cookman University, a Master of Arts in Religion Degree from Liberty University a Master of Sacred Music Degree with a concentration in Pipe Organ Performance from Emory University, and most recently a Doctorate of Ministry degree with a concentration in Pastoral Care and Counseling from The Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Ga.
In addition to his musical giftings, Dr. JP (as he is affectionately called), is a sought-after preacher, workshop facilitator, panelist, clinician, and speaker on global worship, church leadership, transformational preaching, and music. In June 2021, Dr. JP McGee launched a virtual faith community called “True Destiny Christian Community” where he leads weekly prayer, praise, bible study, and worship experiences. He is the author of “Elevate”, a 21-day devotional journey released in 2019 with Books 2 Live By Publishing with an accompanying instrumental album entitled "Elevate".
Fayron Epps, PhD, RN
Fayron Epps, PhD, RN, is a nurse with over 20 years of experience and is currently serving as an assistant professor and the Director of Community and Research Engagement in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Emory University, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing. She is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, Southern Gerontological Society, and Gerontological Society of America. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Southern Gerontological Society, and Alzheimer’s Association Georgia Chapter. She also serves on the Leadership Core of the Public Health Center of Excellence in Dementia Caregiving at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Epps also serves as the principal investigator for the Faith Village Research Lab and is the founder of the Alter Program, a nurse-led dementia-friendly congregation program. S Her career goal as a nurse scholar is to promote quality of life for families affected by dementia through research, education and service. Her program of research involves evidence-based practices for promoting quality of life for African Americans with dementia and their family caregivers/care partners. She is particularly interested in exploring the way religious activities and spiritual connectedness can promote meaningful engagement among persons with dementia across the country. Dr. Epps works hard to place culturally-tailored evidenced-based programs and interventions in the hands of those individuals who need it the most.
Richard D. King, MD, PhD
Richard D. King, MD, PhD, is Associate Professor of Neurology at University of Kentucky in Lexington, KY. He is a board-certified neurologist with specialty training in cognitive disorders, neuroimaging, clinical trials, and computational neuroscience. His research program is focused on development of Neuroimaging Biomarkers for Alzheimer’s Disease. Dr. King also serves as a Program Director for the MD/PhD program at University of Kentucky. Dr. King has mentored dozens of residents, medical students, and graduate students through their journey and will apply this skill in the MD/PhD program to enhance student recruitment, guide the first and second year medical students through their learning experiences, assist in the transition to third year, oversee clinical workshops, and develop and lead efforts to ensure student wellness. Dr. King earned his MD and PhD in neuroscience from Baylor College of Medicine and continued his training at Massachusetts General Hospital/Brigham & Women’s Hospital, University of Texas, and the University of Utah.
Tori Cooper is a health and equity advocate, community organizer, educator, published author and leader in the transgender and HIV communities. She leads with more than 30 years of experience at all levels of HIV service, from volunteer roles to her service as executive director and founder of Advocates for Better Care Atlanta, LLC. She now serves as the Human Rights Campaign’s Director of Community Engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative. In this role, her focus includes economic empowerment; capacity building programs; public safety; and expanded public education campaigns.
Before joining HRC, Cooper was a consultant and Prevention Specialist at Positive Impact Health Centers in metro Atlanta. In 2015, Cooper created Advocates for Better Care Atlanta, LLC which is an organization dedicated to the education and empowerment of marginalized people across the country. Since its inception, she has self-financed this agency which prioritizes transgender women and men as well as people living with HIV.
Cooper has received numerous awards for her work and is a published author, most recently appearing in print and video. Her work is featured in a new documentary titled, “Silent Epidemic” where she talks about the trans community and HIV in the South. She is currently matriculating towards her Master of Arts degree in Public Health. Tori believes that empowerment, education, and opportunity are three important factors in success.
Leisha McKinley-Beach, MPH
Leisha McKinley-Beach is a self-employed public health consultant who focuses on HIV/AIDS. She earned a Master of Public Health degree from the University of West Florida and conducts training and presents on public health concepts and issues, primarily for communities of color. Her career as a peer educator began while she was a student at UF in 1991, with a group called the AIDS Peer Educators.
Ms. McKinley-Beach leads training sessions around COVID-19 and racism in health care at Morehouse College. She is also working with on research projects with Emory University focused on COVID-19 and its impact on people of color with HIV, and Black communities and their perceptions and attitudes around COVID-19 prevention strategies.
One of her greatest honors came from her work around National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day in which the mayor of Pensacola issued a proclamation thanking her for her work on the cause. In addition, she’s received recognition from the CDC Office of Minority Health and Equity and several NAACP branches across Florida.
Nicci Gilbert-Daniels, founding member of the Grammy nominated group Brownstone, is one of television’s most sought after executive producers. As the CEO of WIRF MEDIA , an entertainment media company, WIRF aims to change the negative and toxic narratives about minority women through the creation of a national infrastructure that provides female content creators with platforms and resources to create, own and distribute content that not only entertains, but also uplifts, educates, informs and inspires. Nicci created TV One’s most popular docu-franchise, “R&B Divas”, and the popular BET networks series , “From the Bottom Up” and her upcoming Documentary Film “Broken Things”
Nicci’s intense passion for all that she does, effortlessly manifests itself in her many accomplishments, including deals and partnerships with the legendary Michael Jackson MJJ Records, super producer Tyler Perry, and television mogul Queen Latifah. Nicci is also an entrepreneur who launched Curvato a lifestyle brand for the niche plus size market. Nicci’s business and philanthropic achievements have garnered recognition from a variety of prestigious awards, including two Grammy nominations, BET Her Woman Of Impact, Lincoln Shining Star, InfluenceHER Awards and the Billboard Music Awards. In addition to all of her accolades, Nicci is the founder of The From The Bottom Up Foundation and she currently serves as a board member for the following organizations: Hip Hop Sisters , Beyond the Game Foundation and The Center for Black Women’s Wellness,
Nicci is the true definition of a multi hyphenate career woman. She is a singer-writer-producer-actress-speaker-designer-philanthropist, in addition to a positive image advocate. With Nicci’s commitment to her career overshadowed only by her devotion to her husband, daughter and new grandson, she has proven that with perseverance, hard work and dedication, the world is possible.
Fallon S. Wilson, PhD
Through her work with non-profits, academia, and government partnerships, Dr. Fallon S. Wilson strives to make visible the work of historic and modern-day Black crises solvers. She invests her time into strengthening the tech ecosystem nationwide, especially as it relates both to Black women technologists and also underrepresented persons of color who may not have access to the ever-changing arena of technology. Her work aims to end the great technical divide that exists between the races, while also seeking to put an end to misconceptions about the abilities and skills of Black people that allow the perpetuation of said divide. Dr. Wilson acts with a strong lens of equity and tech inclusion within tech ecosystems for positive workforce outcomes.
As the Lead Principal Investigator for #BlackTechFutures Research Institute, which she co-founded with Melissa Brown-Sims, M.A., Dr. Wilson engages in community action that creates change in her community and across the US. Currently. The Institute’s work builds a national network of city-based researchers and practitioners conducting research on sustainable local Black tech ecosystems, especially within underrepresented communities. Her research and projects include the design and implementation of Smart City models. Prior to launching the #BlackTechFutures Research Institute, as Research Director for Black Tech Mecca, Dr. Wilson developed the SMART Black Tech Ecosystem Assessment Framework.
Dr. Wilson holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Spelman College and from the University of Chicago, two degrees, a Master of Arts in Political Science, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Social Service Administration.
Cherisse Scott the founder and director of reproductive justice advocacy and education group SisterReach, the only reproductive justice organization in Tennessee that works to educate and empower women and girls of color. Cherisse Scott has worked as a reproductive health educator and advocate for more than 20 years. She worked with the Black Women for Reproductive Justice, or BWRJ, in Chicago, where she partnered with churches to provide reproductive health education for black women and girls. Scott was also a founding member of Trust Black Women, which is a national collaborative set up to challenge racist antiabortion billboard campaigns that targeted communities of color.
The Right Reverend Kenneth Monroe
The Rev. Dr. Kenneth Monroe began his life and ministry in the small town of Red Springs, NC. He received his elementary and secondary education from the public schools of Red Springs. He was baptized and became a member of the St. James African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church of Red Springs and was later called to preach at the age of seventeen.
Desiring to continue his education, he was encouraged and led to attend Livingstone College, Salisbury, NC. He received both the deacon and elders’ ordination by Bishop W. A. Hilliard in 1972 and 1974 respectively. Upon the completion of his undergraduate studies at Livingstone College and receiving the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social Studies, he entered Duke University Divinity School, Durham, NC. In December 1976, he graduated with a Master of Divinity Degree. In October 2003, he received the Doctor of Ministry Degree from Hartford Seminary, Hartford, CT.
The Right Reverend Teresa Jefferson-Snorton
Bishop Teresa Jefferson-Snorton is committed to serving God and the needs of you and your family. Rev. Dr. Jefferson-Snorton is a pastor, preacher, teacher, chaplain, author and executive leader in religion and pastoral care.
As an ordained CME (Christian Methodist Episcopal) minister, Bishop Snorton has a passion for the local church, but also for interfaith and multifaith initiatives that meet the needs of people and communities.
In June 2010, Rev. Dr. Jefferson-Snorton was elected the 59th Bishop of the CME Church, the denomination's first female elected to the episcopal office.For nine months, she served as Presiding Bishop for the Eleventh Episcopal District, which is comprised of ten countries in central and southern Africa. In March 2011, she was appointed to serve as Presiding Bishop of the Fifth Episcopal District (Alabama and Florida).
In addition to her episcopal duties, Bishop Jefferson-Snorton is a pastoral care provider and educator. She is available to preach, speak or lead workshops and seminars on a variety of topics related to spirituality, pastoral care, religion and health, end-of-life, women's faith, and multicultural issues.
The Right Reverend Adam J. Richardson
Adam Jefferson Richardson, Jr. was elected and consecrated the 115th Bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1996 at Louisville, Kentucky. As a bishop, he has served churches in Virginia, North Carolina, Washington and Maryland, Florida, the Bahamas and in several African nations, including Sierra Leone, Ghana, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Togo, Benin and South Africa.
Bishop was installed as Senior Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 2019.
He obtained the Bachelor of Arts degree from the Florida A&M University (where he was noted as the head drum major of the “Marching 100” Band). He received his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Sacred Theology degrees at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta.
The Right Reverend Lawrence L. Reddick III
Bishop Lawrence Reddick, the 51st bishop elected in the Christian Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church, has been presiding bishop of the Eighth Episcopal District since July 2014. Born June 20, 1952, in Huntsville, Alabama, he is one of seven children of the late Reverend and Mrs. L. L. Reddick, Jr.
He is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University of Delaware, Ohio (Bachelor of Arts degree)
and Duke Divinity School of Durham, North Carolina (Master of Divinity Degree). He was conferred honorary doctoral degrees from United Theological Seminary and Bible College of Monroe, Louisiana, and Texas College, Tyler, Texas.
He became Senior Bishop (the longest serving active bishop and CEO) in 2014. He is chair of the Texas College Trustee Board, and was chair of the Committee to Develop a New CME Hymnal and the Compilation Committee for THE BOOK of DISCIPLINE 2014. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Bread for the World.
Marsha B. Henderson
Marsha B. Henderson is a nationally recognized innovative leader and change agent for the health of women and their families. As the former Associate Commissioner for Women's Health at the Food and Drug Administration, for a decade, she progressed and managed cutting-edge policy, research and educational outreach initiatives. During her tenure the FDA Office of Women’s Health expanded its scientific portfolio to produce more than 350 research papers and journal articles to facilitate FDA’s regulatory decision-making and promote a better understanding of sex differences and health conditions unique to women. Her leadership produced the first FDA Women’s’ Health Research Roadmap, outlining seven priority areas for new or enhanced research including biomarkers, clinical trials design, nanotechnology, cardiovascular disease, and postmarket surveillance as well as a framework to assess its impact. In addition to her Take Time To Care Campaigns that reached millions of consumers in partnership with national organizations, she hosted emerging issues workshops focusing on women and opioids, tobacco, CVD/stroke, adaptive CT design both nationally and internationally. Ms. Henderson holds a graduate degree from Rutgers University with a concentration in Health and Hospital Planning and Administration.
Rev. Dr. Renita Weems
Dr. Renita J. Weems is a biblical scholar, a minister, and an author whose scholarly insights into modern faith, biblical texts, and the role of spirituality in everyday lives has made her a highly sought-after writer and speaker for more than four decades. Rev. Dr. Weems is a thinking woman of faith who seeks to reconcile the conflicts between a spiritual hunger for the Sacred with a womanist thirst for revolutionary justice. Dr. Weems has numerous books, commentaries and articles on biblical interpretation, prophetic religion, sexuality and religion, women’s spirituality, and blacks and women in the academy. She has been a commentator on documentaries, podcasts, radio shows and national conferences on a wide range of topics. Since the Supreme Court’s 2022 landmark Dobbs v, Jackson’s Women’s Health Organization Dr. Weems has joined with other clergywomen in spearheading discussions in the black church on the topic of black women in the church and reproductive health justice.
Rev. Dr. Obery M. Hendricks
A lifelong social activist, Rev. Dr. Obery Hendricks is one of the foremost commentators on the intersection of religion and political economy in America. His recent book, Christians Against Christianity: How Right-Wing Evangelicals Are Destroying Our Nation and Our Faith (Beacon Press, 2021) has gathered wide acclaim. A widely sought lecturer and media spokesperson, Dr. Hendricks’ appearances include CNN, MSNBC, CBS, Fox News, Fox Business News, the Discovery Channel, PBS, BBC, He has provided running event commentary for National Public Radio, MSNBC, and the al-Jazeera and Aspire international television networks.
Dr. Nicole Calloway Rankins
Dr. Nicole C. Rankins is an obstetrician-gynecologist, creator and host of the “All About Pregnancy & Birth” podcast. With over 1.25 million downloads, it has helped thousands of women be calm, confident, and empowered during pregnancy and birth. Dr. Rankin specializes in the female reproductive tract, pregnancy and childbirth. She received her medical degree from Eastern Virginia Medical School and has been in practice for more than 20 years. In addition to being a board-certified, practicing OB/GYN, Dr. Ranks is a wife, mom, and course creator.
Joshua J. Joseph, MD
Dr. Joshua J. Joseph is an Assistant Professor in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. He is a proud alumnus of Columbus Alternative High School (’99), Morehouse College (B.S. in Biology, ‘03) and Boston University School of Medicine (M.D., ‘09), during which he spent two years at the National Institutes of Health in the Medical Research Scholars Program. He completed his internal residency at Yale University School of Medicine and was the Christopher D. Saudek M.D. Fellow in Diabetes Research at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Dr. Joseph focuses on lifestyle behaviors and medical therapeutics through a team-based patient-centered approach to living with type 2 diabetes that is tailored to provide patients with the necessary tools to successfully manage their diabetes and avoid long-term complications. In collaboration with The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center electronic health record optimization team, he is developing new templates and tools using the EPIC electronic health record and mychart to promote increased efficiency and decreased patient burden. He is also a co-investigator on two novel clinical trials, “Cooking Matters for Diabetes” with Jenny Shrodes, RD and “Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy for Patients with Type 2 Diabetes and Depression” with Sophie Lazarus, PhD, both designed to provide new therapies for the successful treatment of type 2 diabetes. He serves on a number of national committees including The Endocrine Society Clinical Affairs Core Committee and The American Heart Association National Science Advisory and Coordinating Committee.
Kathleen Dorsey Bellow, DMin
Kathleen Dorsey Bellow, D.Min. is the Director of the Institute for Black Catholic Studies (IBCS), the first and primary national center for the study of the Black Catholic experience, at Xavier University of Louisiana.
Elizabeth Ofili, MD, MPH, FACC
Dr. Elizabeth Ofili is a Professor of Medicine, at Morehouse School of Medicine, and a practicing cardiologist with Morehouse Healthcare in Atlanta, Georgia. She serves as Chief Medical Officer of the Morehouse Choice Accountable Care Organization, a Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Shared Savings Program, that includes Morehouse Healthcare, and several Federally Qualified Health Centers across the state of Georgia.
Dr. Ofili is a national and internationally recognized clinician scientist with particular focus on cardiovascular disparities and women’s health. She has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), since 1994, with a track record in clinical trials that impact health disparities. In 2002, as president of the Association of Black Cardiologists (ABC), Dr. Ofili led the initiative to implement the landmark African American Heart Failure Trial (AHEFT), whose findings changed practice guidelines for the treatment of heart failure in African Americans. Dr. Ofili also established the ABC Center for Women’s Health and Epidemiology, and currently leads the ABC Cardiovascular Study (CVIS), a practice based research registry that is integrating social determinants and technology innovation to address health disparities at the point of care.
Dr. Ofili brings her knowledge of health and medicine to technology and innovation. She is the Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of AccuHealth Technologies Inc., which is “Empowering patient centered care through technology and health coaching”
Pamela Price, RN
Pamela D. Price currently serves as the Deputy Director for The Balm In Gilead managing the various health initiatives of the organization. Under her leadership, the organization provides support to faith institutions in areas of program design, implementation and evaluation, which strengthen their capacity to deliver programs and services that contribute to the elimination of health disparities. In addition to her role as Deputy Director, she also serves as the Director for The National Brain Health Center for African-Americans.
As the Center’s director, she co-developed a six-part educational curriculum for nurses and allied healthcare professionals aimed at addressing knowledge gaps related to Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias affecting African Americans. She also co-authored and facilitates an accredited training for healthcare providers and clinicians; aimed at increasing cultural competencies related to the screening, diagnosis, and treatment of dementia in African Americans among providers.
Mrs. Price holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Public Health and has more than 20 years of experience in public health, epidemiology, and healthcare. She has served as a member of the U.S. Army Nurse Corp and excelled in both government and non-governmental agencies providing leadership and guidance on program management, quality improvement, and project development. Mrs. Price has conducted hundreds of training sessions across the country with various nursing associations, healthcare organizations and conferences.
Dr. Barbara L. Shaw
Dr. Barbara Louise Shaw is the Immediate Past International President of The Women’s Home and Overseas Missionary Society of The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. A product of four generations in the A.M.E. Zion Church, born in Wilmington, North Carolina, Barbara L. Shaw was spiritually developed and reared in the Pennsylvania Avenue A.M.E. Zion Church (Baltimore, Maryland) where served in many positions She was concreted a Deaconess in 1993. She is a dedicated mother and grandmother who understands and values the importance of family. Dr. Shaw was educated in the public schools in Baltimore; Morgan State University; and graduate studies at The Johns Hopkins University, School of Writing. Professionally, she has served as a teacher in the Baltimore City Public School System; Associate Producer at Maryland Public Television; and a Chief Administrator with the State of Maryland Department of Public Safety. In October, 1997, she retired after 30 years of service in the state of Maryland. In August 2003, Dr. Shaw was elected the 16th General President of the Women's Home and Overseas Missionary Society of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. In this position, she presided over 800,000+ women on five continents. In August of 2007, she was re-elected as General President and retired in July, 2011. She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including the Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Hood-Speaks Theological Seminary of the University of Calabar, Nigeria, West Africa, June 2005. In February 2006, she received an Honorary Doctorate from Livingstone College, Salisbury, North Carolina.
Rev. Dr. Joshua L. Mitchell
Rev. Dr. Joshua L. Mitchell is the seventh Senior Pastor of the historic Thirty-First Street Baptist Church in Richmond, VA. A native of Baltimore, MD., Dr. Mitchell is a proud alumnus of Howard University in Washington, D.C. where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and is a two-time graduate of the Samuel Dewitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University where he earned his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees.
Rev. Dr. Carey G. Anderson
Rev. Dr. Carey G. Anderson is the Senior Minister of First AME Church, Seattle, WA, where he has served since November 2004. Prior to his appointment at FAME, Pastor Anderson was Pastor of St. Paul AME Church in Wichita, KS from 2000-2004, and had been the Pastor of Bethel AME Church in Reno, Nevada from 1984 to 2000.
Pastor Anderson holds a B.A. Degree from California State University, Hayward; a Master of Divinity Degree from Pacific School of Religion Theological Seminary, Berkeley, CA; and a Doctor of Ministry Degree from St. Paul School of Theology, Kansas City, MO.
Pastor Anderson has a substance abuse counseling certification through the National Association for Addiction Professionals, his Program Administrator certification through the Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Abuse, State of Nevada, and his teaching credential in the State of Nevada.
Nicole Hicks affectionately known as Chef Nikki is the owner of Nikki’s Kitchen, a Catering and Private Chef Company, founded in April 2017. Chef Nikki graduated from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in 2015 and is also an American Culinary Federation Certified Culinarian. Born in Brooklyn New York & raised in Baltimore Maryland, Chef Nikki grew up in cities full of diverse food and culture. She was gifted with a passion for food and natural talent for cooking which led to her endless pursuit of feeding the world with love. Taste the experience for yourself!
Brenda Curtis, PhD, MSPH
Dr. Brenda Curtis is a native of East St. Louis Illinois where she became a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and where she began her work in the treatment of substance use disorders. Dr. Curtis earned both a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in public health from the University of Illinois and subsequently obtained her doctorate in communication from the University of Pennsylvania, where she most recently held the appointment of Assistant Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry, Addictions at the Perelman School of Medicine. Dr. Curtis also completed a fellowship at the Fordham University HIV and Drug Abuse Prevention Research Ethics Training Institute. Upon joining the National Institute on Drug Abuse Intramural Research Program, Brenda formed the Technology and Translational Research Unit. Her research focuses on the use of digital platforms to understand and promote positive health behaviors; adapting and integrating technology based interventions in treatment settings; the recruitment and retention of diverse populations into research studies; and preventing stigmatization in SUD treatment. Currently, she is co-chair of the NIH Stigma Scientific Interest Group; a board member of the Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research (PRIMR); and a NIH Distinguished Scholar. One of the main research tracks of her lab is on the impact of health disparities, stigma, and implicit biases on addiction treatment and recovery. Using big data methodologies that include multivariable models using data from ecological momentary assessment (EMA), digital phenotyping, and language, they examine the roles that race, gender, and stigma play in recovery and treatment outcomes.
Hearn Jay Cho, MD, PhD
Dr. Hearn J. Cho is Chief Medical Officer of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) and is responsible for developing the MMRF’s clinical research strategy and accelerating drug development programs as well as for leading the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC), a group of 21 leading research centers dedicated to researching and advancing treatment options for multiple myeloma patients. Dr. Cho is also an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai and an Attending Physician with the Multiple Myeloma Service at the Mt. Sinai Tisch Cancer Institute.
Girardin Jean-Louis, PhD
Girardin Jean-Louis, Ph.D. is Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology at the Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami. He is the Director of the Center on Translational Sleep and Circadian Sciences and the PRIDE Institute on Behavioral Medicine and Sleep Disorders Research. He has served on the NIH Sleep Disorders Research Advisory Board, the Cancer, Heart, and Sleep Epidemiology (CHSE-B) study section, the National Advisory Council for National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, the SRS Board of Directors, and several NIH Special Emphasis Panels/ Scientific Review Groups.
Dr. Jean-Louis has been involved in several NIH-funded studies, which have led to over 400 publications primarily in sleep/circadian sciences and cardiometabolic and brain injury. His research findings have appeared in 215 scientific conference proceedings and book chapters and 235 peer-reviewed scientific journals including NEJM, JAMA, Circulation, Neuroscience Methods, Frontiers, and SLEEP. The overarching goal of his research is to address multi-level barriers hindering adoption of healthful practices in minoritized communities. His research focuses on the application of agile digital health models to enhance treatment adherence to reduce risk of cardiovascular disease and brain injury.
Dr. Jean-Louis’ research also addresses the psychosocial and environmental determinants of health behavior preventing access to adequate care in diverse communities, disproportionately burdened by adverse cardiovascular and cerebrovascular outcomes. His current research addresses the mechanisms of sleep deficiency and its associations with biomarkers of cardiovascular disease, inflammation, and brain injury, delineating the contribution of structural racism, epigenetics, and ancestry.
Dayna Johnson , PhD, MPH, MSW, MS
Dayna Johnson, PhD, MPH, MSW, MS, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. Dr. Johnson is a member of the Cancer Prevention and Control research program in the Winship Cancer Institute.
Dr. Johnson earned both her Master of Public Health and Master of Social Work degree from University of Michigan in 2007. She then went on to earn her Master’s degree in Epidemiologic Science, 2010, and PhD in Epidemiologic Science, 2014, from the University of Michigan. Dr. Johnson completed her postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Sleep and Circadian Disorders, 2017.
Dr. Johnson's research aims to understand the root causes of sleep health disparities and their impact on chronic diseases by 1) addressing the social and environmental determinants of sleep disorders and insufficient sleep; and 2) investigating the influence of modifiable factors such as sleep disorders and disturbances on disparities in health outcomes. More specifically, her research further explicates the social contributors to racial/ethnic and gender disparities in sleep by quantifying the contribution of social, household-level and neighborhood-level factors with objective and well-validated subjective measures of insufficient sleep. She is particularly interested in investigating sleep quality in childhood patients, survivors, and their caretakers.
Natalia Kanem, MD
In a career spanning over three decades, Dr. Natalia Kanem has dedicated her life to improving the health and lives of women and children by championing their rights and choices. She leverages her combined expertise in science, public health and philanthropy to advance the reproductive health and rights of women and girls, and to uphold the human dignity of all. As United Nations Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of UNFPA, the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency, Dr. Kanem oversees its life-saving policy, development and humanitarian work in over 120 countries, with the aim of assuring that ‘every pregnancy is intended, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.’
Joy-Ann Reid is a political analyst at MSNBC and host of "The ReidOut". She is the author of three books: Fracture: Barack Obama, the Clintons and the Racial Divide, We Are the Change We Seek: The Speeches of Barack Obama, which she co-edited with Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne, and her latest book: The Man Who Sold America: Trump and the Unraveling of the American Story -- published in the summer of 2019, which spent four weeks on the New York Times best-sellers list. Reid also co-hosts a podcast: Reid This-Reid That with veteran TV journalist Jacque Reid. She has worked in local and national TV news, as a talk radio producer and co-host, and as a press secretary during two presidential campaigns, including for Barack Obama's campaign in Florida in 2008. Her columns have appeared in multiple outlets including The New York Times, The Guardian, The Miami Herald, New York Magazine, and The Daily Beast.
Reid graduated from Harvard University in 1991 and was a 2003 Knight Center for Advanced Journalism fellow. She has received media awards from The Newswoman's Club of New York for the Front Page Award for Lifetime Achievement, Women’s Media Center, the National Action Network and the National Association of Black Journalists, and her work has been nominated for an Emmy Award, a GLAAD Media Award, and two NAACP Image Awards.
Dr. Pernessa C. Seele
Dr. Pernessa C. Seele, Founder and CEO of The Balm In Gilead, Inc., a not-for-profit organization, is a phenomenal trailblazer. Dr. Seele is celebrating over 30 years of providing vision and leadership in areas of technical support to
strengthen the capacity of faith institutions in the United States and Africa to eradicate health disparities by promoting health education and services within their local communities.
Born in the heart of the south, this Lincolnville native always share a special love for South Carolina. Dr. Seele received her Bachelor of Science degree and Master of Science from Clark Atlanta University in 1976 & 1979, respectively,
later receiving her Doctor of Humane Letters from the College of New Rochelle, NY, in 2007.
As a pioneer and community activist, Dr. Seele is known for her work in forging public health & faith-based partnerships for engaging individuals in health promotion and disease prevention interventions. Time Magazine 100 named
Dr. Seele One of the Most Influential Persons in the World in 2006; Essence Magazine, in its 35 Anniversary issue, named Dr. P one of the 35 Most Beautiful and Remarkable Women In The World. Clark Atlanta University honored Dr. Seele with the 2008 Pathway of Excellence Award, citing her as one of its most outstanding graduates of all time. In May 2010, Dr. Seele was selected as 21 Leaders of the 21st Century of Women E-News in New York
October 2017, His Eminence, Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York, bestowed the Pierre Toussaint Medallion upon Dr. Seele.
Publishing her first book Stand Up to Stigma! How to Reject Fear & Shame in 2017. Dr. Seele is an honorary member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Bishop Horace E. Smith, MD
Bishop Horace E. Smith is a man gifted with a passion for God's Word coupled with a love for God's people. He has a contagious spirit of generosity that overflows in every facet of his life. As pastor of the Apostolic Faith Church and
an attending physician specializing in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago (formerly Children’s Memorial Hospital), Dr. Horace E. Smith has treated bodies and souls
for three decades. Bishop Horace E. Smith M.D. was born and raised on the south side of Chicago, Illinois. Bishop Smith graduated as an honor student from Lindblom High School and went on to obtain a Bachelor of Science Degree
(with honors) Chicago State University, and M.D. from University of Illinois Medical Center.
Dr. Thema Bryant
Dr. Thema Bryant is the president-elect of the American Psychological Association, the leading scientific and professional organization representing psychology with more than 120,000 members (apa.org).
Dr. Thema Bryant completed her doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Duke University and her post-doctoral training at Harvard Medical Center’s Victims of Violence Program. Upon graduating, she became the Coordinator of the Princeton
University SHARE Program, which provides intervention and prevention programming to combat sexual assault, sexual harassment, and harassment based on sexual orientation. She is currently a tenured professor of psychology in the Graduate
School of Education and Psychology at Pepperdine University, where she directs the Culture and Trauma Research Laboratory. Her clinical and research interests center on interpersonal trauma and the societal trauma of oppression. She
is a past president of the Society for the Psychology of Women and a past APA representative to the United Nations. Currently she serves as the elected Vice President and Racial Equity Officer for her neighborhood council in Los Angeles.
Dr. Thema also served on the APA Committee on International Relations in Psychology and the Committee on Women in Psychology. She is an ordained elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church and author of the bestselling book Homecoming:
Overcome Fear and Trauma to Reclaim Your Whole Authentic Self as well as co-author of The Antiracism Handbook.
With conversation rising about the number of teens committing suicide, the heightened conversations around mental health awareness and suicide prevention, and the masses protesting around societal issues such a racial justice and police
brutality, this is the perfect time for LECRAE’s ninth album and documentary both titled Restoration to be released by Reach Records. The album features artists across all genres including John Legend, Kirk Franklin, YK Osiris,
Jossy, Dani Leigh, Marc E. Bassy, Chicago Kid and more. This year, he’ll also release his second book, I Am Restored: How I Lost My Religion, But Found My Faith, a follow-up to his New York Times best-seller, Unashamed.
A Multi Grammy Award-winning platinum selling artist, Lecrae has evolved into a New York Times best-selling author, entrepreneur, speaker, thought leader, philanthropist, and Co-Owner/President of Reach Records. To date, he has sold more
than 3 million copies and been nominated for 5 Grammy Awards including a win for Best Gospel Album, 15 Dove Awards, one Billboard Music Award, and received both a Soul Train Music Award and BET Hip-Hop Nomination. From his 2017 album,
All Things Work Together, his single “I’ll Find You” ft. Tori Kelly, is now certified platinum by the RIAA (sold over 1 million copies) and “Blessings” ft Ty Dolla $ign is now Gold (sold over 500k).
A catalyst for restoration in faith, music, and popular culture, Lecrae is part of the new wave of thought leaders who are engaging the culture and taking Jesus out of the pulpits into the wider world in hopes of restoring faith. “We
can change the narrative, empower the disenfranchised, and close wealth gaps and can restore the dignity stripped from us, but we can’t do that by separating ourselves. We need to connect with each other and lean on God to restore
our sense of purpose and worth,” shares Lecrae. “There is so much on the horizon. I’m literally just getting started.”
Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith
Dr. Nunez-Smith is the C.N.H Long Professor of Internal Medicine, Public Health, and Management; Inaugural Associate Dean for Health Equity Research; Founding Director of the Equity Research and Innovation Center (ERIC); Director of the
Center for Research Engagement (CRE); Associate Cancer Center Director for Community Outreach and Engagement at Yale Cancer Center; Chief Health Equity Officer at Smilow Cancer Hospital; Deputy Director for Health Equity Research and
Workforce Development at the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation; Core Faculty in the National Clinician Scholars Program; Research Faculty in the Global Health Leadership Initiative; Director of the Pozen-Commonwealth Fund Fellowship
in Health Equity Leadership; and Co-Director of the Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship.
Dr. Nunez-Smith’s research focuses on promoting health and healthcare equity for structurally marginalized populations with an emphasis on centering community engagement, supporting healthcare workforce diversity and development,
developing patient reported measurements of healthcare quality, and identifying regional strategies to reduce the global burden of non-communicable diseases. Dr. Nunez-Smith has extensive expertise in examining the effects of social
and structural determinants of health, systemic influences contributing to health disparities, health equity improvement, and community-academic partnered scholarship. In addition to this extensive experience in primary data collection,
management, and analysis, ERIC has institutional expertise in qualitative and mixed methods, population health, and medical informatics.
Most recently, as the COVID-19 pandemic has shed national attention on the health and healthcare disparities of marginalized populations, she was called upon to serve on the Governor’s ReOpen CT Advisory Group and to chair its Community
Committee. She served as an Advisor to the Biden-Harris campaign, and subsequently named co-chair of the Biden-Harris Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board and will serve as chair of the COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force in the administration.
She also received NIH funding to leverage ECHORN to improve the COVID-19 testing cascade in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.
Dr. Nunez-Smith has mentored dozens of trainees since completing fellowship and has received numerous awards for teaching and mentoring. She is board certified in internal medicine, having completed residency training at Harvard University’s
Brigham and Women’s Hospital and fellowship at the Yale Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program, where she also received a Masters in Health Sciences. Originally from the US Virgin Islands, she attended Jefferson
Medical College, where she was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society, and she earned a BA in Biological Anthropology and Psychology at Swarthmore College.
Dr. Marcus D. Cosby
The Reverend Dr. Marcus D. Cosby serves as the Senior Pastor of Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church in Houston, Texas. A proud native of Chicago, Illinois and a product of Emmanuel Baptist Church where Dr. L.K. Curry served as pastor, Cosby
received the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Religion and English from Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, the Master of Divinity Degree in Homiletics and Christian Education from the Morehouse School of Religion at the Interdenominational
Theological Center (ITC) in Atlanta, Georgia and the Doctor of Ministry Degree in Homiletics from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Lombard, Illinois.
Dr. Cosby is married to his high school sweetheart, Mrs. Audrey Marie Cosby, and they have been blessed with three beautiful daughters, Adrienne Marie, Ashley Marie and Aliyah Marie and two sons, Marcus D., II and Matthew D. Cosby.
As the successor to the Founding Pastor of Wheeler Avenue, Dr. William A. Lawson, Pastor Cosby has been blessed to continue the ministry of this intentionally intergenerational congregation in the inner city of Houston, Texas since 2004,
having served as Associate Pastor since 1998. With four Sunday worship services and a membership of more than 15,000, he has led the congregation to ensure its impact both on and far beyond the church campus with the inception of the
Wheeler Avenue Christian Academy, serving children from 6 weeks old through the second grade; by opening a transitional housing facility for homeless single mothers in the Third Ward community of Houston; through cultivating a missional
outreach in multiple villages in South Africa; and maintaining a passion for creatively impacting the lives of the forsaken and forgotten wherever they may be found.
As a consequence of his passion for qualitative preaching, Dr. Cosby has committed himself to equipping preachers for the work of the ministry. In addition to training the more than 100 ministers who comprise the Clergy Team of Wheeler
Avenue Baptist Church, he serves as Adjunct Professor of Homiletics at Houston Graduate School of Theology and has taught the same at the Houston extension program of the ITC. In 2008, he was inducted into the Martin Luther King, Jr.
Board of Preachers at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. And in 2013 he became the Founder and CEO of Preaching with Power and Authority Ministries, a corporation committed to the pedagogy and promotion of relevant biblical preaching
for the 21st Century.
Finally, Dr. Cosby seeks to encourage and empower all humanity through the timeless and transformative truths found in the Word of God.
Dr. Danielle Brown
Saved and filled with the Holy Ghost at an early age, The Reverend Dr. Danielle L. Brown finds great joy and satisfaction in learning, living, and preaching the Gospel. On August 7, 2021, Dr. Brown was elected the tenth Senior Pastor of
the Shiloh Baptist Church in Plainfield, New Jersey. She is the first woman to hold this position since the church’s founding in 1908.
Saved and filled with the Holy Ghost at an early age, The Reverend Dr. Danielle L. Brown finds great joy and satisfaction in learning, living, and preaching the Gospel. On August 7, 2021, Dr. Brown was elected the tenth Senior Pastor of
the Shiloh Baptist Church in Plainfield, New Jersey. She is the first woman to hold this position since the church’s founding in 1908.
Dr. Brown is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. In addition to her ecclesiastical work, she is active in her local community as a member of the Perth Amboy Area NAACP, serving on the Mayor’s Strategic Planning
Team and 100 Days Committee in the City of Perth Amboy. She is also a member of the Perth Amboy Board of Education. Through the years, Dr. Brown has been the recipient of multiple awards and recognitions for her work in the church
and community. In June 2022, Rev. Dr. Brown was elected and installed as the Assistant Secretary of the Hampton University Minister’s Conference.
Both servant and scholar, Rev. Dr. Brown holds Master of Education and Bachelor of Science Degrees from Virginia State University in Petersburg, Virginia, and both a Master of Divinity Degree, and a Master of Arts Degree from New Brunswick
Theological Seminary in New Brunswick, New Jersey. She also holds an earned Doctor of Ministry Degree from Palmer Theological Seminary in St. David’s Pennsylvania, where she studied Leadership and Church Renewal.
Rev. Dr. Brown loves God, God’s Church, and God’s people. She counts it an honor and a privilege to serve.