About Us

This conference was created to bring together Black communities and researchers who are interested in history, culture, public health, arts, justice, religion, economic development and other topics. Presenters include community leaders, academics, religious leaders, local elected officials, and others committed to the success of Black communities. This conference will create partnerships and future collaborations between Black communities, academics and other organizations that will enhance, document and safeguard the life of these communities!

#BlackCom2018 Volunteers:

Shaddrick Addy, Olachi Anaemereibe, Ashley Anderson, Ezgi Balkanay, Elizabeth Basnight, Doris Bass-Glenn, Kristin Black, Carolyn Black, Kristin Black, Colonel Bracy, Xavier Brooks, Deion Brown, Nicole Castro, Jose Caves, Veronica Challenge, Candace Chambers, Nancy Clements, Nikki Cofield, Nicole Coscolluela, Tiarra Currie, Terrone Cuthrell, Avieanna Dantzler, Bree L. Davis, Siobhan Day, Siobahn Day, Maryann Debski, Yinlu Deng, Aaron Dial, Tonya Doane, Chelsea Doub, Claire Du Laney, Daishya Duffy, Anne Everitt, Cirita Eversley, Dawn Fisher, Carolyn Fryberger, Raymundo Garcia, Pamela Grafton, Sugandh Gupta, Heidi Hannapel, Nicholas Hedgpeth, Ronada Hewitt, Biff Hollingsworth, Iwinosa Idahor, Marcus Jenkins, Lillian Kamau, Lucas Kelley, Angelica Leigh, Sharon Levine, Shanice Lions, Courtnye Lloyd, China Long, Briana Mack, Briana Mack, Whitney McLaughlin, Josephine McRobbie, Varun Nair, Lindsey Naylor, Chanel Nestor, Lydia Neuroth, Jay O'Neal, Nina, Adé Oni, Kyle Procter, Bernetiae Reed, Millicent Robinson, Emily Saba, Sheila Saia, Sharon Seymour, James Shackelford, LaShea Shipp, Karen Stewart, Chloe Strickland, Omar Torrez, Mitzi Townes, Brenda Van Story, Dominique Walker, Tiffany Wall, Linda Warren, Latonya Wilkes, and Betty Wilson.


Mark Little

Director, NCGrowth and Executive Director, UNC Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise

Mark Little, PhD, is Executive Director of the UNC Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise which advances the understanding of entrepreneurship, economic development, and global commerce for the public good.He is also the Director of NCGrowthan EDA University Center dedicated to helping businesses create good jobs and communities create sustainable and equitable opportunities for their people through economic development and research. In these roles, he manages institute operations, supports high-growth entrepreneurs, helps communities grow and retain business, facilitates strategic regional economic development, and researches solutions to pressing energy, environment, and climate related problems. He has also served as a AAAS Congressional Science Fellow to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs.


Karla Slocum

Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director, Institute of African American Research, UNC-Chapel Hill

Karla Slocum is Associate Professor of Anthropology and also Director, Institute of African American Research at UNC-Chapel Hill. She specializes in studies of globalization,place, race and history.Her major independent research projects have focused on Afro-an Indo-Caribbean farmers’ responses to global economic change and the salience of race and history to the contemporary identities of communities known as “All Black Towns.”Slocum is the author of Free Trade and Freedom: Neoliberalism, Place and Nation in the Caribbean(University of Michigan Press, 2006) and she is completing a book,under contract with University of North Carolina Press, on the appeal of black places.


Advisory Board

Kim Allen

Program Officer of Faculty & Campus Programs, Carolina Center for Public Service

Kim Allen is a Program Officer of Faculty & Campus Programs at the Carolina Center for Public Service. Allen, who completed her doctorate in cultural anthropology at UNC-Chapel Hill, is the former executive director of the Martin Luther King Jr. History and Public Policy Center; president of the NAACP Richmond Branch.  She is a teacher, lobbyist and campaign coordinator. Allen has completed a William Randolph Hearst Fellowship provided by the Aspen Institute in the Program on Philanthropy and Social Innovation.


Bernard Bell

Executive Director, Shuford Program in Entrepreneurship, UNC-Chapel Hill

Bernard Bell is the Executive Director, Shuford Program in Entrepreneurship at UNC-Chapel Hill. Bell is the Chairman and CEO of Urban Media Solutions, the latest exploit in his 20 year career in building new television networks.  He is a member of the Dean’s Working Group for the Minor in Entrepreneurship, where he has served for several years, including prior to joining the entrepreneurial faculty for the program.  His   passions include real estate, architecture, international travel, Habitat for Humanity, and great wine and the vineyards around them.


Kofi Boone

Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture, NC State University

Kofi Boone is an Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at NC State University.  Boone focuses on the changing nature of communities, and developing tools for enhanced community engagement and design.  He is the recipient of several awards including the Opal Mann Green Engagement Scholarship Award, the Department of Landscape Architecture Professor of the Year, and the Alumni Association Outstanding Teacher.  Co-director of the College of Design’s Ghana Study Abroad Program and former leader of an International Service Learning partnership with Women In Progress/Global Mamasto.  Boone’s published articles appear in journals including Prism, and Intensions and Journal of Tourism Analysis. His work is featured in the Journal of Planning Literature, and the recently published book, Becoming a Landscape Architect.


Barrye Brown

Reference and Outreach Archivist at the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture, College of Charleston

Barrye Brown is the Reference and Outreach Archivist at the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture at the College of Charleston.  Brown is an experienced archivist with a demonstrated history of working in academic libraries. Skilled in Archival Research, Editing, Public Speaking, Online Research, and History. Strong education professional with a Master’s Degree focused in Library Science (Archives and Records Management) from UNC-Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science.


Eddie Bruce-Jones

Senior Lecturer in Law, an Assistant Dean for International Links & Enterprise, University of London Birkbeck School of Law

Eddie Bruce-Jones is a Senior Lecturer in Law, an Assistant Dean for International Links & Enterprise at the University of London Birkbeck School of Law.  Bruce-Jones is a Trustee of the Institute for Race Relations and the UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group. He is a comparative law specialist for the Independent Commission on the Death of Oury Jalloh (on police brutality and due process) in Germany as well as Sexuality and Gender Identity Resource Coordinator for The Refugees in Exile Programme of the International Refugee Rights Initiative. A recipient of several grants and awards, including a Wellcome Trust ISSF grant, Bruce-Jones is also a visiting fellow at the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History in Frankfurt, Germany. He is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Law (Bloomsbury), among others.  He has taught general education and writing courses in prisons in Boston and New York and has worked on prison reform issues in various capacities.


Fitz Brundage

William B. Umstead Distinguished Professor, and Department Chair in the Department of History, UNC-Chapel Hill

Fitz Brundage is a William B. Umstead Distinguished Professor, and Department Chair in the Department of History atUNC-Chapel Hill. Brundage researches American history since the Civil War, with a particular focus on the American South. He has written on lynching, utopian socialism in the New South, and white and black historical memory in the South since the Civil War. His current research project is a book on debates about torture in the United States from the time of European contact to the twenty-first century.


Christopher Cameron

Associate Professor in the Department of History, UNC-Charlotte

Christopher Cameron isan Associate Professor in the Department of History atUNC-Charlotte. Cameron is thefounder and president of the African American Intellectual History Society, and the blog “Black Perspectives”. His research interests include African American Religion; Slavery and Abolition; American Religious and Intellectual History; African American Freethought. His current project, Black Freethinkers, explores African American humanism, agnosticism, and atheism from the late-18th century to the civil rights era.


Larry Chavis

Assistant Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Larry Chavis is Assistant Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship in the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School.  Chavis researches how weak institutions in developing countries pose challenges for new business formation. Transparency International’s Global Corruption Report 2005 summarized his research on the effect of social networks on firm bribe payments in transition economies.  As a member of the Lumbee Tribe and a North Carolina native, Chavis has a strong academic and personal interest in issues facing North Carolina.  Other interests include social issues affecting firms, and joint research concerning this with Phillip Leslie of Stanford University were reported on by many news outlets including U.S. News & World Report and The Washington Post.


Melissa Cooper

Assistant Professor in the Department of History, Rutgers University

Melissa Cooper is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Rutgers University. Cooper specializes in African American cultural and intellectual history, and the history of the African Diaspora. She is the author of Instructor’s Resource Manual–Freedom on My Mind: A History of African Americans with Documents (Bedford/St. Martin’s Press, 2013) and a contributor to Race and Retail: Consumption Across the Color Line (Rutgers University Press, 2015). Cooper’s manuscript, Making Gullah: A History of Sapelo Islanders, Race, and the American Imagination (University of North Carolina Press, Forthcoming) is an intellectual and cultural history that examines the emergence of “the Gullah” in scholarly and popular works during the 1920s and the 1930s.


Giselle Corbie-Smith

Professor of Medicine and Social Medicine, and Director of Center for Health Equity Research, UNC-Chapel Hill

Giselle Corbie-Smith is a Professor of Medicine and Social Medicine, and Director of Center for Health Equity Research at UNC-Chapel Hill.  Corbie-Smith serves as the Director of   NC TraCS’ Community Academic Resources for Engaged Scholarship (CARES) Services and the Program on Health Disparities at the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research at UNC-Chapel Hill.  Her empirical work, focuses on the methodological, ethical, and practical issues faced by mandated inclusion of minorities in research and the need for this research to address racial disparities in health.  She currently holds a K24 to support her mentoring efforts of young scholars, and has been the principal investigator of several grants including the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.


William A. Darity

Samuel DuBois Cook Professor of Public Policy, Duke University

William Darity is the Samuel DuBois Cook Professor of Public Policy at Duke University.  Darity is also Director of the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity (Duke). His research interests include educational policy, educational inequality, segregation in education, stratification economics, race, racial identity and income inequality.  He has served as chair of the Department of African and African American Studies and was the founding director of the Research Network on Racial and Ethnic Inequality at Duke.  He has published or edited 12 books and published more than 210 articles in professional journals.


Everett Fly

Landscape Architect, FASLA and Architect, NCARB Certified

Everett L. Fly, a native of San Antonio, has practiced as a licensed landscape architect
and architect for thirty eight years.

His national consultations include multidisciplinary planning, urban design and historic preservation projects. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects (FASLA/1995). He chaired the board of Humanities Texas from 1993 to 1994. He served on the State of Texas National Register Board of Review and the City of San Antonio Historic and Design Review Commission. President Bill Clinton appointed Everett to two terms on the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities from 1994 to 2001. President Barack Obama awarded him one of ten 2014 National Humanities Medals for his body of work preserving the integrity of African-American places and landmarks. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture and the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.


Jane Cooley Fruehwirth

Assistant Professor of Economics, UNC-Chapel Hill

Jane Cooley Fruehwirth is Assistant Professor of Economics at UNC-Chapel Hill.  Fruehwirth works on a variety of topics in the economics of education, including the effects of desegregation, grade retention, accountability, and other policies aimed at improving outcomes for traditionally disadvantaged youth. She is particularly interested in how peers, such as friendship networks, shape the outcomes of young people.


Tadayuki (Tad) Hara

Associate Professor, Senior Research Fellow at the Dick Pope Sr. Institute for Tourism Studies, and Associate Dean of Finance and Administration, University of Central Florida

Tadayuki Hara is Associate Professor, Senior Research Fellow at the Dick Pope Sr. Institute for Tourism Studies, and Associate Dean of Finance and Administration at the University of Central Florida. Among the 100s of publications, keynotes, and publications he has contributed to, he is the sole author of the technical textbook Quantitative Tourism Industry Analysis… He currently serves on the Editorial Board for Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, International Journal of Tourism Sciences, and is the Associate Editor for Journal of Tourism Economics, Policy and Hospitality Management.


Bernard L. Herman

George B. Tindall Professor of Southern Studies, American Studies, Folklore, and Art, UNC-Chapel Hill

Bernard Herman is the George B. Tindall Professor of Southern Studies, American Studies, Folklore, and Art at UNC-Chapel Hill. Herman is the co-founder of two interdisciplinary research centers on material culture and historic preservation and architectural documentation at the University of Delaware.  His books are awarded the Abbott Lowell Cummings Award as the best books on North American vernacular architecture.  His recent works include the edited Thornton Dial: Thoughts on Paper and Fever Within: The Art of Ronald Lockett (forthcoming 2016), both of which accompany traveling exhibitions organized through the Ackland Art Museum at UNC.


Wesley Hogan

Director of the Center for Documentary Studies, Duke University

Wesley Hogan is the Director of the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University.  Hogan is also a Research professor at the Duke University’s Franklin Humanities Institute and Department of History.  She is the former co-director of the Institute for the Study of Race Relations at Virginia State University.  Her book on SNCC, Many Minds, One Heart: SNCC’s Dream for a New America (2007), won the Lillian Smith Book Award, among other honors.  Co—facilitatator of a partnership between the SNCC Legacy Project and Duke University, culminating in the recent full launch of the SNCC Digital Gateway, whose purpose is to bring the grassroots stories of the civil rights movement to a much wider public.


Ellen Hunt

Architect, Austin TX

Ellen Hunt, AIA, is a registered architect in the state of Texas with more than 25 years of experience. She went to the University of Texas at Austin and completed a bachelor’s degree in architecture and post-professional master’s degree in architectural history and theory. She has had her own architecture firm in Austin since 2003, and has been working with Everett Fly, FASLA, collaborating on preservation projects since 1996. Their work together focuses on the history, evolution and preservation of historic Black Towns and Settlements in Texas and across the country.


Valerie Ann Johnson

Mott Distinguished Professor of Women’s Studies, and the Director of Africana Women’s Studies, Bennett College

Valerie Ann Johnson is the Mott Distinguished Professor of Women’s Studies, and the Director of Africana Women’s Studies at Bennett College.  Johnson chairs the NC African American Heritage Commission, serves on the NC Historical Commission, National Register Advisory Committee, Ms. Committee of Scholars, and recently rotated off the board for Scarritt Bennett Center in Nashville, Tennessee – a nonprofit education, conference and retreat center.  Serves on the Steering Committee for the Anna Julia Cooper Center at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem North Carolina, and as a faculty mentor for the Summer Institute on Tenure and Professional Advancement (SITPA) at Duke University.


Linda Joyner

Mayor Pro-tem, Town of Princeville

Linda Joyner serves as a commissioner and is Mayor Pro-tem for the Town of Princeville, a historic Black community founded by former enslaved Africans in 1865 and established in 1885, the first town in the United States incorporated by African Americans. Joyner says to know Princeville, is to know its history.  Noting the work of her ancestors Joyner says, “They continued to build and rebuild Princeville, that’s resilience. Princeville has stood on the shoulders of our ancestors for a long, long time.” http://wnct.com/2017/10/04/one-year-after-hurricane-matthew-princeville-still-looking-for-help/


James H. Johnson, Jr.

William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Srategy and Entrepreneurship and Director of the Urban Investment Strategies Center,  Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise at UNC-Chapel Hill

James H. Johnson, Jr. is the William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of strategy and entrepreneurship and Director of the Urban Investment Strategies Center at the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise at UNC-Chapel Hill. His research interests include community and economic development, the effects of demographic changes on the U.S. workplace, interethnic minority conflict in advanced industrial societies, urban poverty and public policy in urban America, and workforce diversity issues.  Johnson coauthored “The Economic Impact of the African American Population on the State of North Carolina” and a study on the economic impact of North Carolina’s Hispanic population. He has published more than 100 scholarly research articles and three research monographs and has co-edited four theme issues of scholarly journals on these and related topics. His latest book is “Prismatic Metropolis: Inequality in Los Angles.”


Venkat Kuppuswamy

Assistant Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Venkat Kuppuswamy is Assistant Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship in the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. Kuppuswamy received his DBA from Harvard Business School and an Honors Bachelors of Science with high distinction in computer science from the University of Toronto. His research interests lie in two broad domains: entrepreneurship, and corporate diversification, and has appeared in prestigious scholarly journals such as Management Science, and Journal of Business Venturing. In addition to popular press outlets including The Atlantic, Huffington Post, Washington Post, and NPR, among others, have cited his work.


Clarence Lang

Professor and Chairperson of African and African-American Studies, The University of Kansas

Clarence Lang is a Professor and Chairperson of African and African-American Studies at The University of Kansas, and a former Langston Hughes Visiting Professor. He received his PhD in History from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Lang researches the African American working-class and labor history, the Black Freedom Movement, and black urban communities in the twentieth-century Midwest.  Author of Grassroots at the Gateway: Class Politics and Black Freedom Struggle in St. Louis, 1936-75 (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2009.  He has published articles and reviews in academic and popular venues including The Journal of African American History, and the Journal of Urban History, among others.


Michelle Lanier

Executive Director, North Carolina’s African American Heritage Commission

Michelle Lanier serves as the first Executive Director of North Carolina’s African American Heritage Commission, which strives to preserve, promote, and protect the state’s African American history, arts, and culture for all people.  Lanier also serves as a member of the senior staff of the NC Arts Council, where the AAHC is based. Her work has taken her to Panama and Ghana to document African Diaspora funerary traditions, and her ethnographic work in a Carolina Gullah community led to her role as a liaison to the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor.  In 2017, she was invited by Yale’s Gilder Lehrman Institute to join a collective of thought leaders in public history.


Alicia Latimer

African-American Resource Center Coordinator, Tulsa City-County Library System

Alicia M. H. Latimer is the African-American Resource Center Coordinator for the Tulsa City-County Library System.  She is the recipient of numerous community awards, including the City of Tulsa Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women’s Pinnacle Award, The Tulsa YWCA’s Women of the Year Award,  the University of Oklahoma Department of Human Relations’ Distinguished Alumnae Award, and the Williams Companies’/Tulsa Shock Women of Inspiration Award. Alicia is an information specialist with a specific focus on Tulsa Oklahoma’s Black Wall Street and the 1921 Race Massacre.  In 2016, Alicia was selected as a member of a US contingent to Caux, Switzerland which presented on the 1921 Race Massacre.  She is a member of the Greater Tulsa African-American Affairs Commission, The 1921 Race Massacre Commemoration Commission, and on the board of the John Hope Franklin Center for Racial Reconciliation in Tulsa. Latimer received her Master of Human Relations, and Master of Library and Information Studies, degrees from the University of Oklahoma.


Angela Lee

Executive Director, Hayti Heritage Center

Angela Lee is the Executive Director of the Hayti Heritage Center in Durham, North Carolina. The Center is managed by the St. Joseph’s Historic Foundation, Inc. (SJHF) which was founded in 1975 to preserve the history and culture of the historic Hayti community, the once thriving business and residential district dubbed “Black Wall Street” by Booker T. Washington. Lee manages the day to day operations of the Center including directing program and event implementation, governance, development, external relationship building, strategic partnering and community outreach. She also serves on the advisory board of UNC-Chapel Hill’s Institute of African American Research.


Robert D. Newman

President and Director, National Humanities Center

Robert D. Newman is President and Director of the National Humanities Center.  Newman’s scholarship has focused on twentieth-century literature and culture and narrative theory. He has published six books, two of which have been nominated for major national awards, along with numerous articles, reviews, and poems; and has received awards not only for his scholarship but for his institutional leadership and teaching. Serves as General Editor of the “Cultural Frames, Framing Culture” series published by University of Virginia Press.


Patricia Parker

Department Chair and Associate Professor of Organizational Communication in the Department of Communication, UNC-Chapel Hill

Patricia Parker is Department Chair and Associate Professor of Organizational Communication in the Department of Communication at UNC-Chapel Hill.  Parker’s research, teaching, and engaged scholarship focus on social justice leadership and decolonizing organizational communication processes.  Her work explores questions about difference, equity, and participatory communication in a variety of contexts. She is the Founder and executive director of The Ella Baker Women’s Center for Leadership and Community Activism, a venture supported by a 2006 Kauffman Faculty Fellowship for social entrepreneurship.  She is the recipient of the UNC Office of the Provost Engaged Scholarship Award for teaching and inaugural recipient (2010) of the Engaged Scholars Service Award in the National Communication Association’s Organizational Communication Division. She is currently completing her next book, Ella’s Daughters.


Eunice Sahle

Associate Professor and Department Chair of the Department of African, African American, and Diaspora Studies, UNC-Chapel Hill

Eunice Sahle isan Associate Professor and Department Chair of the Department of African, African American, and Diaspora Studies, with a joint appointment in Curriculum in Global Studies, at UNC-Chapel Hill.  Sahle’s current research projects are situated in the fields of political economy of development, global politics, geography, human rights, and Canadian politics.   She has been published widely, including her recent work, Globalization and Socio-Cultural Processes in Contemporary Africa (editor) (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015). She iscurrently completing two books based on extensive research in Malawi,Tanzania and Kenya.


Aya Shabu

Founder, Whistle Stop Tours

Aya Shabu is the Founder of Whistle Stop Tours, a company that provides walking tours of African American neighborhoods.  She is a professional dancer, choreographer, and teaching artist living in Durham, North Carolina. A 2012-2013 Emerging Artist Grant recipient, Shabu has choreographed for some of the Triangle’s best theatrical productions, most notably The Parchman Hour, I Love My Hair, and The Brothers Size.


Nina Smith

Assistant Professor of Human Sciences, North Carolina Central University

Nina Smith is an Assistant Professor of Human Sciences at North Carolina Central University. Smith’s training and specific research interests center around the impact of economic conditions such as poverty, parental job loss, and parental work characteristics on the well-being of children and families.   Her current research examines parental perceptions of child care, and how economic factors guide parental choices of child care. Currently, she is exploring these linkages among low-income and ethnically diverse populations, as well as the pathways through which these conditions influence children’s cognitive, behavioral, mental, and physical well-being.


Charles Thompson

Professor of the Practice of Cultural Anthropology and Documentary Studies, Duke University

Charles Thompson is a Professor of the Practice of Cultural Anthropology and Documentary Studies at Duke University. A former farmer, Thompson remains concerned about laborers within our food system. He serves on the advisory board of Student Action with Farmworkers, the Duke Campus Farm, and other food and agricultural initiatives. He is author or editor of six books. His latest (2015) is, Border Odyssey: Traveling the Valley of the Shadow of Death.  He is the producer/director of five documentary films, among them a collaboration with the organization Farm Aid, entitled, Homeplace Under Fire (2016).


Jina Valentine

Assistant Professor of Art, UNC-Chapel Hill

Jina Valentine is an assistant professor of printmedia at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She received her BFA from Carnegie Mellon University and MFA from Stanford University. Exhibitions: The Drawing Center, NY; The Studio Museum, NY; Weatherspoon Museum, Greensboro, NC; McColl Center for Art + Innovation, Charlotte, NC. Publications: WRAL Raleigh; CulturalReproducers.org; Artsy.net; Wall Street Journal; New York Times. Awards: Creative Capital Emerging Fields Grant; UNC Institute for Arts and Humanities Digital Innovation Lab Fellow; North Carolina Arts Council Grant; Joan Mitchell Center, New Orleans; Banff Centre, Alberta, CA.


Andre’ D Vann

Coordinator of University Archives and an Instructor of Public History at the James E. Shepard Memorial Library, North Carolina Central University

Andre’ D Vann is the Coordinator of University Archives and an Instructor of Public History at the James E. Shepard Memorial Library at North Carolina Central University, the first publicly-funded liberal arts college for Black students in the nation.  Vann teaches undergraduates about public history, and has written three books on the state’s African-American communities.  He is a co-creator of a permanent exhibit in the Carolina Theatre devoted to the civil rights movement. Vann received his BA and MA at North Carolina Central University.


Planning Committee

LaChaun Banks

Associate Director, NCGrowth

LaChaun Banks is the Associate Director of NCGrowth at Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School.She holds a B.A. in International Studies from the UNC-Chapel Hill, and is currently completing her MBA. At NCGrowth, Banks leads initiatives supporting rural community development, as well as local start-up and business support.


Bryan Giemza

Director of the Southern Historical Collection, UNC Libraries

Bryan Giemza is Director of the Southern Historical Collection for UNC Libraries. He holds a PhD in English, and a Law degree from the UNC-Chapel Hill. He is also a published author of several books and articles on literary traditions of the American South.At the Southern Historical Collection,Giemza is responsible for building and developing the high-research-value collection, and facilitates the exchange of ideas about history that has led to the Collection’s success. Giemza is the recipient of several awards including most recently the SAMLA Studies Award, awarded annually for an academic text of high quality


Angela Hicks

Grant Coordinator, Institute of African American Research

Angela Hicks is the Grant Coordinator for the Institute of African American Research. Hicks holds a Doctorate of Education, Adult and Community College Education, and Organizational Development from North Carolina State University. Hicks is the CEO of the Grant Professional, an organization specializing in grant writing, organizational development, research and grants management. She has secured over $20 million in grant funds, and serves as a grant peer reviewer for federal grant programs. At IAAR, she works with faculty on grant development and submission.


Kenneth Janken

Professor and the Director of Undergraduate Studies and Department Honors Advisor, African and African American Diaspora Studies

Kenneth Janken is a Professor and the Director of Undergraduate Studies and Department Honors Advisor for African and African American Diaspora Studies. Janken holds a PhD in American History from Rutgers University. His research focuses on 20th-century African American history. His most recent book, published in January 2016 is The Wilmington Ten: Violence, Injustice, and the Rise of Black Politics in the 1970s, and his article in the North Carolina Historical Review, “Remembering the Wilmington Ten: African American Politics and Judicial Corruption in the 1970s,” won the R.D.W. Connor best article award in North Carolina history.


Amatullah King

Events & Programs Manager, Institute of African American Research and The Carolina Seminars

Amatullah King is the Events & Programs Manager for the Institute of African American Research and The Carolina Seminars. King has over six years experience in events planning. King holds a B.A. in English, cum laude, from Cornell University. At Cornell, she was a fellow in the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program (MMUF), to which IAAR’s MURAP is a sister program. As a fellow, she concentrated on 19th and 20thcentury African-American Literature. Her interests continue to be in African American history, culture, preservation, and theatre arts.


Malinda Maynor Lowery

Associate Professor, Department of History and Director, Southern Oral History Program

Malinda Maynor Lowery is an Associate Professor in the Department of History and the Director of the Southern Oral History Program. She is interested in social and political history from interdisciplinary and non-traditional points of view.Lowery’s research focuses on Native American history, southern history, historical geography, foodways, music, race and ethnicity, identity, and community-engaged research, including documentary film and oral history. She is the author of the award-winning book Lumbee Indians in the Jim Crow South: Race, Identity, and the Making of a Nation(UNC Press, 2010). She is the co-producer of A Chef’s Life, a documentary film series that that aired on PBS.


Jean Montano

Graduate student, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Jean Montano is a graduate student at Kenan-Flagler. Montano is concentrating in Marketing and Sustainable Enterprise, and is interested in civic entrepreneurship and the intersection of business and “doing good.” She serves on the Leadership Team of the MBA Student Association as VP of Diversity. Prior to business school, she worked in the social enterprise space, in marketing and sales roles at two distinct tech start-ups focused on education. She received her BA in Political Science from Northwestern University


Chaitra Powell

African American Collections and Outreach Archivist, Southern Historical Collection

Chaitra Powell is the African American Collections and Outreach Archivist for the Southern Historical Collection. Powell cultivates donor relationships and facilitates the acquisition of African American materials into the collection.Prior to the position, Powell worked as an archival consultant in Los Angeles, CA.As a consultant, Powell’s clients ranged from art gallery owners to churches. She names establishing the Marilyn E.P. White Legacy Project to honor the 1964 Olympic medalist and Los Angeles native.rs, as well as diverse community stakeholders around the region, as one of her greatest achievements.


Rachel f. Seidmen

Adjunct Assistant Professor of History and Associate Director, Southern Oral History Program

Rachel Seidman is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of History and the Associate Director of the Southern Oral History Program. Seidman holds a PhD in History from Yale University. Her current research interests focus on oral history and the history of U.S. women’s activism. She is particularly interested in connecting history to current public debates through civic engagement and community-based research. Seidman is the recipient of many awards including the UNC Diversity Initiative Fund Award.








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