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Diane Nash A Chicago native who had never experienced segregation in public accommodations before moving to the South, Diane Nash went on to become one of the pioneers of the Civil Rights Movement.
Civil Rights & Peace Activist
Nash’s involvement in the nonviolent movement began in 1959 while she was a student at Fisk University. In 1960 she became the chairperson of the student sit-in movement in Nashville, Tennessee—the first southern city to desegregate its lunch counters—as well as one of the founding students of the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee. In 1961 she coordinated the Freedom Ride from Birmingham, Alabama, to Jackson, Mississippi, a story which was documented in the recent PBS American Experience film Freedom Riders.
Her many arrests for her civil rights activities culminated in Nash being imprisoned for 30 days in 1961, while she was pregnant with her first child. Undeterred, she went on to join a national committee—to which she was appointed by President John F. Kennedy—that promoted passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Nash later became active in the peace movement that worked to end the Vietnam War, and became an instructor in the philosophy and strategy of non-violence as developed by Mohandas Gandhi.
Diane Nash is the recipient of numerous awards, including the War Resisters’ League Peace Award; the Distinguished American Award presented by the John F. Kennedy Library; the LBJ Award for Leadership in Civil Rights from the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum; and an honorary doctorate of human letters from Fisk University, her alma mater. Most recently, Nash delivered the 2009 Slavery Remembrance Day Memorial Lecture in Liverpool, England.
Her work has been cited in numerous books, documentaries, magazines, and newspaper articles, and she has appeared on such TV shows and films as The Oprah Winfrey Show, Spike Lee’s Four Little Girls, and PBS’s Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years 1954-1965.
A Chicago native who had never experienced segregation in public accommodations before moving to the South, Diane Nash went on to become one of the pioneers of the Civil Rights Movement.
Amer F. Ahmed Amer F. Ahmed, Ed. D., is an individual with an eclectic personal and professional experience. As an intercultural diversity consultant, college administrator, facilitator, poet and Hip Hop activist, he channels his diverse experiences into work geared towards effective change serving to create mutual benefit for all.
Director of Intercultural Teaching and Faculty Development
U Mass - Amherst
Born in Springfield, Ohio to Indian Muslim immigrants, Amer has dedicated his life to engaging and facilitating diversity across human difference. His studies in Anthropology and Black Studies have been enhanced by powerful study abroad experiences in South Africa and Nepal. His education, world experiences and his Indian-Muslim-American upbringing helps him understand the need for respect and dignity of all people.
Amer has served as Director of Intercultural Programs at Loras College in Dubuque, IA and Concordia College in Moorhead, MN before moving on to University of Michigan and later to Swarthmore College. His professional experience provides him with unique perspectives on Diversity and Inclusion policies and practices in Higher Education and numerous other professional contexts.
Amer is also a prominent national speaker invited to numerous campuses, conferences and institutes to speak on his diverse areas of expertise. He also has been featured on MSNBC’s “Melissa Harris Perry” show and in “Cracking the Codes,” a documentary film on racism directed by Dr. Shakti Butler. His writings have appeared in numerous publications. Among his many areas of expertise, Amer has most prominently been engaged as a unique resource to address issues related to Islam, Islamophobia and interfaith issues.
Throughout his career, Amer has consistently addressed all forms of marginality that impact how individuals experience institutions and issues of social justice that continue to face traditionally marginalized communities. In addition, he bridges this work with the field of Intercultural Communication emphasizing developmental approaches to Intercultural sensitivity. Such approaches have been useful in his work on Organizational, Leadership and Student Development and Assessment as well as in Workshop facilitation and Public speaking. Amer is continuing this work as Director of Intercultural Teaching and Faculty Development at University of Massachusetts – Amherst, Faculty at the Summer and Winter Institutes for Intercultural Communication and a member of SpeakOut: Institute for Democratic Education.
Amer’s is deeply rooted and committed to the empowerment of young people through unique approaches that seek to unlock their creative potential. Through engagement with new and social media, arts and facilitation; Amer is committed to lifting voices of the youth to create transformative change in the world.
Amer F. Ahmed
Amer F. Ahmed, Ed. D., is an individual with an eclectic personal and professional experience. As an intercultural diversity consultant, college administrator, facilitator, poet and Hip Hop activist, he channels his diverse experiences into work geared towards effective change serving to create mutual benefit for all.
Gail Christopher Dr. Gail Christopher is vice president for policy and senior advisor for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, Michigan. In this role, she serves on the president's cabinet that provides overall direction and leadership for the foundation. Since joining the foundation in 2007, Gail has served as vice president for program strategy with responsibility for multiple areas of programming, including Racial Equity; Food, Health & Well-Being; Community Engagement and Leadership; as well as place-based programming in New Orleans and New Mexico.
Vice President for Policy and Senior Advisor
W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Prior to joining the foundation, Dr. Christopher was vice president of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies' Office of Health, Women and Families in Washington, DC. There, she led the Joint Center Health Policy Institute, a multi-year initiative created to engage underserved, racial, and ethnic minorities in health policy discussions. Previously, she was guest scholar in the governance studies department at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC, and executive director of the Institute for Government Innovation at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She has also launched, led, and managed three public commissions. Under her sponsorship, the landmark Dellums Commission research into conditions faced by young men of color produced policy recommendations to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities.
Dr. Christopher is a nationally recognized leader in health policy, with particular expertise and experience in the issues related to social determinants of health, health disparities, and public policy issues of concern to African Americans and other minority populations. She has more than 20 years of experience in designing and managing national initiatives and nonprofit organizations. She brings extensive knowledge and experience in creating a comprehensive approach to well-being and is nationally recognized for her pioneering work to infuse holistic health and diversity concepts into public sector programs and policy discourse. Her distinguished career and contributions to public service were honored in 1996 when she was elected as a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. In 2007 she received the Leadership Award from the Health Brain Trust of the Congressional Black Caucus for her work in reducing racial and ethnic health disparities. In 2015, Dr. Christopher received the esteemed Grantmakers in Health's Terrance Keenan Leadership Award in Health Philanthropy.
A prolific writer and presenter, Dr. Christopher is the author or co-author of three books, a monthly column in the Federal Times, and more than 250 articles, presentations, and publications. She holds a Doctor of Naprapathy degree from the Chicago National College of Naprapathy in Illinois and completed advanced study in the interdisciplinary Ph.D. program in holistic health and clinical nutrition at the Union for Experimenting Colleges and Universities at Union Graduate School of Cincinnati, Ohio.
Dr. Gail Christopher is vice president for policy and senior advisor for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, Michigan. In this role, she serves on the president's cabinet that provides overall direction and leadership for the foundation. Since joining the foundation in 2007, Gail has served as vice president for program strategy with responsibility for multiple areas of programming, including Racial Equity; Food, Health & Well-Being; Community Engagement and Leadership; as well as place-based programming in New Orleans and New Mexico.
Norm Stamper Norm Stamper began his law enforcement career in San Diego in 1966 as a beat cop. In 1994, he was named chief of the Seattle Police Department.
Retired Chief of the Seattle Police Department
He has been a police officer for 34 years, the first 28 in San Diego, and also holds a doctorate in Leadership and Human Behavior. He is the author of many articles and op-eds (New York Times, The New Yorker, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, AlterNet, among others). He is author of Breaking Rank and To Protect and Serve and is at work on a novel.
Retired in 2000, he now lives in the San Juan Islands in Washington State.
Norm Stamper began his law enforcement career in San Diego in 1966 as a beat cop. In 1994, he was named chief of the Seattle Police Department.
Charles J. Ogletree, Jr. Born in Merced, CA in December 1952, Professor Ogletree began his life humbly. His trusted commitment to leadership and civil rights became evident early, when he ran and was elected as the first Black student body president in his predominantly white high school and later as co-President of the Associated Students of Stanford University.
Professor at Harvard Law School
Founder of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice
After graduating from Stanford he enrolled in Harvard Law School where his activism and fight for justice continued. In 1985, Mr. Ogletree returned to Harvard Law School as a visitor. He was elevated to tenure track faculty in 1989. A few years later, in 1991, Charles received national attention for his representation of (now Professor) Anita Hill during the confirmation hearings for Justice Clarence Thomas. Professor Ogletree received tenure at HLS in 1993. In September 2005, he founded the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice.
Most importantly, in his role as a law professor, Charles has been able to inspire successive generations of students, including the current President and First Lady, to pursue a life of public service and continue the struggle for racial justice.
Professor Ogletree provides annual college scholarships for students attending his public high school in Merced, California and always looks forward to visiting his hometown.
Professor Ogletree is the author and co-editor of several books, including The Presumption of Guilt: The Arrest of Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (June 2010 Palgrave MacMillan), When Law Fails: Making Sense of Miscarriages of Justice (2009), From Lynch Mobs to the Killing State: Race and the Death Penalty in America (2006), and All Deliberate Speed: Reflections on the First Half-Century of Brown v. Board of Education (2004).
Charles J. Ogletree, Jr.
Born in Merced, CA in December 1952, Professor Ogletree began his life humbly. His trusted commitment to leadership and civil rights became evident early, when he ran and was elected as the first Black student body president in his predominantly white high school and later as co-President of the Associated Students of Stanford University.
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