Isaura Oliveira was born in Salvador-Bahia, Brazil, the cradle of African Brazilian culture, where African traditions and arts are maintained and nourished. Isaura is a multidisciplinary artist. Isaura is an actress, singer, dancer, costume designer, dance teacher, yoga instructor, choreographer, community leader, healer, activist, and an innovator. Isaura’s expertise is African Brazilian Cultural Dance. Isaura is dedicated to studying the African roots of Brazilian Sacred & Popular Dances, Rhythms, Chants, and Performance-Rituals. Isaura also studied modern and contemporary dance techniques. Isaura’s accomplishments as a cultural researcher, producer, artistic director, and educator are not limited to solo performance productions, but also collaborations with many artists, incorporating community members like her dance students and emergent artists. Spirituality and Nature are Isaura’s medicine, and Ancestors are her guides; thus artistic and educational work is connected with her Ancestrality. Isaura holds a BFA from the School of Dance, Federal University of Bahia, and won numerous awards in Brazil and the U.S. for her research, choreography, projects, and performances.
Isaura's works have been documented on various occasions by distinguished sources like the PBS and BBC TV documentary Dancing #5: New Worlds, New Forms, representing Brazilian dance. Her first full evening one-woman show Malinke (1988, Bahia, Brasil) is featured in the book Dancing Bahia by Dr. Yvonne Daniel. Isaura has taught, lectured, and performed at Smith, Radcliffe-Harvard, Wellesley, Brown, Wesleyan, UMass Boston, Stanford, UC Riverside, UC Santa Cruz, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, among others. In 2000, Isaura founded Teatro Brasileiro de Dança (TBD) in Boston, MA, by creating and performing her first solo woman show in the USA, Ancestrais, sponsored by MIT, Smith College, and Festival Cantar da Costa, Italy. Due to COVID- 19, Isaura modified her classes to safe outdoor environments. Isaura’s most recent class program, Living Experience, is an outdoor healing movement class held in public parks and private yards. From Summer to the Winter season, it continues; including dance classes, stretching with movement, silent walking in the woods, jogging with Ancestors, and breathing while appreciating the divine encounter with Mother Nature.
Charles Vincent Burwell (He Series) began his musical training with the piano at age seven. A Congressional Scholar in Leadership, Vincent received a B.S. in Choral/Vocal Music Education from Florida A&M University and his M.F.A. from NYU (Tisch). Organizations he has worked with include: the Lincoln Center Institute, National Dance Institute, Urban Bush Women, Festival del Caribe (Santiago de Cuba, Cuba), Ile Aiye (Salvador de Bahia, Brazil), the Bates Dance Festival and the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. He has composed music for the Cairo Opera House Ballet and Modern Dance Company (Cairo, Egypt), National Dance Institute under the Artistic Direction of Jacques d’Amboise (Shanghai, China), and has sung at Carnegie Hall, (New York, NY). His music was featured in the HBO documentary -J acques D'Amboise in China -THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD directed by Anthony Avildsen.
A Musical Theatre composer/lyricist and creative, Vincent, with writing partner James D Sasser and his producing team 959 Group, currently has multiple projects in development while serving as a senior partner at The Clever Agency. He currently serves as Professor of Theatre at The Boston Conservatory at Berklee where he teaches “Entrepreneurship for the Theatre Artist” and “Race and Identity in Performance”. Vincent was initiated as Fadigi Olasunkami Adepetu into Ifa by the Honorable Babalawo Chief Fakayode Faniyi, Agbongbon Awo of Osogboland, Osun State and is a member of the Ogundáse Ifa Temple under the direction of Chief Sekou Awosanmi Osuntogun Alaje.
Andrea E. Woods Valdés is Chair of the Duke University Dance Program teaching modern dance and dance for the camera. She is currently in Ph.D. studies at Texas Woman’s University. Her work explores black aesthetics and intra-cultural and interdisciplinary dialogues and activities between black women artists throughout the African Diaspora. SOULOWORKS/Andrea E. Woods & Dancers recently celebrated 20 years of dancing and dancemaking. Woods Valdés is a former dancer/rehearsal director of Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Co. (1989-1994) Her art and scholarship draw from African American Diaspora history/culture and Afro-Cuban dance/music to performed embodied folklore.
In 2016, she founded wimmin@work, an inter-generational, interdisciplinary performance to develop Black audiences for Black wimmin's creative work. Woods Valdés Directed Duke In Ghana (2012-2014) and is a founding member of the Collegium for African Diaspora Dance (CADD). Her work has taken her to: Cannes, Taiwan, Russia, Senegal, Morocco, Korea, Poland, Singapore, Belize, Yucatán, Puerto Rico, The Dominican Republic, Ghana, Trinidad, Barbados, Cuba and throughout the US. She has received grants from: The Jerome Foundation, (NEFA) The National Dance Project, National Performance Network and Arts International and is a recipient of the NC Arts Council Artist Fellowship. www.souloworks.com
Baba Oludaré Bernard is a Yoruba-Lukumi Healing Arts Practitioner. His experience shows him that personal freedom for Black, and non Black African descendants can come from celebrating Afro-Ancestral lineages of breathing & wellness. He is the author of Breathing With Orisha, the first book ever written that refocuses African diaspora movement from the realm of entertainment back to the sacred purpose of wellness and deep breathing.
In this time of global pandemic, increased stress, isolation and anxiety, Oludaré has developed a revolutionary breathing technique that enhances spiritual clarity, respiratory/physical wellness, and liberation through the practice of Afro-Ancestral Respiratory Rituals that would otherwise be solely deemed as forms of entertainment after the onset of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade (The Maafa). In the dawning of a wellness era, Oludaré brings Breathing With Orisha to the world as an addition to Yoga, QiGong and other globally accepted breathwork/wellness techniques.
Africa gave birth to us all. Her medicine, her breath, her dance, exhale and song-when dedicated to internal and community breathing- provide all people the opportunity to realign with global/spiritual interconnectivity and compassion. Oludaré respects all sacred-social, Afro-Ancestral movement, song and prayer rituals as breathwork, wellness work and meditation. Through Breathing With Orisha, he brings these rituals- and their Black, African descendant bodies, minds and spirits to the global-industrial conversation of meditation & Breathwork in the 21st century.
Jean Appolon, Director/Co-founder, is a choreographer and teacher based in Boston and Haiti. He trained and performed with the Viviane Gauthier Dance Company, the Folkloric Ballet of Haiti, Alvin Ailey, and the Joffrey American Ballet School. Appolon teaches at Boston Ballet and The Dance Complex. He was appointed a Brother Thomas Fellow and is on the 1804 List of Haitian American Changemakers. Appolon seeks to create a diverse community inclusive of all cultures, races, and backgrounds, and to use dance and community to transcend barriers.
Jean Appolon Expressions (JAE) celebrates and advances Haitian folkloric dance through its contemporary cultural community that produces professional performances, educational opportunities and dance training for people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds. Community relationships are at the heart of JAE. From weekly classes to workshops with partner organizations, JAE gives movers and thinkers of all backgrounds the opportunity to learn about Haitian Culture and individual healing by participating in dance and conversation. To support a full creative life for all, JAE commits to championing policies and practices of cultural equity that empower a just, inclusive, equitable world.
Jean Appolon and the company dancers bring years of experience in education. They take great joy in working with students in a range of programs: school-based partnerships, intensives, weekly classes, and the ongoing free Teen Apprentice Program. The company frequently performs in community spaces, major venues, and at schools and colleges; and has shared the stage with celebrities including Danny Glover, Henry Louis Gates, and Edwidge Danticat.
Oluwole Ojewale is a scholar and program management expert on the disparate yet connected fields of transnational organized crime, urban governance, policing, conflict, resilience, and democratization. He possesses about a decade experiences across an array of development interventions in West Africa. His research and advocacy campaigns span transnational organized crime in West Africa, community policing; accountable governance for justice and security; pandemic policing and human rights; preventing and countering violent extremism; civil military relations; Afrobarometer survey on democracy, governance, and economic conditions in Africa; and election security management.
Oluwole has conducted community-based qualitative and quantitative research on: community resilience to violent conflicts, vulnerability assessment, disaster risk management; security threat assessment, counter insurgency and security around the Lake Chad Basin. Oluwole has been trained by the European Union and the Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security Studies on countering violent extremism. Oluwole has published research articles in leading peer-reviewed journals and also co-authored “Urbanization and Crime in Nigeria”, published with the Palgrave Macmillan and adjudged as the first comprehensive book on the intersection between urbanization and crime in Nigeria. Oluwole has visited Austria, Ethiopia, Germany, Ghana, Somalia, South Africa, Switzerland, Tunisia, and Turkey for study, work and conferences.
Sarah Nahar (she/her) is a nonviolent action trainer and interspiritual theologian passionate about ecological regeneration, community cultivation, and spiritual activism. A current 2nd year PhD student in Syracuse, New York (Haudenosaunee Confederacy traditional land) her research focus is on the concepts of “waste”, how orienting stories about the Earth influence toileting practices of religious people, and the necessary worldwide shift to ecological sanitation. Her home department is Religion at Syracuse University and she is matriculating concurrently at neighboring SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry the Department of Environmental Studies.
Sarah was a 2019 Rotary Peace Fellow in Thailand and in 2018 worked at generational bridgebuilding the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Previously she was the Executive Director of Christian Peacemaker Teams, an organization building partnerships to transform violence and oppression in global locations severely impacted by US imperialist policies. She attended Spelman College, majoring in Comparative Women’s Studies and International Studies, minoring in Spanish. There she co-founded the Atlanta University Center Peace Coalition and was student government president. She has an MDiv from Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in her hometown. Liberation theology learning, transnational feminist solidarity, capoeira and soccer have allowed her to travel to 71 countries.
Douglas Lucas Kivoi holds a PhD degree in Ethics and African Philosophy from the University of Nairobi, Kenya. Dr. Kivoi is distinguished by his passion for research, focusing on good governance. He has attended a number of invited international conferences where he has presented papers and given speeches. Presently, Dr. Kivoi works as a Principal Policy Analyst with The Kenya Institute for Public Policy and Research Analysis (KIPPRA), Governance Department. He is also a consultant on governance, democracy and human rights. Some of his publications include:
Douglas Kivoi (2020) Policing Reforms to Enhance Security in Kenya (in Print)
Bosire, E. M., Kivoi, D., and Nduvi, S. N. (2017). Effects Of Judicial Transformation Framework (2012-2016) On The Performance Of The Judiciary In Kenya. Archives of Business Research, 5(12), 349-364.
Douglas Kivoi, Pamela Inoti (2015) The Role of Informal Traditional Justice Systems in Enhancing Kenya’s Judicial Service Delivery. Journal of Global Research in Education and Social Sciences. Volume2, (Issue3):128135 (http://www.ikpress.org/abstract.php?iid=475&id=46&aid=3933#.VWWcVEacIT4)
Douglas Kivoi, Casty Mbae (2013) The Achilles’ Heel of Police Reforms in Kenya, Journal of Social Sciences. Vol. 2, Issue No. 6, 2013, pp. 189-194. doi: 10.11648/j.ss.20130206.13 ISSN: 2326-9863 (Print), ISSN: 2326-988X (Online)
Dr. Kivoi is currently enrolled for a Bachelor of Law (LLB) degree at UNICAF University.
Dr. Marc Lamont Hill is one of the leading intellectual voices in the country. He is currently the host of BET News and the Coffee & Books podcast. An award-winning journalist, Dr. Hill has received numerous prestigious awards from the National Association of Black Journalists, GLAAD, and the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. Dr. Hill is the Steve Charles Professor of Media, Cities, and Solutions at Temple University. Prior to that, he held positions at Columbia University and Morehouse College. Since his days as a youth in Philadelphia, Dr. Hill has been a social justice activist and organizer. He has worked on campaigns to end the death penalty, abolish prisons, and release numerous political prisoners. Dr. Hill has also worked in solidarity with human rights movements around the world. He is the founder and director of The People’s Education Center in Philadelphia, as well as the owner of Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee & Books.
Ebony Magazine has named him one of America’s 100 most influential Black leaders.
Dr. Hill is the author or co-author of six books: the award-winning Beats, Rhymes, and Classroom Life: Hip-Hop Pedagogy and the Politics of Identity; The Classroom and the Cell: Conversations on Black life in America; Nobody: Casualties of America’s War on The Vulnerable from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond; Gentrifier; We Still Here: Pandemic, Policing, Protest, and Possibility; and Except For Palestine: The Limits of Progressive Politics. He has also published two edited books: Media, Learning, and Sites of Possibility; and Schooling Hip-Hop: New Directions in Hip-Hop Based Education. Dr. Hill holds a Ph.D. (with distinction) from the University of Pennsylvania. His research agenda focuses on the intersections between culture, politics, and education in the United States and the Middle East.
sadada, m.ed., m.t.s., ryt: sadada is an embodied justice teacher who works at the intersection of individual and collective healing and development. she has earned two masters: a master's in theological studies from harvard in indigenous traditions, and a master's in education from umass in secondary english language arts through boston teacher’s residency program. she has a 200-hour classical yoga teacher training with bo forbes. she is committed to ending the relational and structural violences’ that impact marginalized people, particularly black and indigenous people, in healing and learning contexts. the aim of her work is for marginalized people to experience love, courage, belonging and joy in their learning and healing experiences. sadada is nipmuc.
Jacob K. Olupona is professor of African and African American Studies, FAS, and Professor African Religions, Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University. Prior to joining Harvard in 2006, he was at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Nigeria(1976 to1990) and was a Professor at the University of California, Davis(1991-2006) Olupona’s research and teaching interests include religion and modernity, religion and Immigration, religions of traditional and contemporary Africa, and Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy in Africa . He is the author of several books including, Kingship, Religion and Rituals in a Nigerian Community: a Phenomenological Study of the Ondo Yoruba Festival (Stockholm 1983) and City of 201 Gods: Ile-Ife in Time, Space and the Imagination (UC Press 2011) and In My Father’s Parsonage : The Story of An Anglican Family In Nigeria (University Press 2013) and A Very short Introduction to African Religions (Oxford 2014). He has received Fellowships and research grants, including the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in 1997, the Ford Foundation grant to study the African Immigrants Religious Communities in America 2000, the Getty Grant, the Bellagio Rockefeller Fellowship, Italy, and the American Philosophical Association grant. In 2008, he was conferred with the Nigerian National Order of Merit (NNOM) by President Yar’Adua for his scholarship in the humanities. This is the highest academic honor Nigeria confers on its citizens.
Marcus Briggs-Cloud (Maskoke) is a language revitalizer, scholar, musician and co-director of Ekvn-Yefolecv Maskoke ecovillage. A graduate of Harvard Divinity School, he is currently a doctoral candidate in interdisciplinary ecology at the University of Florida where his work explores the intersections of ecology, liberation theology, linguistics. Marcus received awards for his Maskoke hymn album Pum Vculvke Vrakkuecetv, and in 2012 served as composer/choir director for the Vatican canonization liturgy with Pope Benedict XVI for Saint Kateri Tekakwitha. He is partnered to Tawna Little (Maskoke) and they have two children, Nokos-Afvnoke and Hemokke, with whom Marcus enjoys speaking exclusively in the Maskoke language.
Melinda Micco (Seminole/Creek/Choctaw) received her doctorate in Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. She is a member of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma. Her research has focused on multiracial identity in American Indian and African American communities, primarily in the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma. She is the author of several work focusing on African American and Native American peoples. She is Professor Emerita of Ethnic Studies at Mills College where she taught the first and only courses on Native Americans in film. She was interviewed for the award winning- documentary Reel Injun: On the Trail of the Hollywood Indian. She co-produced a documentary with Esther Lucero Killing the 7th Generation: Reproductive Abuses against Indigenous Women which was shown in many areas, including the Bioneers Conference, Intertribal Friendship House, The Queer Women of Color Film Festival, and the University of California, Santa Barbara and Bay Area libraries. Melinda is currently working on a book Seminole Voices in Indian Country. She has a film in progress with co-director Chihiro Wimbush Every Step A Prayer: The Refinery Corridor Healings focused on the five refineries in the SF Bay Area. She is also a member of Idle No More SF Bay Solidarity Group that is dedicated to affirming treaty rights for First Nations peoples in Canada and American Indian peoples in the US.
Barbara Krauthamer’s book Black Slaves, Indian Masters: Slavery, Emancipation, and Citizenship in the Native American South was published by the University of North Carolina Press in spring 2013. It is the first full-length study of chattel slavery and the lives of enslaved people in the Choctaw and Chickasaw Indian nations. The book reveals the centrality of slavery and racial ideology in Native leaders’ definitions of Indian sovereignty, as well as in U.S. federal policy towards Indian peoples and territory. She has already written a number of articles and chapters on the subjects of slavery in Indian Territory, and African American/Native American intersections. Her work has been supported with funding from the NEH, Stanford University, Yale University, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the Institute for Historical Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.
Professor Krauthamer co-authored Envisioning Emancipation: Black Americans and the End of Slavery with Professor Deborah Willis of New York University. The book features 150 historical photographs of enslaved and free African Americans from the 1850s through the 1930s, and also includes four essays that discuss the photographic representations of slavery, emancipation, and freedom. This book was published by Temple University Press in 2013, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. She is currently working on a study of runaway slave women that frames enslaved women as intellectual and political actors and examines the meanings and manifestations of freedom in their lives.
Chavis Jones is a proud graduate of Morehouse College where he studied philosophy. Chavis then obtained a Master of Divinity at Harvard Divinity School where he focused on the intersection of religion and social ethics. At Harvard, he was a fellow of the Harvard Graduate School Leadership Institute, a staff writer for the Harvard Journal of Human Rights Policy, and a Ministry Fellow. Earlier this year, he graduated from Duke University School of Law, where he focused primarily on civil and human rights issues. He was the President of the Duke Black Graduate and Professional Students Association, worked as an Active Investigations Team member of the Duke Law Innocence Project, worked in the Wrongful Convictions Clinic, and currently serves as a National Vice President of the Duke Black Alumni Association. He plans to ultimately use his education and life experiences to advance causes of human rights and to connect the human family. Chavis Jones currently serves as a Policy Fellow at the Children's Defense Fund in Washington, DC.
The Reverend Dr. Aaron J. McLeod, Esq. is the Servant Leader of Gorham United Methodist Church, an urban faith community serving the Southside of Chicago, IL. He is a gifted lawyer, administrator, and social justice commentator. Dr. McLeod is a graduate of McCormick Theological Seminary, The University of Iowa College of Law, Harvard Divinity School, and Morehouse College. He has further studied at Northwestern University and The University of Illinois School of Public Health. Dr. McLeod is ordained clergy who has standing in the United Church of Christ. Also, Dr. McLeod is an active member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., he is a Prince Hall Mason, and he is Shriner. Dr. McLeod is married to Deidre Booker McLeod and is the proud father of Thompson Brewer McLeod.
Najha was born and raised in Harlem, New York City, and is committed to Black power and building social movements through cultural and civic engagement work. Najha is a graduate of Guilford College and most recently of Harvard Divinity School, where she explored Black American social movement history and Black cultural production as a Presidential Scholar. Najha co-founded and led the popular education, student-led course Freedom School: A Seminar on Theory and Praxis for Black Studies in the United States while at Harvard. She also co-edited the adjoining Freedom School Magazine. In addition to her academic background, Najha is a product of the Southern, youth-organizing institute Ignite North Carolina, where she was heavily involved in state-wide organizing efforts around the Movement for Black Lives. Currently, Najha is back in Harlem (her forever home) with The Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center, where she is helping to formally restart and grow the institution as the Director of Institutional Advancement.
New York State Assembly woman Mathylde Frontus represents the 46th Assembly District in Brooklyn, New York. She serves on six committees including Aging, Children and Families, Economic Development, Job Creation, Commerce and Industry, Mental Health, Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development and Transportation. Assemblywoman Frontus has a B.S. in Social Work and MSW from NYU; and M.A. in Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University; an MTS from Harvard Divinity School and a PhD from the Columbia University School of Social Work. She has been an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia University School of Social Work since 2016 where she’s taught Advocacy in Social Work Practice: Changing Organizations & Communities, Influencing Social Policies & Political Processes, and Stigma and Mental Health; and at NYU Silver School of Social Work since 2018 where she’s taught Advocacy & Social Justice in Social Work Practice and Political Social Work for Advocacy and Social Change. Before her election to the New York State Assembly in November 2018, Mathylde was a community organizer and non-profit leader in her community. Since 2004, she has founded a social service agency, two anti-gun violence coalitions and a independent democratic club. She has also helped form the Coney Island Clergy Coalition, a network of religious leaders who provide mental health and substance abuse referral services.
Mouhamadou Diagne is a Muslim Chaplain and Diversity Educator with over a decade of experience promoting interfaith and cultural engagement at both liberal arts and Ivy League institutions. After earning a bachelor’s in psychology from Carleton College and a Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School, Mouhamadou broke ground as the first Muslim to serve in a general chaplain role at an Ivy League institution when he became Assistant Chaplain at Columbia University. There, he supported student-led religious organizations with the creation, promotion, execution, and evaluation of their various activities and initiatives. He then went on to become Bucknell University’s inaugural Chaplain for the Muslim Community, where he initiated a structure of support and guidance for Muslim students, faculty, and staff. Following his outstanding and highly praised work in increasing the size and engagement of the Muslim populations at each institution, Mouhamadou was elected to the board of the Association of Muslim Chaplains as its inaugural Communications Chair. He now works at the University of Southern Maine and lives in South Portland, ME.
My name is Noah Humphrey. My pronouns are he-series. I am in a Masters of Divinity Program at Yale but I'm studying remotely until the fall of next year in Oahu, Hawaii. I recently graduated from Whittier College my B.A in Religious Studies and a minor in Holistic Care. Having preached my trial sermon at 16, becoming a minister at 18, and a chaplain for the 2019-20 Whittier College football team I wish to build on my spiritual leadership. Building on my experience in ministry and previous academic work in religious studies, my current research resides within Hawaiian shamanism, mana, healing leaders, neo-spiritualism, and the direct mind-body-soul dichotomies in regards to indigenous peoples reacting to colonialism(i.e land back, blood quantum, geoscaping) and Christianity. Black studies and the other liberation theologies have directed me in my other areas in my research such as diasporic groups, biblical studies, and infused directives of African/ African American systemic histories. I am a future chiropractor, teacher, pastor, healer, and present scholar using my soul to speak through poetry, research, and devotion. I believe that anything is possible through God, support, and self-determination.
steve núñez (he/him/they) received a Master of Theological Studies degree in Religion, Ethics, and Politics from Harvard Divinity School in 2018 and is currently a 3rd year PhD student at the University of Connecticut studying Africana Philosophy, Philosophy of Racism, Existential Phenomenology, Black Aesthetics, Philosophy of Education, and Carceral & Abolition Studies. His tentative dissertation project surrounds the politics and ethics of revolutionary counter-violence through the philosophical thought of Frantz Fanon. He teaches courses across UConn including Philosophy & Social Ethics, Gender & Sexuality in Everyday Life, and Global Existentialism. During summers, he adjuncts at his alma mater, the University of North Carolina-Wilmington, instructing a course called Race(ism) & the AmeriKKKan Liberal Imagination. steve is an alumni member of the Harvard Prison Divestment Campaign, actively organizes with the UConn Defund and Divestment Project, and is excited to help build a grassroots abolitionist movement transforming the political landscape of North Carolina with the Carolina Federation. When he’s not reading, writing, and organizing, steve loves to cook & bake, is an avid photographer, and loves Trap music.
jalen parks is a second-year master of Master of Divinity candidate at Yale Divinity School from Flint, MI. At Yale, jalen’s studies sit at the interstices of theology, ethics, and abolition. jalen’s commitment to educational and civic excellence led him to be a 2019 recipient of Yale’s President’s Public Service Fellowship and he Inaugural Fund for Theological Exploration Fellow to the Society for the Study of Black Religion. above all else alen wants folks to know that he is an abolitionist, writer, and student. The three of these, in their unity, succinctly convey all that he aspires to be and the praxis he employs on his journey through this world. As an abolitionist, he recognizes that all of this must come to an end. As a writer he put pen to paper to convey his vision of the destruction of demonic systems. As a student, he is always learning, always seeking to refine, always seeking to be better, without feeling as though he has arrived. Jalen currently serves as the President of the Yale Black Seminarians and is a 2019 graduate of Yale University. He is also a dog-dad to Kanaan, the mini-goldendoodle.
Tatayana Richardson is a graduating senior who originally hails from Atlanta, GA. She is currently completing double major in Religion and African American Studies with a minor in Cultural Anthropology at Duke University’s Trinity College of Arts and Science. Her research focuses on the Black Theological Imperative and the constructs of the Black Church. Along with her formal research she serves as the Spiritual Formation Coordinator for the Duke Wesley Fellowship, whilst also working as a public theologian writing op-ed pieces for the Duke Chronicle. Her ultimate goal is to work toward the critical engagement of the church, in both the public and academic spheres, in order to remind the world that Jesus was a radical, and thus we should be too.