About NAARC

NAARC is a group of distinguished professionals from across the country with outstanding accomplishments in the fields of law, medicine, journalism, academia, history, civil rights and social justice advocacy. Continue below for more info.

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Queen Mother Audley Moore

Dedicated to the memory of Queen Mother Moore

Queen Mother Audley Moore (July 27, 1898 – May 2, 1997) was an African American civil and human rights leader and a black nationalist who allied with such civil rights leaders as Marcus Garvey, Nelson Mandela, Winnie Mandela, Rosa Parks, and Jesse Jackson. She was a major figure in the American Civil Rights Movement, a founder of the Republic of New Afrika, and revered as the “Mother” of the modern Reparations Movement.

Learn more about Queen Mother Moore →

National African American Reparations Commission (NAARC)

Established in April, 2015, the National African American Reparations Commission (NAARC) is a group of distinguished professionals from across the country with outstanding accomplishments in the fields of law, medicine, journalism, academia, history, civil rights and social justice advocacy.

They are united in a common commitment to fight for reparatory justice, compensation and restoration of African American communities that were plundered by the historical crimes of slavery, segregation and colonialism and that continue to be victimized by the legacies of slavery and American apartheid.

Convenor of the NAARC is Dr. Ron Daniels, veteran civil and human rights activist and Distinguished Lecturer Emeritus, York College, City University of New York.

Background

The National African American Reparations Commission (NAARC) is convened and administered by the Institute of the Black World 21st Century (IBW), a 501 C-3 organization. IBW is committed to building the capacity/power of Black communities in the U.S. to work for cultural, social, economic and political upliftment, the development of the global Black community and an enhanced quality of life for all marginalized people. Consistent with this Mission, the National African American Reparations Commission was established to be an experienced body providing public education on a 10 Point Reparations Program as a reference and framework for the national discourse on reparations; to support HR-40, the Congressional bill that would establish a Commission to study reparations proposals for African Americans; and, serve as an authoritative voice on the definition, principles and criteria for reparatory justice projects, proposals and initiatives for cities, states, corporations, financial institutions, colleges and universities, families.

NAARC Commissioners

Honorary Members

Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright
Honorary Member

Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright

Pastor Emeritus, Trinity United Church of Christ, Chicago, IL

Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He completed his elementary education in that city and then went to Virginia Union University. After three and a half years at Virginia Union, Pastor Wright left school and entered the United States Marine Corps. He transferred from the Marine Corps into the United States Navy where he served as a cardiopulmonary technician. After six years in the military, Pastor Wright transferred to Howard University where he completed his undergraduate studies and received his first master’s degree. His second master’s degree in the History of Religions was from the University of Chicago Divinity School. His doctorate was received from the United Theological Seminary under Dr. Samuel DeWitt Proctor. In addition to Dr. Wright’s four earned degrees, he has been the recipient of nine honorary doctorates.

Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. became Pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ on March 1, 1972. Within a matter of months he demonstrated an understanding and deep commitment to help Trinity UCC achieve its motto and vision. The motto, "Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian," was a phrase coined by his predecessor, the Reverend Dr. Reuben Sheares, and was officially adopted by the congregation shortly after Pastor Wright began his ministry. A student of Black Sacred Music, ethnomusicology and African Diaspora studies, Dr. Wright is an historian of religions. The foundational strengths gained from these studies shaped Dr. Wright’s vision for prophetic ministry. As Senior Pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, IL, where he served 36 years, Dr. Wright combined his studies of West African music and Judeo-Christian thought to create over 70 ministries to address the needs of the community and to enrich the lives and faith of his congregants by moving ministry, as stated in his own words, “from theory to praxis.”

Dr. Wright said in a recent article: “I have tried to bring those two different worlds together [the academy and the pew] in the context of pastoral ministry in an effort to move an ignored people from hurt to healing and from hate to hope. My mission at Trinity has been to bring those worlds together by using the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the life of Christ as a model for what is possible, of what might be, and of what our faith really is—‘the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.’ ”

Under Dr. Wright’s leadership, the membership of Trinity United Church of Christ grew from 87 members (in March of 1972) to over 8,000 members while he served as its pastor. Pastor Wright retired from the pastorate of Trinity after serving for 36 years.

Dr. Wright has lectured at seminaries and universities across the United States. He is currently an adjunct faculty member at the Ashland Theological Seminary, Lancaster Seminary, The Chicago Theological Seminary and The Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University. He has taught courses at Garrett Evangelical Seminary, The Seminary Consortium for Urban Pastoral Education (in Chicago) and Catholic Theological Union. He has been teaching Intensives annually at STVU in Richmond, Virginia since 2008.
Pastor Wright’s ministry included the construction of two senior citizen housing complexes and being the CEO of a corporation which was comprised of six subsidiary corporations: The Higher Education Corporation, a Childcare Corporation, a Healthcare Corporation, a Federally Chartered Credit Union, a Hospice Care Corporation and the Kwame Nkrumah Academy (an African- Centered Christian elementary school, started by Trinity UCC in 2008).

Dr. Wright has published four books of sermons widely used in seminaries. In addition to his four books of sermons, he has written a history of Trinity United Church of Christ (A Sankofa Moment). He has also authored numerous articles for academic journals and theological education textbooks. In addition to his seminary-teaching responsibilities at Virginia Union University, Chicago Theological Seminary and Lancaster Seminary, Dr. Wright also lectures at colleges and universities in the fields of Africana studies, Black Sacred Music, African religions and the African American experience in the Black Atlantic.

He is a co-founder of the Center for African American Theological Studies in Chicago (CAATS) and the proud mentor of 18 graduates of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University who completed their seminary work through the CAATS program. While serving as Pastor of TUCC, Pastor Wright was responsible for 42 members of the congregation earning their seminary degrees and being ordained into the United Church of Christ denomination.

He is also a co-founder of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Pastors Conference and he currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of Virginia Union University, The Kwame Nkruamah Academy and The Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference. As he was concluding his Pastoral Ministry at the end of February, 2008, Dr. Wright took his first sabbatical leave and for the last three months of his 36-year pastorate, he enjoyed vacationing and relaxing with his family. On May 31, 2008, Dr. Wright concluded his work as Senior Pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ. He was voted Pastor Emeritus of that congregation and now spends his time preaching and teaching seminary.

Dr. Wright shares his life and his ministry with his wife, Rev. Ramah Reed Wright, and is the father of four daughters: Janet Marie Moore, Jeri Lynne Wright, Nikol D. Reed and Jamila Nandi Wright; and one son, Nathan W. Reed. He is also the grandfather of three grandchildren; Jeremiah Antonio Haynes, Jazmin Lynne Hall and Steven L. Moore, Jr.

Professor Charles Ogletree
Honorary Member

Professor Charles Ogletree

Exec Dir Emeritus, Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, Harvard University,
Boston, MA

Charles Ogletree, the Harvard Law School Jesse Climenko Professor of Law, and Founding and Executive Director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, is a prominent legal theorist who has made an international reputation by taking a hard look at complex issues of law and by working to secure the rights guaranteed by the Constitution for everyone equally under the law. Professor Ogletree opened the offices of The Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice www.charleshamiltonhouston.org in September 2005 as a tribute to the legendary civil rights lawyer and mentor and teacher of such great civil rights lawyers as Thurgood Marshall and Oliver Hill. The Institute has engaged in a wide range of important educational, legal, and policy issues over the past 6 years.

Professor Ogletree is the author of several important books on race and justice. His most recent publication is a book co-edited with Professor Austin Sarat of Amherst College entitled Life without Parole: America's New Death Penalty? (NYU Press, 2012). Other publications include The Presumption of Guilt: The Arrest of Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Race, Class, and Crime in America (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010).In November 2009, NYU Press published Professor Ogletree’s book, co-edited with Professor Austin Sarat, The Road to Abolition: The Future of Capital Punishment in the United States. Also edited with Austin Sarat, When Law Fails: Making Sense of Miscarriages of Justice and From Lynch Mobs to the Killing State: Race and the Death Penalty in America were published by NYU Press in January of 2009 and May of 2006 respectively. His historical memoir, All Deliberate Speed: Reflections on the First Half-Century of Brown v. Board of Education, was published by W.W. Norton & Company in April 2004. Professor Ogletree also co-authored Beyond the Rodney King Story: An Investigation of Police Conduct in Minority Communities (Northeastern University Press 1995).

Professor Ogletree is a native of Merced, California, where he attended public schools. Professor Ogletree earned an M.A. and B.A. (with distinction) in Political Science from Stanford University, where he was Phi Beta Kappa. He also holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

In 2009 Professor Ogletree was awarded the prestigious ABA Spirit of Excellence Award in recognition of his many contributions to the legal profession. In 2008, the National Law Journal named Professor Ogletree one of the 50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America. Every year since 2006, Professor Ogletree has been named by Ebony Magazine as one of the 100+ Most Influential Black Americans. He was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame for the National Black Law Students Association, where he served as National President from 1977-1978. Professor Ogletree also received the first ever Rosa Parks Civil Rights Award given by the City of Boston, the Hugo A. Bedau Award given by the Massachusetts Anti-Death Penalty Coalition, and Morehouse College’s Gandhi, King, Ikeda Community Builders Prize. He has also received honorary doctorates from several universities and colleges including Cambridge College, Wilberforce University, the University of Miami, the New England School of Law, Lincoln College, Tougaloo College, Mount Holyoke College, and Amherst College.

Professor Ogletree has been married to his fellow Stanford graduate, Pamela Barnes, since 1975. They are the proud parents of two children, Charles Ogletree III and Rashida Ogletree, and grandparents to granddaughters, Marquelle, Nia Mae, Jamila Ogletree, and Makayla George. The Ogletrees live in Cambridge and are members of St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Areas of Interest
International Law
Capital Punishment
Juvenile Justice
Comparative and Foreign Law: South Africa
Criminal Law and Procedure: Criminal Defense
Race and the Law
Clinical Legal Education
Criminal Law and Procedure: Criminal Justice Administration
Race and the Law: Race and Criminal Justice

Standing Members

Adjo Amouzou, National African American Reparations Commission (NAARC) Commissioner and Independent International Consultant
NAARC Commissioner

Adjo Amouzou

Independent International Consultant, Sterling, VA

Adjo is a Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) expert, with over 15 years of experience supporting the US Government, International Organizations and the private sector as a Consultant/Project Manager.

Her professional career includes working on programs for USAID, Department of State strengthening civil society, education, health, democratic practices in transitional and post-conflict societies in sub-Saharan Africa. She has supported organizations working on African, African-American and minorities issues such as social justice, human rights, sustainable economic development, democracy, education, health systems strengthening, IPCR and women/gender rights. Some of those organizations are IIE, Laureate, The African Institute, AfroBarometer, CFA, Abt Associates, GDIT and many others. She has directly worked alongside former Prime Minister Gilbert Houngbo of Togo now the president of IFAD. During the Ebola crisis, she managed logistics for President Alpha Conde's delegation to the World Bank while supporting her client’s Gruppo Piccini. Furthermore, she has an extensive experience in managing small, medium-sized and large grants across multiple countries and programs. Track record in building relationships with local leaders in business, government and civil society.

She received her MA from the American University, School of International Service, with a concentration on International Peace and Conflict Resolution and focus on International Development and a Bachelor’s degree (Phi Sigma Theta) in Government and Politics from University of Maryland. She is fluent in French and Ewe. Certified Conflict Prevention and Peace-Building Coach and SAFe 5 Agile Practitioner.

Lionel Jean Baptiste
NAARC Commissioner

Lionel Jean Baptiste

Cook County Circuit Court Judge, Chicago, IL

Judge Jean-Baptiste is a son, a husband and a father. He was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and immigrated to the United States at the age of 14. After high school, he matriculated into Princeton University in 1970 and graduating with a BA in Political Science and certification in African-American History in 1974. After college, he moved to Brooklyn, NY and worked as an elementary school teacher, an adjunct Professor and as the Director of Special Housing for NYC.

His activism in NY included the African Liberation Support Committee, the Committee against Dictatorship in Haiti, the Mobilization Committee Against Police Brutality and others.

Lionel eventually returned to his adopted home town in Evanston/Chicago, IL and enrolled in Law School in 1986, twelve years after college. With a full time job as the Executive Assistant to the President of Malcolm X College, a City Colleges of Chicago and an active family, he graduated from Chicago-Kent College of Law in 1990. Lionel practiced law for 20 years in various areas of law such as Immigration, PI, Probate, and Transactional Law and worked on special cases such as the major African-American reparations case against 17 US corporations in federal court.

In 2001, he became the first Haitian-American elected in the State of Illinois as Alderman/City Councilman of the City of Evanston and for 3 consecutive terms serving 10 years on the City Council. In March of 2011, he became the first Haitian-American and sworn in as Judge by the Illinois Supreme Court. Subsequently, he waged a hard-fought campaign to hold on to his seat as Judge and was victorious in the primary and general election of 2012. He is currently a family law Judge.

Lionel Jean-Baptiste has always maintained his activism. He is currently a member of the NAACP. He is a founding member and past President of the Haitian-American Lawyers Association, a founding member of the National Haitian-American Elected Officials Network, a founding member of the Haitian Congress to Fortify Haiti, the organization that waged a 7-year international campaign to amend the Haitian Constitution to secure Dual Citizenship for all Haitians born, anywhere in the world, to a Haitian mother or a Haitian father.

He is a founding member of the United Front of the Haitian Diaspora which in essence continues the mission of the Haitian Congress to mobilize the Haitians living in the Diaspora to reintegrate into Haitian society to help develop Haiti.

Dr. Iva Carruthers
NAARC Commissioner

Dr. Iva Carruthers

General Secretary, Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, Chicago, IL

Rev. Dr. Iva E. Carruthers is General Secretary of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference (SDPC), a premier justice network of faith communities, clergy and lay leaders in the prophetic tradition of the Black Church. As co-founder of the organization in 2003, she has guided its development and impact, including being granted NGO status at the United Nations. Professor Emeritus of Northeastern Illinois University, she has also served as a visiting professor at over eight institutions. She has mentored many students and led study tours throughout the Diaspora and Africa; lectured on five continents and presented at the United Nations. She holds advance degrees in counseling, sociology and theology; postdoctoral studies in International Affairs, Biostatistics and African Art. Founder of a computer educational tech company, her pioneering educational software won numerous awards and she served as an advisor to U.S. President Clinton’s White House Panel on Educational Technology, She is active on several NFP boards and is founder of Lois House, an urban retreat center in Chicago. She is affectionately called “Mama Iva.”
Bill Fletcher
NAARC Commissioner

Bill Fletcher

Labor and Social Justice Activist, former President, Trans-Africa Forum, Washington, DC

Bill Fletcher Jr has been an activist since his teen years. Upon graduating from college he went to work as a welder in a shipyard, thereby entering the labor movement. Over the years he has been active in workplace and community struggles as well as electoral campaigns. He has worked for several labor unions in addition to serving as a senior staffperson in the national AFL-CIO.

Fletcher is the former president of TransAfrica Forum; a Senior Scholar with the Institute for Policy Studies; an editorial board member of BlackCommentator.com; and in the leadership of several other projects. Fletcher is the co-author (with Peter Agard) of “The Indispensable Ally: Black Workers and the Formation of the Congress of Industrial Organizations, 1934-1941”; the co-author (with Dr. Fernando Gapasin) of “Solidarity Divided: The crisis in organized labor and a new path toward social justice“; and the author of “‘They’re Bankrupting Us’ – And Twenty other myths about unions.” Fletcher is a syndicated columnist and a regular media commentator on television, radio and the Web.

Dr. V.P. Franklin
NAARC Commissioner

Dr. V.P. Franklin

Editor, Journal of African American History, New Orleans, LA

V.P. Franklin, Ph.D., is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History and Education at the University of California, Riverside. Dr. Franklin is the former Editor of The Journal of African American History (JAAH), formerly The Journal of Negro History, the leading scholarly publication on African American life and history. During his editorship between 2001 and 2018, JAAH articles received awards or prizes from the Association of Black Women Historians, the Southern Historical Association, the Organization of American Historians, and other scholarly organizations. Dr. Franklin is the author or coeditor of ten books, including The Education of Black Philadelphia (1979); Black Self-Determination: A Cultural History of African American Resistance (1984, 1992); Cultural Capital and Black Education: African American Communities and the Funding of Black Schooling, 1865 to the Present (2004); and Message in the Music: Hip Hop, History, and Pedagogy (2010). He has published over seventy scholarly articles on African American history and education. Dr. Franklin is currently completing a book on children and teenagers’ contributions to the Civil Rights Movement; and with Mary Frances Berry and Sundiata Cha-Jua, an anthology on Reparations and Reparatory Justice: Past, Present, and Future.
Justin Hansford, Esq.
NAARC Commissioner

Justin Hansford, Esq.

Executive Director, Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center, Washington, DC

Hansford will “put his passion and knowledge to work to empower marginalized communities.”

Justin Hansford is joining the Howard law faculty as Professor of Law and Executive Director of the new Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center. Professor Hansford was previously a Democracy Project Fellow at Harvard University, a Visiting Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, and an Associate Professor of Law at Saint Louis University. He has a B.A. from Howard University and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, where he was a founder of the Georgetown Journal of Law and Modern Critical Race Perspectives. Professor Hansford also has received a Fulbright Scholar award to study the legal career of Nelson Mandela, and served as a clerk for Judge Damon J. Keith on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Professor Hansford is a leading scholar and activist in the areas of critical race theory, human rights, and law and social movements. He is a co-author of the forthcoming Seventh Edition of Race, Racism and American Law, the celebrated legal textbook that was the first casebook published specifically for teaching race related law courses. His interdisciplinary scholarship has appeared in academic journals at various universities, including Harvard, Georgetown, Fordham, and the University of California at Hastings.

In the wake of the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, Hansford worked to empower the Ferguson community through community based legal advocacy. He co-authored the Ferguson to Geneva human rights shadow report and accompanied the Ferguson protesters and Mike Brown’s family to Geneva, Switzerland, to testify at the United Nations. He has served as a policy advisor for proposed post-Ferguson reforms at the local, state, and federal level, testifying before the Ferguson Commission, the Missouri Advisory Committee to the United States Civil Rights Commission, the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

Dean Danielle Holley-Walker stated, “We are thrilled to have Justin Hansford join the Howard law faculty. He is a scholar who puts his passion and knowledge work empower marginalized communities. He will lead Thurgood Marshall Center with an eye towards community driven legal work that promotes positive change all over this country through criminal justice reform, the expansion of access to educational opportunity, and the pursuit of immigrant rights, human rights, and economic empowerment for marginalized communities. I am confident that, under his leadership, the Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center will soon become an intellectual and legal hub for the post-Ferguson movement to liberate Black Lives.”

Kamm Howard
NAARC Commissioner

Kamm Howard

National Co-Chairperson, National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations In America, Chicago, IL

Kamm Howard is a Chicago businessman and real estate investor, and who is internationally respected reparations activist. In 2014, he spoke at the 8th Pan African Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa on the “new paradigm of reparations activism.” In 2016, he was a key organizer for the US visit of the United Nations Working Group of Experts for People of African Descent that proclaimed that US must engage reparations.

Kamm has been a 16-year member of the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America, N’COBRA. In 2017, Kamm was elected as the National Male Co-Chair. In 2015 as a member of the National African American Reparations Commission, led a team to re-vise HR 40, the federal reparations bill. Kamm recently authored a pamphlet, “Laying the Foundation for Local Reparations: A Guide for Providing National Symmetry for Local Reparations Efforts.” And in June of 2020, Kamm successfully led the work to pass the City of Chicago Subcommittee on Reparations.

Dr. Joyce King
NAARC Commissioner

Dr. Joyce King

Benjamin E. Mays Endowed Chair for Urban Teaching, Learning and Leadership, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA

Joyce E. King (Ph.D., Sociology of Education, BA Sociology, Stanford University) holds the Benjamin E. Mays Endowed Chair for Urban Teaching, Learning and Leadership at Georgia State University in the Department of Educational Policy Studies. She is affiliated faculty in the African American Studies Department, the Institute for Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and the Urban Studies Institute. Her publications in the Harvard Educational Review, Journal of Negro Education, International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, Journal of African American History, and International Journal of African Renaissance Studies focus on a transformative role for culture in curriculum, urban teacher effectiveness, community-mediated inquiry and Black education research and policy. As a W.K. Kellogg Foundation Fellow, Dr. King studied women’s participation in grassroots social change globally. She completed the American Council on Education Fellowship in the President’s Office at Stanford University. She was the founding Head of the Ethnic Studies Department at Mills College; Director of Teacher Education at Santa Clara University and served in Academic Affairs positions at the University of New Orleans, Medgar Evers College (CUNY) and Spelman College. Dr. King is past president of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and edited the landmark book that AERA’s Commission on Research in Black Education produced, A Transformative Research an Action Agenda for the New Century. Another book is Heritage Knowledge in the Curriculum: Retrieving an African Episteme (with E. Swartz). She is member of the National African American Reparations Commission and in 2018 she received the Stanford Graduate School of Education Alumni Excellence in Education Award.
Dr. Julianne Malveaux
NAARC Commissioner

Dr. Julianne Malveaux

Political Economist and President Emeritus, Bennett College for Women, Washington, DC

Dr. Malveaux has long been recognized for her progressive and insightful observations. She is a labor economist, noted author, and colorful commentator. Julianne Malveaux has been described by Dr. Cornel West as “the most iconoclastic public intellectual in the country.” Her contributions to the public dialogue on issues such as race, culture, gender, and their economic impacts are shaping public opinion in 21st century America.

Dr. Malveaux’s popular writing has appeared in USA Today, Black Issues in Higher Education, Ms. Magazine, Essence Magazine, and the Progressive. Her weekly columns appeared for more than a decade (1990-2003) in newspapers across the country including the Los Angeles Times, Charlotte Observer, New Orleans Tribune, Detroit Free Press, and San Francisco Examiner. She has hosted television and radio programs, and appeared widely as a commentator on networks, including CNN, BET, PBS, NBC, ABC, Fox News, MSNBC, CNBC, C-SPAN and others.

Dr. Julianne Malveaux has been a contributor to academic life since receiving her Ph.D. in economics from MIT in 1980. She has been on the faculty or visiting faculty of the New School for Social Research, San Francisco State University, the University of California (Berkeley), College of Notre Dame (San Mateo, California), Michigan State

University and Howard University. She holds honorary degrees from Sojourner Douglas College (Baltimore, Maryland), Marygrove College (Detroit, Michigan), University of the District of Columbia, and Benedict College (Columbia, South Carolina). She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics at Boston College.

During her time as the15th President of Bennett College for Women, Dr. Julianne Malveaux was the architect of exciting and innovative transformation at America’s oldest historically black college for women. Under her leadership, the administration identified four key focus areas: women’s leadership, entrepreneurship, excellence in communications, and global awareness. In the five short years of her presidency, Bennett College successfully received a 10-year reaffirmation of its accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, markedly improved existing facilities, embarked on a $21 million capital improvements program – which marked the first major campus construction in more than 25 years – and in fall 2009 enjoyed an historic enrollment high.

Currently, Dr. Malveaux is the Honorary Co-Chair of the Social Action Commission of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated and serves on the boards of the Economic Policy Institute as well as The Recreation Wish List Committee of Washington, DC. A native San Franciscan, she is the President and owner of Economic Education a 501 c-3 non-profit headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Yvette Modestin
NAARC Commissioner

Yvette Modestin

Founder and Executive Director, Encuentro Diaspora and IBW Board Member, Boston, MA

Yvette Modestin, a writer, poet and activist who focuses on shedding light on the Afro descendent experience in Latin America was born and raised in Colon, Panama. She is Founder/Executive Director of Encuentro Diaspora Afro in Boston, MA. She is one of the editors and writers to the book, “Women Warriors of the Afro Latina Diaspora”. Ms. Modestin is the Diaspora Coordinator of the Red de Mujeres Afrolatinoamericanas, Afrocaribeñas y de la Diaspora. . Ms. Modestin has been profiled by the Boston Globe as “The Uniter” for her work in bringing the Latin American and African American community together and for her activism in building a voice for the Afro Latino Community.
Montague Simmons, National African American Reparations Commission (NAARC) Commissioner and Co-Chairperson, M4BLs Reparations Policy Table, St. Louis, MO.
NAARC Commissioner

Montague Simmons

Co-Chairperson, M4BLs Reparations Policy Table, St. Louis, MO

Montague Simmons, is a community organizer and human rights activist. As Local Justice Director for the Movement Voter Project, he supports and connects local justice alliances, as well as local criminal justice related electoral and advocacy campaigns (ie. district attorneys, sheriffs, judges, closing jails, and passing state and local policies). A native of St. Louis, Montague has worked to build movements locally and nationally that are rooted in building Black political power and self-determination, advancing the leadership of oppressed nationalities and gender identities and centering the most marginalized. During the Ferguson Uprisings, Montague was a co-convener of the Don’t Shoot Coalition and at the time led the Organization for Black Struggle (OBS). Since leaving OBS he has continued to work to build just economy, confront police violence and to build alternative structures to advance participatory and protagonist democracy.

Montague is also a leader in the campaign to Close the Workhouse, which aims to close the horrific medium security facility in St. Louis, end the city’s unconstitutional pre-trial detention practices, and shift public safety resources toward a focus on Community Wellness. He continues to be a part of the growing ecosystem of organizations that are the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL). With its beginnings in the Ferguson Uprisings the M4BL has engaged some of the most brilliant and visionary Black thinkers and organizers of our day and through cooperation and coordination has now taken the mantle to continue our generations long fight for liberation.

Nkechi Taifa, Esq.
NAARC Commissioner

Atty. Nkechi Taifa

Civil/Human rights lawyer and long-standing reparations advocate. President, The Taifa Group LLC, Washington, DC

Nkechi Taifa is Founder, Principal and CEO of The Taifa Group LLC, a social enterprise firm whose mission is to advance justice. The Taifa Group’s portfolio of client services include coalition-building, convenings, government relations, meeting and retreat facilitation, strategic planning, and trainings. She also convenes the Justice Roundtable, a broad network of advocacy groups advancing progressive justice system reform, and serves as a Senior Fellow at the Center for Justice at Columbia University. Nkechi was recently appointed to the governing board of the Corrections Information Council, an independent monitoring body that provides oversight over the conditions of District residents imprisoned throughout the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the D.C. Department of Corrections.

Nkechi served as the Advocacy Director for Criminal Justice for the Open Society Foundations and Open Society Policy Center from 2002-2018, focusing on issues of sentencing reform, law enforcement reform, reentry, prison reform, executive clemency, and racial justice. She also founded the Justice Roundtable coalition while at the Open Society. As the Roundtable convener, Taifa was in the leadership of the coalition responsible for passage of both the Second Chance Act reentry legislation (2008) and the Fair Sentencing Act crack disparity legislation (2010). She helped to fuel the mobilization of the Obama administration’s clemency initiative, which resulted in the early release from unjust imprisonment of over 1,700 prisoners.

Nkechi was founding director of the award-winning Equal Justice Program at Howard University School of Law from 1996-2002, where she also directed the Law School’s Externship Program and taught seminars on “Racial Disparity in the Criminal Justice System,” Public Interest Law,” and the “Law of Corrections and Prisoners’ Rights.” She taught as an adjunct professor at American University Washington College of Law as well as Howard Law, and has taught high school students criminal law as part of the National Bar Association’s Crump Law Camp since 2001.

Taifa served as legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union from 1991-1996 where she was the principal spokesperson on criminal justice and civil rights issues; policy counsel for the Women’s Legal Defense Fund from 1989-1991; staff attorney for the National Prison Project from 1984-1987; Office Manager and Network Organizer for the Washington Office on Africa from 1980-1983; elementary school teacher at NationHouse Watoto School from 1977-1980, and as founder and director of a Saturday School for youth during the 1970s. She also maintained a general criminal and civil law practice in the District of Columbia between 1987-1991, representing indigent adult and juvenile clients, and specializing in employment discrimination law.

Nkechi Taifa served as co-chair for the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR) Steering Committee on D.C. Statehood (1993-95) which resulted in a historic first vote in Congress; and on the Leadership Conference’s Task Force on Voting Rights (1991- 93) which resulted in passage of the National Voter Registration Act (Motor Voter bill). She helped to mobilize the successful campaign against implementation of the death penalty in the District of Columbia in the early 90’s, and served as coordinator and trainer for the 1995 Million Man March Legal Observer Committee. Taifa served as a prosecutor delivering the Opening Statement for both the 2007 International Tribunal on Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and the 1997 International Tribunal for Justice for Mumia Abu-Jamal.
Nkechi Taifa has testified before the U.S. Congress, the United States Sentencing Commission, the Council of the District of Columbia, and the American Bar Association Justice Kennedy Commission. She served as an appointed Commissioner and Chair of the District of Columbia Commission on Human Rights from 2007-2014.

Nkechi Taifa has had five law review articles published, “Integrative Solutions to Interrelated Issues: A Multidisciplinary Look Behind the Cycle of Incarceration;” “Cracked Justice: A Critical Examination of Cocaine Sentencing;” “Three Strikes and You’re Out – Mandatory Life Imprisonment for Third Time Felons;” “Civil Forfeiture vs. Civil Liberties;” and “Codification or Castration – the Applicability of the International Race Convention to the U.S. Criminal Justice System.”

She was the Project Chair for the publication, Tulia: Tip of the Drug War Iceberg, and author of the chapter, “Social Policy Implications of Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System,” published in The Color of Social Policy. She is also the author of ground-breaking White Papers and Issue Briefs, such as “Clemency: An Inside Story from a Progressive Advocate” (Federal Sentencing Reporter June 2017); “Racism in the Criminal Justice System: Institutionalized Genocide?” (American Constitution Society 2016); “A Bittersweet Moment in History: Passage of the Fair Sentencing Act (NACDL Champion Magazine 2010); “Roadblocked Reentry: the Prison After Imprisonment” (National Bar Association Magazine 2006); and “Reflections from the Frontlines: An Insider’s Perspective on the Crack Cocaine Controversy” (Federal Sentencing Reporter 1998).

Nkechi Taifa served as the principal author of the Advancement Project’s report, “Re-Enfranchisement! A Guide for Individual Restoration of Voting Rights in States that Permanently Disenfranchise Former Felons” (2002). She was a contributing author to Black Reparations: American Slavery and its Vestiges; Reparations Yes: The Legal and Political Reasons Why Blacks Should be Paid for the Enslavement of Our Ancestors; and Decolonization U.S.A.

Nkechi currently serves on the Legal Advisory Team of the Legacy of the GU272 Alliance (descendants of the 1838 Jesuit sale of 272 enslaved persons which ensured the survival of Georgetown University); is a past president of the DC Chapter of the National Conference of Black Lawyers and founding member and former co-chair of the Legislative Commission of the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America. She is a member of the National African American Reparations Commission, and an advisor to the Institute of the Black World 21st Century.

Nkechi has served on the boards of numerous organizations, and has received awards and honors. She has served as consultant to various organizations and projects, and been interviewed and quoted extensively in the national and local electronic and print media. Reported legal cases with Taifa as counsel include Shepherd v. American Broadcasting Companies, 864 F. Supp. 486 (D.C. Cir. 1994); 62 F.3d 1469 (D.C. Cir. 1995); U.S. v. Whitehorn, 710 F. Supp. 803 (1989); Knop v. Johnson, 655 F. Supp. 871 (WD Mich 1987).

A multi-talented individual, Nkechi Taifa received an Individual Artist Fellowship Award for Excellence in Literature from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and is the published author of two books for children, Shining Legacy (1983) which highlights twelve Black heroes and heroines through moving stories accentuated with rhyme; and The Adventures of Kojo and Ama (1992) which contains seven wisdom-filled stories combining excitement, fun and suspense with lessons in pride and heritage. She performed spoken word with the group “BlackNotes” as part of its debut CD project, leading her original creation, “While Malcolm Preached, Trane Played.”

Nkechi is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. She received her Juris Doctorate from George Washington University Law School and graduated magna cum laude from Howard University. She is the proud mother of a daughter, Mariama Taifa-Seitu.

Rev. Mark Thompson
NAARC Commissioner

Rev. Mark Thompson

Social and Political Activist, Radio Talk Show Host, New York, NY

The Rev. Mark A. Thompson spent half of his life as a political activist in the Washington, DC, before relocating to New York City in 2010. His civil rights/political organizing includes:

● the 1984 and 1988 Jesse Jackson presidential campaigns
● the movement forcing Georgetown University to divest from apartheid South Africa in 1985
● KIAMSHA, the 1990 student protest and boycott at the University of the District of Columbia, for which he was named one of the "100 Most Powerful People in Washington" by Regardie’s magazine
● defeating the Congressionally-imposed ballot initiative forcing the death penalty on the District of Columbia in 1992
● weekly civil disobedience on Capitol Hill--for which Mark was jailed for 20 days--that helped win the first-ever Congressional vote on DC Statehood in 1993
● the Umoja Party, the last Black political party with ballot-status in the U.S. from 1994-2000
● the Million Man March in 1995, which Mark emceed
● every anniversary of the March on Washington, each of which Mark emceed
● joining Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Dick Gregory, Joe Madison and journalist Gary Webb in 1996 to expose the CIA’s role in the crack cocaine epidemic
● the 2004 Al Sharpton Presidential Campaign
● the NAACP Police Task Force from 1996 - 2010
● the 2017 Womens March

Radio & TV Host, Political Analyst and Commentator; graduate of the University of the District of Columbia, Mark was honored at the 104th Annual NAACP Convention in Orlando in July 2013 “for 25 years of crusading journalism and outstanding leadership in furthering the work of civil and human rights.” Mark is a frequent analyst and commentator on cable news.

Mark’s began his broadcast career in 1988 with Radio One, Inc. under the guidance of owner Cathy Hughes, for whom the Howard University School of Communications is now named, and the very building in which Mark was born when it was formerly Freedmen’s Hospital. Mark began as a news correspondent for WOL-AM, which once featured the renowned Petey Greene. When Hughes tapped Mark to host her popular morning show, she hired Dick Gregory to be his co-host.

Mark anchored coverage of the dedication of the MLK Memorial. He broadcast Occupy Wall Street live, on location from New York's Zuccotti Park. His ministry, broadcasting and activism have taken him to the streets of Sanford, Florida, Ferguson, Missouri, and Baltimore, Maryland in the aftermath of the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Freddie Gray. In 2013, at a Moral Monday led by The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber and the North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP, he was arrested and jailed live on air. He broadcast from Johannesburg and Soweto during the first-ever democratic elections in 1994 in South Africa, where he received the name, Matsimela Mapfumo, which means “firmly rooted soldier.” He has broadcast from every Democratic National Convention since 1992. For the past ten years, Mark has been the only broadcaster to provide gavel-to-gavel coverage of the NAACP Annual Convention. He has also broadcast from the annual Womens March since 2017.

Mark attended the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service before earning his Bachelor’s in Journalism from the University of the District of Columbia. He earned his Masters in Divinity from Howard University.

Rev. Dr. Robert Turner
NAARC Commissioner

Rev. Dr. Robert Turner

Pastor of the Historic Vernon AME Church, Tulsa, OK

Rev. Dr. Robert Richard Allen Turner is a millennial who is passionate about his calling to serve this “present age” by speaking truth to power, and by following the Word as printed in Isaiah 61 to “preach good tidings to the poor…heal the brokenhearted…proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound.” Currently, Dr. Turner is the pastor of Historic Vernon A.M.E. Church, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which has the only edifice which survived the 1921 Race Massacre on Greenwood. Additionally, Dr. Turner is now the Academic Dean for Jackson Theological Seminary, in Little Rock Arkansas. He sits on the National African American Reparations Commission, Board of Trustees for the American Village, the 1921 Race Massacre Centennial Commission, Tulsa Mass Graves Oversight Commission, President of the Historic Greenwood Main Street District, the Board of Directors for the Terence Crutcher Foundation, North Tulsa Task Force, Demanding a Just Tulsa, and the Advisory Board of the Blackburn Institute of the University of Alabama and the chairperson of the board for the Turner Ministry Association 501(c)3.

Dr. Turner has been featured on CBS’s 60 Minutes and Evening News, ABC, BBC, MSNBC (Chuck Todd, and Andrea Mitchell’s show) CNN, NPR Here and Now and the Euronews, Washington Post, LA Times, and New York Times, along with Politico, and several other national and international publications and news outlets.

A cum laude graduate from the Honors Program at the University of Alabama, he majored in Political Science with a minor in Spanish. Rev. Turner was the first Black Chief of Staff for the Student Government Association at the University of Alabama and was honored as the 2004 University of Alabama Most Outstanding Male Student. In addition, he was featured on CNN concerning the University of Alabama’s Faculty Senate Apology for slavery that took place on their campus. Moreover, Rev. Dr. Turner helped lead a movement, which caused the University of Alabama to recognize the presence of two slaves, Jack and Boysie, who were buried on the college campus.

Rev. Turner graduated with honors from the Interdenominational Theological Center’s Turner Seminary in Atlanta, GA, with a Masters in Divinity. He later received his Doctor of Ministry from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. In his dissertation, Rev. Turner coined the phrase, “Prophetic Civic Engagement,” and highlighted Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as a shining example of this concept. He is a 1999 graduate of Alabama Boys State, a 2013 graduate of Leadership Mobile, an ordained clergyman, and a lifetime member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

In 2005 after struggling over his calling, Rev. Turner withdrew from law school and went on a mission trip to Kenya and was given the title co-team leader. In Kenya, Robert grew extremely close to God. While there he supervised approximately 25 young adults together they by the power of God, taught, preached, and healed, many people. From the Kenyans Turner grasped a greater appreciation for living by faith alone. Furthermore, by the mercy of God, he and his teammates were used to bring well over 200 souls to Christ. Constantly seeking to help the needy. After Hurricane Katrina, Pastor Turner also went down to New Orleans to evangelize, comfort those grieving, and to offer assistance where needed. Most recently, he took a mission trip to Egypt where he visited holy sites, and learned from monks key insights on spiritual discipline.

Formerly the pastor of St. Paul A.M.E. Church in Mobile for three years, he is a former board member of the Mobile Chapter of the Sickle Cell Disease of America and the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance, assisted organizations create mentorship programs and recruit mentors. Dr. Turner was also a UniServ Director for the Alabama Education Association where he represented over 1,800 members covering 4 counties, and 51 work sites. Before moving from Mobile, Rev. Turner was a regular columnist for the Press-Register and AL.com. Previously he has interned for U.S. Senator Richard Shelby, former Congressman Artur Davis, Alabama Supreme Court Justice Harold See, and Secretary of State Jim Bennett.

Additionally Dr. Turner has done research for the Kettering Foundation and the David Mathews Center for Civic Life. While at the Mathews Center for Civic Life, he co-authored the 2015 Alabama Civic Health index. Dr. Turner loves to preach and was an adjunct professor of Homiletics for Jarvis Christian College. His passion for social justice led him to become the Chair for the Social Civil and Political Action for the A.M.E. Church in the state of Alabama. He continued his fight against racism in his previous position as Project Director for Truth Racial Healing and Transformation for Selma, Alabama where he oversaw a $3 million grant from the Kellogg Foundation for the BlackBelt Community Foundation with the goal of jettisoning the belief of a hierarchy of human value based on physical characteristics such as skin color.

Currently Dr. Turner fighting in Tulsa for justice for the victims of the 1921 Race Massacre, getting burial sites excavated, and seeking reparations. Each Wednesday you can find him with his Bible and Bullhorn seeking by God’s direction, to call the city to recognize what they did in 1921, repentance, and reparations.

He is pastoring his sixth church thus far. The first was Waymon Chapel A.M.E. Church in Brierfield, Alabama where he was instrumental in putting a new roof on the church increased membership. The second was Ward Chapel A.M.E. Church in Selma, Alabama where he was involved in repairing the floor. The third was St. Paul A.M.E. Church in Mobile, Alabama where he created the St. Paul Community Resource Foundation along with updated the sound system, renovated sanctuary and educational building, acquired computers and other appliances and greatly increased the size of their membership and financial development. The next was St. Paul A.M.E. Church in Tuscaloosa, Alabama within the Taylorville community while there he has increased the land mass by half, created a youth choir. The fifth is St. James A.M.E. Church Birmingham, Alabama in the Avondale Community, where in his first year God has blessed them to develop a website, renovate the fellowship hall, begin a food pantry and to start a children’s church.

As of August 25, 2017 Rev. Dr. Robert R.A. Turner became the pastor of the Vernon Chapel in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Since becoming the pastor, he has been a tireless advocate for the Historic Greenwood District (the site of former Black Wall Street), highlighting the church’s history from its beginning in 1905 to today, given countless tours of the church, increased membership, installing tv monitors, the church has been placed on the National Historic Registry, creation of a website, started several ministries, and outreach programs, children’s church, an evening service, a satellite campus, homeless ministry, feeding ministry, and a $5 million capital campaign to restore the basement and historic church. Additionally during COVID19 God led Dr. Turner to start a feeding program where nearly 125,000 meals have been distributed from the Historic Vernon AME Church being one of the only places in the city serving meals on a daily basis since March 18, 2020.

Turner has been married for over 14 years to fellow University of Alabama Alumna and Mississippi native, Shere Turner, M.B.A. They have two boys, ages 9, and 7, Robert Richard Allen Turner II (Deuce) and Malcolm Robert Martin Turner (Bobby). Together they found the Turners Unlimited, LLC. and the Turner Ministry Association 501(c)3.

In his free time, this community activist, consultant, dean, and clergyman enjoys reading, sports, mentoring youth, working with convicted felons and spending time with his family.

Dr. Turner travels the country as a guest lecturer, life coach, DEI trainer, presenter, facilitator and motivational speaker. Since coming to Tulsa he has received several awards such as the Hometown Hero from the Modern Woodmen, Nat Turner Award for divine leadership on restorative justice from the African Ancestral Society, Trailblazer Award from North Tulsa Educational Task Force, Terence Crutcher Foundation Award for commitment to criminal justice reform , lastly he was given the distinction of being named Tulsan of the Year for 2019 by the Tulsa World the cities largest news publication. His areas of focus are racism, community development, grassroots organizing, non-profit grant program management, faith-based community involvement, civic engagement, mentorship, deliberative forums, and employee relations. If you would ever like him to come visit your area you can book him at robertturnerministries.net

Thank you for visiting! May God richly bless you and yours

Rev. JoAnn Watson
NAARC Commissioner

Rev. JoAnn Watson

Former Detroit City Councilwoman, Detroit, MI

JoAnn Watson is an American pastor, media personality and was a Detroit City Council Member for ten years. She currently is an on-air personality for Channel 91 WHPR as the host of Wake Up Detroit. Watson is also a professor at Wayne County Community College, where she teaches English and Journalism. Watson is the Senior Pastor of West Side Unity Church and is a faculty member at the Unity Urban Ministerial School.

A 1968 graduate of Detroit Central High School, Watson received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Michigan, who has recognized her with the "Leonard F. Sain Esteemed Alumni Award". Watson also was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Humanities.

Prior to her service as a member of the city council, Watson served as Detroit NAACP Executive Director, YWCA of USA Racial Justice Director, and public liaison for Congressman John Conyers. In 2003, Watson filed to run in a Special Election to fill a vacancy on the Detroit City Council, which was created when Councilwoman Brenda Scott died on September 2, 2002. February, 2003, Dick Gregory headlined Watson's first political fundraiser. On April 29, 2003, Watson won the Special Election 52% to 48%, defeating the highly-favored Gil Hill, who was famous for playing the sharp-tongued police inspector in three Beverly Hills Cop movies.

Watson would subsequently win re-election to City Council and served as City Council President Pro Tem. During her tenure, Watson sponsored thousands of laws, including: laws that banned texting and talking while driving; a ban on smoking in public places; and the "Water Affordability Plan," which helped low-income citizens avoid water shut-offs. In 2009, The Nation Magazine recognized Watson as "the most valuable local elected official in the USA."

During Watson's tenure on City Council, her staff included future Michigan State Legislator Coleman A. Young II, who interned in her office.

In 2013, Watson announced her intention to retire. In December of 2013, a celebration of her career was held at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, where Dick Gregory, once again, was the headliner.

Dr. E. Faye Williams, Esq.
NAARC Commissioner

Dr. E. Faye Williams, Esq.

President/CEO, National Congress of Black Women, Washington, DC

Dr. E. Faye Williams, Esq. is National President of the National Congress of Black Women, Inc. She was appointed by President Barack Obama to the Presidential Scholars Commission. She hosts “Wake Up and Stay Woke” on WPFW-FM 89.3.

She’s studied at numerous universities and holds a BS Degree in Speech and Dramatic Arts; a Masters and PhD in Public Administration; Administration and Supervision Credential; Jurist Doctorate and Doctor of Ministry. She also has an Honorary Doctorate in Theology and is a Minister at Greater Works Christian Church of Suitland, Maryland.

She’s a Life Member of Delta Sigma Theta, the NAACP and the National Congress of Black Women. She was inducted into The History Makers and is a member of the Grambling University Hall of Fame. She has received the prestigious NAACP Presidential Legacy Award and is a member of Alpha Kappa Mu National Honor Society.

She’s received numerous awards for peace, justice and human rights, and is the author of 4 books --one of which is entitled The Peace Terrorists, that chronicles her 40-day peace mission in the Middle East. Her most recent book is entitled THE TRUTH Shall Set You Free. She was the first Black person to run a viable political campaign for the U.S. Congress in Louisiana – narrowly missing victory by less than 1% after a mysterious “computer breakdown”.

Jasiri X
NAARC Commissioner

Jasiri X

Hip Hop, Activist, Founder of 1Hood Media, Pittsburgh, PA

Jasiri X is the first independent hip-hop artist to be awarded an Honorary Doctorate, which he received from Chicago Theological Seminary in 2016. This recognition grew out of the spiritual/political urgency and artistic vision he shared on songs like “Justice For Trayvon” and “Strange Fruit (Class of 2013),” which documented the unjust police killings of young Blacks in the Millennial Generation. Likewise, he has been deeply involved with the national Movement for Black Lives, working with organizations like The Gathering for Justice, Blackout for Human Rights, Justice or Else, BYP100 and Sankofa. Still, he remains rooted in the Pittsburgh based organizations he co-founded, the anti-violence group One Hood as well as the New Media Academy, which teaches African-American boys how to analyze and create media for themselves. Jasiri emerged on the national scene in 2007 with the powerful hit song “Free The Jena 6” and the groundbreaking Internet video series This Week With Jasiri X, a program that reached millions of Internet views. More recently, his critically acclaimed album Black Liberation Theology (2015) has been recognized as a soundtrack for today’s civil rights movement. He has performed his music from the Smithsonian to the Apollo Theater and has discussed his views on hip-hop, race and politics at leading institutions across the nation, including Harvard University, the University of Chicago, NYU, Stanford, among others. Beyond his work nationally, Jasiri’s focus on social change has also touched the global arena. In 2016, he was commissioned by The Open Society Foundation to travel to Columbia to create a film (War on Us with Grammy Award-winning hip-hop artist Rhymefest) that highlights the international effects of US drug policy in South America. One of the most important political voices of his generation, in 2015 he received the USA Cummings Fellowship in Music, a BMe Fellowship and a Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Artist as Activist Fellowship. Jasiri X lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with his wife Celeste and their three children.

Convening & Administration

Dr. Ron Daniels
Convener

Dr. Ron Daniels

President, Institute of the Black World 21st Century, New York, NY

Veteran social and political activist Dr. Ron Daniels was an independent candidate for President of the United States in 1992. He served as Executive Director of the National Rainbow Coalition in 1987 and Southern Regional Coordinator and Deputy Campaign Manager for the Jesse Jackson for President Campaign in 1988. He holds a B.A. in History from Youngstown State University, an M.A. in Political Science from the Rockefeller School of Public Affairs in Albany, New York and a Doctor of Philosophy in Africana Studies from the Union Institute and University in Cincinnati. Dr. Daniels is a Distinguished Lecturer Emeritus at York College, City University of New York where he taught courses in Political Science.

From 1993-2005 Dr. Daniels served as first African American Executive Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR). During his tenure CCR emerged as a major force fighting against police brutality and misconduct, church burnings, hate crimes, voter disenfranchisement, environmental racism and the threats to civil liberties posed by the government’s response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack.

In June of 1995, Dr. Daniels led an African American fact finding and support delegation/mission to Haiti. As a result of the visit, the Haiti Support Project (HSP) was created to mobilize ongoing political and material support for the struggle for democracy and development in Haiti. HSP has emerged as the leading African American organization working to build a constituency for Haiti in the U.S.

A prolific essayist and commentator, Dr. Daniels’ column Vantage Point appears in numerous Black and progressive newspapers and web sites nationwide. He also the host of a weekly issue-oriented public affairs talk show (Vantage Point Radio) on WBAI, 99.5 FM on the Pacifica Network in New York and until recently, he served as an occasional Guest Host for Make It Plain with Mark Thompson, SIRIUSXM Radio.

Dr. Daniels is Founder and President of the Institute of the Black World 21st Century (IBW), a progressive, African centered, action-oriented Resource Center dedicated to empowering people of African descent and marginalized communities. As the administrator for the National African American Reparations Commission (NAARC), IBW has emerged as a leading organization within the U.S. and global reparations movements. NAARC has devised a 10 Point Reparations Program and is a stanch support of HR-40, the Congressional Bill that would establish a National Commission to study reparations proposals for African Americans. Dr. Ron Daniels serves as the Convener of NAARC.

Don Rojas
Administrator

Don Rojas

Director of Communications and International Relations for the Institute of the Black World 21st Century, Baltimore, MD

Don Rojas is the Director of Communications for the Institute of the Black World 21st Century (IBW) and also a member of its board of directors. Before joining IBW in 2013, Mr. Rojas served as Executive Director and CEO of Free Speech TV, a Denver-based, multiplatform, national media network.

Miscellaneous Accomplishments:

Mr. Rojas possesses a unique combination of communications expertise and experiences spanning a long career in print, broadcast and Internet media as well as international diplomacy. Over the course of his career he has traveled and worked extensively in the USA, Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.

He was the former press secretary to the late Prime Minister Maurice Bishop of Grenada from 1979-1983 and the first press secretary to any Caribbean head of state.

He led the New York Amsterdam News as its executive editor in the early 1990s. The Amsterdam News is the largest and most influential African-American newspaper in the nation.

He was the general manger of Pacifica Radio station WBAI in New York from 2002-2005 and led the station to record membership drives.

He established a communications department for the NAACP (National HQ) in the early 1990s and became the first director of communications for the country’s oldest and largest civil rights organization.

He was recently featured in a chapter in the book “The Black Digital Elite—African American Leaders of the Information Revolution” by John Barber. The book contains chapters of other black media pioneers such as Richard Parsons, CEO of Time-Warner, Robert L. Johnson, founder of BET and William Kennard, former chairman of the FCC.

In 1999 he was named one of the ‘Silicon Alley Dozen’, a group of Internet CEOs pioneering new media developments in New York City.

In 1996 Mr. Rojas launched and ran The Black World Today, a pioneering news and commentary site on the Web.

In the mid 1990s he was contracted by the National Council of Churches (NCC) to co-ordinate a very successful media campaign to draw the nation’s and the world’s attention to a spate of hate-motivated arsons of dozens of African-American churches throughout the southern states of the USA. The campaign resulted in scores of stories, commentaries and editorials in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other leading newspapers and on all the major television networks. The media campaign also resulted in the NCC’s ability to raise millions of dollars from the public to assist
in the rebuilding of the destroyed churches and led to the strengthening of federal and state laws against hate crimes.

He has interviewed presidents and prime ministers of African, Caribbean and Latin American countries as well as civil and human rights leaders in the USA and around the world.

He was the only African-American journalist to cover the first summit meeting between Presidents Reagan and Gorbachev in Geneva in 1986.

Created the first Internet Radio Network (Black World Radio) targeting people of color with news, commentaries and musical entertainment.

Taught courses and lectured on the history of journalism and on minorities in the media at Long Island University’s School of Journalism, the University of the West Indies and Charles University in Prague. Lectured on Caribbean and Central American politics at Columbia University in New York, McGill University in Canada, London University, the University of Manchester in England and the Sorbonne in France.

He assisted the President of IBW, Dr. Ron Daniels, in organizing and then participated in a historic Symposium in Washington DC in October, 2013 on the subject of “Democracy & Development in Africa and the Caribbean.”

Mr. Rojas has edited four books of history and critical commentary about Grenada.

The Historic National/International Reparations Summit in April 2015

The National African American Reparations Commission (NAARC) was launched in April, 2015 at the historic National/International Reparations Summit held at York College (CUNY) in Queens, New York. Delegates from across the USA and from 22 countries in the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, and Latin America attended the Summit. The conference featured a path-breaking dialogue between the NAARC Commissioners and members of the CARICOM Reparations Commission, led by Prof. Sir Hilary Beckles.

Learn more

National African American Reparations Commission (NAARC) Reparations Summit, April 2015