Association Speakers

Dr. Boyce Watkins         Dr. Boyce is one of the most highly sought after African-American scholars in the world. Specializing in financial psychology, educational motivation, and black social commentary, Dr. Watkins has presented his message to millions, making regular appearances on CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, ABC News, BET, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Black Enterprise Magazine and many more national media outlets. Brilliant, articulate, an...


Read More

Judy A. Smith         Judy is the Founder and President of Smith & Co, a leading strategic and crisis communications firm with offices in Washington D.C. and Los Angeles. Over the last 25 years, Ms. Smith has brought her unique combination of communication skills, media savvy, legal and political acumen to clients facing a wide array of issues and challenges throughout the United States and abroad. Ms. Smith honed her skills through her experien...


Read More

Lynn Whitfield         Growing up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Lynn Whitfield first watched the likes of Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and Bette Davis in “All About Eve” from her grandmother’s lap. She loved classic movies and with child-like confidence, she could see no reason she could not become an actress and some day play those same types of roles. Over the course of nearly three decades, the talent of the little girl who dreamed ...


Read More

Hill Harper          Hill is an award winning actor, bestselling author and philanthropist. Hill is the author of three New York Times bestsellers: Letters to a Young Brother, Letters to a Young Sister, and The Conversation. Letters to a Young Brother was named “Best Book for Young Adults” by the American Library Association in 2007.Hill currently stars on the hit television drama CSI:NY as Dr. Sheldon Hawkes. CSI is the most successful televisi...


Read More

Donna Brazile         Veteran Democratic political strategist Donna Brazile is an adjunct professor, author, syndicated columnist, television political commentator, Vice Chair of Voter Registration and Participation at the Democratic National Committee, and former interim National Chair of the Democratic National Committee as well as the former chair of the DNC’s Voting Rights Institute.Aside from working for the full recovery of her beloved New ...


Read More

Ed Gordon          Hard hitting, inspiring, intelligent, honest, and direct: these are some of the words used to describe the style and approach of Emmy-award winning broadcaster, Ed Gordon.         Known for his stellar interaction with newsmakers from the worlds of politics, entertainment, and sports, his name is synonymous with the “big” interview. Gordon’s knack for landing exclusives and his no-nonsense style make him one of the television’...


Read More

Dr. Marc Lamont Hill         Dr. Marc is one of the leading hip-hop generation intellectuals in the country. His work, which covers topics such as hip-hop culture, politics, sexuality, education and religion, has appeared in numerous journals, magazines, books, and anthologies. Dr. Hill has lectured widely and provides regular commentary for media outlets like NPR, Washington Post, Essence Magazine, and New York Times and has been a regular guest...


Read More

Dr. Avis Jones DeWeever

Sits on the Board of Directors of the Voter Participation Center, The Women’s Voices Women’s Vote Action Fund, and the National Network to End Domestic Violence.

Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever           Named to theGrio 100, recognized by the Women's Media Center as one of 30 women making history, and acknowledged by BET as one of the most influential women in Washington, DC, Dr. Jones-DeWeever is a key voice on the needs and condition of women and the African American community. Her policy perspectives have been shared widely in various national and international outlets including CNN, C-SPAN, PBS, TV-ONE, BET,...


Read More

Marshawn Evans         As one of the nation’s leading experts on the art of maximizing potential, Reinvention Strategist™, Entrepreneur and Entertainment Attorney, MARSHAWN EVANS is Founder of ME Unlimited®, a consulting firm focusing on reinvention, diversity, women’s empowerment, leadership and peak performance strategies. She is founder of ME University® - The Ultimate Business & Branding Bootcamp, the industry’s premiere summit for equipping ...


Read More

Sophia A. Nelson         Sophia is "redefining" the rules for 21st Century living and success. The award-winning author, journalist, political commentator and former House of Representatives committee counsel is working to change the game for a new generation of Americans in academia, the workplace, interpersonal relationships, and overall persona development.     Prior to becoming a freelance journalist and former White House correspondent and p...


Read More

Judge Karen Mills-Francis         Judge Karen has a colorful and engaging style that is as distinctive as her bold burgundy robe and her bright blonde hair. As quick to aid the helpless as she is to dismiss the hare-brained, Judge Karen confidently dished out justice to a national television audience with the half-hour syndicated courtroom series, Judge Karen. She is famous for the lines “Stay in your Lane, I know how to Drive”. For fall 2010 Jud...


Read More

Roland S. Martin          Roland is a nationally award-winning and multifaceted journalist.   A nationally syndicated columnist with Creators Syndicate  and the author of Listening to the Spirit Within: 50 Perspectives on Faith, and Speak, Brother! A Black Man’s View of America. He also serves as executive editor of the Chicago Defender, the nation’s largest Black daily newspaper.   Mr. Martin is a commentator for TV One Cable Network  also h...


Read More

Dr. Julianne Malveaux         Recognized for her provocative, progressive and insightful observations, Dr. Julianne Malveaux, an economist, author and commentator, is the President and CEO of Last Word Productions, Inc, a multimedia production company. Described by Dr. Cornel West as “the most iconoclastic public intellectual in the country”, Dr. Malveaux’s contributions to the public dialogue on issues such as race, culture, gender, and their ec...


Read More

Dr. Randal Pinkett

Entrepreneur • Speaker • Author • Community Servant

Dr. Randal Pinkett         Dr. Randal has established himself as an entrepreneur, speaker, author and community servant. He is the founder, chairman and CEO of BCT Partners, a multimillion dollar consulting firm based in Newark, NJ, that specializes in information technology, organizational development, and public policy. Dr. Pinkett was also named the winner of NBC’s hit reality television show, The Apprentice, with Donald Trump. He emerged as o...


Read More

Marilyn Johnson

Global Ambassador and Retired IBM Executive

Marilyn Johnson         Marilyn was the IBM Vice President, Market Development based in Armonk, New York. In this capacity, she led an organization responsible for developing IBM’s strategy for (and marketing to) businesses owned or operated by Asians, Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans and Women in the Americas. In 2005 she expanded her mission to include women-owned and women-led businesses in selected markets around the globe; expanding IBM m...


Read More

Debra Langford

CEO of The Langford Company, a business that provides brand activation to the multicultural audience

Debra Langford          Debra is the CEO of The Langford Company, a business that provides brand activation to the multicultural audience, Diversity & Inclusion strategies and the development of top tier diverse candidate pipelines through exclusive events. A media and entertainment industry veteran, Langford was most recently the Vice President, Inclusion and Business Diversity, NBCUniversal, joining in 2009, and was responsible for creating, s...


Read More

Michael Blake        Michael humbly refers to the words of his mother who said that they went “From No House to The White House”.Michael is the National Deputy Director of Operation Vote, which oversees the constituency outreach programs for the Obama For America campaign.Operation Vote oversees all efforts to constituencies including but not limited to: African-Americans, Youth, Women, Hispanic, Faith, Veterans, Jewish, LGBT & Asian American Pac...


Read More

Dr. Raye Mitchell

Entertainment attorney, motivational speaker, entrepreneur, author and social entrepreneur founder of I C HOPE

Dr. Raye Mitchell         Dr. Raye is an entertainment attorney, motivational speaker, entrepreneur, author and social entrepreneur founder of I C HOPE: The Making a New Reality Foundation. Dr. Mitchell is the Executive Producer of G.U.R.L.S. Rock Power TV (www.youtube.com/newhopenewreality), an Internet based TV program providing inspiration, training and leadership content for women and girls of color and G.U.R.L.S. Rock Global Leadership Summi...


Read More

Kai Dupe         Mr. Dupe has a masters degree in education.  He has been a student of spirituality for 20 years. Mr. Dupé is also a doctoral student at Pepperdine University where he is researching the lack of African American males in computing.  Kai is concerned with the spiritual education of African American males.  He utilizes his education, experience, and skills to educate young people in the science of mind.  He is an advocate for spiri...


Read More

Ruth Brinkley

Frequent speaker on healthcare and broader leadership issues

Ruth W. Brinkley         Ruth is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Carondelet Health Network in Tucson, Arizona and West Ministry Market Leader for Ascension Health. She provides strategic and operation leadership for Carondelet while promoting alignment among Health Ministries within the Western Region and the System Office on issues related to Mission and Vision. Ms. Brinkley shares accountability for strategic positioning and operat...


Read More