As the President and CEO of the Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ), Sondra Samuels leads a collaborative of partner organizations and schools who work together toward a single goal—to prepare low-income North Minneapolis children to graduate from high school ready for college. Ms. Samuels is a national leader and tireless advocate for effective solutions to end poverty through education. Under her leadership, NAZ was named a federal Promise Neighborhood and has become a nationally recognized model for achievement.
Ms. Samuels is a national leader and tireless advocate for effective solutions to end poverty through education. Under her leadership, NAZ was named a federal Promise Neighborhood and has become a nationally recognized model for achievement.
Dr. Robert Simmons
As the Vice President of Strategy and Innovation for the Campaign for Black Male Achievement (CBMA), Robert W. Simmons III, EdD is responsible for the national implementation and development of CBMA’s place-based efforts to improve the life outcomes for Black men and boys. Using the CBMA Bold Goal and High School Excellence Framework, Robert is charged with partnering with communities to support their efforts, and invest CBMA resources, to accelerate the rate at which Black boys complete high school college, career and community ready.
Prior to joining CBMA Robert served as the first Chief of Innovation & Research in the District of Columbia Public Schools where he managed numerous initiatives in the district, including the launching of the first single gender school in the history of DCPS, and serving as the chief architect of the nationally recognized Empowering Males of Color initiative.
George C. Fraser is Chairman and CEO of FraserNet, Inc. A company he founded some 25 years ago with the vision to lead a global networking movement that brings together diverse human resources to increase opportunities for people of African descent. He is considered by many to be a new voice for African Americans and one of the foremost authorities on economic development, networking and building effective relationships.
Pamela C.V. Jolly, Founder, and CEO of Torch Enterprises Inc., brings more than 18 years of proven leadership and strategic management expertise; her primary focus is legacy wealth creation that passes on for generations. Her company Torch Enterprises is a strategic investment firm focused on growing and sustaining minority-owned businesses.
Dr. Randal Pinkett
Dr. Randal Pinkett has established himself as an entrepreneur, speaker, author, scholar and community servant. He is the co-founder, chairman, and CEO of BCT Partners, a multimillion dollar management, technology, and policy consulting firm based in Newark, NJ. BCT Partners works with corporations, government agencies and nonprofit organizations in the areas of housing and community development, economic development, human services, government, healthcare, and education.
Herman LeVern Jones
Herman LeVern Jones, from Raleigh-Cary, North Carolina, is a forty-four year veteran of African American Theatre. Mr. Jones received his Bachelor of Arts degree in African American Theatre and English from North Carolina State University, his Masters of Fine Arts degree in acting from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), and has worked towards his Doctorial degree in Performance Studies at New York University. He advanced his career by working under the guidance of Broadway Producer Woodie King, Jr. as the Associate Producer for the National Black Touring Circuit, Inc. of New York (NBTC) from 1983 to 1999 and the late Larry Leon Hamlin as Special Assistant to the Producer (Co-Producer) of the 1989 to 1997 National Black Theatre Festival (NBTF) in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Mzuri Moyo Aimbaye
Destined to sing and bring love and peace to the world, Mzuri has performed all over the United States and abroad. She lived briefly in Paris and Italy, where she trained as a singer. Mzuri also trained as an actress at HB Studio, New York City. Mzuri’s dramatic soprano voice took her from her Paterson, N.J. birthplace to nightclub gigs in Paris, France, and Rome Italy.