Egyptologist, Historian, Author, Publisher

21st Century explorer and passionate speaker. Indiana Jones may be a hero on film but it’s real life Anthony Browder who is now excavating the ancient secrets of Karakhamun’s lost tomb in Egypt. Browder fires up your sense of adventure with his work in the present day Nile Valley.
See Profile »
Book Speaker »


Film Producer and Director, Author, Educator, Activist

Chairman of La Femis, France`s influential film school

Thought leader Raoul Peck’s newest gripping film and lecture series Fatal Assistance
on post-earthquake Haiti make the most compelling case to transform the current global
models for disaster assistance and sustainability.
See Profile »
Book Speaker »


Bestselling Author, Lecturer, Journalist, Motivational Speaker

His personal story is a how-to for channeling anger into purposeful living. Nathan McCall overcame insurmountable odds to rise to the top of the New York Times bestseller list, excel as a reporter at two of America’s leading newspapers and lecture in African American Studies at Emory University.
See Profile »
Book Speaker »


Advocate, Motivational Speaker, Author

While a college student, Kemba Smith’s desire to fit in led to her suffering domestic abuse and incarceration. She has triumphed over adversity and become a voice for those at risk. Now corporations support her activism and her country-wide campaign to raise awareness and self-esteem.
See Profile »
Book Speaker »


Film Producer, Director, Historian

Award winning filmmaker Euzhan Palcy broke the glass ceiling in Hollywood and brought cultural icon Marlon Brando out of retirement for an Oscar nominated role in A Dry White Season. On stage, she’s a storyteller with a social conscience and the power to capture hearts and minds.
See Profile »
Book Speaker »


Director, Screenwriter, Cinematographer, Producer, Editor

American master and MacArthur Genius Charles Burnett had his master’s thesis film “Killer of Sheep” named to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. Often compared to Stanley Kubrick and Robert Altman, this brilliant yet humble filmmaker continues to knock down negative stereotypes by telling rich stories.
See Profile »
Book Speaker »


Filmmaker, Historian, Activist, Scholar

“We are trying to find our voice and our identity and not submit to the formula,” says the filmmaker of Sankofa and Teza. He views miniscule film budgets as opportunities, not barriers. Martin Scorcese says his 1975 film, Harvest 3000 years “has a particular king of urgency which few pictures possess.”
See Profile »
Book Speaker »


Poet, Creative Non-Fiction Writer, Literary Activist

At home and abroad, E. Ethelbert Miller is among the list of most admired American poets. His contributions to iconic organizations like the PEN/Faulkner Foundation and his inclusion in anthologies which transcend cultural boundaries, are testament to his well-deserved moniker, the literary activist.
See Profile »
Book Speaker »


Golfer, Peak Performance Expert, Entrepreneur, Educator

Rose Harper has brought diversity to Golf by founding of the PGA Tour Wives Association and also The Grass Ceiling. She reformatted the PGA player credentials and teamed with Gary Player and Arnold Palmer to establish golf in Washington DC. She has been honored with the PGA’s Founder’s Plaque.
See Profile »
Book Speaker »


Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Success Coach, Organizational Consultant, Author

On the conference stage or at home, Dr. Cutts answers our burning questions by cutting right to the heart of behavioral psychology principles. Treating the whole, she helps us identify and remove blocks, spark a change in attitude or ramp up performance in all areas of our lives.
See Profile »
Book Speaker »


AstroNumerologist, Bestselling Author, Motivational Speaker

Passionate about numbers, Lloyd Strayhorn is a world renowned authority on astro-numerology. His reader friendly best-seller is considered the definitive book on this unique field. On the speaker platform he engaging but beyond that, his audiences recognize and are uplifted by truths...
See Profile »
Book Speaker »


Motivational Speaker, Attorney, Author, Natural Hair Enthusiast

A prolific writer, this Compton, California native has always abided by the philosophy that you create the change you want to see. Pamela Samuels Young has written a number of short stories and award winning ‘mysteries that matter’ thrillers.
See Profile »
Book Speaker »



Motivational Speaker
Attorney (Labor and Employment Law)
Natural Hair Enthusiast

tonyb1Anybody’s Daughter tonyb2Buying Time tonyb3Kinky Coily tonyb3Every Reasonable Doubt

Topics:  Motivation, Personal/Career Growth, Diversity, Fiction and Non-Fiction Writing, Child Sex Trafficking, Natural Hair

Education:  University of Southern California, Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism, and University of California Berkeley School of Law

Travels from:   Los Angeles, California

Photographer:  Sir Harrison Photography

Check the availability of Pamela Samuels Young here or call 202-505-3144

A prolific writer, this Compton, California native has always abided by the philosophy that you create the change you want to see.  Pamela Samuels Young has written a number of short stories and award winning ‘mysteries that matter’ thrillers.  Her writing repertoire includes:  Every Resonable Doubt (2006), In Firm Pursuit (2007), Murder on the Down Low (2008), Buying Time (2009), Attorney-Client Privilege (2012) and her sixth novel, Anybody’s Daughter (2014), which delves into the world of child sex trafficking.  It garnered widespread acclaim, including winning the 2014 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work, and making ‘In the Margins’ Top Ten List, which crowns the best books for at-risk teens. In addition to writing, Pamela is a passionate natural hair enthusiast and the author of Kinky Coily: A Natural Hair Resource Guide, and a natural hair journal.  Her seventh legal thriller, Lawful Deception, is in the works with an expected release in the Fall of 2015.

Despite the demands of a busy legal career, Pamela Samuels Young accomplished her ambitious goal to become an author by rising at 4 a.m. to write before work, dedicating her weekends to writing and even spending her vacation time glued to her laptop conjuring up compelling fiction works. In the process, she discovered her passion, and pursed it with a vengeance. Fed up with never seeing women or people of color depicted as savvy, hotshot attorneys in the legal thrillers she read, Pamela decided to create her own characters. Described by one reviewer as “John Grisham with a sister’s twist,” this inspirational author and practicing attorney is just warming up.

Pamela has achieved a successful writing career while working as Managing Counsel for Labor and Employment Law for Toyota in Southern California, specializing in employment and labor law. A former journalist, Pamela began her broadcasting career at WXYZ-TV in Detroit and later worked as a news writer and associate producer at KCBS-TV in Los Angeles.  She formerly served on the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles chapter of Mystery Writers of America and is a diehard member of Sisters in Crime-L.A., an organization dedicated to the advancement of women mystery writers.  Pamela is frequent speaker on the topics of sex trafficking, fiction writing and pursuing your passion.

Presentations include:  

  • You have the Power to ACT
  • Write That Book Today!
  • Natural Hair Means a More Powerful You
  • Pursue Your Passion and Your Day Job
  • Child Sex Trafficking: What Every Parent Should Know
  • Generational Diversity: How Enlightened Are You?

Pam’s Testimonials:
Pamela is a phenomenal speaker who has the unique gift of motivating those around her. She is compelling, dazzling, and overall impressive.”

Laurie Robinson, CEO
Corporate Counsel Women of Color

As the keynote speaker for our 36th Annual Literary Luncheon, Pamela’s deliberate, passionate and motivating presentation merited the standing ovation she received. Pamela is not up-and-coming, she is already there!”

Dinah G. Gant, P.E., President
Delta Memorial Endowment Fund, Inc., Milwaukee, WI

Pamela’s message is real — not contrived. She’s a living testimonial to how the ‘can do’ attitude will win out over the ‘I can’t.’ What’s more, she’s entertaining, amusing and fun to listen to.

Mike Rounds
Former President, L.A. Chapter
National Speakers Association

See Press Page for Speaker Articles and/or Video

« Return to Speaker List

Imam Johari


Spiritual Leader and Health and Non-Violence Advocate, Fundraiser Sickle Cell Anemia

Founder and Executive Director, Faces Of Our Children

Director of Outreach, Dar Al Hijrah Islamic Center, Virginia

Head, National Association of Muslim Chaplains in Higher Education


Topics: Interfaith Alliances, Spiritual and Personal Development, Non-Violence, Race and Politics, Bioethics, Sickle Cell and HIV Education, Muslim Practices, Purposeful Living

Education: Howard University, Georgetown University Kennedy Institute of Ethics
Travels from: Washington DC

Check the availability of Imam Johari here or call 202-505-3144

Imam Johari is known nationally as a speaker and activist with a strong voice who is highly skilled at building interfaith alliances.  He has participated in many inter-faith dialogues across the nation. Known for his fundraising successes, he’s been called on to champion giving to a variety of needy causes for masjids, schools and relief organizations. The Imam was the first Muslim chaplain installed at Howard University. He is the former Chair of Government Relations for the Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA). He is also a founding member of the Muslim Advocacy Commission of Washington, D.C.; president and founder of the Muslim Society of Washington DC and Associate Imam of First Hijrah Islamic Center in Washington, DC. True to his word, he’s taken his commitment to the protection of women and to non-violence a step further by   establishing an initiative “Muslim Men Against Domestic Violence (MMADV).

As a spiritual leader, Imam Johari comes to his diverse audiences and his congregations with a rich tapestry of life experience and knowledge of all Faiths. His journey to Islam has led him through Taoism, Asian Spirituality, Sufism and other world religions. He is a trained musician. Beginning in high school he played the trumpet, flugelhorn, flute, soprano sax and conch shells. In his early days in New York City, he played with Black Oasis and later with The New World Percussion Ensemble and Visions. He has opened for such greats as Tito Puente, Pharaoh Saunders, Third World, Flora Purim, Melba Moore and Sun Ra.

Community service foremost in mind, Imam Johari, along with Rev. Graylan Hagler started the “Ramadan Feed-the-Needy” Interfaith Program in Washington, DC feeding homeless women of all faiths nightly during the fasting period of Ramadan. Imam Johari sits on many Boards and committees, among them Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management and the DC GAPS Advisory Board. He holds a degree in Chemistry and a MS in Genetics and Human Genetics.  His history as a geneticist and his admin work in the Sickle Cell field still keeps him busy. He sits on the Sickle Cell Initiative Taskforce at the DC Department of Health and is Executive Director of Faces of Our Children, a Sickle Cell Foundation with a global reach.

« Return to Speaker List

Shirikiana Aina


Filmmaker, Producer, Educator


Shirikiana Aina Gerima Through The DoorThrough the Door of No Return

Topics: Scriptwriting, Film Production, Directing, Distribution, Women in film

Education: Howard University, UCLA
Travels From: Washington DC
Photo Credit: Teri Gentry

Check the availability of Shirkiana Aina here or call 202-505-3144

An independent filmmaker, film advocate and co-producer of the highly acclaimed film Sankofa, Shirikiana has been dedicated to independent cinema by, and about people of African descent for over twenty-five years providing programming, distribution and exhibition of indie films. Initially a cinematographer, her interest turned to producing and directing. She has also worked as a cinematographer for various documentaries such as Politics of African Cinema and On Becoming a Woman. Her documentaries include: Through the Door of No Return and Brick-By-Brick.

In 1984, Aina and her husband Haile Gerima established Mypheduh Films, Inc., a distribution company for low-budget, independent, African and African American films. She is also a founder of Positive Productions, Inc., a non-profit film company organization that provides film services, equipment, editing facilities to independent filmmakers. This organization has helped independent filmmakers move in positive directions carved out through their own agency, supplying them with the catalysts and resources necessary to create and distribute films. Film projects, exhibitions, and training programs primarily target artists, youth and aspiring artists of color across the United States and abroad.

Aina has taught courses at her alma mater in scriptwriting and film production.

See Press Page for Speaker Articles and/or Video

« Return to Speaker List

Ada Babino


Filmmaker, Writer, Producer, Cultural Memoirist

Founder, BlackFilmmakers.Net, Jezebel Filmworks

Founder, Nommo Speakers Bureau

Middle Passage-N-Roots, Earacism,

I Don’ Been Through The Snake’s Skin & Come Out Clean

Topics: Film Production, Honoring Aging In America, Oral Tradition Treasures

Education: Howard University; American University
Travels from: Washington DC
Photo Credit: Teri Gentry

Check the availability of Ada Babineaux here or call 202-505-3144


Ada Babineaux (Babino) tackled the subject of the politics of hair in a docu-drama called Middle Passage –N- Roots in the mid-90s, long before Chris Rock took on the hot button issue. The film made it on to Showtime Network’s Showcase in 1998 and on PBS in several markets. For more than two decades, she has gone deep into the community with her camera and her voice to tackle a broad range of subjects, from America’s cultural icons to HIV education.

Celebrating rich diversity and the majesty in ordinary life are her uppermost intent. Her biopics include: Shirley Horn – Sassared and Blowed; and Keter Betts: Musical Disciple (work-in-progress), on two DC-based Jazz Legends who touched the world. Her company Jezebel Filmworks was commissioned to do Blues and Dreams as well as a study of famed American painter, Romare Bearden for Black Entertainment Television. Though her filmmaking and speaker platforms focus on African-American culture, she is also very keen on creating rich heart-opening experiences and content about family legacy and reconnecting with elders. Her current film effort, I Don’ Been Through The Snake’s Skin And Come Out Clean, captures her grandparents’ insightful story coming up during the Great Depression. Babineaux is a champion for the elderly, advocating that their stories be shared no matter their strata in society. She believes they are treasures, yet, forgotten fonts of wisdom in America.

In 1993, she established one of the few African-American, women-owned companies in Washington DC – Jezebel Filmworks, dedicated to creating productions that add a voice to the voiceless and document people, places and events. She credits her gust for independent filmmaking to her rewarding experience as part of the production team for Haile Gerima’s highly acclaimed film, Sankofa. To date, her production company has produced content and supplied key production expertise for a wide range of outlets, from HARPO Productions, to the H.U. Center for Race and Wealth, to the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS.

Babineaux is also the founder of, a resource web site designed to connect independent filmmakers and fans worldwide, and expose audiences to workshops, film programming and exhibition outlets. Through the years, she has programmed a film exhibition series entitled Griot Cinema, which presented independent showcases in the heart of Washington, DC.  In 2000, in the spirit of activism, she also created Nommo Speakers Bureau to connect history to the present and to give a platform to Black filmmakers.  Now, the Bureau has been expanded to a multidisciplinary offering, paving the way for audiences from all walks of life to interact with and be uplifted by Black experts and scholars, a still untapped resource in American life. Babineaux holds a Masters in Video/Film Production. She is the mother of one daughter, and a native of San Antonio, Texas with proud Louisiana Roots.


« Return to Speaker List

Toriano Berry


Director, Producer, Screen-Writer, Educator, Author L.A. Rebellion Filmmaker

berry1The 50 Most Influential Black Films berry3African American Cinema berry2The A to Z of African American Cinema berry4Honeyman’s A’Comin’ berry5Tears

Topics: Filmmaking; Film History; Black Film History; Horror and Sci-Fi Films

Education: Arizona State University; UCLA
Travels from: Washington DC
Photo Credit: Teri Gentry

Check the availability of S. Torrenio Berry here or call 202-505-3144


Kansas City native Torriano Berry entered the Master’s program at UCLA’s prestigious film school in 1981. While at UCLA, Berry worked from the ground up learning every aspect of film production, even music composition. As a Black filmmaker and a product of the vibrant UCLA scene, Berry paralleled mainstream Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas during the ‘80s and early ‘90s. His short films were jewels of independent cinema’s sub-genre of Black horror and science fiction, only created with a lot less funding and support.  At UCLA, he worked on numerous film and video projects including an award-winning short, Rich, which he wrote, produced and directed as well as starred. On October 21, 2011, Rich was screened as part of a major film retrospective, “L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema.”   His first feature length film, a horror movie, EMBALMER, is available on home video. It is considered one of the earliest examples of the “urban horror film.”  A 30-minute version was recognized as a finalist in Showtime’s Black Filmmaker’s Showcase in 1998.  In 1990, another of his films, The Light won first place in the Black American Cinema Society film competition.

Seeing a critical gap in film education and in literature on Black Films, Professor Berry has partnered with Venise Berry to publish three encyclopedias on the African-American contribution to the medium. The books are part of the film curriculum in colleges across the nation.  As an award-winning independent filmmaker Berry has created and executive produced:  Black Independent Showcase, WHUT Channel 32, Washington, DC, a series of independent and student films and videos, along with The Light and When It’s Your Turn, two half-hour made for TV dramas. Internationally, Professor Berry helped give the Central American nation of Belize its first dramatic television series, Noh Matta Wat!, co-creating and directing the series.

Berry has also written TEARS, a trilogy which follows the lives of two protagonists, one Black, one White, through childhood and young adulthood. The novels look at racism from both sides, exploring how it affects and changes these innocents. Ryan and Richard are 5-year-old boys who first meet while playing in a sandbox at a neighborhood park.  One black, the other white, they could have been life long friends but their parents, social attitudes, and life’s ideologies pit them on a collision course of hate and destruction. The story parallels their lives in five segments that cover every three years of their growth and development. He’s also written The Honeyman’s Son, another coming-of-age novel. It is a mainstream story with appeal to all races that explores how racism is indoctrinated into children.
Berry is a member of Omega Psi Phi fraternity.

See Press Page for Speaker Articles and/or Video

« Return to Speaker List



Egyptologist, Historian, Author, Publisher

tonyb1Egypt on The Potomac tonyb2Finding Karakhamun tonyb3Nile Valley

Topics: Ancient Egypt, Archaeology, Egyptian Symbolism in the US Capital, African-American History and Culture

Education: Howard University
Travels from: Washington, DC
Photo Credit: Teri Gentry

Check the availability of Professor Anthony Browder here or call 202-505-3144

A 21st Century explorer. Is it possible to uncover more history? You may get entertained by Indiana Jones but Anthony Browder will fire up your imagination and your love of adventure and history. Discover more about Egypt’s ancient secrets and follow Egypt’s trail to Washington DC.

Modern day explorer, Professor Anthony Browder is the first person to lead an American-African archeological expedition to Egypt. An authority on Ancient Egypt, Browder has written and published extensively on the subject and is an educational consultant to school districts. He’s an intrepid investigator – his profound research centers on early African history and the Nile Valley contribution to civilization. When he’s not on the classroom at home, he’s out with history buffs, teaching them to decode the Egyptian symbols hidden in Washington DC architecture. His ASA Restoration Project is the discovery of 25th Dynasty Priest, Karakhamun’s Burial Chamber being excavated in Luxor, Egypt. Professor Browder named the project in celebration of the work of noted African-American Psychologist and cultural historian Dr. Asa Hilliard.

A graduate of Howard University in Washington DC, Anthony Browder is an African Diaspora cultural memory specialist. His study tours to Africa, South America and the Caribbean have been a popular vacation alternative for Egyptology aficionados and students since 1987. He’s lectured extensively in the USA, the Caribbean, Africa, Mexico, Japan and Europe. A respected historian, all of Mr. Browder’s publications are currently being used in elementary, middle, high school and university classrooms throughout the United States and in Ghana, Egypt, Brazil, Turkey, Japan, England and the Caribbean. His other titles include:

Egypt on the Potomac: A Guide to Decoding Egyptian Architecture and Symbolism

From the Browder Files: 22 Essays on the African-American Experience

Avatar Revisited

Professor Browder teaches “Black Egypt in the World Imagination” at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County. He established the IKG Cultural Center and reference library in Washington, DC, which houses a permanent exhibit of the Egypt on the Potomac tour and 300 hours of historical lectures, among other content.

See Press Page for Speaker Articles and/or Video

« Return to Speaker List

Charles Burnett


Director, Screenwriter, Cinematographer, Producer, Editor of MacArthur Genius
Founding Member of L.A. Rebellion Film Movement

Burnett Killer of SheepKiller of Sheep Burnett To Sleep With AngerSleep With Anger Burnett The Glass ShieldThe Glass Shield

Topics: Film Producing and Directing, Screenwriting, Cinematography; Indie Filmmaking

Education: Arizona State University; UCLA
Travels from: Los Angeles, California
Photo Credit: Teri Gentry

Check the availability of Charles Burnett here or call 202-505-3144


(Biography Informed by MOMA/Robert Kapsis Writings on Charles Burnett)
American master and MacArthur Genius Charles Burnett had his master’s thesis film named to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. Rarely has a student film been named to this esteemed collection. Often compared to Stanley Kubrick and Robert Altman, this humble yet brilliant filmmaker continues to undermine negative stereotypes by telling rich American stories.

The MacArthur Foundation gives the Genius Grant to “talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction.” Charles Burnett became a MacArthur Fellow in 1988 almost a decade after the release of his MFA thesis film Killer of Sheep. The 1977 film, commercially released 30 years later, in 2007, has nevertheless become a classic, nominated by the public and selected by the Library of Congress for the National Film Registry in 1990. It was also named one of the 100 Most Essential Films by the National Society of Film Critics. Though Killer of Sheep was not his first film it was his maiden voyage into the rarified world of America’s greatest filmmakers. Rarely if ever, has a fledgling director and writer been given a place of honor in American film history. He joins the short list of American masters whose works have become benchmarks of culture as well as study material for schools and museums.

Burnett was a part of the UCLA LA Rebellion Filmmakers transforming the American landscape of film during the late 1960s after switching from studies to become an electrician to filmmaking. He continues to defy convention as well as racial and cultural boundaries. His lack of fame cofounds American and international film culture watchers alike. Burnett’s work has been compared to that of innovative Japanese filmmaker Yasujiro Ozu whose bailiwick was the family and relationships. Like Ozu, Burnett has focused on the realism, the tension and the beauty in African-American life. He explored these themes exquisitely in Killer of Sheep. Burnett has also been compared to other American masters Stanley Kubrick who could use the idiom of popular music to tell stories to great effect and Robert Altman who explored character motivation and human interaction in his films.

The release of the film To Sleep With Anger marks a watershed moment for Burnett. Jonathan Rosenbaum in reviewing the movie for the Chicago Reader observes:

Burnett’s acute and sensitive direction is free of hackneyed movie conventions; even something as simple as a hello is said differently from the way you’ve heard it in any other movie. All of Burnett’s features have the density of novels, rich with characters and their interplay, and this one is no exception.

Here, writer and director Burnett again focuses on family dynamics and how subtle disruptive energies affect the stability of the unit. The movie with Danny Glover as the star, showed that Burnett’s work in Killer of Sheep was no fluke.  It increased his commercial visibility. The Glass Shield released in 1995 was another of Burnett’s film which had all the elements for some commercial success. It marks a pivotal period in the director’s life as the film soon became a primer on the perils of working with the establishment.  The police corruption drama, with an African-American cop at its center, and strong themes of sexism and racism had obvious cross cultural appeal. According to film critic Rosenbaum, the film doesn’t pander to the usual desire for overwhelming action or easy to follow plots. Instead “Burnett’s sense of character is similarly fresh and unpredictable and ambiguous, and his quirky direction of actors keeps all the mysteries of their characters alive …” Burnett’s hard work and dedication to this slice of reality, angered studio heads who then marketed the film to a young African-American market which had little interest in that kind of movie.

Charles Burnett’s notable filmography includes:  “Night John (1996) and Selma Lord Selma (1999) for Disney; American Becoming (1991) and Olivia’s Story (2000) were commentary on immigration in America. When it Rains (1995), Oprah Winfrey’s The Wedding (1998), The Finding Buck McHenry (2000), Annihilation of Fish (2000), The Blues (2002), Nat Turner: A Troublesome Property (2003). Quite a few of these have been produced for the small screen. His epic film, Namibia: The Struggle For Liberation (2007) was done in collaboration with the government of Namibia. Despite Burnett’s brilliance, he’s faced the near insurmountable funding barriers plaguing African-American and indie filmmakers today. Except for a few projects like those for Oprah Winfrey and Disney, he’s had to wait long periods to get his own films funded.

One could argue that his personal film projects, relatively free from studio dictates, are his most admired. Alongside directors Martin Scorcese, Clint Eastwood, Mike Figgis and Richard Pearce, he contributed to the distinguished PBS documentary miniseries on the Blues. Burnett’s film Warming by the Devil’s Fire, pushed the boundaries by coming up with an unexpected narrator for the music documentary. He used a fictional character, a young boy, through which the audience would experience the Blues. Burnett is dreaming up more projects. In interviews with MOMA curator Dr. Robert Kapsis, in March 2011, Burnett described several projects in development: films on Paul Robeson; W.E.B. Du Bois; The William and Ellen Craft Story, about two slaves who escaped from Georgia in 1848, Ellen Craft, who disguised herself as a white man, and her husband William, who posed as her servant; and lastly, Ann Dunham: A Most Generous Spirit, a documentary on the life of President Obama’s mother.

Many retrospectives have been done of Burnett’s work including MOMA and the Human Rights Watch. He has been awarded fellowships and grants from the Guggenheim, Rockefeller and Getty Foundations and the National Endowment for the Arts. His MacArthur Genius grant of $275,000 was a welcome pot of gold which allowed him to finish his script “To Sleep With Anger”.  The director has gotten accolades from Sundance, the Critics Prize at the Berlin Festival and Independent Spirit Awards for Best Director and Best Screenplay. He’s also received special awards from the New York Film Critics Circle, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the American Film Institute. He was the first African-American to win best screenplay from the National Society of Film Critics

When not directing and producing, the native of Vicksburg, Mississippi, is a professor of film at the esteemed California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in Valencia, California.

See Press Page for Speaker Articles and/or Video

« Return to Speaker List



Branding and Communications Strategist, Motivational Speaker, Volunteerism Catalyst, Author

chrisb1The Lost Art of Giving Back

Topics: PR Techniques for Business and Beyond, Branding Yourself for Success, Communicating Your Message Effectively and Self Empowerment Through Volunteerism

Education: Howard University
Travels from: Los Angeles, California
Photo Credit: George Newcomb

Check the availability of Chris Cathcart here or call 202-505-3144


Chris Cathcart is a recognized branding and public relations expert and media trainer but equally at the top of his attention is the passion to spark America’s giving gene, wherever dormant. Armed with his book The Lost Art of Giving Back, Cathcart travels throughout the United States inspiring schools, businesses and communities to serve life.

Cathcart is recognized branding and public relations expert, media trainer, and inspirational speaker with over 25 years of experience. His diverse client list includes entities such as Verizon, CITE, SAMHSA, CBCF, Viacom and Norma T. Hollis, America’s Leading Authentic Voice Doctor. He’s a sought after expert on the college circuit, frequently speaking at well respected institutions such as USC, UCLA and The New School. He is on the faculty of the Columbia College Hollywood, a leading film school in the Los Angeles area where he teaches marketing and public relations.

Cathcart has excelled as a key PR executive at organizations such as Turner Broadcasting, Motown Records and Warner Bros. Wanting to raise the bar in 1995, the New Jersey native created OneDiaspora, a full service media/PR agency. His clients include icons of industry such as Jaguar Cars, UniWorld, Hidden Beach Recording, Virgin America, Interscope, Muse Communication, Heart and Soul Magazine and many more. Cathcart also founded the OneDiaspora Project a non-profit community assistance and awareness organization.  This group is dedicated to improving the lives of citizens in at-risk communities and raising the profile of those communities.

A strong advocate in the HIV/AIDS awareness community, he continues to educate groups on the international HIV/AIDS crisis and to motivate audiences to live a healthy lifestyle. He sits on several Boards, among them R.I.S.E. and the Black AIDS Institute. Through his work with the Black AIDS Institute he founded  The Ledge, the first and only magazine on HIV/AIDS awareness written by and about Black college students.

Cathcart has racked up an impressive track record in mentoring. He regularly returns to certain schools including his alma mater, Howard University where he served as his class president (1985), to speak at conferences and seminars on a variety of issues including versatility and excellence in the field of public relations. He co-authored the book, The HBCU Experience which focuses on HBUCs and their unique contribution to the American landscape.


« Return to Speaker List



Digital Media Authority, Educator, Filmmaker, Author


The iFilm Digital Video Filmmaker’s Handbook

Hungry Webmaster’s Series

Digital Media Recipes Vol1



Topics: Digital Media, Digital Filmmaking, New Media

Education: Travels from: Los Angeles, California
Website: |

Check the availability of Maxie Collier here or call 202-505-3144


Maxie Collier is an educator and independent producer with experience in creating across multiple media formats and platforms. His best-selling book, The iFILM Digital Video Filmmaker’s Handbook is a required text by more than two dozen colleges. His Hungry Webmaster’s Series, an e-learning e-book and online training courses are favorites among students and professors. A self-made man with a passion for technology, Collier produced his first web site in 1995. He went on to produce/direct a number of indie narratives, as well as Paper Chasers, a documentary on hip hop entrepreneurship co-produced with the Independent Film Channel (IFC).

Collier initiated the Digital Filmmaking program at UCLA Extension Program. It remains a very popular course. In his spare time, the engaging instructor continues to produce digital content for education as well as entertainment. He is the co-founder of  Let’s Make! TV an e-learning center offering accessible and affordable, procedure based online courses for consumers and prosumers.

He began his media career at Black Entertainment Television in the early 90s.


« Return to Speaker List



Women and Diversity Advocate, Film and Television Producer, Film Critic

Hunger: A Capital Shame

Black Women On: The Light, Dark Thang




Topics: Women’s Issues, Image and Identity, Colorism in the African-American Diaspora, Film History and Criticism

Education: MFA, Johns Hopkins University; B.A. Radio/TV/Film, Temple University
Travels from: Washington DC
Photo Credit: Teri Gentry

Check the availability of Celeste Crenshaw here or call 202-505-3144


Celeste Crenshaw has the skill and heart to move an audience to take action in health and matters of diversity. Her quest is to educate and change the apathy surrounding issues like hunger, health, colorism and media stereotyping which continue to plague African-American communities.

Emmy and Addy award winning Celeste Crenshaw began her broadcasting career in Reading, Pennsylvania, becoming one of the first African Americans and the first black woman to integrate a Pennsylvania radio station, WEEU, in the late seventies. She went on to produce award-winning content for PBS and Black Entertainment Television. Nationally celebrated programs include:  Washington Week in Review, MacNeil Lehrer Report, the 13-part series, New Perspectives, Television from the Developing World and From Jumpstreet: The History of Black Music. Her production contributions extend to landmark campaigns on SIDS, AIDS and Diabetes.

Crenshaw was nominated for an Emmy award as co-producer of a documentary entitled Hunger:  A Capital Shame.  She later won an American University Women’s Award for this same documentary. Crenshaw and her co-producer have received Emmy Awards for another documentary Black Women On:The Light, Dark Thang. A superior songwriter, she wrote the theme song for “…The Light Dark Thang”. She also took home the coveted Addy and Davy Awards for the slogan and theme song used in a campaign against Diabetes geared toward African-American women. Her quest is to educate and change the apathy surrounding issues like hunger, health, colorism and media stereoptyping which continue to plague African-American communities.

In the early ‘80s Crenshaw hung up her camera for one of her long time passion. Shadowing the footsteps of Josephine Baker, she took off for Paris and a career in music.  For six years, she sang to appreciative crowds in famous Jazz clubs in Paris, The Bilbouquet, Le Petite Opportune, Memphis Melody, Cafe Americaine and others.  She also performed in other European cities including Amsterdam, Vienna and Madrid.  She appeared on French television and performed on Dutch and Spanish radio. In Europe she won a singer/songwriting contract with EMI records.

Returning to US and to production, she became Associate Producer on BET’s entertainment magazine program This Week In Black Entertainment in the late ‘90s. Crenshaw interviewed some of the nation’s top creative talent, Denzel Washington, Demi Moore, Whoopi Goldberg, August Wilson among others. Later, she co-created and produced another magazine program called Screen Scene which ran on the network for seven seasons.  Her very popular commentary on Black film Popcorn & Pigfeet , helped Screen Scene enjoy some of the highest ratings in BET’s history.

As writer, producer, director at her own company Black Women On Productions, she developed Black Women On:The Light, Dark Thang a program that looks at colorism and its impact on black women throughout the Diaspora.  The hour-long documentary was nationally syndicated throughout the PBS system. Since its first airing, Ms. Crenshaw and co-producer Paula Caffey, have spoken and aired their documentary at universities, museums, film festivals, radio and television shows across the nation.

Celeste Crenshaw was one of five applicants selected from a nationwide search to become a PBS Academy Fellow at the PBS affiliate, WNET-13, New York City. In that capacity, she worked on the multi-Peabody award winning arts documentary series EGG: the arts show, interviewing celebrated artists like Lucille Clifton, Chuck Close, John Updike, Sam Moore, and others. Later she worked for NASA Television, producing program on the nation’s space program.

Ms. Crenshaw has been nominated for several Cable Ace Awards and is a two-time D.C. Commission of the Arts Merit Awards Recipient.  She continues to write and produce television programs for her company.  Following another dream, she completed an MFA in writing, has been published in several anthologies and is in the process of completing two novels.

See Press Page for Speaker Articles and/or Video

« Return to Speaker List


Nicole Cutts, Ph.D.

Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Success Coach, Organizational Consultant, Author






Topics:  Success, Realizing Potential, Living Your Vision, Releasing Fear, Naked Networking

Education:  Howard University, California School of Professional Psychology
Travels From:  Washington, DC
Photo Credit:  Nakeva Corothers

Check the availability of Nicole Cutts, Ph.D. here or call 202-505-3144


Psychologist and motivational speaker Dr. Nicole Cutts enjoys taking audiences to the “Aha” moment, helping them identify blocks, spark a change in attitude and behavior and ramp up personal performance. Whether leading a retreat, in the conference setting or in a company board room, she is relatable, demystifying behavioral psychology principles to create a bridge for effective action and success.

For over 15 years Cutts has been inspiring and empowering people to achieve a more balanced and successful lifestyle. As a master facilitator, executive coach, and keynote speaker, Nicole has consulted with and trained executives, managers, and teams at Fortune 500 companies, federal government agencies and nonprofit organizations. An avid yoga student, she ignites change, helping people honor their mind, body, and spirit; heal and create an exceptional life. It is her dedication to well-being and belief that well-being should extend to the work-place that motivated her to start Cutts Consulting, LLC in 2002. She created Vision Quest Retreats in 2009 to help individuals discover their passion and purpose and bring this to life through their work.

Dr. Cutts has appeared on BET’s The Center, The BBC, Roland S. Martin’s Urban Business Roundtable and various radio and TV programs. She is also a frequently quoted expert on success in national publications such as Black Enterprise. She was a featured writer on the Walter Kaitz Foundation website and has been a contributing writer forIdentity Television, The Next Level, and The Diversity Channel, where she was also the Senior Features Editor. Cutts is the co-host of the Sheila Alexander Reid talk show on Washington, DC’s community radio station, WPFW 89.3 fm (, on Tuesdays, 1pm – 2pm est.

See Press Page for Speaker Articles and/or Video



Filmmaker, Director, Educator







Topics: Film and Television Production

Education: University of Virginia, Howard University
Travels From: Los Angeles, California

Check the availability of Edgar Davis here or call 202-505-3144
Photo Credit: Freda Hobbs


Former football athlete Edgar Davis earned his MFA in Film studying under mentor Haile Gerima, renowned Ethiopian independent filmmaker at Howard University. He went on to serve as Assistant video/film Professor for seven years. Davis wrote, produced, directed and edited indie films; A Jury of Her Peers and B-Movie before going to the west coast to learn all aspects of the commercial movie business.  He completed and self released The Good Neighbor Policy on the west coast.

Alongside Davis’ directorial and editorial credits is Post Production Supervisor on the UPN sitcom One on One and on Showtime’s Weeds. He has also been Project Manager for LaserPacific Media Corp, a division of Technicolor. He currently works as a Servicing Coordinator for Disney ABC TV Group International. Davis continues to strike a balance between producing his own indie films on his Children of Production label and speaking to audiences about filmmaking, while working on productions in the Hollywood arena.


« Return to Speaker List

LGE headshot


Filmmaker, Educator






Topics: International Development, Filmmaking

Education: Wilson College; Howard University
Travels From: Virginia (DMV area)
Photo Credit: Teri Gentry

Check the availability of Lucy Gebre-Egzibher here or call 202-505-3144


Lucy Gebre-Egziabher is an award winning, independent filmmaker who lives in VA. Born in Egypt and raised in Ethiopia, Lucy came to the U.S. in 1979.  She completed her undergraduate degree in International Relations/Communications in 1984 at Wilson College in Chambersburg, PA. After graduation, she moved the Arlington, Virginia, where she started a career in International Development. Ten years later, she decided to pursue her passion – cinema.  Lucy enrolled in the Masters Degree program of Fine Arts in Film at Howard University, where she earned a MFA in Film. Lucy has directed narrative films as well as organizational videos under Teret Productions, a production company she founded in 1999 which means fable or folk tale in Amharic.

Lucy has over 10 years experience in International Development, with a focus on education and curriculum design, working on USAID funded projects.  She used her extensive experience in international development and filmmaking background to develop her lecture on how to use film effectively in international development work, which is targeted for international organization engaged in development work, in the Sub-Sahara Africa region.

She continues to give screening lectures with her award winning film,  At The Second Traffic Light (2000) which is being used by trainers and organizations for diversity training and cultural understanding. This film has been screened at film festivals around the world and has won several awards, including UNESCO’s “Prix de Tolerance” at Vues D’Afrique 2001 in Montreal, Canada.

In addition to filmmaking, Lucy teaches film studies at Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA), Alexandria Campus, in the Department of Communication Studies and Theater. She is currently working on an interdisciplinary documentary film production (a NOVA- Alexandria production) on Gabriel Prosser, a  literate enslaved blacksmith in the 1800s who lead a slave rebellion in Richmond, VA. The film is entitled Gabriel’s Rebellion.

Lecture Topics:

1. Use of Film in International Development

2. Film for Social Change

3. Screenwriting

4. Directing


See Press Page for Speaker Articles and/or Video

« Return to Speaker List

Haile Karima


Filmmaker, Scholar, Historian, Activist 

Founding Member of L.A. Rebellion Film Movement

tezaTeza sankofaSankofa bush-mamaBush Mama

Topics:  Film History and Identity, Independent Cinema, The African Diaspora, Global Film History, The Maroons

Education: UCLA
Travels from: Washington DC
Photo Credit: Bebeto Matthews

Check the availability of Haile Gerima here or call 202-505-3144

An artist with a warrior’s discipline, Gerima has blazed the trail for an alternative voice to classic Hollywood Films. Over thirty-five  years of filmmaking, advocacy and education has made Haile Gerima a recognized leader in independent cinema across the globe. “We are trying to find our voice and our identity and not submit to the formula,” Haile Gerima repeats in a television interview.  It’s the intention uppermost in his mind and his constant refrain to student filmmakers and audiences worldwide: It’s not just about film; it’s about life and it can be done.  He’s achieved this magic time and time again in his films with miniscule budgets compared to Hollywood blockbusters.  Martin Scorcese says his 1975 film, Harvest 3000 Years “has a particular kind of urgency which few pictures possess.”  Gerima is a gifted teacher.  His lectures about identity and history are as engaging and compelling as his documentaries and narratives. He has produced 12 films including: Teza, Adwa 1896, Sankofa, Ashes and Embers, Bush Mama, Child of Resistance, After Winter: Sterling Brown and Wilmington 10.

Gerima is known as a Hollywood outsider: a fiercely independent storyteller, persistent in the effort to keep his stories pure. He lives what he teaches, approaching filmmaking as a rebel, demonstrating to his students and audiences worldwide that triumph in award-winning filmmaking is possible without Hollywood support. He is a study of perseverance and creativity, writing, directing and editing his films. While a teen, Haile launched out from Ethiopia in search of the flexibility of American education. He started acting school in Chicago but soon switch to UCLA in 1970 and discovered the freedom of filmmaking.  At UCLA he was a prominent member of the L.A. Rebellion Film Movement which included members such as: Julie Dash, Charles Burnett, Larry Clark and Ben Caldwell.  The group was largely responsible for bring emerging African cinema to California and influential in getting UCLA to establish its first ethnography program.

With a numerous films to his credit, he is widely known for Sankofa, his groundbreaking historical film on slavery and redemption. Like Teza, his most recent narrative, Sankofa has garnered many awards world-wide.  His distribution efforts to fore-wall  Sankofa in commercial theaters is considered legendary, and now a yardstick for other independent filmmakers.  His extensive research on slavery has led to his next documentary in development, called The Maroon Project.

Haile Gerima is one of ten children who grew up in Gondar, Ethiopia to a playwright father and a teacher.  The New School, UCLA, Egypt and South Africa are among many places that have done restrospectives and tributes of his work.  He is a tenured professor at Howard University School of Communications in Washington, DC.

Gerima can conduct lectures in English or Ahamric.

See Press Page for Speaker Articles and/or Video

« Return to Speaker List

Rose Harper


Golf Subject Matter Expert, Entrepreneur, Key Note Speaker, Special Events Producer






Topics:  Empowerment,  Workshop/Seminars: The Art of the Deal: Golf Access to Success, The Grass Ceiling

Education:  The Wharton School, Yale University
Travels From: Washington, DC

Check the availability of Rose Harper here or call 202-505-3144


Rose Harper’s lists of achievements include the founding of the PGA Tour Wives Association, initiating the Golf Digest Minority Golf Summit, and the reformatting of the PGA player credentials. She established a minority joint venture golf course design team with golf greats Gary Player and Arnold Palmer for golf in the Nation’s Capital. She’s received the Founder’s Plaque from the PGA and the Sam Lacy Award for contributions to sports.

Rose Harper is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, lecturer, adjunct professor, global events planner, contributing writer to golf publications, subject matter expert (SME) in the business of the golf industry, and passionate golfer.  She was inducted into the National Black Golfers Hall of Fame in 2011, and was the first female to receive the Sam Lacey Pioneer Award in 2013. The recipient of countless other awards for her lifetime achievements in the field of sports development, and business, she has established herself as an internationally renowned consultant in sports and special events management to U.S. presidents, royalty, heads of state, ambassadors, celebrities and fortune 500 CEOs.

Her contributions to golf include the founding of the PGA Tour Wives Association, initiating the Golf Digest Minority Golf Summit, reformatting the PGA player credentials, establishing a minority joint venture golf course design team (Rose Harper, Gary Player & Arnold Palmer) to provide a golf feasibility study for the Nation’s Capital, being the first person of color to operate and manage a full concession 18 hole golf complex for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, organizing the first multi-racial sporting event in the history of South Africa, being certified by the PGA of America as a Player Manager and being a U.S. Delegate to the Seoul Olympics.

One of the most important visionary women in the world of golf, Rose Harper has parlayed 30 years of exposure and experience in the sports management and special events industry, and has provided leadership training to build a successful business that adds value to other professionals. Additionally, she served on the D.C. Baseball Commission and developed a documentary on the history of African Americans in Golf. She has served on many boards and commissions and has chaired the 2.5 billion dollars D.C. Retirement Board.

Ms. Harper founded The Grass Ceiling, Inc. in 1995, as a business empowerment firm that specializes in using the game of golf as a platform to help level the playing-field for women and minorities with their counterparts in the business and academic worlds. The game of golf provides a neutral zone to promote effective communication and positive bonding between professional.

She has served as an Adjunct Professor in the School of Business at Howard University, received Executive certificates in the following areas; The Emerging Trustee Congress, New Orleans; Institute for Fiduciary Education, Yale University; Finance, Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania; National Conference on Banking; International Protocol Association and Business Administration, Howard University

Among her most recent awards, she received The Founders Plaque (2006) from the (PGA) Professional Golfers Association of America in recognition of her commitment to excellence and elevating the game of golf by establishing The National Minority College Golf Championship, and in 2009 was inducted into the Washington, DC Hall of Fame Society receiving their Sports Legacy Award.  She has business offices in Washington, DC and in South Africa.  Her upcoming book, The Art of the Deal: Golf Access to Success is due out in the summer of 2014.

See Press Page for Speaker Articles and/or Video

« Return to Speaker List

Gary Jones


Leadership Coach, Motivational Speaker, Diversity Expert

Johnson 25 Things That Really Matter  25 Things That Really Matter In Life

Topics: Leadership, Recruitment, Retention, Team Building, Diversity, Entrepreneurship, Professional Development, Sexual and Racial Harassment and Prevention, Interpersonal Conflict, Personal Empowerment, Fatherhood.

Education: Columbia Union College
Travels from: Washington DC
Photo Credit: Teri Gentry

Check the availability of the Gary Johnson here or call 202-505-3144


As a motivational speaker Gary Johnson has inspired and entertained thousands with his genuine stories and his breadth of experience. At the age of 23, Gary was assigned to the National Security Council staff at The White House, where he worked for three Assistants to the President for National Security Affairs. After leaving The White House Gary worked in a variety of disciplines including Special Agent/Investigator, Program Manager and Leadership Development Instructor. In this capacity, Gary also produced and hosted several videos on diversity and harassment prevention. Today Gary is in demand as a facilitator, management trainer and motivational speaker for government agencies and fortune 500 clients.

Whether independently or in collaboration with other HR firms, Gary Johnson has provided training, consulting and facilitation services to numerous organizations in the areas of career and employee development. Among these organizations are The MITRE Corporation, Proctor & Gamble, Deere & Company, Bank of America, United Airlines, Northwest Airlines, Abbott Laboratories, American Honda Motor Company, Inc., DuPont-Merck, Johnson Controls, Inc., Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Zeneca Pharmaceuticals, JP Morgan, Booz Allen Hamilton, Citibank, Salomon Smith Barney, CitiGroup, The American Petroleum Institute, The World Bank, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), George Mason University, the National Weather Service and other federal government agencies including branches of the Military.

Gary is the author of the book “25 Things That Really Matter In Life” and was a contributing author to the book “In Search of Fatherhood – Transcending Boundaries,” a collection of essays and interviews that explore the issues and questions that fathers struggle to resolve on a day-to-day basis.

Gary was born and raised in Washington, DC. He holds a BS degree in Organizational Behavior from Columbia Union College, has taught at Prince George’s Community College and Arizona State University on behalf of Motorola.


« Return to Speaker List



Scholar, Historian, Economist, Activist, Intellectual

Lynch Essays On Black CultureNightmare Overhanging Darkly – Essays on Black Culture and Resistance

Topics: Global Economics; Culture; Political Science; Pan-African; Sports as Child Development Tool; Fatherhood

Education: Howard University, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University
Travels From: Washington DC

Check the availability of Acklyn Lynch here or call 202-505-3144

A distinguished scholar, activist and expert on international economics, Lynch is well versed in politics, history, literature, cultural Diaspora arts, jazz and calypso. Dr. Lynch served as Chair of the Department of Africana Studies at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. The De Facto Professor Emeritus of the community, Dr. Lynch has written numerous articles and is a frequent guest on Pacifica Radio. He is a passionate unifying speaker, constantly educating, entertaining and energizing audiences.

Lynch was born in the twin island nation of Trinidad and Tobago to modest circumstances in 1932. By school age his mother managed to get him under the tutelage of an influential schoolmaster who left quite an impression on him as well as a Paul Robeson album, A Duke Ellington Album and Richard Wright’s Native Son. By his early 20s these symbolic … of culture as well as a well-honed athletic abilities would lead him the USA and Harlem to be specific.

He came to Howard University in 1957, three years ahead of fellow Trinidadian-American and Civil Rights activist Stokely Carmichael. Lynch became a participant in Civil Rights activities at Howard shortly thereafter. He studied under the notable Sterling Brown. In 1961 he organized the a mock UN Conference, the first of its kind at the university. The conference focused on the Vietnam War, African independence and the newly established OPEC, Lynch’s bailiwick as he himself was from an oil producing nation. He went on to read for Philosophy at Harvard University in 1960 on a full scholarship but after one year rejected campus politics, returning to Washington DC and a welcoming Johns Hopkins University.

His work years began with an Exxon internship in 1963. By 1964 he was recruited by Chase Manhattan. Wall Street and corporate life soon lost its gloss. He returned to academia in the late 1960s. He’s considered a guru by students of Africana Studies who have gone on to serve in all corners of the globe.

A music aficionado, he travelled extensively with luminaries such as Max Roach, Archie Schepp, Dizzy Gillespie and Randy Weston. An engaging storyteller and conversationalist, Lynch has logged thousands of hours of interviews with leading cultural, intellectual and political figures.

He has been professor of Africana Studies at Howard University, University of Massachusetts and University of Maryland Baltimore. He has two children, one of whom, Jair Lynch, became the first African American gymnast to captain an Olympic team

« Return to Speaker List 



Documentarian, Writer, Director, Autism Advocate






Topics: Documentary making; Autism Advocacy; Media Advocacy; Jazz; Multicultural America; Latin-American and Caribbean Culture.

Education: Howard University, 1990
Travels from: Washington DC
Photo Credit: Teri Gentry

Check the availability of Miriam Machado-Luces here or call 202-505-3144

An Emmy award winning producer, writer, director, Miriam Machado-Luces has created documentaries and other content on a wide cross-section of subjects including Jazz, African-American Political History, Latin-American culture and Global Health Issues. An engaging storyteller and speaker with an encyclopedic mind, she pulls from genuine stories as she entertains and motivates diverse audiences.

While filmmaking and lectures on culture keep her busy, one of her deepest passion is her commitment to parenting.  Her advice on family advocacy, autism and education serve not only the Latino and immigrant communities but the wider community as well. Being PTA president at her son’s elementary school and logging seventeen years determinedly advocating on behalf of her autistic daughter are now serving others in need. Her anecdotes about life with an autistic child are compelling and guaranteed to bring a smile to the heart even as they mobilize her audience.

Miriam’s career began in corporate & government video production and sales before moving to broadcast programming and promotions at the Viacom networks BET Jazz, Centric TV and BET.  She’s an advocate for multicultural voices in media and currently serves on the Board of Women in Film and Video. Most recently, Machado-Luces was appointed to the Board of Governors for the National Capitol Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the governing body for the Emmy Awards. A native of Carcacus, Venezuela, she resides in Maryland.

Miriam conducts lectures in both English and Spanish.

See Press Page for Speaker Articles and/or Video

« Return to Speaker List



Chef and Healthy Eating Maven






Topics: Healthy Eating, Healthy Living, Calypso Cuisine

Travels from: Virginia
Photo Credit: Teri Gentry

Check the availability of Debbie Machado-Santos here or call 202-505-3144


Chef Debbie Machado-Santos spent years honing her skills in the demanding central kitchen at Microsoft Headquarters in Seattle. But long before Microsoft, her true culinary school was her mother’s exciting West Indian and Venezuelan kitchens. She is a blend of cultures. On the one part Chef Debbie is “medicina” woman combining herbs & spices to heal ailments. On the other she is gourmet chef sending guests home with flavors of her creations dancing on their tongues.

Chef Debbie is a firm believer in designing meals for optimal health. Her roster includes elementary school nutrition programs. Her experience working with large populations, her joyful approach and her ability to communicate in five languages are keys to her success. She has been invited not only to upgrade the meals but to educate quickly growing and diverse school populations. Her offerings are also diverse. She serves corporate clients and weddings to clients with Lupus and pregnant mothers on bed rest who need special care.

On her documentary-style cooking program, Calypso Cuisine, Chef Debbie serves up “soul food” from a different Latin American country or Caribbean Island in each episode in front of a live audience.  Calypso Cuisine, digs deep into the meal, exploring the dish’s history, revealing the food’s medicinal purpose and presents the authentic cooking method.  She brings Latin-American and Caribbean cooking to a American audience who is always excited by diversity.

Chef Debbie is currently writing her first cookbook, a celebration of Calypso Cuisine and her mother’s own genuine traditional recipes which she inherited: Girl Ya En’t Playin’ Ya Good; Calypso Cuisine from Mummy’s Kitchen.


« Return to Speaker List

Nathan McCall


Author, Lecturer, Journalist


book_whatsgoinon1What’s Going On Nathan_Them_BOOK_COVER_Them: A Novel through-the-doorMakes Me Wanna Holler:

Topics: Politics and Culture; Journalism; Race Relations; Coming of Age in America; Literature; Conquering Adversity; Personal Transformation.

Education: Norfolk State University
Travels From: Atlanta, Georgia
Photo Credt: W.A. Bridges, Jr.

Check the availability of Nathan McCall here or call 202-505-3144


He’s an American success story. Nathan McCall overcame near-insurmountable odds to become a reporter at leading American newspapers, climb to the top of the New York Times bestseller list and serve as an educator. He really knows how to channel anger into purposeful living.

Following the call of his inner voice, Nathan McCall took a leave of absence from his job at the Washington Post to write his autobiography Makes Me Wanna Holler, A Young Black Man in America. The book, an honest recounting of his very troubled early life and experiences with racism, went on to make the New York Times bestseller list and win the Blackboard Book of the Year Award in 1995. In praise of Makes Me Wanna Holler, noted scholar Henry Louis Gates wrote, “Sooner or later every generation must find its voice. It may be that ours belongs to Nathan McCall, whose memoir is…a stirring tale of transformation. He is a mesmerizing storyteller.” McCall is an in-demand, respected voice on the university and lecture circuit, even correctional facilities, helping audiences move towards empathy and healing.

In 1997, McCall published his second book, What’s Going On, a series of essays about race relations in America. Nathan McCall made his fiction debut in 2007 with the publication of Them, a timely and penetrating story of Barlowe Reed, an African-American whose attempt to buy the rundown house he rents in an historic black neighborhood is confounded by the sudden appearance of whites abandoning the suburbs for the inner city. Over time, blacks and whites are drawn into wrenching neighborhood power struggles as they wrestle with alien world-views and the unsettling realities of gentrification.

Them was cited by Publishers Weekly as one of the best books of 2007. In 2008, the novel reached No. 1 on the Essence magazine bestseller list. The novel was as a finalist for the 2008 Townsend Prize for Fiction and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Debut Fiction. Additionally, the novel was nominated for the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence.

Professor McCall has worked as a reporter for The Washington Post, as well as The Virginian Pilot-Ledger Star and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He teaches a course titled, “African American Images in the Media.” He also has taught “News Coverage of Ethnic Minorities in America” and “South African History and Issues” the preparatory course for the Interdisciplinary Internship in South Africa Summer program. As part of the program, Professor McCall has co-led several trips to South Africa, where students spend six weeks serving internships in Cape Town and exploring Johannesburg.  McCall has lectured and conducted media interviews nationally and internationally. His research interests center on white privilege, constructions of racial identities and the impact of those constructions on various ethnic groups, particularly African Americans. He also explores media representations of ethnic minorities and trends in popular culture that reflect and advance social constructions of race.

McCall serves as a senior lecturer in the African American Studies Department at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. In 2008, Professor McCall received a degree of Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters at Martin University, where he served as commencement speaker.

See Press Page for Speaker Articles and/or Video

« Return to Speaker List

Ethelbert Miller


Poet, Creative Non-Fiction Writer, Literary Activist

book3  The 5th Inning fathering-wordsFathering Words: The Making of an African American Writer first-lightFirst Light: New and Selected Poems

Topics: Literature; Poetry; American Literature, Baseball as Metaphor for Life, Literary Activism

Education: Howard University
Travels From: Washington DC
Photo Credit: Teri Gentry

Check the availability of E. Ethelbert Miller here or call 202-505-3144

At home and abroad, E. Ethelbert Miller is among the list of most admired American poets. He has hundreds of hours logged on radio, bringing poetry directly to the public. His contributions to iconic organizations like the PEN/Faulkner Foundation and his inclusion in anthologies which transcend cultural boundaries, are testament to his well-deserved moniker, the literary activist.

Prolific American writer Miller has more than a dozen books to his credit, among them several poetry collections. He has received some of America’s most esteemed awards among them the 1995 O. B. Hardison Jr. Poetry Prize given for excellence in poetry and teaching. He has hundreds of hours logged on radio, bringing poetry directly to the public.  He’s among the list of most admired American poets. His contributions to iconic organizations like the PEN/Faulkner Foundation and his inclusion in anthologies which transcend cultural boundaries, are testament to his well-deserved moniker, the literary activist.

His second memoir The 5th Inning, is an examination of personal relationships, depression, love and loss. Says literary authority Josephine Reed, “The 5th Inning is a poetic meditation as much as a memoir. Ethelbert brings his poet’s eye to the game of baseball and transforms it into a metaphor for a life that knows strikes, groundouts, and errors as well as the beauty of a ball sailing straight across homeplate.”

Miller is board member of The Writer’s Center and editor of Poet Lore magazine. Since 1974, he has been the director of the African American Resource Center at Howard University.  He is also the Board Chair of the highly regarded Institute for Policy Studies, a DC-based Progressive Think Tank of high profile American scholars and experts focusing on peace, justice and the environment. Since its formation in 1963, the Institute has attained a global presence and has been at the center of America’s most transformative movements.  Not only has Miller contributed significantly to the literary landscape, he has participated in the development of policy in arts organizations, universities and think tanks.

His  invaluable participation in the National Endowment for the Arts Operation Homecoming project helped to preserve the stories and reflections of American troops who served in Afghanistan and Iraq. He’s even conducted a workshop at Camp Ederle in Vicenza, Italy.

Miller is the editor of Poet Lore Magazine and also a contributor to an extensive list of respected poetry and essay anthologies: Trouble the Water, 250 Years of African American Poetry edited by Jerry Ward; Beyond Lament, Poets of the World Bearing Witness to the Holocaust, edited by Marguerite M. Striar; and The Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry edited by Arnold Rampersad. His essays can be found in The Beacon Best of 2000: Great Writing by Women and Men edited by Edwidge Danticat and 3 Minutes or less, Life Lessons from America’s Greatest Writers edited by the PEN/Faulkner Foundation.

Landmark awards include the 1994 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award for In Search of Color Everywhere, one of the first African-American poetry collections.  The collection was also a Book of the Month Club selection. In 1997 he was presented with the Stephen Henderson Poetry Award by the African American Literature and Culture Society. In 2004, Mr. Miller was awarded a Fulbright to visit Israel. His civic and humanities awards are numerous and include nods from Washington DC and Baltimore. He received an honorary doctorate of literature from Emory & Henry College in 1996.

His former Board affiliations include the prestigious PEN American Center, PEN/Faulkner Foundation, Associated Writing Programs (AWP), Washington Area Lawyer for the Arts (WALA) and the Edmund Burke School. He is former Chair of the Humanities Council of Washington DC.

His past faculty affiliations include visiting professor as the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, adjunct professor at American University and The Bennington Writing Seminars at Bennington College. In1996 he was the Jessie Ball DuPont Scholar at Emory & Henry College. He was scholar-in-residence at George Mason University, and Carell Writer-in-Residence at Harpeth Hall School in Nashville, Tennessee

See Press Page for Speaker Articles and/or Video

« Return to Speaker List



Director, Screenwriter, and Producer


Mitchell Nocturnal AgonyNocturnal Agony Mitchell Too Saved  Too Saved

Topics: Filmmaking, Faith-based films, Screenwriting

Education: Howard University
Travels From: Washington, DC
Photo Credit: Teri Gentry

Check the availability of Shuaib Mitchell here or call 202-505-3144


After studying filmmaking under esteemed faculty that included internationally acclaimed filmmaker Haile Gerima, Shuaib Mitchell began his professional career in news at C-SPAN, where he would direct the live nationally televised viewer call-in shows.  It wasn’t long though, before he surrendered to the call to independent filmmaking and started Nubia Filmworks. He launched in 1992 the one-hour documentary film, Straight Up Go Go, which he co-produced and directed. The documentary, which examines the culture and history of Washington, DC’s “Go-Go” music, was distributed internationally by ATA Trading Corp. and has aired numerous times on PBS Television.

In April of 2012 Mitchell premiered his feature length motion picture entitled Nocturnal Agony. The film stars renowned gospel recording artist Hezekiah Walker and veteran Hollywood actor Lawrence-Hilton Jacobs of Welcome Back Kotter and That’s So Raven fame. Other African-American icons in the film include Vernee’ Watson, and former Hollywood child actress Rae’Ven Larrymore Kelly.  Nocturnal Agony the screenplay has won several awards including The Larry Neal Writer’s Award (his second). It was a finalist in the 2009 Creative World Awards Screenplay Competition, and also finished well in the Writer’s Network Screenplay & Fiction Competition as well as the Fade-In Awards Screenplay Competition.

Following in the footsteps of the likes of T. D. Jakes and Tyler Perry, Shuaib Mitchell is working to turn the unlikely Washington, DC and the Mid-Atlantic into a vibrant, thriving faith-based film community.

Prior to the release of Nocturnal Agony, Mitchell directed and produced his first narrative feature length motion picture entitled Too Saved in 2007.  The “faith-based” romantic comedy was acquired in 2009 by Maverick Entertainment Group, Inc. for world-wide distribution and has received the prestigious Dove “Family-Approved” Seal (receiving a 4-star rating), Best Narrative Film at the 1st Annual North Carolina Family Film Festival (2011), 2nd Place for Best Film at the 1st Annual KingdomWood Christian Film Festival, Atlanta, GA (2008), and a nomination for Best Religious Film at the 5th Annual San Diego Black Film Festival (2008).

Too Saved has also received official selections into a number of prestigious film festivals around the world including, the 16th Annual Pan African Film Festival, Los Angeles, CA. (2008), the 2nd Annual Mid-Atlantic Black Film Festival (Special “Showcase” Screening), Norfolk, VA. (2008), the 2nd Annual Indie Can Film Festival, Toronto, Canada (2007) and the 11th Annual Urbanworld/Vibe Film Festival, New York, NY (2007).

Mitchell has many projects in the offing. His feature length screenplay A Rose By Any Other Name, completed in 1999, is targeted for production in 2013. Mitchell has won several awards, including DC’s prestigious Larry Neal Writer’s Award (1999), the DC Screenwriter’s Competition (2000), and the Maryland State Individual Artist Award (2001). Two well known Hollywood actors are already attached to this coming-of-age love story.

Shuaib Mitchell is a member of the Director’s Guild of America (DGA).


« Return to Speaker List

unnamed (1)

Ynanna Djehuty

Midwife, Writer & Reproductive Health Activist

Hija De Mi MadreHija De Mi Madre

Topics:Maternal/Reproductive and Infant Health, Mental Health, Heathcare Disparities, Afro-Latin Identity
Education: State University of New York at New Paltz
Travels From: New York
Languages: English and Spanish

Check the availability of Ynanna Djehuty here or call 202-505-3144


Ynanna Djehuty is an Afro-Dominicana midwife, reproductive health activist and writer. The focus of her work is the empowerment of women and people of the African Diaspora.   A young energetic speaker with the experience of an elder expert, she utilizes her experience as a midwife and reproductive health advocate to raise awareness on maternal and reproductive health for women, highlighting the disparities in the healthcare system in the United States for women of color. Triumphing over her own personal challenges allows her to connect on an even deeper level with her audience. In October 2009, she published ‘Hija De Mi Madre’ (My Mother’s Daughter), a combination of memoirs, poems and research material focusing on the effects of race on identity. Ynanna is the co-founder and associate editor of La Galer?a Magazine, an online publication for Dominicans of the Diaspora.


« Return to Speaker List

Euzhan Palcy


Filmmaker, Producer, Director


First Black Female Director produced by a Major Hollywood Studio; Officer of the Order of Merit, France

Palcy A Dry White SeasonA_Dry White Season Palcy Sugar Cane AlleySugar Cane Alley Palcy Ruby BridgesThe Ruby Bridges Story

Topics: Filmmaking, Storytelling, Global History and Culture, Women Studies

Education:  Sorbonne and Louis Lumiere School of Cinema
Travels from:  Paris and/or Martinique

Check the availability of Euzhan Palcy here or call 202-505-3144

Euzhan Palcy a native of Martinique, is an award-winning filmmaker with a social conscience and the power to capture hearts and minds through her storytelling.  Small wonder she broke the glass ceiling in Hollywood and brought cultural icon Marlon Brando out of retirement for an Oscar nominated role in A Dry White Season.  A quiet lightning rod and veteran filmmaker, Palcy is a master of film genres including animation, thriller, comedy and action. Her first independent feature film “Sugar Cane Alley” is a classic that has garnered over 17 international awards. It has been included in France’s national curriculum three times.

The award-winning internationally renowned director has the ‘magic touch’ and a way with words and images. Palcy builds confidence in a roomful of thousands, inspiring them to go the extra mile. Her inner guidance system is finely balanced.   She has been lauded as the producer who went to great length to capture South-African Apartheid so that it would have cross-cultural appeal without sacrificing the integrity of the story. According to the late film critic Roger Ebert, A Dry White Season “isn’t just a plot trotted out to manipulate us, but the painful examination of one man’s change of conscience.” It’s her “eye for character detail,” that allows her to make a Hollywood film that truly tackles a divisive subject and encourage change.  It is widely acknowledged that Euzhan Palcy’s, A Dry White Season gave Apartheid its dying breath prior to Nelson Mandela’s release from prison.

Palcy has the natural aptitude to work in a variety of film genres, and direct both independent films and Hollywood movies.  Select works include: Ruby Bridges for Disney, The Killing Yard for Paramount, Simeon, Pecours de Dissidents and Les Mariees de I’isles Bourbon and the documentary, Aime Cesaire: A Voice In History. The in-demand director/producer has several projects in development: an animated feature for Fox Studios; an action comedy Filet Mignon; a comedy drama with Ellen Burstyn and Sam Shepard as well as the much anticipated films on American masters, Bessie Coleman and Mahalia Jackson. The Museum of Modern Art, is one of many places that have done a retrospective of her works.

Euzhan Palcy travels between Paris and Martinique. She can conduct lectures in English or French.

See Press Page for Speaker Articles and/or Video

« Return to Speaker List

Photo Credit: ©Marie Baronnet 2010


Film Producer and Director, Author, Educator, Activist

Chairman of La Femis, France’s influential film school

peckb2Fatal Assistance Peck LumumbaLumumba Peck Sometimes In AprilSometimes in April

Topics: Producing Integrity Cinema, Essay Filmmaking, Political Commitment, Disaster Relief, Aid and International Development, Global Politics and Culture, Education, Sociology, Economics

Education: Berlin Academy of Film and Television
From: Paris/Haiti/New York
Photo Credit: ©Marie Baronnet 2010

Check the availability of Raoul Peck here or call 202-505-3144


Pioneering director and writer Raoul Peck is genius at pushing boundaries – using film to tackle global historical events and tough subject matter, while still engaging audiences politically, artistically and socially. The prolific Haitian director has done over a dozen films including: Moloch Tropical, Lumumba, Sometimes In April, The Haitian Corner, Man By The Shore, Corps Plonges, Chore Catherine and the documentary, Lumumba Death of a Prophet. His numerous awards include three from the Human Rights Watch Organization.

A thought leader, Raoul Peck’s documentary Fatal Assistance examines the current models for disaster relief and sustainable giving. It focuses on the lens of Haitian disaster relief, and exposes the profound weakness in process conducted by the international disaster relief community. Fatal Assistance is a must see for global development experts and international relations student majors. With disasters on the upswing, his eye-opening study of post-earthquake Haiti provides the blueprint for transforming Disaster Assistance worldwide. ”I am not interested in avant-gardist narrative form, but rather in ideological deconstruction,” he tells an interviewer. His profoundly unique life experiences on three continents and his up close view of post-colonialism give Peck the knowledge base and credibility to do so. His compassion and keen understanding of the human mind pave the way for films with emotional impact.

Peck’s films courageously and effectively examine complex global problems associated with power, justice and leadership. He has an exciting list of works-in-progress.

He is currently working a documentary film in which he will tackle James Baldwin’s unfinished quest to analyze the paths of three of his friends (Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.), offering a very personal reflection on the 1960′s and today’s United States of America, only using James Baldwin’s words. The project is based on a little known document from the Baldwin Estate in which James Baldwin sketched out the framework for the last book he never got to write. Peck is also working on a feature film on the youth of Karl Marx who, with Friedrich Engels, singlehandedly created what will be known as the “Working class” This film will be the coming of age of two young intellectuals who will have an extraordinary impact on the world of the 20th Century and beyond.

Whether he’s keynote on a big stage or work-shopping with students throughout the world, he is an intriguing and inspiring presenter.

A filmmaker with a global footprint, Peck has advanced the art and the truth of both narrative and documentary filmmaking. Film curator Prerana Reddy, reviewing his landmark political thriller Lumumba says, “Raoul Peck occupies a liminal space in filmmaking, blurring the boundaries between documentary and fiction, between the personal and the political, as well as the boundaries of national affiliation.”  He encourages his audience to question and think outside the box.

Born in Haiti, Raoul Peck moved to The Congo when his parents fled the Duvalier dictatorship in 1961.  His father had been given the opportunity to become a professor of Agriculture in post-colonial Congo.  Subsequently Peck was schooled in The Congo, New York, Paris and Berlin. His father making home movies may well have sparked his love of film. He completed high school in France and actually studied Economics and Engineering in Germany before switching to majoring in Film. While he waited for admittance to Film school in Germany, he worked as a reporter and photographer, even a taxi driver in New York.  Now he is the founder of Velvet Film, a production company which produced or co-produced all of his films, an author, and chairman of the board of one of the most prestigious film schools worldwide.

An in-demand teacher and speaker, Raoul Peck has taught at the Berlin Film & Television Academy and the famous Tisch School of the Arts in New York. In 1995, he returned to Haiti, serving as the Minister of Culture but returned to filmmaking after 18 months when the island fell into political turmoil. Still, he remains a champion of the Haitian people. Peck is the founder of Foundation Forum Eldorado, an organization dedicated to the development of Haiti’s rich cultural heritage.  He was appointed chairman of French film school La Femis in 2010.  Peck is one of the most compelling filmmakers of our time. Peck is a 2014 research scholar and artist in residence at NYU Tisch School.

Raoul Peck is fluent in French, English and German.

See Press Page for Speaker Articles and/or Video

« Return to Speaker List



Producer, Director, Screenwriter


Ryan Photo_PosterMoney Matters

Topics: The Filmmaking Process, Coming of Age Narratives, Cinematography

Travels from: Atlanta, GA
Education: New York University

Check the availability of Ryan Richmond here or call 202-505-3144

Ryan Richmond is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. As a cinematographer, he has shot more than 60 films and music videos. His cinematography has been showcased in some 50 festivals nationally and internationally, including Sundance and Cannes. His work is currently airing on HBO with the documentary “By the People: The Election of Barack Obama”.  He shadowed Spike Lee on “25TH HOUR” and Mathew Libatique on “INSIDE MAN”.

Richmond’s directorial debut film MONEY MATTERS, was the first Short to be nominated for the Independent Feature Project’s (IFP’s) Gordon Parks Award (2001). He developed the short film into a feature screenplay, which was selected by Tribeca Film Festival’s All Access Program, won UrbanWorld Film Festival’s HBO Screenplay Competition and won 2nd place for the Larry Neal Dramatic Writing Competition in D.C.  Richmond a native of Washington, DC, shot MONEY MATTERS in his hometown. The feature coming-of-age film stars actress Aunjanue Ellis (RAY, UNDERCOVER BROTHER), Michel Wright (WPGC) and Antonio “The Cuban Cigar Smoker” (WKYS) with executive producer Sam Pollard (INSIDE MAN, JUICE).  It won Audience Favorite Award at Roxbury International; a Finalist in the HBO competition at the African American Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival, featured at Urbanworld, Black Harvest Film Festival, Congressional Black Caucus’ Annual Legislative Conference Film Series and was nominated for Best Director at the Pan African Film Festival. It is being distributed by Image Entertainment and can be found at Walmart and online at

Ryan entry in the arts began as a child actor in professional theater in DC. As he got older, he decided that he’d rather tell stories from behind the spotlight. His love for telling stories evolved into movie making. He founded Streamline Filmworks as a vehicle to create intimate media and investigate the idiosyncrasies of various cultures and social classes that are overlooked by the mainstream. He serves as a producer at ASPIRE, a cable network owned by Earvin “Magic” Johnson based in Atlanta, GA.

See Press Page for Speaker Articles and/or Video

« Return to Speaker List

Regine Romain NSpeak


Photo-Anthro-Journalist, Educator, Performer, Curator, Producer, Folklorist






Topics: Haiti |Self Determination| Visual  Storytelling| Freedom | Power of the Imagination,
Photography, Lens of Love |Travel |Spiritual Pilgrimage-Hero’s Journey,  Archival Family Photographs, Ancestral Connections + Oral Histories |Cultural Preservation through Integrated Arts Education and
Innovative Arts Activism + Community Engagement

Travels From: New York

Check the availability of Regine Romain here or call 202-505-3144

Regine Romain is a visionary Haitian-American artist. She is the founder and director of the Urban PhotoPoets, Brooklyn Photo Salon, and the Brooklyn to Benin projects.

Regine is a mixed-media educator with 20 years practice in creating, teaching, training, and supporting diverse communities in engaging and co-creating projects that promote positive representations of their individual and collective identities.  Using her training in cultural anthropology, global history, photography, literature and other multimedia tools she teaches students artistic expression, critical inquiry and social activism.  She conducts professional development workshops with 5-12th grade teachers.

Through an extensive global network, Regine produces culturally transformative courses, curriculum, workshops, salons, exhibits, festivals, and forums. ?? She is also the editor of Diaspora Diaries: An Educators Guide to MoCADA Artists (2009), created as a dynamic tool for educators to learn about the African diaspora through history, arts and engaged curriculum.

As a photo-anthro-journalist, her sojourns are rootical expeditions, most often pilgrimages, exploring indigenous intelligence, languages, proverbs, music, dance, sustainable natural living, ritual and spiritual practices throughout the African diaspora.  Romain’s work of Ha?ti after the devastating 7.0 earthquake, is in the permanent collection at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York.

Her work has been exhibited at A.I.R. Gallery, NY; Teatro Nacional de Cuba, Cuba; UN Photography Society, NY; and the Charles Sumner Museum, DC. Her awards include A.I.R. Gallery 2011-2012 Fellow, Brooklyn Arts Council, the Trude Lash Fellowship, New Visions/Fund for Teachers Travel Grant to Cuba, YMLN Media and Leadership Fellowship, and three Center for Arts Education/Parents As Art Partners Grants.

She received her Bachelor of Science in International Studies from Bowie State University and a Masters in Photography & Urban Culture from Goldsmiths, University of London.

Regine Romain conducts her lectures and presentations in English.



« Return to Speaker List



Writer, Producer, Director


Shabazz-Lovers-Rock  The Story of Lover’s Rock

Topics: Filmmaking, Scriptwriting, Black British Cinema, Lover’s Rock Music

Education: London International Film School
Travels From: London, England

Check the availability of Menelik Shabazz here or call 202-505-3144

This British Caribbean filmmaker is considered one of the pioneers of Black British cinema. Menelik Shabazz is a multi -award winning filmmaker who has produced and directed films  for the BBC, ITV and Channel 4. He is best known for his debut cult classic Burning An Illusion (1981) funded by the British Film Institute. This important film about a
black woman’s journey into self awareness, won the Grand Prix at the Amien Film Festival in France (1982).  His most controversial sci-fi documentary Time and Judgement – A Diary of a 400 years Exile – was produced for Channel 4 (1988). This complex film links events across the pan African world between 1980 -87 with biblical prophecy (Queen Judgement) and the scales of Maat along with archive footage and spoken word. This unusual film is one of the most uncompromising films on the black experience.

In 1996 he won the National Black Programming Consortium – Prized Pieces award for his docu/drama Catch A Fire. He produced for the BBC film chronicles, The Life of Paul Bogle and the 1865 Morant Bay Rebellion in Jamaica. This event redefined Victorian attitudes towards race.

His documentary, The Story of Lover’s Rock is one of the most successful British documentaries produced.  A cult-classic, its focus is the influence of the reggae sub-genre of Lover’s Rock on the London scene during the late ‘70s and the ‘80s and how it hugely impacted British Pop Culture.  The success of Lover’s Rock has Menelik embarking on his next project, a stage play entitled The Awaken One. Shot digitally, the film introduced Menelik to the new model of engagement through digital distribution and exhibition. Many of his lectures look at how this process works and how filmmakers on low budgets can create a product to market using  the new distribution models.

Menelik Shabazz is the founder of the Black Filmmakers (BFM) Media Project which includes BFM International Film Festival, the BFM Film and Television Awards and BFM Magazine. Stepping out of the matrix, his mission was to give visibility to filmmakers of color that were invisible by the industry and broadcasters, and create a global platform for Black cinema and independent filmmakers.  Born in Barbados, Menelik was introduced to the world of video during his teen-age years in London. His impact on Black cinema in the United Kingdom (UK) is with out question.

See Press Page for Speaker Articles and/or Video

« Return to Speaker List  |

Kay Shaw


New Media Expert, Communications and Branding, Media and Community Advocate






Topics: Digital Literacy, Connecting Communities in the Digital Age, Image Branding

Education: George Mason University
Travels From: New York City

Check the availability of Kay Shaw here or call 202-505-3144


Immersed in new media, digital technology, branding, marketing and promotions, Kay is a communications mastermind. She has an extensive background as a community organizer and media consultant with African-American, Latino, Caribbean and Native American communities. In the ‘90s, she transferred her community organizing and media relations skills into a successful career promoting and distributing black independent films for broadcast and theatrical release, including the Sundance award-winning PBS films Finding Christa, Black Press Soldiers without Swords, and Marlon Riggs’ last documentary Black Is…Black Ain’t.

Kay Shaw is the director of the Public Media Corps at the National Black Programming Consortium based in New York. PMC is a national service program that promotes and extends broadband adoption in underserved communities. Media observer Katy Kemple says “Many public media projects claim “community engagement” as a priority, but few make it the centerpiece of their work. For the Public Media Corps, that’s never been an issue.” Indeed, under Shaw’s leadership, PMC is delivering on its programming promises. Shaw is the former Director of Communications for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

Shaw developed and lead a successful marketing and community outreach strategy for the exhibition and self-distribution of the hit independent film Sankofa by Haile Gerima.  She managed fore-walling commercial theaters and also created the iconic Sankofa logo and materials that were circulated across the country and internationally.


« Return to Speaker List

Kemba Smith


Advocate, Motivational Speaker, Author

Smith Poster ChildPoster Child: The Kemba Smith Story

Topics: Criminal Justice, Women and Incarceration, Women’s Rights, Drug Policy, Domestic Violence, Personal Transformation Through Adversity

Education: Virginia Union University
Travels from: Richmond, VA

Check the availability of Kemba Smith Pradia here or call 202-505-3144

While a college student, young Kemba Smith’s desire to fit-in led to her suffering domestic abuse and ultimately, incarceration.  Now corporations support her activism and her fight to raise awareness and self-esteem. Her triumph over adversity has made her an inspiration and a lifeline to audiences throughout the United States.

Growing up as an only child in Richmond, Virginia, Kemba Smith Pradia graduated high school and continued her education at prestigious Hampton University.  What happened to Kemba in her new campus environment was a nightmare. In an attempt to “fit in,” Kemba associated with the wrong crowd and became involved with a drug dealer. He was a major figure in a crack cocaine ring and drew Kemba right in the middle of his life with physical, mental and emotional abuse disguised as “love.”

After enduring this turbulent four-year relationship in 1994, Kemba was sentenced to 24.5 years and served 6.5 years in federal prison. Massive support from family, friends, the NAACP, sororities, and the community garnished media attention about her unjust sentence. Fortunately, she regained her freedom after President Bill Clinton granted her clemency in December 2000. Her case drew support from across the nation and the world to reverse a disturbing trend in the rise of lengthy sentences for first time non-violent drug offenders. Her story has been featured on CNN, Nightline, Court TV, The Early Morning Show, Judge Hatchett, and a host of other television programs. In addition, Kemba has been featured in several publications such as The Washington Post, The New York Times, JET, Emerge, Essence, Heart and Soul, Glamour, and People Magazines.

Kemba’s traumatic real life experience forces today’s youth to recognize that there are consequences to their life choices. She has been corporately sponsored to speak at a variety of high schools and college venues by Proctor & Gamble, Bank One Academy, Shell Corporation, BET, Traveler’s Foundation, and Verizon. Rainforest Films acquired the rights to produce Kemba’s life story into a film. Rainforest Films is based out of Atlanta and has produced the critically acclaimed films: Stomp the Yard, This Christmas, Obsessed, Takers and Think Like a Man.

Kemba went back to school to complete her education. She is a graduate of Virginia Union University and was a past recipient for a two year Soros Justice Postgraduate Fellowship for advocates. She has spoken on panels, testified before Congress and the United Nations regarding a variety of criminal justice issues including: crack cocaine sentencing, mandatory drug sentencing, women and incarceration, felony disenfranchisement, and re-entry. Currently, Kemba is continuing to develop her 501 (c) (3) foundation, the Kemba Smith Foundation.

As a wife, mother, advocate, national public speaker and author of her long awaited memoir, Poster Child, Kemba has received numerous awards and recognitions for her courage and determination to educate the public about the devastating consequences of current drug policies. Ultimately, Kemba knows that there is a lesson in each experience in life, and she has embraced her experience, learned from it, and is now using that experience to teach others.

See Press Page for Speaker Articles and/or Video

« Return to Speaker List



Psychologist, Advocate, Motivational Speaker, Author






Topics:  Psychology, School Psychology, Urban Education, Adolescent Behavior, Family, Black Male Achievement, Team-building

Education: University of Wisconsin
Travels From: Milwaukee

Check the availability of Dr. Ramel Smith here or call 202-505-3144


Dr. Ramel LaMont Smith was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and raised by his maternal grandmother. As a young boy, Smith attended the Samuel Morse Middle School for the Gifted and Talented. Dr. Smith highlights the many challenges he faced. Despite being an honor student, Smith was placed in remedial mathematics and reading classes, causing creating great conflict in his life. These struggles are the key to his ability as an effective problem solver.

Smith attended the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, where he lived a double life.  An up-standing member of Omega Psi Phi by day and a troubled person at night, he was undecided … not knowing whether he wanted to be a scholar or a thug. Smith was arrested on graduation night and his probation sentence destroyed his plans to continue his education for a time.  He decided to turn his life around and became an educator with the Milwaukee Public School system (MPS).  After several years with MPS, Smith returned to school full-time and in 2003, Smith earned his doctorate in the area of Urban Education. He became the first African-American to earn his doctorate in the area of Urban Education with an emphasis in School Psychology at UW-M.

Dr. Smith provided therapeutic services for the Department of Corrections in Wisconsin to both men and women inmates. “My placement was perfect, I saw myself in a lot of the inmates. And I am making it. My success has become a light of hope for others to know they can still achieve their dreams.” The dynamic speaker has created seminars for the federal government, marriage retreats, university keynotes, speeches for faith-based organizations, trainings for correctional staff, and workshops for educators. Smith is smart and energetic and has been described as “intelligence with a heart.”  The media savvy co-hosts a local cable show in his hometown, that he designed to give the public access mental health information and self help topics.

Dr. Smith has won many accolades and awards throughout his career. He attests family and friends are the main reason for living a life of success. He is married and has five children.

Omega Psi Phi fraternity member

See Press Page for Speaker Articles and/or Video

« Return to Speaker List



AstroNumerologist, Bestselling Author, Motivational Speaker

Numbers and You

Numbers and You

Topics: AstroNumerology as a Decision Making Tool, Relationships and Dating, The Power of the Penny, A Numerical Look at 911, Playing the Numbers, The History of the Numbers Game in Harlem, Biblical Numerology

Education: Virginia Union University
Travels from: New York
Photo Credit: Teri Gentry

Check the availability of Lloyd Strayhorn here or call 202-505-3144


Passionate about numbers, Lloyd Strayhorn is a world renowned authority on astro-numerology. His reader friendly best-seller is considered the definitive book on this unique field. On the speaker platform he engaging but beyond that, his audiences recognize and are uplifted by truths and predictions he reveals using this exciting tool.

As a kid, Lloyd, had an interest in all things “weird”, “strange” or “interesting” (Or did it have something to do with him being born under the sign of Aquarius?). Fascinated with the “other world”; the world of astrology and the related sciences, held his time and attention.  Despite a background in sales, real estate, insurance, publishing and even music, he seems to have been the happiest if he could figure out a person’s astrological and or numerical chart.  After long and intensive years of studying and researching both astrology and numerology, Lloyd emerged as an Astro/Numerologist…  perhaps the most renowned authority in this specialized field today! As a professional speaker, Lloyd has always left the audience fascinated and motivated. His refreshing and warm delivery to the subject of astro/numerology is upbeat, positive, sincere and amazingly on target. Whether in a business setting, workshops, lectures or at large conferences, he’s made the case for the usefulness of astro-numerology to understand the personality and to predict events.

Lloyd has written numerous books, news/magazine columns and numerous articles on events of the time.  He brings to the radio listener and TV viewer, insight and an informative approach to his very unique world. He has appeared on national TV shows, such as “Oprah Winfrey”, “Geraldo”, Regis Philbin and Kathy Lee”, “The Montel Williams Show” and ”Tony Brown’s Journal”, etc., along with countless radio appearances across the country. He is an in-demand, experienced radio and TV personality in  every major market.

Lloyd’s popular best seller, Numbers and You, a Ballantine Publication, is sold in bookstores everywhere. He teaches a Numerology course at City College in New York.


« Return to Speaker List



Filmmaker, Editor, lecturer


Tichawonna The New N Word  The New N’ Word

Topics: The Evolution of the “N” Word Through Culture; Film; Cinematography, Rearing a Special Needs Child

Education: Howard University
Travels From: Washington, DC.
Photo Credit: Teri Gentry

Check the availability of Sowande Tichawonna here or call 202-505-3144


On the speakers circuit Sowande Tichawonna delivers an engaging and insightful lecture on what would otherwise be a difficult topic – the history of the “n” word, and the evolution of its meaning through film, TV and music. He brings these ideas to diverse audiences from high schools and colleges to corporate HR programs. His short film The New “N” Word, a satire about “post racial” America, has become a tool for audiences to explore the complex dynamics of race and politics in the workplace.

He is an award-winning, independent filmmaker and actor from Washington, D.C. who got his start as a production assistant for the PBS series In Other Words with Ossie and Ruby, produced by acclaimed actors Ruby Dee and the late Ossie Davis.

As a member of the Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers based in New York, Tichawonna co-founded the AIVF DC Salon. He served as chair of the organization from 1994 to 2000. The salon hosted monthly workshops and screenings that covered all aspects of the film and television industry. He founded Raceman Tell-A-Pictures, LLC to produce films and TV series that depict realistic images of the African American life and culture.

His film credits include executive producer and director of photography for the documentary Straight Up Go-Go (1992), which received critical acclaim and garnered an impressive second place in the Nielsen ratings for its time slot during its 1992 television debut in the D.C. market. He also wrote/produced/directed the short film Talkin’ Shop (2000) for which he won the 2000 Mayor’s Arts Award for Outstanding Emerging Artist, the highest honor the city of Washington, DC confers on local artists. As an actor, Tichawonna’s television credits include the hit series, House of Cards, Veep and Who The Bleep Did I Marry?  His film credits include, Too Saved and Nocturnal Agony.

Tichawonna won the 2010 Larry Neal Writer’s Award for his screenplay, The New “N” Word a film he produced, directed and edited. The film stars actor, Erik Todd Dellums, Rain Pryor and James “JJ” Johnson. In addition, The New “N” Word received a 2011 Best Diaspora Short Film nomination by the Africa Movie Academy. In March 2011, Tichawonna made his first trip to Africa to attend the Africa Movie Academy Awards (Africa’s equivalent to the Oscars) in Yenegoa, Bayelsa State, Nigeria.

Sowande lives in his hometown of Washington, DC and is married with one son.  

« Return to Speaker List



Film Producer, Screenwriter, Director, Educator






Topics: Screenwriting, Filmmaking, Animation, Manga

Education: Ithaca College and Chapman University
Travels from: Japan

Check the availability of Darryl Wharton-Rigby here or call 202-505-3144

Writer, director, and professor Darryl Wharton-Rigby hails from a family of poets and storytellers. He has his MFA from Chapman University and taught film for Morgan State University’s Screenwriting and Animation Program. He has earned awards and grants from the Urbanworld Film Festival, the Maryland State Arts Council, The Painted Bride Arts Center, the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame, and the Caucus Foundation for his work.

His debut feature film Detention, received numerous honors and awards, including “Best Director” at the Urbanworld Film Festival and the “Audience Award” at the Atlanta Film and Video Festival.

Wharton-Rigby worked for two seasons as a writer for the critically acclaimed television series, Homicide: Life On The Street. After being hired by MTV Films to write a screenplay based on the Japanese manga TokyoTribe 2, he moved to Japan and taught English in a small town in Fukushima. He shot his latest short film, Obon, in the town of Natori, which is one of the areas of Japan hardest hit by the earthquake and tsunami. Attracted to Japanese culture he is now working on a documentary, Don Doko Don: The Yamakiya Taiko Club Story, about a group of young drummers who were displaced due to high levels of radiation in their community from the failed nuclear plant.

A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Darryl is married with three children and lives in Japan.

« Return to Speaker List

3 Speakers Photos on Home Page


“Welcome. Bienvenida. Bienvenue

to Nommo Speaker’s Bureau, the home of diverse innovators, intellectuals, experts and creative talent keenly focused on engaging, educating and entertaining audiences world-wide. We’ve chosen talent who are cross-cultural communicators and transformers, enriching the dialog. They are inspirational and motivational. They have fresh views on strengthening community. Our boutique agency helps organizations and individuals problem solve, refine and redefine goals and improve performance. You can depend on Nommo and its speakers to tune in to your needs and help take your event to the next level. Our speakers do more than speaking! They elevate the conversation. Through the magic power of the word our speakers help audiences and organizations affirm their mission in the world and move them to action!”

Ada M. Babineaux, Founder


Chase Missions Grant Small Business Competition

NOMMO Speaker’s Bureau is your source for multi-cultural speakers, innovative thinkers, and creative talent keenly focused on social engagement, educating and uplifting audiences world-wide. NOMMO is the Magic Power of the Word. We Keep the Conversation Going…Inspiring Action! – See more HERE