The Stanford Black Alumni Summit: Agenda

Agenda At-A-Glance

Friday, May 1st
(Location – Loudermilk Center)

7:30 a.m. -8:00 a.m.  Shuttle loops between Marriott Marquis (Courtland Entrance) & Loudermilk Center (Courtland Entrance)

7:45 a.m. – Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:30 a.m. – Opening Remarks

9:00 a.m. – Keynote Presenter: Michael Tubbs, ‘12, MA ‘12

9:45 a.m. – Interactive Session: Beyond the Line, Dereca Blackmon, ‘91

11:00 a.m. – Break/Networking

11:30 a.m. – Concurrent Panels:
a) Science, Technology & Diversity
b) Storytellers: Knowing our Histories & Sharing Our Legacies

12:45 p.m. – Lunch/Campus Update
Harry Elam, Jr.
, Oliver H. Palmer Professor in the Humanities & Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education

1:00 p.m. – Shuttle from Loudermilk Center (Courtland Entrance) to Marriott Marquis (Courtland Entrance)

1:15 p.m. – Shuttle from Marriott Marquis (Courtland Entrance) to Loudermilk Center (Courtland Entrance)

2:15 p.m. – Panel: Hands Up, Don’t Shoot

3:45 p.m. – Break/Networking

4:15 p.m. – Concurrent Panels:
a) Health Care for Whom: Addressing Racial Disparities in Health Outcomes and Access to Health Care
b) Educating Our Kids: The Unique Challenges Black Boys and Black Girls Face in the Pursuit of Academic Excellence

5:30 p.m. – Special Presentation

6:00 p.m. – Mocha Mixer Networking Reception

6:00 p.m. – Shuttle available from Loudermilk Center (Auburn Exit) to the Marriott Marquis (Courtland Entrance)

6:15 p.m. – Shuttle available from Marriott Marquis (Courtland Entrance) to Loudermilk Center

8:00 – 8:15 p.m. – Three shuttles will loop between Loudermilk Center (Courtland Entrance) and the Marriott Marquis (Courtland Entrance)

Saturday, May 2nd
(Location – Loudermilk Center)

7:30 a.m. -8:00 a.m.  Shuttle loops between Marriott Marquis (Courtland Entrance) & Loudermilk Center (Courtland Entrance)

7:45 a.m. – Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:30 a.m. – Opening Remarks

9:00 a.m. – Concurrent Panels:
a) The Color of Money: The Changing Landscape of College Athletics
b) The Rise of New Black Media

10:15 a.m. – Break/Networking

10:45 a.m. – Panel: “Black’ish”: Parenting While Black

12:00 p.m. – Keynote Presenter: Hilda Hutcherson, ‘76, MD

12:45 p.m. – Lunch/Campus Update
Jan Barker Alexander,
 Assistant Dean of Students, Director of the Black Community Services Center and Resident Fellow, Ujamaa House

1:00 p.m. – Shuttle from Loudermilk Center (Courtland Entrance) to Marriott Marquis (Courtland Entrance)

1:15 p.m. – Shuttle from Marriott Marquis (Courtland Entrance) to Loudermilk Center (Courtland Entrance)

2:15 p.m. – Panel: In Service to Stanford: Ensuring we have a Seat at the Table

3:30 p.m. – Break/Networking

4:00 p.m. – Panel: Life After …

5:15 p.m. – Closing Remarks

6:15 p.m. – Shuttle available from Loudermilk Center (Auburn Exit) to Marriott Marquis (Courtland Entrance)

Summit Social Events ― Separate Online Registration

RSVP is required. Availability still exists for select Summit social events. [Register]

Thursday, April 30th (SOLD OUT)
7:00 p.m. Welcome Reception – Davidson House, Morehouse College
Hosted by First Lady Dr. Carol Espy-Wilson, ’79 and President Dr. John Silvanus Wilson, Jr.
(Shuttle service provided from Atlanta Marriott Marquis)

Friday, May 1st
6:00 a.m. Morning Stretch/Exercise – Atlanta Marriott Marquis

Saturday, May 2nd
6:00 a.m. Morning Stretch/Exercise – Atlanta Marriott Marquis

9:00 p.m. SNBAA Party: Ujamaa ATLANTA – Studio No. 7
8:15 p.m. – Shuttle departs Marriott Marquis (Courtland Street Entrance)
12:15 -1:30 a.m. – Shuttles depart Studio 7

Sunday, May 3rd
8:00 a.m. Last Connect Brunch – SEAR Restaurant, Atlanta Marriott Marquis
12:00 p.m. Atlanta Civil Rights Bus Tour – Leaving from Atlanta Marriott Marquis

Black Alumni Authors' Pavilion

Visit our Authors’ Pavilion and discover the works of the very creative and very talented authors in the Stanford Black Alumni community.  A variety of fiction and non-fiction books will be on display and the authors will be available to sign these books as you meet and greet in the Pavilion.

Click here for more information about the authors.

Keynotes and Panel Descriptions

Keynote Presenters

Hilda Hutcherson, ‘76, MD, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Director of the Center for Sexual Health at Columbia University, Senior Associate Dean for Diversity and Multicultural Affairs at Columbia University

Hilda_HutchersonDr. Hilda Hutcherson is presently a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the Director of the Center for Sexual Health at Columbia University, and the Senior Associate Dean for Diversity and Multicultural Affairs at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. Since completing her residency, she has held numerous positions and served on countless committees and boards. Dr. Hutcherson’s devotion to women’s empowerment and education is supported by her contributions in Redbook Magazine, where she is a contributing editor. She is the former sexual health columnist for Glamour and Essence, and has been quoted in O Magazine, Heart and Soul, Ebony, Cosmopolitan, MORE, Fitness, Allure, Health, Parents, among others. She has appeared on Oprah, Dr Oz, 20/20, Today, Good Morning America, ABC Nightly News, and numerous other talk, news, and radio shows. Dr. Hutcherson is the author of 3 books: Having Your Baby: A guide for African American women; What Your Mother Never Told You About Sex; and Pleasure: A Woman’s Guide to Getting the Sex you Want, Need, and Deserve. She has been named by Black Enterprise Magazine as one of America’s Leading Physicians, one of the Top Doctors in New York in the Castle Connolly Guide, and is included in the Best Doctors in America database. Dr. Hilda Hutcherson received her undergraduate degree from Stanford University and her medical degree from Harvard Medical School. She completed a medicine internship at the University of California in San Francisco, and her residency in obstetrics and gynecology from Columbia University Medical Center.

Michael Tubbs, ‘12, MA ‘12, Councilman, City of Stockton, CA

Michael_TubbsMichael Tubbs was elected as the youngest City Councilmember in Stockton, California’s history, earning more than 60% of the citywide vote. While in office Tubbs has established literacy programs in concert with the Housing Authority, and the University of the Pacific; drafted and passed Ban the Box legislation, allowing those previously convicted of a crime to apply for City jobs; piloted an anti-recidivism, back to work program; and created community-wide coalition, such as the San Joaquin County Alliance for Boys and Men of Color, Reinvent South Stockton Coalition, and the Black Community Crusade. Tubbs is a Truman Scholar and a recipient of the Dinkelspiel Award. Tubbs founded The Phoenix Scholars and the Summer Success and Leadership Academy at the University of the Pacific and was featured on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, as a speaker at TEDx San Joaquin and Tedx Stanford. He has been honored as one of Black Enterprise Top 4 under 40, The Root’s ( Top 25 under 25, and one of Reader Digest’s 50 things to love about America. He is the subject of the feature length documentary True Son, which recently premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Interactive Session: Beyond the Line

Dereca_BlackmonBeyond the Line (BTL) is an interactive program brought to Stanford University by Dereca Blackmon, ’91, the Director of Education and Training, within the Diversity and First Generation Office. It employs a similar format to Crossing the Line, but integrates more deliberate dialogue and discussion. BTL’s goal is authentic engagement across difference. BTL explores the intent and impact of participant’s actions, thoughts, and beliefs. The discussion topics included in BTL aim to dig deeper into thought-provoking topics relevant to the Stanford Black Alumni Community, allowing all participants to make listening an active engagement with others.

Educating Our Kids: The Unique Challenges Black Boys
and Black Girls Face in the Pursuit of Academic Excellence

This panel will explore the unique challenges black boys and girls face in pursuing their education at the elementary and secondary levels and will discuss pragmatic policy — and personal– strategies for ensuring educational success.  What changes are needed at the national, and local, levels to bring about educational equity? How can parents effectively advocate for their children at school? What can we do, collectively, to support greater outcomes for black boys and black girls?

Saba Bireda, ‘01, Senior Counsel, Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education

Saba_BiredaSaba Bireda is the Senior Counsel to the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the US Department of Education. In this role, Bireda leads work for the Assistant Secretary in several areas of educational equity including school discipline, school diversity, access to strong teachers, and juvenile justice.  Prior to joining the Obama Administration, Bireda served as policy and legal advisor for EducationCounsel LLC providing strategic advice and legal analysis to clients at state education agencies, state-level entities, and nationally- and federally-focused organizations. Bireda served as deputy director of the Poverty & Race Research Action Council where she provided management and strategic planning with a focus on education policy, analyzed proposed legislation, and provided technical assistance to education advocates. Bireda also worked for the Center for American Progress as an Education Policy Analyst where she researched and wrote briefs and reports on education policy topics including school improvement strategies, fiscal equity, and federal education law. During law school, Bireda served as an editor for the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, teaching assistant to Professor Lani Guinier, and as a student attorney for the Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative. Following law school, Bireda participated in a public service fellowship, in Philadelphia, where she worked as a staff attorney for the Education Law Center and as a litigation associate for an international law firm. Bireda began her career in education as a teacher at Sousa Middle School in Washington, DC. Bireda earned her JD from Harvard and a BA in English and Political Science from Stanford in 2001.

Joe Brewster, ‘74, MD, Producer & Director, Rada Film Group

Joe_BrewsterJoe Brewster (Producer & Director) is a Stanford and Harvard educated psychiatrist who specializes in organizational analysis, the use of psychoanalytic principles to understand and improve organizations. He moved to New York City in 1985 to pursue media studies in the service of social change. In 1992, Brewster sold his first screenplay to the Jackson/McHenry group under the Warner Bros. imprint. In 1996, he wrote and directed The Keeper, which was an official selection in the dramatic narrative competition section of the Sundance Film Festival and garnered numerous national and international awards, including an Independent Spirit Award nomination. His documentary and feature film projects have received broadcast on PBS, Showtime, the Sundance Channel and the Starz Network. Brewster is a recipient of Sundance, Tribeca-All Access, Tribeca New Media and BAVC fellowships. His recent documentary film, American Promise, was the winner of the 2013 African-American Critics Association Award for Best Documentary, The Sundance Film Festival’s Special Jury Prize and the Full Frame Film Festival Grand Jury Prize. His transmedia work has been supported by Kellogg, Open Society Institute and the Blank Foundation.

Stany Leblanc, ‘09, Literacy Coach, Lead Teacher at Mott Hall Science and Technology Academy

Stany_LeblancStany Leblanc is a 6th year lead teacher and instructional coach in a public middle school in the South Bronx.  Upon graduating from Stanford in 2009 with a degree in Urban Studies, Stany joined Teach for America and was placed in a new middle school near Yankee Stadium.  He was featured in the Wall Street Journal in 2011 and has been rated “Highly Effective” as a teacher for his ability to improve student outcomes on the state exams.  Last year, he raised the level of proficiency in his class from 25% to 55% on the New York State Common Core English/Language Arts exam.  Throughout his years at the school he also served as testing coordinator, data specialist, and grade team leader.  Currently, Stany is in charge of providing professional development for the teachers at the school as the literacy coach.  He also teaches one class as a lab classroom for teachers to observe his teaching.  He participated in a leadership program through the New York City Department of Education called LEAP where he trained to be a principal and to assume a leadership role in a school. Under the mentorship of his current principal, he is preparing for administration positions in the near future.

Nichole Pinkard, ‘92, PhD, Chair, School of Experience Design, College of Computing and Digital Media, DePaul University

Nichole_PinkardNichole Pinkard is an Associate Professor in the College of Computing and Digital Media at DePaul University in Chicago.  Dr. Pinkard is the founder of Digital Youth Network.  She is also the co-founder of Inquirium LLC and Remix Learning – the home of iRemix,  a social learning platform that connects learning opportunities for youth in school, home, and beyond. In collaboration with the Chicago Public Library,  Dr. Pinkard helped establish YOUmedia, a public learning space that immerses high school students in a context of traditional media – books – to make and produce new media artifacts like music, games, videos, and virtual worlds. Dr. Pinkard is the recipient of several awards including the 2014 Northwestern Alumni Award, 2010 Common Sense Media Award for Outstanding Commitment to Creativity and Youth, and  2004 Jan Hawkins Award for Early Career Contributions to Humanistic Research and Scholarship in Learning Technologies.  Dr. Pinkard also received a NSF Early CAREER Fellowship and a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for research on how digital media affects literacy. Dr. Pinkard holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Stanford University, and an M.S. in Computer Science and a Ph.D. in Learning Sciences from Northwestern University.

Panya Lei Yarber-King, ‘96, Executive Director, Continuous Improvement, Atlanta Public Schools

Panya_Yarber_KingPanya Lei Yarber-King started her career in engineering at Motorola in Austin, Texas. She later worked in technology and supply chain at AT&T. She transitioned to a career in education in 2006 when she joined the Houston Independent School District, where she worked for the Chief Operations Officer on operations and technology projects. In 2009, she joined Atlanta Public Schools as the Program Manager for Process Improvement, leading district-wide continuous improvement initiatives. Later, Panya was Special Assistant to the Chief Strategy Officer, Executive Director of Continuous Improvement, and Director of Small Learning Communities. She now leads technology project management, enterprise applications, databases, and data quality at APS, helping to support and improve student achievement through technology. Panya serves on the Board of Directors at Centennial Academy, Atlanta’s newest K-8 charter school, and the Finance Committee at Westside Atlanta Charter School. Panya received her Bachelor of Science in Materials Science and Engineering from Stanford University and a Masters of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School.


Life After…

As one of the most talked about themes from the 2013 Summit, the “Life After” panel examines stories of resilience, transformation, and the willingness to chart unconventional paths. Panelists will reveal life-altering moments and discuss how we, as Stanford Black alumni, are uniquely positioned and blessed with opportunities to try new experiences.

Lawrence Adjah, MBA ‘12, Founder, Our Family Dinner

Lawrence_AdjahLawrence E. Adjah is an entrepreneur, community builder and business advisor dedicated to creating content, community and conversation that changes lives. He’s the Founder of Our Family Dinner, a community-based family dinner tradition that hosts thousands of young adults over family style dinners to build community in major cities all over the world. Our Family Dinner reaches nearly 50,000 young adults across 30 cities, 3 countries and growing and has been featured in Ebony and Uptown Magazines. Its mission is to improve the well-being of young adults by facilitating authentic and loving social interactions and relationships. Lawrence began his career as a management consultant for McKinsey & Company in its New York office, helping to serve some of the world’s largest professional sports organizations and media companies including the NFL. After McKinsey, Lawrence served as the Senior Director of Business Development at a premiere sports and entertainment marketing agency in New York. He’s worked with film studios and exhibitioners, including Universal Pictures, The Weinstein Company and AMC Theatres to lead national community-building activations on feature films, most recently for The Best Man Holiday and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. He also advises large companies, church ministries and alumni organizations around effective community building and engagement. Lawrence sits on the Advisory Board and served as the former President of the Board of Directors for The Harvard Black Alumni Society (HBAS), the alumni organization for African-American graduates of all Harvard schools. Lawrence also serves on the Board of Directors for the Urbanworld Film Festival sponsored by HBO and BET Networks, the Jump for Haiti Foundation, and is also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

Ahmad Ali Lewis, ‘09, Hip-hop Recording Artist, Songwriter, Motivational Speaker, and Author

Ahmad_LewisAhmad Ali Lewis was born and raised in South Los Angeles. He is a hip-hop artist, motivational speaker, and author. Ahmad graduated from Stanford in 2010 after graduating valedictorian from Long Beach City College and receiving the Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship, the largest private scholarship for two-year college transfer students in the United States. At 17, Ahmad wrote and performed the classic 90s hip-hop song “Back In The Day.” Major recording artists including Mariah Carey have sampled portions of that song. Ahmad later founded the hip-hop fusion band 4th Avenue Jones. The band released several albums and toured internationally performing with such notables as Stevie Wonder, The Roots, and The Black Eyed Peas. Ahmad is currently enrolled at the University of Southern California earning a master’s degree in social work.

Tanya Van Court, ‘93, MS ‘94, Entrepreneur

Tanya_VancourtTanya Van Court is the Founder and CEO of Sow, a company dedicated to helping young people pursue their dreams in ways that are both financially responsible and socially responsive. With more than 15 years of experience in media, interactive technology, and children’s learning experiences, Van Court has had roles as diverse as digital product development, general management, marketing, operations, and strategy. Prior to launching Sow, Van Court served as Senior Vice President of Marketing at Discovery Education, where she was charged with overseeing the development of consumer-facing programs and district-led initiatives to support educators in their transition to digital learning environments. Van Court formerly worked at Nickelodeon, where she was Senior Vice President and General Manager of NOGGIN,, and In that role, she led Nickelodeon to become a key player in the parents’ online space and bolstered NOGGIN and`s positions as educational, interactive, resources that provide rich experiences for both children and parents. Prior to Nickelodeon, Van Court served as Vice President of New Media Products for ESPN, where she led the launch of ESPN 3. Van Court began her career in the telecommunications industry, spending several years with Covad Communications, where she was instrumental in the launch and scale of DSL in the U.S. and in several international markets. Van Court holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University.

Melanie Watkins, ’03, MD, Psychiatrist, Author, and Speaker

Melanie_WatkinsMelanie Watkins, M.D. is a Board Certified Psychiatrist, Speaker, and Author. She trained at Stanford University School of Medicine and completed an internship in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of California, San Francisco. Her specialty training in Psychiatry was at the University of Nevada. Her work has appeared in Chicken Soup for the African-American Soul, Chicken Soup for the Single’s Soul, What I Learned in Medical School: Personal Stories of Young Doctors, and This Side of Doctoring: Reflections from Women in Medicine. Her memoir, Taking My Medicine, is now available. She enjoys speaking to students, (and we are ALL students, right?) from challenging backgrounds. In the last few years, she has spoken at the University of Alaska, University of Nevada, Columbia, University of Chicago, and Stanford University. In addition, she has shared her story at high schools, churches, and community organizations. She shares practical tips on how to use one’s creativity and resourcefulness both during and beyond academic training. She encourages students to re-frame difficult life experiences as opportunities for growth and connection. Dr. Watkins works at county psychiatric facilities throughout the state of California helping the underserved mentally ill patients and also maintains a private practice in Walnut Creek, CA. She is happy to say she hasn’t worked a 9-5 job in over three years, and much prefers a 5-9, either AM or PM! Her son, Jonathan, is 21 and a junior at the University of Nevada.

Feranmi Okanlami, ‘07, Physician

Health Care for Whom: Addressing Racial Disparities
in Health Outcomes and Access to Health Care

This panel will invite leaders from across the healthcare field, including from the local, state, and federal levels, to discuss the challenges of increasing health equity for black Americans in this country.  How do other negative life factors (inequitable access to quality education, frequent exposure to violence, substandard housing) contribute to health disparities? How is the healthcare field addressing multiple health risk factors? Has access to health care improved following the passage of the Affordable Care Act?

Tumaini Rucker Coker, ‘95, MD, MBA, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA and Associate Director, Health Services Research, UCLA Children’s Discovery and Innovation Institute

Tumaini_CokerTumaini Rucker Coker, MD, MBA is Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the David Geffen School o Medicine and Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA, and Associate Director of Health Services Research at the UCLA Children’s Discovery and Innovation Institute. Dr. Coker conducts research to address racial/ethnic and socioeconomic inequities in child health and health care. She is currently directing two studies to design and test new models of preventive care delivery for children in low-income families at community clinics and pediatric practices, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). She is also leading a Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)-funded project to integrate behavioral health services into the community clinic setting using telehealth. Dr. Coker’s work has been published in various journals including JAMA, Pediatrics, and the American Journal of Public Health, and has been covered by mainstream media outlets including CNN, USA Today, and NBC. She received AcademyHealth’s Nemours Child Health Services Research Award for early career achievement in research, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Herbert W. Nickens Faculty Fellowship for early career achievement and contributions to promoting healthcare equity, and the Pediatric Heroes Award from Babytalk Magazine for her work on improving health care for families living in poverty.

S. Elizabeth Ford, ‘86, MD, MBA, FAAP, District Health Director and CEO, DeKalb County Board of Health

Sandra_Elizabeth_FordDr. Ford has served as the District Health Director of the DeKalb County Board of Health since February 2005. She manages an array of public health programs that serve over 730,000 people.  Her agency has successfully applied for more than $10 million in federal funds to address health disparities, including $5.6 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to promote smoke-free environments, physical fitness, and improved nutrition. Dr. Ford has created numerous programs designed to tackle infant mortality. Her dedication to minority health and health disparities has led to her appearances on CNN, CNN International, and local Atlanta stations, including FOX, ABC, CBS, NBC, and Public Broadcasting radio. Dr. Ford has received several honors for her commitment to public health, including:  one of Atlanta’s 25 Most Influential African American Doctors in Black Health Magazine; a Legendary Humanitarian Award from the Dominique Wilkins’ Foundation; the 2012 Healthcare Hero award by the Fulton-DeKalb Hospital Authority; recognition as a 2010 Power Player of the Year by El Club de Comerciantes and the Black Latino Council; and recognition as one of 2007 Superwomen by the Atlanta Tribune. Dr. Ford is a board-certified pediatrician. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Stanford University, a Medical degree from Howard University College of Medicine, and a Master’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Health Services Administration from Howard University’s Graduate School of Business.

J. Nadine Gracia, ’96, MD, MSCE, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Nadine_GraciaDr. J. Nadine Gracia is a leading advocate for minority and underserved populations. She graduated form Stanford University with honors. Her Stanford education, combined with her unique perspective as a first-generation Haitian-American, sparked her love for research and journey to fight against health disparities in local, national and international communities. She is currently the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health and the Director of the Office of Minority Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). A pediatrician with epidemiology training, Dr. Gracia previously served as Chief Medical Officer for the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health. There, she provided policy and programmatic leadership for a portfolio that included child and adolescent health, climate change, disaster preparedness, environmental health, global health, Haiti recovery, and the White House Council on Women and Girls. She led the development of the HHS 2012 Environmental Justice Strategy. Dr. Gracia has been recognized by The Grio, BET, and the White House for her tireless efforts and influence in the global health community. Among her many accomplishments, Dr. Gracia is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She received her medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh and holds a Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology from the University of Pennsylvania. She was a Chief Pediatrics Resident at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and served as research fellow at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She is also a former White House Fellow and assisted the Office of the First Lady in developing the Let’s Move! initiative to solve childhood obesity. We are thrilled to have her in our 2015 SBAA Summit lineup.

Kiah Williams, ‘07, Co-Founder and Director, SIRIUM

Kiah_WilliamsKiah J. Williams is a co-founder and director of Supporting Initiatives to Redistribute Unused Medicine (SIRUM). SIRUM is a 501(c)3 social venture that connects surplus medicine with the needs of community clinics. Like a “” for medicine, SIRUM’s peer-to-peer platform has helped redistribute over one million units of medicine through over one thousand donations. With nearly $3 million of medicine redistributed through its flagship California program, SIRUM is expanding nationally, growing financially sustainable programs state-by-state. Prior to SIRUM, Kiah led negotiations on behalf of the William J. Clinton Foundation to create the Alliance Healthcare Initiative, a healthcare industry collaboration to reduce childhood obesity. Over two years, Kiah developed public-private partnerships with Fortune 500 companies like Aetna and PepsiCo and public health champions like Weight Watchers and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Her work expanded health care access to over 2 million children through 50,000 doctors and dietitians. Kiah is a current Draper Richards Kaplan Entrepreneur, Steve and Anita Westly Foundation Social Innovator, and a Visiting Scholar at the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford University, where she also received the Tom Ford Fellowship in Philanthropy while earning both her bachelors (’07, BS) and masters (’07, MA) degrees. Kiah proudly hails from West Philadelphia, and is passionate about health equity, especially in underserved, urban communities.

Kirby Bumpus,  ‘08, Special Assistant, US Department of Health & Human Services

The Rise of New Black Media

Our people have always faced barriers to mainstream success in the entertainment sector on our terms. New technology, sources of capital and distribution models have eliminated traditional barriers, creating opportunities for new voices. Our panelists will discuss the impact of these changes and whether new business models are providing greater leverage for Black media and entertainment professionals over their own content and careers.

Eric Blackerby, ‘03, Entrepreneur, Writer and Producer

suited & booted...nappy & HAPPY! =) Selin & Chris' weddingEric Blackerby began his career producing and marketing live events while attending Stanford University. Eric has held executive roles at major record labels including Arista Records and Sony Music, working domestically and internationally with the likes of Beyoncé, OutKast, Usher, and Alicia Keys. With an eye for current and upcoming pop culture trends, and interests in new technologies, Eric has worked with tech startups to create, license, and monetize premium content from MTV Networks, Fox, Sports Illustrated, record labels, and other media companies for digital consumption. Eric co-created Artist360, an arts apprenticeship and entrepreneurship program for emerging artists, and successfully conducted a pilot with Stanford undergraduates in 2013. In 2014, he received an arts grant from the Stanford Associates to produce a series of community building art projects in New York City under the title, Art•Work. Currently, Eric is developing original programming for live and broadcast mediums. He serves as a mentor in the Stanford Alumni Mentoring (SAM) program, and as a board member for Stanford in Arts & Entertainment NYC.

Cheo Hodari Coker, ‘94, Writer and Producer, Notorious, Southland, Almost Human, Executive Producer and Showrunner of Marvel/ Netflix’s LUKE CAGE

Cheo_CokerAs a television writer/producer, Coker was the Co-Executive Producer on Season 2 of Ray Donovan (he co-wrote the 8th episode “Sunny” with David Hollander), and was a Supervising Producer for SouthLAnd. Coker was an integral member of SouthLAnd’s Season Four staff, which earned a 2012 Peabody Award. One of Coker’s episodes that season, “God’s Work,” earned Coker a 2013 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Writing for a Dramatic Series. Coker’s feature credits include writing (w/Reggie Rock Bythewood) the rap biopic “Notorious” (Fox Searchlight) and early drafts of Imagine/Blumhouse’s upcoming film “Low Riders.” A former Los Angeles Times staff writer for the Calendar section and freelance journalist, Coker has written numerous stories for VIBE, The Source XXL, ROLLING STONE, PREMIERE, a June 2014 Essence interview with Prince and, most notably, the last interview with The Notorious BIG for VIBE before the rapper’s untimely death in 1997. Coker is the author of the book, “Unbelievable: The Life, Death, and Afterlife of The Notorious B.I.G ” (Crown/Three Rivers Press). Coker graduated from Stanford with a B.A. in English. He is married to Stanford alum (and panelist) Dr. Tumaini Rucker Coker, where they live in Los Angeles with their three children.

Amy Elisa Jackson, ‘05, former Editor at Ebony Magazine

Amy_KeithAmy Elisa Jackson is an established expert in entertainment and lifestyle journalism, content management and social media strategy. Amy has spent 10 years as an award-winning journalist. She served as the Lifestyle Editor for Ebony Magazine, executing cover stories and exclusive interviews with Magic Johnson, Mariah Carey and Mike Tyson. Additionally, Amy was instrumental in launching, a pop-culture destination for young women of color, in 2012 and serving as the Senior Entertainment Editor. Amy kicked off her career at PEOPLE Magazine where she earned a coveted LA Press Club Award. She continues to work with top brands, both in print and digital media, such as Facebook, MSN, BET, Lexus, Essence Magazine, Latina Magazine and iVillage. An on-air entertainment expert, Amy has appeared on Good Morning America, E!, Access Hollywood, Inside Edition and BET. Whether she is conducting a milestone interview with Muhammad Ali or launching a new digital property, she handles it all with poise, passion and a unique blend of sassy sophistication.

Michael Pickrum, ‘92, MS ’94, Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Business Development and Strategy

Michael_PickrumMichael Pickrum is Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of BET Networks, and the pre-eminent entertainment brand serving African Americans and consumers of Black culture globally. As Chief Financial Officer, Pickrum is responsible for managing the financial operations for BET Networks and plays a strategic role in the overall management of the company. Prior to becoming Chief Financial Officer, Pickrum was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of BET Interactive, LLC, since 2003. He was responsible for the development and refinement of’s successful business model, driving the site’s growth and accelerating revenue. He also facilitated the 2006 purchase of from the site’s original non-BET investment group. Under Pickrum’s leadership, has become a leading online destination for African American content. Pickrum first joined BET Interactive in September 1999 as Vice President of Business Development for, where he expanded the site’s business, increased revenue and refined the site’s strategy. Prior to that, he served as a telecommunications and Internet consultant with Mercer Management Consulting.  A native of Cincinnati, Pickrum holds an MBA in finance and entrepreneurial management from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He also has a master’s of science degree in engineering-economic systems and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University.

Samantha Shipp, ’03, Attorney

Samantha_ShippSamantha Shipp is a transactional attorney at Rothenberg, P.C., where she focuses on a variety of contractual and corporate matters related to the entertainment industry, including music, television, film, technology, and fashion.  Prior to her current position, she was a senior associate at Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett, LLP, where she worked in both the Mergers & Acquisitions and Executive Compensation practice groups, representing numerous financial institutions, private equity funds, and other corporations in complex corporate transactions.  Originally from Detroit, Michigan, she graduated from Stanford University in 2003 and from the University of Michigan Law School in 2007.

Science, Technology and Diversity

Alumni will discuss the current underrepresentation of Blacks in Tech and S.T.E.M. industries and opportunities for inroads into the sectors. Our panelist will share their stories of navigating the tech industry; innovative ways to open doors for Black techies; and the opportunities for Black folks in the tech and policy side of the Green Economy.

Kwame Anku, ‘94, Director of Strategic Development, #YesWeCode

Kwame_AnkuKwame Anku is the Director of Strategic Development for #YesWeCode, an initiative that came out of conversation with legendary rock star Prince. In this role with #YesWeCode, Kwame is responsible for designing and building corporate and media partnerships that support the national branding and awareness raising for YesWeCode. This includes recent partnerships with NBC Universal and Google as well as representing #YesWeCode at The White House. As a nationally recognized media producer and speaker, Kwame also created the first-ever traveling, youth-issue oriented talk show, called Urban Campfire. In addition to producing and hosting the show, Kwame secured a number of corporate national sponsorships, including McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, and Hyundai. Kwame has had a life-long commitment and passion for uplifting youth and speaks extensively around the country on the power of the mind and spirit. An honors graduate of Stanford University, Kwame has worked extensively in business development and media marketing for over 20 years. Kwame serves on the board of directors for Operation iDream in Zambia, on the advisory board of Enza Academy in New York, and serves as a senior advisor to Volta Investment Group in Ghana. Kwame resides in in Sacramento, California with his wife Dana and his son Elijah.

Shelley Brown, ’04, Chemical and Biomedical Engineer, Youth and Young Adult Minister, Bioethical Researcher

Shelley_BrownRev. Dr. Shelley Brown is a 2014 Master of Divinity graduate of Harvard Divinity School and current postdoctoral research associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Prior to Harvard, Dr. Brown received a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Stanford, and a Masters and PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Michigan. Her doctoral work focused on the use of human embryonic stem cells for clinical tissue engineering strategies. However, due to the debate surrounding stem cells, Dr. Brown was prompted to also consider the theological and ethical implications of her research and the impact on society at large. As a result, while in the doctoral program she became a licensed minister, and subsequently pursued ministerial training in the M.Div. program at Harvard. While there she studied at the intersection of science and religion, probing religious and bioethical issues surrounding science policy and research. Additionally, she is conducting liver cancer research in the Biological Engineering Department at MIT. Currently, Dr. Brown is the Youth and Young Adult Minister at Western Avenue Baptist Church in Cambridge, MA. Through ministry work at Western Avenue, she has worked with the Seeds of Hope Mentoring Program, in collaboration with Harvard Medical School and Wheaton College, where faculty and medical students host workshops to introduce minority high school and college students to STEM fields. She is most grateful for the diverse experiences that God has blessed her with, which have undoubtedly shaped the person, woman, minister, and scientist that she is today.

Carol Y. Espy-Wilson, ‘79, PhD, Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, University of Maryland

Carol_Espy_WilsonCarol Y. Espy-Wilson is the First Lady of Morehouse College and Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Maryland and the Institute for Systems Research. Dr. Espy-Wilson is the Director of the Speech Communication Laboratory at UMD.  Her lab explores the integration of engineering, linguistics, and speech science to study speech communication.  Her research involves modeling speech production, studying speech perception, and developing signal processing techniques that capture relevant information in speech. Her research has generated significant funding from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the Department of Defense. Dr. Espy-Wilson founded OmniSpeech LLC to develop technology for communication devices to improve the clarity of speech in everyday noisy environments.  She has raised $3.1M from  grants, angel investment, and seed competitions. Dr. Espy-Wilson has received honors including being selected as a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America, the Clare Boothe Luce Professorship, a Radcliffe Fellowship from Harvard, and  the Distinguished Scholar-Teacher Award at the University of Maryland.  Dr. Espy-Wilson was recently appointed to the Advisory Council of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering at the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Espy-Wilson received her B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, and an  M.S.,  E.E., and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  She and her husband, President John Wilson, have three children, twin daughters Ayana and Ashia and a son John Wilson III.

Marc Mitchell, ‘99, Co-Founder and CEO of Lootsie

Marc_MitchellMitchell started his career as a corporate attorney in the New York office of Chadbourne & Parke, an international law firm.  Marc is the co-founder and CEO of Lootsie, Inc., a loyalty and rewards platform for mobile games and applications.  Prior to Lootsie, Marc served as the COO of UrbanDaddy, a leading digital media lifestyle brand.  Before operating UrbanDaddy, Mitchell was the COO of SRC Entertainment.  In this role, he oversaw SRC’s companies: a music company (SRC Records/Universal—a joint venture with Universal Music Group) and a marketing company (SRC Marketing—a partnership with Mosaic Media Group).  SRC was home to notable recording artists including Akon and David Banner, and had several Billboard #1 hits.  Marc has managed the financial, business, and legal affairs of several influential entertainment and digital media companies.  He is also a trusted advisor to and investor in many of these same companies.  He sits on the Board of Advisors of Refinery29 and ForYourArt, and has been the Senior Advisor to Intermedia Vibe Holdings, the parent company to the Vibe and Uptown magazine titles.  He spends his free time serving on the Board of Directors of Bright Star Schools and the Harvard-Westlake African-American Alumni Network Board.  He is also a Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.  Mitchell earned a JD from New York University and his AB in International Relations from Stanford University.

Keni Washington, ‘68, Managing Director, eSolarTech

Keni_WashingtonKeni attended Stanford in the mid-sixties. There were approximately 900 students in his freshman class – of this number, about 14 were African-American and seven or eight were from the continent of Africa. Keni had a defining experience in his freshman year. His white roommate was offered off-campus housing by the University. However, when he requested the same, he was told off-campus housing was full – only to discover that, in fact, it was not full. Keni had not expected the “enlightened” college for which his parents were paying full tuition, room, and board to be complicit in treachery such as housing discrimination. Within a year, Keni spoke out against the Vietnam War. He was later suspended for occupying the Stanford president’s office. Upon Keni’s return to campus during his senior year, he thought it perfectly fitting to demonstrate his “gratitude” to Stanford by becoming co-chairman of the Black Student Union. As such, he had the good (or ill) fortune to participate in reforms and restructuring rules, regulations, privileges, and burdens at Stanford. He envisioned an institution that all students, including African-Americans and minorities, could equally enjoy attending. When Keni left Stanford in 1968, he had zero interest or enthusiasm to return. The virulent racist, William Shockley, had been appointed to the faculty in 1963 and was a revered figure around campus. However, Keni has since “made peace” with the Stanford and the school officially acknowledged the role the BSU played in reforming Stanford into a modern institution of higher learning through technology, society, politics, law, and culture.

“Black’ish”: Parenting While Black

This panel examines the challenge facing Black parents today. How do I maintain my child(ren)’s “Black identity?”. In this cultural environment that is so different than in which many of us were raised, how do we raise children to have a sense of Black community? Is there a cultural price to be paid for giving your children a more comfortable and diverse upbringing than you had?  Bringing together parents of children who span the decades following the Civil Rights Movement from the 1980s through today, the panelists will share their perspectives in the hopes of stimulating a discussion and creating a community of current and future Black parents.

DeLise Bernard, ‘98, MA ‘99, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Beyond Excellence

DeLise_BernardDeLise has served in various executive positions, but her most important title is, “Mommy.” She and her husband homeschool their three children.  After the birth of their second child, DeLise launched Our Life Memories to provide advice to develop personalized Kid-tinerariesTM –  customized, treasured experiences for families seeking to spend more quality time with their loved ones.  For nearly 10 years, DeLise has also supported her husband in the family business, Beyond Excellence, a national wellness consulting company that provides health solutions for adults and adolescents. Prior to founding Beyond Excellence, DeLise served at Operation HOPE, America’s leading provider of tools and services for economic empowerment in underserved communities. She successfully replicated their California-based model in the Mid-Atlantic market.  Her work has been highlighted in major television and print media across the country.  Prior to joining Operation HOPE, DeLise served as a policy and legislative analyst in the Executive Office of Mayor Anthony A. Williams in Washington, DC.  Her areas of emphasis included adult and family literacy, and city-wide strategic planning.  DeLise volunteers for Stanford and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She has served as a board member for the Stanford National Black Alumni Association and on the DC leadership team for OVAL, an initiative of the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.  She has both a bachelor’s degree in Human Biology and a master’s degree in Sociology from Stanford.

Travan Jasper, ‘91,  MD, Medical Director at South Fulton Medical Center

Travan_JasperTravan K. Jasper, M.D. is currently a practicing Emergency Medicine physician and a Board Member for Empowerment Resource Center. Previously, Dr. Jasper was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Emory University from 1998-2001. Dr. Jasper and his twin brother, who is also an Emergency Medicine physician, have been featured in newspapers, magazines, on the radio, and on television (including TLC’s: The Untold Stories of the ER and Sex Sent Me to the ER, Ebony Magazine, Good Life Atlanta, V103 Radio station, and The Peachtree Morning Show). Over the past decade, Dr. Jasper has served as a speaker for NYLF and as a Faculty Advisor for ISLP on previous delegations to China and Australia. Dr. Jasper is originally from Richmond, Virginia. He, along with his identical twin brother, was the co-valedictorian of his graduating high school class. Dr. Jasper received a Bachelor of Science Degree from Stanford University where he also participated in numerous activities and organizations (including Stanford Research Institute International, Stanford University Committee on Animal Research, Varsity Track and Field, and The East Palo Alto AIDS Project). He completed medical school at The University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine and trained in Emergency Medicine at the University of Michigan. He is a member of numerous Emergency Medicine medical societies and is an active coach with youth sports leagues in his community.

Reggie Mason, ’77, MD, Critical Care Physician and Physician Lead for Total Health at Kaiser Permanente of Georgia

Reginald_MasonDr. Mason graduated from Stanford University in 1977. His medical practice focuses on lung disease and improving the health status of Kaiser Permanente communities through plant based nutrition and physical activity. After being told in junior high that he should not pursue a career in medicine, nurturing black voices at Stanford told him otherwise, and he completed his medical school and residency/fellowship training in San Francisco and Washington DC, respectively. After a few years of practice in Northern California, Dr. Mason was drawn back to his family’s southern roots by a woman – Dr. Karen Goodlett – his wife of 30 years. Their Atlanta residences have been in mixed Stone Mountain, traditionally black Southwest Atlanta, and now intown Atlanta. There are two Mason kids: Ajani, a medical resident in Miami, Florida, and Khaliah, a graduate of Georgia State pursuing a career in Speech Pathology. Dr. Mason describes his family as to the right of their more traditional African American Church, and to the left of his kids’ school, where there are couches instead of desks, and students address their teachers by their first name. Ajani’s pursuit of the opposite sex in junior high, high school, and college is best described as a “United Nations” experience. You just never knew who might be showing up at the front door. Khaliah was more “old school,” her boyfriends typically had “a past” worthy of some sort of news article.

Joy Simmons, ‘74, MD, Physician, Stanford Trustee

Joy_SimmonsV. Joy Simmons, MD, is a whirlwind of Stanford energy and commitment in the Los Angeles area, having served for many years on the host committees of every major LA event, from the Think Again program to Leading Matters. Deeply devoted to minority recruiting and mentoring, Joy was a founding member of the Stanford Black Alumni of Southern California and served as President from 1996 to 1999. While on the Board of Trustees from 2003 to 2008, Joy became a member of the newly formed Black Community Services Center (BCSC) Project Alumni Team. In 2009, Joy was inducted into the Multicultural Hall of Fame by the Black Community Services Center and in 2012 was awarded the prestigious Stanford Medal of Honor. Joy has also chaired the Advisory Board of the Haas Center, and served on the Arts Initiative Advisory Council, the Stanford Alumni Association Board of Directors, and class reunion campaign committees. In addition to her deep love for Stanford, Joy is a physician, based in Los Angeles, where she served on the Board of the Association of Black Women Physicians and Chair of the Section on Radiology for the National Medical Association. Joy is an avid art collector and has served as Chair or Vice-Chair for a number of arts organization boards, including Santa Monica Museum of Art, LA><ART, Friends of the California African American Museum, Venice Arts, Stanford Arts Advisory Council, and the new alternative gallery space in Los Angeles, The Mistake Room. She received her BA in Human Biology in 1974 and MD from UCLA in 1978.

Regina Wallace-Jones, ‘96, Chief of Staff to the Head of Information Security at Yahoo, Inc.

Regina_Wallace_JonesRegina is the Chief of Staff to the Head of Information Security at Yahoo, Inc. where she embraces the company’s mission to keep people connected to what matters most to them, across devices and around the world. Early on, Regina was aware that she had multifaceted interests and has relentlessly pursued balance in her life. For Regina, this means actively engaging in the things that are both interesting and fulfilling in her career and personal life. Regina has successfully made a mid-career transition to CyberSecurity. In her spare time, she manages Entrepreneurial Spirit Investment Group, an organization that funds early stage technology ventures, 60% of whose investments are in African-American led start-up firms. Regina is also committed to public service and dedicates volunteer time to organizations such as “We Teach Science” and “Techbridge” and “Black Girls Code”, all designed to increase exposure to and proficiency in science, technology, engineering, and math among youth. Regina also recently partnered with Sheryl Sandberg to help launch her book “Lean In: Women, Work and the Will the Lead” along with the Lean In Foundation, a global community committed to encouraging and supporting women leaning in to their ambitions. Regina graduated from Stanford University in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. She later earned her Masters degree in Public Policy with an Emphasis in Technology Policy from the University of California, Los Angeles. Regina and her husband have two daughters, Addison (7 years old) and Jocelyn (5 years old).

In Service to Stanford: Ensuring we have a Seat at the Table

Black/African American graduates from Stanford currently represent approximately 4% of the Stanford alumni population, yet the community is seen as one of the most active segments of the alumni community. This percentage is only expected to rise as the increased number of Black students joins the ranks of the alumni. As such, it is increasingly important that the membership of university governing boards and advisory councils reflect the diversity of the alumni body.  How can we ensure that members of our community are informed and well-positioned to assume these positions of influence that shape the direction of the University? This panel will discuss how engagement, participation, and giving record factor into alumni leadership, legacy admission, and a greater voice in university affairs.

DeAngela Burns-Wallace, ’96, Assistant Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies, University of Missouri

DeAngela_Burns_WallaceDr. DeAngela Burns-Wallace is the Assistant Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies at the University of Missouri, where she focuses on student persistence, completion, and overall student success. Dr. Burns-Wallace also holds a faculty appointment through the College of Education’s Education Leadership and Policy Analysis division. Her previous positions at Mizzou include Assistant Vice Provost for Enrollment Management and Director of Access Initiatives. For the 2013-14 academic year, she was selected as an American Council on Education Fellow, working directly with presidents and other senior leaders, observing how the institution and its leaders address strategic planning, resource allocation, development, policy, and other issues and challenges. Prior to joining Mizzou, Dr. Burns-Wallace held the position of Assistant Dean in the Office of Undergraduate Admission at Stanford University. She has also served as a Foreign Service Officer (FSO) with the U.S. Department of State. She has lived/worked in Guangzhou and Beijing China; Pretoria, South Africa; and in Washington D.C. In her capacity as a FSO, she has held numerous positions including Management Officer, Non-Immigrant Visa Officer, Press Attaché, and Special Assistant on Legislative Affairs. Dr. Burns-Wallace holds a dual bachelor’s degree in International Relations and African American studies from Stanford University, a Masters in Public Policy from the Woodrow Wilson School for Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, and a doctorate in education from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on issues of access and success for students of color and low income students. She is originally from Kansas City, Missouri.

Magnus Christon, ‘90, Event and Development Consultant, Stanford Associates’ Board of Governors

Magnus_ChristonMagnus Christon is the Corporate Relations and Special Giving Manager for Clark Atlanta University. In this role, he is charged with building formal partnerships and fundraising efforts between the historic predominantly black university and the corporate community. Mr. Christon began his development career with the Stanford Office of Development. That early experience with Stanford led to development, special events, and promotions positions at places including the National Civil Rights Museum (Memphis, TN), the California African American Museum (Los Angeles, CA), Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta, and the National Museum of Patriotism (Atlanta, GA). In those roles, Mr. Christon organized events for leaders such as Ted Turner, Robert Kennedy, Jr., Elie Weisel, Dorothy Height, former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, and Home Depot co-founder Arthur Blank. Mr. Christon is passionate about alumni engagement and currently serves as a Co-Club Leader for the Stanford Club of Georgia and sits on the Board of Governors for the Stanford Associates. He has served as a member of the Stanford National Black Alumni Board, leader for Stanford Black Alumni Association-Atlanta club, advisory board member for the Black Community Services Center (BCSC), and sat on the advisory committee for Stanford Outreach Volunteer Link (OVAL). In 2012, the Stanford Associates awarded Mr. Christon the Governors’ Award for exemplary alumni volunteer service to the University over an extended period of time. Mr. Christon earned a BA in English and African American Studies from Stanford University.

James Jordan, ‘93,  Senior Manager for Regional and Diversity Alumni Outreach, Stanford Alumni Association

James_JordanJames T. Jordan is the Senior Manager for Regional and Diversity Alumni Outreach at the Stanford Alumni Association. In this role, he leads the team of managers responsible for all of the domestic Stanford alumni volunteer activity outside of California and around the world internationally. He also leads the engagement strategy for alumni of color for the university. Mr. Jordan’s professional career has been devoted to education, including eleven years at Stanford University.  Mr. Jordan has worked at the Stanford Alumni Association for six years and as the Assistant Director of the Black Community Services Center at Stanford University for four years.  Outside of Stanford, he also served as the Chief Operating Officer at KIPP Summit Academy, a public charter middle school in San Lorenzo, California. Prior to that, he served as the Program Director for Platform Learning, a supplemental education service provider for elementary schools in Chicago.  A native of Richmond, California, Mr. Jordan is passionate about bettering educational access in urban schools, particularly in the East Bay. He is a Trustee and Chair of the Alumni Board at his alma mater, Saint Mary’s College High School in Berkeley, California, and on the Board of Directors for Community Engagement Initiatives, a nonprofit organization based in Richmond.  Mr. Jordan earned a BA in American Studies with a specialization in race and ethnicity from Stanford University in 1993.  He earned his MBA from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia in 2004.

Lloyd Metz, ‘90, Managing Director, ICV Partners, Stanford Trustee

Metz, LloydLloyd Metz is a Managing Director of ICV Partners, a leveraged buyout firm based in New York City that invests in leading middle-market companies. He is a director of four private companies and has been a director of several more private and publicly listed companies. Prior to joining ICV Partners in 2002, Lloyd was an investment professional at the private equity firm Warburg Pincus and was an investment banker at Morgan Stanley. Metz earned a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering in 1990 and an MBA from the Harvard Business School in 1996. He has been highly engaged as a Stanford volunteer in many capacities and now serves on the Stanford Board of Trustees. Lloyd has volunteered for the Leading Matters event in New York and been an OVAL interviewer since the initiative began in New York City. He received the Stanford Associates Award of Merit in 2006 and 2014. Lloyd is currently a Trustee and member of the executive committee of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and is Treasurer and board member of the National Association of Investment Companies. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Cassandra, and two young daughters.

Tamandra Morgan, ‘09, Genetic Counselor, GeneDX, President, Stanford Black Alumni Association – Washington, DC

Tamandra_MorganTamandra is a 2009 graduate of Stanford University where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Biology. Following graduation, she relocated to the Washington DC metro area to pursue a Master of Science degree in Genetic Counseling through the Johns Hopkins University/National Human Genome Research Institute training program. Since 2012, Tamandra has served as the president of the Stanford Black Alumni Association, DC Chapter. Under her leadership, the club has grown in membership by approximately 100 members. Comprised of a board of 10 members, the SBAA-DC club has been an active regional chapter and host to numerous well-attended events and programs. In addition to serving as president of SBAA-DC, Tamandra has also been involved in the Stanford OVAL program and served as a mini-reunion coordinator on her five year reunion team.


Hands Up, Don’t Shoot

Sean Bell, Oscar Grant, Eric Garner, John Crawford and Michael Brown are just a few of the black men who represent the very real consequences of the all too present phenomenon of violence. This panel will explore the trends and recent events (Ferguson, Ohio, South Carolina, New York City) involving the policing of Black Americans. Panelists with legal, social, and political perspectives on these matters will discuss the practices and bias that endanger black lives and offer concrete ways to reform violent and discriminatory behavior.

Dereca Blackmon, ‘91, Diversity Consultant, Office of the Dean of Educational Resources, Stanford University

Dereca_BlackmonDereca L. Blackmon is a passionate speaker, trainer, and facilitator on topics of diversity, equity, and inclusion. For over 25 years she has consulted with a wide variety of corporate, educational, nonprofit, and community-based groups to facilitate “uncommon conversations” on issues of race, gender, class, and social justice. She currently serves as the Director of Education and Training in the Diversity and First Generation Office at Stanford University where her groundbreaking work on intergroup dialogue and authentic engagement has received outstanding reviews from students. Ms. Blackmon is a national expert on issues of identity and inclusion. Her experiential training models cut through “diversity fatigue” and allow participants to engage in deep, authentic, and meaningful dialogues. Her training, organizing, and youth development work have been featured in two books: Black Youth Rising by Dr. Shawn Ginwright and Learning to Liberate by Dr. Vajra Watson, and cited in countless national forums including The Wall Street Journal, CNN, and The New York Times. Ms. Blackmon is a graduate of Stanford University, a licensed minister, as well as a proud wife and mother of four beautiful girls.

Jessica Lá Rel, ‘14, Activist, Education Administrator

Jessica_AndersonJessica Lá Rel, Class of 2014, is an arts activist from Chicago, who uses music and performing arts as a form of education, advocacy, and mobilization. Lá Rel has provided artistic inspiration in both the Occupy Wallstreet and Black Lives Matters Movements, focusing on repurposing and reviving music for the sake of social justice. She has performed for civil rights icons and philanthropists including Jesse Jackson, John Lewis, Angelique Kidjo, and more recently Oprah Winfrey. in 2014, she debuted an original musical entitled, Higher Ground, which told the story of Gospel music in social justice movements domestically and abroad. With an album coming out later this year, Lá Rel uses her work to humanize and uplift disenfranchised communities and provide a soundtrack for contemporary social movements.

 James Rucker, ‘91, Co-Founder, Color of Change

James_RuckerJames Rucker is a technologist and software entrepreneur turned activist who uses technology to strengthen the voice of everyday people in creating political and social change. James co-founded ColorOfChange in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and led the organization from its founding in 2005 through the start of 2011. Early major campaigns include leading the organizing effort in support of the Jena 6, which included raising more than $275k online for their legal defense, and stripping FOX News’ Glenn Beck of more than 150 national advertisers, which is credited with bringing about the end of Beck’s contract with FOX. James is also co-founder of Citizen Engagement Laboratory, an incubator and accelerator for people and projects working to shift culture and transform society, built on the model of ColorOfChange. Prior to working in politics and social change, James worked in various roles in the software industry in the Silicon Valley. James serves on the boards of the Southern Poverty Law Center,, and ColorOfChange. He has been featured on CNN, ABC News, The New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, and NPR. James was named one of Essence Magazine’s 25 Most Influential leaders of 2008; one of the Ebony Power 150 in 2008; one of The Root 100 from 2009 through 2011; and as one of News One’s Top 15 Civil Rights Leaders of the 21st Century in 2011. James has a BS in Symbolic Systems from Stanford University.

 Rahiel Tesfamariam, ‘03, Founder and Publisher at Urban Cusp

Rahiel_TesfamariamRahiel Tesfamariam is a social activist, public theologian, writer and speaker. She is the Founder and Publisher of the cutting-edge online lifestyle magazine Urban Cusp and a former Washington Post columnist. Before launching Urban Cusp in 2011, Rahiel managed a D.C. citywide juvenile justice reform effort. She has traveled the world on various delegations and humanitarian projects and has spoken at prestigious universities and historic churches nationwide. Rahiel has received several national fellowships and awards, including the National Association of Black Journalist’s “Salute to Excellence,” National Action Network’s “Who’s Got Next,” IMPACT Leader of the Year and EnVest’s “Top 40 Under 40.” Black Girls Rock featured Rahiel on their 2013 BET awards show, saluting “her tireless dedication to global issues, community activism and youth advocacy.”  Responding to the 2014 Ferguson decision, Rahiel led a national Black Friday economic boycott supported by dozens of celebrities called #NotOneDime. As a leading generational voice, Rahiel has appeared in countless media outlets, including The New York Times, Forbes, MSNBC, Ebony, and more. Most recently, Rahiel was featured in Revolt TV’s “Leaders of the New School” special and was one of six women Essence Magazine named “The New Civil Rights Leaders. Rahiel holds degrees from Stanford University and Yale University, where she graduated with honors and was the inaugural William Sloane Coffin, Jr. Scholar for Peace and Justice. Prior to attending seminary at Yale, she served as the youngest editor-in-chief in the history of The Washington Informer, at age 23.

The Color of Money: The Changing Landscape of College Athletics

With billions of dollars generated annually from numerous sources (media rights, ticket sales, alumni contributions, royalties), it’s no surprise that the NCAA and colleges are faced with issues such as equity, fairness, unionization and pay-to-play. Former Stanford athletes and sports industry executives will discuss the implications, their experiences, and the possible role Stanford could play in shaping outcomes.

Johnson Bademosi, ‘12, Athlete, Cleveland Browns

Johnson_BademosiJohnson is a 2012 graduate of Stanford University where he received a BA degree in History. Upon graduating from Stanford, Johnson joined the Cleveland Browns where he is in his 4th season. Currently, Johnson serves as the Browns’ player representative for the NFL Players Association. In his role, he assists collective bargaining and informs players of grievance and workers’ compensation procedures. Under his leadership, the NFL Players Association improved the NFL’s Performance Enhancing and Substance of Abuse Policies, making it more equitable for players. In addition to his work with the NFL Players Association, Johnson has written for Sports Illustrated – most notably an opinion piece titled, “Why I Wore the Shirt,” where he discusses professional athletes and their freedom and willingness to join social movements.

Roy S. Johnson, ‘78, Director, Alabama Media Group/

Roy_JohnsonA respected multi-media journalist and innovative business leader, Roy S. Johnson joined the Alabama Media Group/ as Director, Sports, in April 2014. He successfully leads a team of digital journalists who chronicle sports in a state where sports is a consuming passion. is the largest news, sports, and information website in Alabama, reaching 3 million page-views and 500,000 unique visitors daily. leads with its innovative coverage of sports – particularly of teams representing Alabama and Auburn. Under Roy’s guidance, sports is nationally recognized as a media innovator, utilizing evolving digital tools – including video and social media – to consistently reach and engage sports fans while maintaining journalism excellence and growth. Also a successful entrepreneur, Roy founded Fit! Live! Win!, LLC, in the fall of 2011. A multi-faceted consulting firm, Fit! Live! Win! creates and manages employee wellness programs for municipalities, universities, and small businesses. Fit! Live! Win! publishes digital fitness, nutrition, and wellness e-newsletters; promotes content and other products; and develops interactive Fit Fairs. Fit! Live! Win! builds and promotes a wellness culture that informs, engages, and empowers employees to lead healthier lives by increasing productivity, boosting morale, and helping the client to manage rising healthcare costs. Previously, Roy served as Editor-in-Chief of three prominent national magazines: Savoy (which he also conceived and founded), Men’s Fitness, and History Channel. He has also been a top editor at Sports Illustrated, Fortune, and Money.

Kenneth L. Shropshire, ‘77, JD, David W. Hauck Professor, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

Kenneth_ShropshireKenneth L. Shropshire is the David W. Hauck Professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and the Faculty Director of its Wharton Sports Business Initiative. Shropshire joined the Wharton faculty in 1986 and specializes in sports business and law, sports and social impact, and negotiations. He also serves as Special Counsel at the global law firm Duane Morris LLP, working primarily on sports industry related matters.  His soon to be released latest book is Sport Matters: Leadership, Power and the Quest for Respect in Sport. He is a founder and member of the Board of Directors of the Valley Green Bank in Philadelphia and also serves on the board of the global investment bank Moelis & Company. He is also a former president of the Sports Lawyers Association, the largest such organization in the world. Shropshire hosts the Wharton Sports Business Show on Sirius XM Channel111 and teaches the Coursera course The Global Business of Sports, which has reached 30,000 students. He has consulted with the NCAA, Major League Baseball, National Football League, and the United States Olympic Committee and has provided commentary for a number of media outlets including Nightline, CNN, the New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio and Sports Illustrated.

Keith Sparks, ’84, Managing Director at Exodus Energy LLC

Keith_SparksKeith Sparks worked at Stanford University as Assistant Athletic Director from 1988-1994. His responsibilities included serving as the liaison between the Admissions Office and the Athletic Department, and coordinating NCAA and Pac-10 Championship events hosted by Stanford. He worked closely with all of the Stanford coaching legends and was a vociferous advocate for increasing opportunities for minority and female coaches and administrators. Mr. Sparks now works at Clean Line Energy Partners where he leads the development efforts of the Centennial West Clean Line, a high voltage direct current transmission line that will transport 3,500 megawatts of wind power from eastern New Mexico to southern California, and the Western Spirit Clean Line, an approximately 200-mile transmission line projected to transport 1,500 megawatts of wind power from central New Mexico to markets in the Western United States. Mr. Sparks is also Managing Director at Exodus Energy LLC which develops, finances, and operates select international energy assets. At Exodus, Mr. Sparks advised GE Capital, ArcLight, Kingdom Holdings, and Arab Petroleum Investments Corp. on direct equity investments across the energy chain. Many of the transactions initiated or led by Mr. Sparks were first of their kind development projects or financings that continue to perform well despite the absence of local regulatory or legal precedent and/or the presence of historically antagonistic stakeholders.

Angela Taylor, ‘93, MBA, President and General Manager, Atlanta Dream

 Angela_TaylorAngela Taylor is the President and General Manager of the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream.  Ms. Taylor previously served as Vice-President and General Manager for the Washington Mystics for two seasons (2009-10) and Vice-President of Business Operations for the Minnesota Lynx (2006-08).  A 20-year veteran of the sports industry, Ms. Taylor co-founded The CHANCE Foundation in 2006, an organization whose mission is to Create Hope and Access for our Nation’s Children through Education.  Ms. Taylor also founded NetWorks Sports Consulting, LLC in 2009, which focuses its efforts primarily in the sports and entertainment, technology and non-profit industries and specializes in strategic planning, brand development and event management.  Taylor previously spent 10 seasons with the WNBA League Office based in New York City, most recently as Senior Director, Player Personnel. In that role, she implemented and oversaw the league’s regional scouting program, supervising the scouting team in the identification and evaluation of elite players. Prior to joining the WNBA league offices, Taylor served as an assistant coach at Stanford University and Texas A&M University, and also coached at the University of Arizona.  Taylor graduated from Stanford in 1993 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and earned her MBA at New York University’s Stern School of Business in May 2002.

Storytellers: Knowing our Histories & Sharing Our Legacies

If you do not write your story, someone else will write it for you. How do we go about learning the stories of our families and communities? And once we discover our own stories, how do we preserve these legacies, share them with others and past them on to future generations? We will discuss methods of “learning our histories,” such as using DNA testing in discovering our ancestral origin. We will also examine different modes of “Sharing our Legacies” — publishing written accounts of one’s family or creating a documentary film. Panelists will share the personal, communal and social value of both knowing one’s own story and sharing that with a wider audience.

Sharisse Kimbro, ’90, Author, Beyond the Broken

Sharisse_KimbroBorn in Dayton, Ohio, Sharisse Kimbro knew from an early age that she wanted to express herself through writing. At seven, Kimbro’s book of poems titled The Best of Me became her first published works with the help of her mother. Although life’s many twists and turns have ensued since then, her passion for putting life into words was never lost. Now residing in Chicago, Kimbro self-published her debut novel — Beyond the Broken — in partnership with Open Books Edition in early 2013. Receiving iuniverse’s Editor’s Choice recognition, Beyond the Broken is a disrobing, fictional tale that explores what happens to five women when the life they planned for, isn’t the life they get. Enjoying a steady rise in popularity, Beyond the Broken has also maintained a 5-star rating on’s Customer Review panel. Kimbro has started a sequel to Beyond the Broken with aims at ultimately becoming a full-time writer. Prior to publishing Beyond the Broken, Kimbro earned a BA and MA in English and Sociology from Stanford University and a law degree from the University of Michigan. Kimbro enjoyed a successful career in the public and private sectors, and as a freelance writer for many years, until starting a family and eventually transitioning to work life at home. Kimbro currently works full-time in Chicago with her family.

Haldane E. King, ’67, Founder and CEO, King Brown Partners

Hal_KingHal is the CEO and Founder of King Brown Partners (KBP), a Sausalito, California based market research and consulting company. Over the last 25 years KBP has become one of the leading providers of market insights to technology, healthcare, utility and financial service enterprises. Clients include Google, Genentech, Informatica, Oracle, Nest, J&J and Comcast. He graduated from Stanford in 1968 where he was a member of the ATO fraternity and Air Force ROTC. As a son of a Tuskegee Airman, Hal chose to become a pilot and spent five years as an aircraft commander and instructor pilot, flying more than 100 combat missions during several tours in South East Asia. After completing his military service obligation, Hal attended and graduated from Harvard Business School in the same class as George Bush and Mitt Romney. No, he was not close friends with either. After a decade of progressively responsible positions in consumer package goods, management consulting, software marketing, and KBP, he is “of counsel” and semi-retired.

Adrian Miller, ‘91, Author, Executive Director of the Colorado Council of Churches

Adrian_MillerAdrian Miller is a Denver, Colorado native who graduated from Stanford University (A.B. 1991, International Relations) and Georgetown University Law School (J.D. 1991). After practicing law in Denver for several years, Adrian served as a White House special assistant to President William Jefferson Clinton and the Deputy Director of the President’s Initiative for One America. Adrian is also a certified barbecue judge, food writer, and an engaging speaker who has presented on such topics as: Black Chefs in the White House, chicken and waffles, hot sauce, kosher soul food, red drinks, soda pop, and soul food. Adrian’s first book, Soul Food: The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine, One Plate at a Time (University of North Carolina Press) won the 2014 James Beard Foundation Book Award for Reference and Scholarship, and it is a 2014 Honor Book for Nonfiction from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. Adrian is currently writing a book on the history of African American presidential chefs. For his day job, Adrian currently serves as the Executive Director of the Colorado Council of Churches. He is the first African American and the first layperson to hold that position.

 Woodrow A. Myers Jr., ‘73, MBA ’82, MD, Chief Executive Officer, Corizon Health

7 of 9Dr. Woodrow Myers is a nationally recognized leader in the development of medical quality initiatives and advanced healthcare management programs. He serves as CEO for Corizon Health. This exciting challenge has coupled his passion for the highest standards of patient care and management, with the largest and most innovative correctional healthcare provider in the country.   Dr. Myers is a director at Valitás Health Services, Inc. [Corizon Health], Express Scripts [ESRX], SynGen, Inc, and is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Mozambique Healthcare Consortium.  Previously, he served as the authorized representative for President Obama’s 2012 Re-Election Campaign, Obama for America, in the state of Indiana. He is the former executive vice president and chief medical officer of WellPoint, Inc., where he established the Health Quality Assurance Division. He is a former health commissioner for the city of New York and the state of Indiana, and has served as a member of the Harvard University Board of Overseers and the Stanford University Board of Trustees. Additionally, he has served on numerous other boards including the Stanford University Hospital and Clinics, Genomic Health [GHDX], LipoScience, Inc. [LPDX], PATH (Program for Appropriate Technology in Health), and Third Rock Ventures, LLC.  Previously, Dr. Myers was an assistant professor of medicine at the University of California San Francisco, and a fellow in critical care medicine and a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar at the Stanford Medical Center.     Dr. Myers received a MD from Harvard, and a MBA and BS with honors from Stanford.

Gina Paige, ‘88, Co-Founder and CEO, African Ancestry

Gina_PaigeIn 2003, Gina Paige co-founded African Ancestry, Inc.  In doing so, she pioneered a new way of tracing African lineages using genetics and a new marketplace for people of African descent looking to more accurately and reliably trace their roots.  African Ancestry is the only genetics-based, ancestry-tracing company that identifies African countries and ethnic groups of origin.  Leveraging her pioneering spirit, lifelong entrepreneurship, and corporate expertise, Paige travels the world helping people demystify where they are from so that they may better understand who they are to optimize success in their lives.  Gina’s work with African Ancestry has spawned a mix of industry off-shoots and major company milestones, including reaching its 12th anniversary in 2015.  Prior to creating African Ancestry, Gina was the founder and president of GPG Strategic Resources, a boutique New York consulting firm specializing in strategy development, new product development, and project management.  Sara Lee and Colgate-Palmolive are among the Fortune 200 companies to which she has contributed her considerable talents.  Gina resides in Washington, D.C. and holds a degree in Economics from Stanford University and an MBA from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.

Featured Lunchtime Speakers

Jan Barker Alexander, Assistant Dean of Students and Director, Black Community Services Center, Resident Fellow, Ujamaa House

Jan PortraitJan Barker Alexander currently serves as Associate Dean of Students and Director of the Black Community Services Center (BCSC) at Stanford. Jan began her career at Louisiana State University (LSU) in the Office of Admissions, where she engaged in outreach efforts that focused on several populations, including rural, urban, first-generation and low-income students. In recognition of her investment and engagement beyond her admissions position, Jan was the youngest person ever elected President of the LSU A.P. Tureaud, Sr. National Black Alumni Association.  Jan joined Stanford’s Undergraduate Admissions team in 1995 as an Associate Director. In 1998, Jan joined Stanford’s Division of Student Affairs and spearheaded many efforts that have made the University’s BCSC a national model of excellence. In partnership with an Alumni Leadership Team and the Stanford National Black Alumni Association, she co-led the first-ever fundraising campaign focused on affinity giving, which raised close to $1.3 million dollars. Jan earned the Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award for Distinctive Contributions to Undergraduate Education at Stanford in large part due to her success in building a nationally recognized program at the BCSC.  In 2006, Jan became the Resident Fellow at Ujamaa House, Stanford’s African and African American themed dorm. She works tirelessly to foster intellectual engagement in the dorm. She has co-instructed two courses, “Black Sitcoms: An Examination of Blackness on Television,” and “Black Cinema: A Critique of the Portrayals of Blackness on the Silver Screen.”  Jan is currently pursuing her doctorate at the University of Southern California. She hails from Franklinton, Louisiana. She received her B.A. in Journalism from LSU and a Master’s in Education from Southern University, a Historically Black College and University.

Harry Elam, Jr., Oliver H. Palmer Professor in the Humanities and the Freeman-Thornton Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, Stanford University

Harry_ElamHarry J. Elam, Jr. is the author of Taking It to the Streets: The Social Protest Theater of Luis Valdez and Amiri Baraka;  and the Erroll Hill Prize winning The Past as Present in the Drama of August Wilson;  and co-editor of five books, African American Performance and Theater History: A Critical Reader;  Colored Contradictions: An Anthology of Contemporary African American Drama;  The Fire This Time: African American Plays for the New Millenium;  Black Cultural Traffic: Crossroads in Performance and Popular Culture; and The Methuen Anthology of Postblack Plays. In addition to his scholarly work, he has directed professionally for over twenty years: most notably, he directed Tod, the Boy Tod by Talvin Wilks for the Oakland Ensemble Company, and for TheatreWorks in Palo Alto California, he directed Radio Golf by August Wilson, Jar the Floor by Cheryl West, and Blues for an Alabama Sky by Pearl Cleague, which was nominated for nine Bay Area Circle Critics Awards and was the winner of Drama-Logue Awards for Best Production, Best Design, Best Ensemble Cast and Best Direction.