Deborah Weiner Historian, Archivist, Curator, Writer and Presenter
Deborah Weiner is a historian and author with a goal to make history relevant and accessible to public audiences. For many years she worked at the Jewish Museum of Maryland, where she co-curated three exhibitions, Voices of Lombard Street: A Century of Change in East Baltimore; The Synagogue Speaks; and Jews on the Move: The Suburbanization of Baltimore Jewry. As Coordinator of the Museum’s Family History Center, she helped hundreds of individuals to uncover their family histories and also conducted workshops on how to do historical research. She received a Ph.D. in history from West Virginia University and has taught classes on public history and American Jewish history as an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University, the University of Maryland at Baltimore County, and the University of Baltimore. She is author of Coalfield Jews: An Appalachian History (University of Illinois Press, 2006) and co-author of On Middle Ground: A History of the Jews of Baltimore (currently under contract with Johns Hopkins University Press).
Dana Hughes, DrPH, MSUP Evaluation Design, Execution, Interpretation and Dissemination
Professor of Health Policy in the Department of Family and Community Medicine and at the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Her current research focus includes access to health and dental care among low income children, families, the disabled, and other underserved populations; analyses of systems, organizations and organizational behavior; and evaluations of programs addressing social and economic inequalities that contribute to health disparities. To all evaluations, Dana brings her commitment to inclusiveness of all stakeholders in the evaluation design and execution, as well as the interpretation and dissemination of findings. With over 30 years of experience evaluating and studying programs and policies affecting low income children and families, she has a tested ability to design and manage complex, multi-site, mixed method projects, applying her considerable content knowledge along with her technical skills in quantitative and qualitative study design and analysis. Prior to joining UCSF, Dana worked in Washington, D.C. in Congress for Congressman Ronald V. Dellums and Congressman Louis Stokes. She also worked for five years (1985-1989) at the Children’s Defense Fund in Washington, D.C. where she consulted with Medicaid agencies, state legislatures and other policy makers for the enactment of Medicaid expansions to low-income pregnant women and children.
Kerry Cochrane, MA, MSW, LCSW Genealogical Researcher and Trainer
Kerry Cochrane has over 20 years of experience in academic librarianship, and 15 years of experience in genealogical research with a particular focus on African-American genealogy. She is proficient in recreating family histories using the major online genealogical resources, archives, and personal records.
Ms. Cochrane is the Director of Library Services and Faculty Affiliate for the Institute on Social Exclusion at Adler University. Ms. Cochrane earned her B.A. and M.A. from the University of Iowa. She also earned a clinical Masters in Social Work from Loyola University Chicago, is licensed in the state of Illinois, and maintains a small practice as a licensed clinical social worker. As ISE Faculty Affiliate, she has participated in the development of the strategic vision for the ISE, the creation of Social Exclusion Simulations, and proposal writing.
Before coming to the Adler School, she held faculty appointments at Loyola University Chicago and at University of Illinois at Chicago. She has extensive experience teaching online database searching at the undergraduate and graduate level; in academic materials selection in a variety of formats; and in writing, planning, and academic administration. Her publications include two books for the middle-school market: The Internet (1995) New York: Franklin Watts, and Researching Colleges on the World Wide Web (1997), New York: Franklin Watts.
Angela Y. Walton-Raji Genealogy Research Trainer
Ms. Walton-Raji currently lives in Maryland. She has spoken nationally since publishing her journal and book, about American genealogy, and history. She has conducted research for persons of black, white and American Indian backgrounds and has assisted families with the documentation of their immigrant ancestors as well.
Angela Walton-Raji is known nationally for her research and work on Oklahoma Native American records, US Colored Troops, and teaching beginners. Her book Black Indian Genealogy Research is the only book of its kind focusing on the unique Freedmen Records found within the Dawes Records. She also includes several chapters and documents in her book, focusing on the records that reflect Blended Families—African and Native American families in many households.
A founding member of AfriGeneas.com, Ms. Walton-Raji is also a genealogist specializing in information for beginners, via daily and weekly online genealogy chats on AfriGeneas. As host of a weekly genealogy podcast, a number of instructional videos and as an expert consultant on video documentaries, Ms. Walton-Raji combines her skills as a genealogist with a warm on camera personality that brings comfort to her viewers through and her instructional videos on YouTube, while providing them with useful information.
A researcher with national reputation, Ms. Walton-Raji’s talents have been recognized by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, for over a decade. For over a decade, she was a featured speaker at a number of Smithsonian events, and she is the only genealogist in the nation to present regular genealogy lectures at the National Museum of the American Indian, in both Washington DC and New York facilities. She was awarded the honor of presenting a special series of genealogy lectures to coincide with the Smithsonian Exhibition IndiVisible that has been traveling throughout the nation.
Beyond her public appearances, she is a published author, host of 3 blogs a 12 year ongoing message board, 3 websites, and she hosts the only weekly podcast devoted to African American genealogy. Her comfort with foreign languages and writing skills, make her well known and well respected in the genealogy community.
In the Spring of 2010, her work was featured in a in-depth interview with the Smithsonian magazine online. She is an alumnus of the National Institute of Genealogical Research, Samford Genealogy Institute and is a member of the faculty of the Midwest African American Genealogy Institute.
Army Lester III Genetics and Biology
Army Lester III, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Biology, Kennesaw State University (KSU). During his tenure at KSU, Army focused his energies on excellence in teaching and service. His teaching philosophy is one that seeks to empower students by engaging them in a personalized applied approach to learning.
For 20 consecutive years, Army’s students often could be found working with him on a number of externally funded community outreach projects where the college students learned through practical experiences. He served as director of several student success programs such as the KSU Peach State LSAMP program and the KSU NASA Fellows program. His work has been cited in publications such as the Chronicles of Higher Education, Black Enterprise, and the Atlanta Journal and Constitution. Awards that include the Citizen of the Year, Living the Dream Award, KSU Preston Community Leadership Award and Distinguished Service Award, Omega Man of the Year, and Outstanding Young Americans Award, have recognized his outstanding work.
Army’s commitment to teaching and service has been fueled by a variety of leadership training programs to help develop his servant leadership mentality such as Governors Teaching Fellowship, Leadership Kennesaw State, Leadership Cobb, Leadership GA, and the Kellogg National Leadership/Fellowship Program.
Army’s current work focuses on the roles of servant leaders in helping others to use health, education and resources to live a happy and productive life.
Tyra L. Banks, B.S., MPA Non-Profit Management and Leadership Development
Tyra L. Banks is a native of Marrero, Louisiana. Since completing her degree in Family & Consumer Science with a concentration in Marriage and Family Studies from Southeastern Louisiana University, Tyra is has a master’s degree in Public Administration from Louisiana State University. Her focus is non-profit management and leadership development.
Tyra served as Staff Assistant and Legislative Assistant to Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky of IL. She specialized in constituent engagement and Foster Care issues. Tyra has completed a number of prestigious fellowships and trainings including from the Women & Politics Institute at American University and the Center for Progressive Leadership. She is a trained Community Organizer from the historic Midwest Academy and a Technology of Participation certified facilitator.
Right after Hurricane Katrina, Tyra became a disaster relief volunteer, working with Second Harvest Food Bank, St. Augustine’s Church and The United New Orleans Plan. In response to her community’s need for strategy and organizing services, Tyra opened Banks Consulting in 2010. Banks Consulting offers consulting, training, and coaching services to non-profit entities and meeting facilitation as well as strategic planning to government agencies, school systems, and merchants associations. Tyra continues to work as President of Banks Consulting while working as Legislative Assistant to Councilwoman Ronnie Edwards. Tyra recently wrote her first book, “The Purpose Filled Woman, with the net proceeds from her opening month being donated to the Louisiana Lupus Foundation.
Jim Strickler B.A., M.A.T. Historical Researcher, Writer and Presenter
Jim Strickler has 32 years of experience as a writer and editor of history and social science books for students. He is currently the Executive Editor for Social Studies for Perfection Learning, an educational publishing company. He holds a B.A. in History from Grinnell College and an M.A.T. (Master of Arts in Teaching) in Social Studies from the University of Chicago. In his free time, he is writing a book about the Civil War’s impact on American exceptionalism. He lives in Evanston, Illinois.
David S. Haiman Community Organizing, Strategic Planning and Facilitation
David S. Haiman is a principal and co-founder of Movement Matters founded in 2007. David’s experience of over a decade in community organizing, strategic planning, facilitation, and non-profit management has helped Movement Matters to develop into an effective and dynamic capacity building organization. David is fluent in spoken and written Spanish.
His expertize includes visioning and strategic planning for new program areas, Board development, deepening organizational capacity for community organizing, developing and refining leadership curricula, and direct skills training of staff. David trains on a variety of topics related to community organizing and social justice. David has brought his expertise to a variety of projects particularly in the education sector, including designing and facilitating a community engagement process for the DC Public School system.
David received his Master’s Degrees in Social Work and Public Policy from the University of Michigan and was a community organizer through the VISTA program in the Phoenix area in Arizona. David is also an adjunct faculty member at the Catholic University School of Social Work, where he teaches community organizing and provides site supervision for students doing their field study in community organizing.
Kweli Kitwana Graphic Facilitation Specialist
Kweli Kitwana is a professional with over 35 years of experience in the community and political engagement field and the arts as a facilitation and healing tool. Kweli is the Founder and president of Kweli Consulting & Associates, currently contracting with Planned Parenthood, as National Talent Direct; and Leadership for Change as a Lead Trainer.
As an artist, she incorporated graphic facilitation into small and large group training and planning sessions, a skilled method of documenting visual “meetings” immersed in applying visual language to group processes.
Kweli’s community and political engagement expertise is extensive and broad. She recently served as the Vice President of Political Programs at Progressive Majority, where she directed and managed the national political candidate recruitment and development program. Before coming to Progressive Majority, Kweli served as the Deputy Director of the Center for Progressive Leadership. She also was a Field Director at US Action Education Fund, a union representative for SEIU District 952 and Local 535,and a field representative for Midwest Labor Research Center and The Youth Project.
Alyson Parham Small Management and Training Consultant
Alyson Parham Small is the founder and president of Partec Consulting Group, a management consulting and training firm established in 1994. For over 25 years Alyson has delivered strategy and business development solutions to help clients triumph over their competitive challenges.
Armed with both masters and bachelor degrees in Economics, Alyson has provided project management, consulting and training services to a range of entities across the country include small businesses, faith and community-based organizations, foundations, universities and government agencies. Alyson has helped to secure millions in funding for her nonprofit clients. In addition to her work in the United States, Alyson conducts training for organizations in Ghana.
Ms. Parham Small has trained hundreds of nonprofit executives on topics including proposal writing, community engagement, sustainability strategies, strategic planning, and fundraising. She has also been engaged to design and help implement capacity building programs on local and national levels to strengthen the capacity of local organizations and collaborations.
For more than eighteen years, Alyson has served as a consultant to the U.S. Department of Justice helping to build community collaborations around the country focused on crime prevention and neighborhood revitalization. Alyson is a member of the Institute of Management Consultants and the International Facilitators Association.
D Virgil Hunt Entrepreneurship and Collaboration or Technological Innovation and Branding
D Virgil Hunt is a budding entrepreneur and activist residing in Philadelphia PA. He serves as the Chief Strategist of SPOR – a startup in the clean-tech industry – and consults to companies on growth while working to encourage collaboration amongst humanity. A graduate of Drexel University where he was awarded “Freshman of the Year” for Service in 2010 and “Peer Leader of the Year” in 2011, D Virgil majored in Entrepreneurship, Finance and Marketing. He has worked for Johnson & Johnson and The Haverford Trust Company in roles that provide unique industry experience. David has deep project experience from technological innovation to brand building. In 2013 he received first place awards in the Baiada Institute Incubator and Architech Competitions.
Stephanie Kemp Marketing Communications, Writing and Editing
Stephanie Kemp is a marketing communications professional with over twenty years experience gained working in New Zealand, England, Australia and the USA. Across her career she has worked in advertising, design and brand agencies as well as within the marketing departments of leading corporations and non-profit organizations.
As a skilled writer, editor and copy-editor, for the past seven years she has chosen to focus mainly in the non-profit sector. Current clients include health and wellbeing organizations in USA and Australia, as well as independent consultants, new authors and small businesses.
With qualifications in the diverse fields of photography, yoga teaching and business management, Stephanie’s experience brings a broad outlook and flexible approach to every project she works on.
Rufus the Cat CEO (Cat Executive Officer) and Receptionist
Rufus greets all clients and visitors with great style, bringing his voice to many a debate and conversation. Modeling the art of relaxation, he is a cherished member of the team.