President, Wheelock College, Boston, MA
Executive Director/Co-Founder, Community Asset Development Re-defining Education (CADRE), Los Angeles, CA
Leavey Presidential Chair of Ethics and Moral Leadership, Loyola Marymount University, CA
Co-Managing Partner, Partnership for Democracy and Education, Cambridge, MA, Author, When We Fight, We Win!
Sharon J. Lettman-Hicks
Executive Director/CEO, National Black Justice Coalition, Washington, DC
Director of Administration & Finance, Hyams Foundation
Executive Director, State Voices
On July 1, 2004, Jackie Jenkins-Scott became the 13th President of Wheelock College, a private college with a mission to improve the lives of children and families. Ms. Jenkins-Scott received her B.S. Degree from Eastern Michigan University, a Masters of Social Work from Boston University School of Social Work, and completed a Post Graduate Research Fellowship at Radcliffe College.
In 2003, Ms. Jenkins-Scott received an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Education from Wheelock College when she served as the Commencement speaker. In addition to Wheelock, she holds Honorary Doctorate Degrees from Suffolk University, Northeastern University, Bentley College and Mount Ida College.
From 1983 until 2004, Ms. Jenkins-Scott served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Dimock Community Health Center in Roxbury, Massachusetts. Prior to joining Dimock, she held several positions with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Departments of Public and Mental Health. As a community leader, public health advocate and innovative administrator, she has been a nationally known figure for nearly thirty years.
Ms. Jenkins-Scott has served on many professional, civic and community boards and committees. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of The Boston Foundation, the Kennedy Library Foundation and Museum, the Boston Plan for Excellence and WGBH. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Century Bank and Trust Company and the Tufts Health Plan. In April 2007, Boston’s Mayor Thomas M. Menino selected Ms. Jenkins-Scott to Co-Chair his School Readiness Action Planning Team, charged with developing specific strategies to prevent the achievement gap among the next generation of students. Ms. Jenkins-Scott was asked by Governor Deval L. Patrick to Co-Chair the ‘Readiness Project,’ the group responsible for developing a 10-year strategic plan to implement the vision for education in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as outlined by Governor Patrick in a June 2007 speech.
Ms. Jenkins-Scott has received numerous awards and citations including the 2005 Associated Industries of Massachusetts Legacy of Leadership award, 2004 Pinnacle Lifetime Achievement Award from the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and the 2004 Distinguished Alumni Award from Boston University.
Maisie Chin is Co-Founder and current Director of CADRE – Community Asset Development Re-defining Education, an independent, grassroots parent membership organization in South Los Angeles comprised of low-income African American and Latino parents/caregivers. After working in a K-16 institutional and foundation collaboration around education reform for over six years, Ms. Chin and a South LA parent launched CADRE in 2001. CADRE’s mission is to solidify and advance parent leadership to ensure that all children are rightfully educated regardless of where they live. Through human rights-based community organizing and policy advocacy, CADRE parent leaders are fighting to end the pushout of low-income families of color from public schools and the school-to-prison pipeline. Under Ms. Chin’s leadership CADRE has successfully influenced policy at the local school district level and is moving towards addressing state and national policies using the human rights framework.
Recently in February 2007, CADRE’s parent-led Right to Education Campaign achieved a major victory when its human rights documentation, people’s hearing, advocacy, and media work significantly helped ensure the Los Angeles Unified School District’s passage of a new district-wide school discipline policy based on Positive Behavior Support. This success has positioned CADRE’s grassroots parent leaders to exert leadership in broader human rights/social justice movement building in multiple policy arenas.
Ms. Chin is a native Californian and child of Chinese immigrants. She has been part of the educational and social justice movement for 16 years, dedicated to fighting institutional racism by protecting and transforming public education in low-income neighborhoods of color. She also has 18 years of experience in facilitation, training, and organizational development. Ms. Chin holds both a Bachelors of Arts in History and a Masters of Arts in Urban Planning – Community Development from the University of California, Los Angeles. In addition to directing CADRE, Ms. Chin is also an independent consultant and serves on the Board of Directors of Justice Matters, a national racial justice policy and research organization based in San Francisco, California.
Dr. Antonia Darder is a distinguished international Freirean scholar. She is a public intellectual, educator, writer, activist, and artist. She holds the Leavey Presidential Endowed Chair of Ethics and Moral Leadership at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles and is Professor Emerita of Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. She also holds a Distinguished Visiting faculty post at the University of Johannesburg, in South Africa. Antonia is an American Educational Research Association Fellow and is the recipient of the Paulo Freire Social Justice Award. She has worked tirelessly for more than three decades to fiercely counter social and material inequalities at work in schools and communities.
Antonia’s scholarship has consistently focused on issues of racism, political economy, social justice, and education. Her work critically engages the contributions of Paulo Freire to our understanding of inequalities in schools and society. Darder’s critical theory of biculturalism links questions of culture, power, and pedagogy to social justice concerns in education. Through her scholarship on ethics and moral issues, she articulates a critical theory of leadership for social justice, with a particular focus on the empowerment of subaltern communities.
Antonia is the author of numerous books and articles in the field, including Culture and Power in the Classroom (20th Anniversary edition), Reinventing Paulo Freire: A Pedagogy of Love, A Dissident Voice: Essays on Culture, Pedagogy, and Power and Freire and Education. She is also co-author of After Race: Racism After Multiculturalism and co-editor of The Critical Pedagogy Reader, Latinos and Education: A Critical Reader, and the International Critical Pedagogy Reader, which was awarded the 2016 Alpha Sigma Nu Book Award.
Through the passion of her written and spoken word and the simple beauty of her art, her work has traveled around the world, consistently calling for economic justice, human rights, and cultural democracy for all people. In 2015, Antonia was nominated for the prestigious Brock International Prize in Education.
Greg Jobin-Leeds is Co-founder of The Schott Foundation for Public Education. In 1993—under Mr. Jobin-Leeds’ leadership—Schott began funding the Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE) and later helped found the Alliance for Quality Education (AQE). Schott recruited the leadership and provided the start-up funding for the Early Education for All (EEA) campaign in Massachusetts, and regularly publishes state report cards on “Public Education and Black Male Students.” In partnership with Teacher’s College and Columbia University, Mr. Jobin-Leeds helped launch The National Academy for Excellent Teaching to improve teaching in urban schools. Mr. Jobin-Leeds is the Founding Chair of Progressive Majority’s Leadership Circle, which is highly successful at electing bold state candidates committed to racial and economic justice, public education and health care. He is a founding Executive Board Member of Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s One Voice PAC, which is successful in electing progressive federal candidates who have strong platforms on public education, racial and economic justice. Early in his career, he worked as a high school English teacher, then he trained adult literacy teachers and more recently he has worked to increase political access for disenfranchised populations. Mr. Jobin-Leeds has a master’s degree from Teacher’s College, Columbia University, and more than twenty-five years of education, public policy, media, community organizing and leadership experience.
Throughout her career, Sharon J. Lettman-Hicks has brought vision, innovation, entrepreneurial spirit, political savvy, and strategic thinking to every endeavor she has attempted. She has the ability to bring talented people together to form cohesive leadership teams within organizations and build collaborative advocacy coalitions among very diverse stakeholders. A nationally recognized leader, Sharon thrives on challenges and seeks to develop and foster leadership in others. In January 2014, President Barack Obama named her to the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans.
In October 2009, Mrs. Lettman-Hicks became the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), a civil rights organization dedicated to empowering Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. Founded in 2003, NBJC has provided leadership at the intersection of national civil rights groups and LGBT organizations, advocating for the unique challenges and needs of the African-American LGBT community that are often relegated to the sidelines. NBJC envisions a world where all people are fully-empowered to participate safely, openly and honestly in family, faith and community, regardless of race, gender identity or sexual orientation. In concert with NBJC’s mission to eradicate racism and homophobia, her personal goals are to make the Black family the focal point of NBJC; to tell compelling stories about the Black LGBT community; and to see Black LGBT people understood, embraced and respected for their valuable contributions to society.
Prior to NBJC Sharon spent eight years at the People For the American Way (PFAW) Foundation, where her responsibilities included leading the “Homophobia in the Black Church” program through their African American Religious Affairs division. As an Executive Vice President at the PFAW Foundation, Sharon's responsibilities included overseeing the institution's dynamic leadership programs and the organization's engagement with supporters and investors, key constituency groups, and coalition allies. She was one of the chief architects of the leadership programs, and provided invaluable vision and innovative implementation models that led to the programs’ tremendous growth. Sharon has been successful in orchestrating strategic partnerships, ranging from building grassroots activism to catalyzing the engagement and investment of key influencers and funders.
Mark Paley joined the Hyams Foundation in 2001. Before coming to Hyams, he was the CFO at YouthBuild USA where he helped to build the national youth servicing non-profit to a nationally recognized network of groups working with out of school youth. His first position in Boston was with Boston Neighborhood Housing, which financed affordable housing rehab projects in three Boston neighborhoods. Mark was part of the initial steering committee of the Non-Profit Financial Managers Group, which continues to meet monthly. Mark earned his B.A. at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a Masters of Management at the University of California, Davis.
Roger C. Vann has been Executive Director at State Voices since 2014. He previously served as COO and chief of staff for the National NAACP where he planned and directed the organization’s successful 2012 civic engagement campaign, which secured over 430,000 voter registrations nationwide. As a young NAACP leader in New Haven, Connecticut, Roger helped win critical victories on a range of issues including living wage, public sector employment diversity and police misconduct. In 1999, as president of the Connecticut NAACP, he led a statewide grassroots effort to win passage of one of the nation’s first laws addressing racial profiling. A lifelong champion of civil liberties, workers’ rights and reproductive freedom, he has also served as executive director of the ACLU of Connecticut, director of the African American Hiring Initiative for UNITE HERE and director of a pioneering manhood mentoring program for Planned Parenthood of Connecticut. Roger’s long journey in the social justice movement began at age 5 when he was the first black student to integrate his elementary school.