Welcome Message

Roslyn Young-Daniels

President & Founder
Black Health Matters

Greetings everyone and welcome to the Black Health Matters Fall Health Fair & Summit which will, for the first time, be based on the west coast in the City of Angels - Los Angeles, California!

Whether you are attending in person, or virtually, you can look forward to a day that is chock full of informative and educational health sessions led by outstanding physicians, scientists, and health and wellness advocates. You will be inspired by the incredible lineup of celebrity activists who are lending their presence and voices in support of those who are struggling with physical and mental health challenges. A light breakfast and lunch will also be served for those attending in person at The Center at The Cathedral.

As our nation slowly recovers from the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic and encounters new health crises such as the Monkeypox virus, and the re-emergence of diseases such as smallpox and polio, it is more important than ever that we as a people make our well-being top of mind and top priority. We know that knowledge is power, so do take advantage of the offerings at the Fall Health Summit that will inform you about several of the chronic conditions that affect our community more so than others.

With the help of our medical, corporate and community partners, Black Health Matters is dedicated to delivering to you the information and resources you need to manage your health journey, for as we all know, #blackhealthmatters.

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Summit Topics
  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • Asthma
  • Breast Cancer
  • Clinical Trials
  • FSGS Kidney Disease
  • hATTR Amyloidosis
  • Health Advocacy
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Mental Health
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)
  • Shingles
HIGHLIGHTS
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Amber Stevens West

Actress

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Chante' Moore

Singer & Songwriter

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Dawnn Lewis

Award Winning Actor,
Composer, Singer & Producer

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James Pickens, Jr.

Actor, Producer & Philanthropist

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Sheryl Lee Ralph

Actress, Activist & Founding Director,
The D.I.V.A. Foundation

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Vanessa Estelle Williams

Actor, Singer, Writer & Director

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Michael Colyar

Actor, Comedian and Host

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Vanessa Bell Calloway

Award Winning Actress, Producer,

Director and Breast Cancer Survivor

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EVENT SPEAKERS
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Kimberly Smith, MD

Head of Research & Development
ViiV Healthcare

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Mirella Diaz-Santos, PhD

Adjunct Assistant Professor
Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA

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Tony Cornelius

Executive Producer

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Wendy Short Bartie, JD

Senior Vice President & Head of US Oncology
Bristol Myers Squibb

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Denise Bronner, Ph.D.

Director DEI in Clinical Trials
(Immunology Portfolio)
Janssen Pharmaceuticals

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Melanie Igwe

Co-Founder & COO
DrugViu

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Linda Goler Blount, MPH,

President & CEO
Black Women’s Health Imperative

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Roxana Ghashghaei, MD

Cardiologist
Assistant Health Sciences Professor of Medicine
University of California, Irvine

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Joanna Pearson

Patient Education Liaison
Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

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Vincent L. Anthony, MD, MPH, FASN, CHCQM, CPE

Nephrologist

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Cassandra Cantave Burton

Senior Research Advisor

AARP

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Sheri Prentiss, MD, MPH, CSP

Public Health Expert, Certified Speaking Professional,

Author, Chief Medical Officer and Public Health Lead of CIEN+

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Reema Dirks, PharmD

Senior Medical Science Liaison

West Allergy/Asthma Therapeutic Area

Amgen US Medical

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Olivia Tate Brooks, MD

Chief Medical Officer & Past Chief of

Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine

Watts Healthcare

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Michael Bivins, MD

Urologist

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Ayanna Santos, PharmD

Head of RSV Franchise US

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Chrissy Carter

Business Performance Director

Representation in Clinical Research (RISE) Team

Amgen

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SPONSORS & PARTNERS
PRESENTING SPONSOR
PLATINUM SPONSOR
GOLD SPONSORS
SUPPORTING SPONSORS
COMMUNITY PARTNERS
Frequently Asked Questions
The Black Community is experiencing some of the greatest health challenges of our time. Black Health Matters has partnered with amazing healthcare professionals to address access to healthcare, strategies for improving overall health, wellness and increasing health literacy in our community. We are committed to equipping you with resources to help you become your own health advocate. At Black Health Matters, we have worked to educate and uplift the Black community with information that empowers. Now, more than ever, #BlackHealthMatters is the rally cry we need to fight for healthcare equity.
We are here to reaffirm that our health matters as we arm you with resources, and information, to move forward during and beyond the age of Covid-19.
Engage and connect with passionate, world class healthcare leaders and advocates that will provide you with education, resources, tools and the answers to your health questions in your journey to better health and care.
Be inspired and chat with spirited health leaders who will cover a wide range of topics. Participate by asking questions, networking and be inspired by those who care about what is important to you and your wellbeing at this important health summit created for our community. #BlackHealthMatters
Sessions are live with an interactive Q & A session unless otherwise noted. Like attending a in person conference, we encourage you to attend the full Summit. However, you will be allowed to select which sessions you'd like to attend virtually. It is up to you to decide which sessions interest you in a given time block, and to attend those sessions as desired.
You can download documents from any sponsor or partner by clicking the “Document” tab on their stand in the Exhibit Hall, which will show you the different documents that different sponsors and partners have uploaded. By clicking “Download”, your chosen document(s) will be added to your Virtual Swag Bag, and you can download all of these items upon leaving the summit.
Black Health Matters requires all summit attendees to be at least 18 years of age. Children under age 18 are not permitted to use our platform to access the summit. Attendees must initiate a chat with an exhibitor. Attendees taking part in webinars can submit questions through designated Q & A features. Attendees are reminded to keep all correspondence polite and courteous. The virtual conference will be monitored by Black Health Matters staff. For any assistance during or after the event, email bhmspringhealthsummit@getvfairs.io and your query will be dealt with as soon as possible.
By registering, I acknowledge and agree to the Privacy Policy of Black Health Matters. I am 18 years or older and consent to the processing of my personal data per the terms outlined below. Black Health Matters processes your personal information in the use of our organization and provides our users with the services needed during our summits. By accepting our Privacy Policy (and in some jurisdictions, by acknowledging this policy), you confirm that you have read and understood this policy, including how and why we use your information.

BERTRAM THOMAS, JR.

Bertram Thomas, Jr. was admitted to the College of Public Health DrPH program as a part-time student in 2012. Mr. Thomas previously earned an MPH in Health Policy from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a BA (honors) in Psychology from Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA. While attending Morehouse College, he was selected to be a Ronald McNair Scholar. He completed his research internship at the Georgia Institute of Technology and represented the TRIO Programs on Capitol Hill as an intern at the United States Student Association.

Professional was a member of the Clinical Outcomes Team in the Behavioral Clinical Surveillance Branch of the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention (DHAP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where he and his team earned the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP) Director’s Award in May 2012. During his previous years at the CDC, he has presented an HIV/AIDS Geographic Information Systems analyses oral presentation at several national conferences, including the 2002 American Public Health Association Conference and the 2005 CDC National HIV/AIDS Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. He was also published in the 2002 “Special Supplement to AIDS Education and Prevention.” Mr. Thomas was selected by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement to attend their 2013 Quality Leadership forum in Cambridge, MA, and is a graduate of the 2017-2018 University of Georgia Graduate School Emerging Leaders Program. His doctoral dissertation research is in Health Department Accreditation and Quality Improvement metrics, and he anticipates completing the Doctor of Public Health Degree in 2022. Mr. Thomas plans to advance his leadership career in public health and focus on the changing dynamics of health department accreditation in rural and socioeconomically depressed communities through his current position as a Public Health Analyst at the Centers for Disease Control and prevention. Mr. Thomas is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and the Prince Hall Shriners. He is a Past Potentate of Al-Karim Shriners Temple No. 242 and currently serves as the second Imperial Director of the National Community Health Initiative. He enjoys spending his free time traveling with his wife, Ann Thomas, and their two children, Bianca and Madison.

Amber Stevens West

Amber Stevens West stars in STARZ’ highly acclaimed “Run the World” which is recently finished shooting its second season. Previously she starred in CBS’s comedy “Happy Together” alongside Damon Wayans Jr. and on FOX’s supernatural sitcom “Ghosted” opposite Adam Scott and Craig Robinson. Immediately prior to landing the lead female role on Ghosted, Amber played Jerrod Carmichael’s on-screen love interest on NBC’s sitcom “The Carmichael Show.” Amber also recently starred in the feature LOVE JACKED directed by Alfons Adetuyi as well as co-starring alongside Mike Tyson in Lionsgate’s Janoskians comedy PUBLIC DISTURBANCE. Previously she starred opposite Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill in the 2014 hit comedy 22 JUMP STREET for Sony and directors Chris Lord and Phil Miller. Amber has recurred on “New Girl” at Fox and “Criminal Mind” at CBS. For four years, Amber starred on ABC Family’s hit series “Greek” and also co-starred in JESSABELLE for Lionsgate and opposite Laura Prepon and Bryan Greenberg in the independent film THE KITCHEN. Amber was raised in Los Angeles and is married to fellow actor Andrew J. West. Together they share two daughters.

Chante Moore

During a decades-spanning career that began during the tail end of the new jack swing era, sophisticated vocalist Chante Moore has placed over a dozen songs on Billboard’s R&B chart. The daughter of a minister, Moore grew up on gospel music and albums by George Duke and Lee Ritenour, and sometimes applied her lyrics to their music.

Moore decided as a teenager that she wanted to become a singer after an inspirational performance in a high-school rendition of The Wiz. At the age of 22, she was discovered by producer and music executive Louil Silas, who signed her to Silas Records, his MCA subsidiary. In 1992, Moore was featured on El Debarge’s Top 15 single You Know What I Like, and she released Precious, her debut album

Propelled by the singles Love’s Taken Over and It’s Alright, Chante’s album went gold. Three more albums for Silas/MCA followed through 2000. Though Moore didn’t release any solo material for several years, she continued to have success with collaborative work. She and R. Kelly were featured on The Isley Brothers’ 2001 single Contagious, a Top 20 pop hit nominated for a Grammy in the category of R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.

Moore recorded a pair of albums – 2003’s Things That Lovers Do and 2006’s Uncovered/Covered – with her then husband, Kenny Lattimore. She followed those releases in 2008 with Love the Woman, issued on the Peak label. Moore later signed with the Shanachie label, where Moore Is Moore landed in 2013. Around the same time, she appeared in TV One’s R&B Divas spin-off R&B Divas LA. The Rise of the Phoenix, as well as the holiday album Christmas Back to You, followed in 2017.

Dr. Dawnn Lewis

Dr. Dawnn Lewis, a multitalented and multifaceted individual: President & CEO of Morning Jewel Inc. – a multi-platform production company in the areas of film, television, animation, music / music publishing & experiential events. She is also the Founder & CEO of the A New Day Foundation – a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, that provides financial & programmatic support to underprivileged youth and grassroots community based nonprofit organizations. In 2019, Dawnn received an Honorary Doctorate in the Humanities for her more than 40 years of unwavering service and support to underserved youth and communities across the county and abroad. She is a: Trumpet Award, Grammy Award-winning singer, multiple NAACP Image Award, BMI & ASCAP Award-winning songwriter, film, television & stage actor, a Series TV creator/producer and now an inductee into the Women Songwriters Hall Of Fame 2021. Dawnn co-stars in the new NETFLIX animated series: “KARMA’S WORLD”, as well as voicing several characters in the FOX series: “HOUSEBROKEN” and the newly released feature film “SING 2!”. Dawnn was recently seen guest starring alongside Angela Bassett in the hit FOX TV series: “911”, after she completed filming the new FOX Investigative Drama Series Pilots “BLOOD RELATIVE” - starring Melissa Leo and “LAST POLICE” - starring Lewis, Reno Williams & Blu Hunt. She is currently co-starring in the hit Broadway musical TINA (12 TONY Nominations), as ZELMA BULLOCK, Ms. Turner’s mother. Dawnn recently finished shooting the independent feature films BE THE LIGHT! , A CHRISTMAS RETREAT, and BLACK JACK CHRISTMAS after guest starring in the hit AMAZON series THE BOYS. Dawnn simultaneously recurred on three hit series: NBC’s THIS IS US!, TNT’s MAJOR CRIMES & the CW’s IZOMBIE! Dawnn can also be “heard” giving voice to several animated characters such as STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS as “Captain Carol Freeman”, (nominated for a Best Voice Actor NAACP Image Award 2021), “The Chief” in Where In The World Is Carmen San Diego”, “Patty” in APPLE & ONION, “LaBarbara” in FUTURAMA, “Mrs. Hanshaw” & “Mrs. Buttercup” in SOPHIA THE FIRST, “Granny McStuffins” in DOC MCSTUFFINS, “ as well as a variety of characters in THE SIMPSONS, CURIOUS GEORGE & Disney/Pixar’s Academy Award winning animated feature hits INSIDE OUT! and MONSTERS UNIVERSITY, SING 2!, and the soon to be released MINION’S 3! She’s served for several years on the National Advisory Board of the NATIONAL CENTER FOR CIVIL & HUMAN RIGHTS & the SAG-AFTRA National Board of Directors, while also serving as the Chair of the SAG-AFTRA Singers Committee. She currently serves as a Trustee for the SAG Pension Plan. Her TV credits include: VERONICA MARS, MAJOR CRIMES, A DIFFERENT WORLD (composer of shows theme song), HANGIN’ WITH MR. COOPER, ANY DAY NOW, THE SECRET LIFE OF THE AMERICAN TEENAGER and ONE TREE HILL. Dawnn’s record label, Morning Jewel Music, released her successful solo CD Worth Waiting For; the title song is featured in the Disney movie THE POOF POINT soundtrack, in which she starred. Dawnn’s CD’s: “Worth Waiting For” & “Donny McCullough & Friends: CANDLES IN THE WINDOW” are available on Amazon & iTunes. Her music has been used in several other Film and TV soundtracks, for Disney, ABC, NBC, HBO and WIGS Films. She’s recorded with or composed for Everett Harp, Patrice Rushen, Vanessa Williams, Nancy Wilson, Take 6, Wayman Tisdale, Grover Washington Jr., Quincy Jones & Tom Scott to name a few. Look for more detailed information about Dawnn:

Web site www.DAWNNLEWIS.com
www.ANewDayFoundation.net

FaceBook: Dawnn Lewis Official Fan Page
FaceBook: A New Day Foundation

Twitter & Instagram: @dawnn_lewis

James Pickens, Jr

JAMES PICKENS, JR. is an actor, producer and philanthropist. As an actor, he has the distinction of being an original cast member of the longest running medical drama in television history, Grey’s Anatomy. For his role as former chief of staff, Dr. Richard Webber, he earned a SAG Award, a People’s Choice Award and an NAACP Image Award.

Born and raised in Cleveland, OH, he began his acting career at Cleveland’s Karamu House, the oldest African-American theater in the United States. He moved to New York and performed in the historic 1981 production of A Soldiers’ Play at the Negro Ensemble Company with fellow cast members Denzel Washington and Samuel L. Jackson.

Upon moving to Los Angeles, Pickens worked steadily on both small and big screen, appearing in films directed by some of Hollywood’s finest directors, including, Steven Soderbergh Traffic, Oliver Stone’s Nixon, Warren Beatty’s Bulworth, and four Barry Levinson films: Jimmy Hollywood, Sleepers, Sphere and Liberty City. He portrayed slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers in Ghosts of Mississippi, which starred Whoopi Goldberg and was directed by Rob Reiner. He can next be seen in the upcoming film, 80 for Brady, with Jane Fonda.

His television credits include recurring roles on Beverly Hills, 90210, The X-Files (both the original and the reboot), The Practice, NYPD Blue, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The West Wing, Roseanne and the reincarnation of that series, The Conners, and many more.

As a producer, he has several projects in the works, including his passion project, a film on the life of the first Black U.S. marshal, Bass Reeves.

In his spare time, he hosts an annual team roping event, which attracts some of the best competitive team ropers in the sport. Proceeds from this event benefit the James Pickens, Jr. Foundation, a charity he co-founded with his wife of 30 years, Gina Taylor-Pickens. The foundation’s mission is to enhance the lives of families and children in underserved communities.

AJ Coulter

AJ Coulter is a 5-year kidney dialysis patient and comedian who strives to inspire people through his comedy. In the past, playing college football meant everything to him. While playing, he noticed his performance was slowly declining and he was showing signs of protein in his urine.

At the time, he didn't know what that meant. There wasn't enough information provided to him back then. But today, through organizations like NephCure, more and more resources and support are available to rare kidney disease patients. Now, AJ trains every day, like he did in football, to strengthen his comedy so he can battle his kidney disease. He pours everything he has into delivering his message and is ecstatic to be an advocate for NephCure.

Dr. Kimberly Smith

Dr. Kimberly Smith, Head of Research & Development at ViiV Healthcare is a pioneering woman of color dedicated to ending the HIV epidemic through her visionary practices and innovative approach to clinical development.

Dr. Smith started her career at as a clinician in Chicago, Illinois at Rush University Medical Center, at the height of the HIV epidemic, where she focused on the impact of gender and racial disparities within the HIV community – and was one of the few physicians to explore this relationship at the time. Her patient-focused approach to innovative science was established early on in her career on the frontlines of HIV care, as she is now dedicated to advancing industry leading treatment and prevention options for all people living with HIV.

In 2022, 30 years after beginning her career as a physician and clinical researcher, Dr. Smith continues to drive the research and development of groundbreaking long-acting and simplified treatment and prevention options that have disrupted the HIV care paradigm. In collaboration with her dedicated team of researchers, Dr. Smith continues to lead innovation in search of a cure to end the epidemic once and for all.

Mirella Díaz-Santos

Mirella Díaz-Santos, PhD is a Spanish-English bilingual and bicultural neuropsychologist, and an Assistant Professor In-Residence in the Department of Neurology with a dual appointment with the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine. Dr. Díaz-Santos is the director and founder of the “Equity for Latinx-Hispanic Healthy Aging (ELHA) Lab,” at UCLA Easton Center for Alzheimer’s Research and Care in Neurology, with a focus on prevention, and early detection/diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) in Latinx communities. Her area of expertise is the ADRD science of recruitment and retention by the implementation and sustainability of mixed-method Community Partnered Participatory Research (CPPR) interventions transforming healthcare systems and academic infrastructures equipped to foster ADRD research accessibility, and inclusion

Tony Cornelius

Tony Cornelius is a veteran in television production which includes network television, first-run syndication and cable. Tony has successfully assisted in negotiating mergers and acquisitions of upward to 30 million dollars as well as oversaw years of multi-million dollar production budgets, video archives and photo libraries. As founder of The Don Cornelius Foundation as well as a National Board member for the America Foundation of Suicide Prevention - both organizations focus on suicide awareness and prevention, as well as helping those who have lost loved ones and supporting those in transition. Tony is currently host of the Soul Train Cruise which celebrates its 10th year anniversary January 2023. He’s also in development of the Soul Train musical-on Broadway and was executive producer of American Soul, a dramatic television series on BET, now running on BET Plus and Amazon Prime.

Wendy Short Bartie

Wendy Short Bartie is the Senior Vice President and Head of US Oncology. In this capacity, Wendy is responsible for leading the strategy and operations for solid tumor program in the US market.

A compassionate and strategic leader, her career journey has taken many turns, but her path has always been clear – the commitment to help people - first as a lawyer/public defender, and then as a pharmaceutical industry professional, continuing to act as a voice for those with unmet needs and unequal access.

Prior to joining BMS, Wendy was Vice President and Head of Commercial Operations for US Oncology at Merck. In this capacity, Wendy was responsible for leading the Sales, Key Accounts, Market Access, Pricing and Policy organizations within the US Business Unit. Previously, Wendy served as Associate Vice-President of Global Marketing for Genitourinary Cancers (GU), including renal cell carcinoma, prostate cancer and bladder cancer and as the Global Disease Lead for Women’s Cancer. Prior to joining Merck, Wendy held a range of commercial roles with increasing responsibility in sales, business analytics and marketing in cardiovascular neuroscience, osteoporosis, lung cancer, supportive care and chronic myeloid leukemia at various companies including Novartis, Heron Therapeutics, Johnson and Johnson, Pharmacia and Abbott Labs.

Prior to her career in pharma, Wendy was a Public Defender in Washington, DC and Bronx, New York.

Wendy received her Bachelor of Arts from Clark Atlanta University and her Juris Doctor from Loyola University Chicago, School of Law.

Wendy is an HBA Rising Star and was recognized by HBA as a Luminary in 2020.

Wendy’s favorite hobbies include painting and reading. When Wendy isn’t working, painting and reading, she is serving as Vice President for the Greater Essex County Chapter of Jack and Jill Incorporated and doing philanthropic work to limit the digital divide for children without access to personal computers or internet.

Wendy, her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her daughter, Madison, and the family dog, Joy reside in West Orange, New Jersey.

Garvin Davis, MD

Dr. Davis is the director of retina service and surgery at the Cizik Eye Clinic. He joined the McGovern Medical School at UTHealth in 2009, after spending five years at University of Texas Medical Branch.

He grew up in Louisiana and earned an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1998, he graduated from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he also earned a master’s degree in public health.

Dr. Davis completed his residency at the Wills Eye Hospital at Jefferson University in 2002 and his fellowship in vitreoretinal disease and surgery at Baylor College of Medicine in 2004.

At the Cizik Eye Clinic, Dr. Davis can combine his passions for patient care and medical technology application. He was involved, for example, in surgically implanting the first FDA-approved retinal implant to restore some sight for a patient with genetic vision loss.

He has also served as the president of the Houston chapter of the National Medical Association, an organization dedicated to promoting physicians and patients of African descent.

Gregory Scott Brown, MD

Psychiatrist, Mental Health Writer & Affiliate Faculty,University of Texas Dell Medical School

Dr. Scott is a board-certified psychiatrist, writer, wellness advocate, and affiliate faculty member at the University of Texas Dell Medical School. He believes we can work together to fight mental health stigma by having open and honest conversations about mental health. Dr. Brown is an advocate for evidence-based integrative care that includes incorporating exercise, mindfulness, meditation, and nutrition with standard of care treatments for mental illness. His new book, THE SELF-HEALING MIND: AN ESSENTIAL FIVE-STEP PRACTICE FOR OVERCOMING ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION, AND REVITALIZING YOUR LIFE is available now.

Ogo Egbuna, MD

Dr. Ogo Egbuna is a passionate physician scientist with nearly two decades of clinical, academic, and drug development experience. Originally from West Africa, he completed medical school at the University of Nigeria before emigrating to the United States, where he completed his residency in internal medicine at Mount Sinai followed by clinical fellowships in nephrology and kidney transplant medicine at the University of Rochester and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, respectively. Dr. Egbuna then completed a Masters in Clinical Investigation from the Harvard/MIT School of Health Sciences and Technology and was on faculty teaching residents, caring for patients, and conducting National Institutes of Health-funded research at the Harvard Medical School.

Throughout his early career, Dr. Egbuna received several honors and awards for his exceptional academic and clinical work and received over a dozen invitations to give oral presentations on topics ranging from kidney disease clinical research to disparities in access to kidney care and transplantations for underserved minorities. He spent ten years at Amgen as a Clinical Research Medical Director for both early and late phase clinical development programs, interacting with a wide range of medical, regulatory, and business stakeholders. During this time, he also began teaching and mentoring medical students as an assistant clinical professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

Currently, Dr. Egbuna is the Vice President, Clinical Development and also the Global Clinical Development Lead for Vertex Pharmaceutical’s APOL1-mediated focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) program, which aims to develop a potentially curative treatment for the underlying cause of APOL1-mediated Kidney Disease. In addition to his role at Vertex and his professorship, Dr. Egbuna also offers pro bono advice to the leadership of KidneySolutions, a kidney disease and dialysis center in Lagos, Nigeria, on standardization and implementation of policies and clinical procedures as well as the use of modern technologies for dialysis and electronic medical records.

Sheri Prentiss, MD, MPH, CSP

Dr. Sheri (pronounced Sher-Ree) Prentiss is a proven visionary, best-selling author, and highly sought-after physician leader. Since 2017, she has served as Chief Medical Officer and Public Health Lead at CIEN+ to bring both an inclusive and evidence-driven approach to promoting health equity and better outcomes. She is an occupational & environmental medicine physician, public health expert, professional speaker—CSP® (Certified Speaking Professional™), and a breast cancer survivor. She has served as National Spokesperson for Susan G. Komen as well as their National Ambassador for Health Equity.

After breast cancer treatment left her disabled from lymphedema in her right upper extremity, stripping her of her life-long dream of being a practicing physician, she re-invented herself and went on to become a national public figure, professional speaker, and entrepreneur/owner of her own healthcare consulting business. She has been the catalyst for transformation in the space of cultural and workplace diversity for a myriad of organizations for more than two decades.

In addition to helping patients and healthcare practitioners transform how healthcare is delivered and experienced she also shares her story, her voice, her life, and her victory in awe-inspiring and motivational ways. Dr. Sheri brings the unique perspective of being a patient and a physician to her impassioned and captivating speeches. Her remarkable story of pain, loss, and change has inspired hundreds of thousands of people across the country and abroad. As an expert in transformative medicine, a natural extension of her personal vision and mission in life is to educate consumers that healthcare and being healthy should be experienced joyfully. As such she has become the Queen of How to Let Go & LIVE and creator of Medicine Meets Ministry: Dr. Sheri’s Blueprint on How to Let Go & LIVETM, a step-by-step program that teaches individuals how to shift their focus from what they’ve lost to what remains in order to bring a new vision, path, and purpose for their life into view.

She has been featured in The New England Journal of Medicine, MORE, Essence, Oxygen, Today’s Chicago Woman, Weinberg Magazine, and the Chicago Tribune among other notable publications. She has also been featured in hundreds of television and radio interviews reaching millions with her expertise in helping individuals unlock their potential, boost their self-esteem, set new directions, and prepare for life-long achievements. Dr. Sheri is the founder of the LIVE Today Foundation, Inc., a 501c3 nonprofit organization meeting the needs of under-resourced cancer patients and survivors living with lymphedema. She is also the creator and host of The LIVE Today Show, which airs at 5:30 pm CST every 2nd Wednesday of the month on CANTV Channel 21 and streams live at cantv.org/hotline. She is also the creator of the one of its kind podcast “Where Medicine Meets Ministry: Dr. Sheri Talks Faith & Facts” addressing fundamental questions when it comes to spirituality, health, medicine, death, dying, and faith using a combination of a solo-cast, case studies, testimonies, and interviews with guest experts.

Dr. Prentiss obtained the following degrees: BA, with honors, Northwestern University 1989; MD, with honors, Loyola Stritch School of Medicine 1993; MPH, with a 5.0 GPA University of Illinois School of Public Health 1998; CPE (Certified Physician Executive), CCMM 2007; CSP® (Certified Speaking Professional™), National Speakers Association. She is a member of the American College of Occupational & Environmental Medicine as well as a Fellow, Former Director of the Board, and CPE Tutorial teaching Fellow of the American Association for Physician Leadership.

BERTRAM THOMAS, JR.

Bertram Thomas, Jr. was admitted to the College of Public Health DrPH program as a part-time student in 2012. Mr. Thomas previously earned an MPH in Health Policy from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a BA (honors) in Psychology from Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA. While attending Morehouse College, he was selected to be a Ronald McNair Scholar. He completed his research internship at the Georgia Institute of Technology and represented the TRIO Programs on Capitol Hill as an intern at the United States Student Association.

Professional was a member of the Clinical Outcomes Team in the Behavioral Clinical Surveillance Branch of the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention (DHAP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where he and his team earned the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP) Director’s Award in May 2012. During his previous years at the CDC, he has presented an HIV/AIDS Geographic Information Systems analyses oral presentation at several national conferences, including the 2002 American Public Health Association Conference and the 2005 CDC National HIV/AIDS Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. He was also published in the 2002 “Special Supplement to AIDS Education and Prevention.” Mr. Thomas was selected by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement to attend their 2013 Quality Leadership forum in Cambridge, MA, and is a graduate of the 2017-2018 University of Georgia Graduate School Emerging Leaders Program. His doctoral dissertation research is in Health Department Accreditation and Quality Improvement metrics, and he anticipates completing the Doctor of Public Health Degree in 2022. Mr. Thomas plans to advance his leadership career in public health and focus on the changing dynamics of health department accreditation in rural and socioeconomically depressed communities through his current position as a Public Health Analyst at the Centers for Disease Control and prevention. Mr. Thomas is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and the Prince Hall Shriners. He is a Past Potentate of Al-Karim Shriners Temple No. 242 and currently serves as the second Imperial Director of the National Community Health Initiative. He enjoys spending his free time traveling with his wife, Ann Thomas, and their two children, Bianca and Madison.

Kamila Barnes, DNP, FNP-C

Dr. Kamila Barnes has been a RN for 14+ years and is currently an Assistant Professor of Nursing at Long Island University - Brooklyn and a NP clinician at Northwell Health. She is also the Founder/Owner of Barnes Health Affiliates, LLC at www.bhapro.com a multifaceted healthcare support services company dedicated to educating healthcare leaders, informing best practices, and elevating standards of care within communities. She completed her Doctorate (DNP) and Masters (MS) degrees at the University of Rochester, School of Nursing. She also graduated from Binghamton University with a Bachelors of Science in Nursing and a minor in Spanish.

Dr. Barnes is an active community volunteer in her nursing organizations as the President of Theta Chi Chapter, Inc. of Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Inc. and Former 2nd VP (Founding Board Member) of Greater New York City- Black Nurses Association, Inc. Previous Special Awards and Recognitions include the NBNA Under 40 Award, National Sojourner Truth Award, Marguerite Creth Jackson Award, and Mary E. Mahoney Award.

Selena Gilles, ANP-BC, ANP-BC, CNEcl, FNYAM

Dr. Selena A Gilles is Clinical Associate Professor and Associate Dean of the Undergraduate Program a New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing. Dr. Gilles has a DNP from Monmouth University (2014), a MS in Adult Health Nursing from Hunter College, City University of New York, (Cum Laude, 2010) and a BS with a major in Nursing degree from Long Island University (With Honors, 2005).

Dr Gilles is a certified Clinical Nurse Educator and is also certified in Critical Care Nursing. She has been a Nurse Educator for 12 years. Dr Gilles has been an Adult Nurse Practitioner for 12 years, specializing in Neuro and Pain Management. Dr Gilles is passionate about the management of acute and chronic pain, as well as opioid overdose prevention. She is the Program Director of the Greater NYC Black Nurses Association Opioid Overdose Prevention Program. She has strong community advocacy and passion for global health, currently working with organizations aimed to serve the underprivileged and underserved communities in Haiti and Ghana.

Dr. Gilles is currently a member of six professional organizations/associations, including serving as Past President and current Treasurer of Meyers’ Sigma Upsilon Chapter, and Programming and Community Service Committee Chair for the Greater NYC Black Nurses Association. Dr Gilles is an NLN LEAD Alum (2019) Penn Wharton Nurse Executive Leader Alum (2020). She has received the NBNA Under 40 Award (2019) and Nurse of the Year Award for Community Service (2020). She has also received the Leota P Brown Community Service Award from Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Inc (2021). Dr Gilles is the recipient of the GNYCBNA Nurse of the Year for Community Service (2021) and the NYU Meyers Humanitarian Award (2021). Dr Gilles is also a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine (2020).

Dr. Brittany Richards, DNP, FNP-BC, RN-BC, NEA-BC

Dr. Brittany R. Richards is a Brooklyn Native, a first-generation American, and proud daughter of Jamaican parents. She is an alumna of the University at Buffalo where she completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Magna Cum Laude, and was the sole recipient of the Excellence in Nursing Award.

Dr. Richards is a Doctoral prepared and Board-Certified Family Nurse Practitioner and an experienced Nurse Educator. While working as a full-time Critical Care Registered Nurse, Brittany concurrently pursued her Master of Science in Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice at Columbia University. Her passion to be of service to all extends to her membership in various organizations such as Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated., Church of God of Prophecy, Board member of Friends of NYC Nurse-Family Partnership, where she is able to influence change surrounding the Black Maternal Health crisis.

Dr. Richards is the Chair of the Health Policy Committee for the Greater NYC Chapter of the National Black Nurses Association (GNYCBNA) and was instrumental in coordinating informative town halls about COVID-19. When NYC became the Epicenter of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Dr. Richards continued to work as a Nurse Educator remotely, while battling the virus on the frontline as a Critical Care Registered Nurse.

Kamila Barnes, DNP, FNP-C

Dr. Kamila Barnes has been a RN for 14+ years and is currently an Assistant Professor of Nursing at Long Island University - Brooklyn and a NP clinician at Northwell Health. She is also the Founder/Owner of Barnes Health Affiliates, LLC at www.bhapro.com a multifaceted healthcare support services company dedicated to educating healthcare leaders, informing best practices, and elevating standards of care within communities. She completed her Doctorate (DNP) and Masters (MS) degrees at the University of Rochester, School of Nursing. She also graduated from Binghamton University with a Bachelors of Science in Nursing and a minor in Spanish.

Dr. Barnes is an active community volunteer in her nursing organizations as the President of Theta Chi Chapter, Inc. of Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Inc. and Former 2nd VP (Founding Board Member) of Greater New York City- Black Nurses Association, Inc. Previous Special Awards and Recognitions include the NBNA Under 40 Award, National Sojourner Truth Award, Marguerite Creth Jackson Award, and Mary E. Mahoney Award.

Jewels Adams, MSN, FNP, NEA-BC

Jewels Adams is an experienced nurse leader with a passion for serving in under served communities. Graduate of Emory University MSN as a family nurse practitioner. Undergraduates University of Phoenix BSN. Currently working as an Administrative Nurse Manager at Montefiore Wakefield. I am a member of GNYCBNA and past treasurer.

Yolanda Mageto, MD, MPH

Yolanda Mageto, MD, MPH, a pulmonary critical care specialist with nationally recognized expertise in interstitial lung disease (ILD), has assumed the role of Medical Director of Interstitial Lung Disease at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas. Dr. Mageto attended medical school at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri and completed her residency and training at University of Texas Southwestern and her fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle with a focus in ILD. Since that time she has held faculty positions at the University of Washington Seattle, University of Texas Southwestern and most recently University of Vermont where she rose to the rank of full Professor.

Dr. Mageto is a clinician, educator and researcher involved in multiple idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis/ILD trials over last 20 years including collaborations with investigators from other centers in sarcoidosis related lung disease. She remains actively involved in the total care and management of her patients. Dr. Mageto is dedicated to the development of a Comprehensive Integrated Interstitial Lung disease program optimizing delivery of care to patients with interstitial lung disease in the Dallas Fort Worth Area.

Reverend Al Sharpton

The Reverend Al Sharpton is an internationally renowned civil rights leader, founder and President of the National Action Network (NAN), which has more than 100 chapters across the country. Hailed by former President Barack Obama as a “champion for the downtrodden,” Reverend Sharpton is the host of “Politics Nation” on MSNBC; a nationally syndicated daily radio show “Keepin’ It Real”; and a nationally broadcast radio show on Sunday titled, “The Hour of Power.”

A disciple of the teachings of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Reverend Sharpton has been at the forefront of the modern civil rights movement for nearly a half of a century. He has championed police reform and accountability, calling for the elimination of unjust policies like “Stop-and-Frisk.” He has fought for voting rights, equity in education and healthcare and LGBTQ rights. Across the years, Reverend Sharpton has advocated for those who have been victimized including Yusef Hawkins, Michael Stewart, Amadou Diallo, Abner Louima, Sean Bell, the Jena Six, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner and others.

A native of Brooklyn, New York, Reverend Sharpton preached his first sermon at the age of 4 at the historic Washington Temple Church of God in Christ. He was ordained at the age of 10 and by 13, he had been appointed Youth Director of New York’s Operation Breadbasket—the economic arm to Dr. King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).

Under the tutelage of his mentors—the Reverends Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., and William Augustus Jones, Jr—Reverend Sharpton honed his organizing and protest skills around economic and political boycotts and quickly emerged as a national figure. By the time he turned 16, Reverend Sharpton had founded the National Youth Movement, Inc, which organized young people around the country to push for increased voter registration, cultural awareness and job training programs. A fierce believer in the philosophy of nonviolent, direct-action protest, Reverend Sharpton founded National Action Network in 1991 and headquartered the organization in Harlem, all the while serving from 1993 to 1998 as director of the Minister’s Division for Reverend Jackson’s Rainbow Push Coalition.

Donna Richardson Joyner

Donna Richardson Joyner is a best-selling author, international motivational speaker and TV Host. She has spread the gospel of good health; mind, body and spirit. She has traveled to 50 states, 50 countries and 6 continents empowering, educating and energizing women, children and families. She started the business because she was sick and tired of seeing loved ones, church members and people in African American communities dying from preventable illnesses. Her mission is to help people become a witness to fitness by combining faith, fitness, food and fellowship.

For over 25 years Donna and her mom who is 81 years young blessed family, friends and celebrities with their historically rich family recipe, Mama LaVerne’s Chicken and Waffles. They are passing down a generational legacy and for the first ever they have packaged chicken seasoning waffle and pancake mix so you can enjoy at home. In the midst of the pandemic, personal loss of loved ones, family illnesses, uncertainties and challenges they stepped out on faith and packaged love and legacy into the mixes so you, family and friends can share traditions and create memories.

Donna attended Hollins University and was a teacher at Montgomery County Community College. She is the only council member appointed by President Bush and President Obama to serve on the President’s Council for Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. She was an ambassador for First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move Initiative.” Donna has starred in over 25 award winning videos including best-selling “Buns of Steel” which sold over 10 million copies. She starred in best- selling videos ESPN, Nike, Sweating in the Spirit, Body Gospel and her own line of videos. Her Sweating in the Spirit DVD was featured in Tyler Perry’s movie “Diary of a Mad Black Woman.” Donna was one of Nike’s Female Athletes to have her own signature shoe, The Donna Richardson “Air Max Mundo.” She created the first Tiny House for retail for women and men clothing and accessories. Donna continues to be a strong leader and innovator.

Donna is a TV Contributor for CNN, MSNBC, FOX, ABC, TBN and other networks. She was the producer and host of “The Donna Richardson’s Mind, Body and Spirit Show,” and “The Sweating in the Spirit Show” on the Word Network. She also was the former co-host of the ESPN Fitness Pro’s Show” and fitness expert for NBC “Today Show.” Donna has appeared in commercials and print advertisement for Proctor & Gamble, Kellogg’s, McDonald’s, Kmart, Walmart, ESPN, Nike, PGA, LPGA, etc.

Donna has lectured and conducted seminars at schools, community centers, churches, corporations, universities and senior centers around the globe. She has been a featured speaker with God’s Leading Ladies, Sisters in the Spirit, Pantene Total You, Eliminating Childhood Obesity and many other tours. Donna climbed the tallest free standing mountain in the world, Kilimanjaro and served on a missionary that provided food, clothes and school supplies for thousands of children at orphanages in Arusha, Africa. She led the first team of African American Women to run 200 miles in the Hood to Coast Relay and raised funds for the American Cancer Society. She ran in the Paris Marathon, raising awareness and funds for the North Dallas Suicide Crisis Center. Donna continues to create change and make a difference through her philanthropic and humanitarian work.

Donna was inducted into The National Fitness Hall of Fame and was named by Essence Magazine “One of Twenty Five of The Most Inspiring Women in America.” She received the Mental & Physical Health Award from the Congressional Black Caucus. She was awarded the “Family Leadership Legacy Award” by the Jack & Jill of America Foundation. Donna broke the Guinness Book of World Records for the world’s largest line dance with over 50,000 participants at Mega-fest with Bishop T.D. Jakes. She was also selected by Fitness Magazine as one of the top movers and shakers. She received The Centennial Health Award from Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the Presidential Award from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Donna was on the advisory board for The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Boys and Girls Club of America. She served on the board for Women Sports Foundation and the Tom Joyner Foundation. Donna was a board member for The LPGA Foundation and a former Spokesperson for the PGA of America. She taught for several years in South Africa at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for girls.

Ramona Burress

Ramona Burress is the Associate Director, Diversity & Inclusion in Clinical Trials at Janssen. In this role, she is committed to leading activities necessary to increase participation of underrepresented and underserved populations in clinical research through partnerships with community organizations. Ramona joined Janssen in 2019 as an Infectious Disease Senior Medical Science Liaison (MSL). She established relationships with key opinion leaders and engaged in scientific exchange while supporting company-sponsored trials and responding to unsolicited medical information requests.

Ramona’s decade-long career of healthcare leadership has been dedicated to promoting health equity. Her prior role as a Healthcare Specialty Supervisor with Walgreens, required extensive medical and business knowledge to manage 13 specialized-locations serving patients with HIV, Hepatitis, Chronic Inflammatory Diseases, Cancer and other complicated health conditions. Ramona has earned multiple degrees, including a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Dr. Randolph D. Sconiers, DSW, LCSW (Dr. S)

Dr. Randolph D. Sconiers, DSW, LCSW (Dr. S) is a Doctor of Social Work (2014) and a NJ Licensed Clinical Social Worker (2011). Dr. S is a Mental-Health Therapist in Private Practice with over 20 years of experience in Mental-Health Therapy, Mental-Health Education and Advocacy. As a Mental-Health Therapist, Dr. S has been featured in the Huffington Post, by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), and has appeared multiple times on NYC’s Hot97/Fox5’s Street Soldiers Show with Lisa Evers for his work in the areas of Mental-Health and Hip-Hop Culture! Dr. S is the Owner and Creator of Mental-Hop, which focuses on Mental-Health Education through Hip-Hop Culture as well as an Adjunct Professor for the Graduate School of Social Work at Kean University in NJ.

Dr. Cesar Rodriguez Valdes

Dr. Cesar Rodriguez Valdes, an experienced multiple myeloma physician, sees patients at both Mount Sinai Brooklyn and the Ruttenberg Treatment Center. Dr. Rodriguez is Associate Professor of Medicine (Hematology and Medical Oncology) and Clinical Director of Multiple Myeloma at The Mount Sinai Hospital. He completed specialized training in cancer biology and therapeutics at Harvard Medical School and has expertise in early phase clinical trials.

Dr. Rodriguez is particularly interested in early development drugs and immunotherapy; he serves as committee leader for immunotherapy in myeloma for the Clinical Trials Network Myeloma Intergroup. Dr. Rodriguez is fluent in English, Spanish, and French.

Lisa Lewis, MPH

Lisa Lewis is the Director, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in Clinical Trials, Oncology. Lisa’s primary responsibility is to partner with key stakeholders in the Oncology Therapeutic area, to lead, develop and implement diversity and inclusion strategies to enhance Janssen company-sponsored studies, to ensure that the oncology trial patient population more closely represents real world patients who use our products.

Jaszianne Tolbert, MD

Dr. Tolbert is a board-certified Pediatrician and Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist formally trained in Pediatric Clinical pharmacology. She worked as a Physician Scientist in Academia and Director of a Pediatric Early Phase Clinical Trial program before joining Janssen in 2019. While at Janssen she has worked in the solid tumor DAS on Erdafitinib (Bal versa) tumor agnostic and bladder cancer clinical trials and currently works in the Heme DAS on cusatuzamab clinical trials for Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) and talquetamab clinical trials for relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma.

Darla Miles

Darla Miles is an Emmy Award winning reporter for the number one news station in the country, WABC-TV Eyewitness News in New York City. She joined the team as a general assignment reporter in 2009. In 2020, her role broadened in scope as the creator, executive producer, director and writer of the documentary “Set the Record Straight: The Jam Master Jay Case,” which aired on all ABC Owned Television Station across the country, its streaming platforms and Hulu. Darla has also served as a fill-in anchor for ABC News World News Now and America This Morning.

In addition to her work at WABC-TV, Darla volunteers often as a moderator and public speaker, serving generously as an emcee for countless award ceremonies and civic events across the Tri-State area. She was honored in June 2021 by the National Coalition of 100 Black Women with the “We are the Light Award” for community service. As a member of the Links, Incorporated, Darla has been instrumental in implementing programming for at-risk youth, children in foster care and homebound seniors in her community. Abroad, Darla has participated in a mission trip to rural schools in Jamaica and also introduced a high-tech concept to the Angel Rock Project South Africa that ultimately brought a clean a drinking water system to three schools in an impoverished township in Johannesburg. Prior to moving to the Tri-State area, Darla has served as mentor for Big Brothers and Big Sisters and as a board member of Communities in Schools.

Fluent in Spanish, Darla began her journalism career as a technical operator with CNN Español in Atlanta, helping to launch the 24-hour network in 1997. From CNN en Español, Darla moved to reporting and anchoring roles at WJBF in Augusta, WTVD in Raleigh-Durham, and WFAA in Dallas/Fort Worth – and has worked as a weekend anchor for CNN Headline News – before landing in her current position in New York City in 2009.

A native of Ft. Worth, Texas, Darla earned a B.A. in English with a minor in Spanish from Atlanta's Spelman College. During her undergraduate studies, she spent a semester abroad through Syracuse University’s Division of International Programs Abroad at the Instituto Internacional in Madrid, Spain and her post-graduate studies include attending the prestigious Yale University Writers Workshop in New Haven, CT. Darla is also a member of the National Association of Black Journalists.

Elijah Westbrook

Elijah Westbrook is an Emmy-Award Winning journalist. He joined CBS2 News and CBS News New York in January 2022. Elijah graduated from Quinnipiac University in 2015 earning his bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism with a minor in marketing. His first job out of college was a news associate at "CBS This Morning" (now "CBS Mornings"). After spending a year working for that show, he landed his first on-air job as a reporter for WROC News 8 in Rochester, New York. There he covered high profile court cases, politics and chased major weather events such as blizzards and flooding.

In 2019, Elijah was then hired to work as a morning news reporter and later became a fill-in anchor for WBFF Fox45 in Baltimore, Maryland. There he exposed political corruption inside city hall, including being one of the first to break the news about a scandal that eventually led to criminal charges for former Mayor Catherine Pugh. Elijah also won an Emmy for his live in-depth reporting on a Black Lives Matter protest in the summer of 2020.

When Elijah is not on the air, he loves traveling, running, spending time with family and friends, and out of all things, watching documentaries about infrastructure.

Fun Fact: Elijah wanted to be a civil engineer and design city neighborhoods prior to pursuing journalism. Elijah and his family are from Harlem, NYC and avidly watched CBS2 News growing up. It's a full circle moment and dream come true for him to work with the station. He is excited to be reporting in the Big Apple.

Donna Hubbard McCree, PhD, MPH, RPh

Dr. Donna Hubbard McCree is the Associate Director for Health Equity, National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSPT), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia.

She has forty years of experience in Public Health and Pharmacy; twenty-one years at CDC. She completed the Doctor of Philosophy, Delta Omega (1997) and Master of Public Health (1987) degrees at The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland in Health Policy and Management with a specialty in Social and Behavioral Sciences. She also completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Preventive Medicine with a specialty in sexually transmitted disease prevention at Emory University Rollins School of Public Health. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree, summa cum laude, (1982) in Pharmacy from Howard University and is a registered pharmacist. She has held numerous positions in the fields of Public Health and Pharmacy including academia, bioavailability research, professional association management, and retail and hospital pharmacy practice. Her work has resulted in more than 80 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters, and 200 presentations at international and national scientific meetings.

Dr. McCree served as CDC Co-Chair for the Health Equity Goal, HIV National Strategic Plan 2021-2025. She is Guest Co-Editor for an AIDS and Behavior Supplement on HIV and Stigma (2021), was lead Co-Editor of a book focused on HIV in African American communities, African Americans and HIV: Understanding and Addressing The Epidemic (2010, Springer) and Guest Co-Editor for a theme issue of the American Journal of Public Health (2009). Dr. McCree was also recently featured in the Hopkins Bloomberg Public Health magazine Masters of Public Health: The MPH Centennial, and the CDC 75th Anniversary Series. Additionally, she is the recipient of numerous awards including election as the inaugural Non-Academic Co-Chair of the American Public Health Association Pharmacy Section; a 2018 Outstanding Service and Leadership Award, American Public Health Association, Pharmacy Section; 2017 HUCOP Alumni Legacy by Decades Award from the Howard University Pharmacy Alumni Association; 2016 NCHHSTP Deputy Director’s Mentoring Award; a 2015 NCHHSTP Award for Excellence in Program or Policy Evaluation; and a 2009 DHAP Minority Health Mentor/Champion of Excellence Award for outstanding commitment and achievement as a mentor. On August 30, 2012, Dr. McCree was honored with a prestigious Distinguished Alumna Award from The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. This award is presented to alumni who typify the Johns Hopkins tradition of excellence and have brought credit to the university by their personal accomplishments, professional achievement, or humanitarian service.

Dr. McCree is a Life Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated (Alpha Chapter 1979; charter member of Phi Phi Omega Chapter) and a member of The Links Incorporated, Azalea City (GA) Chapter. She currently serves as the National HIV Initiative Chair for The Links, Incorporated. She has been married to CDR. Victor M. McCree, CDR, USNR-R, for 39 years. They are the proud parents of two adult sons, Jarryd (Antoinette) and Micah (Tiffany).

Beverely Elliott, MA

Beverely Elliott is a retired educator but is presently the Executive Director of the African American Museum of Southern Arizona www.aamsaz.org. She has been a part of the helping professions her entire life. She began her career as a respiratory therapist but due to beginning a family she changed career and became an educator. Beverely taught health and fitness for over 10 years, at the prestigious Canyon Ranch Resort becoming the Fitness Director. Her next move was to public education. Her tenure with the Tucson Unified School District lasted for more than 25 years. She started as a strategies project specialist working in various high schools. She became an advisor to at-risk students; working with the African American Studies Department. With success in tow she became a school counselor at various high schools for many years and also worked at Alice Vail Middle School specializing in academic, career, social and personal counseling.

Additionally, Beverely has been a graduate counseling advisor for the University of Arizona, the University of Phoenix and Prescott College. She is a member of the American School Counselors Association and the Arizona School Counselors Association. She has served as Special Recognitions Chair, Membership Chair, and Secondary Vice President and received special recognition with the Arizona State School Counselors Association. She is a grant recipient of the Rocky Mountain Association of College Admissions Counselors. Beverely appeared on a National PBS television Series “Transforming Higher Education: Access and Affordability for all Students”. Participation in this live broadcast is one example of Beverely’s regard as a national expert in the field of counseling and guidance.

Beverely has placed numerous students at Clark, Tuskegee, Alabama A & M and the University of Arizona to name a few. Many have graduated and are working in corporate America as managers and directors. In 2003, the Arizona School Counselors Association (AZSCA) acclaimed Beverely as the “High School Counselor of the Year”. She once again received national recognition in 2006, as The “Secondary/ High School Counselor of the Year” by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA).

No situation or problem is too big for this woman. Anything God lays before Beverely, she is going to get through it! She is a two-time cancer survivor; was a full time student while she was rearing her children and working; she is an active participant in supporting her husband; and she is a leader in professional and civic organizations of which she is a member. She has been a member of the Tucson Chapter of The Links, Incorporated for 32 years.

Joe Barksdale

Singer/songwriter/producer Joe Barksdale describes his musical path as beginning with “gospel, rap, soul, and R&B, the four major food groups for black, inner-city Detroit.” With a style fueled by an eclectic genre mix, influences included Jimi Hendrix, Marvin Gaye, Sly and the Family Stone, Teddy Pendergrass, and Kanye West. His unique sound smoothly blends aspects from blues, soul, jazz, rock, and more, creating an immersive experience at once both upbeat and up-close-and-personal — a captivating world spreading a message of love and unity, harmoniously uniting people through music.

Joe’s 2017 debut album, Butterflies, Rainbows & Moonbeans, was followed in rapid succession by Electric Soul (2019), produced by the legendary Narada Michael Walden, Sincerely (2020), R & B(eats) (2020), and most recently, 2021’s The Kyber Tapes, an homage to his Star Wars obsession.

A passion for engineering led Barksdale to the Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program at age 13. When that didn’t work out, football was one of few summer activity options available. All-American honors as a Cass Technical High School lineman led to scholarship offers, and acceptance of Louisiana State University’s offer, enhanced by its engineering program. After starting on LSU’s 2008 NCAA championship team, he played with the Raiders, Rams, Chargers, and Cardinals. Concluding an 8-year NFL run, Barksdale hung up his cleats in 2019 to pursue music full-time, settling in Austin, Texas with his wife Brionna and two young daughters.

Depression, long-undiagnosed Autism Spectrum Disorder, and a childhood peppered with abuse, rejection, and neglect fed a strong inner critic clamoring to divert Barksdale from his goals. In his youth, football and music lessons fostered resilience, while therapy as an adult re-channeled his energies to focus on excellence. After the passing of Cass coach and mentor Charleston Fobbs in 2013, Rams coach Jeff Fisher encouraged rekindling his love for music as a creative outlet to cope with grief. Music became a voice previously missing from his life, with professional instruction fine-tuning his multiple gifts. Concurrently, he fosters awareness to tackle the stigma surrounding mental illness — including publicly sharing his own experience of 20+ years silently suffering with depression and suicidal thoughts — to encourage others to seek help.

Focused, driven, and competitive in all pursuits, Barksdale is committed to emerging as his generation’s premier guitar player, eyeing Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction. Refusing constraint to a single creative outlet, he’s an avid journaler and poet, and relishes his role as Tech Lord of the Sith, producing quick, irreverent product review videos. Simultaneously enamored with comedy — citing Bill Burr, Dave Chappelle, and Patrice O’Neal as primary influences — he includes the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor among future ambitious goals. A dedicated artisan defying singular categorization, Barksdale is confidently making his mark across a far-reaching creative galaxy, forcefully checking multiple boxes along his journey.

Rolonda Watts

For almost four decades, her name, face, and distinctive voice have been known by audiences everywhere, thanks to her many award-winning works in television, radio, film, digital media, comedy, and her romance suspense novel, DESTINY LINGERS, endorsed by Dr. Maya Angelou.

Most know her by one name, Rolonda, under which she launched her own internationally syndicated talk show (1994-1998), produced by King World Productions in association with her company, Watts Works Productions.

Years before her talk show, Rolonda was an Emmy Nominated investigative news reporter, anchorwoman and producer for Inside Edition, WABC-TV Eyewitness News, WNBC, New Jersey Nightly News, and WFMY-TV.

From News to Talk to Hollywood to Stage, Rolonda, forever The Reinventionist, just made her Off- Broadway debut in “Sandblasted” - a joint theatrical project by The Vineyard Theatre and The Women’s Project Theatre in NYC, where she now lives. In TV & movies, Rolonda stars as Hazel Wilson in the new MC Lyte sitcom, Partners in Rhyme on ALLBLK ... She plays Adaline Palmer, Chunk’s mother, on BULL (CBS). She was also FBI Forensic Pathologist, Dr. Melissa Meyers, on Criminal Minds (CBS). In stand up comedy, Ro headlined at Caroline’s on Broadway in NY and in LA at The Comedy Store, The Ice House, Flappers, Ha! Ha!, The Comedy Union, The J Spot and more.

Ro’s deep, rich, and raspy voice is one of the most recognized in the VoiceOver business where she is also a top voice coach with her Voice Acting Master Class. Rolonda is heard in dozens of commercials and as the Announcer and Promo voice for Divorce Court (FOXTV), Judge Joe Brown (CBS), The Daily Helpline, and Temptation, the game show.

In animation, Rolonda voices the role of Professor Wiseman on Curious George, Mary Sinclair in LEGO City Adventures, Aunt P. In The Incredible Fight Girl, Madagascar, King Fu Panda, Cannon Busters, and stars with Tyler Perry in his first animated movie, Tyler Perry’s Medea’s Tough Love.

In video games, Rolonda is the voice of Warrior Priestess Illaoi in League of Legends. The McDonald’s Corporation honored Ro as “A Broadcast Legend.” Facebook & Business magazine calls her “The Queen of All Media.”

There are official “Rolonda Days” in New York City and Newark, New Jersey. Rolonda holds degrees from Spelman College and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and an Honorary Doctorate from Winston-Salem State University. Rolonda lives in New York City with her rescue Terrier, Langston Hughes.

You can check out Rolonda’s podcast - Rolonda on Demand, visit her website at rolonda.com and follow her on social media @rolondawatts

Alicia Butler

Alicia Butler is a native of Seattle, WA and currently serves as the Health and Wellness PolicyAdviser for the National Action Network (NAN), where she is charged with handling all of theirnational health and wellness initiatives centering black health equity. She has worked diligentlyleading the charge on NAN’s Covid-19 response efforts, engaged in conversations on theexpansion of the Affordable Care Act, and worked with other civil rights organizations andcorporate partners to address pressing health inequities in the African American community.She also works closely with Capitol Hill; acting as a congressional liaison, tracking importanthealth legislation and recommendations for NAN to take the charge on.

Prior to this, she obtained a degree in Political Science from Southern University and A&MCollege in 2018 and went on to work on Capitol Hill for three years, handling policy andconstituent correspondence for the citizens of Washington state. In her free time, she enjoysreading, taking walks and plans on resuming writing content for her mental health inspired blog“Maybe It’s Me.”

FIYINFOLU “FOLU” BALOGUN, MD, PhD

Dr. Fiyinfolu Balogun is a medical oncologist specializing in gastrointestinal tumors, particularly pancreatic, colorectal, and biliary tract cancers. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Maryland Baltimore County then obtained his MD/PhD degrees at the University of Chicago with a dissertation exploring how eukaryotic cells respond to DNA damage. At New York University, he trained in internal medicine and stayed on to complete a fellowship in hematology/oncology, during which time he was awarded for his education of residents. Throughout his training, he has led cancer-related research in the laboratory. Upon completion of his training, Dr. Balogun joined the GI oncology team at Memorial Sloan Kettering, where he continues to pursue his passions of clinical care, research, and education. His research continues in the form of clinical trials on pancreatic and colorectal cancers with an emphasis on cancer care equity – locally and abroad. Folu enjoys adventures with his wife and their two sons. Other interests include cooking, music, arts, history, and sports.

Dr. Monroe Butler

Dr. Monroe Butler is passionate about brain health. He is an expert in dementia and the science of aging. He leads a team at Biogen to develop tools that empower patients to track their brain health and use strategies to slow decline.

Dr. Butler is a behavioral neurologist and neuroscientist who completed his doctoral degrees and medical training in Boston and specialist training in dementia at the University of California, San Francisco. He cares for patients with disorders in memory, movement, and thinking, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. At Biogen, Dr. Butler has pioneered work in digital medicine and is medical director for a virtual research trial called Intuition: a brain health study.

Dr. Sheri

Dr. Sheri (pronounced Sher-Ree) Prentiss is a proven visionary, best-selling author, and highly sought-after physician leader. Since 2017, she has served as Chief Medical Officer and Public Health Lead at CIEN+ to bring both an inclusive and evidence-driven approach to promoting health equity and better outcomes. She is an occupational & environmental medicine physician, public health expert, professional speaker—CSP® (Certified Speaking Professional™), and a breast cancer survivor. She has served as National Spokesperson for Susan G. Komen as well as their National Ambassador for Health Equity.

After breast cancer treatment left her disabled from lymphedema in her right upper extremity, stripping her of her life-long dream of being a practicing physician, she re-invented herself and went on to become a national public figure, professional speaker, and entrepreneur/owner of her own healthcare consulting business. She has been the catalyst for transformation in the space of cultural and workplace diversity for a myriad of organizations for more than two decades.

In addition to helping patients and healthcare practitioners transform how healthcare is delivered and experienced she also shares her story, her voice, her life, and her victory in awe-inspiring and motivational ways. Dr. Sheri brings the unique perspective of being a patient and a physician to her impassioned and captivating speeches. Her remarkable story of pain, loss, and change has inspired hundreds of thousands of people across the country and abroad. As an expert in transformative medicine, a natural extension of her personal vision and mission in life is to educate consumers that healthcare and being healthy should be experienced joyfully. As such she has become the Queen of How to Let Go & LIVE and creator of Medicine Meets Ministry: Dr. Sheri’s Blueprint on How to Let Go & LIVETM, a step-by-step program that teaches individuals how to shift their focus from what they’ve lost to what remains in order to bring a new vision, path, and purpose for their life into view.

She has been featured in The New England Journal of Medicine, MORE, Essence, Oxygen, Today’s Chicago Woman, Weinberg Magazine, and the Chicago Tribune among other notable publications. She has also been featured in hundreds of television and radio interviews reaching millions with her expertise in helping individuals unlock their potential, boost their self-esteem, set new directions, and prepare for life-long achievements. Dr. Sheri is the founder of the LIVE Today Foundation, Inc., a 501c3 nonprofit organization meeting the needs of under-resourced cancer patients and survivors living with lymphedema. She is also the creator and host of The LIVE Today Show, which airs at 5:30 pm CST every 2nd Wednesday of the month on CANTV Channel 21 and streams live at cantv.org/hotline. She is also the creator of the one of its kind podcast “Where Medicine Meets Ministry: Dr. Sheri Talks Faith & Facts” addressing fundamental questions when it comes to spirituality, health, medicine, death, dying, and faith using a combination of a solo-cast, case studies, testimonies, and interviews with guest experts. Dr. Prentiss obtained the following degrees: BA, with honors, Northwestern University 1989; MD, with honors, Loyola Stritch School of Medicine 1993; MPH, with a 5.0 GPA University of Illinois School of Public Health 1998; CPE (Certified Physician Executive), CCMM 2007; CSP® (Certified Speaking Professional™), National Speakers Association. She is a member of the American College of Occupational & Environmental Medicine as well as a Fellow, Former Director of the Board, and CPE Tutorial teaching Fellow of the American Association for Physician Leadership.

Wanda Barfield MD, MPH, FAAP, RADM USPHS

Dr. Wanda Barfield is the Director of the Division of Reproductive Health (DRH) within the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She is a retired Assistant Surgeon General in the U.S. Public Health Service. Dr. Barfield joined CDC in 2000 as part of its Epidemic Intelligence Service where she worked in neonatal and perinatal health. She was named Division Director in 2010 but has been dedicated to the improvement of maternal and infant health outcomes for over 30 years.

Dr. Barfield’s research and public health practice focuses on maternal/infant morbidity and mortality, early child health services utilization, improving access to risk-appropriate perinatal care, and advancing the quality of maternal, infant, and reproductive health data for public health action. She has published over 120 scientific articles in these areas. As DRH Director, Dr. Barfield has led efforts to provide optimal and equitable health to women, infants, and families through improved surveillance and applied public health research during the critical junctures of population health; pregnancy, infancy, and adolescence. She has built and strengthened numerous strategic partnerships with multiple MCH organizations. In addition, Dr. Barfield is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics with the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Emory University School of Medicine. She is a Fellow with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and is the CDC liaison to the AAP Section on Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine (SoNPM) and Committee on Fetus and Newborn (COFN). She also serves as ex-officio member to the HHS Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Infant Mortality. She continues to do clinical work in neonatology, providing care to premature and other critically ill newborns.

Dr. Barfield enjoys being a mother, mentor, teacher, gardener, and continues to do clinical work in neonatology, providing care to premature and other critically ill newborns.

Dr. Erin M. Sorrell

Dr. Erin M. Sorrell is an Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and a member of the Center for Global Health Science and Security at Georgetown University.

Dr. Sorrell works with partners across the U.S. government, international organizations, and ministries around the world to identify elements required to support health systems strengthening and laboratory capacity building for disease detection, reporting, risk assessment, and response. She is also interested in operational and implementation research questions related to sustainable health systems strengthening, with an emphasis on the prevention, management, and control of infectious diseases in humanitarian situations, and particularly countries and regions affected by conflict.

Dr. Sorrell co-directs the Biohazardous Threat Agents & Emerging Infectious Diseases M.S. Program. Erin received her undergraduate degree in animal science from Cornell University and an M.Sc. and Ph.D. in animal science and molecular virology from the University of Maryland.

Dr. Colette Brown-Graham

Dr. Colette Brown-Graham is a board-certified Obstetrician/Gynecologist practicing in the West Palm Beach for the past 25 years. She attended Duke University for her undergraduate degree, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine for medical school. She also has a Master's in Public Health with a concentration in Maternal Child Health from Harvard University. Dr. Brown-Graham enjoys the continuity of care that is afforded with obstetrics and gynecology because of the deep and lasting relationships built with patients. She is an accomplished Robotic surgeon and is committed to providing excellent care to all patients. She is an active member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Alpha Alpha Upsilon Omega Chapter and is a board member of the Marjorie S. Fischer Boys and Girls Club of West Palm Beach. To continue the pipeline of students of color interested in medicine, Dr. Brown-Graham mentors in several programs like Take Stock in Children.

Kurtis Blow

Kurtis Blow is one of the founders and creators of recorded rap. A timeless artist and hip-hop legend, Kurtis Blow blazed the trail for early Hip-Hop artists, and he will soon carry the torch for Hip-Hop music into new arenas.

Kurtis is credited with many firsts, including:
•1st Rapper signed to a major label
• 1st Certified gold rap record (The Breaks)
• 1st Rapper to tour the US and Europe, with The Commodores,1980)
• 1st Rapper to record a national commercial (Sprite)
• 1st Rap music video (Basketball)
• 1st Rapper to appear in a soap opera (One Life to Live)
• 1st Rapper millionaire

In 1979, at the age of twenty, Kurtis Blow became the first Rapper to be signed by a major label. Mercury released “Christmas Rappin,” and it sold over 400,000 copies and it became an annual classic. Its gold follow-up “The Breaks” helped ignite an international “Rap Attack.” He released 10 albums over 11 years -- The first entitled “Kurtis Blow”, his full length debut, and his second, a Top 50 Pop Album “Deuce,” a big hit across Europe; “Party Time” which featured a pioneering fusion of Rap and GoGo; “Ego Trip,” which includes the hits “8 Million Stories”, “AJ”, and “Basketball”, and in 1985, “America.” “America’s video innovation received a MTV Monitor Award. From this album, the song “If I Ruled the World” became a top 5 hit on Billboard’s R & B chart. Columbia/Sony recording artist Nas debuted at #1 on the Billboard’s Pop Album chart with a cover of the song in 1997.

He was honored to coordinate “Martin Luther King Holiday”, along with Dexter Scott King, a song to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King’s Birthday. The Mercury/Polygram single co-produced by Kurtis Blow includes the collaborative efforts of Whitney Houston, New Edition, Stephanie Mills, El Debarge, James “JT” Taylor of Kool & the Gang, The Fat Boys and Run DMC among others. It has become an annual Holiday Classic.

Besides his own work, Kurtis has been responsible for Rap hits by The Fat Boys and Run DMC. Run began his career billed as “The son of Kurtis Blow.” Love Bug Starski, Sweet Gee, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Full Force, Russell Simmons and Wyclef Jean all have been produced or have worked with Kurtis Blow in the past. Additionally, former label mates Rene & Angela had their chart-topping debut “Save Your Love for #1” gift wrapped by Kurtis Blow.

Kurtis Blow's acting performances and music coordination in several movies including Leon Kennedy’s “Cry of the City” and the hit film “Krush Groove” has won him continual praise. The New York Daily News called his cinematic works “Noteworthy, A Dynamic Presence.” As host and coproducer for “Das Leben Amerikanischer Gangs” an international film production's focus on the West Coast gang scene, Kurtis Blow crossed international waters for inner city justice (1995). As host and associate producer for "Rhyme and Reason” a Miramax film, Kurtis Blow gives an informative account of the present status of HipHop (1998). "The History of Rap" produced and written by Kurtis Blow, is soon coming to a theatre near you.

Kurtis Blow has become known as somewhat of an activist, speaking out against racism and drug use. His innate ability to reach people is also evident in his selection as spokesperson for The National Ad Counsel. He is an integral part of its youth campaign and can be seen and heard in print, radio and television nationwide as the first to “Say No To Drugs.” He has also been involved with Phoenix House of California, a substance abuse organization with Black community emphasis.

In 1995, Kurtis Blow started working on-air in radio. Power 106, the #1 CHR Radio station in Southern California, had Kurtis on-air Sunday nights with The Old School Show, a highly rated specialty show that features Kurtis Blow spinning the hits from the past. The show was rated #1 for 4 years. Kurtis later worked for Sirius Satellite Radio on the Classic Old School Hip-Hop station Backspin 43.

In 2002 after 9/11, Kurtis went overseas to the Middle East to tour the Armed Forces Bases for 17 shows to bring a little bit of back home to the troops stationed there. The tour consisted of shows in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Krgystan, Jordan, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman “It was a tour I will never forget,” Blow says, “I did the Bob Hope thing.” Since then, Kurtis Blow has kept busy. He has completed multiple world tours since the turn of the new millennium, and continues to work on other creative endeavors in the music and film arenas.

Kurtis Blow helped legitimize Hip Hop, and now, he intends to help redeem it. Having made a deep commitment to the ways and teachings of Jesus Christ, Kurtis went back to school studying theology at NYACK College - he became an ordained minister in 2009. As Co-founder of the Hip Hop Church, Kurtis serves as rapper, DJ and worship leader. There are several Hip-Hop Churches around the country and Kurtis is involved with many of them. “Don't get it twisted, God has always existed,” says Kurtis, “and in terms of these young people out here who love God but do not like to go to church, only Hip-Hop can bring them back to the church.”

MALIK YOBA

ACTOR, MUSICIAN, AUTHOR, ENTREPRENEUR, EDUCATOR PHILANTHROPIST, SOCIAL JUSTICE WARRIOR

Born in the South Bronx and raised in Harlem, Yoba offers almost three decades of commitment to the arts and his credits include over fifty films and more than a dozen roles in network/cable tv series. His debut in Disney’s Cool Runnings and his performance as NYPD Detective J.C. Williams in the ground breaking police drama, New York Undercover, catapulted Malik into the fabric of American culture. He recently premiered his musical auto-biography, Harlem to Hollywood at the Apollo theater with his co-writer/director and Broadway veteran, Kevin Ramsey. The show features Yoba’s original music and extensive character work as he brings over 20 personalities to life. This fall, the newly accredited real estate developer with projects in NYC and Baltimore can be seen opposite Jill Scott in The First Wives Club (BET) and soon in a re-launch of New York Undercover.

Michelle Morse, MD, MPH

Dr. Michelle Morse is the inaugural Chief Medical Officer and Deputy Commissioner for the Center for Health Equity and Community Wellness (CHECW) at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYCDOHMH). Dr. Morse leads the agency’s work in bridging public health and health care to reduce health inequities, guiding CHECW’s place-based and cross-cutting health equity programs, and serving as a key liaison to clinicians and clinical leaders across New York City.

Dr. Morse is an internal medicine and public health doctor who works to achieve health equity through global solidarity, social medicine and anti-racism education, and activism. She is a general internal medicine physician, part-time hospitalist at Kings County Hospital, Co-Founder of EqualHealth, and Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Morse’s continued commitment to advancing health equity and justice is informed by her experience in leadership roles as Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Partners In Heath, as a Soros Equality Fellow launching a global Campaign Against Racism and as a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy fellow with the Ways and Means Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Donna Richardson Joyner

is a best-selling author, international motivational speaker and TV Host. She has spread the gospel of good health; mind, body and spirit. She has traveled to 50 states, 50 countries and 6 continents empowering, educating and energizing women, children and families. She started the business because she was sick and tired of seeing loved ones, church members and people in African American communities dying from preventable illnesses. Her mission is to help people become a witness to fitness by combining faith, fitness, food and fellowship.

For over 25 years Donna and her mom who is 81 years young blessed family, friends and celebrities with their historically rich family recipe, Mama LaVerne’s Chicken and Waffles. They are passing down a generational legacy and for the first ever they have packaged chicken seasoning waffle and pancake mix so you can enjoy at home. In the midst of the pandemic, personal loss of loved ones, family illnesses, uncertainties and challenges they stepped out on faith and packaged love and legacy into the mixes so you, family and friends can share traditions and create memories.

Donna attended Hollins University and was a teacher at Montgomery County Community College. She is the only council member appointed by President Bush and President Obama to serve on the President’s Council for Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. She was an ambassador for First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move Initiative.” Donna has starred in over 25 award winning videos including best-selling “Buns of Steel” which sold over 10 million copies. She starred in best- selling videos ESPN, Nike, Sweating in the Spirit, Body Gospel and her own line of videos. Her Sweating in the Spirit DVD was featured in Tyler Perry’s movie “Diary of a Mad Black Woman.” Donna was one of Nike’s Female Athletes to have her own signature shoe, The Donna Richardson “Air Max Mundo.” She created the first Tiny House for retail for women and men clothing and accessories. Donna continues to be a strong leader and innovator.

Donna is a TV Contributor for CNN, MSNBC, FOX, ABC, TBN and other networks. She was the producer and host of “The Donna Richardson’s Mind, Body and Spirit Show,” and “The Sweating in the Spirit Show” on the Word Network. She also was the former co-host of the ESPN Fitness Pro’s Show” and fitness expert for NBC “Today Show.” Donna has appeared in commercials and print advertisement for Proctor & Gamble, Kellogg’s, McDonald’s, Kmart, Walmart, ESPN, Nike, PGA, LPGA, etc.

She has lectured and conducted seminars at schools, community centers, churches, corporations, universities and senior centers around the globe. She has been a featured speaker with God’s Leading Ladies, Sisters in the Spirit, Pantene Total You, Eliminating Childhood Obesity and many other tours. Donna climbed the tallest free standing mountain in the world, Kilimanjaro and served on a missionary that provided food, clothes and school supplies for thousands of children at orphanages in Arusha, Africa. She led the first team of African American Women to run 200 miles in the Hood to Coast Relay and raised funds for the American Cancer Society. She ran in the Paris Marathon, raising awareness and funds for the North Dallas Suicide Crisis Center. Donna continues to create change and make a difference through her philanthropic and humanitarian work.

She was inducted into The National Fitness Hall of Fame and was named by Essence Magazine “One of Twenty Five of The Most Inspiring Women in America.” She received the Mental & Physical Health Award from the Congressional Black Caucus. She was awarded the “Family Leadership Legacy Award” by the Jack & Jill of America Foundation. Donna broke the Guinness Book of World Records for the world’s largest line dance with over 50,000 participants at Mega-fest with Bishop T.D. Jakes. She was also selected by Fitness Magazine as one of the top movers and shakers. She received The Centennial Health Award from Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the Presidential Award from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She was honored with The Christian Literary Trailblazer Award, and The All-Star Gospel Celebration Slam Dunk Award. Recently, Donna was awarded The Ruby Award for her outstanding work in empowering and mentoring young girls and women.

Donna was on the advisory board for The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Boys and Girls Club of America. She served on the board for Women Sports Foundation and the Tom Joyner Foundation. Donna was a board member for The LPGA Foundation and a former Spokesperson for the PGA of America. She taught for several years in South Africa at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for girls.

S. Epatha Merkerson

Merkerson a native of Detrroit, Michigan has won critical acclaim for her work in theatre, television and film. She is best known for her 17-season run as Lieutenant Anita Van Buren on NBC’s “Law & Order,” (three NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a drama) and has currently teamed up with producer Dick Wolf for the Chicago One series where she plays Sharon Goodwin the hospital administrator on CHICAGO MED now in it’s 7th season.

Her role in the HBO film “Lackawanna Blues,” earned her an Emmy, Golden Globe, SAG Award, Gracie Allen Award, NAACP Image Award and a IFP Spirit Award nomination. Other credits include “Radio,” which garnered her a Cammie Award, “Black Snake Moan,” “Terminator II: Judgement Day,” “Random Hearts,” “Navy SEALs,” “Mother and Child,” “The Six Wives of Henry Lefay” “Peeples,” Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” and independent films: “The Challenger” with Michael Clark Duncan; and “Year by the Sea” opposite Karen Allen.

Her theatre credits include the 2008 Broadway revival of “Come Back Little Sheba,” (Tony nom); August Wilson’s “The Piano Lesson,” (Tony, Drama Desk, Helen Hayes Award noms); “Birdie Blue” and “I’m Not Stupid,” (Obie Awards); “The Old Settler (Helen Hayes Award); “F*cking A” and “While I Yet Live” (Lucille Lortel noms.) “The Roommate” (2017) and “ A Raisin in the Sun” (2019 ) at The Williamstoen Theatre Festival.

On television she was a series regular on “Peewee’s Playhouse,” “The Cosby Show” spin-off “Here and Now,” Dick Wolf’s “Mann and Machine” and also served as host of “Find Our Missing” for TVOne. Merkerson has made guest appearances on “Deception,” “The Cosby Show,” “Frasier,” “The Closer” and “Being Mary Jane.” Her television movies include “A Mother’s Prayer”, “A Place for Annie”, “Breaking Free”, Lifetime’s “The Gabby Douglas Story” and NBC’s “Exiled,” that also featured Chris Noth.

Merkerson directed “Conversations with Mary Lou Williams” a collaboration with composerpianist the late Geri Allen, author Professor Farah Jasmine Griffin and jazz vocalist Carmen Lundy. “Conversations” premiered at The Gatehouse at Harlem Stage and moved to the Kennedy Center for performances at The Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival.

Ms. Merkerson holds a BFA in Theatre performance from Wayne State University and is the recipient of four Honorary Doctorates; from her alma mater WSU (2009), The University of Maryland Eastern Shore (2012), Montclair State University (2013) and The University of Pittsburgh (2017)

Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH

is the 19th Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the ninth Administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. She is an influential scholar whose pioneering research has helped advance the national and global response to HIV/AIDS. Dr. Walensky is also a well-respected expert on the value of testing and treatment of deadly viruses.

Dr. Walensky served as Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital from 2017-2020 and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School from 2012-2020. She served on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic and conducted research on vaccine delivery and strategies to reach underserved communities.

Dr. Walensky is recognized internationally for her work to improve HIV screening and care in South Africa and nationally recognized for motivating health policy and informing clinical trial design and evaluation in a variety of settings. She is a past Chair of the Office of AIDS Research Advisory Council at the National Institutes of Health, Chair-elect of the HIV Medical Association, and previously served as an advisor to both the World Health Organization and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS.

Originally from Maryland, Dr. Walensky received her Bachelor of Arts from Washington University in St. Louis, her Doctor of Medicine from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and her Masters in Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health.

Tatyana Ali

With a career spanning 35 years, Tatyana Ali is best known to millions, worldwide, for playing "Ashley Banks" in the iconic comedy series "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”. Born in Brooklyn, NY, she is a Broadway-trained actress, singer, producer, activist and Harvard University graduate.

Ali has appeared in numerous television, film and theatrical projects over her career, which began at four years old including Sesame Street, the Pulitzer Prize winning Broadway production of Fences, The Young and the Restless and Disney’s Glory Road. The 5-time NAACP Image Award winner, Harvard Aspiring Minority Business Leader and Black Girls Rock! honoree, was named one of most beautiful women in the world by People Magazine en Español and People Magazine.

She holds a gold record for her 1998 debut album Kiss the Sky, which included the hit singles "Daydreamin' " and "Boy You Knock Me Out” and joined both the *NSYNC and The Backstreet Boys world tours. In 1999, her recording of "Precious Wings" for The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland soundtrack won a Grammy Award for "Best Musical Album for Children." In 2013 Ali digitally released the independent EP “Hello”.

She co-founded HazraH Entertainment, a production company dedicated to creating quality content for underserved communities. The company was a production partner on the Martin Lawrence executive-produced sitcom "Love That Girl!", the first original scripted program on the TV One Network. HazraH Entertainment also produced the acclaimed web series "Buppies" for BET.com.

Ali has spent the majority of her career engaging in humanitarian efforts. During the 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns, she served as a surrogate for President Obama, speaking to communities and young people across the country about voting as an imperative. She did the same grass roots work for Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2016. She has hosted the United Negro College Fund's "Empower Me" Tour 3 years in a row, has been a spokesperson for the Millennium Momentum Foundation for 8 years and is actively involved in Black Girl’s Rock!, an organization dedicated to educating and mentoring young women. After publishing her first op-ed in Essence magazine in 2019 entitled "Birthright", Tatyana was asked to serve as a Celebrity Council Advocate for the March of Dimes.

She resides in California with her husband and two sons.

Dr. Perlita R. Dicochea

TBA

Amine-El-Kadmiri

Dr. Mohammed El Kadmiri is an internal medicine provider who specializes in hematology and oncology at Meharry Medical Group.

Dr. El Kadmiri received his medical degree from Université Mohammed V Faculté de Médecine et de Pharmacie in Rabat, Morocco. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Howard University Hospital in Washington, D.C. He completed fellowships in Hematology and Oncology at Howard University Hospital and the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md.

Dr. El Kadmiri is an assistant professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at Meharry Medical College. He is a member of the American Society of Hematology and the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Christine Williams, MBA

Christine Williams currently servesas President ofthe Auxiliary to the National Medical Association (ANMA) and the Past-President of the Auxiliary to the Medico-Chirurgical (Med-Chi) Society, District of Columbia, Inc(AMCS)and also its Program Chair. As the ANMA Presidentshe leads the organization in its National Health Agenda with its Theme for the 2021-2022 year “A Call for Action against COVID-19, Opioid Misuse, HIV Aids, and Vaping in the African American Community”. Mrs. Williams is honored to lead the ANMA in aiding the National Medical Association (NMA) in its effort to educate and serve the public in maters of health, and also continue to promote a National Auxiliary Program on health, education and legislation.

The ANMA plan and executes educational seminars to the public across the U.S. through its six regions covering 49 states, the District of Columbiaon health issues affecting the African American Community. Mrs. Williams recently retired from the Federal Government as an Information Technology Manager and Contracting Officer’s Technical Representative. She served asa Senior Information Specialist and Project Manager for the U.S. Department of Education, and several agencies throughout the United States, where she was responsible for managing multi-million-dollar contracts. She has excellent oral and written communicationskills, strong interpersonal skills and demonstrated strength in managing and collaboratingwith people.

Mrs. Williams completed a Master of Business Administrations (MBA) from the University of Maryland, University College, College Park, Maryland and Bachelor of Science from Alabama State University – Montgomery Alabama.

Mrs. Williams is a member of Zion Baptist Church where she serves as a Trustee, member of the Health Ministry, Scholarship Ministry and the Charles B. Walker Culture Club.

Mrs. Williams resides in Washington District of Columbia with her husband Melvin Williams, M.D. and they have two sons Melvin and Christopher. Hobbies include traveling, swimming,

Dan Pearson

As President and Founder of Dan 4 Entertainment (D4E), Dan has created and managed numerous successful projects across the spectrum of entertainment. He has produced tv/film/music projects, authored books, managed talent, and much more. Dan is the creator and Executive Producer for the highly rated TV series “I Married a Mobster,” a production for Investigation Discovery; he was also Producer of the award winning documentary “Harlem Diaries: Nine Voices of Resilience” and acclaimed documentary “Justifiable Homicide” at Gabriel films. He is currently an Executive Producer for an 80’s Mafia series with APPIAN WAY and Leonardo DiCaprio. Dan is the author of “LAST DON STANDING,” (St. Martin's Press) an exclusive tell-all bio of notorious Philadelphia mafia boss Ralph Natale, the first Mafia Boss in history to tell his story in the first-person, no-holds-barred. Dan is also the creator of “A little Piece of Light,” (Hachette Books); both properties are owned by D4E and are currently represented by FOLIO Literary Agency. Dan Pearson has worked and continues to work with companies such as Simon & Schuster, Discovery Channel, Universal Music Group, Sony Music, Major League Baseball, and EA Sports.

Dr. Ogo Egbuna

Dr. Ogo Egbuna is a passionate physician scientist with nearly two decades of clinical, academic, and drug development experience. Originally from West Africa, he completed medical school at the University of Nigeria before emigrating to the United States, where he completed his residency in internal medicine at Mount Sinai followed by clinical fellowships in nephrology and kidney transplant medicine at the University of Rochester and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, respectively. Dr. Egbuna then completed a Masters in Clinical Investigation from the Harvard/MIT School of Health Sciences and Technology and was on faculty teaching residents, caring for patients, and conducting National Institutes of Health-funded research at the Harvard Medical School.

Throughout his early career, Dr. Egbuna received several honors and awards for his exceptional academic and clinical work and received over a dozen invitations to give oral presentations on topics ranging from kidney disease clinical research to disparities in access to kidney care and transplantations for underserved minorities. He spent ten years at Amgen as a Clinical Research Medical Director for both early and late phase clinical development programs, interacting with a wide range of medical, regulatory, and business stakeholders. During this time, he also began teaching and mentoring medical students as an assistant clinical professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

Currently, Dr. Egbuna is the Vice President, Clinical Development and also the Global Clinical Development Lead for Vertex Pharmaceutical’s APOL1-mediated focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) program, which aims to develop a potentially curative treatment for the underlying cause of APOL1-mediated Kidney Disease. In addition to his role at Vertex and his professorship, Dr. Egbuna also offers pro bono advice to the leadership of KidneySolutions, a kidney disease and dialysis center in Lagos, Nigeria, on standardization and implementation of policies and clinical procedures as well as the use of modern technologies for dialysis and electronic medical records.

Keli Ferguson

Keli Ferguson, née Fulton, is an Emmy award-winning television and radio personality, speaker and host. Her work has been featured on Destination America, MSNBC, NBC Sports Washington, FOX Sports Bay Area, and multiple local affiliates throughout the United States.

Keli began her career as a high school sports reporter in the San Francisco Bay Area and since then the Fort Worth, TX native has covered NCAA Championships for football and basketball, the NBA Playoffs, NBA All-Star Weekend, the Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl.

During her time in the industry, Keli has interviewed countless coaches, athletes, and entertainers, including Tony Dungy, the First Black head coach to win a Super Bowl, and Hall of Famer Ed Reed.

Keli is also a seasoned emcee, host, and moderator. She has hosted several charity events, award shows, and television shows including “America’s First Resort Destination” on the Discovery Network’s Destination America, the Palm Beach County Sports Hall of Fame and the Lou Groza Awards which is part of the Home Depot College Football Awards.

When she is not on air, the South Florida resident spends her time researching therapies and advocating for her son Xavier, who is on the autism spectrum; and spending time with the other members of her family-- a feisty preschooler named Abigail and her husband of nearly 10 years Edwin, an attorney and community leader.

Kim-Marie

Kim-Marie is a 23-year-old woman who is passionate, ambitious and resilient. She is a first-generation graduate having obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Banking and Finance from the University of the West Indies. It is her aspiration to become a charted accountant on completion of the relevant educational qualifications and work experience. Spence is currently a model and believes that being in this competition, she’ll be able to promote the fact that everyone can be a positive influence in the development of their communities, by using this platform to be this influence to others, it’s her dream to impact the lives of young men and women in aspiring them to find their passion and pursue it to make our communities a reservoir of skills and creativity.

From a very young age, Kim-Marie developed a great passion for serving her community. This desire to help others has given her the opportunity to partner with non-profit organizations and create her foundation Find Her Voice. This initiative has impacted a wide demographic that includes children, teenagers and women across Jamaica.

Kim-Marie believes that education, preparation and passion are key ingredients for real progress and empowerment in people. As an ambassador for women’s empowerment, she wrote “Finding Her Voice”, a book which seeks to inform everyone of the importance of finding their voice to actualize their dreams and it has really helpful tips to aid their journey.

Kim-Marie Spence is from a rural community in the breadbasket parish of St. Elizabeth. She aspires to become an example to the youth in her community and dreams of inspiring new generations to be agents of change, reclaim spaces of visibility and representation and bring a spotlight on the community to showcase its diversity, resilience and unique and beautiful charm. That’s the mark she would love to imprint in this world.

MATHEW KNOWLES

Author, professor, lecturer, motivational speaker, music executive, artist manager, entrepreneur, fighter and cancer survivor would be the words used to sum up the life and career of Mathew Knowles. Dr. Knowles possesses an MBA in Strategic Planning and Organizational Culture, Ph.D in Business Administration and recently attended Harvard's Professional Development courses in Ethical Leadership as well as Developing Cultural Intelligence. He currently holds a professorship at Point Blank Music School – Los Angeles, University of Houston, Prairie View A&M University and The Art Institute. As a pioneer for African American success in the corporate world, Knowles corporate career includes sales and marketing at Xerox Medical Systems, Phillips Medical System and Johnson & Johnson. In music having sold over 450 million records worldwide, he has architected the careers of Destiny’s Child, Beyonce and Solange, just to name a few, and has worked with legends such as Chaka Kahn, O’Jays, Earth, Wind & Fire, and many others.

Jermaine Hogstrom, D.O. & Jeremy Hogstrom, D.O.

Twin Drs. Jermaine and Jeremy Hogstrom, also known as “@Twin.Doctors.J” on social media, are Chief medical residents for the Authority Health GME Consortium in Detroit, Michigan and are specializing in Internal Medicine. They both chose the field of medicine due to their love for helping those most in need and are dedicated to being leaders their community. They graduated medical school from Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine in Auburn, Alabama and are passionate about primary care.

In the world of social media, Drs. Jermaine and Jeremy have garnered over 3 million followers through Instagram and TikTok using their platform to share informative medical information and messages of inspiration while using their comedic style to educate their followers as they explore their passion for media and creativity. They have been involved in multiple Covid-19 vaccine campaigns involving the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services and Lieutenant Governor of Michigan. They strive to serve as positive role models for minority youth and are passionate about community outreach. Their philosophy is that laughter truly is the best form of medicine.

Pamela Freeman Fobbs, J.D.

Pamela Freeman Fobbs, J.D. received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Houston in Houston, Texas.

Mrs. Fobbs has been a consultant for state and federal agencies. With the passage of California’s Stem Cell nitiative. In 2006, she was appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger as Chair of the Diversity Council for the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Ms. Fobbs was a member of The Food and Drug Administration’s Consumer Consortium, an advisory committee for the FDA’s medical devices panels. She was invited to train at the National Institutes for Health, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute as a lay-trainer for Women’s Heart Health. As 66th President of the Auxiliary to the National Medical Association,

Fobbs, along with her husband, incepted Save Africa Save Our World, Inc., in 2009 and completed a successful medical mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Their non-profit continues to engage with/and support the Nebobongo Hospital community in the DRC. Fobbs is honored to have served her local community through her membership on the Community Medical Centers Foundation Board and Valley Public Television’s Board of Directors. She has served as a community advisor for California State University Fresno STEM Scholarship Programs and State Center Community College Scholarship and Development Programs.

Fobbs is a member of the The Links, Incorporated and was appointed in 2018 to serve as its National Director of Programs. As a longtime member and past president of the Auxiliary to the National Medical Association (ANMA). She also Chairs its National African American Youth Scholars Initiative (NAAYI) in its need to pivot to a virtual platform.

Vivian J. Bea, MD

Vivian J. Bea, MD is an Assistant Professor of Surgery at New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, NY and section chief of Breast Surgical Oncology at New York Presbyterian-Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, Brooklyn NY. Dr. Bea received her master’s degree in biology from Drexel University and her medical degree from Morehouse School of Medicine. She completed her training in general surgery at the Medical University of South Carolina and a fellowship in breast surgical oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. She is a breast cancer disparities researcher, educator and community outreach leader. As a leader in the community, Dr. Bea has focused on bridging the gap between multidisciplinary breast cancer treatment and community barriers. She is doing just this with her multi-institutional community outreach grant designed to address breast cancer disparities in Black women through increased breast cancer screening, innovative community education, and navigation. She is the course director for the Weill Cornell Breast Health Disparities annual CME course whose goal is to provide breast cancer education to community clinicians within targeted communities. Most recently, Dr. Bea was awarded the prestigious American Medical Association’s National Minority Quality Forums Braintrust, “Top 40 under 40 in Minority Health” for her dedication to community outreach and research. Her clinical and research interest include management of the axilla, inflammatory breast cancer management in underserved populations as well as identifying and eliminating breast cancer diagnosis and treatment disparities.

Nadia Winston, MPH, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC

Nadia Winston is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner at CAN Community Health located in Arlington, Texas. She provides HIV, PrEP, nPEP, STD treatment, and primary care services to a diverse panel of patients. A native of Memphis, Tennessee, she received her graduate nursing degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago and graduate public health degree from Meharry Medical College. Nadia is also an active member of North Texas Nurse Practitioner Association, Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, and Junior League of Arlington.

Devoted to providing comprehensive, high quality, patient-centered care, she is also committed to educating populations about HIV prevention and treatment option and empowering communities to take control of their own health. With over 10 years of experience working with the healthcare arena, Nadia is also a published research author within the field of HIV and Aging. Her primary focus in her work is centered around minority populations and women Living with HIV.

Joseph C. Gathe, JR., M.D., F.A.C.P., F.I.D.S.A.

A Houstonian since 1960, Joseph Gathe Jr graduated from Strake Jesuit College Preparatory as the second ranked academic student and was recognized with top honors in both science and foreign language. He then attended and graduated from Trinity University in three years Summa Cum Laude and was awarded the Presidential scholarship every year for maintenance of a 4.0 grade point average. Subsequently, Dr. Gathe received his MD degree from Baylor College of Medicine with honors in 1981. During medical school he was the recipient of the Alpha Omega Honor Society Award and was recognized as a Henri J. Kaiser Merit Scholar. Dr. Gathe completed an internship and residency program at Baylor College of Medicine and was recognized over that period of time as the Most Outstanding Resident in Internal Medicine. Prior to his fellowship training in Infectious Diseases at the Methodist Hospital in Houston he was appointed as the first African American Chief Resident at St. Luke’s Hospital in 1984. He is a diplomat of the American Board of Internal Medicine, a Fellow in the American College of Physicians and a Fellow in the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

Dr. Gathe has been in private practice in Houston since 1986, providing both inpatient and outpatient infectious diseases specialty care, serving in the community where he was born and raised. He maintains one of the largest private practice clinics for HIV patients in the United States and experience gained here has led to his recognition as an International Thought Leader in the care of those living with HIV infection. As part of his clinic, Dr. Gathe has an active clinical research initiative and has been Principal or Co-Investigator for over 200 protocols focused on improving the status of persons living with HIV. He has published extensively on these topics in professional journals such as AIDS, Journal of Infectious Diseases, Annals of Internal Medicine, Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes and American Journal of Medicine. Importantly, he has several ‘world’s first” presentations including the successful treatment of CNS toxoplasmosis (a fatal parasitic infection of the brain) with tetracycline derivatives (1991), effective treatment of cryptosporidium diarrhea (which prior had led to dehydration and death) with Paramomcyin (1991) and Rifaximin (2008), and finally the first presentation describing the ability to control the HIV virus in a high percentage of patients with simply using one active HIV drug instead of three (2004).

While healthcare delivery continues to change, Dr. Gathe remains dedicated to the patients he serves and to the advancement of medical science to ensure equal access to the most advanced medical care for all.

Dr. Joseph C. Gathe, Jr., and Deanna Breaux Gathe have created a foundation (Cure COVID Consortium) which has a COVID-19 educational prevention component, comprehensive testing program, and direct inpatient and outpatient medical care for those infected with the corona virus and are underserved in the Houston community.

William Yates, MD, FACS

Dr Yates was THE FIRST surgeon in Chicago and the Midwest to offer FUE hair transplants.

Dr. Yates Hair Science Group is the leader in surgical and medical hair restoration in the United States serving the Chicago area and the Midwest! We offer state-of-the-art options for all hair loss sufferers. We’ve broken down the traditional, old-fashioned, corporate model for hair transplantation and only offer the best and newest hair loss solutions for each patient.

Dr. William Yates, MD FACS was the first hair transplant surgeon in Chicago and the Midwest to offer FUE . Dr. Yates has mastered the technique of Follicular Unit Extraction and has taught other surgeons to perform this difficult and minimally invasive method of hair transplantation. In Dr. Yates' expert hands this exciting option yields fantastic and natural results.

Victor Ankoma-Sey, MD, FACP, FAASLD

Dr. Victor Ankoma-Sey, is the Director of the Liver Transplant Program at Houston Methodist Hospital. He is board certified in Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology and Transplant Hepatology. He is an American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases Fellow and a member of several medical associations including the American Gastroenterological Association.

Dr. Ankoma-Sey has an active practice of patients with liver and digestive diseases. His clinical interests revolve around the optimal management of patients with chronic viral hepatitis B & C, Fatty liver, liver tumors, cirrhosis, advanced liver disease, liver transplantation and maintaining liver health. He is actively engaged and directs the clinical research program at the Liver Associates of Texas, PA. His research interests are focused on clinical therapeutic trials in antiviral therapy for treatment of Hepatitis B and C; fatty liver, Primary Biliary Cirrhosis and Hepatocellular Carcinoma. He is member of the Sherrie and Alan Conover Center for Liver Disease & Transplantation, Houston Methodist J.C. Walter Jr. Transplant Center, Underwood Center for Digestive Disorders at all at Houston Methodist Hospital.

Bunmi Asana, MD,

Dr. Bunmi Asana is the founder and medical director of the Center for Mental Wealth. She is a double board-certified general and addiction psychiatrist. Prior to the Center for Mental Wealth, Dr. Asana was the Director of Chemical Dependency Services at NYC Health and Hospitals in Harlem. Dr. Asana completed her addiction psychiatry training at NYU and has had multiple publications for her scientific research in addiction services. She has given presentations and served on professional panels to educate the community about mental health, suicide awareness and prevention, grief, trauma, and substance use. Dr. Asana serves on the addiction committee of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and is an active member of the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatrists.

Kemunto Mokaya, MD

Kemunto Mokaya, M.D. (also known as Dr. Kemmy) is a board-certified, Ivy League-educated dermatologist. She specializes in medical, surgical, ethnic, and cosmetic dermatology and has over a decade of dermatologic experience.

Dr. Kemmy earned her bachelor of science in Biology and her bachelor of arts in African studies at Yale University. She holds a master's degree in Health Sciences from Yale. She attained her doctorate of medicine from Yale University School of Medicine in 2010. She completed her Internal Medicine internship at the Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. Her Dermatology residency was at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

Dr. Kemmy a best-selling author of the book: “LIVE AND LOOK YOUNGER: A Dermatologist’s Guide to Youthful Skin and Ageless Beauty.” She is also a dynamic speaker who loves to educate on matters relating to the skin and wellness. She has been featured in several podcasts, magazines, and popular media. Her mission is to empower people to optimize their skin health and overall wellness so that they can look fabulous, feel better, and thrive.

Patients love Dr. Kemmy because of the exemplary care she provides. She is thorough and detail-oriented with outstanding bedside demeanor. Dr. Mokaya has high patient satisfaction scores, winning awards such as the Vitals “Top Doctors” recognition. She currently practices at Complete Dermatology in Houston, TX.

Dr. Kemmy is a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) and member of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) where she serves on several leadership committees. Dr. Mokaya has written articles for scientific publications and medical books. She is a medical expert volunteer for the Albinism Society of Kenya.

Originally from Kenya, Dr. Kemmy is now a Texan who resides in the Woodlands with her husband and three children. She enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with friends and family. You may follow her on social media at @drKemmyMD.

Keith Garvin

Keith Garvin is an Emmy and Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist who joined KPRC 2 as an anchor/reporter in August of 2012. He has reported on both shooting tragedies at Fort Hood, the American Sniper Murder Trial, along with coverage from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and local contestants on NBC’s The Voice. Garvin won a regional Emmy as anchor of the Best Newscast in 2013 and an Edward R. Murrow award in 2021 for “George Floyd Continuing Coverage”.

Garvin grew up in Bryan-College Station and is a proud graduate of Bryan High School. He attended the University of Nevada at Reno on a football scholarship, where he earned a broadcast journalism degree from the university’s Don Reynolds School of Journalism.

Prior to KPRC 2, Garvin was an anchor/reporter at KTVT in Dallas-Fort Worth, as well as a correspondent for ABC serving as a member of the White House Press Corps, reporting from Iraq & covering Hurricane Wilma in 2005. Keith has also worked at WRC-TV in Washington D.C., WTVD in Raleigh, N.C. and KFSN in Fresno, California.

Keith says the favorite part of his job is being able to meet people and tell their stories and he is proudest of telling the stories of United States military members directly from Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, and Rwanda. He has interviewed former Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, Rev. Billy Graham, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and other notable figures.

When Keith isn’t working, he enjoys spending time with his wife and four daughters. They are members of Houston’s Second Baptist Church. Keith also enjoys traveling, running, reading, and dining at Mexican and Thai restaurants. His memberships include the Houston Association of Black Journalists & Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

Acela Aviles, PharmD

Acela Aviles, PharmD, is a Principal Medical Science Liaison (MSL) with Sage Therapeutics covering the Southeast US and Puerto Rico. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy at the University of Puerto Rico College of Pharmacy, followed by a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy.

Dr. Aviles’ experience includes working in community pharmacy, hospital pharmacy (both clinical pharmacy and pharmacy administration at the Department of Veterans Affairs), managed care pharmacy, and for the last 25 years, the pharmaceutical industry, in administrative as well as field contributor capacities in different therapeutic areas.

Since joining Sage four and a half years ago, Dr. Aviles has worked with her MSL colleagues in the Medical Affairs Department at Sage conducting scientific exchange of information with healthcare professionals in the areas of postpartum depression and major depressive disorder.

Craig Hilburn, PhD

Craig Hilburn, Ph.D., is a Principal Medical Science Liaison for Sage Therapeutics. Sage Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company focused on making a positive impact on the unmet treatment needs of patients suffering from brain health disorders. Craig grew up in Texas and earned an undergraduate degree in biochemistry from Austin College located in Sherman, Texas. After college Craig went on to continue his education by attending The University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC) located in Fort Worth, Texas. He received a doctorate in Neuroscience in 2008. Before joining the industry, Craig was a researcher where he was awarded several grants and authored or co-authored multiple peer reviewed publications in neuroscience and psychiatry. Craig has been at Sage Therapeutics since 2017 and has helped raise awareness about mental health and Sage Therapeutic’s products among a number of institutions, health care professionals and payers. Overall, Craig has 10 years of experience as a medical liaison and has represented multiple companies covering several diseases including movement disorders and pain management.

Veronica Sandoval, PhD, JD

Veronica Sandoval is a Principal in the Patient Inclusion and Health Equity team in the Chief Diversity Office at Genentech. Veronica's policy and medical background, along with the personal and professional intersection of her Latina and health equity efforts, bring a rich perspective to Genentech’s ongoing work in health equity and inclusive research.

Veronica has experience in medical affairs and has supported different therapeutic areas, including asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, osteoporosis, overactive bladder, female sexual dysfunction, autism spectrum disorder, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and influenza. She also practiced as a litigation attorney focusing on complex patent litigation in the life sciences and pharmaceutical fields.

As a child of migrant farm workers, Veronica understands the struggles and hardships that the Latino community faces. She is committed to advocate and to partner with underrepresented communities to address health equity issues and ensure patients have access to care.

Veronica holds a B.A. in molecular and cell biology from the University of California, Berkeley, a Ph.D. in neuropharmacology from the University of Utah, a J.D. from Seattle University School of Law.

Hetty Cunningham, MD

Dr. Hetty Cunningham is Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and Director for Equity and Justice in Curricular Affairs and co-director of the Anti-Racism Coalition at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. In this work, Dr. Cunningham partners with faculty, staff, and students across the entire curriculum to promote equity, justice, and anti-racism. Since joining the Department of Pediatrics faculty in 1998, Cunningham has worked to improve health equity at all levels, with a particular focus on curriculum and faculty development in health disparities, implicit bias, social determinants of health, race in medicine, cultural competency, communication skills, and narrative medicine for medical students, residents, and faculty. Dr. Cunningham is a second-generation Harlem resident, where she lives, sees patients, and teaches pediatric residents at a NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital-affiliated community-based practice. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and completed her pediatric residency at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in 1996.

Lisly Chery, MD

Dr. Chéry is a Urologic Oncologist specializing in the surgical treatment of prostate, kidney, bladder and testis cancer. He earned his undergraduate degree in Molecular Biology from Princeton University. He received his Doctor of Medicine degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. He then completed his urology residency at the University of Washington in Seattle. During that time he spent a year researching prostate cancer dormancy. Following residency, he completed a fellowship in urologic oncology at University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, with a primary research interest in kidney cancer. Dr. Chéry currently holds a faculty position as Assistant Professor in the Department of Urology at MD Anderson. His career interests include active surveillance of prostate cancer, as well as robotic surgery for urologic malignancies. He believes in partnering with patients to create an individualized and patient-focused approach to cancer care.

Sheryl Lee Ralph

Sheryl Lee Ralph is an American actress, singer, author, and activist. She made her screen debut in the 1977 comedy film A Piece of the Action, before landing her breakthrough role as Deena Jones in the Broadway musical Dreamgirls (1981), for which she received a Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical. As of 2022, Ralph is starring as Barbara Howard on the ABC mockumentary sitcom, Abbott Elementary, for which she has received a nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series at the upcoming (September 2022) 74th Primetime Emmy Awards.
In 1990, while in the original Broadway c0mpany of Dreamgirls, Ralph founded The D.I.V.A. Foundation is a nonprofit 501c (3) charitable organization, as a memorial to the many friends she lost to HIV/AIDS. Over the 32-year history of The D.I.V.A. Foundation, Sheryl Lee Ralph has had a long-standing commitment to raise awareness, work to erase stigma, and empower and support individuals in owning their health. In 2005, Sheryl Lee Ralph and The D.I.V.A. Foundation received the first Red Ribbon Leadership Award at the United Nations on World AIDS Day for the unique use of the arts in fighting HIV/AIDS.
Ralph has appeared in a number of movies during her career. In 1991, she received the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female for her role in the drama film To Sleep With Anger. Her other film credits include The Mighty Quinn (1989), The Distinguished Gentleman (1992), Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1993) and Deterrence (1999).

On television, Ralph starred from 1986 to 1989 in the syndicated sitcom It’s a Living, and later had the leading roles in the short-lived ABC sitcom New Attitude (1990) and New Attitude (1990). From 1996 to 2001, she starred as Dee Mitchell in the UPN sitcom Moesha, and from 2013 to 2015 as Maggie Turner in the Nick at Nite sitcom Instant Mom. In 2016, Ralph played Madame Morrible in Wicked on Broadway.

Ralph's autobiography, Redefining Diva: Life Lessons from the Original Dreamgirl, was published in 2012.

Vanessa Estelle Williams

Vivacious Victorious Vanessa Estelle Williams is an actor, singer, writer and director. Brooklyn-born and formed, this talented force came to Hollywood in the 90’s with passion, purpose and staying power. Ms Williams reprised her role as Anna Marie McCoy in the 2021 box office hit Candyman, written & directed by Nia DaCosta, written & produced by Jordan Peele, to rave reviews. Vanessa got passionate high praise for joining the cast of Showtime’s The L Word Generation Q season 2.

During the Summer of 2021, Ms Williams starred in the Ryan Murphy spin off American Horror Stories- BA’AL as Dr. Eleanor Berger, and currently stars as Claudette Collins in the new season of Fox TV’s 9-1-1. Vanessa stars in Sidra Smith’s six part miniseries A Luv Tale airing on BET+.

Williams made her film debut as the gun toting head of security “Keisha” in the urban classic film New Jack City. Other film credits include Thriller, Singleholic, Raising Izzie, Imagine That, Like Mike, Punks, Mother & Candyman. Williams earned an Emmy Nomination for her work in the Showtime original film Our America. After six consecutive nominations in the category Vanessa won the 2003 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama
Series for her brilliant portrayal of Maxine Chadway in the hit Showtime series Soul Food. Her star turn in Raising Izzie earned GMCTV it's highest world premiere television rating and received a 2013 NAACP Image Award nomination for best Television Movie or Mini-Series. Television credits include: A Rich Christmas BET, Christmas Family Reunion, Lifetime, NBC's long running daytime soap Days of Our Lives , Freeform network’s Famous in Love. The Flash, Ward of the State, the Bay series, Sugar Mommas, Lincoln Heights, Everybody Hates Chris, Knight Riders, Flirting with Forty, Ice Spiders, Cold Case, Soul Food TV series (5 seasons), Our America, The Steve Harvey Show, Chicago Hope, Murder One, Living Single, NYPD Blue, Melrose Place, The Cosby Show and Law & Order.

Vanessa debuted on Broadway in Lincoln Center Theatre's production of Sarafina. In 2012, Ms Williams garnered rave reviews for her role as Esther in the critically acclaimed production of Lynn Nottage's Intimate Apparel at the Pasadena Playhouse. Her other Broadway and theatre credits include Mule Bone, Death and the Kings Horseman and regional productions of The Vagina Monologues, Issues, Abyssinia and a European tour of the musical HAIR. An excerpt from her book SHINE, published in the June 2004 Essence Magazine became the basis for her solo show FEET ON THE CEILING! A coming-of-age story, FEET premiered at the National Black Theatre Festival in 2011 and plays regular engagements in cities and colleges throughout the US and the Caribbean.

Ms Williams is the former Vice Chair of The Black Aids Institute’s Board of Directors & former Chair of BAI's Hollywood Task Force on Aids. An internationally recognized star, Williams' global brand appeal is authentic, energetic and thoroughly relatable. An artist, activist and mother of two creatively talented boys, Omar and Haile Wiseman, Vanessa blends passion and youthful exuberance with timeless charm and soulfulness that deeply connects with people. She is a talent audiences love, trust and admire.

Brian Kennedy

4X Grammy Award winner and musical phenomenon, Brian Kennedy, developed an appreciation for piano music at an early age. With formal lessons at six years, he established the foundation for the composer he became at eight. Gifted with the ability to hear and memorize scales and melodies, he would take songs and make them his own.

“I always wanted to play from the heart, rather than from something that’s been written. There’s no point in playing someone else’s music.”

Kennedy has been on the scene since 2001 and caught his big break in 2006 when he produced and co-wrote "My Love" on Ciara's platinum sophomore album, “The Evolution.” His most popular credits include chart-topping hits “Disturbia” recorded by Rihanna, which she performed while opening the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards and “Forever,” the 2nd single released from Chris Brown’s album “Exclusive – The Forever Edition” which was listed as #1 on the Top 40.

Kennedy contributed to Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson’s self-titled debut album as a writer and producer. The effort earned him his first Grammy for Best R&B Album at the 2009 awards ceremony. Her hit song “If This Isn’t Love” garnered an ASCAP win for Kennedy as well.

Revered as a piano prodigy, Kennedy’s musical genius has afforded him the opportunity to work with several top artists and producers, including Smokie Robinson, The Weeknd, Timbaland, Lady GaGa, Rascal Flatts, Kelly Clarkson, Dallas Davidson, Dr. Dre Backstreet Boys, David Foster, Clive Davis, Natasha Bedingfield, legendary songwriter Diane Warren, and many others.

Michael Colyar

Presenting Michael Colyar The King of Venice Beach Actor, Comedian, and Host

Michael Colyar is one of the funniest comedians on the planet!

Actor, standup, author, and all-around comedy legend, Michael is hard to ignore and impossible to forget.

Michael is no stranger to work as he is still packing out shows in major cities night after night. His wit, charm and unique sense of style has been captivating audiences since the 1980s. He splits his prolific career between film, TV acting and stand up shows.

Michael Colyar consistently performed every weekend, 5 shows a day on Venice Beach and was rightfully dubbed the “King of Venice Beach” while performing 9 years straight, leaving a positive imprint on the crowd with his thought-provoking humor.

A native of Chicago, Michael’s hard work begun paying off and with his comedic star on the rise, he was honored by the city of Venice by placing his shoe and handprints as well as his money grabber in cement of the new Venice Boardwalk.

He plans to do his comedy special on Venice Beach this summer where he gained legendary status as “The King of Venice Beach.”

Colyar gained national attention after capturing the Grand Prize Comedy championship and $100,000 on the popular television show “Star Search.” He donated half of his winnings to homeless charities in the Los Angeles area.

Michael’s philanthropic legacy extends beyond his $100K win from Star Search and he finds time to share laughter with those in need in shelters, rehabilitation centers, schools, and military bases.

As “The Original Host” of “BET Live From LA”, his point-blank delivery and razor-sharp insight deeply connected to its over 55 million viewers coast to coast.

His fans can’t get enough of him, ‘he’s real,’ down to earth,’ ‘a giver’, they say.

Never one to slow down, even in the midst of a pandemic, Michael currently host, Michael Colyar’s Superstar Interviews, a digital show with a stellar guest list which include such notables as Hill Harper, George Wallace, Roland Martin, Russell Simmons, Wyclef Jean, Doug E. Fresh, Brian McKnight, Harry Lennix, Michael K. Williams, Sinbad, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Ts Madison and many more.

Michael shares, “The Michael Colyar Superstar Interviews,” is about real talk and real conversation with some of the most respected names in entertainment and they are my friends. It doesn’t get any better than that.”

The legendary trailblazer also host “Michael Colyar in the Morning,” an uplifting digital show filled with fun, funny and positivity. Welcoming people from all over the world to share their stories and talents. The ‘feel good’ show has found an immediate audience since streaming live in March of 2020.
When asked about his morning show, Michael says, “I’ve had a morning show every day, since March 13th when all of my other jobs dried up due to the pandemic.”
“Every day from 7 to 8 am pacific standard time, I spend an hour on my Facebook and Instagram Live, praying, joking, laughing, motivating and healing the world,” he adds.
“These days when people are being damaged more by fear and stress than the virus or racial strife, I feel we have an obligation to each other to embrace, tickle, inform, calm and reassure each other that it’s all good, because it’s all God ,” Michael says. “During this time, we at The Michael Colyar Morning Show have created a community during that hour.” He expounds further, “We are a community that shares art, jokes, love and ideas while at all times acknowledging and exhaling God.” “We have a beautiful 20 year-old gifted musician who chimes in from Nigeria named Moonlight Afriqa (yes, he spells it with a q) who created our theme music.”
“We do vision boards. We have a retired woman who created art for our security guard who dreams of having his own donut shop. We have comedians, mothers, fighters and lovers and a very bright 10 year-old kid named Jalen Aliyu who plays piano, does awesome adult interviews and one of the funniest comedians in my acting workshop who joins us daily. We are more than community, we are family – the Colyar clan.” Michael Colyar is best known for his starring roles in Blackish, House Party III, Norbit, The Princess & The Frog, and his role as Mr. Whitaker on the hit television series “Martin”.
In 2016, the comedy legend kicked off his one-man show, “Michael Colyar’s Momma,” which chronicles his life and highlights the love and support given to him from his mother as he traverses through a life filled with highs and lows. The passion project has also caught the attention of major television, cable, and streaming networks. Michael will soon return to the stage on a 100 plus city tour with the hit autobiography show.
Over a span of 33-plus years, Michael has built his television and film career working with such luminaries as the late John Singleton and Bernie Mac. He is also known for his work with Eddie Murphy, Martin Lawrence, Cedric The Entertainer, Oprah Winfrey and many more. When asked about the current challenging times, Michael says, “I love God, I love life, and I love the challenge of navigating the waters of life that has been dealt us.” He adds, “I am excited about creating magic and powerful positive results from a situation that is anything but positive.”

Vanessa Bell Calloway

Vanessa Bell Calloway has earned eight NAACP Image Award nominations. She won the NAACP Theater Award for Best Actress for her role as Zora Neale Hurston in her one-woman critically-acclaimed play “Letters From Zora”.

Vanessa recurred in the final season of NBC’s hit drama “This Is Us”, as well as BET Pluse’s new Drama “ Sacrifice” and “The Games People Play”. She recently stared as the matriarch Lady Ella for six seasons on Bounce TV!s one-hour hit-drama "Saint & Sinners”, which can now be viewed on Hulu. She has also recurred in Showtimes "Shameless”, “Black Monday” and NBC’s “Kenan” as well.

Vanessa stars in “The Black Hamptons” a mini series now streaming on BET Pluse and “Whicked City” a new series for ALLBLK coming soon. Vanessa will appear as a special guest star in the final season of “Queen Sugar”. She co-stars in Lionsgate’s feature film “The Devil You Know” and a independent film “A Holiday Chance”. She also co-starred in Nate Parkers feature film “American Skin”, and reprised her role as Princess Imani Izzi in “Coming 2 America”. Some of Calloway’s other memorable film roles include “Harriet”, South Side With You”, “What!s Love Got to Do With It”, Coming To America” “Biker Boyz”, “Daylight”, “Crimson Tide”, “Love Don’t Cost A Thing”, “Cheaper By The Dozen” and “The Inkwell”.

Her other TV credits are many including:“Unbelievable”, "Love Is”,"Survivors Remorse”, "Grey!s Anatomy”,#"Real Husbands Of Hollywood”, "Hawthorne RN”,#"The Closer”,# "NCIS”, "Castle”, and “The Temptations”…just to name a few.

An original cast member of the Broadway hit “ Dream Girls” Vanessa has also starred in “Seven Guitars” at The August Wilson 20th Century Theater Festival held at The Kennedy Center. The Los Angeles productions of “The Piano Lesson”, “The Divorce”, and “Crowns”. A professional concert dancer for many years, Vanessa can be seen dancing a trio with her two beautiful grown daughters Ashley and Alexandra in a viral video on YouTube to the song “If I Could” by Regina Belle.

Vanessa has directed episodes of “Saints And Sinners”, “Some Day At Christmas”, a Christmas movie for TV One and a movie short for BET HER’s health initiative “A Long Look In The Mirror”. She has two hit web series that she created and produced,"In The Company of Friends”, and "Cookin!#& Hookin!#Up” as well as her Blog Talk Radio Show, "That!s So Very Vanessa”. All are on demand anytime at www.inthecompanyoffriends.tv.

A member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Science and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc, Vanessa has been married to her anesthesiologist husband Dr. Tony Calloway for 34 years and they live in Los Angeles California. You can follow Vanessa www.vanessabellcalloway.com IG:@vanessabellcalloway twitter:@nessabcalloway FB: Vanessabellcalloway

Denise Bronner, Ph.D

Director DEI in Clinical Trials (Immunology Portfolio), Janssen Pharmaceuticals

Denise has 12+ years’ experience in immunology, microbiome, and infectious diseases academic research. During her academic tenure, she authored several high impact publications focused on innate immune signaling pathways and served on the executive board of organizations geared towards increasing minorities and women presence in STEM fields. She left the ivory tower in 2019 and joined ZS Associates where she led the Clinical Feasibility Consortium that yielded benchmark reports and process assessments, created novel strategies based on patient and site market research to promote feasibility and trial marketing evolution during COVID-19 pandemic, organized an AI workshop series that upskill data scientists through talks and prototyping sessions, and helped develop communication strategies that utilized impactful and bias-triggering/mitigating messages aimed at site coordinators. She joined Janssen Feasibility Center of Excellence in 2020 and helped incorporate DEI practices into their data-driven feasibility program for their Immunology portfolio. In 2021 she transitioned to her current role, where she and her team craft end-to-end data-driven DEI strategies for Janssen Immunology portfolio that help to enhance protocol inclusiveness, revamp site selection, and increase community awareness/engagement. Denise holds a PhD in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, a BS in Biological Sciences from Wayne State University.

Melanie Igwe

Co-Founder & COO of DrugViu

Melanie is a Houston native passionate about healthcare and bringing equity and access to communities of color. Melanie started her healthcare journey in an inpatient hospital setting as a Project manager for Infection Prevention for Harris Health in the Texas Medical Center. In that role, Melanie gained a deep domain knowledge of EHR systems, both EPIC and Cerner. Melanie then transitioned to being a Data Analyst for Clinical Engineering at Memorial Hermann in the Texas medical center. Melanie oversaw the medical devices' safety, deployment, and capital spending for 15 hospitals in the Memorial Hermann system and several clinics in that role. Before DrugViu, Melanie was a co-founder of a health tech company. Melanie is currently a co-founder and COO of ViuHealth, where she oversees the medical records consolidation, clinical trial recruiting, and retention programs. ViuHealth is a digital health platform designed to provide chronic care management for people with autoimmune conditions, access to clinical trials, and enhanced RWE. Melanie holds a BA in Economics and Math from Howard University.

Linda Goler Blount, MPH

President & CEO, Black Women’s Health Imperative

Linda Goler Blount joined the Black Women’s Health Imperative as the president and chief executive officer in February 2014. As president and CEO, Linda oversees the strategic direction for the Imperative and is responsible for moving the organization forward in its mission to achieve health equity, as well as reproductive justice for Black women. Before joining the Imperative, Linda served as the vice president of programmatic impact for the United Way of Greater Atlanta, where she led the effort to eliminate inequalities in health, income, education and housing through place- and population-based work.

Prior to that position, Linda was the first-ever national vice president of health disparities at the American Cancer Society. There, she was responsible for providing strategic vision and leadership to the Society and its 12 geographic divisions to reduce cancer incidence and mortality among underserved populations and to develop a nationwide health equity policy. With more than 25 years of experience in the public, for-profit and nonprofit sectors, Linda has a distinguished career that includes successful tenures at the Coca-Cola Company, leading strategic business initiatives, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as an expert scientist. She also has extensive international health expertise and has served as a consultant to government ministries in Germany, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago, where she lived for four years.

Linda is a sought-after speaker and a member of the American Public Health Association and the National Association of Health Services Executives. She serves on the Community Health Charities Board, the University of Michigan School of Public Health Summer Enrichment Program Board and is past chair of the University of Michigan School of Public Health Alumni Board of Governors. She previously served on the Emory University Center for Ethics Advisory Board, and the Morehouse School of Medicine Public Health Program Advisory Committee.

A Michigan native, Linda holds a Master of Public Health degree in Epidemiology from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering/Operations Research from Eastern Michigan University.

Roxana Ghashghaei, MD

Dr. Roxana Ghashghaei is a cardiologist, has specific interest in amyloidosis, and is experienced in managing patients with hATTR amyloidosis. She currently serves as an Assistant Health Sciences Professor of Medicine at the University of California, Irvine. She earned her Doctor of Medicine (MD) from the University of California, San Diego and completed her Cardiovascular Medicine Fellowship at University of California, Irvine.

Joanna Pearson

Joanna’s background in nursing spans over 17 years and she earned her degrees from Ohio University. Joanna started in the Neuroscience department and has worked in patient education at all levels of her career. She was inspired to become an Alnylam Patient Education Liaison (PEL) when she learned that she could help educate patients and raise awareness of hATTR amyloidosis, a rare condition that disproportionately affects African Americans

Vincent L. Anthony

Vincent L. Anthony, MD, MPH, FASN, CHCQM, CPE is responsible for assuring timely access to the most efficient, criteria-based medical care for patients, IPA enrollees/members across all lines of business. In concert with K.Care’s mission of delivering quality renal care to patients while enhancing cost savings to payers, Dr. Anthony collaborates internally with the contracted MSO’s other Medical Directors and with the Director of Managed Care/Health Services’ clinical and care management teams and externally with contracted and non-contracted health care providers to implement, monitor, uphold, and enforce sound clinical judgement and medical integrity of all covered services.

Dr. Anthony serves as integral member of the MSO’s senior management team, providing general and subject-matter medical oversight, expertise, and leadership of his practice and his IPA’s provider network. He participates in the development, recommendation, and on-going monitoring of operational and medical policies and procedures relating to the practice of medicine. Monitors clinical care guidelines and assists in streamlining clinical processes to maximize quality and consistency of care. Dr. Anthony earned his MD from Thomas Jefferson Medical College and completed his undergraduate work and Master’s Degree in Public Health at Tulane University. He has been a Fellow of the American Society of Nephrology since 2007 and has been board certified in Medical Management since 2008.

Dr. Vincent Anthony - California Premier Physician (kcareonline.com) Book Appointment: 213.484.4929 Community Engagement Management: 323-273-4586 or info@lametrochurches.org

Cassandra Cantave Burton

Cassandra Cantave Burton is a researcher, educator, and aging professional that specializes in diversity equity and inclusion. She currently serves as a Senior Research Advisor at AARP where she manages and provides content expertise on internal and external aging issues with a focus on LGBTQ, and multicultural communities. Cassandra leads the AARP LGBTQ research and has partnered with organizations such as the Human Rights Campaign, SAGE and the National Center for Trans Equity to advocate for, leverage and disseminate LGBTQ research and insights.

Before joining AARP, Cassandra worked at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, where she spearheaded a database for African- American statistics allowing consumers to locate federal data in one central location. She also worked alongside policy experts to create data briefs on the state of Black America.

Cassandra holds a Master’s degrees in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from Walden University, a Master’s degrees in Sociology from Howard University and a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion certification from the American Management Association.

Twitter: @ccantave LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cassandra-cantave-317268131/

Sheri Prentiss

Dr. Sheri (pronounced Sher-Ree) Prentiss is a proven visionary, best-selling author, and highly sought-after physician leader. Since 2017, she has served as Chief Medical Officer and Public Health Lead at CIEN+ to bring both an inclusive and evidence-driven approach to promoting health equity and better outcomes. She is an occupational & environmental medicine physician, public health expert, professional speaker—CSP® (Certified Speaking Professional™), and a breast cancer survivor. She has served as National Spokesperson for Susan G. Komen as well as their National Ambassador for Health Equity.

After breast cancer treatment left her disabled from lymphedema in her right upper extremity, stripping her of her life-long dream of being a practicing physician, she re-invented herself and went on to become a national public figure, professional speaker, and entrepreneur/owner of her own healthcare consulting business. She has been the catalyst for transformation in the space of cultural and workplace diversity for a myriad of organizations for more than two decades.

In addition to helping patients and healthcare practitioners transform how healthcare is delivered and experienced she also shares her story, her voice, her life, and her victory in awe-inspiring and motivational ways. Dr. Sheri brings the unique perspective of being a patient and a physician to her impassioned and captivating speeches. Her remarkable story of pain, loss, and change has inspired hundreds of thousands of people across the country and abroad. As an expert in transformative medicine, a natural extension of her personal vision and mission in life is to educate consumers that healthcare and being healthy should be experienced joyfully. As such she has become the Queen of How to Let Go & LIVE and creator of Medicine Meets Ministry: Dr. Sheri’s Blueprint on How to Let Go & LIVETM, a step-by-step program that teaches individuals how to shift their focus from what they’ve lost to what remains in order to bring a new vision, path, and purpose for their life into view.

She has been featured in The New England Journal of Medicine, MORE, Essence, Oxygen, Today’s Chicago Woman, Weinberg Magazine, and the Chicago Tribune among other notable publications. She has also been featured in hundreds of television and radio interviews reaching millions with her expertise in helping individuals unlock their potential, boost their self-esteem, set new directions, and prepare for life-long achievements. Dr. Sheri is the founder of the LIVE Today Foundation, Inc., a 501c3 nonprofit organization meeting the needs of under-resourced cancer patients and survivors living with lymphedema. She is also the creator and host of The LIVE Today Show, which airs at 5:30 pm CST every 2nd Wednesday of the month on CANTV Channel 21 and streams live at cantv.org/hotline. She is also the creator of the one of its kind podcast “Where Medicine Meets Ministry: Dr. Sheri Talks Faith & Facts” addressing fundamental questions when it comes to spirituality, health, medicine, death, dying, and faith using a combination of a solo-cast, case studies, testimonies, and interviews with guest experts.

Dr. Prentiss obtained the following degrees: BA, with honors, Northwestern University 1989; MD, with honors, Loyola Stritch School of Medicine 1993; MPH, with a 5.0 GPA University of Illinois School of Public Health 1998; CPE (Certified Physician Executive), CCMM 2007; CSP® (Certified Speaking Professional™), National Speakers Association. She is a member of the American College of Occupational & Environmental Medicine as well as a Fellow, Former Director of the Board, and CPE Tutorial teaching Fellow of the American Association for Physician Leadership.

Reema Dirks, PharmD

Reema Dirks is a pharmacist by training and is passionate about using her platform and expertise to educate people with asthma; the goal is for individuals to become active participants and advocates for their care. With her work at Amgen, she has become a champion for Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging and is committed to amplifying the Company’s mission to increase enrollment of underrepresented populations in clinical trials. She is very excited to partner with Black Health Matters to help improve the asthma patient journey and experience. Reema hails from Oakland, CA.

Oliver Tate Brooks, M.D

Oliver Tate Brooks, M.D. received his undergraduate degree in biology from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia in 1977, graduating in three years. While at Morehouse, he received the Frederick E. Mapp Prize in Biology for excellence in biology. Dr. Brooks received his medical degree in 1981 from Howard University College of Medicine, where he was a summer instructor in biochemistry. He completed a residency in Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital-Oakland, where he practiced for four years before accepting a position at Watts Healthcare Corporation.

Dr. Brooks is Chief Medical Officer and past Chief of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine at Watts Healthcare Corporation in Los Angeles, California (CA) where he also serves as the Medical Director of the Jordan and Locke High School Wellness Centers. He is a Medical Director for L.A. Care Health Plan, one of the nation’s largest Medicaid managed care plans whose mission is “to provide access to quality health care for Los Angeles County's vulnerable and low-income communities and residents”. He holds staff appointments at Centinela Hospital in Inglewood, CA and at Martin Luther King Community Hospital in South Los Angeles, CA. Dr. Brooks is Immediate Past-Chairman of the Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County, a consortium of 43 community health centers in the southern California area.

Dr. Brooks is the immediate Past President of the National Medical Association (NMA), and has held several leadership positions within the NMA, including at the state and local level, as Past President of the Golden State (CA) Medical Association and Past President of the Miller-Lawrence Medical and Dental (local) Society.

Dr. Brooks is a present Board member and Past President of the California Immunization Coalition and Chairman of the Immunize LA Families Coalition. He is a member of the national Leadership Panel for the Adolescent Immunization Initiative (AII), which advocated successfully for adding a column on the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice’s Center for Disease Prevention and Prevention (CDC) yearly vaccine recommendations in 2017. Dr. Brooks is often requested to speak to the media on issues related to immunizations and is a vocal and passionate advocate for reduced disparities in immunization rates among disadvantaged communities. He also is frequently asked to present to physicians and other medical groups on the science and the implementation perspective of vaccine utilization. In June 2020, Dr. Brooks asked to, and joined the ACIP COVID-19 Work Group discussing and making recommendations to the ACIP regarding (potential) COVID-19 vaccine prioritization. Dr. Brooks is a member of the Best Practices Leadership, of the Right Care University of Best Practices, a group dedicated to reducing heart disease in CA and nationally. His community service extends beyond health and wellness and includes serving as Past President of the Long Beach Museum of Art’s Board of Trustees.

Dr. Brooks has received numerous honors and awards; he was honored by the National Council of Negro Women, Long Beach CA for Outstanding Service to the Community and in 2017, he was the Wall of Excellence for Medicine awardee for Long Beach 2016 Black History Month. In 2019, Dr. Brooks was honored as one of the Top Blacks in Health Care by BlackDoctor.org. Dr. Brooks is a member of the Kappa Alpha Psi and Sigma Pi Phi (the Boule) fraternities. He is married to his wife of 32 years, Lisa and has two children, Alana and Joseph.

Michael Bivins, MD

For 18 years, Dr. Vincent Michael Bivins has been a dedicated member of the team of doctors at Urology Centers of Alabama (UCA). Dr.Bivins received his Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology from the University of Alabama. He subsequently completed his medical education at the University of Alabama School of Medicine, his internship in General Surgery at Vanderbilt Medical Center and his residency in Urology at the University of Oklahoma. He then completed a clinical fellowship in Urology Oncology at the University of Washington and went on to join Urology Centers of Alabama in 2002. In addition to serving the patients at UCA, Bivins resides on the boards of the Jefferson County American Cancer Society, YMCA and Urology Foundation. Dr. Bivins gives back to his community by providing free prostate screenings for low socioeconomic areas. Bivins is also a retired member of the United States Air Force Reserve.

Ayanna Santos, PharmD

Dr. Ayanna A Santos has over 23 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry with a focus on strategic marketing and business leadership. Her passion for overall wellness and improving the health for people, especially children, is evident in her diverse career experiences.

Her leadership experience includes multiple product launches, sales, commercial operations, and medical affairs covering various therapeutic areas: Vaccines, Neuroscience, Endocrinology, Cardiovascular, and Respiratory. Ayanna joined Sanofi Pasteur in New Product Development in 2019 with specific responsibility for nirsevimab (RSV). Prior to joining Sanofi, Ayanna was with Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals since 2015 as the Head of Neuroscience Marketing. Prior to joining Ipsen, Ayanna worked at Sanofi U.S. for almost 10 years, in a variety of roles including, Head of the Patient Engagement for North America, leadership roles in Diabetes and Cardiovascular marketing, field sales management, finance, and managed markets. Earlier in her career, Ayanna worked with Novartis Pharmaceuticals in Neuroscience marketing and Cardiovascular regulatory affairs, as well as, Schering Plough/Key Pharmaceuticals in Respiratory Sales.

Ayanna received a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) from Xavier University of Louisiana and completed a post-doctoral fellowship with Rutgers University.

Ayanna enjoys spending time with her husband and 4 beautiful children ranging from 14 to 2 years of age.

Chrissy Carter

Chrissy Carter is a Business Performance Director, on the Representation in Clinical Research (RISE) team at Amgen. She leads a portfolio of cross functional projects that aim to drive Amgen’s commitment to improve proportional representation in clinical trials in alignment with Amgen’s Environment, Social, Governance (ESG) corporate imperatives, health equity narratives, and ethical research commitments. Chrissy found her passion for diversity, representation, equity and inclusion in clinical research and connects it with her extensive program management experience to help embed the inclusive mindset the RISE team is working towards across the organization and the industry. She is passionate about delivering on Amgen’s commitment to the development of new drugs based on clinical trials, conducted without bias, and with representation of all patients who are afflicted with the disease we are seeking to treat