Brown & Associates in partnership with M & D Group is pleased to be working with people who have lived the message they share. These inspiring speakers were part of the Civil Rights Movement, have written books about key figures from our past, portray history makers, have unique family legacies and still others have expertise in foreign policy and global affairs.
Daughter of Oliver Brown - Cheryl Brown Henderson
The 1954, U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. the Board of Education dismantled the legal framework for any type of discrimination. The 1964 Civil Rights Act was possible because the court in Brown struck down the legitimacy of laws that segregated people and treated them differently based on race. That same legal measure was applied to women’s rights, citizens with disabilities, older adults and other forms of discrimination.
The legal name of the 1954 Supreme Court decision is Oliver L. Brown et. al. vs. the Board of Education of Topeka (KS), et. al. The daughter of Oliver Brown, Cheryl Brown Henderson, continues to speak about the experiences of the families who stood with the NAACP as plaintiffs and shares the stories of the community organizers and attorneys who orchestrated this legal challenge to racial segregation.
Carl Boyd's weekend radio talk show, Academic Patriotism, named for his (same-titled) book, broadcast live from Kansas City, features troops and students discussing how they work together to strengthen the nation. In addition, he was the creator of “Generation Rap,” a talk show for teens on KPRS FM. In 1997, he was keynote speaker for the China-U.S. Conference on Education in Beijing, China. Carl has authored five books including - Plain Teaching - Last of the Old School Educators and The 5th Front Campaign; Schools & the War On Terror. In 2000, he established the consulting business, Advice Teacher Services: “How To Teach The Hard-To-Reach”. He is currently working on a project to challenge every student to be their academic best and seeks to inspire students to do their best in honor of America's military.
Dr. Steve Brown
Dr. Steve Brown, currently Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at Texas A & M University – Corpus Christi, received his PhD from Iowa State University. His academic areas of specialization include educational law and ethics, social justice, and educational research.
He is also a playwright and in addition to co-writing “Brown. Thurgood Marshall and Earl Warren: A Conversation,” Steve co-wrote “And on the Eighth Day: Bryan v. Darrow,” which is an award-winning play about the 1925 Scopes Trial, debating the issue of Evolution versus Creationism. In addition, Steve along with co-writer Michael Ullstrup, penned “A Fireside Chat: A Conversation with Franklin Delano Roosevelt,” which had its world premier at the FDR Presidential Library in 2011.
Besides his academic credentials as a tenured professor over the past 25 years, Steve is also an award-winning playwright and broadcast producer. His broadcast experiences include serving as an executive producer for an affiliate of National Public Radio and Wisconsin Public Radio, as well as news anchor and investigative reporter for a CBS Television News affiliate.
Venida Chenault was selected as the seventh president of Haskell Indian Nations University on January 4, 2014 and the first student at Haskell to become President. Dr. Chenault is a member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi and Kickapoo tribes and the mother of three adult sons and a daughter. She is also an adopted mother and grandmother in her tribe.
Dr. Chenault began her educational career at Haskell Indian Junior College. She attended Haskell in the Fall of 1975 and in the Spring of 1984. She transferred to the University of Kansas where she earned her Bachelor’s in Social Welfare and Master’s in Social Welfare in May 1990 before returning to Haskell as a faculty member in 1991. She was recruited to re-establish the Haskell Social Work Program and designed curriculum, established articulation agreements, taught in the Social Work program and mentored hundreds of social work majors during her 14 years in the academic ranks. She co-authoring the proposal for the bachelor’s in American Indian Studies approved by the Higher Learning Commission, serving as the first interim director of American Indian Studies and authoring grants to expand opportunities for Haskell students and to provide support for faculty pursuing terminal degrees. Her awards include American Indian Mellon Fellow and the American Indian Leadership Award from the University of Kansas Indigenous Studies Program.
Phoebe Ferguson is a New Orleans native. She worked as a successful photographer and filmmaker in New York City for 20 years, before returning home. Right after Katrina, she drove a truck full of supplies from Brooklyn, New York to the families in her film, who lost everything during the storm. Eight months later, she moved back to her roots to finish her documentary, Member of the Club, and start a new life as co-founder of The Plessy and Ferguson Foundation. Ms. Ferguson's special interests are ensuring equity in education and developing programs that combine history and the arts. Ms. Ferguson holds degrees from the Art Center College of Design and New York University.
Dana Hill, Founder of The Black Doll Affair our 60th Anniversary national dialog co-sponsor. The Black Doll Affair, Atlanta, Georgia, which was founded in 2007 as a self-esteem movement and volunteer social club created to be a contemporary response to the historic “Black Doll Experiment” conducted by Drs. Kenneth and Mamie Clark, which produced social science evidence said to have influenced the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v Board of Education.
Lynne M. Jackson
The 1897 U.S. Supreme Court, in the case of Dred Scott v. Sanford, ruled that African Americans were excluded from citizenship and where without constitutional protection. The Dred Scott case became a major catalyst for the Civil War. In little more than a decade after the Decision, with the end of the Civil War our nation ratified three Constitutional Amendments which abolished slavery, granted equal citizenship to African-Americans, and guaranteed the right to vote regardless of race or color. Dred Scott and his wife, Harriet, by suing for their freedom shed light on the troubling institution of slavery. They were pioneers in the American Civil Rights Movement. The courage and sacrifice of Dred and Harriet Scott and their family played no small part in achieving this monumental victory.
Lynne M. Jackson is a great-great granddaughter of Dred Scott, and founder and president of the Dred Scott Heritage Foundation. She holds a Bachelor of Science: Business Administration and Marketing, Southern Illinois University. Ms. Jackson travels across the United States sharing the story of her ancestors, their case, and what it means to the future of this nation.
Stogie Kenyatta, is an actor, writer and comedian, who was classically trained. He developed the one man show “The World is my home-The Life of Paul Robeson” as a personal quest to educate a younger generation about Paul Robeson, who himself was a talented, intellectually gifted, actor, athlete, singer, human rights activist and world citizen whose life was filled with triumph and tragedy as he fought for the liberation of people of color. This is the number one multi-cultural show on the American and Caribbean corporate and educational circuit and a favorite on the topics of tolerance, diversity and social justice.
Rev. Dr. Carolyn Maull (McKinstry)
Carolyn Maull (McKinstry) was present on September 15, 1963 at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, when white supremacists bombed the Church, killing her four young friends. She was among thousands of students hosed by firemen during the 1963 marches. She survived a second bomb explosion that destroyed a portion of her home in 1964. Carolyn recently authored a book (memoir) entitled “While The World Watched”, published by Tyndale. In 2013, she co-chaired “The Four Spirits Committee” which raised over $300,000 to place permanent life size sculptures in Kelly Ingram Park of the four girls killed in the 1963 Church bombing.
Keith Weldon Medley
Keith Weldon Medley is the author of We as Freemen – Plessy v. Ferguson – The Fight against Legal Segregation (Pelican Publishing Company; May, 2003). He is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana and a 2001 and 2002 recipient of the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities’ Publication Initiative Grants. Medley has written a great deal on the New Orleans origins of the Plessy v. Ferguson Supreme Court case. He authored the text of "When The Future Became The Past", a Tulane University and Louisiana State Museum touring exhibit that chronicles this pivotal United States Supreme Court case.
As a freelance writer, he has compiled over fifty writings on Louisiana’s history and culture including two reports in Smithsonian magazine. His contributions have also appeared in Historic Preservation, The New Orleans Tribune, American Legacy, Louisiana Cultural Vistas, Preservation In Print, The Times-Picayune, Southern Exposure, and many other publications.
Naimah is a transformational coach and inspirational speaker. She has been featured in several magazines such as Woman’s Day, Cash Flow, and Home Computing Magazine.
Naimah's workbook and most popular topic as a keynote speaker is a Simple Path to Peace, Self-Compassion & Love, a theme relevant to a wide range of audiences. She also is the author of a children’s book for ages 3-8, entitled The Wonderful You, stressing the importance of believing in oneself and self-esteem.
Keith M. Plessy
Keith M. Plessy, is a longtime bellman at The Marriott hotel. He is a native of New Orleans and a graduate of John McDonogh High School and the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. When he was a student at Valena C. Jones Elementary School in the 1960s, Keith discovered he had a famous last name. A gifted artist, he was recruited to return to Valena C. Jones elementary school in 1979 to paint more than a hundred portraits of civil rights leaders on the interieror walls of the school. His paintings are still there today. Currently, as president of the Plessy and Ferguson Foundation, Keith works tirelessly reaching out to civil rights leaders, activists, and community members to let them know about the foundation and to seek their input and guidance in developing programs.
Terrence James Roberts was one of the Little Rock Nine, a group of African American students who, in 1957, were the first black students ever to attend classes at Little Rock Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. In 1999, he and the other people of the Little Rock Nine were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal by President Bill Clinton.
On September 4, 1957, the Little Rock Nine made an unsuccessful attempt to enter segregated Central High School, On two occasions an angry mob of hundreds surrounded the school and prevented them from going in. When on September 23, 1957, the mob grew to 1000, the following day President Dwight D. Eisenhower took control of the Arkansas National Guard from the governor and sent soldiers to accompany the students to school for protection during the entire school year. Little Rock High School was closed during the 1958-1959 school year, Roberts completed his senior year at Los Angeles High School in Los Angeles, California. After obtaining a doctorate degree he joined the faculty of Pacific Union College and later Antioch University Los Angeles.
Joy Cabarrus Speaks
Joy Cabarrus Speaks was among the students at R. R. Moton High School, who organized a now famous strike for better schools in Farmville, Virginia that resulted in a lawsuit against the county school board. Their case Davis vs. Prince Edward County School Board became one of the cases consolidated under the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. the Board of Education.
Speaks attended New York University and went on to hold an international management position with the Magic Marker Corporation. She also served on the Magic Marker Board of Directors. Speaks serves on the R.R. Moton Museum Council, Moton Museum Trustees Board, Prince Edward County Board of Equalization and has chaired successful fund raising efforts for the museum.
Ambassador Charles Stith
Ambassador Charles Stith was appointed by President Clinton to the U.S. Embasy in Tanzania West Africa following a terrorist bombing in 1998. The appointment followed his selection by President Clinton to head his African Growth and Opportunity Initiative because of his ability to articulate and enact policy.
Ambassador Stith is a graduate of Harvard University Divinity School. He is the founder and former National President of the Organization for a New Equality, which focuses on expanding economic opportunity for minorities and women. Prior to heading O.N.E., he was Senior Minister of the historic Union United Methodist Church. He has served on the National Advisory Boards of Fannie Mae and Fleet In City Bank, the Editorial Board of WCVB-TV, and the Boards of West Insurance, Inc. and the Wang Center for Performing Arts, among others. He is the author of Political Religion and many articles, which have appeared in such publications as The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald, USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, and The Chicago Sun Times. He is currently working on his new book, Africa: The Global Markets Final Frontier.
John Stokes was a high school activist and part of a strike against racially segregated schools in Farmville, Virginia. In 1951, Stokes became a part of a movement that was felt and heard throughout the world. This strike set the stage for Stokes to become one of the original plaintiffs in the landmark civil rights case, Brown v. Board of Education. Mr. Stokes served as a teacher, a master teacher, assistant principal, assistant to the superintendent, and principal in Baltimore City Public Schools before retiring as principal in 1994. Since retiring he has lectured at different colleges and universities across the country.
Carmaletta Williams, PhD
Carmaletta Williams, PhD, is professor of English and African American studies at Johnson County Community College, and has published her second work on the author and poet Langston Hughes. Co-edited by John Edgar Tidwell, PhD, professor of English at the University of Kansas, the book “My Dear Boy” examines the role that the correspondence he had with his mother Carrie Hughes had on his works.
Dr. Williams continues to teach and write. She is currently working on her next project which is named ‘A Mother Still’ about motherhood and enslaved women during antebellum slavery.
Dr. Williams other works include “Langston Hughes in the Classroom: ‘Do Nothin’ till You Hear from Me’” and “Of Two Spirits: American Indian and African American Oral Histories.” She has collaborated on numerous works including "Hurricane Blues: Poems about Katrina and Rita”, and has lent her expertise as a book reviewer to projects like “Ties That Bind: The Story of an Afro-Cherokee Family in Slavery and Freedom”. Her published writings have encompassed women’s history and women’s literature.