Emmy Award winning film producer, Sherry Simpson Dean is known for her deep commitment to human rights and civil liberties. Her film production, “Amandla! A Revolution in Four Part Harmony”, is a multiple award-winner of Robert Redford’s Sundance Film Festival and has been critically acclaimed as the seminal film on post-apartheid South Africa. Over the last two years she has served as Senior Fellow with McKinnon Center for Global Affairs and a Scholar in Residence with the Young Initiative on the Global Political Economy at Occidental College. She is also an adjunct lecturer in the Department of Diplomacy and World Affairs. She served from 2011-2013 as a consultant with Opportunity Green, the nation’s largest multidisciplinary business-to-business sustainability conference. In that role she built strategic partnerships with the United Nations Foundation and co-founded the new media division of the company. In the first six months of the new venture, she produced three global media campaigns for the UN Environmental Program featuring UN Ambassadors --Award winning actor Don Cheadle, supermodel Gisele Bundchen and China’s biggest box office female superstar Li Bing Bing. She is a signatory to the Encore Program the first UN Environmental Media endeavor with distinguished Hollywood figures. Formerly, the Executive Director of the United Nations Association in Southern California region (2005-2011), Simpson-Dean has been honored for her outstanding record in the development of innovative programs both locally and globally in support of the UN Millennium Development Goals. She is currently serving as Interim Dean for Intercultural Affairs at Occidental College.
Dean Pam George
Elijah Heyward III
Elijah Heyward, III is a PhD candidate in American Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research interests are the Gullah culture and the Penn School in Beaufort, S.C. A native of Beaufort, Heyward formerly lived in Washington, D.C., where he directed the Youth Scholar Academy, a nationwide college access program that he created as a Yale President’s Public Service Fellow. Heyward received his bachelor’s degree in history with a minor in leadership studies from Hampton University and his master’s degree in religion from Yale Divinity School.
Meridith Coleman Tobias
Meredith F. Coleman-Tobias is Ph.D. candidate in the Graduate Division of Religion, Emory University. In the American Religious Cultures course of study, her research interests consider Caribbean and North American iterations of African Atlantic religious cultures. She is specifically interested in the ritual diaspora of two Burkinabé spiritual leaders. Investigating their "reverse mission" in Western countries, she interrogates African and non-African descendants intentional practice of Dagara spirituality. Meredith earned the Bachelor of Arts degree from Spelman College in 2006 and the Master of Divinity degree from Yale Divinity School in 2009. While at Yale, Gamal Palmer and Meredith worked together on the teaching team of "Arts and Public Health in Action: A Study of HIV/AIDS in Swaziland and South Africa" for two consecutive summers. Meredith also received a Fulbright grant to conduct a research project entitled “Performance Is as Religion Knows: A Cross-Cultural Study of Spiritual Baptist Churches and Local Theater Communities in Barbados” (2009-2010).
Felita Wong Shen
B.S. Marketing & Management, University of Southern California
Helmed Internet pioneer Yahoo! Inc.'s cause-marketing partnerships (First Lady Hilary Clinton, Gen. Colin Powell - White House initiatives, Rob Reiner's "I Am Your Child" campaign, Arnold Schwarzenegger's charity, etc.), co-founded and led multi-million dollar Yahoo! Employee Fund and Board of Directors. Currently a champion in the realms of personal development, anti-aging and sustainable success.