Rodney D. Foxworth, Jr. is founder and principal strategist of Benevolent Ventures, a common good consultancy that helps nonprofit and socially responsible for-profit businesses achieve their double-triple bottom line objectives. Previously, he worked in workforce and economic policy development for a think-and-do tank. Additionally, he has worked in higher education marketing, corporate communication and journalism. His writing has appeared in The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore City Paper, Urbanite magazine, Baltimore Brew, Baltimore Fishbowl, and Metro US newspapers, among other publications. He sits on the board of directors of Social Enterprise Alliance (Mid-Atlantic chapter) and Fusion Partnerships, and also serves on the national advisory board of Digital Harbor Foundation.
Amissa Miller is an artist, educator and nonprofit administrator whose focus is in youth and community development. Her background in education includes leading after-school theatre programs with teens through Opening Act New York; facilitating social justice and community organizing workshops with women at the Brooklyn Young Mothers’ Collective; and teaching visual arts classes at Excellence Charter School for Boys as a Free Arts NYC volunteer mentor. Amissa is certified to facilitate Intergroup Dialogue, a nationally recognized course that brings together students from diverse backgrounds to explore diversity and social justice. She has taught courses in theater and communication arts at Bronx Community College and New York University, and has presented on race and gender representation in educational theatre at the American Alliance for Theatre and Education’s National Conference. Her experience in nonprofit administration includes coordinating education and community programs at cultural institutions like the Maysles Institute, Dwyer Cultural Center, and Brooklyn Academy of Music. In addition to her work in education and nonprofits, Amissa has written plays, directed a short documentary film, and is currently producing a web-series. She holds a B.A. in Drama and Spanish from Spelman College and an M.F.A. in Dramaturgy and Script Development from Columbia University.
DeAndre' J. Calvert grew up in Flint, MI where he attended Valley Christian Academy and Carman-Ainsworth High School. For his college years DeAndre' attended Harding University in central Arkansas, Mott Community College in Flint, MI and Wayne State University in Detroit, MI. DeAndre’ is currently finishing his BA in Sociology and will receive his diploma in December . He was actively involved on campus and was a four year member and president of the Delta Nu Chapter of the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity. While working towards a degree, DeAndre' has had a number of employment opportunities that have led him to being a community organizer. Viewing community outreach as a dream career, DeAndre' is extremely excited to make a real impact in the community and with the individuals that comprise it. Believing that anyone can be a hero, he is looking to not only find symbols of hope in today’s society, but to also be inspired by the decency and good works of others.
Shaka Senghor is a writer, mentor and motivational speaker whose story of redemption has inspired youth and young adults at high schools and universities across the nation. He is the CEO of Drop a Gem Publishing, founder of the Live In Peace Digital and Literary Arts Project, and a recipient of the 2012 Black Male Engagement (BME) Leadership Award. He has written six books, including a memoir about his life, which is expected to be released in September 2012. He is the author of the highly addictive detective series Crack: Volume 1 and Crack: Volume 2, and most recently published a book of his writings entitled Live in Peace: A Youth Guide to Turning Hurt into Hope, a companion piece to his mentoring program.
Alex Peay was born in Silver Spring MD and grew up in Brooklyn, New York where he became interested in becoming a corporate attorney. He attended Ursinus College with a major in Politics and two minors in Media/ Communication and American Studies. During his sophomore year, Alex founded an organization called Rising Sons to help build a support system for the minority male students. Due to the success and progress of the organization he lost interest in going to law school and decided to bring his organization to Philadelphia and dedicate his life to help urban youth achieve their goals, dreams and ambitions.
Melissa C. DeShields has over 15 years of progressive experience in the non-profit sector, including, direct service experience and working in various community settings with children, youth and families. Prior to becoming an independent consultant, Ms. DeShields was a Senior Associate with Community Development Associates, a national consulting firm providing organizational development and community building support to community-based organizations and philanthropic institutions. As a Program Officer at The Philadelphia Foundation, she managed the Foundation’s Fund for Children, Youth Advisory Board, and discretionary grant-making process. Her portfolio included strategic investments for older youth, youth development, education and civic engagement. Born in Camden, NJ, Ms. DeShields obtained a Bachelors of Arts degree in Sociology from Rutgers University and currently resides in Philadelphia, PA.