Black History Month is celebrated every February as a time to commemorate and acknowledge the Black Americans who played a critical role in the founding and shaping of the United States.

Union Institute & University is participating in the celebration by spotlighting members of our faculty and staff.


Tell us about your role at Union Institute & University.
At present, I am a part-time member of the doctoral program faculty. I serve as the coordinator of the Martin Luther King Jr. studies program. I teach courses in the public policy & social change concentration. I also serve on the JDEI committee of the faculty council.

Tell us about a moment in Black History that influenced or shaped your career/life.
I cannot identify a ‘moment ” that shaped my career. I can say that living in Atlanta from 1974-2015 afforded me the opportunity to work with and come to know many giants of the Freedom Movement. I had the great good fortune to know and work with Connie Curry, John Lewis, Julian Bond, James Orange, Maynard Jackson, Andy Young, C.T. Vivian, Micheal Simanga and so many others. The experiences and relationships shaped my path.

What does Black History Month mean to you?
BHM – has always been and continues to be a time to reflect, discover, and recount sung and unsung stories about people who made stories for each of us to tell.

Is there a Black leader, past or present, who inspires you?
Shirley Chisholm, Barbara Jordan, Shirley Franklin, Beatrice Posey, and Fani Willis are a few of the Black women whose choices and courage in the public policy arena let me know that it is always possible to clear a path toward freedom.

What advice do you have for people looking to start their careers or become a leader?
Becoming a careful and active listener expands one’s thinking and guides one’s speaking. Once you have really heard my experience you will never be the same. In other words, a genuine encounter creates change. Pay attention to which words you choose to place next to each other. Context has meaning and value, understand it and use its meaning and value.

What is your favorite mantra?
If it’s possible, it’s probable that I can and will do it and not quit until I’ve exhausted all effort to try to accomplish it!