BE High Society: Education - Black Enterprise

BE High Society: Education

Be inspired by educators across mediums that ensure black culture stays relevant, diverse and at the forefront of everyday conversations. Outspoken, inspiring and game-changing, these intellectuals prove that black excellence--- no matter the field---is the norm.

Judith Jamison

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A dancer, choreographer, artistic director and education advocate, Judith Jamison took over as artistic director of the Alvin Ailey company after the founder’s death in 1989 and has been key in ensuring the company’s longevity. Along with her work with Ailey's company, she has performed all over the world, and started her own company, the Jamison Project, teaching master classes and building the next generation of exemplary minority dancers.

Geoffrey Canada

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Called “one of the great innovators,” by tech leader Bill Gates, Geoffrey Canada has worked with the Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ) for more than 30 years and has made esteemed strides in his work helping children and families. In 2011 he was among TIME’s 100 Most Influential People in the World list and was also named one of Fortune’s 50 Greatest Leaders in the World. Though he has stepped down as CEO of HCZ, he continues to serve as president of the HCZ and Promise Academy Boards.

Mary Schmidt Campbell

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Recently appointed president of Spelman College, Mary Schmidt Campbell comes from an extensive background in education, public service and the arts. She previously served as dean of the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, and prior to her tenure at NYU, she led efforts in successfully transforming the Studio Museum in Harlem into a lucrative entity. She also serves as vice chairwoman of a presidential committee that works to improve the importance of art in public schools.

Beverly Daniel Tatum

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President of Spelman College, Beverly Daniel Tatum, Ph.D., is a Barbara Graves Award honoree who has served as an exemplary leader in education for more than three decades. She has held teaching posts at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Westfield State University. She also served as president of Mount Holyoke College, and has authored three esteemed books on race and education.

Roland Gerhard Fryer Jr.

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Roland Gerhard Fryer Jr., a leading economist who holds offices at the National Bureau of Economic Research and the WEB Du Bois Institute, is the Robert M. Beren Professor of Economics at Harvard University. In 2007, at age 30, he became the youngest African American to ever receive tenure at the institution. The 2011 recipient of the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship has published numerous economics-related papers in prominent academic journals. He balances research with his work as the founder and faculty director of the Education Innovation Laboratory at Harvard.

David C. Banks

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David C. Banks is President and CEO of the Eagle Academy Foundation, a nonprofit that develops and supports a network of all-male, college-prep public schools in grades six through 12 in urban communities in New York and Newark, N.J. The schools serve about 2,000 students, with more than 70% being African American. The school boasts a 2013-2014 high school graduation rate of 78% (compared with 52% national rate for young men of color,) and graduates are accepted to college at top institutions including the University of Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon University and Morehouse College.

Dr. Patricia L. Turner

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Dr. Patricia L. Turner is director of the Division of Member Services at the American College of Surgeons and adjunct associate professor of surgery at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. She is also a member of Mensa, an elite society of professionals who have scored in the top 2% of the population on IQ tests. She has served as associate professor of surgery at the University of Maryland, is a member of the board of directors at the American Medical Association Foundation, and she often offers her expert insights to media outlets, organizations and nonprofits.

Evelynn Hammonds

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Evelynn Hammonds, a professor of the History of Science and of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. She is also the first woman and African American to be dean of Harvard College. She has done research on black female sexuality and how race and gender have affected the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and has extensively explored the history of scientific, medical, and sociopolitical concepts of race and sexuality, the history of disease and public health, gender in science and medicine and African-American history.

Anthony B. Pinn

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Anthony B. Pinn holds masters and doctorate degrees from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University. He serves as professor of religious studies at Rice University, where he recently teamed up with hip-hop star Bernard “Bun B” Freeman to teach a course on religion and hip-hop. The founding director of the Center for Engaged Research and Collaborative Learning, he is also author and editor of more 30 books, including “Noise and Spirit: The Religious and Spiritual Sensibilities of Rap Music” and “The Hip-Hop and Religion Reader.”

Cornel West

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An author, educator and activist, Cornel West graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University and obtained his master’s and doctorate degrees in philosophy at Princeton University. He became a W.E.B. Du Bois Fellow before becoming an assistant professor at Union Theological Seminary. He has also served as professor of African-American Studies at Harvard and has written and edited more than 30 books. He appears frequently on the Bill Maher Show, Colbert Report, CNN and C-Span as Tavis Smiley’s PBS TV Show.

Kimberly Bryant

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Kimberly Bryant founded Black Girls Code in 2011 to provide programming and technology education to young and pre-teen African-American girls. Her organization has been lauded around the world and most recently was the recipient of the “Standing O-Vation” award, which came with a $25,000 grant from Toyota. The program has reached more than 3,000 girls in seven U.S. cities and in Johannesburg, South Africa and aims to reach one million girls by the year 2040.

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