Charles S. Dutton

A graduate of The Yale School of Drama, Charles S. Dutton has a career spanning theater, television and film, and is one of the few actors to earn Tony, Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for the same role. He created the lead roles in three of August Wilson’s early plays: “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,”“Jo Turners’ Come and Gone,” and “The Piano Lesson.”  He received multiple award nominations, including the Tony for Best Actor for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and “The Piano Lesson.”  He was also nominated for an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe for The Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation of “The Piano Lesson.”

Charles starred in and executive produced the Fox comedy/drama “Roc,” produced by HBO, for which he received several NAACP Image Award nominations. He has numerous television credits, including the miniseries “The Murder of Mary Phagan,” “The 60’s,” “Deadlock,” and “Aftershock.”  His episodic appearances include “House,” “The Sopranos,” HBO’s “Oz,” “Criminal Minds,” and “American Horror Story,” among others. He won Emmy’s for his guest starring roles in “Without a Trace” and “The Practice.” He can most recently be seen in a recurring role on A&E’s “Longmire” as well as a heavily recurring role in the first season of ABC’s “Zero Hour.”

He is a veteran of numerous feature films such as “Aliens 3,” “Menace II Society,” “Rudy,” “A Low Down Dirty Shame,” “Cry, Beloved Country,” “Nick of Time,” “A Time to Kill,” “Get on the Bus,” “Cookie’s Fortune” (for which he received and Independent Spirit Award nomination), “Gothika,” “Secret Window” and the 2008 John Sayles feature “Honeydripper.” In just the past year Roc starred in two features, Universal’s “The Express,” Lakeshore’s “Fame” and, Screen Gems feature “Legion” with Paul Bettany and Denis Quaid. He also stars in the recent Sundance selection “LUV.”

He made his directorial debut in 1997 with the HBO movie “First Time Felon.” He also directed the award winning HBO miniseries “The Corner,” for which he received a 2001 Best Director Emmy. His feature film directorial debut was the 2004 Paramount film “Against the Ropes.” In 2006 he directed multiple episodes of the Showtime series “Sleeper Cell,” for which he received a DGA Award nomination. Most recently he directed the Lifetime movie “Racing For Time,” and the pilot “Under” for A&E. 


Avis Jones-DeWeever, PH.D.

Writer. Speaker. Change Agent. Avis Jones-DeWeever Ph.D. is an authority on race, gender, the economy, and issues of privilege, power, and policy in the U.S. She is the author of numerous publications focused on policy issues of particular importance to women and the African American community.  A selection of her works include: The Black Mother's Burden; Why Women's Empowerment Matters: Engaging the Global Economy by Leaving No Woman Behind; Black Girls in New York: Quite Strength and Bold Resilience; and the forthcoming book, Standing in Our Own Way: The Limits of Black Black Progress in the Age of Obama.

Dr. Jones-DeWeever's professional background is diverse, including stints at the Governor's Office of Virginia, the Maryland State House of Representatives, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, and the Institute for Women's Policy Research. Most recently, she served as the Executive Director of the National Council of Negro Women, leading the organization at a particularly crucial moment in its history following the death of Civil Rights and Women's Rights icon, Dr. Dorothy Height.

Currently a contributor to The Huffington Post and Clutch Magazine, Dr. Jones-DeWeever is a widely revered political commentator.  Her policy perspectives have been shared through a variety of media outlets including:  CNN, PBS, TV One, BET News, ABC News, National Public Radio, Glamour Magazine, the Grio, The New York Times, the Washington Post, and Vital Speeches of the Day.

Dr. Jones-DeWeever is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Virginia State University and holds a Ph.D. in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland, College Park. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Voter Participation Center, as an Affiliated Scholar with the Institute for Women's Policy Research, and is the Founder of Black Women Aligned for Positive Action.

Michael Eric Dyson, PH.D.

Hailed as one of the nation's most inspiring African Americans, Michael Eric Dyson has been credited with revitalizing the role of the public intellectual with the fervor of an ordained Baptist minister. The American Book Award recipient and two-time NAACP Image Award winner has been named one of the 150 most powerful African Americans by Ebony magazine. The Philadelphia Weekly contends that Dyson “is reshaping what it means to be a public intellectual by becoming the most visible black academic of his time.”

Dyson’s pioneering scholarship has had a profound effect on American ideas. His first book, 1993’s Reflecting Black: African American Cultural Criticism, helped establish the field of black American cultural studies. His next book, 1994’s Making Malcolm: The Myth and Meaning of Malcolm X, was named one of the most important African-American books of the 20th century. Dyson’s first book on Martin Luther King, 2000’s  I May Not Get There with You: The True Martin Luther King, Jr., made a significant contribution to King scholarship by recovering the radical legacy of the slain civil rights leader.  Other works including Holler if You Hear Me; Mercy, Mercy Me: The Art, Loves and Demons of Marvin Gaye; Is Bill Cosby Right? Or Has the Black Middle Class Lost Its Mind?; Come Hell or High Water: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster; and Can You Hear Me Now?: The Inspiration, Wisdom, and Insight of Michael Eric Dyson, deeply probe social themes and cultural politics.

Dyson has taught at some of the nation’s most prestigious universities including Brown, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Columbia, and the University of Pennsylvania, but his influence has carried far beyond the academy into prisons and bookstores, political conventions, union halls, church sanctuaries, and lecture stages across the world. He has appeared on nearly every major media outlet including The Today Show, Nightline, The O’Reilly Factor, The Tavis Smiley Show, and Real Time with Bill Maher, and has cemented his star appeal on such shows as Rap City, Def Poetry Jam, and The Colbert Report.

A popular University Professor of Sociology at Georgetown University, Dyson bridges gaps between generations, connecting civil rights identity to hip-hop culture while forging links between older and younger Americans, especially black Americans. In 2011, he received widespread attention for his course “Sociology of Hip-Hop: Jay-Z.” As a cutting edge historian, he educates the general public on the significance of hip hop, not only in understanding black culture, but American culture as well. With his powerful voice, Dyson reaches beyond race, addressing the universal commonality of American concern.

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Slated to open on the Mall in Washington, D.C. in 2015, The National Museum of African American History and Culture, promises to be a place where all Americans can learn about the richness and diversity of the African American experience, what it means to their lives, and how it helped shape the nation. Its works aims to transcend the boundaries of race and culture that divide us, and become a lens into a story that unites us all.

The museum will stand on four core principles: to create an opportunity for those who care about African- American culture to explore and revel in this history; to help all Americans see how central African- American history is for all of us by using African American history and culture as a lens into what it means to be an American; to use African-American culture as a means to help all Americans see how their stories, their histories, and their cultures are shaped and informed by international considerations and how the struggle of African Americans has impacted freedom struggles around the world; and to be a place of collaboration—a truly national museum that reaches beyond Washington to engage new audiences and to collaborate with museums and educational institutions, both nationally and internationally.

Ultimately, the National Museum of African American History and Culture seeks to be a place of meaning, memory, reflection, laughter, and hope. It should be a beacon that reminds us of what we were; what challenges we still face; and point us towards what we can become.

Pedro Antonio Noguera, Ph.D.

Pedro Noguera is the Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education at New York University. He holds tenured faculty appointments in the departments of Teaching and Learning and Humanities and Social Sciences at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Development at NYU. He is also the Executive Director of the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education and the co-Director of the Institute for the Study of Globalization and Education in Metropolitan Settings (IGEMS). Dr. Noguera is the author of seven books and over 150 articles and monographs. His most recent books are “Creating the Opportunity to Learn” with A. Wade Boykin (ASCD, 2011) and “Invisible No More: Understanding and Responding to the Disenfranchisement of Latino Males” with A. Hurtado and E. Fergus (Routledge, 2011).  

Dr. Noguera appears as a regular commentator on educational issues on CNN, National Public Radio, and other national news outlets.  From 2009 - 2012 he served as a Trustee for the State University of New York (SUNY) as an appointee of the Governor. He serves on the boards of numerous national and local organizations including the Economic Policy Institute, the Young Women’s Leadership Institute, The After School Corporation and The Nation Magazine.


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