Dr. Parker’s research is community-based and focused on social justice. It is driven by questions about identity, belonging, and the discourses that influence whether and how people have the capacity to engage each other’s humanity. She is interested in understanding the communication processes that can block or fuel that capacity in a particular community or organization, especially where there is unequal power and other forms of difference, and then build on that knowledge to catalyze social justice.
She is the author of two books and dozens of articles and book chapters exploring the intersections of race, gender, leadership, and power. She is a scholar activist advancing social justice in variety of contexts. As the inaugural Director of Faculty Diversity Initiatives for the College of Arts and Sciences at UNC Chapel Hill, she developed the Diversity Liaisons program, catalyzing a network of critically engaged faculty leaders working for equity and inclusive excellence in their respective departments. She also helped to establish the Triangle Women in STEM Network, a women-led organization catalyzing diverse voices to advance women in STEM careers. In 2007, Dr. Parker founded The Ella Baker Women’s Center for Leadership and Community Activism, a community-based not-for-profit supporting girls’ and women’s leadership development. Her latest book, Ella Baker’s Catalytic Leadership, published last year by the University of California Press, is based on the lessoned learned from the Center’s first six years of “organizing in the spirit of Ella Baker”.
Damien Tillman Writer, Educator, & Social Entrepreneur Executive Director, New York Writing Club Author, Learning to Quote Myself Damien Tillman is the founder of Divergent Thoughts. He is an educator, social entrepreneur, writer, and executive director of the New York Writing Club. Damien works to educate and empower people so they can become the solutions to their problems. A graduate of Hunter College, Damien earned bachelor’s degrees in Media Studies and Creative Writing. He also holds a master’s degree in Education from The City College of New York (CCNY). His first book, Learning To Quote Myself, is available on his website www.damientillman.com.
When he isn’t working to create learning opportunities for people in low-opportunity environments, Damien designs and facilitates workshops for various organizations, including The New York Writing Club.
Damien has been featured at open mics for Saturdays on the Sound, the Poets Settlement, Second Saturdays at Cyrus, Great Weather for Media at the Parkside Lounge, Fredericks Douglass Academy’s Poetry Slam at Barnes & Noble, Spoonbill Studio’s Poetry 99, The Bronx Book Festival, and more. He’s been interviewed by Alfonso Siverls on Second Saturday TV, on the Public Intellectuals website, Crossover TV with Kendra, and has an author profile on the award-winning blog, Polite on Society, with Marc Polite. Damien is the creator and host of Framework Fridays, an interactive talk show about Hip-Hop & popular culture.
Emcee: Amina Sabree Majors: Sociology Manhattanville College 2020 Amina Sabree is a Camden, New Jersey native. Amina has dedicated her academic career to the empowerment of marginalized communities, especially women and children of color. At a young age, she was exposed to community activism through her parents who held strong positions in local nonprofits. She volunteered and later worked in those same organizations. Through high school she used social justice as a means to invoke change around her. She majored in Sociology at Manhattanville College with a minor in Women and Gender Studies. Working closely with cultural clubs across campus she was appointed the President of the Black Student Union from 2018-2020. An advocate for student involvement on campus she worked as a member of the Student Government and on a special Diversity and Inclusion Board to the President. She has committed herself to a life-long career of community servitude and is currently working as a social worker for the South Jersey branch of Volunteers for America.
Ella Baker Day at Coastal Carolina University
Sign the petition to create an Ella Baker Day in South Carolina at bit.ly/EBD-SC