Melissa V. Harris-Perry is Maya Angelou Presidential Chair at Wake Forest University, where she directs the Anna Julia Cooper Center on Gender, Race, and Politics in the South and is Executive Director of the Pro Humanitate Institute. She hosted the television show “Melissa Harris-Perry” from 2012-2016 on weekend mornings on MSNBC.
Harris-Perry is author of the well received book, Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America (Yale 2011) which argues that persistent harmful stereotypes-invisible to many but painfully familiar to black women-profoundly shape black women’s politics, contribute to policies that treat them unfairly, and make it difficult for black women to assert their rights in the political arena.
Her first book, Barbershops, Bibles, and BET: Everyday Talk and Black Political Thought, won the 2005 W. E. B. Du Bois Book Award from the National Conference of Black Political Scientists and 2005 Best Book Award from the Race and Ethnic Politics Section of the American Political Science Association.
Her academic research is inspired by a desire to investigate the challenges facing contemporary black Americans and to better understand the multiple, creative ways that African Americans respond to these challenges. Her work is published in scholarly journals and edited volumes and her interests include the study of African American political thought, black religious ideas and practice, and social and clinical psychology.
Professor Harris-Perry’s creative and dynamic teaching is also motivated by the practical political and racial issues of our time. Professor Harris-Perry has taught students from grade school to graduate school and has been recognized for her commitment to the classroom as a site of democratic deliberation on race.
She travels extensively speaking to colleges, organizations and businesses in the United States and abroad. In 2009 Professor Harris-Perry became the youngest scholar to deliver the W.E.B. Du Bois Lectures at Harvard University. Also in 2009 she delivered the prestigious Ware Lecture, becoming the youngest woman to ever do so.
Professor Harris-Perry received her B.A. in English from Wake Forest University, her Ph.D. in political science from Duke University and an honorary doctorate from Meadville Lombard Theological School. And she studied theology at Union Theological Seminary in New York. She lives is the wife of an extraordinary community activist, James Perry, and is the mother of two terrific daughters, Parker and Anna James.
Professor Harris-Perry is a trustee of The Century Foundation. Founded in 1919, The Century Foundation provides creative, progressive solutions to our important domestic and international challenges. Fellows at The Century Foundation – among the most accomplished experts in the country – advance distinctive, workable ideas built on compelling evidence
Kaylan Baxter is Director of Planning and Assessment in the Pro Humanitate Institute (PHI). In her role, she consults PHI staff and students in the creation and implementation of tools to evaluate the impact of programming related to community and civic engagement. Kaylan oversees the internal strategic planning and continuous improvement processes of PHI as well as external capacity-building engagement between PHI and local community-based organizations; she also leads institutional efforts to assess campus climate and organizational equity.
Kaylan holds a B.A. in economics from Wake Forest and an M.A. in education policy from Teachers College at Columbia University. She is an affiliated researcher in the Anna Julia Cooper Center at Wake Forest.
of Cultural Anthropology
Prof. Luellen Curry is the Associate Professor of Legal Writing and has taught at Wake Forest University School of Law since 1989. She currently is an Associate Professor of Legal Analysis, Writing and Research and also teaches a seminar on Race and the Law. She is a two-time recipient of the Black Law Students Association Teacher Appreciation Award and she has been nominated to serve a one-year term as a vice president of the North Carolina Bar Association. Prof. Curry graduated from Oberlin College in Ohio and Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago.In practice, Prof. Curry was a Staff Attorney with the Legal Aid Society of Northwest North Carolina, and a Reginald Heber Smith Community Lawyer Fellow. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Mediation Services of Forsyth County, Disability Advocates of Northwest NC, and Legal Aid of NC-Winston Salem. She is a past President of the North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys and former Chairperson of the East Winston Community Development Corporation.
Prof. Curry served as a member of the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Black Repertory Company from 1984-2011, and was Treasurer from 1994-2011. She has worked with the National Black Theatre Festival® since its inception in 1989, as both a volunteer and a staff person. In 2009 she was presented with the National Black Theatre Festival® 20th Anniversary Appreciation Award. In March, 2011 she was chosen as one of three recipients of the Winston-Salem Chronicle’s Curator of the Arts Award, for her work with the Theatre Company and the Festival.
Prof. Curry grew up in Lexington, NC and is a member of Dellabrook Presbyterian Church, where she has served as a Deacon. She is married to Rev. Dr. Carlton A.G. Eversley, and they have two adult children.
Michele Gillespie is the Presidential Endowed Professor of Southern History at Wake Forest University and Dean of the College at Wake Forest University. She is the author of Katharine and R.J. Reynolds: Partners of Fortune in the Making of the New South (2012), which was named a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title for 2013, and Free Labor in an Unfree World: White Artisans in Slaveholding Georgia (2000), winner of the Malcolm and Muriel Bell Award for Most Distinguished Book in Georgia History.She has co-edited numerous books, including three volumes on southern economic and social history in global perspective for the New Directions in the History of Southern Economy and Society series (2005-2011); Pious Pursuits: German Moravians in the Atlantic World (2007); Thomas Dixon and the Birth of Modern America (2006); Neither Lady Nor Slave: Working Women of the Old South ( 2002); and The Devil’s Lane: Sex and Race in the Early South (1997). She is currently co-editing a two volume anthology, North Carolina Women: Their Lives and Times, (2014 and 2015). She is also the author of a dozen articles on the gendered politics, changing technologies, and racial realities of artisanal and working-class men and women in the slave South
She is currently writing an interpretive biography of Mary Musgrove, an 18th c. Creek woman in colonial Georgia. She is also researching the ways elite southern women used cultural power to shape their own opportunities as well as the broader social and political landscape of their nineteenth and early twentieth-century communities. She is a past President of the Southern Association for Women Historians and past member of the Southern Historical Association’s Executive Council, has served on the editorial board of the North Carolina Historical Review and the Journal of Southern History, and is co-editor of the New Directions in Southern History series at the University Press of Kentucky. She has won several teaching awards, was the 2010 recipient of NC Campus Compact’s Robert L. Sigmon Service-Learning Award, and was named a 2013 NC Woman of Achievement by the NC General Federation of Women’s Clubs. At Wake Forest University, she serves on the advisory board of the Humanities Institute and advises the History Department’s chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the national History Honors Society.
Dr. Valerie Ann Johnson is the Mott Distinguished Professor of Women’s Studies and Director of Africana Women’s Studies at Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina. She holds a Ph.D. in Medical Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley, B.A. in Sociology from Spelman College and M.A. in Sociology from Atlanta University, (now Clark Atlanta University).Scholarly interests in bioethics, health care and gender issues led to fieldwork in various places such as Costa Rica, Zimbabwe, the Seychelles Islands, Tanzania, Eritrea, and the United States.
Dr. Johnson is a member of the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network and board member of the following organizations: North Carolina League of Conservation Voters (NCLCV) ; Our Children’s Place (advocacy and educational program for incarcerated women and their young children); Scarritt-Bennett Center in Nashville, Tennessee and most recently Planned Parenthood Health Systems. Dr. Johnson serves on the North Carolina Historical Commission and North Carolina Council for Women. She recently published “Bringing Together Feminist Disability Studies and Environmental Justice” in the 2011 Barbara Faye Waxman Fiduccia Papers on Women and Girls with Disabilities.
The Reverend K. Monet Rice has been serving as Associate University Chaplain since July of 2012. Most of her attention is given to Well-Being practices as she specializes in Mind/Body Synchronicity and Interfaith/transcultural community. Rice is a graduate of Louisiana State University (LSU) where she competed on their Women’s Track and Field Team. She earned her Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary and is ordained in the Baptist tradition. Prior to Wake Forest, K. Monet served as an Associate Pastor at The Concord Baptist Church of Christ in Brooklyn, NY as an FTE recipient in their TiM project. Rice also worked for Cornell University Cooperative Extension in partnership with the College of Human Ecology.K. Monet loves academic chaplaincy because it allows her the privilege of engaging in delightfully deep theological discourse with bright and inquisitive minds while liturgically engaging the academic community and keeping up with growing trends. She enjoys developing lasting relationships with students, faculty and staff and seeks to live a life evident of the presence of the Divine. In an attempt to create work life balance, K. enjoys running, traveling to visit friends, foodie activities and base jumping while wrestling bears. No bears are ever harmed.