Shawn Hardnett is above all – a teacher. Shawn is the Executive Director and Founder of North Star College Preparatory for Boys. He was a lead teacher for 13 years serving Kindergarten, 2nd Grade, 4th Grade and all grades and subjects in Middle School. This experience propelled him into a higher level of service – teaching the adults who teach the children and then the administrators who serve them. In 20 years as Teacher, Dean, Principal, School Founder, Leadership Coach, Principal Manager, Executive Director and Academic Superintendent, his work has helped turnaround outcomes for countless children from every background. He is now in the process of designing a series of boy-friendly schools that will serve Male Students of Urban Poverty all over the United States and then beyond. Hardnett holds a two Masters of Science in Educational Leadership and Elementary Education.
Jerrelle Guy, founder of the popular food blog Chocolate for Basil, is a food scholar, award-winning food photographer, recipe contributor and Tastemade Tastemaker. She has been featured in Vogue, The Boston Globe, DesignSponge, Clean Eating Magazine and winner of Yahoo Blogger of the Week and 2016 Best Food Creator Winner. Jerrelle currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts, while attending grad school at Boston University in the Gastronomy program. Her upcoming book is entitled, Black Girl Baking, drops February 6, 2018. This cookbook is about soul food because it’s about soul-searching using food. It’s about finding roots in food memories and building on those moments to move forward confidently with an unshakable self-awareness.
Timothy Gordon is the Director of Programming for the Lakefront Film Festival and the Executive Director of FAAAF. Gordon has been a film critic since 1992. He was installed as President of the Washington, DC-Area Film Critics in 2002. In 2000, Gordon founded The Black Reel Awards, which annually honors African-Americans in Film and those of the African Diaspora. He oversaw the launch of the spinoff award show, Black Reel Awards for Television in 2017. Gordon has programmed film series for FAAAF and Morgan State University’s Arts Festival as well as served as taught film courses for Celebration Church’s WIN Institute. Gordon is the Publisher of TheFilmGordon, WETA's Around Town critic, Film Capo of WAFCA and host of the BIG show, Keeping It Reel with FilmGordon, every Thursday @ 1 pm!
As CEO of Trustifi, an emerging SaaS company specializing in data encryption and email security services, Idan Udi Edry brings leadership and innovation to the security industry. Edry is a distinguished veteran in the fields of information technology and data security, as well as an experienced leader driving innovation and execution at scale. He also has a proven track record for generating growth in the Data Security, IIoT, energy, communication, and other security arenas. Formerly the CEO of Nation-E, a global leader in critical infrastructure cybersecurity, Edry spearheaded the organization’s efforts to build technologies that enable the next generation of industrial infrastructure and smart grid environments. As CEO, Edry led the company through its first global commercial partnerships with IBM and Checkpoint. He also executed a global expansion, with operations in the US, Israel, and Europe.
Chirs is the Co-Founder of TheBit. TheBit is the newest passion project aimed to educate, inspire, and inform everyone from the crypto geeks to the newbies. Chris, along with Co-Founder Erica Amatori, does this through a simple curated newsletter, guides for beginners to advanced, and interviews with industry experts. Hoyle is a Computer Science student at the College of William & Mary with an entrepreneurial drive that has a passion for making complex topics sound simple. With a background of deploying applications at companies big and small (from NASA JPL to NRV VC). he believes that any type of problem-solving can be improved through an entrepreneurial mindset. Chris helps William & Mary's entrepreneurship foster community while building their ideas.
Marya Annette McQuirter, Ph.D., the curator of #dc1968, is a native Washingtonian, a current resident, and a proud graduate of H.D. Woodson High School. The dc1968 project, curated and crowdsourced by Marya Annette McQuirter, is a digital project centered on Washington, DC in 1968. Launched January 1, 2018, Ambitious in scope, the project moves beyond the hyper-focus on the uprising, after the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and amplifies the art & activism that made 1968 such an extraordinary year in DC. One can get a daily fix of original stories and photographs that will surprise, delight, anger, inform and move you to share, learn & act. Marya has a Ph.D. in history from the University of Michigan, where she worked with leading scholars, Elsa Barkley Brown, Robin D.G. Kelley, Earl Lewis, David Scobey and Richard Candida Smith. Marya is the author of several award-winning publications.
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Nicole Crowder is the independent furniture designer and upholsterer behind Nicole Crowder Upholstery based in Washington D.C. She has been upholstering furniture for clients since 2013. Previously Nicole was a Photo Editor for The Washington Post and Netflix. Crowder mixes contemporary and eclectic textiles. Drawing on inspiration from fashion, travel, design, architecture and everyday surroundings, her collections are constantly rotating, and new pieces are added to the inventory often.Beautifully designed statement furniture, custom upholstered to enhance your home, studio, hotel, or restaurant. Her work has been featured on Design*Sponge, Washington Post Express, Washingtonian, DC Modern Luxe magazine, Apartment Therapy, and her furniture has been sold in West Elm and Union Market's pop-up Thread Market in Washington, D.C.