Dr. Walter Kimbrough

DrWKimbrough

Dr. Walter Kimbrough

A native of Atlanta, Dr. Walter M. Kimbrough was his high school salutatorian and student body president in 1985, and went on to earn degrees from the University of Georgia, Miami University in Ohio, and a doctorate in higher education from Georgia State University. He has enjoyed a fulfilling career in student affairs, serving at Emory University, Georgia State University, Old Dominion University, and finally Albany State University in 2000 where he became the Vice President for Student Affairs at the age of 32. In October of 2004, at the age of 37, he was named the 12th president of Philander Smith College. In 2012 he became the 7th president of Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Kimbrough has been recognized for his research and writings on HBCUs and African American men in college. Kimbrough also has been noted for his active use of social media to engage students in articles by The Chronicle of Higher Education, CASE Currents, and Arkansas Life. He was cited in 2010 by Bachelors Degree.com as one of 25 college presidents you should follow on Twitter (@HipHopPrez).

A 1986 initiate of the Zeta Pi chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity at the University of Georgia, Kimbrough was the Alpha Phi Alpha College Brother of the Year for the Southern Region and served as the Southern Region Assistant Vice President. Dr. Kimbrough has forged a national reputation as an expert on fraternities and sororities, with specific expertise regarding historically Black, Latin and Asian groups. He is the author of the book, Black Greek 101: The Culture, Customs and Challenges of Black Fraternities and Sororities.

Dr. Kimbrough was named the 1994 New Professional of the Year for the Association of Fraternity Advisors, and selected as a 2001 Nissan-ETS HBCU Fellow. In 2009, he was named by Diverse Issues in Higher Education as one of 25 To Watch. In 2010, he made the coveted Ebony Magazine Power 100 list of the doers and influencers in the African American community, joining the likes of President and Mrs. Obama, Jay-Z, Richard Parsons, Tyler Perry, Debra Lee, and Tom Joyner. Finally, in February of 2013 he was named to NBC News/The Griot.com’s 100 African Americans making history today, joining another impressive group including Kerry Washington, Ambassador Susan Rice, Kendrick Lamar, Mellody Hobson, and RG III.

Dr. Kimbrough and his wife Adria Nobles Kimbrough, attorney with the Kullman firm in New Orleans, are the proud parents of two children: Lydia Nicole, 7, and Benjamin Barack, 5.

Rhymes: Kool Moe Dee, “I Go To Work,” Public Enemy, “Burn Hollywood Burn,” and De La Soul, “Stakes is High”

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Dillard University

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The Boy Illinois

BoyIllinois

The Boy Illinois

Every once in a while, in those gusts of Chicago winds, you’ll come across something worth keeping. And that’s precisely what happened when The Boy Illinois crept onto the music scene. The 25-year-old University of Illinois college drop-out is on a mission to grab the ears of listeners with slick delivery, sharp wordplay and most importantly by doing what he does best – being himself. And the mission, though not complete, is well underway.

Many have tried to compare him to other hip-hop artists but, The Boy Illinois or better known as Illi, is in a league of his own. With honest, heartfelt lyrics coupled with hard hitting beats mostly from in-house production duo, The Baron Boys, who’ve produced for the likes of Drake, Nipsey Hussle, Bow Wow and more; the young lyricist, performer and songwriter plans to follow in the footsteps of Chicago artists before him, while carving out his own place in music history.

Rapping since the age of 15 and with almost 4 official years in the game, The Boy Illinois isn’t a fad. He’s not just selling great singles but is creating a timeless music catalog that can be revisited over and over. He isn’t an artist that was meant to “blow up” quickly either, but rather an artist you take the time to get to know and begin to appreciate over time. The greats often take time to reach greatness, and if anything can be said for William Dalton, it is that he will without a doubt reach greatness in his own time and on his own terms. “Yer.”

Rhymes: Al Jarreau, “Never Giving Up” and Toro y Moi, “So Many Details”

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Soundcloud

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@TheBoyIllinois

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Jean Grae

JeanGrae

Jean Grae

Critically acclaimed lyricist, producer, writer, director, cinematographer and all around consummate entertainer- Jean Grae has been challenging the boundaries of artistry since her debut in 1996. Whether creating music with imaginative narratives that immerse the listener in a dark world of  Grae’s design, or spilling her most personal stories of love and life experiences,  she always delivers an honest performance that strikes the most vulnerable parts of her audience and keeps them wondering, “what will she do next?”

Well into an almost 20 year long career that maintains not only relevancy, but continues to push the envelope of perception, marketing and branding. Grae has worked alongside Mos Def, Talib Kweli, The Roots, Pharoahe Monch, and a list that this very small bio cannot contain. Sorry, bio.

Rhymes: Aimee Mann “Save Me,” Duke Ellington & John Coltrane “In a Sentimental Mood,” and James Blake “Retrograde”

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JeanGraeTV.com

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@JeanGreasy

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Hex Hectic

Hex Hectic

Hex Hectic

Hector “Hex Hectic” Danniel was born in Chicago’s Back of the Yards neighborhood and raised by his mom. Hex Hectic has fused his passion for multimedia, music and mission into one of the city’s most supported brands.

In 2009 Hex Hectic founded the The Knights of Chicago volunteer team. With only a few members, they were able to partner with the Chicago White SOX. Additionally, they organized a charity basketball game in which 8 teams competed for cash prizes. Shortly after that, he formed Hectic Media, a media arts and entertainment group.

In 2010 Hex Hectic made his debut as a solo artist and for the first time performed alongside the Rocksteady Boys. It wasn’t until 2011 that he himself became a part of the rap group, adding the Rocksteady Boys to his official entertainment roster. Together, the Rocksteady Boys have opened for artists such as Snow Tha Product, Joell Ortiz, Mystikal, New York DJ, Tony Touch and even Reggaeton duo, RKM y Ken-Y at Chicago’s Congress Theater.

In March 2014, Hex Hectic was one of 30 selected to participate in Kanye West’s “Donda’s House” artist development program. Not long after that, his radio show, “Midnight Owls”, was launched on 88.5 FM. Hex Hectic kicked off April with the production of his mini-reality television series that will be airing on CAN-TV/Comcast, a venture in conjunction with Trinidad Productions. Additionally, Hex joined the Donda’s House Design Team regularly creating promotional materials for the organization. Hex’s single “Imma Blow Up” can be heard on Power 92.3 FM in Chicago & Northwest Indiana on Sundays 7-10pm.

As a father, Hex is motivated by his family and continues to set the trends in design, music and philanthropy.

Rhymes: Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five “The Message,” Fast Eddie “Yo Yo Get Funky,” and Joe Budden “Are You In That Mood Yet?”

Reasons:

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HexHectic.com

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@HexHectic

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Rahiel Tesfamariam

Rahiel

Rahiel Tesfamariam

Rahiel Tesfamariam is a social activist, public theologian, writer and speaker. She is the Founder and Publisher of Urban Cusp  a cutting-edge online lifestyle magazine highlighting progressive urban culture, faith, social change and global awareness. She is also a former columnist for The Washington Post.
Rahiel holds degrees from Stanford University and Yale University, where she graduated magna cum laude and was the inaugural William Sloane Coffin, Jr. Scholar for Peace and Justice. Prior to attending seminary at Yale, she served as the youngest editor-in-chief in the history of The Washington Informer, at age 23.
Before launching Urban Cusp in 2011, Rahiel directed a D.C. citywide juvenile justice reform effort where she oversaw case management for 500 youth, trained 40 nonprofit organizations and managed a $4M annual budget. She has traveled the world on various delegations and humanitarian projects and has spoken at prestigious universities and historic churches nationwide. Rahiel is also one of forty women published in the book Talking Taboo: American Christian Women Get Frank About Faith.
Rahiel has received several national fellowships and awards, including the National Association of Black Journalist’s “Salute to Excellence,” National Action Network’s “Who’s Got Next,” IMPACT Leader of the Year and EnVest’s “Top 40 Under 40.” Black Girls Rock featured Rahiel on their 2013 BET awards show, saluting “her tireless dedication to global issues, community activism and youth advocacy.”
Responding to the 2014 Ferguson decision, Rahiel led a national Black Friday economic boycott supported by dozens of celebrities called #NotOneDime. As a leading generational voice, Rahiel has appeared in countless media outlets, including The New York Times, Forbes, MSNBC, Ebony, Black Enterprise and more. Most recently, Rahiel was featured in Ebony and Revolt TV amongst “Leaders of the New School” and was one of six women Essence Magazine named “The New Civil Rights Leaders.”

Rhymes: Jay-Z “Where I’m From,” Mos Def “Umi Says,” Sweet Honey in the Rock “Ella’s Song”

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More Info on Rahiel:

UrbanCusp.com

Rahiel.com

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Wade Davis

Wade Davis

Wade Davis

Wade Davis is a thought leader, advocate, writer, public speaker and educator on gender, race and orientation equality. Davis played for the Tennessee Titans, the Washington Redskins and the Seattle Seahawks, as well as for two different teams within the NFL Europe league. In 2014, Davis began consulting for the NFL to ensure that LGBT athletes have a safe and affirming space.

In his role as Executive Director of the You Can Play Project, an organization dedicated to ending discrimination, sexism and homophobia in sports, Davis works to develop curriculum, programming, training and conversations that are focused on inclusion and diversity. The You Can Play Project has partnerships and/or relationships with organizations and leagues including the NFL, NHL, MLB, MLS, WWE and the Canadian Olympic Committee.

As an educator, Davis is currently an Adjunct Professor at the NYU School of Professional Studies Tisch Institute for Sports Management, Media and Business. He has also served as an adjunct professor at the Rutgers University School of Public Affairs and Administration, and has lectured on the intersections of race, sexuality, gender and sports at universities nationally and internationally. Davis is the former assistant director of academic enrichment and work readiness for The Hetrick-Martin Institute, where he taught at-promise LGBT youth how to define success.

In 2013, with co-founder Darnell Moore, Davis created the YOU Belong Initiative, an organization that offers LGBTQ and straight-allied youth a series of comprehensive sports instruction and leadership development clinics. As part of YOU Belong, Davis also began the Speakers’ Collective, which provides support, promotion and a sense of community for LGBTQ professionals of color.

During the 2012 Presidential election, Davis was an official LGBT Surrogate for President Obama, and is currently a U.S. State Department Speaker Specialist. In this role, Davis continues to travel nationally and internationally to address issues of gender, race, sexuality and class in the interest of promoting diversity and inclusion in all level of amateur and professional sports.

Davis is a frequent guest on MSNBC, BBC, NPR, CNN, ESPN and BET. His essays and writings have appeared in media outlets including the Los Angeles Times, the Advocate, Huffington Post, the New York Times, the Guardian and the White House Blog. Davis has spoken at and/or provided workshops and trainings at over 100 colleges, universities and corporations nationally and internationally including, Stanford University, Penn State University, Syracuse University, Texas A&M University, Fox, Pepsi Co, JP Morgan Chase and Deutsch Bank.

Since his retirement from the NFL, Davis has owned InMotion Media, a media business through a partnership with The New York Times. Davis was born in Little Rock, Arkansas and graduated from Weber State University in Ogden, Utah with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. In 2014, Davis received an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree from Northeastern University for his leadership and ongoing efforts to eradicate homophobia and sexism in athletics.

Rhymes: Jay-Z “Lucky Me,” LaBelle “It Took A Long Time,” Kendrick Lamar “Sing About Me/I’m Dying of Thirst,” and Erykah Badu “Bag Lady”

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You Can Play Project

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Mychal Denzel Smith

Mychal Denzel Smith

Mychal Denzel Smith

Mychal Denzel Smith is a Knobler Fellow at The Nation Institute, contributing writer for The Nation Magazine, blogger for TheNation.com, as well as a contributor to Feministing.com and Salon. His work as appeared online for publications such as The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Guardian, Gawker, and many others. As a social commentator, he has appeared on MSNBC, Al Jazeera America, CNN, NPR, BBC radio, HuffPost Live, and more. In 2014, he was named to named by Ebony Magazine’s as “What’s Next” in politics and civil rights, as well as The Root 100 list of most influential African-Americans, and nominated for a National Association of Black Journalists award for online commentary. He was among Planned Parenthhood’s 99 Dreamkeepers for Black History Month in 2015, and made the list of New Social Justice Leaders by Sean Combs’ Revolt TV.

Rhymes: Public Enemy “Prophets of Rage,” Pete Rock & CL Smooth “They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.),” and Jay-Z ft. The Notorious B.I.G. “Brooklyn’s Finest”

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Feministing.com

Nation Institute

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