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Salim Burgess 

Salim Burgess attended Morehouse College and is a retiree from the United State Postal Service. Salim's passion is people and doing equity, diversity, and inclusion work. Salim is currently a contractor with One Step at a Time Consulting. When not working, Salim spends time investing and exploring financial investments. Salim Burgess is a native of Baltimore, Maryland. He lives with his wife Aleia and their four beautiful children.

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Dr. Carmen Huerta-Bapat, PhD

Dr. Carmen Huerta-Bapat holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill, a MA in Sociology from the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill, and a MA in Political Science from Rice University. Carmen is a faculty member in the Curriculum in Global Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill and recently started her own consulting firm "Borderless Equity". Dr. Huerta-Bapat draws on her social science training and lived experience as a Latina immigrant to help organizations design interventions that incorporate underrepresented racial and ethnic groups through actions grounded in mutual understanding and respect.  

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Dr. Willie Jones, PhD

Dr. Willie Jones is a leadership development and diversity, equity, and inclusion expert with over a decade of experience designing and delivering high impact and engaging learning solutions. In professional roles, He has served as a High School Teacher, Community College Instructor, Instructional Designer, Senior Training, Training Consultant, Training Manager, Manager of Learning & Organizational Quality, Training Director, and Leadership Consultant.  Dr. Jones holds a Ph.D in Leadership from North Carolina A&T State University, M.S in Adult Education from North Carolina A&T State University, and B.S in Education from North Carolina State University. His biggest accomplishment to date is his family he has built with his loving wife Tecara, their 2 children Arielle & Cairo and dog Kobe, 

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Dr. Karen Martin-Jones, PhD

Dr. Karen Martin-Jones is an instructional coach and adjunct professor. She has spent over 20 years in higher education and K12 teaching, facilitating training, and developing curricula focused on equity, social justice, and instructional technology. She also worked in corporate America as an Engineering Team Lead. She is well versed in the study of organizational leadership, cultural competency, and diversity and inclusion. Much of her work has focused on the impact of technology on intergenerational teaching and learning. Her passion has and continues to be creating equitable environments for all people. 

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Shantel Morris, MS

Shantel Morris is a Richmond, VA native. Shantel earned her Master's Degree in School Counseling from Liberty University. Shantel is currently working as a full-time school counselor. She is a member of the American School Counseling Association (ASCA) and the American Counseling Association. Shantel resides in Richmond, VA with her husband Yancey and son Bryce. 

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Dr. Pamela Palmer, PhD

Dr. Pamela Palmer manages the day-to-day operations of a nonprofit organization. She manages the Human Resources, training, and organization development of a North Carolina-based mental health agency. Dr. Palmer is the Strategic Officer of Statewide Capacity Building Initiatives. She manages a consulting business that provides training, technical assistance, and one-on-one consultation to human service agencies and nonprofit professionals. Dr. Palmer is an educator, entrepreneur, expert, and executive director. 

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Joseph Pauley, MS

Joseph Pauley (JP) spent two decades building and leading high-performance teams. Most notably a design team whose products have been voted "Best of the Web" by Forbes magazine multiple times, and praised by the International Herald Tribune, Town & Country, and the The Wall Street Journal. His specialities include designing and facilitating retreats, leadership development, strategic planning, and developing organizational capacity. After graduating from West Virginia University, JP web designed and developed teams. Later he received a Masters in Organizational Psychology. Today he serves as past president of the Pacific Northwest Organizational Development Network and works with various organizations to build communication and leadership capacity in their teams. 

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Zakiya Toms, MSW

Zakiya Toms is a North Carolina native and currently resides in Hickory, NC. She earned her Masters Degree in Social Work from Howard University. As an empathetic collaborator, her hope is to create safe spaces that allow for individual and collective healing.