Brandon P. Fleming
Assistant Coach of Debate
An award-winning educator and social entrepreneur, Brandon P. Fleming is the founder and Executive Director of the Harvard Debate Council Diversity Project, an Atlanta-based diversity pipeline program that exposes underserved youth to Harvard College to receive accelerated academic training. Fleming is Assistant Coach of Debate at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA and one of the "Master Educators" at the highly-acclaimed Ron Clark Academy where he teaches part-time. The Georgia Center for Nonprofits & Young Nonprofit Professionals Network selected Fleming as a 2016 recipient of the Georgia '30 Under 30' award. Fleming was recently inducted into the 2017 class of Outstanding Atlanta and the 2018 class of LEAD Atlanta - two of Atlanta's premier honors for emerging leaders. At Ron Clark Academy he teaches social sciences, trains thousands of educators worldwide, and coached the middle school speech & debate team to consecutive high school championships, including an undefeated record.
Fleming went from being a high-risk youth to a college dropout to an influential educator who has used his story to inspire many throughout the world. As freshman undergraduate student at Liberty University, Fleming founded the S.Y. Scholars Program, Inc., a competitive non-profit college preparatory and leadership development institute. Through rigorous training in academics and leadership, the student body, consisting entirely of at-risk teens, increased from a 1.2 to a 3.0 cumulative GPA only 9 weeks after the program’s inception - 90% of them having achieved honor roll for the first time. He instituted a leadership development curriculum that cultivated the students into community organizers, hosting events that galvanized the community in support of education reform in Central Virginia and beyond. Fleming had soon become a community trail blazer, initiating projects that assembled members of the community to raise education awareness. In 2012, Fleming hosted the first annual Harlem Renaissance Festival, which drew over 300 members of the Lynchburg community. This same year, he hosted the Symposium, an education gathering that united political leaders, educators, students, parents, and the community for a forum discussing, "The State of Education in America." The successful event had soon evolved into The Symposium Tour, in which Fleming and his students traveled to prestigious colleges & universities in an effort to motivate members of the community to undergird the local education system. Institutions involved in this tour included Liberty University, University of Virginia, Duke University, Howard University, Wake Forest University, and many more.
In 2013, the News & Advance recognized him as one of Lynchburg's most significant people. In 2015, Fleming was recruited by famous educator Ron Clark, subject of the TNT film The Ron Clark Story.
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Director of Organizational Development (Southeast Region of U.S.)
Boys & Girls Club of America
Danielle (Dani) Ayers attended Temple University in Philadelphia, receiving a B.A. in Public Relations and an M.A. in African American Studies. Dani has been involved in nonprofit leadership work for twelve years across various industries – education, the arts, human service, and community development. Her leadership roles have revolved around communications, fundraising and finance, change management, executive staff development, and strategic planning. Currently, Dani is a Director of Organizational Development for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. She operates as an internal consultant, working with Clubs in the Southwest US. Her role is to support and provide guidance to the board of directors and staff of Clubs in this region.
Dani serves as Operations Chair on the board of directors for Lekotek of Georgia, an organization that supports children with developmental disabilities, and also co- chaired LEAD Atlanta’s Class of 2017, Atlanta’s premier young professionals program, advancing effective community leadership.
Ann W. Cramer
Coxe Curry & Associates
Ann Wilson Cramer is a Senior Consultant with Coxe Curry & Associates. In this role, she provides strategic consultation to nonprofit clients to strengthen their capacity in the critical areas of board development, volunteer engagement, corporate relations and fundraising. She will also be available to the business community to provide guidance on the issues of corporate citizenship and social responsibility.
Prior to joining Coxe Curry, Ann served as Director for IBM Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs for the Americas. In that position, she was a member of the senior management staff overseeing the company’s approach to corporate citizenship, strategic philanthropy and overall social responsibility.
Ann serves on numerous local nonprofit boards, including the Alliance Theatre Company, Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta, Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education, Governor’s Office of Workforce Development, Woodruff Arts Center, Council on Foundations, and currently chairs Public Broadcasting Atlanta, Georgia Foundation for Public Education and the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Educated Workforce Committee, and served as chair of the Search Committee for the Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent. Nationally, Ann has chaired the Council on Foundations Public Policy and Corporate Committees, the Conference Board’s Business Education Council, the Executive Committee of both the U.S. Chamber’s Business Civic Leadership Center and the Institute for a Competitive Workforce and the United Way of America’s National Corporate Leaders Council. In 2012, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce presented her with its first Business Civic Leadership Achievement Award.
The Women’s College Coalition honored Ann and Marian Wright Edelman with the first WCC Women Creating Change Award and Ann was one of 5 Georgia women to receive the first STEM Gems recognition. Recently, Ann was recognized with Ann Curry and Ann Stallard as the YWCA Women of Achievement, and with the first Lifetime Achievement Award by the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Women Who Mean Business and listed among Georgia Trend’s 30 Years of Influence, received an Honorary Doctorate in Public Service at Clayton State University and was honored with the inaugural ARC Harry West Visionary Leadership Award, the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s Leadership Award and Voices for Georgia’s Children Big Voice. She has received the prestigious Dan Sweat Award from Central Atlanta Progress, Public Broadcasting Atlanta’s Sullivan Award and was honored with The United Way of Greater Atlanta Women’s Leadership Award. She has participated in Leadership Atlanta, Leadership Georgia, Regional Leadership Institute, is a member of Outstanding Atlanta and is past president of the Junior League of Atlanta.
Ann is a graduate of Salem College with a degree in mathematics. In 1991, she received Salem College’s Alumnae Leadership Award in recognition of her commitment and service to community service. Ann and her husband, Jeff, are long-time residents of Inman Park and are active members of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. They are the proud parents of two adult children.
Labriah Lee Holt
Attorney/Director of Outreach & Engagement
American Israel Public Affairs Committee
A passionate advocate and relationship manager, Labriah Lee Holt calls on these strengths daily in her current role as AIPAC’s Multi-Region Director of Outreach and Engagement. Here, she is charged with demystifying and ultimately strengthening the US-Israel relationship through ongoing education and coalition building with political, business, religious and community leaders across the country. As a strategic advisor, Labriah’s track record of cultivating relationships with key government officials at federal, state and local levels has proven instrumental in navigating a complex political landscape and the advancement of bipartisan legislation. Before returning to Atlanta in 2016, Labriah served as AIPAC’s Northeast Outreach Director in New York, NY. While in this role, Labriah was recognized by New York State Assemblyman Keith Wright and City Councilmember Inez Dickens during Women’s History Month and received a Congressional Proclamation from Congressman Charles Rangel for her outreach work and service within the community.
Prior to AIPAC, Labriah was a Senior Associate at Alston & Bird LLP in their Atlanta offices. Her practice focused on patent, trademark, and copyright law. At A&B, Labriah counseled the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC), the largest athletic conference that governs thirteen historically black colleges and universities. A true servant leader, while at A&B, Labriah served on the hiring and diversity committees and remained passionately committed to providing pro bono work to clients who could not afford quality legal representation. Additionally, Labriah was an active member of the Anti-Defamation League’s Charles F. Wittenstein Research Program and Advisory
Committee, City of Atlanta’s Citizen Review Board, and Atlanta’s Gen44 Finance Committee for the DNC. Labriah’s professional and community efforts also saw her recognized as Power 30 Under 30 and New Vision in Business (“NV”) Magazine Movers & Shakers.
A Georgia native, Labriah received her B.S. in Human and Organizational Development with emphasis in leadership and organizational effectiveness from Vanderbilt University and J.D. from Howard University School of Law, where she was a Merit Scholar, Student Ambassador, and Senior Notes and Comments Editor of the Howard Law Journal. Labriah was also a student attorney for the Fair Housing Clinic, where she provided legal aid to underserved communities in Washington, DC and also served as a housing tester for the Equal Rights Center to investigate illegal discrimination during the housing application process.
In her free time, Labriah enjoys exploring traveling, running 5k’s and practicing yoga. Additionally, Labriah recognizes that true health is holistic, and is committed to health awareness, especially mental health awareness with Atlanta’s youth.
Slma Shelbayah is an award-winning Broadcast Journalist and Communication Consultant. In 2015, she won the CNN Diversity Ovation Award for her commitment to inclusion in news coverage. Her career includes breaking news coverage with CNN International, spanning the regions of the Middle East, Asia and Africa and varying across national and international topics including stories covering Arab and Muslim Diasporas. Shelbayah is currently a CNN Digital Producer assisting over 600 affiliate clients across the nation with CNN digital stories combined with the most relevant images and videos. Additionally, she manages the Twitter and Instagram social media platforms.
Most recently, Shelbayah has been inducted as a member of LEAD Atlanta class of 2018 in their distinguished and highly selective leadership program.
As the CEO of Shelbayah Consulting, LLC, a communication consultancy firm, Shelbayah assists clients with their public relations/ media needs, content development/storytelling, social media marketing, training in writing and public speaking, resume/portfolio development and professional/life coaching. Her 10+ years of experience include a background in broadcast media as a reporter, show host, editor, writer, commercial talent, voice-over artist and producer.
Shelbayah has taught as an Adjunct Professor of Business and Mass Communication at Brenau University teaching undergraduate and graduate students numerous courses including, International Business Communication, Writing and Critical Thinking, Art of Leadership and Cross-Cultural Business Conflict Resolution.
Shelbayah is dedicated to community service that focuses on media, diversity and inclusion. She sits on the Advisory Board for the Harvard Debate Diversity Project, an initiative that provides selected high school students debate training and an opportunity to spend a summer at Harvard College developing their speaking skills. Her dedication to youth is also witnessed through mentoring as she is a board member of UBeyond Mentorship, a non-profit mentoring organization for young youth and professionals. Shelbayah also enjoys giving back to the media industry to further the impact on diversity, culture and faith, as she sits on the Board of Directors of the Atlanta Interfaith Broadcasters.
Shelbayah holds a B.A. in Journalism with a minor in Sociology and an M.A. in Linguistics with a focus on cross-cultural linguistics of Spanish and Arabic, both degrees from Georgia State University. She has also obtained a certificate from Oxford University, U.K., during which students were selected from 30 countries across the world to pursue a seminar on global media policy: technology and new themes in media regulations.
Shelbayah spends much of her time public speaking and workshop training at various engagements connected to communication and media interests. She focuses most of her work on social media marketing, compelling story-telling for branding as well as life and career coaching. As a consultant, she has helped organizations build their social media platforms, media relations and public relations strategies as well as narrate stories of impact. She travels often delivering presentations, conducting research and in-the-field-reporting.
Christopher Bruce, Esq.
American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia
Christopher E. Bruce is a community attorney, advocate and activist. As the lead attorney of The Bruce Firm, LLC, he fulfills his passion of helping people by providing quality legal representation. He advocates for his community as a political consultant, advising elected officials and government entities on effective and efficient policies for change. Bruce served as Deputy Campaign Manager in the highest raised State Judicial race and the Deputy Political Director for an Atlanta Mayoral candidate before he accepted the role as Director of Governmental Affairs with the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia
Prior to becoming a lawyer, Bruce graduated Cum Laude from Georgia State University Honors Program with a degree in Political Science with a concentration in Governmental Affairs and a minor in Sociology. He later attended the University of Georgia School of Law where he served as an Honor’ Court Member and Vice-President of the Black Law Students Association. After law school, he worked as a prosecutor at the DeKalb County Solicitor-General’s Office. Before opening his firm, Bruce worked at an insurance defense law firm practicing Workers' Compensation and General Liability matters.
As an activist, Bruce serves his community in several ways. He was appointed to the DeKalb County Board of Ethics during a very tumultuous period in the county. He continued to advocate for change in the county by creating the DeKalb Young Professionals, an organization focused on retaining and recruiting leaders through social, educational and networking events. He is currently an advisor on the Fulton County Pre-Trial Diversion Policy Board
Bruce is a 2013 New Leaders Council of Atlanta Fellow, 2017 LEAD Atlanta Fellow; 2017 Project Understanding Fellow; member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.; and Executive Board Member, Gate City Bar Association; He is a recipient of the 2016 Outstanding Atlanta Award (Atlanta's premier award for young professionals in community service) 2017 National Urban League Young Professionals Honoree (1 of 10 young professionals in the nation to receive the award),
Sidney Welch is a partner with the national law firm, Polsinelli P.C., where she chairs the firm's Health Care Innovation practice. Ms. Welch is nationally recognized for her work with specialty physician practices and technology companies, including offering regulatory and strategic advice in cutting edge health care matters, including advanced payment and delivery models, mobile and eHealth ventures, telehealth, precision medicine, artificial intelligence, and data aggregation & analytics, and privacy & security. In addition to her law degree, Ms. Welch earned a Masters in Public Health from George Washington University's School of Medicine & Health Sciences. She serves in a leadership role with the American Bar Association and is active in a number of community initiatives.
Principal & Creative Designer
Jason is a strong leader with the ability to sell ideas, inspire creative teams, drive business goals and serve clients. For more than 20 years he has had the opportunity to manage and create within diverse forms of media. Jason an experienced Creative Director with the analytical mind of a strategist, the conceptual ability of a designer and the methodology of an account director. He's produced award-winning creative products for brands and organizations in both the business-to-business and the business-to-consumer marketplace. Jason worked hand-in-hand with clients such as Hasbro, Georgia-Pacific, Syniverse Technologies, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Chick-fil-A, Walt Disney Resorts, Turner Broadcasting, Cartoon Network and UPS – creating successful rich-media for consumers of all ages. He's been published in trade magazines and have spoken at industry events. Under his leadership, Going Interactive has received over 50 creative marketing and industry awards. Jason is also a Classical Education enthusiast who’s always seeking knowledge and digging deep for truth.
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Stacey D. Mills
University of South Carolina-Upstate
Stacey D. Mills was recently appointed executive director of the University of South Carolina Upstate Greenville Campuses, which includes the coordination of all operations and outreach of the USC Upstate Greenville Campuses at the University Center Greenville (UCG) and downtown Greenville at 501 River Street. Mills had been serving as the interim executive director since July 2015.
In his role, Mills is responsible for assessing needs and collaborating with other university leaders to plan and implement a variety of services and programs to ensure continued growth and success of USC Upstate operations in Greenville.
Mills previously served as the director of student services on the USC Upstate Greenville Campus and as the assistant director of student life on the main campus in Spartanburg where he was responsible for multicultural student services, leadership programs, non-traditional student services, and NPHC Greek life. He earned a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from USC Upstate in 1996.
Senior Director of Development
Ron Clark Academy
Kirk Brown is Senior Director of Development for the Ron Clark Academy where he leads the fundraising and advancement programs for the middle school. He joined the Academy in August 2013 after five years with United Way of Greater Atlanta. In his last role, he had tremendous success managing and raising more than $8 million annually from top corporate partners, including Accenture, Equifax, Delta Air Lines, Newell Rubbermaid and SunTrust. With Kirk’s professional fundraising expertise, the organization was able to improve the lives of hundreds of individuals and families throughout the metro Atlanta region. Kirk’s career at United Way also included many leadership roles as the Loaned Executive Program Chair, Internal Campaign Co-Chair, cross-functional team member—tasked to create the United Way Young Professional Leaders group, and he served on the marketing Digital Strategy Team. Kirk is an active ten-year member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. where he serves on the board for the Atlanta alumni chapter, founder of the Emerging 100 of Atlanta-- the young professional auxiliary of the 100 Black Men of Atlanta, and a proud graduate of LEAD Atlanta Class of 2015.
CEO & Creative Director
LVL XIII Luxury Brands, Inc.
Antonio Brown was introduced to the world of entertainment through his unreleased memoir titled Muted Dreams, which was slated the male version of Push by Ebony Magazine gaining Brown a massive following through his social media platforms.
However, it wasn’t until Brown left his job at Alexander Doll Co. that he started to embark on a fashion and philanthropic dream that would allow him to soar to new heights. The dream started with the birth of LVL XIII (Level 13) - a premium leading men's fashion company that launched a range of high-end men sneakers.
The line became an instant hit with Brown making over $250,000 in sales within the first two months. To date, LVL XIII has garnered interest from Jason Derulo, Chris Brown, JR Smith, Tyson Beckford, Kroy Biermann, Nas, Tracey Morgan, Jim Jones, Jason Sudeikis, Chris Tucker, Tristan Wilds, and many more.
The initial success and notoriety of the brand sparked the interest of International Music superstar, Jason Derulo, who now serves as Brand Ambassador and Key Investor of LVL XIII. To expand his luxury portfolio, Brown has added LVL XIII APPAREL to his collection which also caters to the affluent male millennial.
Most recently, LVL XIII signed a $1.5 million deal with Zhu Jiang, owner of Décor Apparel, manufacturer of apparel and accessories. The deal includes a $1 million liquid cash investment and manufacturing terms. This deal was highlighted by FORBES Magazine.
As an active humanitarian, Brown spends his time educating and supporting abused young men and giving back to the community through philanthropic activations and donations. Some of these include: coordinating a celebrity fashion show focusing on the fight against HIV/AIDS, which has been hosted by the likes of Angela Simmons, Nene Leakes, K. Michelle, Ro James and more.
Through these activations, Brown has made notable donations to both amfAR (a leading organization dedicated to the support of HIV/AIDS research) in the amount of $10,000 and Hero for Children (a non-profit dedicated to improving the quality of life for children infected with and impacted by HIV/AIDS) for $5,000 – with the latter creating The Antonio Brown Scholarship, a scholarship which will contribute to the organization’s Summer Camp. Brown has also been honored by State House Representative, Erica Thomas for his notable contributions in the community receiving a Notable Citizen of Georgia Proclamation.
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Senior Director of Community Debate Programs
Former nationally ranked debater and assistant debate coach at Southern Illinois, James Roland has been coaching and directing community programs at Emory since 2000. Director of Programs for the National Debate Project, Roland is one of the nation's foremost experts on the role of debate in urban education. He directs the Computer Assisted Debate Program, directs the National Debate Project Debate Center at Georgia State University, and has been a debate advisor to the U.S. State Department, Atlanta Housing Authority, Open Society Institute, and Urban Debate Leagues in Miami, Milwaukee, Memphis, Washington, D.C., New York, Nashville, Baltimore, and Jamaica. He has received recognition from the Atlanta Public Schools, Miami Dade Schools, the White House Helping America's Youth initiative, and earned an Emory Award of Distinction. One of the nations most sought after faculty members, Roland has served at debate institutes at Vermont, NYU, Gonzaga, Towson, Catholic, Miami, Emory, and the American University College of Law.
Emerson W. Girardeau, III
Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP
Emerson is an Associate in the Energy and Infrastructure Group at Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP where his practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, commercial transactions, and project development in the energy industry. His mergers and acquisitions experience focuses on acquisitions of power generating assets (both gas-fired and renewable assets, including solar and wind facilities) and retail electric providers. Emerson also has an extensive pro bono practice in which he advises on landlord tenant issues through the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation’s Standing with Our Neighbors initiative. In addition, he recently evaluated candidates for President Obama’s non-violent drug offender clemency program. Before joining Eversheds Sutherland, Emerson was a Business Development Associate at BNY Mellon Wealth Management where he analyzed investment portfolios for prospective high-net-worth clients in the Atlanta market.
A native of Greensboro, North Carolina, Emerson moved to Atlanta, Georgia in 2004 to complete his undergraduate studies. Emerson was a 2008 graduate of Morehouse College, receiving a BA in Philosophy. After graduating cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School, Emerson returned to Atlanta, Georgia to pursue his legal career.
While in Atlanta, Emerson has served as a member of the LEAD Atlanta Class of 2018, the New Leaders Council of Atlanta Class of 2017, the City of Atlanta Elected Officials Compensation Commission, the Emerging 100 of Atlanta Executive Board, and on the board of the Metro Atlanta Chapter of the Morehouse College Alumni Association. Emerson enjoys grilling, traveling, and is a devoted Michigan Wolverine Football fan.
Sr. Director of Public Programming & Education
National Center for Civil & Human Rights
Allen Lee leads the Public Programming and Education Departments at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. Before joining the Center, Allen taught students in public and private schools for the past 15 years. Each day he brings his passion as an educator and as an internationally minded advocate for social change to his work. Allen is an active member of the Black-Jewish Coalition, a 2014 New Leader’s Council Fellow, and a 2017 Summer Policy Fellow with Atlanta Public Schools. He holds a Political Science degree with an Ethnic Studies Concentration from Davidson College and a Masters in the Art of Teaching from Georgia State University. He makes his home in Decatur, GA with his wife, daughter and cat.
Attorney at Law
Law Office of KG Linder
Kevin Linder is an attorney who is not a stranger to courtrooms. He has been both a defense attorney and a prosecutor. However, he has always given a large portion of his time and energy to pro bono projects. He has donated vast amounts of time to projects combatting domestic violence both at home and abroad. He was named Atlanta Volunteer Lawyer of the Year for the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation Domestic Violence Project. He is especially looking forward to working with the Harvard Debate Council Diversity Project because he debated throughout his time at Pace Academy, earning the State Championship as an underclassman and the letter blanket from Pace Academy for Debate. Kevin continued to debate for Princeton University, where he matriculated, as an undergraduate in the Parliamentary Debate Association format.
Fred Smith, Jr.
Associate Professor of Law
Fred Smith, Jr. is an associate professor at Emory University School of Law. He is a scholar of the federal judiciary and constitutional law.
Smith clerked for Judge Myron Thompson of the middle district of Alabama; Judge Barrington D. Parker, Jr. of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit; and Justice Sonia Sotomayor of the United States Supreme Court. Prior to teaching, he also worked as a fellow for a litigation boutique, Bondurant, Mixson & Elmore LLP in Atlanta.
Smith's research focuses on state sovereignty and representative government. His work has appeared, or will appear, in Harvard Law Review, Stanford Law Review, Columbia Law Review, New York University Law Review, Vanderbilt Law Review, and Fordham Law Review. Notable articles include: “Abstention in the Time of Ferguson,” 131 Harv. L. Rev. ___ (2018) (forthcoming); "Undemocratic Restraint," 69 Vand. L. Rev.___ (2017) (forthcoming); "Local Sovereign Immunity," 116 Colum. L. Rev. 409 (2016),"Due Process, Republicanism, and Direct Democracy," 89 New York University Law Review 582 (2014) and "Awakening the People's Giant: Sovereign Immunity and the Constitution's Republican Commitment," 80 Fordham Law Review 1941 (2012).
Smith earned his JD from Stanford Law School in 2007. At Stanford, he was a member of the Supreme Court Litigation Clinic; was a finalist in the annual Kirkwood Moot Court Competition; was a finalist in the American Constitution Society's national Moot Court Competition; served as president of the Black Law Students Association; and served as articles editor for the Stanford Law and Policy Review. In 2004, he received his BA with Honors from Harvard College; his thesis was awarded magna cum laude.
Jewel Burks is an advocate for representation and access in the tech industry. As co-founder and CEO of Partpic, an Atlanta based startup designed to streamline the purchase of maintenance and repair parts using computer vision technology, Jewel and her team built groundbreaking technology poised to change the way people everywhere locate products. Partpic raised over $2 million in seed funding to integrate its proprietary technology into mobile apps and websites of parts distributors and retailers.
Currently Jewel serves as Team Lead for Visual Search at A9.com, an Amazon Company. In addition to this role, Jewel is a proud board member at Amplify 4 Good, and spends much of her free time working with startups.
Jewel has been featured in notable publications such as Forbes Magazine, Wired, TechCrunch, Essence, Glamour, and Business Insider. Prior to founding Partpic, Jewel served in management, enterprise sales, and strategic diversity roles at McMaster-Carr Industrial Supply and Google, Inc. Jewel is a native of Nashville TN, and graduate of Howard University.
Dr. Harold V. Bennett
Chair, Department of Philosophy & Religion
Dr. Bennett received a Bachelor of Science degree from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, in Greensboro, North Carolina. In 1988, he obtained his Master of Divinity degree from the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia. He received a Master of Arts in Philosophy from Georgia State University, and a Master of Arts and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Religion from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. He is an Elder in the Church of God in Christ, the largest African-American Pentecostal denomination in the United States of America.
Dr. Harold Bennett is the Chairman of the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. He has served as the Senior Program Director for the Boys and Girls' Club of America; a Commentator/Guest on National Public Radio, and as a commentator and guest host on radio programs dealing with Religion, Society, and Politics on WAOK 1380 AM radio, a CBS Radio affiliate in Atlanta, Georgia.
Dr. Bennett has published books, commentaries, and several articles on issues in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament studies and Ethics. These publications include but are not limited to the following: Injustice Made Legal, (Eerdmans Publishing Company); 'Triennial Tithes and the Underdog: A Revisionist Reading of Deut 14:22-29 and 26:12-15." This article appears in Yet With A Steady Beat (Scholars’ Press); “Justice” which appears in the New Interpreters Dictionary of the Bible (Abingdon Press); an article on Deuteronomy, which appears in the Cambridge Dictionary of Christianity (Cambridge University Press); Deuteronomy, which appears in The Africana Bible Commentary; "Deuteronomy" in the Fortress Commentary on the Old Testament; "Deuteronomy" in the Fortress Commentary on the Pentateuch (both published by Fortress Press). Dr. Bennett recently completed an article for the Journal of the Interdenominational Theological Center (JITC) on "The Bible and Africentric Pentecostal Moral Decision-Making." He is currently working on a book in social ethics, dealing with the Black Lives Matter Movement in America.
Dr. Bennett has served as the Program Chair for the Unit on Biblical Theology in The International Society of Biblical Literature. In this position, Dr. Bennett presided over discussions on Biblical Theology in Cambridge, England; Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Vienna, Austria; and Rome, Italy. Dr. Bennett is a member of The Society of Biblical Literature, The Society for the Study of Black Religion, and The Society for Pentecostal Studies.
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