Warren Bell, Jr.

Warren Bell, Jr. is the Associate Vice President for University & Media Relations at Xavier University of Louisiana, where he leads its communications, marketing & public relations efforts.
A native of New Orleans, Bell was a well-established presence in local broadcast journalism and media for more than three decades as a news anchor and reporter, also as a talk show host and news manager, in addition to producing numerous documentaries. He became New Orleans' first African American weekday prime-time TV news anchor in 1977, and covered nearly all of the city’s milestone events over the years including elections, hurricanes, presidential conventions, etc.
At Xavier University since 2003, Bell has overseen an overhaul of the university web site www.xula.edu, as well as establishment of an online News Bureau providing a wealth of campus information. His career involvement in higher education began at Dillard University, where he served for seventeen years (1983-2000) as a member of the Mass Communications faculty. During that period he also served as a member of the National Advisory Committee on Black-Jewish Relations, appointed to that role by Dillard president Samuel Dubois Cook whom Bell describes as a “hero” and “mentor.”
Bell still serves his community as a board member of the Committee for a Better New Orleans/Metropolitan Area Committee (CBNO/MAC) as well as the Medical Center of Louisiana Foundation. He and his family are active members of St. Peter Claver Catholic Church, where he serves as a lector and member of the Parish Advisory Council.

Brother Tyrone Davis, C.F.C., J.D.

Brother Tyrone Davis, C.F.C., J.D., a member of the Congregation of Christian Brothers, is currently the Director of the Office of Black Ministry - Archdiocese of New York. In addition to his work in pastoral ministry, Brother is also an educator and an attorney admitted to practice in the State of New York.
Brother Tyrone was born and raised in Newark, New Jersey where he attended public and Catholic elementary school and Catholic high school. Brother attended Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) in Cleveland, Ohio where he earned his undergraduate degree in elementary education and speech. During his years at CWRU, Brother had the privilege of doing some studies at the University of Nairobi - Kenya Science Teacher's College in Nairobi, Kenya, East Africa and was very active in the African American Students Society. While in Cleveland and before joining the Christian Brothers, he held teaching and administrative positions (including that of an elementary school principal) in the public and Catholic schools of Cleveland.
Brother Tyrone eventually returned to the East coast and joined the Christian Brothers. As a religious brother, he has held teaching and administrative positions in various high schools conducted by the Christian Brothers in New York and New Jersey. Br. Tyrone did graduate studies in secondary educational administration at Jersey City State College and them attended Seton Hall University School of Law, where he earned his Doctor of Law degree. Upon graduation from Law School, Brother began practicing law as an Assistant District Attorney in Kings County (Brooklyn). After serving in that capacity for approximately 3-1/2 years, Brother was appointed to his present position by His Eminence, John Cardinal O'Connor on the Feast of All Saints, November 1, 1995.

Lucas Diaz

Lucas Diaz is the Executive Director of Puentes New Orleans, an organization dedicated to building assets and creating access for the Latino community of the Greater New Orleans area. It aims to create an integrated New Orleans region in which the Latino community is a vital, vibrant and active participant that enjoys access to good jobs, quality education, safe streets, affordable housing and economic opportunities. Puentes New Orleans covers areas including home buyer training courses and housing counseling and credit review services, public leadership training courses, and a public safety initiative aimed at improving relations between local law enforcement and the Latino community.

Dr. Norman C. Francis

Dr. Norman C. Francis has been President of Xavier University since 1968, making him the longest-tenured current leader of an American University. He is also chairman of the Louisiana Recovery Authority; an institution dedicated to the recovery and rebuilding of Louisiana. Beyond those responsibilities, Dr. Francis' prestigious national reputation includes serving in an advisory role to five presidential administrations--in addition to serving on 54 boards and commissions. He has also served as president of the American Association of Higher Education and the United Negro College Fund.
During his tenure as president of Xavier, the university has more than doubled its enrollment, broadened its curriculum, expanded its campus and strengthened its financial base. He is credited with being the catalyst for nearly every building constructed on the campus during the past 39 years.
Dr. Francis earned a B.S. degree from Xavier in 1952.He then became the first African- American to enroll at the Loyola University New Orleans Law School and received his J.D. in 1955.

Cheryl Greenberg

Cheryl Greenberg is the Paul E. Raether Distinguished Professor at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, where she teaches courses in African American history, modern U.S. history, and race and ethnicity. She is the author of four books and numerous journal articles and anthology chapters; and editor of A Circle of Trust: Remembering SNCC (Rutgers, 1997).
Greenberg is particularly interested in how minority communities understand themselves and how they organize to advance their interests. The recipient of a number of academic awards for her work, she serves as Vice Chair of the West Hartford Initiative on Racial and Ethnic Diversity, and on the boards of the CT Anti-Defamation League Civil Rights Committee and the Greater Hartford Jewish Community Relations Council,. She is a diversity trainer for the A World of Difference Institute and does housing discrimination testing for the CT Fair Housing Center.
Prof. Greenberg received her A.B. from Princeton University, 1980, M.A. Columbia University, 1981, M. Phil, Columbia, 1983, PhD Columbia, 1988.

Dr. Lance Hill

Dr. Lance Hill is the Executive Director of the Southern Institute for Education and Research, a tolerance education and race relations research center based at Tulane University in New Orleans. The Southern Institute sponsors the Katrina Research Project on Equity (KRPE) which serves as a clearinghouse on the impact of race and class in the post-Katrina recovery (http://www.SouthernInstitute.info) and the Storm Bridge Racial Healing and Reconciliation Project designed specifically to address post-Katrina racial divisions.
Hill holds a Ph.D. in history from Tulane University, where he has taught US History and Intercultural Communication. His scholarly research field is the history of race relations, the radical right, and ethnic group trauma. He is the author of The Deacons for Defense: Armed Resistance and the Civil Rights Movement (University of North Carolina Press, 2004).
In 1993, Hill co-founded the Southern Institute for Education and Research at Tulane University, a race and ethnic relations center. The Institute’s tolerance education program—the most comprehensive project of its kind in the South—has provided training to more than 4,000 teachers from 785 schools in the Deep South. The program uses case studies of the Holocaust and the Civil Rights Movement to teach the causes and consequences of prejudice. Hill is a principal trainer for the Southern Institute’s cross-cultural communication program which teaches skills to improve communication and collaboration among ethnic groups in the United States. In the aftermath of Katrina, Hill has focused his work on racial healing and reconciliation work in New Orleans and displaced communities. In 2006 he received a special honor from the Louisiana NAACP State Conference for his research and writing on Louisiana black history.

Dalit Ballen Horn

Dalit Ballen Horn was recruited to become the first Community Relations Coordinator at Columbia/Barnard Hillel, upon graduating from Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary. In this capacity, she developed a department for interfaith and intercultural programming, which included the design and implementation of Columbia's first multicultural service learning trip to New Orleans. Dalit then joined the Working Families Party of New York, where she advocated for the working-class on issues of jobs, health care, education, and housing.
Dalit currently serves as the Assistant Director at the Belfer Center for American Pluralism at the American Jewish Committee. In this capacity, she collaborates with ethnic leaders from across the United States for advocacy and action on domestic policy issues. For over one hundred years, the AJC has led campaigns and promoted legislation to combat racism and bigotry and to promote pluralism and democratic values.

Dr. Cynthia "Cindy" Levy

Dr. Cynthia “Cindy” Levy is an Associate Professor at Southern University in Baton Rouge where she teaches literature and writing. She was awarded a $30,000.00 grant from the National Endowment of the Humanities (NEH) for her manuscript on a Southern Jewish woman who helped end lynching in the 1930s.
Her essay about multiple generations of Southern Jewish women and their fight to help integrate the schools won the gold medal in the William Faulkner Competition. Judge Andre Codrescu wrote "The author uses the form of the personal essay to speak about much larger issues. Her perspective is fresh and compassionate. The use of interviews makes this essay more interesting stylistically."
Cindy Levy and Mona Lisa Saloy have performed their work together for decades, and are finishing a play, One Black, One Jew: Lessons In Friendship. Cindy lives with her husband and 16 year old son in Baton Rouge.

Nolan Marshall

Nolan Marshall is the President Elect of the Young Leadership Council, a non profit, non partisan civic organization dedicated to developing leadership through community projects. Based in New Orleans, YLC was initiated by a group of young people who wanted to tackle issues facing their community. Amongst others, the YLC’s accomplishments include founding the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation, a group charged with recruiting sporting events to the city, and raising more than $500,000 to add lights to the city's most visible bridge.

Rebecca Neuwirth

Rebecca Neuwirth is Director of AJC's ACCESS initiative to bring a "new generation" of Jewish leadership into the work of the agency and, in parallel, helping to prepare AJC to be able to engage and absorb that demographic successfully. Rebecca leads the NY ACCESS group and oversees ACCESS programs in eight other major US cities.
Ms. Neuwirth’s BA is from Yale University, and her MA is from the Free University in Berlin, where she lived for four years. She has translated a book by noted sociologist Niklas Luhmann and helped found the NY-based non profit High 5 Tickets to the Arts, which aims to expose young people to the cultural institutions of the city.

James Perry

James Perry is the Executive Director of the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center (GNOFHAC). Perry is an expert in affordable housing and housing discrimination. Perry founded the Gulf Coast Fair Housing Center in Mississippi when he was only 26 years old. He led the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center through two of America’s greatest disasters - Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Perry has testified before Congress four times. He has been quoted and interviewed by the New York Times, Newsweek, the Los Angles Times, the Houston Chronicle, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the RadioOne News Network, National Public Radio, the McNeil-Lehrer News Hour, Dateline NBC, the Economist and CNN.
Perry serves on the Board of Directors of the National Fair Housing Alliance, the National Low Income Housing Coalition, the Gulf Coast Fair Housing Center and chairs the Louisiana Housing Alliance Board of Directors. He is a political science graduate of the University of New Orleans and a graduate of the Loyola University School of Law.
GNOFHAC is a private, non-profit civil rights organization established in the summer of 1995 to eradicate housing discrimination throughout the greater New Orleans area. Through education, investigation, and enforcement activities, GNOFHAC promotes fair competition throughout the housing marketplace -- rental, sales, lending, and insurance. GNOFHAC is dedicated to fighting housing discrimination not only because it is illegal, but also because it is a divisive force that perpetuates poverty, segregation, ignorance, fear, and hatred.

Sister Jamie T. Phelps, OP

Sister Jamie T. Phelps, OP, has been a member of her religious congregation, the Adrian Dominican Sisters, since 1959. She has served on the graduate and undergraduate faculties of the Catholic Theological Union and Loyola University in Chicago and the doctoral faculty as a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Theology at the University of Dayton. Currently she is the Katharine Drexel Professor of Systematic Theology and Director of the Institute for Black Catholic Studies of Xavier University of Louisiana.. The Institute is an interdisciplinary theological program which focuses on preparing graduate and continuing education students for more effective Catholic Ministry in and for the Black Community by doing original interdisciplinary research and field projects on topics of importance for transforming church and society through ministry in the Black Catholic Community.
Dr. Phelps holds a B.A. in sociology from Siena Heights University, Adrian Michigan (1969), an M.S.W. in Social Work from the University of Illinois at Chicago (1972); a M.A. in Theology from St. John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota (1975) and a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. (1989).
She was a founding member of the Washington-based National Black Sisters Conference in 1968; a major consultant for the founding of The Institute of Black Catholics Studies in 1982; the founding director of the Catholic Theological Union’s Augustus Tolton Pastoral Ministry Program which prepares Black Catholic laypersons for ministry in the Archdiocese of Chicago which she inaugurated in 1990 and the re-founder of The Black Catholic Theological Symposium a national interdisciplinary theological society for Black-Catholics holding doctoral degrees in theology and related fields. She served as its Convenor from 1991-2001.
Phelps is a nationally and internationally known activist scholar who has served as keynoter and conducted seminars and workshop in the United States incl. Puerto Rico; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Jamaica; Toronto, Ottawa & Nova Scotia, Canada; Enugu, Nigeria; Johannesburg, Praetoria and Capetown, South Africa; Zimbabwe; and Rome, Italy. She has served the church and community as an educator, certified psychiatric social worker, community organizer, pastoral minister, consultant, lecturer, liturgist, spiritual director, preacher, retreat director, administrator, theologian, and author.
She has edited two books Black Catholic: The Challenge and Gift of Black Folk and co-edited Stamped in the Image of God: African Americans as God’s Image in Black. In addition she has published more than 50 theological articles on such topics as the evangelization and social justice mission of the Church, inculturation, Christology, and spirituality etc.

Ed Pincus

Ed Pincus (Co-Producer, Co-Director, DP) began filmmaking in 1964, developing a direct cinema approach to social and political problems and events. He has producer, director and DP credits on eight of his films and has been cinematographer on over twelve additional films.
His films include: Black Natchez (1967), a one-hour documentary that follows the a His films include: Black Natchez (1967), a one-hour documentary that follows the aftermath of a car bombing in a Southern town during the Civil Rights Movement; Panola (1965, 1969), a portrait of a wino, alleged police informant, and follower of Malcolm X in Mississippi in 1965; One Step Away (1967), an intimate hour-long portrait of a hippie commune in California during the Summer of Love commissioned by public broadcasting; and the seminal Diaries: 1971-1976 (1981), about the filmmaker’s marriage, family and friends, during an era when the Women’s Movement wrought havoc and redefined personal relations.
Ed Pincus’ filmmaking has been on the technical cutting edge of documentary—e.g., the early use of color in natural light situations and the development of single-person filming techniques. He started the Film Section at MIT where he taught for ten years and influenced a generation of documentary filmmakers. Recipient of numerous National Endowment for the Arts awards, a Guggenheim Fellowship, author of “Guide to Filmmaking” and co-author of “Filmmaker’s Handbook,” he also has had stints as visiting filmmaker at Minneapolis College of Art and Design and Harvard University. For the past twenty years, Pincus has been living and running a farm in Vermont. Recently, he decided to return to filmmaking.

Rabbi David Posternock

Rabbi David Posternock, along with his wife, Jessica, relocated to the Greater New Orleans area in June 2008 to assume the role of synagogue administrator of Congregation Beth Israel. Originally from New Jersey, Rabbi David came to Beth Israel from Wichita, Kansas where he served the Jewish community in multiple educational, administrative and religious roles.
While working towards a degree from Penn State University's Abington campus, where he received a B.A. in Letters, Arts and Sciences in 2003, he served Temple Beth Judah in Wildwood, New Jersey as religious school teacher, and assistant to the rabbi and cantor. Rabbi David earned a dual ordination in 2007, one from an Israeli institute, and the other from the Institute of Kabbalistic Studies Rabbinical School in Wichita, which was founded with the vision of preparing the next generation of Rabbis for the responsibility of carrying on our rituals and traditions from one generation to the next.

Theodore "Ted" A. Quant

Theodore “Ted” A. Quant is the Director of the Twomey Center for Peace Through Justice at Loyola University. A resident of New Orleans for more than forty years, Mr. Quant’s home was destroyed in hurricane Katrina. He evacuated to Selma, Alabama where he established an evacuation center. Upon returning, he served as a curriculum designer and workshop trainer for the Storm Bridge Program, a racial healing and reconciliation project of the Southern Institute for Education and Research at Tulane University.
Mr. Quant teaches and trains in cultural diversity, leadership, team building, conflict resolution, negotiations, and communications to corporations, public schools, parent advocates, youth groups, government agencies, and community organizations. His professional background includes serving as Director of Loyola’s Urban Partner Program in the Institute of Human Relations, Louisiana State Coordinator for the Voter Education Project, Director of the Louisiana Survival Coalition, and an organizer for the National Equal Rights Congress.
Mr. Quant has provided consulting, training, mediation, and conflict resolution for numerous organizations, including the police departments of Selma, Alabama, and New Orleans, the New Orleans School Board and City Council, the Mayor of New Orleans and the Human Relations Commission, the 21st Century Youth Leadership Movement, Urban Youth Against Violence, Pyramid Parent Training, Families Helping Families, the Grassroots Consortium of Organizations of Families and Children, the Institute for Educational Leadership, and the N.O. Metropolitan Area Committee’s Education Project on School Governance.

Nathan Rothstein

Nathan Rothstein is the co-founder and Executive Director of the New Orleans Young Urban Rebuilding Professionals Initiative. The mission of the organization is to create a support network to connect, retain and attract young professionals from diverse backgrounds for a sustainable New Orleans. The organization began last summer and has grown to over 2900 members and has been featured in the Boston Globe, USA Today, Foxnews.com, Times-Picayune and dozens of blogs from around the country. Mr. Rothstein was named to Gambit Weekly's "40 under 40" list in 2007 and has spoken at Yale, MIT, Umass-Amherst, Spring Hill College, Loyola New Orleans, Howard University and University of Michigan for his work with NOLA YURP.

Rabbi A. James Rudin

Rabbi A. James Rudin attended Wesleyan University and graduated from George Washington University with academic distinction. He received his Masters degree and rabbinical ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. He also holds honorary doctorates from Saint Leo University, Saint Martin’s University and HUC-JIR. In 1968 Rabbi Rudin began his career as a member of the American Jewish Committee professional staff serving as Director of the Interreligious Affairs Department. He is currently the AJC’s Senior Interreligious Advisor.
As chairman of the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations, Rabbi Rudin participated in ten meetings with Pope Jean Paul II. In April 2008 he was chosen by the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops to respond to Pope Benedict XVI’s address to Jewish leaders in Washington, DC. Rabbi Rudin has also participated in historic meetings with the World Council of Churches in Geneva and with Eastern Orthodox Christian leaders in Greece.
He served on the Camp David Presidential Retreat Interfaith Chapel Committee and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday Commission. Rabbi Rudin was a founder of the National Interreligious Task Force on Soviet Jewry and the National Interreligious Task Force on Black-Jewish Relations. He was a founding member of the New York State Task Force on Life and the Law, an interdisciplinary body that focuses on bioethical issues.

Mona Lisa Saloy

Mona Lisa Saloy, author and folklorist, is currently Associate Professor of English and Director of the Creative Writing Program at Dillard University.
Dr. Saloy has published extensively in essay and poetry collections, and her first collection of verse, Red Beans and Ricely Yours: Poems, won the PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Prize in 2006 and the T. S. Eliot Prize in poetry for 2005, published by Truman State University Press. In October of 2006, she was commissioned to compose and perform a poem celebrating 2006 Liberty Medal Recipients: President William J. Clinton and President George H.W. Bush. Her essay on Natural and Unnatural Disasters will appear in the anthology Black Nature Poems from University of Georgia Press this year.
Occasionally, Mona Lisa writes and reads commentaries on the Black historical 7th Ward neighborhood in New Orleans for Public Radio., and on the Lore of African American children on the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Folklife site. She just completed a screenplay entitled “Rocking for a Risen Savior,” to be produced by LPB (Louisiana Public Broadcasting).
Saloy won fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and from the United Negro College Fund/Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to continue her research on Black Beat poet Bob Kaufman, who served as an important link to the Black arts movement. On numerous occasions around the country she has been a keynote speaker and featured writer.
Her Ph.D. is in English from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, where she received the MFA in Creative Writing.

Timolynn Sams

Timolynn Sams is currently the Executive Director of the Neighborhoods Partnership Network (NPN), a nonprofit organization consisting of a citywide network of neighborhoods that was established after the Hurricane Katrina disaster to facilitate neighborhood collaboration, increase access to government and information, and strengthen the voices of individuals and communities across New Orleans. Ms. Sams has previously acted as a founding member of the New Orleans Institute and as a communication specialist at the Louisiana Public Health Institute. She received a BA in English Education from Southern University at New Orleans

Ann Schaffer

Ann Schaffer has served as Director of the American Jewish Committee’s Arthur and Rochelle Belfer Center for American Pluralism since October 2000.
The Center reflects AJC’s commitment to democratic and pluralistic values, and engages in the ongoing work of building interethnic relationships, through dialogues, partnerships and coalitions. Whether at the local level through 28 chapters, or on the national level with representative leaders and organizations, the Belfer Center seeks to enhance understanding and trust, reduce prejudice, advocate on a shared agenda, and strengthen social cohesion. The Center provides leadership and advocacy training to the staff and members of AJC via its innovative EngagingAmerica program, and conducts institution-building and advocacy seminars for emerging leadership groups from diverse diaspora communities, including Nigerians, South Asian (Indian), Korean, Mexican and Guatemalan Americans.
Previously, Schaffer served for seven years as executive director of AJC's Westchester chapter, based in White Plains, NY. She was a founding member and chair of the Westchester Coalition for Democracy, a non-partisan, multi-issue coalition of 34 organizations committed to upholding democracy, constitutional rights, and diversity.
In 1999, she led a 60-member coalition that successfully fought for the establishment of a Westchester Human Rights Commission. She served on several county-wide boards working on issues such as church-state separation, racial diversity, bigotry, immigrant integration, and abortion rights, and initiated a Catholic-Jewish program series with Iona College, which has continued since 1999. She received numerous community awards from organizations including the National Association of Social Workers and the NYCLU, and in 1999, she received the prestigious Woman of the Year Award at Women's Equality Day.
Born and educated in Zimbabwe, she completed undergraduate and graduate degrees in English Literature at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, before immigrating to the U.S. in 1967.

Lucia Small

Lucia Small (Co-Producer, Co-Director, Editor) has been an independent filmmaker for nearly 15 years. In 2002, Small premiered My Father, The Genius, her feature documentary directorial debut, which garnered several top film festival awards, including Grand Jury Prizes for the Best Documentary and Best Editing at the Slamdance Film Festival
My Father, The Genius was broadcast internationally and in 2003 was featured as part of the Sundance Channel’s newly launched DOC day series.
Small has a list of credits as producer of several nationally televised programs and award-winning documentaries. Producing credits include: Beth Harrington’s The Blinking Madonna and Other Miracles (1996, ITVS); Laurel Chiten’s The Jew in the Lotus (1998, ITVS); The Mississippi: River of Song (1999), a 4-part PBS series; American Wake (2003), distributed by Horizon Entertainment and Netflix; and the historical documentary Damrell’s Fire (2005), broadcast nationally by American Public Television. She has also worked as a freelancer for Scoutvision, Discovery Channel, USA Cable, C-Span, Media One, John Hancock, and on numerous fiction films.
Lucia Small joined forces with Ed Pincus in 2005 to form Pincus & Small Films, LLC. Rooted in the tradition of observational film (direct cinema, cinema vérité), they seek to create provocative, critical, humorous, and innovative films on important social and environmental issues.

Marshall F. Stevenson, Jr.

Marshall F. Stevenson, Jr. is Dean of the Division of Social Sciences and Professor of History at Dillard University He holds a B.A. in History from the University of Cincinnati and both the M.A. and Ph.D. in History from the University of Michigan. He has been a Lowenstein-Weiner Fellow of the American Jewish Archives at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio and a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Carter G. Woodson Institute for Afro-American Studies at the University of Virginia, and formerly taught for nine years in the History Department at The Ohio State University. He has been on the faculty of Dillard University since 1997 and Dean since 1999. He was Director of Dillard University’s Center for Black-Jewish relations from 1999 to 2004.
His work on race relations and civil rights within organized labor has appeared in the Journal of International Labor and Working-Class History, along with articles on Black-Jewish relations in the United States in the Columbia University’s Teacher’s College Record, in African Americans and Jews in the Twentieth Century: Studies in Convergence and Conflict, eds. V. P. Franklin, Nancy L. Grant, Harold M. Kletnick and Genna Rae McNeil (1998), and Strangers and Neighbors: Relations between Blacks & Jews in the United States, eds. Maurine Adams and John Bracey (1999). He also served as lead editor for the Dillard University African World Studies Reader, eds. Alan Colon, V. P. Franklin, Donna Patterson, Marshall F. Stevenson, Jr.; Jerry W. Ward (Tapestry Press, 2006)
He has recently completed entries on Black-Jewish Relations in the United States, and the Detroit Race Riot of 1943 for the, Greenwood Encyclopedia of the Great Black Migration, (2006) as well as a brief history of Dillard University for the Oxford University Press Encyclopedia of African American History. In between his administrative duties he continues to work on a book-length manuscript on the history of African American-Jewish Relations in Detroit from the 1930s through the 1960s. Since Hurricane Katrina he has been engaged in analyzing the migration and displacement of African Americans as a result of the hurricane within the broader historical context of Diaspora and people of African descent. During the summer of 2007 he participated in the Andrew Mellon Foundation and United Negro College Fund (UNCF) Faculty Seminar in Ghana.

Fr. Freddy Washington, C.S.Sp.

Fr. Freddy Washington, C.S.Sp., is presently the pastor of St. Mary Magdalene and St. Ambrose Parishes in Chicago, Illinois. Before going to Chicago, Fr. Washington was a Hospital Chaplain, a Director of Religious Education, an Associate Professor at St. Mary Seminary in Cincinnati, and an Assistant Professor of Pastoral Theology at Xavier University in New Orleans.
Fr. Washington is a native of Charleston, South Carolina. He is the second of five children. His vocation to the priesthood was nurtured by his family and the congregation at St. Patrick’s Church in Charleston. Fr. Washington’s motto is, “With God, nothing is impossible.”
Father Washington conducts retreats, revivals, and days of reconciliation at parishes, schools, and universities across the country.
He earned at Bachelors of Arts degree from Duquesne University, a Master of Divinity degree from Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, and a Master of Theology degree from Xavier University in New Orleans. Fr. Washington earned a Doctorate from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio.

Michael J. Weil

Michael J. Weil is the Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans. Weil, an economist by training, born and educated in Great Britain, has spent most of his career in Israel working in strategic development, renewal, and urban planning.
Weil was instrumental in leading New Orleans’s Jewish Community’s strategic planning process of rebuilding and renewal and spearheaded its flagship program to recruit and engage young Jews to New Orleans after the disaster of Hurricane Katrina. This program has already brought over 600 newcomers to the Jewish community.
Weil spent the previous four years in Jerusalem as a policy research fellow at the prestigious global Jewish think tank -- the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute (JPPPI), chaired by US former Under Secretary of State Dennis Ross. He also has experience dealing with fundraising campaigns, working for World ORT based in London as head of Leadership and Development.
Weil was the managing director of Megama Management & Planning Consultants in Israel for twenty years, as a strategic planner for several Israeli cities, and was one of the key players in Israel’s Project Renewal.
Weil’s wife, Brenda, teaches at Tulane University. Among Weil’s hobbies are painting (as in art, not houses), bicycling, and antiquing.
Weil has a B.Sc. in Economics with Technology from City University in London and a MA in Development Economics from Sussex University. He is also a graduate of Yeshiva Kerem B’Yavne in Israel and was a Sergeant in the IDF. Weil’s Judaism and involvement with the Jewish People have always played a key role in his life. Growing up in the United Kingdom, Weil was a youth counselor, and later became a Sunday Hebrew School teacher, chairman of the British Jewish Students Union (IUJF), and member of many UK Jewish communal groups.
Weil was recently voted one of the 50 most influential Jews in America by the Forward newspaper.

André L. Williams

André L. Williams, a real estate attorney, was elected Councilman in the City of Miami Gardens, FL in 2006. Miami Gardens is the largest predominantly African American city in Florida with a population of over 110,000 and the third largest city in Miami Dade County. André has been featured in TIME magazine for his leadership in the extraordinary efforts of Miami Garden’s to help its residents through the foreclosure crisis. He has been the recipient of the South Florida Business Journal’s Up and Comers Award (Finalist) for 2006, and has been recognized as an emerging young African American leader by several leading S. Florida business journals and a Kellogg Foundation-funded Miami Fellows Initiative.
Understanding the importance of America’s relationship with Israel and Israel’s strategic importance to our national security interests, André has been an active presence at national AIPAC conferences and at the Christians United for Israel 2008 Washington/ Israel Summit. During an educational trip for African American leaders to Israel in May 2007, he met with leading policymakers, analysts, business leaders, journalists and non-profits and developed a broader understanding of Israeli culture and society and the Middle Eastern conflict. Most recently, André was a keynote speaker at a workshop run by the Greater Miami Jewish Federation which seeks to organize their membership around Iranian divestment legislation.
A member of Mt. Hermon AME Church in Miami Gardens and Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, André received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and American Literature from Harvard University and his law degree from Vanderbilt University School of Law.