July 23rd - Race: There Is No Neutral - Panelists

In “Race – There Is No Neutral,” a team of faculty, activists, and other professionals will discuss how stereotypes, implicit bias, and racism impact our behavior and relationships. This session will focus on topics that we sometimes find difficult to discuss because of the perceived outcome.


Special thanks to our community partners: The Winston-Salem Chronicle; Entercom/97.1 QMG; and

The Alpha Pi Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

  • Nigel Alston - MODERATOR

    Well-known Business and Community Leader, Former Executive Director for University Engagement at Winston-Salem State University

    As executive director he led the university’s marketing, alumni, government and community relations efforts to educate, inform and engage key internal and external audiences about university programs, campaigns, initiatives and achievements.

     

    Nigel is also a former executive with GMAC Insurance, formerly Integon. He joined the company as a management trainee in 1974 and served as director of GMAC’s employee and community relations from 1990 until 2010.

     

    Nigel has served as interim director of the Forsyth County Department of Social Services, and currently serves as executive director of the North Carolina Black Repertory Company, producers of the National Black Theatre Festival!

     

    Well known as a motivational speaker and columnist, he has served on numerous boards and councils in the Piedmont Triad area. Currently, he serves on the First National Bank Advisory Board, co-chair of the National Black Theatre Festival fundraising committee, and the Arts Council of WS/FC board.

     

    Nigel has served as chair of the Winston-Salem State University Board of Trustees, chair of the Forsyth County Board of Social Services, president of Leadership Winston-Salem, and chair of the Forsyth County Early Childhood Partnership (Smart Start).

     

    A 1974 graduate of Livingstone College with a B.S. degree in business administration, he also received a Doctor of Humane Letters from his alma mater in 2002. He is a certified Dale Carnegie Trainer, a graduate of Leadership Winston-Salem, the Triad Leadership Network and Leadership North Carolina.

     

    Nigel had the honor to participate as a National Security Seminar Fellow (Leadership Development) at the U.S. Army War College in 2013.

     

    He has received numerous community awards including the NAACP’s Charles McLean Community Service Award, the Excellence in Leadership award from the Salvation Army Boys Club, W-S Chronicle Man of the Year, Emory O. Jackson Best Column Award from the NNPA, R. J. Reynolds High School Sports Hall of Fame, the 5th Annual Children’s Champion Award by Work Family Resource Center, and recognized by Black Business Ink as one of the 50 Most Influential African Americans in the Triad.

     

    Nigel’s magnificent obsession is to continuously develop and use his God-given talents to influence the future development of people and organizations to learn and grow beyond their current reach, and to enjoy this journey called life.

     


    Nigel is married to the former Sarah Debra Littlejohn, a retired educator. He is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and Sigma Pi Phi (Gamma Kappa Boule’).

  • Michelle Butt

    President and General Manager

    WXII-TV

    In January of 2015, in a return to North Carolina, Michelle Butt was named president and general manager of WXII-TV, the Hearst-owned NBC affiliate serving the Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point, television market.


    Prior to returning, Ms. Butt had served for 11 years as News Director for the Hearst-owned NBC affiliate, WBAL-TV and its news-talker, WBAL-AM News radio 1090; both in Baltimore, Maryland. Before WBAL, she served as WXII-TV's news director, joining the station after a two-year term as assistant news director at WTAE-TV, Hearst's ABC affiliate in Pittsburgh, PA.  Before joining Hearst, she served at another North Carolina station, WRAL-TV in Raleigh as well as holding various newsroom positions at TV stations in the Norfolk, VA market.



    A native of southeastern Virginia, Ms. Butt is a graduate of Old Dominion University in Norfolk and has served on the boards of nonprofit and community agencies including the Special Children's School of Winston-Salem, and as Vice-Chair of the board for Special Olympics Maryland, as well as Parent Volunteer roles in her children’s schools. Currently, Michelle serves on the Board of Goodwill Industries of Northwestern North Carolina, is immediate Past-Chair of the board of Second Harvest Food Bank and has served the board of Ronald McDonald House of Winston-Salem.  She is married to Richard, a Wake Forest graduate, mother of Peyton, 23 and Jackson Butt, 25. 

  • Karen McNeil-Miller

    President and CEO

    The Colorado Health Foundation

    Karen McNeil-Miller describes social and human impact as the center of her life’s work. As the president and CEO of The Colorado Health Foundation, Karen helps guide the Foundation to determine the most impactful investment of human, financial and influence capital on behalf of the Coloradans who need it the most.  


    At the Foundation since September 2015, Karen describes the its mission as a key driving force in her life. She says, “I chose this important field of work to be on the ground in Colorado communities and to get closer to those in need – many through no fault of their own – and assist in every way I could.”  


    Karen joined the Foundation after serving for more than 10 years as the president of the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, one of North Carolina’s largest private foundations. Under her leadership, the Trust evolved into a strategic, impact-driven foundation with a national presence on issues ranging from rural health to access to care. 


    Before joining the Trust, Karen spent 16 years with the Center for Creative Leadership, an international leadership development and research nonprofit organization headquartered in Greensboro, North Carolina. During her tenure, Karen developed expertise in individual and organizational leadership development, succession planning, strategic thinking, team building, diversity, executive coaching and leading change and transitions. 


    Karen lives each day knowing that good health impacts every element of our lives. A former special education teacher and head of the Piedmont School in North Carolina, Karen is active within the nonprofit community and national and regional philanthropic and rural health organizations. She serves as board chair for the Association of Black Foundation Executives, and is a board member of Campbell University, College Track and Denver Academy. At home, Karen cultivates a balanced, healthy life that includes her husband and two children, a minor shoe obsession and – on a beautiful Colorado day – a good book and a glass of wine outside on her deck. 


    BS Early Childhood Education – University of North Carolina at Greensboro Master of Education, Cross-Categorical Special Education – University of North Carolina at Greensboro  Doctor of Education, General Leadership – Vanderbilt University

  • Bishop W. Darin Moore

    Presiding Bishop of the Mid-Atlantic Episcopal District

    AME Zion Church

    Bishop W. Darin Moore is a native of Mt. Vernon, NY and began his college education at Livingstone College in Salisbury, NC where he served as President of the Student Government Association. He graduated from Purchase College, in Purchase, NY with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology. Theological studies were done at Yale University Divinity School obtaining the M.Div. from United Theological Seminary. He received his Doctor of Ministry Degree from UTS as well as an honorary Doctorate from Livingstone College.


    Pastoral assignments for Bishop Moore have included Clarksville and Morning Star AME Zion Churches, Monroe, NC; Mt. Olivet AME Zion Church, Greensboro, NC; and Jones Tabernacle AME Zion Church, Indianapolis, IN. While in Greensboro, he served on the Commission for the Greensboro Coliseum and the County Commission on Children and Youth. In Indianapolis, Bishop Moore served two terms as President of the Board of Directors for the Greater Indianapolis Church Federation and was the Presiding Elder of the Indianapolis District for the


    AME Zion Church. He became the pastor of his home church, Greater Centennial AME Zion Church in 1993 and served faithfully until his election as a Bishop.


    In July, 2012 Bishop Moore was elevated to the episcopacy from Greater Centennial A.M.E. Zion Church, Mt. Vernon, NY as the 99th bishop in succession. During his tenure as pastor of Greater Centennial the congregation grew from a few hundred to more than 6,500 members.


    Bishop Moore served two consecutive terms as President of the Mount Vernon Board of Education. Additionally, he served as President of the United Black Clergy of Westchester, theFounding Chairperson for Save Our Seed Ministries, and a charter member of the Westchester County African American Advisory Board. He is Founder and the past President of the Greater Centennial Community Development Corporation and past President of Greater Centennial Homes where he led in the construction of the James Varick Homes for 1st time home buyers, construction of the Zion Court Apartments, and a $12 million substantial renovation of Greater Centennial Homes.


    Twice, he has been selected as the Morning Preacher for the Hampton Ministers’ Conference, an annual gathering of more than 10,000 ministers and musicians from around the country, and his sermons have been published in The African American Pulpit Forum and the Balm in Gilead Journal. He is the author/editor of two books. He has been inducted into the prestigious Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr., Board of Preachers and the Mt. Vernon High School Hall of Fame. A recipient of the James Varick "Leadership Medallion" for exceptional service to the AME Zion Church, he is recognized as a leading voice for spiritual, educational, and community transformation.


    Currently, Bishop Moore serves as the Chair of the Governing Board of the National Council of Churches, USA, Treasurer of the Livingstone College Board of Trustees, and a member of the World Methodist Council. He also serves as Chairman of the Restructuring Commission for the AME Zion Church as well as the 1st Vice Chair of the Connectional Budget Board and the Board of Christian Education.


    Bishop Moore is the Presiding Bishop of the Mid-Atlantic Episcopal District, which includes the Allegheny, Barbados, East Tennessee and Virginia, Guyana-Suriname, Philadelphia and Baltimore, Ohio, St. Vincent, and Virginia Conferences.


    A loving husband to Devieta C. Moore, devoted father to Daron (Elaina), Dana (Kevin), and Dion. He and his wife are proud grandparents of Jayli, Creed, Kevin, and Carter.

    Bishop Moore uses as his theme: “It’s our OUTREACH that validates our UP REACH!”

  • Blake D. Morant

    Robert Kramer Research Professor of Law and

    Former Dean of The George Washington University Law School

    Blake D. Morant is the Robert Kramer Research Professor of Law and former Dean of The George Washington University Law School. Prior to serving as Dean of GW Law, he served as Dean of the Wake Forest University School of Law, where he built a national reputation as an exceptional law school administrator, tireless advocate for students, and respected legal scholar. He speaks around the globe on pressing issues in legal education, and has published extensively in his areas of scholarly focus, including contract theory, media law, and administrative law. Dean Morant has served in numerous national leadership positions at the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) and the American Bar Association (ABA), including as AALS President in 2015.  Currently, he is serving as a member of the ABA’s Commission on the Future of Legal Education and is president of the AALS Fellows.



    Among his many professional honors, Dean Morant was named the John R. Kramer Outstanding Law Dean by Equal Justice Works and was recognized four times by National Jurist magazine as one of the most influential people in legal education. He was twice named professor of the year by the Women Law Students Organization at Washington and Lee University and received five awards for outstanding teaching at the University of Toledo College of Law. Most recently, he received the “Attorney of the Year” Award from the National Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America and the Herman Marion Sweatt Award from the National Bar Association. He has taught at the law schools of American University, University of Toledo, University of Michigan, University of Alabama, and Washington and Lee University. He also served as a visiting fellow of University College, Oxford. Prior to becoming a legal academic, he served in the Army’s Judge Advocate General Corps, as a senior associate with a Washington, D.C., law firm, and as an Assistant General Counsel for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.

  • Reverend K. Monet Rice-Jalloh

    Associate University Chaplain
    Wake Forest University

    Rev. K (she/her/hers) focuses on curating spiritual well-being practices across a broad range of religious and philosophical ideologies. She joined the Wake Forest University community July of 2012 and has truly impacted religious and spiritual affairs. Rev. K specializes in spiritual well-being with current gravitational pull towards cultivating spiritual practices for descendants of enslaved Africans. Her scholarly interests mirror her specialty as she completes her doctoral dissertation, Exploring Spiritual Well-being for Descendants of Enslaved Africans at Predominately White Institutions (PWIs) of Higher Education. She also populates a YouTube channel that intertwines African and African-American ancestral practices with Christianity.


    Prior to Wake Forest, Rev. K served as an Associate Pastor at The Concord Baptist Church of Christ in Brooklyn, NY, as a Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE) recipient in their Transition into Ministry project. She also worked for Cornell University’s Cooperative Extension in partnership with the College of Human Ecology. Rev. K is a native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and a graduate of Louisiana State University, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where she competed on their Women’s Track and Field team and obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree.  She then pursued her Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, NJ, and is currently completing her doctoral degree at Duke Divinity School.


    Rev. K loves academic chaplaincy and religious affairs work because it allows her the privilege of engaging in theological discourse with bright and inquisitive minds while liturgically engaging the academic community and keeping up with growing trends. She enjoys developing lasting relationships with students, staff, and faculty and aspires to provide compassionate, non-judgmental, spiritual and emotional support regardless of (one’s) religious affiliation.


    Rice-Jalloh is often sought after for her candid and charismatic approach to addressing topics that are categorized as “taboo.” In her ministerial use of candor, Rice-Jalloh says,

    • “The seat of my theology rest in the notion that God’s original design for humanity was that we be proverbially naked before one another and sensibly unashamed. It is my deep conviction that the original sin was when humanity decided that we should hide from both God and each other. Humanity is in the practice of heaving judgements upon ourselves and projecting them onto others. Fear and shame are the pests that infest the fruit fields wherever the works of justice and communal wholeness are being planted. But if we can un-cover and un-clothe truth, let the nakedness of what is true move boldly, then surely healing can be unclothed too.”

    She is married to Mamadou Aliou and together they are raising two children, two birds, and several healthy houseplants.

  • April Ruffin-Adams, Ph.D., M.S.W.

    Adjunct Professor

    University of North Carolina at Greensboro

    Dr. April Ruffin-Adams was born in Durham, North Carolina and raised in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  She graduated from Hampton University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology in 1999.  Dr. Ruffin-Adams subsequently attended graduate school in Greensboro, completing a Master of Social Work degree from the joint program at North Carolina A&T State University (NC A&T) and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) specializing in children, families, and youth at-risk.  Dr. Ruffin-Adams further continued her studies at UNCG, where she earned a Ph.D. in Education, with an emphasis in cultural studies.  

     

    Raised by parents who stressed the importance of Black history, encouraged political activism, and worked on behalf of social justice, Dr. Ruffin-Adams chose a career in social work to embody the ethics her parents instilled in her.  After working several years as a school social worker, in both the Guilford County and Forsyth County School Systems, she began teaching on a collegiate level at NC A&T as a lecturer and field liaison in the Department of Sociology and Social Work.  Currently, Dr. Ruffin-Adams teaches in the African American and African Diaspora Studies program at UNCG, and her research interests include educational equity, Black motherhood, and social justice.  In addition to her work at UNCG, Dr. Ruffin-Adams serves a contributing faculty member at Walden University in the Barbara Solomon School of Social Work.   

     

    Dr. Ruffin-Adams remains engaged in the Winston-Salem community as a member of several boards, including MUSE Winston-Salem and the Arts Based School. She is also a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Jack and Jill of America, and The Moles.  Dr. Ruffin-Adams is also an active member of United Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, where she attends with her husband, Attorney Frederick Adams, and their two children, Frederick III and Avary. As an active church member, she serves on the United Fellowship Usher Board, assists with the Youth Usher Board, and participates in Sunday School.