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Dr. Hakim J. Lucas
Chair, Editorial Board

President & CEO, Virginia Union University

Hakim J. Lucas, Ph.D., is the 13th President of Virginia Union University. He is strategically focused on student success, academic excellence, entrepreneurial enterprise, and brand prestige. Under Dr. Lucas’ direction, the university launched the "VUU is RVA" partnership with the City of Richmond and Richmond Public Schools to solidify greater access to academic, economic, medical, and civic support to those who live in the Greater Richmond area.

Dr. Lucas has nearly two decades of progressive leadership experience in higher education. His career successes include fundraising, strategic planning, and the engagement and retention of students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. He is an avid proponent of civic engagement, particularly at the local level, through city and state leaders and non-profit organizations. He stands on the maxim "Education is our Social Justice" and encourages students to find a social justice cause that is meaningful to them. He earned an appointment to serve on the City of Richmond History & Cultural Commission by Mayor Levar Stoney. In addition, he sits on several boards, including Partnership for Families, the Southern Education Foundation, Venture Richmond, and the SunTrust Advisory Council.

Dr. Lucas earned a bachelor’s degree from Morehouse College, a master’s degree in education from Tufts University, an Executive MBA from Stetson University, and a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary. He earned his doctoral degree in education from Fordham University.

Dr. Walter M. Kimbrough
Vice Chair of Editorial Board

President, Dillard University

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 Albany State University. 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. Recently he has emerged as one of the leaders discussing free speech on college campuses. Kimbrough also has been noted for his active use of social media. He was cited by Education Dive as one of 10 college presidents on Twitter who are doing it right (@HipHopPrez), and in 2015 he was named by The Best Schools.org as one of the 20 most interesting college presidents. 

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, and has served as an expert witness in a number if hazing cases. 

Dr. Everett B. Ward
Senior Fellow

11th President of Saint Augustine's University
General President of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated.

Everett B. Ward, Ph.D., an educator, public administrator, and humanitarian with over 35 years of national experience, has joined the VUU family as the new senior fellow for the Center for Study of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Dr. Ward served as the 11th President of Saint Augustine's University, North Carolina state government administrator, and General President of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated.

During his tenure as President of Saint Augustine's University (2014-2019), Dr. Ward successfully led the university to restore accreditation fully, championed academic excellence, promoted teaching innovation, broadened external partnerships, engaged alumni, and an enhanced relationship with the Episcopal Church. Founded in 1867, Saint Augustine's University is one of only two Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) affiliated with the Episcopal Church. Transparency and shared governance served as the cornerstones of his administration. Dr. Ward received several awards for his distinguished leadership.

"I'm honored to join the Virginia Union University Center for Study of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). Documenting the contributions of HBCUs and researching sustainability strategies for these universities serves as a primary function of the Center," said Ward. "As a former HBCU president, trustee, and administrator; along with being a proud HBCU graduate, I will use these experiences to support the achievement of our goals during my tenure."

Dr. Ward has served on and chaired two university advisory boards. From 2009-2011, Dr. Ward served as chairman of the Board of Trustees of Saint Augustine's University. Dr. Ward also served as Vice Chairman of the Association of Episcopal Colleges and Universities and a member of the Executive Committee of the North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, and a member of the Board of Directors of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF).

Before serving Saint Augustine's University, Dr. Ward served as Director of Historically Black Colleges and University (HBCU)/Minority Institutions of Higher Education (MIHE) Program for the North Carolina Department of Transportation. In this role, Dr. Ward worked with university chancellors, faculty, and staff in transportation curriculum development, research initiatives, and professional development. In addition, Dr. Ward served on the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) HBCU/MIHE Work Group.

As General President of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, Dr. Ward led the 200,000 plus member organization from 2017-2020. Founded in 1906, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity is the oldest collegiate fraternity incorporated by African American men. The fraternity membership has included such notable leaders as Dr. W.E.B. DuBois, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., US Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, and Congressman Adam Clayton Powell.

Recognized nationally for his public service Dr. Ward serves on several national, regional, and statewide boards to advance citizens' opportunities. He is a former member of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), where he served as vice-chairman of the DNC Black Caucus. Dr. Ward made history by becoming the first African American to serve as executive director of the North Carolina Democratic Party.

Dr. Ward is a frequent speaker in areas of higher education, leadership development, and civic engagement. As a public leader, Dr. Ward was invited by the Taiwanese government to study the political, educational, and cultural institutions of the Republic of China. In addition, Dr. Ward contributed to the publication, Lead the Way: Principles and Practices in Community and Civic Engagement. His research focus includes African American leadership and civic engagement.

Dr. Ward is President of The Blacknall Group, LLC. The Blacknall Group is a public affairs company focused on collaboration between higher education and the state and federal government.

Dr. Ward earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Saint Augustine's University (College), Master of Arts degree from North Carolina State University, and Ph.D. from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. Dr. Ward was a North Carolina A&T State University Wardham Scholar and a member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi and the Golden Key International Honor Society.

Dr. Ward holds membership in Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity (The Boule), the 100 Black Men, Inc., and Life Membership in Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. In addition, he is a lifelong member of Davie Street Presbyterian Church, the USA, where he is a Ruling Elder.

 
Dr. Anthony Pinn
Chair of the Peer Review Committee

Agnes Cullen Arnold Professor of Humanities and Professor of Religion, Rice University
Professor Extraordinarius at the University of South Africa

Anthony B. Pinn received his BA from Columbia University, Master of Divinity and PhD in the study of religion from Harvard University.  He is currently the Agnes Cullen Arnold Professor of Humanities and professor of religion at Rice University, and he is Professor Extraordinarius at the University of South Africa.  Pinn is the inaugural director of the Rice University Center for African and African American Studies.  In addition, Pinn is the founding director of the Center for Engaged Research and Collaborative Learning (CERCL) also at Rice University.  The Center for Engaged Research and Collaborative Learning uses curricular innovation and imaginative research agendas to enhance models of leadership within the urban context. Pinn’s research interests include religion and culture; humanism; and hip hop culture.  He is the author/editor of over 35 books, including The Black Church in the Post-Civil Rights Era (2002); Terror and Triumph:  The Nature of Black Religion (2003), African American Humanist Principles (2004), Noise and Spirit:  Rap Music’s Religious and Spiritual Sensibilities (2004), By These Hands:  A Documentary History of African American Humanism (2001), Introducing African American Religion (2012), The End of God-Talk:  An African American Humanist Theology (2012), and the novel, The New Disciples (2015).   

Pinn is active with numerous professional organizations, including service as a member of the American Academy of Religion’s Board of Directors; Executive Director of the Society for the Study of Black Religion; and co-founder of the Society of Race, Ethnicity and Religion.  In addition, he is Director of Research for the Institute for Humanist Studies.  Pinn is also involved with many community organizations, and has held leadership positions in a variety of them, including Meadville Lombard Theological School Board of Trustees (Executive Committee and Chair of the Education Team); Board of Directors for the American Humanist Association; and the Rothko Chapel Board of Advisors. 

Dr. Elfred Anthony Pinkard
Board Member

President, Wilberforce University

Elfred Anthony Pinkard Ed.D. is the 22nd President at Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio.   

Prior to his appointment at Wilberforce University, Pinkard was the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina where he was responsible for the management and oversight of all day-to-day operations at the University. In this capacity, Dr. Pinkard was also the Chief Academic Officer at the University.   

Dr. Pinkard was the founding Executive Director of the UNCF Institute for Capacity Building.  The Institute provided support and capacity building assistance for the 37 UNCF member institutions. In addition to his service at seven HBCU’s, Dr. Pinkard has served in administrative positions at Colgate University, Hamilton, NY, The College of Wooster, Wooster, OH and California State University - Long Beach, CA.  Dr. Pinkard began his career in higher education as a faculty member in the Division of Social Sciences at Miami Dade College in Miami, FL. 

In addition to his work in the academy, Dr. Pinkard serves on the leadership team at the Higher Education Leadership Foundation (H.E.L.F.), a leadership development organization with a focus on developing leaders for HBCUs. Dr. Pinkard also blogs on higher education, popular culture, HBCUs and the African-American experience at www.anoldschoolperspective.com 

Dr. Pinkard received his Doctor of Education degree in Administration, Planning and Social Policy from Harvard University in Cambridge, MA. and holds a Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS) in Human Development from Harvard University.  Dr. Pinkard completed his Master of Education degree in Educational Psychology from Howard University in Washington, D.C., and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA.  

Dr. Pinkard is a native of Miami, Florida. 

Dr. Herman J. Felton
Board Member

President, Wiley College

Dr. Herman J. Felton Jr. is the 17th President and CEO of Wiley College. Dr. Felton began his service to the College in the summer of 2018, and in a short period of time, he has achieved significant accomplishments, including spearheading a campaign with College alumni and supporters that has launched the work to renovate and modernize the Thomas W. Cole Library and partnering with the Marshall Economic Development Corporation to receive a $100,000 grant to renovate KBWC, the College’s radio station as well as a training space for physical education majors. President Felton has also created a Student Health, Counseling, and Wellness Unit for the College that is staffed with a full-time licensed practitioner. In addition to his accomplishments on Wiley’s campus, President Felton has immersed himself in the fabric of the Marshall Community, where he is a member of the Marshall Rotary Club, the Marshall Chamber of Commerce, and the Citizens Advisory Council. 

Dr. Felton comes to Wiley College from Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio, where he served as the school’s 21st president. 

Prior to his appointment to Wilberforce University, Dr. Felton served as senior vice president, chief operating officer and vice president of institutional advancement for Livingstone College in Salisbury, North Carolina. He also was the director of development while serving as a lecturer in the Government, Law, and International Affairs Department at Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky. 

Dr. Felton earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Edward Waters College in Jacksonville, Florida. Also, he earned his Juris Doctorate from the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida and completed graduate work at Jackson State University, where he earned the Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Administration and Supervision. 

He is co-founder of the Higher Education Leadership Foundation (H.E.L.F.), an organization ensuring that a pipeline of transformational, highly skilled and principled leaders are identified and cultivated to meet the needs, challenges and opportunities facing the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Dr. Felton served in the United States Marine Corps for eight years. He is married to the lovely Katherine Anne Felton and is the father of Jamal, Paige, and Herman, III. 

Dr. Karry Dixon
Board Member

Chief Executive Officer and Chancellor, Elizabeth City State University

Dr. Karrie G. Dixon was named 12th Chief Executive Officer and 7th Chancellor of Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) on Dec. 14, 2018. Prior to this appointment, she served as interim chancellor since April 9, 2018. 

 Dr. Dixon is a transformational leader in the University of North Carolina (UNC) System, a public, multi-campus university encompassing 16 constituent higher education institutions. For more than 20 years, she has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to improving the lives of others through higher education. 

 That commitment continues as Chancellor of ECSU. Her focus on increasing enrollment, leveraging resources, enhancing all aspects of the ECSU campus, and strengthening stakeholder engagement has produced results. 

 ECSU has experienced positive growth since Dr. Dixon’s arrival. Enrollment climbed nearly 40% in just eighteen months. Her administration has expanded the academic degree program offerings which include launching an Unmanned Aircraft Systems degree program, an online master’s degree in education, and an online bachelor’s degree in homeland security. Under her leadership, the university has increased its fleet from two to 12 aircraft for ECSU’s signature aviation program. 

 In addition to building renovations and campus beautification, Dr. Dixon has committed to enhancing all aspects of the campus including the overall culture and student experience. Under her leadership, a new university strategic plan was developed in 2019 and will be used to guide the institution’s successful efforts through 2025. With Viking Pride, Dr. Dixon is transforming ECSU to an institution focused on accountability, commitment and excellence. 

 Prior to her appointment at ECSU, Dr. Dixon served as a senior administrator at the UNC System Office since 2008. She was promoted to serve as Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs as well as Chief Student Affairs Officer, where she was tasked with overseeing and shaping system-wide policy to ensure overall success for the 220,000+ students enrolled across the state. 

For nearly 10 years, she provided the UNC System Office with her expertise in academic policy, while leading various student success initiatives and managing processes to increase student access, enrollment, retention and graduation rates. She fostered innovative collaborations among the UNC System, the NC Community College System, the state's independent colleges and universities, and the NC Department of Public Instruction. She was instrumental in leading multiple projects and policy changes that have greatly impacted students in the UNC System and statewide. 

Dr. Paulette Dillard
Board Member

Interim President, Shaw University

Paulette Dillard, Ph.D., is the interim president of Shaw University. Prior to her appointment in July 2017, she served as Shaw University’s Vice President of Academic Affairs in which she played an instrumental role in Shaw’s positioning as a resource to the City of Raleigh and its surrounding communities. During her tenure at Shaw University, Dr. Dillard has also served as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Chair of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and as an associate professor of Biology. 

Dr. Dillard began her career at International Clinical Laboratories in Nashville, Tennessee. She went on to hold senior leadership positions at SmithKline and Quest Diagnostics, where she managed operations and maintained an operating margin of 20 percent and achieved a 99-percent customer retention during the integration of the two companies. With that extensive experience in the health care industry and medical diagnostics, she worked as a researcher assisting with development and academic executive direction at Clark Atlanta University’s Center for Cancer Research and Therapeutic Development. 

Dr. Dillard earned her Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from Clark Atlanta University in 2010. She holds a Master’s of Business Administration from Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, a Master’s of Science in Biology from Tennessee State University, a Medical Technology degree from Self Memorial Hospital School of Medical Technology in Greenwood, South Carolina and a Bachelor’s in Biology from Barber-Scotia College in Concord, North Carolina. 

Dr. Vivaldi Jean-Marie
Managing Editor

Professor of Philosophy at the City University of New York
Adjunct Professor at the Institute for Research in African-American Studies, Columbia University

Vivaldi Jean-Marie is Professor of Philosophy at the City University of New York. He has an ongoing appointment as an Adjunct Professor at the Institute for Research in African-American Studies, Columbia University. He is the author of  Fanon: Collective Ethics and Humanism (2007), Kierkegaard: History and Eternal Happiness (2008), Reflections on Jean Améry: Torture, Resentment and Homelessness as the Mind’s Limits (2018) Vodou Cosmology and the Haitian Revolution in the Enlightenment Ideals of Kant and Hegel (2018). 

He has published articles in the following peer-reviewed journals:  Gnosis, The Western Journal of Black Studies, and Souls. He was Scholar-in-Residence at Hertford College, Oxford University, during the Summer 2015.