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Purple Podiums


AllySHIFT™ Episode 2 “Pathway to Jackson” was held at Jackson State University, in Jackson, Mississippi July 2023.   Our town hall event was designed to educate and empower a network of Allies and attendees for the purpose of building and sustaining leadership and ecosystems.


Our focus: The AllySHIFT™ Model, Housing and Home, & Localizing the Global ESG Framework

Our Fun: SERA Jackson Black Rodeo


Take a look and listen…

Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman, Editor
"The Black Agenda"

Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman is a Harvard doctoral student in public policy and economics, known for her research and advocacy promoting economic justice and workplace equity. In 2019 she co-founded #BlackBirdersWeek and the Sadie Collective, the first non-profit organization addressing underrepresentation of Black women in economics, finance, and policy. She is the youngest recipient of a CEDAW Women's Rights Award and, in 2022, published a critically acclaimed collection called The Black Agenda. Her writing and commentary are featured in media outlets such as Bloomberg, NPR, Teen Vogue, Slate, Essence, and The New York Times.

Dr. Nashlie Sephus Tech Evangelist for Amazon AI and Founder/CEO of The Bean Path

Dr. Nashlie Sephus is the Tech Evangelist for Amazon AI focusing on fairness and identifying biases at AWS AI. She formerly led the Amazon Visual Search team as an Applied Scientist in Atlanta, which launched visual search for replacement parts on the Amazon Shopping app in June 2018. In 2018, Dr. Sephus became the founder and CEO of The Bean Path non-profit organization based in Jackson, MS assisting individuals and startups with technical expertise and guidance. In September of 2020, she became the owner and developer of the Jackson Tech District—14-acres of mixed-use commercial real-estate in downtown Jackson—to bring tech training and workforce/economic development to the area.

Dr. Craig Jonas, Founder & CEO CoPeace

Craig Jonas is a successful entrepreneur with over 30 years of management experience, excelling in business, academics, and athletics. In 2018, he founded CoPeace and helped it quickly achieve Certified B Corp and Public Benefit Corporation status. The company launched with strong initial investment in sustainable infrastructure and impact-related services and created a successful crowdfunding investment vehicle for democratizing access to the equity game. Craig has been featured in Forbes, Worth, Triple Pundit, among other publications, and is a frequent guest on investing-related podcasts.

Dr. Jeffery Darensbourg, Writer, Multi-Media Artist, Indigenous Language Activist

Jeffery U. Darensbourg, Ph.D., is a writer, public speaker, researcher, zinemaker, and provacateur. Dr. Darensbourg is member of the Atakapa-Ishak Nation of Southwest Louisiana and Southeast Texas. He is the founder and Editor-Who's-not-a-Chief of Bulbancha Is Still a Place: Indigenous Culture from New Orleans. Recently a writer in residence at Tulane University's A Studio in the Woods and a Monroe Fellow of New Orleans Center for the Gulf South at Tulane, Jeffery is working on a book length study of the Atakapa-Ishak of Southwest Louisiana.  

Hickman Johnson, Exec. Dir, Mississippi Reginal Housing Authority
Janice Brooks
 Founding Chair, National Congress of Black Women Metro - Jackson, MS Chapter

Dr. Hickman Johnson is a graduate of Tennessee State University (B.S.); Morehouse School of Religion--Interdenominational Theological Center (M.Div.); Mississippi College (M.A.) and Emory University (D.Min.). From 1970-75, while still serving the pastorate of Farish Street Baptist Church, Dr. Johnson directed the Jackson Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC), a non-profit community-based jobs training program. 

In October 1976, he was appointed Regional Director of the Atlanta region of OICs of America with responsibility for twenty-eight local affiliates in an eight-state region. From February 1991 to May 1991, Dr. Johnson served as Interim Executive Director, Jackson Housing Authority. In June 1994, was appointed Executive Director, Jackson Housing Authority and served until October 2000. Under his leadership the Jackson Housing Authority received several awards and recognition's, including the Secretary's Citation and Best Practice Award for its affordable home ownership program. In June 2004, he accepted the position of Executive Director, Mississippi Regional Housing Authority No. VI.

Ms. Janice Brooks is a proud Mississippian who grew up in the City of Jackson, attended Jackson public schools and graduated from Jackson State University with Master’s degrees in Public Policy and Administration and English Literature. Ms. Brooks is Chair of the National Board of Directors of the National Congress of Black Women, Inc, Founder of the NCBW Metro-Jackson Chapter and an NCBW Life Member. Janice has over 20 years of federal-level human resources and labor-management relations leadership experience through her work at the Treasury Department, Office of Personnel Management and National Labor Relations Board. 

Cynthia Williams, Owner Love From Afar-The Christopher Allen-Williams Foundation

Ms. Cynthia Williams is the Founder of Love From Afar-The Christopher Allen
Williams Foundation and P.A.D.D. (Parents Against Distracted Driving). Cynthia is a Certified Teen Life Coach and Mentor, a PRIDE (Parents Reducing Injury and Driver Error) instructor, a Motivational Speaker, a Grief Recovery Specialist, and a certified Mediator and Generational Conflict Resolution Specialist-holding workshops around the country to assist families with breaking generational barriers for their family members and removing the pain from the past. The Atlanta native has received numerous awards and commendations, including the Presidents Lifetime Achievement Award and was inducted into the Apex Museum of Women in History.

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