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ALICE JOHNSON is a writer, producer and a graduate of Savannah State University and Clark-Atlanta University. With her husband, the late John Johnson, a Morehouse College and University of Cincinnati graduate, who was a victim of multiple sclerosis, she authored 14 books of inspiration, volumes of musical docudramas, emphasizing multicultural education and literacy, and poetry portraying the human experience. The authors have been awarded numerous honors for their creative writings as caregiver and patient and their record is included in the 1999-2000 edition of Marquis Who's Who in the South and Southwest. Alice was honored with the 2000 Care Hero Award presented by the national magazine Today's Caregiver. To see Alice Johnson's resume, click here>


HELEN BURLESON is a product of the Chicago School System. She attended Herzl Junior College and graduated from Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio. She received a Master's from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL and a Doctorate in Public Administration from Nova Southeastern University, in Fort Lauderdale, FL. In 1967, she founded the Parents’ Advisory Board of the University of Chicago Laboratory School; in 1972, she founded the Women’s Board of the Washington Park YMCA; in 1973, she founded the Parents’ Board of Amigos de las Americas (parents of gifted) American high school students, who went to Central and South America to inoculate the children against childhood diseases); and in 1994, she founded the Enhancement Organization of Olympia Fields (EOOF). Helen was a commentator on WBBM for a CBS affiliate program, “Matters of Opinion.” She published two books of poetry, the award winning, No Place is Big Enough to House My Soul, selected by the Milwaukee Public Library to be transposed to Braille and a student in Post, TX, recited the poem and won the State’s Oratory Contest.  Helen authored a poem honoring Rosa Parks, who was a weekend guest in Helen’s home. Her second book, Where Did You Last Find Me? An Anthology of Prose, Poetry and Song was widely acclaimed. Her sister Ruth Lowe illustrated the book and her son Earl did the photography for the book.

NIARA SUDARKASA is a scholar, educator, Africanist and anthropologist from Fort Lauderdale, FL. She was admitted to Fisk University on a Ford Foundation Scholarship when she was just 15, and transferred to Oberlin to complete her studies. She earned her B.A. in Anthropology and English, in 1957. In 1959, she received her M.A. in Anthropology from Columbia University. In 1961, she traveled to London and Nigeria to complete doctoral research on the Yoruba language and culture. While pursuing her Ph.D., she taught at Columbia College, becoming the first African America woman to teach there. She earned her Ph.D. from Columbia University, in 1964. Sudarkasa was the first Black woman to be appointed assistant professor of anthropology at New York University, in 1964. Sudarkasa was also the first African American appointed to the Anthropology Department at the University of Michigan, in 1969, ending her 17-year tenure as Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. In 1986, she became the first female to serve as President of Lincoln University. In 2001, Sudarkasa became the first African American to be installed as a Chief in the historic Ife Kingdom of the Yoruba of Nigeria. She is the author of numerous publications including, The Strength of Our Mothers: African And African American Women in Families, Where Women Work: Yoruba Traders in the Marketplace and in the Home and Exploring the African American Experience

Tour Moderator JOAN CARTWRIGHT is a native New Yorker. She holds a B.A. in Music and Communications from LaSalle University, hia, PA, and M.A. in Communications, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Ration, FL. She is a doctoral candidate in Business Administration at Northcentral University, in Arizona. Founder of Women in Jazz South Florida, Inc., Joan is a musician, composer and educator, and has performed on five continents in 16 countries. A contributor to several publications, including In Focus Magazine and South Florida Times, Joan has published 10 books, including Amazing Musicwomen and A History of African American Jazz and Blues. In 2011, she was awarded the Spirit of Excellence Musician of the Year Award by the American Business Women Association (ABWA). For two years, she hosted an online radio show, MUSICWOMAN LIVE, featuring over 100 female composers and men who support them. She is a website designer, grant writer and producer of musical CDs, events and archives of female musicians and authors.


Dr. Anita Davis-Defoe

Raining Deer


IN PURSUIT OF A MELODY - Joan Cartwright's Memoirs

GaiaNews - Joan Cartwright's quarterly, spiritual newsletter
GaiaNews & Glitta - Joan and her daughter, Mimi's info site

WORDS WE SPEAK - A compilation of articles received in email
JOAN CARTWRIGHT - Jazz and Blues Historian
JAZZQUEST - The life and times of singer, composer Joan Cartwright, M.A.
TALES OF TOURING ABROAD - Joan Cartwright on tour
JUDY JOY JONES - Bones of the Homeless
ANITA DAVIS-DEFOE - A Woman's Guide to Soulful Living
JEREMIAH CAMARA - HOLY LOCKDOWN: Does the Church limit Black Progress?
ALICE WARD JOHNSON - Inspirational Books on Caregiving
DR. CAROLE BOYCE-DAVIES - African Diaspora culture and women's writing
BESS COVINGTON - Storyteller and President of Cozy Covington Enterprises
AINA OLOMO - Core of Fire, A guide to Yoruba spiritual activism
POPULAR MUSIC CO. - Mort Browne, Publisher of over 500 songs
ART GALLERY - Visual artists, photographers, videographers, designers, models

JACQUES SOTERA AGBOTEN - Philosophy of Engagement

Updated: 08/01/11
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