Professor Tyrone C. Howard is a Professor of Education at UCLA in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies’ Urban Schooling Division. He is also the Director and Founder of the Black Male Institute at UCLA, which is an interdisciplinary cadre of scholars, practitioners, community members, and policy makers dedicated to improving the educational experiences and life chances of Black males. He was also the Director of Center X for the past seven years, which is a consortium of urban school professionals working toward social justice and educational equity in transforming Los Angeles schools. He currently has new responsibilities as the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies’ Associate Dean of Equity and Diversity and Chief Diversity Officer.
Shadrack Boakye was born in Liberia, Africa during a crippling civil war that took the lives of over 200,000 citizens in the early 1990s. Along with his mother, Shadrack was one of the few survivors to escape the war-stricken country. Through all the hardships he has had to endure once he entered the United States, among them not being able to read, he has since then, proudly overcome adversities that many immigrants who enter a new country face. His drive and passion for the arts have presented many opportunities for him to channel his creative passion. He is now an accomplished debate champion, a public speaker, a writer, a playwright, a performer and the CEO of The Truth Urban Theater Group. For the past five years, his company has been travelling to venues on Long Island, New York City and other major cities performing original works.
Wendell B. Sumter grew up with humble beginings playing on the dirt roads of Hopkins SC. Bishop Wendell Bernard Sumter’s ministry began at an early age at Zion Benevolent Baptist Church in Hopkins, South Carolina, where he served as Associate Pastor for five years and was actively involved with the youth and the music ministry. Bishop Sumter was ordained to preach in 1990 and has faithfully served as Pastor of Zion Mill Creek Baptist Church in Columbia, South Carolina since February 1993. When Bishop Sumter was called to serve at Zion Mill Creek his desire was to pastor a church that was willing to grow and God has granted him that and every desire of his heart as he delighted himself in the law of the Lord.
Bishop Sumter has devoted his entire professional career to public education and preparing students for the next realm of academic excellence.
Bishop Sumter holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education from Morris College and a Master’s Degree of Education from the University of South Carolina.
A twenty-plus year veteran, Mr. Sumter has taught Second, Fourth, and Sixth Grade. Leaving the classroom, Mr. Sumter moved into a leadership role where he served as an Assistant Principal for Lower Richland High School in Hopkins, South Carolina for five years. He furthered his career by taking on the role as Principal of Great Falls Middle School and Great Falls Elementary School in Great Falls, SC. Under his leadership, he was able to take his faculty, staff, and students from good to great and from great to world class achievers! His school was named a Microsoft Showcase Show, SC Title One Distinguished School for Progress, and became a National Title One Distinguished School. He currently serves as Chief Human Resources Officer for Chester County School District in Chester, SC.