DOUGLAS BLACKMON is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II, and co-executive producer of the acclaimed PBS documentary of the same name. He is also executive producer and host of American Forum, a public affairs program produced by the University of Virginia’s Miller Center and aired on more than 200 public television affiliates across the United States.
Blackmon was the longtime chief of The Wall Street Journal’s Atlanta bureau and the paper’s Senior National Correspondent, and was a contributing editor at the Washington Post. He has written about or directed coverage of some of the most pivotal stories in American life, including the election of President Barack Obama, the rise of the tea party movement, and the BP oil spill.
Blackmon has written extensively over the past 25 years about the American quandary of race. His research and writing about the integration of schools during his childhood in the Mississippi Delta farm town of Leland forms the basis for the documentary film, The Harvest, which he co-produced with Sam Pollard.
REV. CHERYL HARRIS was born and raised in Boston and received her early education in Boston Public Schools. Vivid memories of fear and activism in her community, violent protests against court ordered busing in Charlestown and South Boston, and opposition from School Committee members are forever etched in her mind. Graduating from Girls’ High School in 1973, Harris went on to earn a BA in English Literature from Emmanuel College; a Master’s of Divinity degree from Boston University School of Theology, and certification as a Life Coach. A business owner, Reverend Harris is simultaneously senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Attleboro and the CEO of her consulting firm, Cheryl Harris and Associates, Inc.
Reverend Harris is a respected civic leader and serves on the Signature Hospital of Brockton Board of Trustees. She is a member of Greater Attleboro Interfaith Network, (GAIN) a clergy group which meets monthly with city officials to proactively address interactions between law enforcement and residents of color.
MICHAEL PATRICK MACDONALD is the award-winning author of the New York Times bestselling memoir, All Souls, A Family Story from Southie and Easter Rising: A Memoir of Roots and Rebellion. MacDonald grew up in the Old Colony Housing Project in South Boston, a neighborhood decimated by poverty, crime, addiction, and incarceration. He learned to transform personal and community trauma and became a leading activist, organizer, speaker and writer. MacDonald teaches non-fiction writing in Northeastern University’s Honors Program specializing in writing about violence and social justice. His community-based writing and healing curriculum, “The Rest of the Story,” is used with the survivors of homicide victims at the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute in Boston.
MacDonald has been a contributor to the Boston Globe’s op-ed page and a Senior Contributing editor for the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University for work on the 40th anniversary of the desegregation/busing crisis in Boston. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Center for Peace, Democracy, and Development at the McCormack Institute for Social Policy and Global Studies at UMass Boston.
FARAH STOCKMAN is an award-winning journalist who has worked for The Boston Globe and currently writes for The New York Times. In 2016 she received the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for her series of columns examining the legacy of public school desegregation in Boston. After graduating from Harvard, Stockman was a schoolteacher in Kenya for two years where she began writing for The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, and other publications. Upon her return to the United States, she began working for the Boston Globe, first in the paper’s Washington bureau and then as a member of the Globe editorial board and an editorial columnist. She moved to the New York Times in 2016.
In addition to the Pulitzer Prize, Stockman has won several other awards for her writing including the Eugene C. Pulliam Fellowship for Editorial Writing, presented by the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation, the educational arm of the Society of Professional Journalists.