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Michaela angela Davis is an image activist. She is a writer, cultural critic, fashion, beauty culture editor, editorial brand director, commentator, speaker, conversationalist and community servant on issues of identity, race, gender and beauty.

Michaela is the creator of MAD Free: Liberating Conversations About Image Beauty and Power, a multi-platform conversation project with revolutionary women, and she has brought it to South Africa, India, France, Australia, New Zealand and beyond. The newest, The Hair Tales: Real Stories from Phenomenal Women delightfully explores the intersections of Black hair heritage, identity politics and pop-culture. She has served as the editorial brand director at BETNetworks and was the chief editorial creative consultant for the rebranding CentricTV – The First Network Designed for Black Women garnering the Promax Gold Award 2015. She is frequently seen with Anderson Cooper on CNN where she is a regular contributor. Additionally, she is regularly consulted for her commentary on culture and society, having appeared on OWN, PBS, Fox, MSNBC, BET, MTV, VH1, BBC, NBC and ABC.


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Lisa Gelobter works for the White House, in the United States Digital Service.  She is currently serving as the Chief Digital Service Officer with the US Department of Education.

Over the course of her career, Lisa has been integrally involved with the advent of several pioneering internet technologies, including Shockwave, the genesis of animation on the web, and the emergence of online video. Previously, Lisa was the Interim Head of Digital for BET Networks and was also a member of the senior management team for the launch of Hulu. Through the convergence of media and technology, Lisa has been fortunate enough to have had an impact on how, where, and when media is consumed and she is now bringing that consumer focus and transformative practice to bear in government.

Lisa is proud to be a Black Woman with a degree in Computer Science.  Go STEM!



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Dr. Raquell Holmes is a pioneer in the use of improvisation and performance to advance scientific research communities. Trained formally as a cell biologist, Holmes works in the fields of high performance computing and computational sciences. As the founder of improvscience, she uses her training in human development and performance from the East Side Institute to help scientists build collaborative learning and research environments. She gives workshops, designs programs and delivers talks across the country that support scientists crossing disciplinary and cultural barriers to advance their own abilities and to broaden the scope of their research.

Holmes is also Research Assistant Professor at the Center for Computational Science at Boston University; Adjunct Research Associate Professor at the Simon A. Levin Mathematical Computational Modeling Sciences Center at Arizona State University and faculty of the East Side Institute of NY. She authored the Cell Biologist’s Guide to Modeling and Bioinformatics and is the former Director of Outreach, Recruitment and Retention at the Center for Cell Analysis and Modeling of U. Conn. Health Center.


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Dr. Fay Cobb Payton is a Full Professor of Information Systems/Technology at North Carolina State University and was named a 2016 University Faculty Scholar for her leadership in turning research into solutions to society’s most pressing issues.  She is an editor for Health Systems, and an Associate Editor for Decision Sciences, DATABSE and Information Technology & People journals.  She was named the 2016 North Carolina Technology Association Tech Educator of the Year and founder of @myhealthimpact, a platform that gives voice to black college students on health and social issues.

She received the 2013 National Coalition of Women in Information Technology (NCWIT) Undergraduate Mentoring Award.  She is a member of the NC State University Women in Science and Engineering Advisory and is an American Council on Education Fellow.

She has appeared on CBS Radio Network, Black Data Processing Association (BDPA) iRadio, Sunrise America, Financial Review, National Public Radio and others to discuss her research including user experience & design, health disparities/informatics, tech leadership, social and data analytics, and under-representation of under-represented groups in STEM. She was awarded the first SAS Institute Fellow for her work in analytics and teaching in the IS/IT classroom, and as received two NC State University Alumni Extension Awards.

She is the author of Leveraging Intersectionality: Seeing and Not Seeing, an anthology of her research on STEM education and experiences in both academe and corporate environments.