MEET THE ORGANIZERS
A Virtual Interactive Black History Event
Do We Still Need Black History Month?
Friday, February 4, 2022
Black History IS American History
CAROLE COPELAND THOMAS
As an award-winning TEDx speaker, trainer, and global thought leader, since 1987, Carole Copeland Thomas moderates the discussions of critical issues affecting the marketplace, including global diversity, inclusion, and multiculturalism. Now speaking on the Zoom platform as a Virtual Presenter, Carole keeps her pulse on working professionals' issues and regularly consults with industry leaders.
She has spent 34 years cultivating relationships and partnerships with local, national, and international clients and sponsors, including State Street Corporation, Walmart, Amtrak, and Emirates Airlines. Carole served as an adjunct faculty member at Bentley University for ten years. She has spoken in nearly every state in the US and seven other countries.
Carole is the past president of The National Speakers Association-New England Chapter and served on Black NSA's leadership team. She has been featured in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Black Enterprise, ABC Radio, and CBS News. Carole is a blogger and social media enthusiast using various technology platforms to enhance her business development activities.
I have helped many businesses grow sustainably by maximizing the potential of their people and connections. I specialize in helping businesses develop strategies that focus on making a positive impact on people, places, and the planet, across multiple industries.
My company and I help organizations realize the business value of integrating sustainability by developing and implementing strategies to save money, increase brand value, reduce risk and engage their stakeholders and employees. I combine my many years' experience in Business Law, Employment Law & HR, Workplace Diversity & Inclusion, and Corporate Social Responsibility with my practical and successful experience of setting up and scaling up SME businesses to allow them to be profitable and sustainable. Businesses that create impact at scale through what they do and how they do it will generate value for everyone.
Since 2015, I have served as an Ambassador for Liverpool Central Libraries, with responsibility for promoting this famous library nationally and internationally. I am also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA).
Oh, before I forget: I speak Hungarian fluently, so that may be helpful if you are looking to do work with Hungary or Hungarians.
Greater New York City
Denise Gray-Felder, APR is a global communication leader who has worked in 50+ countries on five continents, addressing some of the world’s most difficult development challenges. She manages issues for non-profits, governments, UN agencies, Universities, and corporations.
Denise is the founding president of Communication for Social Change Consortium (www.cfsc.org) – a global non-profit organization launched in 2003 with a major grant from The Rockefeller Foundation. She oversees this organization known for its community-based participatory approaches, publications, practitioner network, and advocacy.
While on a hiatus from the Consortium, she served as the chief communication officer of Michigan Medicine, the academic medical center of the University of Michigan (US), for nearly five years.
Gray-Felder has 40+ years of multi-faceted global communication, marketing, management, and issues management experience, with proven leadership in positively addressing social issues facing people living in poverty.
Prior to launching the CFSC Consortium, Denise was vice president of administration and communication for the Rockefeller Foundation. Prior to the Rockefeller Foundation, she worked for 16 years in AT&T public relations in progressively responsible management positions. Her work at AT&T included speechwriting for the office of the chairman, serving on the labor negotiating team, global media relations, diversity and inclusion communication, government relations, and advocacy.
She has been a reporter for a daily newspaper, magazine editor and publisher, radio producer, and a visiting or adjunct professor at several colleges and universities, including in Canada, Singapore, the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean. A former newspaper reporter, magazine editor, and broadcast producer, Gray-Felder is a frequent and accomplished speaker on communication for development, health, and global communication challenges.
Long active in community affairs and professional associations, in 1978, Denise was the first Black and youngest woman elected national president of Women in Communications, Inc. She is a past president of the Public Relations Society of America Foundation and a recipient of a Spirit of Detroit Award. She was named one of Good Housekeeping magazine’s 40 Women of Promise Under 40 and was appointed to the M.L. King Commission of New Jersey by former Governor Thomas Kean.
Denise currently serves on three high-level health panels: a) Center for Strategic & International Studies High-Level Panel on Vaccine Confidence and Misinformation, b) Study on Public Health Interventions and Countermeasures for Advancing Pandemic and Seasonal Influenza Preparedness Responses for the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and c) New York State Health Foundation Covid Vaccine Advisory Group.
“As the daughter of a surgeon who was born and raised in a rural parish of Jamaica, I learned about ‘access’ to medicines and care at age 13, driving with my Dad up winding mountain roads to make post-operative house calls to patients. It was not unusual for a patient to beg for a pain killer – something that Daddy simply did not have in his medical bag. In my gut, I knew then that all people deserve easier access to medicines and quality care – even if they have to come down the mountain to get it.”
William Wells, Jr.
Bill Wells is President, W. Wells & Associates, LLC, a management consulting firm specializing in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategy development. In his work, Additionally, Bill provides customized human capital and talent acquisition & retention solutions as well. Bill also works closely with senior leaders providing coaching and guidance during culture change and transformation.
Previously, Bill served as Vice President - Global Diversity/Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) for Traveler's Insurance. Earlier in his career, Bill held a variety of executive and general management level positions in both the telecommunications industry, including leadership roles in Human Resources, Information Technologies, Marketing, Operations, Strategic Planning, and Business Development.
Bill holds an MBA degree with a major in Marketing, a graduate certificate in Business Administration, and a Bachelor of Arts degree with a Psychology major. Bill is a life member of the National Black MBA Association, including former Chairman, and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. Also, Bill is married, has two sons, is a freelance writer, avid music-lover, jazz enthusiast, and enjoys golf.