Wednesday, 08 July 2020 16:29

Speakers 7-8-20

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ev. Rodney Sadler, Moderator, Board Co-Chair, Center for Common Ground
Dr. Sadler's work in the community includes terms as a board member of the N.C. Council of Churches, Siegel Avenue Partners, and Mecklenburg Ministries, and currently he serves on the boards of Union Presbyterian Seminary, Loaves and Fishes, the Hispanic Summer Program, and the Charlotte Chapter of the NAACP. His activism includes work with the Community for Creative Non-Violence in D.C., Durham C.A.N., H.E.L.P. Charlotte, and he has worked organizing clergy with and developing theological resources for the Forward Together/Mooral Monday Movement in North Carolina. Rev. Sadler is the managing editor of the African American Devotional Bible, associate editor of the Africana Bible, and the author of Can a Cushite Change His Skin? An Examination of Race, Ethnicity, and Othering in the Hebrew Bible. He has published articles in Interpretation, Ex Audito, Christian Century, the Criswell Theological Review, and the Journal of the Society of Biblical Literature and has essays and entries in True to Our Native Land, the New Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, the Westminster Dictionary of Church History, Light against Darkness, and several other publications. Among his research interests are the intersection of race and Scripture, the impact of our images of Jesus for the perpetuation of racial thought in America, the development of African American biblical interpretation in slave narratives, the enactment of justice in society based on biblical imperatives, and the intersection of religion and politics.

Cliff Albright, Co-Founder Black Voters Matter Fund
Cliff Albright is a cofounder of Black Voters Matter Fund (and BVM Capacity Building Institute) which builds community and organizational capacity related to Black voting power. BVM received national attention in 2017 when they helped mobilize Black voters during the U.S. Senate race between Doug Jones and Roy Moore. In 2018, Cliff and the BVM team traveled throughout seven southern states in “The Blackest Bus in America” energizing voters and exposing voter suppression. Cliff has contributed articles to The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian and several other outlets. He also hosts a weekly radio show in Atlanta and has served as an instructor of African-American Studies at several universities.

Cliff previously lived in historic Selma, Alabama, where he focused on bringing financial resources to Alabama’s blackbelt region. Cliff attended Cornell University, where he obtained his B.S. in Applied Economics and an M.P.S. in Africana Studies. He also has an M.B.A. from the University of Alabama. 

Dr. Gabriela Lemus, CEO Revolution Strategy US
Gabriela Lemus is the Founder and CEO of Revolution Strategy US, a government and public affairs consulting and executive support firm. 

Prior to Revolution Strategy US, she was the President of Progressive Congress – a C3 and C4 – organization specialized in inside-outside strategic organizing between progressive members of congress and outside constituencies. As an Obama Administration appointee, she served as Senior Adviser and Director of Public Engagement for Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. She was appointed by Mayor Vince Gray to serve as a Trustee of the University of the District of Columbia – an HBCU. 

Dr. Lemus is a passionate advocate for justice – social, economic, environmental - whose career spans more than 15 years in senior strategic leadership roles in congressional and government affairs, non-profit management, policy advocacy and community/civic-engagement. She has built and managed non-profits, has a wide range of experience in building multi-racial coalitions and advocacy campaigns, advancing public policy and civic engagement. She is an innovator in voter engagement and civic participation for the Latino community. 

Gabriela has a PhD from the University of Miami, where she studied international political economy and political theory and wrote her dissertation on the drugs war and the US-Mexico border, implications for bilateral relations.  

She serves on numerous boards. She is the President of the Mi Familia Vota Education Fund (MFVEF), co-Chair of the Center for Common Ground and on the Board of Netroots Nation, where she serves as the Chair of the Development Committee, as well as on the board of American Family Voices (AFV).