Miriam Messinger, MPH
Miriam Messinger Consulting
Fostering inquiry, equity, and excellence
Miriam Messinger has worked extensively in the fields of public health, youth development and community building across race and class. Miriam is an organizational development consultant focusing on organizational change, leadership, strategy and evaluation.
- Beth Drapkin
Beth Drapkin, JD began her career as a healthcare attorney specializing in transactional and regulatory healthcare law at Proskauer Rose LLP and then Dechert LLP. Beth's clients included hospitals, nursing facilities, physicians, and managed care organizations. In order to have greater impact at the patient level, for the past six years, Beth has been working in the Finance Department at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute as a healthcare advocate. During that time, she has researched, made recommendations, and implemented changes regarding coverage issues and process flows affecting a variety of clinical areas, advocated for insurance coverage for clinical trial patients, and pursued drug assistance on behalf of cancer patients whose treatment is considered "off-label". Beth received her Juris Doctor from University of Pennsylavania Law School after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University where she majored in Economics and minored in Philosophy.
- Rudy Nickens
Rudy Nickens is an experienced facilitator, educator and entrepreneur, with a strong background in cultural diversity, business management and community development. Currently, Mr. Nickens serves as Executive Director of the St. Louis Black Repertory Company. Prior to this position, he was vice president of St. Louis 2004, a civic organization created to act as a catalyst for community development. While with St. Louis 2004, he worked on initiatives related to Workforce Diversity, Zero Tolerance for Hate and the Ceasefire Program to Reduce Youth and Gang Violence. Since 1993, Mr. Nickens has taught in the School of Communications and Media Studies as a member of the Adjunct Faculty of Webster University and lent his skills as an educator to Planned Parenthood of St. Louis as well as the National Conference of Community and Justice.
For the past 20+ years, he has consulted, educated and trained several local and national organizations in the areas of workforce diversity, leadership development, cultural competence and conflict resolution throughout the United States, Africa and the Caribbean. Mr. Nickens continues to be very active in the community serving on various boards including Diversity Awareness Partnership, Missouri Restorative Justice and Black Leadership Roundtable, The Institute for Peace and Justice and SSM Health System.
- Billie Mayo
Billie Mayo served as the Assistant to the Chief Academic Officer and Deputy Superintendent of the St. Louis Public Schools and the Director of the Saint Louis Urban Educational Leadership Cohort at Saint Louis University. Presently she serves in the capacity of Urban Educational Specialist in the STEP program at UMSL. Billie spent 23 years as a middle school teacher before moving into administration. She has also been responsible for training St. Louis Public School personnel on a number of topics including learning styles, effective communication, improving discipline with dignity, conflict mediation and stress management. Dr.. Mayo, a long time Baha’i has championed social justice through offering her insight on building multicultural alliances in workshops in the Virgin Islands, Portland Oregon, Wichita and Winfield Kansas, University City, Riverview Gardens, Saint Louis Public Schools, Santa Barbara, Calif, Laredo, Texas and other places too numerous to mention She is a facilitator for the World of Difference Program, NCCJ's Dismantling Racism Institutes for Educators and the Teaching and Leading for Social Justice Advocacy Project. Billie Mayo, a graduate of Harris Stowe State Teachers College, has completed two Masters Degrees at Webster University and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership at Saint Louis University. Some of Billie's achievements are the 1998 Ford Foundation "Heroes and Sheroes” award for Human Rights, the Sammy Davis, Jr. "Yes I Can" award in 1996, the Saint Louis American's 2002 Salute to Excellence Award for Educators, and the 2003 University City School System’s Martin Luther King Spirit Award for Social Justice.
- Eric Green
Eric Greene is a Los Angeles civil rights activist currently serving as the Southern California Director at Progressive Jewish Alliance. Previous to PJA Eric served as the Special Policy Assistant to the Executive Director of the ACLU of Southern California where his duties ranged from policy strategy to public education to speech-writing. A respected writer, Eric has written or contributed to five books on politics and the arts. Hailed as "groundbreaking," his first book was a critically acclaimed look at race and politics in American popular culture, and it was recently translated into Japanese. Eric is a graduate of the Los Angles Jewish Community Relations Council's New Leaders Project. He studied at the Pardes and Yakar institutes in Jerusalem before attending Stanford Law School where he served as vice president of the Black Law Students’ Association, and was a founder of the West Coast Conference on Progressive Lawyering.. After graduating Wesleyan University with a Religion degree, Eric was granted a Ford Foundation Academic Associates research fellowship, which was followed by a public affairs fellowship with the CORO Foundation in New York City.
- Daniel Banks & Adam McCkinney
DNA WORKS In 2005, Adam McKinney and Daniel Banks, Ph.D. co-founded DNAWORKS, an arts and service organization committed to dialogue and healing through the arts. DNAWORKS has taught and/or led programming at Wellesley College, California Institute of the Arts, Babson College, University of California – Berkeley, University of Ghana - Legon, among others, and has worked with community organizations and congregations in Salt Lake City, Atlanta, Toronto, and Los Angeles. In NYC, they have presented their filmic oral history project with the Jewish community of Sefwi Wiawso and led community dialogues for the Jewish Community Center of Manhattan, the American Jewish Committee of Long Island, and the Society for the Advancement of Judaism, in partnership with the AJC of Manhattan. Adam and Daniel are both professional artists in their own right – Adam has danced professionally for 10 years with such esteemed companies as the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and the Béjart Ballet, Lausanne. Daniel is an internationally known theatre director and choreographer who is on the full-time faculty of the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. They have both worked extensively as dialogue facilitators and moderators, especially around issues of identity, class, culture, ethnicity, and gender, and work as allies to young people.
- Chelsea Gregory
Chelsea GM. Gregory is an Atlanta born Brooklyn-based artist and educator who works through the media of theater, spoken word, poetry, and dance. She recently completed a national tour with We Got Issues!, and worked as a director and dramaturg for “Ey Yo Shorty,” a performance piece exploring sexual harassment in New York City Public Schools. Ms. Gregory is a Movement Associate with Cornerstone Theater Company’s Summer Institute. She has been developing and touring with the 6 Project, a multi-arts performance project that explores how race and cultural identity shape our point of view.
Ms. Gregory’s work is published in several anthologies, and she has performed at venues including the Culture Project’s “Women Center Stage,” The Chicago Hip Hop Theater Festival, The Bioneers Conference, The US Social Forum, and Chuck D’s “On the Real Radio.” She has collaborated with and been featured alongside performers, KRS1, Rha Ghodess, Danny Hoch, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, and The Urban Bush Women Institute.
As an educator, Ms. Gregory has consulted with Code Pink, Make the Road New York, The School at Columbia University, Girls for Gender Equity, Voices Unbroken, and the White Privilege Conference.
- Alexander Paraschos
A native of Newton, Massachusetts, Alexi is a local soul, pop, and gospel singer/songwriter dedicated to alliance-building and racial justice. He graduated from Tufts University in 2009, where he co-founded the Social Justice Arts Initiative, and facilitated dialogue on issues of race and racism in a white, college setting through the BEAT Bias Education and Awareness Team. Alexi is a teaching fellow, and music instructor at the Noble and Greenough School of Massachusetts. He is the Assistant Director of Boston College’s Voices of Imani Gospel Choir and is both a solo and participatory performer in Tufts University’s Third Day Gospel Choir and The Kuumba Singers of Harvard College. Alexi is a solo performer in the Boston area (visit www.facebook.com/alexisongs for more info and music).
- Penina Adelman
Penina Adelman, MA, MSW is a psychotherapist, spiritual director and writer based in Newton, MA. Her work is located at the intersection of creativity, spirituality and story. She is the author of Miriam’s Well (1986) which helped launch the revival of Rosh Hodesh (New Moon Festival) as a Jewish women’s holiday. She also wrote The Bible from Alef to Tav (1998), The JGirl’s Guide: A Handbook for Young Jewish Women Coming of Age (2005), and Praise Her Works: Conversations with Biblical Women (2005). She co-authored her first book with her mother, Selma R. Williams, the historian, Riding the Nightmare: Women and Witchcraft (1976). She is a Resident Scholar at the Brandeis Women’s Studies Research Center where she is working on a memoir of her life with Adam’s first wife, Lilith.
- Dr. Roderick McCoy
Dr. Roderick McCoy is currently a hospitalist at Kindred Hospital in Boston, MA. Upon completion of his undergraduate training in Electrical Engineering at Stanford University, he received M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Washington University in St Louis, MO, and completed an internal medicine residency at Boston Medical Center. After residency, Dr. McCoy spent two years as an academic hospitalist at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester, MA, prior to joining Kindred Hospital. Dr. McCoy has particular interests in physician-driven patient advocacy and effective patient-physician communication.