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Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 9.47.46 AMMichael Steele


Michael Steele is President and CEO of The Steele Group, a company he started in 1999. The Steele Group works with institutional and individual clients to design overall business development, investor, networking, and communications strategies.

Presently, Mr. Steele is Political Analyst for MSNBC. Mr. Steele’s ability as a communicator and political analyst have long been showcased by his position as a contributor on the Fox News Channel and as a regular host for the Salem Radio Network’s nationally syndicated Morning in America Show. Additionally, Mr. Steele has been an entertaining and eloquent guest on cable political talk shows such as HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher and Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report.

Steele is also co-founder of Purple Nation Solutions a D.C.-based strategic communications and public affairs firm. He and his partner Lanny J. Davis have created a bipartisan, global, one-stop shop where law, media, and politics intersect to provide real solutions employing legal means, political lobbying, and media management.

Mr. Steele’s experiences as a successful elected conservative African-American Republican and his engaging speaking style have launched him into national prominence. Mr. Steele is a sought after speaker and regularly shares his personal story and political philosophy with a wide variety of audiences.

Michael S. Steele served as Chairman of the Republican National Committee on January 30, 2009 - January 14, 2011. Steele left the RNC post earlier this year after setting a new direction for the Republican Party that led to record-setting fundraising totals and winning more seats at the federal, state, and local level since 1928. This success was achieved by his commitment to actively engage Americans in their local communities and empowering state and local Republican organizations to do the same.

A self-described “Lincoln Republican,” Mr. Steele earned a place in history in 2003 when he was elected Lieutenant Governor of Maryland, becoming the first African-American elected to statewide office in the state. An expert on political strategy and election reform, he served as Chairman of GOPAC, and also held posts on the National Federal Election Reform Commission and the NAACP Blue Ribbon Commission on Election Reform.

Mr. Steele writes a regular column for The Root and BET and his writings on law, business and politics have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, Politico.com, Townhall.com, and The Journal of International Security Affairs, among others.

Born in 1958 at Andrews Air Force Base in Prince George’s County, Maryland, Mr. Steele was raised in Washington, DC. He spent three years as a seminarian in the Order of St. Augustine in preparation for the priesthood, but, ultimately, chose a career in law instead. He earned his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 1991.

Mr. Steele serves on the Administrative Board of the Maryland Catholic Conference and is a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Landover Hills, MD, where he attends mass regularly with his wife Andrea and their two sons.


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 Maggie Anderson Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 9.47.58 AM

Maggie Anderson and her family made history and dominated headlines as national media covered their real-life case study in self-help economics in the black community. The Anderson family lived exclusively off black business and talent and bought only black-made products for an entire year. It was called The Empowerment Experiment (EE) and resulted in a landmark study conducted by Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business. Since the completion of their experiment, Anderson has become the voice of American consumers of all backgrounds who want to make sure their buying power positively impacts struggling minority communities.

A sought-after speaker, Anderson has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, C-SPAN, PBS Newshour, and CBS Morning News, among many other national television and radio shows. She is the author of the critically acclaimed book about EE, Our Black Year, presented by William Morris Entertainment and Public Affairs Books. Publishers Weekly called Anderson’s experiment and book “a dynamite subject” and “an effective probe into how African Americans spend so much money that overwhelmingly leaves their communities.” Library Journal also endorsed the validity and importance of the experiment, book, and message, saying, “Anderson’s book successfully illuminates the roadblocks faced by black business owners and the racial divide that continues to persist in the US economy... [T]his book will appeal to students of sociology and economics as well as those looking for inspiration to effect positive change in their communities.”

Her message is that everyone, especially African Americans, can do their part to counter the social crises that disproportionately impact black people and underserved urban neighborhoods simply by supporting quality black businesses every day. She says this practice recycles black wealth, decreases unemployment, and creates more local role models for black youth. Anderson uses her growing platform and celebrity to explain that buying black is not racist, while issuing a call to action for increased self-help economics in the black community. Powered by a growing EE following that consists of business owners and consumers—and partners like the National Urban League, the US Black Chamber, and regional Minority Supplier Development Councils across the country—Anderson asks corporate America to demonstrate the fact that it values the African American consumer market by engaging in substantive supplier, vendor, and franchisee diversity, while urging consumers to proactively and publicly support the corporations and black businesses that represent and reinvest in black communities. Her mission in EE is to make sure more quality black-owned businesses get supported—as standalone entities in the community and as suppliers—so that everyday consumers can leverage their buying power to counter the social problems that disproportionately impact black people.

Maggie Anderson has a BA in political science from Emory University and earned both her Juris Doctor and MBA from the University of Chicago. She is an accomplished business strategy professional with 17 years of legal, research, communications, and business strategy experience and is a respected leader in the Chicago business community. Previously, at McDonald’s corporate headquarters, she developed, presented, and implemented influential growth strategies and venture plans in the areas of diversity, emergent industries and global markets, market segmentation, communications, business intelligence, and corporate responsibility. As a strategy consultant, she has conducted due diligence, business intelligence, and competitive and market/industry research for corporate and private equity clients, as she helped them explore and execute mergers, acquisitions, product/market development, and new ventures. Anderson also has a strong track record within various political and government environments, including serving as the mayor of Atlanta’s speechwriter while that city hosted the Olympic Games.

Anderson’s parents emigrated from Cuba 40 years ago, bringing with them the clothes on their backs and her two older brothers only. The lessons she learned from her parents— messages such as “No welfare, no daycare… We’ll make it work…”—as well as her awareness of her diverse ancestry and her resulting belief in the capacity for different races, cultures, and nationalities to harmoniously exist and blend together, have given her valuable insights into remedying her community’s and others’ problems. Finally, her family’s “American Dream” story demonstrates how a proud minority family can defy the statistics, stereotypes, and the stifling circumstances inflicted on them.


Topics:
The Empowerment Experiment: My Year of Buying Black
Conscious Consumerism: Make a Difference with Your Dollar
Race & the Economy
A Call to Women: Find Your Cause


Life in Motion Photo Credit Gregg Delman copy

Misty Copelandical-marker-nov11

Born in Kansas City, Missouri and raised in San Pedro, California, Misty Copeland began her ballet studies at the late age of thirteen. At fifteen she won first place in the Music Center Spotlight Awards. She studied at the San Francisco Ballet School, American Ballet Theatre's Summer Intensive on full scholarship and was declared ABT's National Coca-Cola Scholar in 2000.

Misty joined ABT's Studio Company in September 2000, joined American Ballet Theatre as a member of the corps de ballet in April 2001 and in 2007 made history by becoming their third African American Female Soloist and first in two decades.

Performing a variety of classical and contemporary roles, one of Misty’s most important roles was performing the title role of “The Firebird” in “Firebird”, created on her in 2012 with new choreography by much sought after choreographer Alexei Ratmansky. In September 2014, she will make history as the first black woman to perform the lead role of Odette/Odile with American Ballet Theatre in Swan Lake during the company’s first ever tour to Australia. And in December 2014, Misty is slated to perform the lead role of Clara in American Ballet Theatre’s production of The Nutcracker.

She was honored with an induction into the Boys & Girls Club National Hall of Fame in May 2012 and received the “Breakthrough Award” from the Council of Urban Professionals in April 2012. She was named National Youth of the Year Ambassador for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America in June 2013. She received the Young, Gifted & Black honor at the 2013 Black Girls Rock! Awards. Her endorsements include American Express, COACH, and Diet Dr. Pepper. In 2014, Under Armour announced Misty as one of the new faces of their women’s line.

Misty’s passion is giving back. She has worked with many charitable organizations and is very passionate about giving of her time to work with and mentor young girls and boys. In 2014, President Obama appointed Misty to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition.

Misty is the author of the New York Times Bestselling memoir, Life in Motion, co-written with award-winning journalist and author Charisse Jones, which was published March 2014. In September 2014, Misty's picture book titled Firebird in collaboration with award-winning illustrator and author Christopher Myers, was published. Her goal is to become the first African American Female Principal at American Ballet Theatre.


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Benjamin Crump Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 9.48.33 AM

Distinguished lawyers whose names are on the pages of American History books are not there because of their pedigree, their alma mater, or even their affluence--it is because of the landmark cases they won and how their success has changed jurisprudence. As an attorney, among Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall's landmark cases was Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka; Attorney Johnnie Cochran had Geronimo Pratt's case, and civil right attorney James Nabrit had Shuttlesworth v. Birnmingham, all of whom created significant judicial precedence and changed legal history. Attorney Benjamin Crump and his legal prowess and success have created a significant legal legacy that ensures that the promise found in our nation's constitution is indeed real in every state, municipality and neighborhood. His legal acumen as both litigator and advocate has ensured that those most frequently marginalized are protected by their nation’s contract with its constituency. The conspectus of his constitutional battles at both the local, state, and federal levels will be the textbook most frequently referenced by this and future generations of civil rights law and the protection of constitutional freedoms.

Benjamin Crump and his law partner, Daryl Parks have provided legal representation and recovered millions of dollars for their clients in some of the most high profile cases in the United States. In 2001, the firm represented Zaniyah Hinson, a case discussed on the Oprah Winfrey Show where a two year old who died after being left in a Daycare van for four hours in 104 degree temperatures. ESPN Sports Center broadcast another case the firm handled which documented Leeronnie Ogletree, a 39 year old who had been sexually molested by the Boston Red Sox Clubhouse manager when he was a ball boy from the age of 8 to he was 17. Next, the case of Genie McMeans, a 21 year old Black motorist who was shoot in the back in broad daylight by a Florida Highway patrol officer on Interstate 10 a week after he graduated from college. In Mississippi, Jesse Hubbard and Billy Ray Evans both allegedly committed suicide within two months of each other, even though they were reported to tussle and argue with the same arresting officer in both instances. In Texas, the firm represented Xavier Hicks, who was a paraplegia that got killed after being hit by a Dallas police patrol vehicle while he was crossing the street in his wheel chair. In North Carolina, Parks and Crump represents Lorenzo Campbell, who was an innocent bystander that became paralyzed when he was shot in the back by a night club security guard. Also in North Carolina, the firm assisted 86 year old Emma Bryant, who was raped and robbed at the retirement center. Tragically, the firm sought justice for 16 month old Envy Jackson who was killed when she was struck by the ice cream truck as her father watched in disbelief. In January 2006, Crump relentlessly pursued justice on behalf of the parents of Martin Lee Anderson, the 14 year- old boy who died the day after he was restrained, beaten and suffocated at the Bay County juvenile boot camp. The camp’s security cameras captured the incident on videotape. The case was featured on television shows like  NBC’s Today Show,  ABC’s 20/20 and CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 as well as chronicled in Essence, Jet, and the Newsweek Magazines. In December, 2009, he served as lead attorney of a class of plaintiffs who were fatally and critically injured when the Berkeman Plaza Parking Garage collapsed in Jacksonville, Florida. Also in 2009, he became co-counsel of a class-action case that had been pending for over a decade on behalf of plaintiffs who sued the St. Joe Paper Company for selling them wetland in Port St. Joe, Florida, which cause their houses to fall apart as they sink into the ground allowing snakes, lizards, and frogs to come though the walls as water pipes cracked, causing them to be without heat or hot water in the winter. The settlement involved all of the Plaintiffs being able to purchase new homes. Crump recently achieved a very critical victory as lead attorney on what has been characterized as a landmark voter’s rights case of this millennium when nine African-American women were arrested with guns drawn for voter fraud in Madison, Florida. Presently, Crump is again leading the fight for justice as the lead attorney for the family of Trayvon Martin, who was killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer, George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida while walking home with a bag of Skittles and a can of Iced Tea on February 26, 2012. 

In spite of his immense professional responsibilities, Benjamin Crump still finds time to serve his local community. He readily shares his professional and personal talents with local, statewide and national causes and charities. Mr. Crump was appointed as the inaugural Board Chairman of the Florida’s Big Bend Fair Housing Center, Inc., a Federal Grant organization dedicated to eradication of housing discrimination that operates on a $3,000,000.00 bi-annual budget, and was recently appointed to the National Football League’s Youth Education and Mentorship Advisory Board. Attorney Crump believes in fighting to preserve the justice that minorities have achieved throughout the civil rights era and therefore served as General Counsel to the Tallahassee Chapter of the NAACP. Mr. Crump was elected as the Board Chairman of the Internationally Renowned Tallahassee Boys Choir, and he is the Past President of the National Florida State University Black Alumni Association. Mr. Crump is a Life Member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and the NAACP. He is also a member of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and the Michael R. Moore Lodge 764 PHA, Free and Accepted Masons. Furthermore, Attorney Crump and his law partner Daryl Parks share their firm’s largesse with the community that has embraced them--most notably, they have endowed scholarships at Florida A&M University, Livingston College, and Florida State University for minority law students, as well as Bethune Cookman University. As Board Chairman of the Legal Services of North Florida, Attorney Crump donated $1,000,000.00 to the organization’s Capital Campaign to insured that poor people would continue to have quality legal representation and access to the courts.

Over the years Mr. Crump has dedicated his areas of practice in serious personal injury, wrongful death and medical malpractice matters. Throughout his career he has handled civil litigation matters in state and federal courts throughout the State of Florida. Mr. Crump is admitted to practice in all Florida courts, the United States District Courts for the Southern, Middle and Northern Districts of Florida, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, the Southern District of Mississippi, the Combined Districts of South Carolina, the Northern District of Texas, the Northern District of Illinois and the Supreme Court of the United States. Mr. Crump is a Past President of the Tallahassee Barristers Association. He is the Past-President for the Virgil Hawkins Florida Chapter of the National Bar Association. He is currently serving as a Vice President of Finance for the National Bar Association as well as a Board Member of the Florida Bar Foundation. He is a member of the American Bar Association, American Association for Justice, The Florida Justice Association, American Board of Trial Advocates and William Stafford Inns of Court. He recently served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for North Florida Legal Services and past Chairman of the Board for the Florida State University College of Law Board of Directors. 

Mr. Crump is a frequent author and speaker. He is a member of Bethel Missionary Baptist Church where he serves on the Board of Trustees. 

Topics:

We Are All Trayvon

An Evening with Attorney Benjamin Crump

Our Pursuit for Equality and Justice for All 

 

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