The fourth dialogue of the Diversity Dialogue series continues its discussion on race, diversity, equity, inclusion, social justice, and the Georgia State community.
During this event, panelists will examine Georgia State’s role in the future of Atlanta as an international city through a discussion of civil and human rights in Atlanta (and Georgia State) – past, present and future.
Dr. Maurice J. Hobson (Moderator)
Associate Professor, African American Studies
Vice Chair of the Center Studies on Africa and its Diaspora (CSAD) Advisory Board
Ms. Andrea Young
American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia
Dr. Collins Airhihenbuwa
Professor of Health Management & Policy
Global Research Against Non-communicable Disease (GRAND)
Georgia State University School of Public Health
About Dr. Hobson
Dr. Maurice Hobson is an Associate Professor of African American Studies and Historian at Georgia State University. He earned the Ph.D. degree in History, focusing in African American History and 20th Century U.S. History from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research interests are grounded in the fields of African American history, 20th Century U.S. history, comparative labor, African American studies, oral history and ethnography, urban and rural history, political economy, and popular cultural studies. He is the author of award-winning book titled The Legend of the Black Mecca: Politics and Class in the Making of Modern Atlanta with the University of North Carolina Press. Dr. Hobson engages the social sciences and has created a new paradigm called the Black New South that explores the experiences of black folk in the American South, with national and international implications, since WWII. For this, he has served as an expert witness in court cases and as a voice of insight for public historical markers, monuments and museum exhibitions. In popular media, Dr. Hobson was consulted for the Netflix documentary "The Art of Organized Noize," which featured the Atlanta production team that changed the sound of hip-hop with their work with OutKast and Goodie Mob. Also, he was the chief historian for the documentary "Maynard," which detailed the life and times of the honorable Maynard Holbrook Jackson Jr., Atlanta’s first black mayor. He is also the consulting historian for the "ESPN 30 For 30: Vick," a documentary detailing the controversial career of NFL quarterback Michael Vick. Most recently, he served as a consulting producer and historian for HBO Documentaries’ "Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children," which details the dark history of the Atlanta Child Murders, where Atlanta’s most vibrant yet vulnerable population—its poor black children—were being hunted, kidnapped, murdered and left in fields around the Atlanta metro-area.
About Ms. Young
Andrea Young is the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia. She is a life-long advocate for civil and human rights. Young served as an Adjunct Professor at the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University and executive director at the Andrew J. Young Foundation. She served as Vice President for External Affairs for Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, defending a woman’s right to reproductive healthcare. As Vice President of the National Black Child Development Institute, Young led a school readiness initiative that increased local investments in early care and education and led to a commitment to universal pre-kindergarten in Washington, DC. She is also the author of Life Lessons My Mother Taught Me, co-author of Andrew Young and the Making of Modern Atlanta and collaborated with former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young in writing, editing, and researching An Easy Burden: Civil Rights and the Transformation of America. She has been recognized nationally for her work as an advocate for civil and human rights.
About Mr. Mitchell
Ceasar C. Mitchell, Jr. is a partner at Dentons, a multinational law firm driven to provide a competitive edge in an increasingly complex and interconnected marketplace. Mitchell is a member of the Public Policy team and head of the firm’s interdisciplinary Local Government Solutions practice, a service that bridges the public and private sectors to meet the challenges facing US local and state governments. He served as the president of the Atlanta City Council and is deeply engaged in the Atlanta community and beyond. Mitchell serves on the advisory boards for Hands on Atlanta and Midtown Alliance. He is a board director for Points of Light, Inc. and previously served on the governing boards of the Atlanta Regional Commission and Georgia Municipal Association, and a nationwide taskforce of the National League of Cities to address the opioid crisis in American cities. In his capacities as a lawyer, elected official and civic leader, Mitchell has been named one of Atlanta’s 100 most influential citizens.
About Dr. Airhihenbuwa
Dr. Collins Airhihenbuwa leads the interdisciplinary team known as the Global Research Against Non-communicable Disease (GRAND) Initiative at the School of Public Health at Georgia State University. He is also a Professor of Health Management & Policy. Dr. Airhihenbuwa is an expert in creating solutions to promote health equity in national and global health and has more than 30 years of experience advancing research on culture, identity, and health to inform strategies for training young professionals to conduct health behavior and public health research and intervention. Prior to joining the school, he was dean of the College for Public Health and Social Justice at Saint Louis University in Missouri and authored a cultural model (PEN-3) that is used in several countries to develop programs and interventions to address health inequity. He also has served as a visiting scholar to UN agencies such as the World Health Organization and major universities and has served on boards of Saint Louis City and Hospitals, the National Advisory committee of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Scholars, the Global Philanthropy Alliance, and the board of Scientific Counselors for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Dr. Curtis Byrd (Host)
Special Assistant to the Provost for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
About Dr. Byrd
Curtis D. Byrd, Ed.D. was appointed as the Special Advisor to the Provost at Georgia State University in 2020. Dr. Byrd uses his expertise to consult and provide leadership in Georgia State faculty and graduate student diversity and inclusion efforts. He has amassed over 25 years in faculty and student diversity and inclusion programming on college campuses.
Most recently he has served as a research associate and consultant for the HBCU STEM Undergraduate Success Center at Morehouse College. In November 2019 he assisted in the writing of a $9 million dollar HBCU UP proposal, sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Prior to his time at Morehouse he served for eight years as the Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies and Sr. Associate Director of Graduate Enrollment at Clark Atlanta University. Before this he served as Director of Special Programs (Undergraduate Research) and Associate Director of the McNair Scholars program at University of Florida and Director of the McNair Scholars Program at Georgia State.
Prior to his time working for the U.S. Department of Education-TRIO programs, for seven years he was Executive Director of the Peach State Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (National Science Foundation) and Director of (Minority) Graduate Recruitment and Retention at the University of Georgia. While at UGA, the African American graduate student population nearly doubled under his leadership. Dr. Byrd’s honors and appointments include the following: serving on the National Advisory Board for Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program, conference co-chair of the Annual National SAEOPP McNair Conference in Atlanta, GA, and being awarded the National Association of Graduate Admissions Professionals (NAGAP) Enrollment Management grant for his doctoral research on Innovative Strategies for Diversifying the Professoriate. Further, he has two publications in the NAGAP Journal Prospectives in 2005 & 2016.
For three years (2013-2016) Byrd served as an Action Research Consultant for the Southern Regional Educational Board’s Doctoral Scholars Program (DSP). His work with SREB-DSP created a sustained relationship with the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education and programming to enhance their efforts in faculty diversity. He has several publications on innovative strategies to diversify graduate students and faculty ranks, and currently is working on a book called Academic Pipeline Programs-Diversifying Pathways from the Bachelors to the Professoriate.
Byrd and his co-author (Dr. Rihana S. Mason also at Georgia State) created an assessment tool (THRIVE Inventory) to review diversity pathway initiatives. Further, he has had many speaking engagements over the years at a variety of conferences and universities. Most recently he presented on a panel discussion on “Best Practices in Minority Faculty Recruitment and Retention” at the Association of American Colleges and Universities. Dr. Byrd earned both his B.S. in Psychology and M.Ed. in Higher Education at Iowa State University. In 2016, he graduated with his Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Adult Leadership Education degree from the University of Georgia.
Nested within the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) at Georgia State University, the Center for Studies on Africa and its Diaspora (CSAD) fosters dialogue, scholarship, professional development and leadership to guide critical discourse on the contributions, influences and life experiences of continental and diasporic Africana. For additional information, please visit csad.gsu.edu.
The Provost's Office is assisting in diversity, equity and inclusion efforts at Georgia State on multiple fronts and is working with stakeholders to foster change, through the action plan following the recommendations of the Task Force for Racial Equality, and the Implementation Steering Committee of the Next Generation of Faculty initiative. Learn more about these efforts at https://dei.gsu.edu, and learn more about the Provost at https://provost.gsu.edu.