Nate Parker is an award-winning actor, writer, director and producer, who has played lead characters and held starring roles in at least 19 films, including Beyond The Lights, Red Tails, The Secret Life of Bees, Arbitrage, and Pride. Most recently, Parker wrote, directed, and stars his film, The Birth of a Nation, which tells the story of Nat Turner (played by Parker) who famously led the 1831 slave rebellion in Virginia. In his vision for the film, Nate expresses his deep desire to challenge the country to “heal from racial trauma through an honest confrontation with our past.” The Birth of a Nation won both of Sundance’s most sought-after honors: the Audience Award and the Grand Jury Prize. In addition to being a prolific artist, Nate Parker is also a devoted activist. Parker says “If I am to be remembered by anyone, I would hope, those people speak my name as an individual who possessed a riotous disposition toward injustice, offering life and career as one of service to the marginalized, subjugated and oppressed peoples of the world.” Parker recently launched the Nate Parker Foundation, a non-profit organization with a mission to confront systemic crises and disparities within the African and African American communities in the areas of education, cultural enrichment, and social and economic justice. He is an outspoken advocate for racial equality, dedicating much of his time to closing the opportunity gap for boys and young men of color. Parker holds a degree in Computer Programming from the University of Oklahoma and an honorary Doctorate from Wiley College.
Kimberley (Phillips) Boehm is a member of the Nate Parker Board of Directors. She holds a B.A. in history from the University of California, San Diego, as well both a M.A. and Ph.D. in American studies from Yale University. As a scholar of African American and 20th-century US history, her most recent award-winning publication, War, What Is It Good For? Black Freedom Struggles and the U.S. Military from World War II to Iraq, was published by the University of North Carolina Press in 2012. Phillips is a distinguished lecturer for the Organization of American Historians. Her numerous fellowships and awards include selection as a fellow of the Charles Warren Center for American History at Harvard University.
Charles King is the Founder and CEO of MACRO, a venture sitting at the intersection of content, technology and brand curation focusing on creating film, television and digital content for African-American, Latino and Multicultural consumers (ALM). King was Partner/Agent in the Motion Picture Department at William Morris Endeavor (WME)–an agent for over 15 years, he was known for his innovative deal making and strategy in developing brands for and around his clients. He’s been featured in national media publications: NPR, Essence, The Weekly Variety, the Los Angeles Times–Fortune Magazine named him one of the nation’s most influential Latino, Asian or African-Americans in their 2005 Diversity Issue and he was included in the 2014 Ebony Power 100 List. King is an active angel investor in synergistic ventures at the nexus between the technology sector and the media content business. A graduate of Vanderbilt University and the Howard University School of Law, he resides in Los Angeles, CA with his wife Stacey and their sons, Noah and Julian.
Brian Favors is a scholar-teacher-author and the co-founder of Sankofa Community Empowerment, Inc., Breaking The Cycle Consulting Services, and the Nate Parker Foundation. He specializes in training educators to use culturally responsive teaching methods to increase academic achievement in at-risk student populations. He is currently a member of the Adelaide Sanford Institute and is the Chair of the Professional Development Committee. Brian earned a B.A, in sociology from the University of California, Davis, and a M.Ed. from Penn State University and a M.S.Ed from Queens College. He has been working with youth to cultivate academic success and community leadership since 1995.
Dr. Kelley Fanto Deetz is a scholar and educator of the African Diaspora. Her scholarship and teaching focus on constructions of race, identity, culture, public narratives, and histories within. Deetz holds a B.A. in Black Studies from The College of William and Mary, and a M.A. in African American Studies, and Ph.D. in African Diaspora Studies from the University of California at Berkeley. She specializes in early African American culture, African Diaspora archaeology, slavery, visual and material culture, cultural landscapes, cultural tourism, memorials, and public history and has taught African American Studies at the university level for over a decade. Deetz is the former VP and Board Member of the Legacy Museum of African American History in Lynchburg, Virginia, the Co-Editor of the African Diaspora Archaeology Newsletter, and a mentor for the Society for Historical Archaeology’s Gender and Minority Affairs Committee Mentor Program. She’s the Research Associate for the President’s Commission on Slavery and the University at the Univ. of Virginia.