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Featured Guests

Melissa V. Harris-Perry is host of MSNBC's "Melissa Harris-Perry." The show airs on Saturdays and Sundays from 10AM to noon ET.

Harris-Perry is also professor of political science at Tulane University, where she is founding director of the Anna Julia Cooper Project on Gender, Race, and Politics in the South. She previously served on the faculties of the University of Chicago and Princeton University.

Harris-Perry is author of the well received book, Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America (Yale 2011) which argues that persistent harmful stereotypes-invisible to many but painfully familiar to black women-profoundly shape black women's politics, contribute to policies that treat them unfairly, and make it difficult for black women to assert their rights in the political arena.

Her first book, Barbershops, Bibles, and BET: Everyday Talk and Black Political Thought, won the 2005 W. E. B. Du Bois Book Award from the National Conference of Black Political Scientists and 2005 Best Book Award from the Race and Ethnic Politics Section of the American Political Science Association.

Professor Harris-Perry is a columnist for The Nation magazine, where she writes a monthly column also titled Sister Citizen. In addition to hosting her own show on MSNBC she provides expert commentary on U.S. elections, racial issues, religious questions and gender concerns for a variety of other media outlets.

Her academic research is inspired by a desire to investigate the challenges facing contemporary black Americans and to better understand the multiple, creative ways that African Americans respond to these challenges. Her work is published in scholarly journals and edited volumes and her interests include the study of African American political thought, black religious ideas and practice, and social and clinical psychology.

Professor Harris-Perry's creative and dynamic teaching is also motivated by the practical political and racial issues of our time. Professor Harris-Perry has taught students from grade school to graduate school and has been recognized for her commitment to the classroom as a site of democratic deliberation on race.

She travels extensively speaking to colleges, organizations and businesses in the United States and abroad. In 2009 Professor Harris-Perry became the youngest scholar to deliver the W.E.B. Du Bois Lectures at Harvard University. Also in 2009 she delivered the prestigious Ware Lecture, becoming the youngest woman to ever do so.

Professor Harris-Perry received her B.A. in English from Wake Forest University, her Ph.D. in political science from Duke University and an honorary doctorate from Meadville Lombard Theological School. And she studied theology at Union Theological Seminary in New York. She lives in New Orleans with her husband, James Perry, and is the mother of a terrific daughter, Parker.

John Sexton, the fifteenth President of New York University, also is the Benjamin Butler Professor of Law and NYU Law School's Dean Emeritus, having served as Dean for 14 years. He joined the Law School's faculty in 1981, was named the School's Dean in 1988, and was designated the University's President in 2001.

Grace Lee Boggs (b. 1915) is an activist, writer, and speaker whose over seven decades of political involvement encompass the major U.S. social movements of the past one hundred years. A daughter of Chinese immigrants, Boggs received her B.A. from Barnard College (1935) and her Ph.D. in Philosophy from Bryn Mawr College (1940). She developed a twenty-year political relationship with the West Indian radical thinker and organizer, C.L.R. James, followed by extensive Civil Rights and Black Power Movement activism in Detroit in partnership with husband and black autoworker, James Boggs (1919-93).

She is author or co-author of Revolution and Evolution in the Twentieth Century, Conversations in Maine: Exploring Our Nation’s Future, Living for Change: An Autobiography, and The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century.

At the age of 98, Grace remains exceptionally active as a community activist in Detroit and weekly columnist for the Michigan Citizen. She has received honorary doctorates from the University of Michigan, Wooster College, Kalamazoo College, and Wayne State University; lifetime achievement awards from the Detroit City Council, Organization of Chinese Americans, Anti-Defamation League (Michigan), Michigan Coalition for Human Rights, Museum of Chinese in the Americas, and Association for Asian American Studies; Detroit News Michiganian of the Year; and a place in both the National Women’s Hall of Fame and Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame.

Teboho Moja has authored articles on higher education reform issues in areas such as the governance of higher education, policy processes, and impact of globalization on higher education. She is a co-author of a book on educational change in South Africa since the first democratic elections in 1994. Her teaching experience includes high school and university levels. Moja has held key positions at several South African universities including being appointed chair of the Board of Trustees to the largest university in South Africa, the University of South Africa. In 2010 she was appointed visiting professor at the University of Oslo (Norway) and University of Tampere (Finland). She was instrumental in setting up the Center for Higher Education Transformation (CHET) in South Africa to monitor and stimulate debates on change issues.  Dr. Moja serves on the boards international bodies such as the UNESCO-Institute for international Education Planning and the World Education Market. Her course topics include Current Research in Higher Education, International Perspectives on reform, and Globalization and Higher Education. She has been a policy researcher and policy analyst for higher education in South Africa. She was appointed the Executive Director and Commissioner to the National Commission on Higher Education appointed by President Mandela. The Commission produced a national report that provided a framework for higher education reform in South Africa. Before coming to NYU, Teboho Moja served as a Special Advisor to the Minister of Education.

Imam Daayiee Abdullah, a scholar, former public interest lawyer and specialist in Shari'ah Sciences /Quranic Interpretation. He lectures nationally and internationally on progressive Muslim concepts, intra-faith and interfaith networking and the development of inclusive and progressive revisions of Islamic theological thought and Islamic law. He has long been involved in actively promoting understanding and awareness of issues of racial, gender and sexual equality as understood in the UN Declaration of Human Rights within and beyond Muslim communities.

Imam Daayiee is the Director of LGBT Outreach and Member of the Board for Muslims for Progressive Values; Director of MPV-Washington, DC; Imam and Education Director at Light of Reform Mosque; and E.D. of Muslim Educational Center for Creative Academics (MECCA) in Washington, DC. Imam Daayiee provides pastoral counseling for Muslim youth and adults, their families and friends. He performs same, opposite and interfaith marriages.


Funded by a MPV-Carpenter grant, Imam Daayiee is producing a 14-part module on LGBTQ Muslim youth, their friends, family and community, due for release in April 2014. His book Questions and Answers for Queer Muslims will also hit the marketplace in 2014. 


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