Born in Kansas City, Missouri and raised in San Pedro, California, Misty Copeland began her ballet studies at the late age of thirteen. 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 August 2007 became the company?s second African American female Soloist and the first in two decades. In August 2015, Misty was promoted to principal dancer, making her the first African American woman to ever be promoted to the position in the company?s 75-year history, and she made her Broadway debut in the role of ?Ivy Smith/Miss Turnstiles? with the critically acclaimed show, On The Town.
T. J. Holmes is an award-winning journalist and nationally recognized television personality. In September of 2014, Holmes joined ABC News as an anchor/correspondent and contributes daily to "Good Morning America," the most watched network morning program. Prior to this, Holmes spent 5 years as anchor of "CNN Saturday/Sunday Morning" where he dominated breaking news events: Holmes anchored the network's coverage of Saddam Hussein?s execution in 2006 and the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India in 2008 and at Glasgow Airport in 2007. He also anchored from Ground Zero to commemorate the emotional 10th Anniversary of the September 11th attacks and covered the historic first papal visit to the United State of Pope Benedict XIV in 2008, including anchoring live from the mass at Yankee Stadium.
Karyn Parsons has acted on stage, in several films and on t.v, but is perhaps best known as the character ?Hilary Banks? on the long-running television show, ?The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.? Today, Karyn dedicates most of her time to being a mother of two, and to her non-profit organization, Sweet Blackberry. Parsons established Sweet Blackberry in 2005 in order to introduce children to little known African Americans in history through various forms of media. Sweet Blackberry?s films have appeared on HBO, garnered several awards, including the Parent?s Choice Award, can be found in schools and libraries across the country, and are currently available for streaming through Netflix. Her wish is that through these engaging and entertaining stories of determination and triumph in the face of adversity, children will find themselves inspired and empowered.
Linda Sarsour is a workingwoman, racial justice and civil rights activist, every Islamophobe?s worst nightmare, and mother of three. She is a Palestinian Muslim American and a self-proclaimed ?pure New Yorker, born and raised in Brooklyn!? She is the Executive Director of the Arab American Association of New York and co-founder of the first Muslim online organizing platform, MPOWER Change. Linda has been at the forefront of major civil rights campaigns including calling for an end to unwarranted surveillance of New York?s Muslim communities and ending police policies like stop and frisk. Additionally, in the wake of the police murder of Mike Brown, she co-founded Muslims for Ferguson to build solidarity amongst American Muslim communities and encourage work against police brutality.