Portrait of Michael R. Jackson

Michael R. Jackson

Playwright and Composer-Lyricist

Michael R. Jackson (Tisch ’03, ’05) is one of TIME magazine's 100 most influential people of 2022. His Pulitzer Prize and New York Drama Critics Circle-winning A Strange Loop (which had its 2019 world premiere at Playwrights Horizons in association with Page 73 Productions) received 11 Tony nominations in 2022 and was called "a full-on laparoscopy of the heart, soul, and loins" as well as a "gutsy, jubilantly anguished musical with infectious melodies" by Ben Brantley for The New York Times. In The New Yorker, Vinson Cunningham wrote, "To watch this show is to enter, by some urgent, bawdy magic, an ecstatic and infinitely more colorful version of the famous surreal lithograph by M. C. Escher: the hand that lifts from the page, becoming almost real, then draws another hand, which returns the favor."  In addition to A Strange Loop, he also wrote the book, music, and lyrics for White Girl in Danger.

Headshot - Dr. Shatima Jones

Dr. Shatima Jones

Clinical Assistant Professor, Gallatin School of Individualized Study

Dr. Shatima Jones is a clinical assistant professor at the NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study. She earned her doctorate in Sociology from Rutgers University where she also received her master’s degree; she also holds a BA in Sociology from Hunter College.

Dr. Jones is interested in the intersection of race, space, gender, and culture. She is writing a book manuscript titled, “The Headmasters of Brooklyn: Barbering, Blackness, and Brotherhood” (University of Chicago Press).

At NYU, she teaches her signature course: (De)Tangling the Business of Black Women’s Hair.

Headshot - Maggie Anderson

Maggie Anderson, JD, MBA

Author and CEO

Maggie Anderson, JD, MBA is author of the critically acclaimed book, “Our Black Year,” the CEO of the Empowerment Experiment (EE) Foundation, and creator of the Black Owned Hair Care Challenge.

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). Their experiment resulted in a landmark study conducted by Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business. Since the completion of their historic experiment, Anderson has become the voice of American consumers of all backgrounds who want to make sure their buying power positively impacts historically marginalized communities.