What is the role of Historically Black Colleges and Universities in cultivating tomorrow’s Black leaders? Both Cheyney and Lincoln have nurtured social activists—like Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall—since before the Civil Rights movement. What’s next for these essential institutions as spaces for activism and leadership? Join Cheyney and Lincoln University Presidents, student leaders, and Thurgood actor Brian Marable for this lively discussion.

The Panelists:

Brian Marable is a native Detroiter. He is a father, a son, and a brother. Acting credits include Detroit ‘67 (Baltimore Center Stage, Detroit Public Theatre), Skeleton Crew (Old Globe Theatre, Detroit Public Theatre, Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati), Pipeline and Paradise Blue (Detroit Public Theatre), Thurgood (Chautauqua Theater Company, Detroit Public Theatre), The Hot Wing King (Studio Theatre) and most recently Mud Row (Detroit Public Theatre).

Aaron A. Walton, as the President of Cheyney University, is a fearless champion for the University and its students. He brings expertise in strategic planning and organizational turnarounds and has addressed the University’s challenges head-on while leading the effort to define a new trajectory for the University.

Prince Kiiru is a Senior in Business Administration from the pride of Africa, Nairobi, Kenya, by way of the city of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was the international committee chairman, inducted into the 2021 TMCF Leadership Institute, served as the NAACP Vice President the last academic year, and currently sits as their secretary.

Asaph D. Smith was raised in New Jersey, the same place as the incredible Lincoln University President, Dr. Brenda Allen. He is currently a sophomore, proudly pursuing a degree in Engineering from the first degree-granting historically black college, Lincoln University of Pennsylvania.

Brenda A. Allen, Lincoln University’s 14th president, has been aggressively implementing a strategic plan designed to ensure Lincoln’s place among great liberal arts institutions. The plan builds upon the University’s strong legacy of using the liberal arts as the vehicle for producing world leaders who are globally engaged and committed to social justice.

Leigh Jackson (Moderator), is the Director of Accessibility & EDI Programming at People’s Light. She works at the intersection of social justice and performance art to widen the theatre’s welcome. She is responsible for the theatre’s Relaxed Performances, Open Captioning, and Smart Caption Glasses, a pioneering technology that allows patrons who are Hard of Hearing or Deaf to follow the script of a play through VR glasses as it is being performed onstage. She also organizes EDI conversations and training workshops for the People’s Light community.