Racial Equality vs. Racial Equity

february, 2022

16feb2:30 pm3:50 pmRacial Equality vs. Racial Equity


(Wednesday) 2:30 pm - 3:50 pm


USF Student Center

200 6th Ave S

Event Details

A discussion of efforts to address systemic racism world-wide.

Panel Discussion Moderated by Reverend Kenneth Irby

Speakers for this event

  • Charles Dew

    Charles Dew

    Charles B. Dew is Ephraim Williams Professor of American History, Emeritus, at Williams College. A native of St. Petersburg, Florida, he attended North Ward Elementary School and Mirror Lake Junior High School before graduating from Woodberry Forest School in Virginia in 1954 and from Williams College in 1958; he received his Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University, where he studied under C. Vann Woodward, in 1964. He taught at Wayne State University, Louisiana State University, the University of Missouri-Columbia, and the University of Virginia before returning to teach at Williams in 1977. Professor Dew retired in 2020 following forty-three years as a member of the Williams faculty. His teaching there focused on the American South, the era of the Civil War and Reconstruction, and the institution of slavery. His most recent book is The Making of a Racist: A Southerner Reflects on Family, History, and the Slave Trade. Earlier scholarship includes: Bond of Iron: Master and Slave at Buffalo Forge; Apostles of Disunion: Southern Secession Commissioners and the Causes of the Civil War; and Ironmaker to the Confederacy: Joseph R. Anderson and the Tredegar Ironworks. Ironmaker to the Confederacy and Apostles of Disunion both received the Fletcher Pratt Award, given by the Civil War Roundtable of New York for the best non-fiction book on the Civil War in its year of publication, and Bond of Iron received the Elliot Rudwick Prize from the Organizations of American Historians and was named a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times. In a semester when many of his History Department colleagues will be on leave, he will be returning to the classroom in the spring of 2022 to teach his research seminar, HIST 456 “The Civil War & the Era of Reconstruction.”

  • Gwendolyn Reese

    Gwendolyn Reese

    Gwendolyn D. Reese is the President and CEO of Peaten Reese Peaten Consulting, Inc., providing professional development and consultation services to individuals and organizations in Florida and beyond. Ms. Reese is President of the African American Heritage Association of St. Petersburg, FL, Inc. The Heritage Association created and curates the African American Heritage Trails along 22nd Street and 9th Avenue in South St. Petersburg. Reese serves on the Voice Heard Voices Matter Bloomberg Harvard Equity Group with the focus of ensuring equity and engaging and sustaining community involvement in the redevelopment of Tropicana Field. Additionally, and she is a member of the Commission to Study Structural Racism in the City of St. Petersburg, the Sankofa Project Advisory Council, and the Community Benefits Agreement Policy Council. She formerly served as a co-chair of Pinellas Remembers, a Community Remembrance Project of the Equal Justice Initiative, a Commissioner on the City of St. Petersburg’s Community Planning and Preservation Commission and as chair of the City Hall Mural Committee. She is a graduate of Leadership St. Pete Class of 1991 and a charter member of the St. Petersburg Midtown Rotary. Ms. Reese was the first Social Justice Coordinator for the Alabama Institute of Social Justice (AISJ). She was a primary organizer and facilitator for Agenda 2010, a historically significant political action and education project to increase black voter participation and candidate accountability during the 2009 City elections. She was co-founder with Gypsy Gallardo of the PACT, Agenda 2010 & Beyond and the Southside 2020 Project. In 2015, Ms. Reese was the recipient of the 2015 MLK Leadership Award presented by the National Council of Negro Women and was recognized by Congresswoman Kathy Castor for her more than 40 years of community activism and leadership. The Congressional Recognition included a U.S. flag which was flown over the United States Capitol on January 13, 2015, and a Statement for Congressional Record which was filed in the Library of Congress. In February 2015 she was named one of the Pinellas County Urban League’s 2016 “Champions of Justice”. In February 2018 she received the Peggy Peterman Award from the Legacy Group for her column which is dedicated to preserving and educating the community about the history of African Americans in St. Petersburg. The column appears in the Weekly Challenger newspaper. In May 2018 she received the Founders Tribute award from the 2020 Plan. On August 19, 2021, she was presented with the Key to the City of St. Petersburg by Mayor Rick Kriseman.

  • Ian Gómez

    Ian Gómez

    Ian Stanislaus Gómez is a Florida licensed attorney. Born into the British Commonwealth system, he is a naturalized American citizen from Barbados. A Return Peace Corps Volunteer (Honduras, Central America) he has traveled worldwide witnessing firsthand various colonial and post-colonial systems and will be sharing his reflections of the colonial world into which he was born. His many years working in the civil and criminal justice system will offer a unique perspective. He is also excited to share the recent birth of republic Barbados, replacing the British monarch as its head of state.

  • Naheed Nenshi

    Naheed Nenshi

    Naheed K. Nenshi served as Calgary’s mayor for three terms between 2010 and 2021. During his time, Calgary became one of the greatest cities in the world, named as the best city in which to live in the Western Hemisphere. His leadership saw an unprecedented investment in quality of life including transit, roads, recreation centres and libraries including the magnificent Central Library, while keeping taxes the lowest in Canada. His time as mayor also saw the City of Calgary through four states of emergency, including devastating flooding in 2013 floods and the COVID-19 pandemic. He also became an international voice on urban issues, with audiences across Canada and around the world, including the World Economic Forum in Davos. Naheed was awarded the World Mayor Prize as the best mayor in the world in 2014 by The City Mayors Foundation. He also has received the President’s Award from the Canadian Institute of Planners and the Humanitarian Award from the Canadian Psychological Association for his contribution to community mental health. Maclean’s magazine once called him the second-most influential person in Canada, after the Prime Minister, much to the amusement of his mother. Prior to his election, Naheed served as Canada’s first tenured professor of nonprofit management at the Bissett School of Business at Mount Royal University. Before entering academia, he was a management consultant for global consulting firm McKinsey & Company, and ran his own firm, Ascend Group, where his client list included the United Nations, where he worked on how corporations can help the world’s poorest people, and The Gap. Naheed is a graduate of the University of Calgary, where he served as President of the Students’ Union, and holds a Master of Public Policy Degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University where he studied as a Kennedy Fellow. He is a proud first-generation Canadian of Indian ancestry, whose parents immigrated from Tanzania. His family and his Ismaili Muslim faith instilled in him the ethic of seva – service to the community, something he tries to live every day.

  • Reverend Kenneth F. Irby

    Reverend Kenneth F. Irby

    Rev. Irby’s international ministry is rooted in Christian service. Presently pastoring the 125 year-old congregation at Historic Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in St. Petersburg Fla., and he’s passionate about teaching: be it the good news of Jesus Christ around the world, talking across difference, visual storytelling or overcoming obstacles. He is known nationally for his outreach ministry to men and “in need” youth. More recently, he orchestrated City of St. Petersburg’s Not My Son (safe summer) campaign and launch of the Cohort of Champions. He rendered 13-years of service as an Episcopal Officer, leading The Sons of Allen (SOA) Men’s Ministry and was the first Media Ministry Director for the state of Florida and Commonwealth of the Bahamas which earned him The Bishops Award from the West Coast Annual Conference and is the newest Trustee on the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg Board. Irby is also an independent visual consultant, diversity trainer and former senior faculty member at The Poynter Institute for Media Studies where he created the internationally recognized Photojournalism program in 1995 and the nationally recognized Write Field Wraparound Program, in partnership with The Tampa Bay Rays, and a group of local partners in 2011. The American Graduate Project celebrated his effort as one of the Top 10 programs in the nation for redirecting the dropout to prison pipeline in 2014. In 2016, after leaving his 20+ year post, Irby was honored by the National Press Photographers Association as the first John Long Ethics Award recipient, the Tampa Bay Association of Black Journalist (TBABJ) with their Griot Drum Award for lifetime achievement and in 2018 he was honored with the Flame of Distinction: Igniting Vision Acquisition Award at the 35th Westcoast Center Men’s Conference. Kenny travels widely trumpeting the need for justice ministry, amplifying the voices of the visual journalists and is a frequent motivational speaker, lecturer and content judge. He brings to his teaching endeavors 30+ years of experience focused on quality leadership, building integrity and excellence. His expertise and contributions have been recognized with numerous distinctions: The Sprague Award for lifetime achievement awarded by the NPPA, chair of the jurors’ panel for the coveted Pulitzer Prize in the photojournalism categories and served as a juror for the Hearst Collegiate Journalism Awards— to name a few. Kenny and Karen, his wife of 35-years have four grown daughters and he graduated from Boston University with a bachelor of science in Photojournalism, earned a master’s certificate from University of Missouri and studied at Dallas Theological Seminary in there cross-cultural ministries program.

  • Ruthmae Sears

    Ruthmae Sears

    Dr. Sears is an Associate Professor, associate director for Coalition for Science Literacy with a focus on inclusive excellence, and lead faculty facilitator for the inclusive and equitable pedagogy program at the University of South Florida. Her research focuses on curriculum issues, the development of reasoning and proof skills, clinical experiences in secondary mathematics, and the integration of technology in mathematics teaching and learning. She has presented nationally and internationally and has published in leading mathematics education journals, such as: Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, ZDM: The International Journal on Mathematics Education, MathAMATYC Educator, and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Annual Perspective of Mathematics Education (APME). She also coordinates developmental mathematics courses and the undergraduate and master's degree programs in mathematics education. Dr. Sears is actively engaged in scholarly activities. She is the principal investigator for the City of St. Petersburg funded grant entitled, "Examination of the historical and modern-day impact of structural racism on the lives of Black people in the City of St. Petersburg, Florida," and the NSF-IUSE funded collaborative grant (#1726362) entitled "Attaining Excellence in Secondary Mathematics Clinical Experiences with a Lens on Equity". Dr. Sears is also a co-principal investigator for the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program and key personnel for the NSF-funded grant (#1525574) Systemic Transformation of Education through Evidence-Based Reforms (STEER). In addition to her research activities, Dr. Sears provides extensive service to the profession and to her local environment. Notably, Dr. Sears is the co-chair of the Network of STEM Education Centers (NSEC) Annual Meeting, and the Accelerating Systemic Change Network (ASCN) in STEM Higher Education Working group for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. She is also a University of South Florida representative for the Bay View Alliance. Moreover, Dr. Sears is the associate editor for the NCTM journal, Mathematics Teacher: Learning and Teaching PreK-12 (MTLT), for the high school grade band. Dr. Sears is also the Florida Department of Education – State Course Numbering System (SCNS) Discipline Coordinator in the field of Mathematics Education and STEM Education. Additionally, Dr. Sears is a board member for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Tampa Bay and the Bahamas’ PACE Foundation. At the University of South Florida, Dr. Sears is a member of the Anchin Center STEM Professional Development Leadership Team and serves on NSF funded STEER-Transformation Implementation Leadership Team (TILT). Dr. Sears serves on the university sabbatical committee, and as the constitution committee chair for the Faculty Policy Council. She is also the chair of the university-wide diversity equity and inclusion initiative entitled the Enlightenment Series (https://www.usf.edu/president/antiracism/ resources/enlightenment-series.aspx ), and is a member of the university’s IAspire Implementation Team, and the NSF funded “All ABOARD” – A Bull’s Eye for JEDI initiative. Awards and Fellowship Dr. Sears was the 2016 Florida Association of Mathematics Teacher Educator (FAMTE) - Mathematics Teacher Educator of the Year. She is also the 2018 USF Chapter of National Council of Negro Women – Katherine Johnson Mathematics Award Recipient. Dr. Sears previously received the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Mid Missouri Heroes award, and the VEX robotics volunteer of the year award. Dr. Sears was a recipient of the Organization of American States Fellowship Award, Lyford Cay Foundation Graduate Scholarship Award, Kappa Delta Pi Hollis Caswell Doctoral Award, Center for The Study of Mathematics Curriculum (CSMC) fellowship award, and the University of Missouri Mathematics Education Scholarship Award. Additionally, Dr. Sears was selected as an NSF-funded IAspire Leadership Academy Fellow in 2020.

  • Tope Folarin

    Tope Folarin

    Tope Folarin is a Nigerian-American writer based in Washington DC. He serves as Executive Director of the Institute for Policy Studies and the Lannan Visiting Lecturer in Creative Writing at Georgetown University. He has garnered many awards for his writing, including the Caine Prize for African Writing and the Whiting Award for Fiction. Tope also serves as a board member of the Avalon Theater in Washington DC, the Vice President of the Board of the Pen/Faulkner Foundation, and as a member of the President’s Council of Pathfinder. He was educated at Morehouse College and the University of Oxford, where he earned two Masters degrees as a Rhodes Scholar. His debut novel, A Particular Kind of Black Man, was published by Simon & Schuster.

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