Below are a list of this years participants in no particular order:

Al McSurely:

Civil Rights Movement Lawyer and Popular Educator.  Al McSurely has practiced Civil Rights law in North Carolina since March, 1988 after graduating from N.C. Central law at the age of 51. McSurely has been a close associate of Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, since Barber was elected President of the N.C. State Conference of NAACP Branches in 2005 and began building the nationally recognized Forward Together Moral Movement. McSurely has represented hundreds of African American women, scores of African American men, and a handful of white women and white workers in winning their cases and at the same time reaffirming and strengthening the constitutional protections won during the 1960’s Movement. McSurely helped prepare dozens of briefs in Federal and North Carolina courts striving to expand the constitutional rights of people of color and other workers in N.C., and has written The Organizer’s Workbook and the Organizer’s Library Series (with Margaret Herring and Jack Minnis); Dialectics of Decentralization (with Martha Tabor); Report on Moral Mondays (with Rob Stephens); and scores of booklets and pamphlets for use in popular education and chatauquas.

Herb Boyd

Herb Boyd is an award winning author and journalist who has published  a number of books and countless articles for national magazines and newspapers.  His most recent publication is The Diary of Malcolm X, co-edited with Ilyasah Shabazz, Malcolm’s daughter.   Black Detroit—A People’s History of Self-Determination is forthcoming from Amistad Press.  Brotherman—The Odyssey of Black Men in America—An Anthology (One World/Ballantine, 1995), co-edited with Robert Allen of the Black Scholar journal, won the American Book Award for nonfiction.  A list of his books can be found and purchased at He teaches African American History and Culture at the City College of New York in Harlem where he lives.

Terrie Williams

Terrie M. Williams, one of Ebony magazine’s “Power 150” for Activism, Woman’s Day magazine’s “50 Women On A Mission To Change The World” and a Black history makers honoree on the 2013 theGrio 100 list, is an advocate for change and empowerment. For more than 30 years, she has used her influence and communications expertise to educate and engage audiences in causes. She launched The Terrie Williams Agency (TTWA) in 1988 with comedic great Eddie Murphy and the late jazz legend Miles Davis as her first clients and has continued to represent some of the biggest personalities and businesses in entertainment, sports, business and politics. TTWA is a premiere ncubator and legendary breeding ground for public relations talent; the Agency’s former employee roster makes up a vast majority of the “who’s who” in the public relations industry. Terrie is one of the country’s most highly sought-after speakers, and has shared her unique brand of success and personal development strategies with numerous Fortune 500 companies and countless organizations, including the New York University Continuing Education Program, The New School for Social Research, The National Football League, The National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League. In addition to her lectures, Terrie is an online contributor to numerous publications including, , and a clinical therapist on WE tv’s SWV Reunited. Terrie’s critically acclaimed book, entitled Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We’re Not Hurting (2008), is credited with starting an unprecedented national dialogue that recounts her personal struggles with depression and the impact the stigma of mental illnesses have particularly on the African-American community. Her dialogue has led to a national mental health advocacy campaign called “Sharing Ourselves…Healing Starts With Us” with the collaboration with the Ad Council’s and SAMHSA’s Campaign of Mental Health Recovery. Terrie has a B. A. cum laude in Psychology and Sociology from Brandeis University, an M.S. in Social Work from Columbia University, is a licensed clinical therapist and has received numerous awards for her mental health advocacy work.

Murat Kose

Murat Kose is currently the East Coast Program Director for Zakat Foundation of America, an international charity organization that serves 40 countries and thousands of people every year. He is passionate about community service and firmly believes it its ability to inspire meaningful change all over the world. Through his work, Murat has been supporting inner city, refugee, and immigrant communities over the last 20 years in various capacities (poverty alleviation, tutoring, employment search, education, etc.) Murat Kose completed his masters in chemical engineering from the University of Rochester and performed postgraduate research at Syracuse University. He currently lives in Cary, North Carolina with his wife and five children.

Sgt Robert Carey

Mr. Robert A. Carey, a native of Detroit, MI, serves as police sergeant for District One in the town of Cary, NC. He has honorably served as a police officer since 1997. During his tenure as police officer he has held positions as a patrol officer, field-training officer, school resource officer, and police corporal. His most recent promotion was to police sergeant in 2015. Sergeant Carey graduated from Wake Technical Community College with an Associates Degree in criminal Justice. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Applied Science in Criminal Justice at Campbell University.

John Komlos

John Komlos is Professor Emeritus of Economics and of Economic History at the University of Munich and is currently visiting professor at Duke University as well as at UNC-Chapel Hill. He has also taught at Harvard University and the University of Vienna. Born in Budapest during the last days of World War II–just as the Soviet army began its assault on the city–, he became a refugee twelve years later during the famous revolution, and grew up in Chicago where he received PhDs in both history and in economics from the University of Chicago. His mentor was the Nobel-Prize winning economic historian Robert Fogel. Most recently Komlos has written critically of recent economic policies that led to the “hollowing out of the middle class” and has been an ardent advocate of humanistic economics in his blogs for PBS . He also teaches a course on the “Economics of Poverty and Inequality” for the African American Studies Department and Duke University.