George “Conscious” Lee is an education consultant, social media influencer, professor and coordinator of policy debate at the University of Oklahoma. With over a million followers and over 40 million likes on his TikTok channel “TheConsciousLee”, this intellectual debating, hip hop dancing, thought-provoking, and workshop facilitating keynote speaker proves that Black intellectuals don’t have to play respectability politics to deliver a message that resonates. George Lee holds a bachelor’s degree in African & African American Studies and a Master’s degrees in both Human Relations and Adult Higher Education. He also holds Graduate Certificates in Women and Gendered Studies, along with Human Resource and Diversity Development from the University of Oklahoma. As if he doesn’t have enough to do, George Lee is also the Coordinator of Policy Debate for OU’s nationally recognized debate team, a professor, and has been named in the top 20 College Policy Debaters of the past decade. Racking up millions of views, the content creator’s videos have been shared by Human Rights Campaign, Cardi B, Democracy Now!, BET and others. He’s also been featured in Forbes, Essence, the Washington Post, The Atlantic, and The New York Times, according to his website, George Lee Speaks.
Aurelius Francisco is the co-founder and co-executive director for the Foundation for Liberating Minds (FLM), a community nonprofit organization working to disrupt the root causes of oppression through transformative education. He leads FLM’s Deconstructing Masculinity Program, Free Our People Initiative, and hosts its DreamRadically Podcast. As the co-executive director, Aurelius strategically drives the vision of the organization forward through program and member development, partner outreach, and shared leadership. His work with FLM’s Free Our People Initiative extends to coordinating a working group, Against Carceral Feminism OK working to build true safety for survivors of gender-based violence. Aurelius’ work in Oklahoma extends to Tulsa with the Terence Crutcher Foundation where he assists in research and organizing efforts around community safety and power building, and narrative change. He also serves as a trainer, facilitator, and consultant with the Restorative Justice Institute of Oklahoma. Aurelius is currently pursuing a Master of Arts degree in the Social Sciences from the University of Chicago, and obtained a bachelor’s degree in African American studies and political science with minors in international studies and women’s and gender studies from the University of Oklahoma in the Spring of 2020, where he served as Co-Director for the Black Emergency Response Team and was active in multiple roles for the Gender + Equality Center, Vice President of OU’s NAACP chapter, and editor of FORUM Magazine.
Lisa Gouldsby is a young leader and high school student at Del City High School. Lisa spent three years as the Oklahoma Association of Student Councils (OASC) State Delegate, was the OASC 2021 Oklahoma State Secretary, and spoke at the 2021 OASC State Convention to over 2,100 high school students from across Oklahoma. Lisa is a glimpse into the future leaders of our state and offers fresh and inspiring perspectives on the future of Oklahoma.
Shania Muhammad is the youngest African American student in history to attend four different colleges, at age 13. She enrolled in Oklahoma City Community College, University of Oklahoma, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, and Langston University. Shania scored a 22 on the ACT and received acceptance letters from over 30 colleges, Full Ride Scholarships, and prestigious awards. Shania, now 14, is a Sophomore at Langston University, majoring in Agriculture (Plant and Soil Science). She has completed 56 credit hours, maintaining an overall GPA of 3.8. In May of 2022, Shania will graduate with Associates Degrees from Langston University and Oklahoma City Community College, making history yet again as becoming the youngest graduate from two different colleges. Shania is excited to share her historic story in her upcoming book, (Read, Write, Listen) ” 13 in college How I did it” where she delves into how she became one of the youngest African American graduating college students in the country.
Ahniwake Rose is the Executive Director of the Oklahoma Policy Institute. Ahniwake brings 19 years of experience in public policy and nonprofits. She is committed to working with communities to develop policy solutions that are grounded in credible data. Prior to her joining OK Policy, Rose served as the Deputy Director of the National Congress of American Indians a national organization that serves the broad interests of tribal governments and communities, where she worked with a broad coalition of civil and human rights organizations to address economic inequality and racial injustice. A Native to Oklahoma, Rose serves on several education and youth related boards and is a Rockwood Leadership Institute Leading from the Inside Out Fellow, Class of 2017. She is a mother of two daughters, Waleah and Tahna and a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and also of Muscogee (Creek) descent.
Sarah Gray is the Director of Movement Building and Organizing at IllumiNative, a nonprofit created and led by Native peoples, to increase the visibility of – and challenge the negative narrative about – Native Nations and peoples in American society. She is also the Managing Partner at ST Comms Shop, LLC, and works as an Indigenous Affairs and public relations consultant. Sarah’s experience ranges from working as a publicist for the FX production “Reservation Dogs,” to being a campaign manager and political consultant. She has led communications workshops for a presidential race, wrangled 200+ local and international media attendees for Tulsa’s 2020 Juneteenth celebration, worked and volunteered for numerous non-profits, led communications for statewide coordinated campaign efforts and tribal campaigns, and taken on many other projects. Sarah is a proud citizen and advocate of the Cherokee Nation and descendant of the Mvskoke Nation and Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma.
Linda Allegro Marenco is the Executive Director of El Centro: New Sanctuary Empowerment Center, a grassroots activist organization. Linda earned a PhD in Political Science at the New School for Social Research in New York City in 2002. She has taught courses in Transnational Migration, Central American Politics and Immigration and Film. Alarmed by the politics of mass deportation, she organized with other activists to launch the New Sanctuary Network in 2017. The focus was to shine a light on the criminalization of immigrants through contracts, like 287g, that bind ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to our county jail. This year, the organization became a 501c3 nonprofit to build community power by opening a community center in East Tulsa.
Adam Soltani is the Executive Director of Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Oklahoma Chapter.  He has served the Muslim community in various capacities as a professional including promoting and managing American Muslim artists for a London based record label Meem Music, serving as an assistant director for outreach at the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, coordinating youth development programs at the Islamic Society of Edmond, and being one of the founding members of the Oklahoma Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.Adam Soltani is a recipient of the 2014 Oklahoma Human Rights Award presented by the Oklahoma Universal Human Rights Alliance, the 2015 Interfaith Leadership Award presented by the Oklahoma Conference of Churches, and the 2015 Civil Libertarian of the Year Award presented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma. Adam Soltani also serves as an Adjunct Instructor of Islamic Studies at Oklahoma State University teaching courses such as Introduction to World Religions, Islam Cultural Perspectives, Religions of the Middle East, and Race, Religion, and Social Justice.
Tamya Cox-Touré is the Executive Director of American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma (ACLU). Tamya served as the first Legislative Counsel for the affiliate. She graduated with an undergrad degree from Oklahoma State University and went on to continue her education at Oklahoma City University School of Law. She joins us from Planned Parenthood Great Plains where she served as Regional Director of Public Policy and Organizing, overseeing the Public Affairs departments in Oklahoma and Arkansas. Tamya is committed to civil rights and civil liberties. She has traveled across the state and country speaking directly to communities on issues that impact their daily lives, as well as presenting on numerous panels covering a variety of topics, including race equity. Her dedication to the work is best summarized through her favorite Alice Walker quote, “Activism is my rent to live on this planet.”
Kieth Cockrell, president of Bank of America Charlotte. He also serves as the head of Executive Escalations for the company. As President of Bank of America Charlotte, he is responsible for connecting banking and investment resources offered through the banks’ eight lines of business to people and companies across the region, deploying Bank of America’s resources to address social and economic concerns, and helping the local community thrive. Kieth is a passionate ally and advocate for a diverse and inclusive workplace. Previously, he served as vice-chair of the Global Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Council. In this role, he was instrumental in establishing several employee networks, including the Black Professional Group; the Hispanic/Latino Organization for Leadership and Advancement; the Military Support and Assistance Group; and the Black Executive Advisory Council. In 2019, he received two D&I awards, the Root Award and the Vanguard Award, for his role promoting equality, unity and
Maurianna Adams, Chief Community Investment Officer of MetaFund. Maurianna works to expand MetaFund’s efforts to equitably invest in creative solutions for under-resourced communities. She brings more than a decade of public service experience focused on community development, community wealth building and inclusive economies to the position. As Progress OKC’s executive director, she provided strategic direction, program development and fundraising expertise to expand the community development corporation’s impact in areas of neighborhood revitalization, small business development and workforce initiatives.
Maurianna serves on various boards and committees including the City of Oklahoma City – COVID-19 Assistance Program For 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organizations, City of Oklahoma City – Small Business Continuity Program, Northeast OKC Renaissance Inc., Oklahoma City Human Rights Commission Task Force and Urban Land Institute of Oklahoma.
Jorge Hernandez, founder and president of Tango Public Relations. In 2006, Jorge Hernández founded Tango PR and under his leadership and passion turned Tango PR into the premiere Latino PR firm in Oklahoma. Jorge is a native of Mexico but grew up in Austin, Texas and in 1991 moved to Oklahoma City, where he studied Human Relations at Southern Nazarene University (91-95). Jorge has a passion for culture, community and effective communications. He proudly serves as a community advocate, creating programs for the Latino Community Development Agency and other community organizations such as “Fiestas de las Americas.” He sits on the Board of the Oklahoma Red Cross, Thrive/Central Oklahoma Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy and is a member of Oklahoma City’s Leadership Class XIX. Jorge has been recognized with the “40 Under 40′′ award from the OKC Business magazine in 2007 and has also received other awards and several recognitions for his continuous work in building bridges between Corporate America and the Hispanic Community in Oklahoma City.
Peggy Simmons, president and chief operating officer of Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO). Peggy has responsibility for all aspects of electric service for PSO’s more than 550,000 customers, including distribution operations, safety, customer service, communications, external affairs and regulatory functions. Prior to her current role, Simmons was manager of regulatory commodity sourcing for AEP Ohio. She also served as manager of renewable energy in AEP’s competitive business. Simmons joined AEP in 1999 as an energy trading scheduler in Commercial Operations.Community service has been a vital part of Simmons’ career. Simmons serves on the board of trustees for the Tulsa Performing Arts Center Trust and Tulsa Community Foundation; the board of directors for the State Chamber of Oklahoma, Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Tulsa Area United Way as well as the advisory council to Meals on Wheels Metro Tulsa. Additionally, Simmons serves on the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) Members Committee and the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Economic Advisory Council.
Apollo Woods, entrepreneur and real estate developer, has spent the past 14 years providing client partners with technology and consulting solutions to improve productivity and bottom-line profits. In 2017, Apollo founded OKC Black Eats to increase awareness and visibility of Black-owned restaurants and culinary artists in OKC. The goal is to stimulate the local economy by circulating local dollars in predominately African/African American communities. In less than 2 years, OKC Black Eats has generated more than $420,000+ in sales revenue for small business restaurants in OKC Metro. In January 2019, Apollo took a leap of faith into entrepreneurship to provide marketing and consulting solutions for minority owned businesses in Oklahoma City. In 2019, OKC Black Eats hosted the inaugural NEOKC Developer’s Conference at the University of Oklahoma – Downtown Campus. The mission of the NEOKC Developer’s Conference is dedicated to giving investors and investor hopefuls, both men and women alike, the skills to achieve their real estate investing goals to build wealth through real estate in NEOKC.