Rev. Dr. James Perkins
Chairman and Chief Strategist
The Reverend Dr. James C. Perkins was ordained to Gospel Ministry in 1974. He has served as pastor of Greater Christ Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan for thirty-seven years. He received his Doctor of Ministry degree from United Theological Seminary, Dayton, Ohio (1990, Samuel DeWitt Proctor Fellow). Dr. Perkins also served as the 20th President of the Progressive National Baptist Convention (2014-2018). He is the author of Building Up Zion’s Walls: Ministry for Empowering the African American Family, Playbook for Christian Manhood: 12 Key Plays for Black Teen Boys, (published by Judson Press (Valley Forge, Pennsylvania), Midnight Religion: Messages of Victory in the Midst of Adversity and Staking Claim to Your Mountain: Sermons of Empowerment and Endurance. Dr. Perkins has established numerous enterprises that support that vision.
In 1992, he founded the Fellowship Nonprofit Housing Corporation as a vehicle for community economic development. In the spring of 2006, Providence Place was constructed. This $10 million development provides fifty single family homes for low- and middle-income families. Dr. Perkins currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Wiley College, Marshall, TX, Board of Trustees of Morehouse School of Religion, Atlanta, GA, NAACP National Board of Directors and National Council of Churches. In addition, Dr. Perkins has served as a past President of the Michigan Progressive Baptist Convention. He is a member of the Detroit Baptist Pastors Council, Detroit Chapter NAACP, and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Dr. Perkins is married to Linda Adkins Perkins and is the father of two daughters and the grandfather of two grandsons.
Bertram L. Marks, Esq.
Chief Legal Counsel
Bertram L. Marks Esq., D. Minn. has been a practicing trial lawyer for 26 years. His practice includes products liability, medical malpractice, ecclesiastical, corporate law, civil rights, personal injury and white-collar criminal defense. He holds an undergraduate political science degree from Wayne State University and a law degree from the University of Detroit. Dr. Marks earned a Master and Doctoral degrees in ministry from the Ecumenical Theological Seminary in Detroit. He serves as Chairman of the Litigation Associates Trial Law Firm and Pastor of First Community Church. Dr. Marks is a consultant to major organizations and corporations. He provides advice and counsel on economics, social justice, community empowerment and corporate responsibility.
He is a senior level consultant to utility companies and senior counsel to the President of the National Progressive Baptist Convention Incorporated. He is the former President of T.H.A.W. Board of Directors of Michigan, former Michigan Civil Rights Commissioner, former General Legal Counsel to the Council of Baptist Pastors and a frequent guest writer for the Detroit Free Press and Michigan Chronicle newspapers. He served as an on-air legal analyst for The Mildred Gaddis Show which aired on WCHB AM and 99.9FM in Detroit. Dr. Marks is married to Monique Marks, President and CEO of Franklin Wright Settlements Inc., a human service agency in Detroit, Michigan. The couple have three grandchildren and reside in Detroit, Michigan where they raised their two children, Erika and Bertram II.
Dr. Tshaka Cunningham, PhD
Dr. Cunningham is co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of TruGenomix Health Inc., an emerging precision genomics biotechnology company that is harnessing the power of genomics to improve risk prediction and diagnosis of PTSD.
He recently served as the Associate Director of Scientific Collaboration for DIA where he coordinated the DIA Communities Program which provides a neutral forum and online platform where experts from across the spectrum of diverse disciplines within the healthcare ecosystem can convene to discuss prominent issues and solutions. Prior to his time at DIA, he served as the Scientific Program Manager for the Aging and Neurodegenerative Diseases Rehabilitation Research Program within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs/Veterans Health Administration’s Office of Research & Development.
He earned a BA degree in molecular biology from Princeton University in New Jersey, and his doctoral degree in molecular biology from Rockefeller University in New York. He completed his postdoctoral training in immunology and tumor immunotherapy at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, France, and at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD.
Dr. Cunningham was a subject matter expert (SME) in Genomics and Precision Medicine for the VHA ORD Genomic Medicine Implementation Program (GMIP) and convened the MVP-Diversity Working Group, which presented recommendations to the VA Genomic Medicine Program Advisory Committee (GMPAC) on patient recruitment strategies to ensure that minority Veteran participation in the VA’s Million Veteran Program is maximized. He also created the VA’s Historically Black College and University Research Scientist Training Program (VA HBCU-RSTP), the major diversity outreach initiative sponsored by VHA ORD.
He is a founding member of the non-profit Minority Coalition for Precision Medicine (MCPM) and the Faith-Based Genomic Research Institute where he serves as a scientific advisor and community health advocate.
Dr. Cunningham also serves as a consultant on the Harvard/MIT Broad Institute’s PeopleSeq Consortium, an NIH-funded effort to study the attitudes of healthy people on genetic sequencing and precision medicine.
Rev. Dr. Toussaint King Hill, Jr.
Dr. Hill, a native of Detroit, Michigan, served as the Pastor of the Baptist Temple Church, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for 14 years. He currently serves as the Pastor of the historic West Hunter Street Baptist Church of Atlanta, Georgia since 2006. Dr. Hill graduated from Morehouse College Atlanta, Georgia where he was a double major in Political Science and Religion. During that period of his life, he served as special assistant to Dr. Martin Luther King Sr. He graduated from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary of Evanston, Illinois with a Master of Divinity degree, where he distinguished himself as the first William Holmes Borders Scholar. He was also a Lyndon Baines Johnson Intern for the United States Congress. He further matriculated at the Wesley Theological Seminary of Washington DC. He graduated from the Leadership Institute of Harvard University. He received his Doctor of Ministry degree from the United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio as a Cornell West, Jeremiah Wright, Molefi Asante Scholar.
Dr. Hill’s passion for community building and the uplifting of God’s people is evidenced by West Hunter Church’s housing of the Southwest Ecumenical Emergency Assistance Center, which provides emergency assistance to southwest Atlanta citizens facing crises. His tenure at West Hunter Church is marked by key partnerships with local and state agencies and organizations. West Hunter supports the SEED Academy, a summer program that provides quality enrichment to youth and, in 2016,
partnered with the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy, the first predominately African-American school to be STEM certified in the United States and the Danny Ferry foundation to create a free summer camp academy.
Since the beginning of his ministry, Dr. Hill has been God focused. He seeks to manifest God’s will for God’s people, ministering to the needy, the lost and the left out in our communities. Dr. Hill serves wherever God places him, whether on the inaugural Pittsburgh Civilian Police Review Board or vice president Al Gore Commission for Families or serving as the 1st African American chaplain of the PA Air National Guard or as a mentor and instructor on faith based opportunities for the treatment of addiction and the disparities of African Americans to receive treatment. His experience is broad and covers a number of disciplines. Dr. Hill’s passion, however, is always grounded in his faith.
Above all else, Dr. Hill is known for his delivery of the Word of the Gospel as a preacher and teacher. He is dedicated to revealing the Word in a manner that develops believers and transforms lives. As an anointed man of God, his preaching is both profound and practical. Dr. Hill is married to the lovely Lady Laurel Hord Hill and is the proud father of Toussaint King Hill, III, who is married to Miranda Iverson Hill and Thaddaeus Kornell Hill. Dr. and Mrs. Hill are proud grandparents to Eden Elizabeth Hill.
Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, III
With civil rights advocacy in his DNA, Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III built his ministry on community advancement and social justice activism. As Senior Pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, Illinois, Dr. Moss spent the last two decades practicing and preaching a Black theology that unapologetically calls attention to the problems of mass incarceration, environmental justice, and economic inequality.
Dr. Moss is part of a new generation of ministers committed to preaching a prophetic message of love and justice, which he believes are inseparable companions that form the foundation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He was recently recognized as one of the “12 Most Effective Preachers in the English-Speaking World” by Baylor University’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary. As part of his community engagement through Trinity United Church of Christ, Dr. Moss led the team that came up with the “My Life Matters” curriculum; which includes the viral video, “Get Home Safely: 10 Rules of Survival” created in the aftermath of Michael Brown’s death at the hands of Ferguson, Missouri police.
A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Dr. Moss is an honor graduate of Morehouse College. He earned a Master of Divinity form Yale Divinity School and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Chicago Theological Seminary. He returned to Yale in 2014 to present the famed Lyman Beecher lectures.
The three-day event included an in-depth discourse on the subject of “The Blue Note Gospel: Preaching the Prophetic Blues in a Post Soul World.” The lectures, which demonstrated a homiletic blueprint for prophetic preaching in the 21st century, were the foundation of his latest book, Blue Note Preaching in a Post-Soul World: Finding Hope in an Age of Despair, published in 2015.
Dr. Moss was named to the inaugural Root 100, a list that “recognizes emerging and established African-American leaders who are making extraordinary contributions,” according to the publication’s website. Honorees range between ages 25 to 45 and their accomplishments and successes transcend media headlines or statistics.
With a unique gift to communicate across generations, Dr. Moss’ creative Bible-based messages have inspired young and old alike. His intergenerational preaching gift has made Dr. Moss a popular speaker on college campuses, at conferences, and churches across the globe.
He is highly influenced by the works of Zora Neale Hurston, August Wilson, Howard Thurman, Jazz, and Hip-Hop music. The work and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the pastoral ministry of his father, Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, Jr. of Cleveland, Ohio, have been primary mentors for his spiritual formation
The founder of Unashamed Media Group, a justice centered, faith-based agency committed to producing and curating stories to inspire the heart and challenge the mind, Dr. Moss is the r ecipient of a 2016 NAACP Image award for his work, which includes providing biblical context and theological support to a myriad of groups and causes, including the #BlackLivesMatter and the #Occupy movements.
His earlier publications include: Redemption in a Red Light District, and The Gospel According to the Wiz: And Other Sermons from Cinema. He co-authored The Gospel Re-Mix; How to Reach the Hip-Hop Generation with three other contributors, and Preach! The Power and Purpose Behind Our Praise, with his father.
His sermons, articles, and poetry have appeared in publications such as Sojourners Magazine and The African American Pulpit Journal. Those works include: Power in the Pulpit II: America’s Most Effective Preachers, Joy To The World: Sermons From America’s Pulpit; Sound The Trumpet: Messages of Hope for Black Men; and The Audacity of Faith: Christian Leaders Reflect on the Election of Barack Obama. His work has also been featured on HuffPost, Urban Cusp, and The Root.
Dr. Moss is an ordained minister in the Progressive National Baptist Convention and the United Church of Christ. He is on the boards of Auburn Seminary and Faith-In-Place/Action Fund, and chaplain of the Children’s Defense Fund’s Samuel DeWitt Proctor Child Advocacy Conference. Additionally, Dr. Moss is a Senior Fellow in the Auburn Seniors Fellow Program.
He is married to his college sweetheart, the former Monica Brown of Orlando, Florida, a Spelman College and Columbia University graduate. They are the proud parents of two creative and humorous children, Elijah Wynton and Makayla Elon.
Rev. Dr. Jacqueline A. Thompson
With a practical and often humorous style of speaking that combines thorough biblical scholarship and “girlfriend” wit, Reverend Doctor Jacqueline Thompson speaks directly to the hearts and minds of people from all walks of life, helping them discover their purpose and destiny in Christ.
As a young girl growing up in the Northern California city of Oakland, Dr. Thompson was reared in a single parent home where her mother laid the foundation that would become her own personal relationship with God. Her desire to help people by alleviating the conditions that seemed to keep them disenfranchised led her to pursue politics. With that in mind, she enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley where she majored in Political Economy of Industrial Societies.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1993, Dr. Thompson began teaching history and politics. While teaching afforded her the opportunity to positively impact the lives of young people, God was calling her to a higher purpose. In March of 1995, Dr. Thompson accepted her call to ministry and was subsequently licensed to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ in July of 1995 and ordained to the ministry in October of 1998 by Reverend Dr. J. Alfred Smith, Sr., Pastor Emeritus of the Allen Temple Baptist Church in Oakland, California.
Her journey towards God’s purpose for her life led her to the Howard University School of Divinity under the academic leadership of respected theologian Dr. Cain Hope Felder. Her excellence in academic scholarship, preaching and ministry earned her numerous honors and awards including Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities, The Ford Foundation Fellowship, and the Nannie Helen Burroughs Award. She was awarded a Master of Divinity Degree with honors from Howard University in 1998. In June 2013, she received a Doctor of Ministry in African American Church Leadership from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.
During her time at Howard, she served as the Minister of Youth at the Shiloh Baptist Church of Washington, D. C. under the Pastoral leadership of Reverend Dr. Wallace Charles Smith. Under her dynamic leadership, the Youth Ministry at Shiloh flourished and served as a model ministry for churches nationwide.
In November 2001, she took over as Executive Director of the Shiloh Family Life Center Foundation, Inc., the non-profit outreach arm of Shiloh Baptist Church. During her tenure, she raised over five million dollars in funding to support the community outreach programs of the foundation, including an After-school program, Senior Center, Day care Center, HIV/AIDS program, Human Services Program, Community Computer Center, Debutante program and Teen mother’s empowerment program.
Despite her giftedness as an administrator, her true passion is preaching and teaching God’s word. Her unique preaching style and sound biblical foundation has opened doors across denominational lines as well as in mainstream civic and political organizations, including the National Urban League and the National Council of Negro Women. Dr. Thompson travels extensively across the United States and the Caribbean, ministering to youth, women and the general Body of Christ at churches, conferences, retreats and workshops. She has had the privilege of preaching in many arenas previously uncharted by women. In addition to serving as the first women to preach in many prominent pulpits across the country, she was the first ever female revivalist for Allen Temple Baptist Church and the first and only woman to preach Men’s Day in the 150-year history of the Shiloh Baptist Church.
In keeping with the ‘ministry of firsts’ God has given her, in March 2010, Dr. Thompson was installed as the Assistant Pastor of the Allen Temple Baptist Church—the first woman to ever serve in this capacity in the 91-year history of the pioneering congregation.
Rev. Dr. Kenneth A. Flowers
The Reverend Kenneth James Flowers was born on March 17, 1961 in Detroit, Michigan. He accepted Christ at the age of 8 and was baptized at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Detroit by the late Reverend Dr. William R. Haney in May 1969. Reverend Flowers accepted his Call to the Ministry at the age of 16 and preached his first sermon on April 12, 1978 (just after becoming 17 years of age). He was licensed to preach on May 3, 1978 and was ordained on August 17, 1983. God has truly blessed Pastor Flowers.
Received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology from Morehouse College, Atlanta Georgia, 1983
Received a Caribbean Summer Scholarship to study human suffering and human rights in Haiti, 1982
Received a $10,000 Thomas J. Watson Fellowship to study Christianity in West Africa for 7 ½ months, 1983-1984
Received his Master of Divinity Degree in Pastoral Ministry from Colgate Rochester Divinity School, Rochester, New York, 1987
Relocated to Los Angeles, California where he became the Director of the Ecumenical Black Campus Ministry at UCLA and associate Minister for Evangelism and Pastoral Care at Wilshire United Methodist Church. On March 10, 1989, the Reverend Flowers was called to pastor Messiah Baptist Church in Los Angeles. Several new ministries were started, as well as a covenant relationship with Temple Israel of Hollywood.
As a community/social activist for human rights issues, Nationally and Internationally:
First African American ever to speak at the World Trade Center in Johannesburg, South Africa, September 25, 1993, where he addressed 1,000 religious/community leaders.
Keynote Speaker for the 1994 Martin Luther King Jr. Interfaith Breakfast, Los Angeles, California
Traveled to Israel on (6) occasions to build better relations between Jews and Blacks.
Traveled to Seoul, Korea to build better relations between blacks and Koreans.
Preached in the Bahamas, Africa, Israel, and throughout the United States of America
Maintained a closed relationship with Coretta Scott King until her death. Continued to maintain a close relationship with Rev. Jesse Jackson and Congresswoman Maxine Waters.
January 21, 1995 Called to Pastor Greater New Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church in his hometown, Detroit, Michigan and was installed in July 1995.
Under his leadership:
The Mt. Moriah Community Development Corporation (a non-profit 501c.3) was started under his leadership and is working to empower and renovate the community
Made history for Greater New Mt. Moriah on October 27, 1995 when he preached at Temple Beth El in West Bloomfield, MI. Temple, the oldest synagogue in Michigan
Formed a partnership with First Baptist Church of Dearborn
First Pastor ever at Greater New Mt. Moriah to license and ordain females to the preaching ministry and to ordain females as Deacons
May 2007 – Under the leadership of Reverend Flowers, Greater New Mt. Moriah celebrated the Grand Opening of its newly build Banquet/Conference Center
April 2008 – Children’s Church re-instituted
Dr. Luisel Ricks-Santi
Dr. Luisel Ricks-Santi is currently Director of the Hampton University Cancer Center, a worldrenowned historically black college and university based in Hampton, VA. She has extensive experience in researching the genetics of health disparities and is recognized as leader in community-based research, as well as a pioneer of innovative techniques that enable and empower researchers to analyze big data using advanced data analytics tools such as machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI).
For the past 15 years, her research activities in genomics, genetics, epidemiology, biostatistics, and molecular biology have culminated in the development of several innovative research projects. Her early work identified genetic risk modifiers of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers recruited at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University and she developed a tissue biobank and RedCAP (Research
Data Capture) database of over 1000 patients and participants, enabling
the genotyping of several unique genetic variants and the develop of new data analysis paradigms. Her current research at HUCRC involves the bioinformatics analysis of [The] Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database to identify ethnicspecific genetic variants associated with increased predisposition to cancer, as well as gene expression differences between tumor specimens.
Dr. Ricks-Santi earned her undergraduate degree in molecular biology from Hampton University and completed her doctoral degree in tumor biology at Georgetown University. She completed her postdoctoral training in cancer genomics and health disparities at Howard University and was awarded an NIH KL2 early career faculty development grant from the National Institutes of Health.
Dr. Kareem Washington
Dr. Kareem Washington is the Chair of the Department of Genetics & Human Genetics and Director of Graduate Studies at Howard University College of Medicine. He trained as a post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of molecular and clinical hematology (MCH), a branch of the National Institute of Digestive, Diabetes and Kidney disease where he conducted researchers in gene therapy on Sickle Cell Disease by developing molecules to reprogram immature mRNA molecules as a form of RNA therapy. He has also published extensively on the role of Vitamin D in
preeclampsia in pregnant minority women and written book chapters on the biology of hematologic disorders.
He earned his undergraduate degree from Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA and his doctoral degrees from Howard University in Washington, DC. He is an expert on sickle cell disease and related hemoglobinopathies and serves as a scientific advisor for the Minority Coalition for Precision Medicine where he assists with community outreach efforts involving genomics, precision medicine, and genetic therapies.