Change Symposium: Reflections and Conversations on Obama's Presidency
Tuesday, March 29, 2011 09:00AM Add to Outlook

Join WURD when we host Nontonmbi Naomi Tutu, daughter of Nobel Peace Prize winner, Archbishop Desmond Tutu

This intergenerational event will highlight Ms. Tutu's recent "Sister's Sojourn" to South Africa. During this 10-day

journey, Ms. Tutu guided a group of women through South Africa examining the struggles, barriers and triumphs African women from across the globe experience.

A powerful women's and human rights activist, Ms. Tutu will share the linkages between the quest for equality and justice for women in South Africa with her sisters in America.

Event Panelists

Art Fennell - Moderator
Journalist & News Anchor

Art Fennell is an Emmy-Award winning nationally known journalist with a forthright point of view. With more than 20 years experience in the media, Mr. Fennell has an untarnished reputation and is highly respected among his peers. His current assignment is Executive Producer and Anchor of “Art Fennell Reports”, a candid and honest news magazine program focusing on national and regional news and sports, in-depth reports on issues and inten/iews with national newsmakers. The program is seen on the Comcast Network based in Philadelphia. Prior to formatting and launching “Art Fennell Reports”, he was Principal Anchor and Managing Editor for CN8 News on the Comcast Network. Highly accomplished, Mr. Fennell is the recipient of the 2009 “Journalist of The YearAward” for his wo rk in the Philadelphia region and the 2006 Emmy Award for “Outstanding News Anchor” in the Mid-Atlantic region. Mr. Fennell, who also sen/es on Special Assignments for TV-ONE, led the network’s live national coverage of “The Michael Jackson Memorial" from Los Angeles, “The Democratic National Convention" from Denver, “Election Night 2008” from Chicago, and the historic “lnauguration of President Barack Obama” from Washington, DC. He has also conducted an exclusive one on one interview with Barack Obama. He has held professional leadership positions in newsrooms across the country including anchor, reporter, host, producer, and photographer. His other assignments included NBC-10 in Philadelphia; WAVY-TV in Portsmouth, Virginia; WSAV-TV in Savannah, Georgia; WCBD-TV in Charleston, South Carolina; WBTW-TV in Florence, South Carolina, and The South Carolina Educational Television Network.

Dr. Bernard E. Anderson
Senior Economist, Brimmer & Company, LLC

Bernard E. Anderson, a native of South Philadelphia and a nationally respected economist, has held leadership positions in academia, public service, and the private sector. He is the former Whitney M. Young, Jr., Professor of Management at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.

After earning his Ph.D. degree in economics at the University of Pennsylvania, he was appointed to the Wharton School faculty. He is the author of six books and numerous scholarly articles on economic and employment policy, and was the first African-American to earn tenure in the Wharton School.

He took leave from the University to serve as Director of the Social Sciences Division of the Rockefeller Foundation, and Visiting Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University. He later returned to Philadelphia as Managing Partner of the Urban Affairs Partnership. In 1991, Governor Robert P. Casey appointed him the first Chairman of the Pennsylvania Inter-governmental Cooperation Authority, the fiscal oversight board for the City of Philadelphia. He was later appointed by President Bill Clinton to serve as Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment Standards Administration, a position he held until 2001. He also served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

Dr. Anderson has served as a member of the board of directors of Provident Mutual Life Insurance Company, United Bank of Philadelphia, the Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition, and the Philadelphia Orchestra. He was formerly Chairman of the board of trustees of Lincoln University, and is currently Vice Chairman of the board of trustees of Tuskegee University.

Cheryl Benton
Deputy Assistant Secretary, State Department’s Bureau of Public Affairs

Cheryl Benton was appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary (DAS) for the State Department’s Bureau of Public Affairs in May 2009. Before joining the Department of State, Benton accrued more than twenty years of political and public affairs experience and expertise. DAS Benton has an extensive background and knowledge of managing complex public policy, advocacy and regulatory issues for Fortune 500 companies, associations and organizations as well as developing and implementing grassroots and grasstops strategies and campaigns. She has achieved victories for several political candidates at the local, state and national levels.

The Bureau of Public Affairs carries out the Secretary’s mandate to help Americans and foreign audiences understand the foreign policy priorities of President Barack Obama and Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton. As Deputy Assistant Secretary, Benton leads the Department’s outreach and strategic planning effort, including utilizing the State Department’s assets in outreach to national and international media outlets.

Prior to joining the Department of State, Benton was a principal at the Dewey Square Group in Washington, DC where she led projects, devised and implemented successful strategies, managed field operatives, and engaged stakeholders and influencers in some of the most important and challenging issues of our times - including nuclear energy and HIV-AIDS.

In 2008, DAS Benton worked with the Hillary Clinton for President Campaign co-chairing Women of Color for Clinton, providing strategic counsel to the campaign and sen/ing as a surrogate in several states including, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Arkansas, Georgia, and the District of Columbia.

DAS Benton holds a BBA in Finance from the University of Houston.

Therman E. Evans, M.D.
Physician, Pastor, Professor, & Motivational Speaker

As a physician, Dr. Therman E. Evans has an extensive and impressive background that has contributed and led him to his current leadership position. He is the founder and CEO of Whole Life Associates, a graduate of Howard University undergraduate (BS) and medical school (M.D.), the former Vice President and Corporate Medical Director of Cigna Insurance and Healthcare Corporation, as well as the National Health Director and Washington Bureau Chief for Rev. Jesse Jackson’s Operation Push. Additionally, he studied and achieved his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in theology from the United Christian College of New York. 

Dr. Evans has published over 30 articles in various health journals and newspapers, including the Journal of the American Medical Association, The New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the National Medical Association, The Los Angeles Times, HealthQuest, Ebony Magazine, Washington Post and Black Collegian Magazine. For 10 years he hosted a two-hour radio show called “Lifeline” in Philadelphia, PA.
Dr. Evans was appointed in 1998 and formally installed as Pastor of Morning Star Community Christian Center on July 25, 1999. As the Senior Pastor, he has brought the message of “wholeness” in mind, body, and spirit to the dynamic and growing membership and ministries of the Morning Star congregation. Likewise, he has established healing through outreach services that positively increase self-reliance, health and well being to an economically and socially depressed community.
Kenny Gamble
Chairman, Universal Companies

Kenneth Gamble began singing at a young age, recording for various labels including Epic, Columbia, Arctic, and Atlantic Records. The most well-known is Philadelphia International Records, which he co-founded with Leon Huff in 1971; and still serves as Chairman and CEO. Mr. Gamble is recognized as a true pioneer in soul / rhythm & blues music. He has written and produced more than 3,000 songs recorded by numerous artists, including the Jackson Five, the Intruders, Teddy Pendergrass, Billy Paul, Phyllis Hyman, Jerry Butler, Nancy Wilson, Lou Rawls, the Ojays, MFSB, Harold Melvin & the Bluenotes, the Three Degrees, McFadden & Whitehead, the Delfonics, and many others. Mr. Gamble’s musical output includes more than 170 gold and platinum songs and albums. In 1974 and 1989, he won the coveted Grammy Award for “Me & Mrs. Jones” and “If You Don’t Know Me By Now.” During his illustrious career, Mr. Gamble has received numerous awards not only for his musical genius, but for his sincere dedication to address the plight of those less fortunate. He has founded or helped to build numerous organizations, including the African American Foundation, Universal Institute Charter School, The Universal Community of Truth, and the South Philadelphia Ministries Task Force. In 1993, he founded Universal Community Homes (UCH) and now is engaged in one of the largest and most successful community revitalization efforts in Philadelphia history. Mr. Gamble calls the rebuilding of his community “The Biggest Hit Of My Life.”