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8th Annual 2017 Sizemore Summer Conference - Keynote Speakers

Dr. Gail ThompsonDr. Gail L. Thompson, an Illuminate Education Equity and Professional Development Specialist, is the former Fayetteville State University "Wells Fargo Endowed Professor of Education", creator and former director of the "Black Men Teaching Program", and former member of the California State Board of Education's "African American Advisory Committee."  Dr. Thompson's work has been published in many books, USA Today, other newspapers, and academic journals.  She has appeared on PBS television's Tony Brown's Journal, other television programs, and radio programs.  Dr. Thompson has served as a reviewer for academic journals and educational organizations, and has done presentations, keynote addresses, workshops, and consultant work throughout the U.S., two presentations in Canada, and one in Jamaica.

Dr. Thompson taught at a public junior high school for three years, and at a public high school for 11 years.  She created and implemented "The Literacy Club," an afterschool reading incentive program for struggling readers at several schools.  Dr. Thompson is married to Rufus, who is also an illuminator and author, and they have three children, Dr. Nafissa Thompson-Spires, NaChe' Thompson, a high school teacher & entrepreneur, Stephen Thompson, an executive with Target Stores, and grandsons Iveren & Isaiah.

Dr. Marcia SturdivantDr. Marcia M. Sturdivant is the President and Chief Executive Officer of NEED (Negro Educational Emergency Drive).  NEED founded in 1963, is a college access program designed to unlock the power of education from the barriers that young underserved students face on their path to high education.  NEED today is a nationally recognized college access program that has awarded over 30,000 grants totaling over $32 million.  Marcia received her doctorate in Educational and Developmental Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh, where she is an Adjunct Faculty member in the School of Education, Department of Afrikana Studies.  Dr. Sturdivant holds a Master Degree in Criminology/Correctional Science from the University of Detroit.  Dr. Sturdivant is an Assistant Professor, with appointments in the Department of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences and Education at Point Park University, where she received her undergraduate education.  Dr. Sturdivant lectures extesively on both the local and national level on barriers to higher education, child maltreatment, racism and its effect on child development, family engagement practices, spirituality in treatment, and culturally-based intervention strategies. 

A recognized leader in the field of child welfare, education and developmental psychology, Dr. Sturdivant has been a repeated participant and research panelist of the Oxford University Educational Roundtable, Oxford, England.  Her dedication to helping families extends to the community by service on numerous boards, including The Urban League of Pittsburgh, Inc., The Pennsylvanian Statewide Adoption Council, The Pennsylvania Joint State Government Commission on Services to Children and Youth, Co-Chair, The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Education Advisiory Board, The John Heinz History Center African American Advisory Committee and The Neighborhood Youth Opportunities Program. 

Dr. Sturdivant's commitment to persons of color extends globally and she was highlighted in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette for her work with Somalian refugees, cited by the Pittsburgh Courier as Fifty Women of Influence, Forty Local, Gifted and Black African American Leaders by Pittsburgh Magazine and is the contributing author of the National Association of African American Studies Monograph Series.  Dr. Sturdivant is the recipient of numerous awards including the National Association of Black Administrators in Child Welfare Valeria Bullard Award as the nation's Black Administrator of the Year, Three Rivers Youth Nellie Award for Community Leadership, the Urban League of Pittsburhg's Ron Brown Civic Award, the Josh Gibson Civil Service Award, the Shyne Award's Gwendolyn J. Elliot Lifetime Achievement Honor, Talk Magazine's Black History Maker Award for her dedication for Human Rights and Community Service and Onyx Magazine's Woman of Influence.  In 2015, Dr. Sturdivant's unwavering commitment to helping those in need, was recognized with her video biography recorded by the History Makers which is now archived in the African American Oral/Video History Collection in the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.  Dr. Sturdivant is married to Larry Anderson and the mother of two sons, Larry Jr. and Marshall.