- one who brings conversations to life
- one who gives inspiration, encouragement, or renewed vigor to unlikely partners in dialogue
We are a team of educators, activists, healers, artists, connectors, and neighbors committed to seeing the invisible, hearing the voiceless, and creating spaces for social change. As animators, we vitalize conversations that move unlikely community partners from fear and apathy to prophetic service.
Chief of Staff
Salmoon Bashir is a resourceful young minister from Pakistan with ten+ years’ experience providing thoughtful leadership in diverse, multi-cultural and multi-faith spaces in the US, Pakistan, Iraq, UK, and the Republic of Georgia. After working in the oil and gas industry in the Middle East, Salmoon changed his paths and served alongside the Archbishop of Canterbury in the Community of St. Anselm at Lambeth Palace in London. After Lambeth Palace, Salmoon came to the United States and studied at Candler School of Theology where he graduated with his Master’s of Divinity and earned the Ruth Sewell Flowers Award. Salmoon is also a Postulant for the Holy Orders in the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta. In his ministry, Salmoon is known for having a big heart, for being a good neighbor, and extending a hand of radical hospitality.
Eunil David Cho, Ph.D.
Cho is a Korean American scholar-minister who cares deeply about the works of community development, intercultural understanding, and character formation. He is currently pursuing PhD studies at Emory University and serving a multicultural congregation as a Presbyterian minister.
Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Darren is the owner and lead designer of TwoPiece Graphic Design and Printing. A graduate of Frederick Douglass High School he then matriculated to Tennessee State University. He has worked with Fearless Dialogues since its inception serving as the lead graphic designer. He also takes pride in the design of Dr. Ellison's book cover Cut Dead But Still Alive: Caring for African American Young Men. Darren is also the younger brother of Dr. Gregory C. Ellison, II.
Gregory C. Ellison II, Ph.D.
Founder & Executive Director
An Atlanta native, Ellison is associate professor of pastoral care and counseling at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology. He earned his undergraduate degree from Emory, and holds M.Div. and Ph.D. degrees in pastoral theology from Princeton Theological Seminary. Ellison is author of Fearless Dialogues: A New Movement for Justice and Cut Dead But Still Alive: Caring for African American Young Men and founder of GE II & Associates and Fearless Dialogues.
Theodore “Ted” Florence
CFO and COO
Theodore "Ted" Florence is a C-Level finance executive with significant experience in budgeting, business strategy, deal negotiations, financial reporting, financial modeling, and operations. Ted has served as the business partner to the President, CEO, or Executive Director of a myriad of high-profile corporations and non-profit organizations. He has nearly twenty years of senior level finance and operations experience, including over a decade as the CFO and COO of an entertainment company in which he had full P&L responsibility and provided comprehensive financial leadership. Ted is a Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Fisk University, has earned an MBA degree from Harvard Business School and an MPA from Georgia State University. He resides in Buckhead and loves the arts, exercise, reading and tennis.
Rev. Kyndra Frazier
Rev. Kyndra Frazier, was recognized by the Root 100 as one of the Most Influential African-Americans in 2020 for breaking down barriers and paving the way for future generations in the field of mental health. She is a licensed social worker and a Baptist clergywoman. Kyndra is the CEO of KYND Consulting Inc., a mental wellness boutique that supports individuals, couples, and organizations in thriving through therapeutic services, spiritual direction, and trauma-informed trainings. She has been featured in multiple print and digital publications including Vice Magazine, New York Times, and Sojourners Magazine. Kyndra holds a Master of Divinity from Candler School of Theology, Emory University, a Master of Social Work from Columbia University, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from North Carolina A&T State University.
Rev. Alisha Gordon
Rev. Alisha L. Gordon is a faith leader, preacher, and educator whose work intersects faith, culture, and politics. A native of Decatur, GA, Rev. Gordon attended Spelman College where she earned a Bachelor of English degree and has a Master of Divinity degree from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. She currently leads faith-based efforts with the E Pluribus Unum Fund and cultivates innovative projects for single mothers in East Harlem, where she lives with her teenage daughter. She is the former executive minister of programs at the historic Riverside Church in New York City and served as the national director of faith-based outreach for the 2020 Bloomberg presidential campaign. Her commitment to the church is formed and informed by her practical approach to scripture and social justice.
Dr. Will Gravely
Dr. Will Gravely is the founder and lead pastor of Refuge Community Church, a multi-ethnic and cross-cultural church in Austell, GA and a visiting professor at Emory University. Will has been rooted in the Atlanta Metro area since attending and graduating from Morehouse College and completing both his Master of Divinity (Theology & The Arts) as well as his Doctor of Ministry (Church Leadership and Community Witness) at the renowned Candler School of Theology at Emory University. Upon graduating from Candler, he received the prestigious Fellowship Seminarian Award for his contributions to cross-cultural worship arts as a master's student and The Director's Award given to the top student in a given doctoral scholarship track. He and his wife Veronica founded The Stained-Glass Project in 2016, a community development organization driven to connect and reflect local communities through their model, The Community HUB. The Community HUB model connects neighborhoods around the core human needs of health, unity, and belonging to equip and empower neighbors to collaborate in transforming their own communities. Dr. Gravely serves as the lead strategist of the flagship Community HUB, a cultural arts center situated on 29.6 acres in Metro-Atlanta. As a gifted communicator, Dr. Will Gravely has traveled across the country sharing his message of strategic collaboration and sustainable community. Will and Veronica have five children and are leading a grass-roots movement to revitalize local communities by reframing the local church.
Rev. Angela Mao Johnson
Rev. Angela Johnson, affectionately known as “Pastor Angie”, received her Master of Divinity from Candler School of Theology at Emory University and her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Spelman College. Angie is originally from New York City and has resided in Atlanta, Ga. for over 25 years. She is the mother of two amazing teenage sons, Johari and Ayinde.
Angie identifies as a HEALER. She has served as a prison chaplain intern at Jimmy Helm’s Transitional Center ministering to pregnant and terminally ill inmates, a college chaplain intern at Emory University, and a Chaplain Resident at Wesley Woods Psychiatric Hospital at Emory University Hospital. In addition to her work with Fearless Dialogues, she currently serves as the Assistant Pastor of Central United Methodist Church where her ministry focus is youth and young adults.
Rev. E. Michelle Ledder,
Ledder, an itinerant Elder in the AME Church, works as an anti-racism curriculum writer and workshop facilitator for a global commission on religion and race. Michelle is currently a PhD candidate at Emory University who combines on-the-ground freedom fighting with educational transformation.
Dernard D. Newell, J.D.
Dernard D. Newell is a lawyer, pastor, preacher, and community servant who has spent the last three decades of his life serving people and improving communities. He is a gifted orator, thought leader, mentor, and advocate. Dernard believes that his life’s mission is to create a world full of fruitfulness and joy by loving and serving others. He believes that his experiences in politics, law, ministry, and education provide him with the tools and skills necessary to make a positive impact on the people he meets and the places he inhabits.
Dernard graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and went on to earn a Master of Public Administration from George Washington University, a Juris Doctor from Howard University School of Law, and a Master of Divinity from Garret Evangelical Theological Seminary on the campus of Northwestern University. He is also a member of the oldest Black Greek Letter Organization, Alpha Phi Alph Fraternity Incorporated.
Charles Peterson is a proud graduate of Benjamin Elijah Mays High School in Atlanta Ga and Bethune-Cookman University. Very early in life, Charles discovered he had a gift for using carefully chosen words to inspire and uplift those around him. This gift has served him well as an advocate to youth and underrepresented communities for nearly a decade. With the wisdom of his elders and the strength provided through his faith, Charles believes he can empower the communities he serves to dream beyond their lived experiences to envision and manifest their desired reality. Charles is currently the Program Manager for the At Promise Youth Centers, an initiative of the Atlanta Police Foundation. He is also co-host of the FIRM (Fathers Inspired Restored and Motivated) Podcast. Charles is a devoted husband and father of four.
Julian Reid is an artist-theologian who plays, speaks, and writes at the intersection of music, faith, and story. In addition to animating for Fearless Dialogues, he is a founding member of the jazz-fusion group The JuJu Exchange and the founder of the spiritual retreat ministry Notes of Rest. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in theology from Yale University and a Master of Divinity Degree from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. He and his wife Carmen are based in his beloved hometown of Chicago, Illinois. You can learn more about Julian on his website: juliandavisreid.com.
Kennietha Jones is an education consultant and certified professional leadership coach. She is the founder and CEO of Strategic Leadership Consulting & Coaching, LLC. Kennietha served as managing director of partnership development and a school leadership coach for Achievement Network (ANet) for five years. Before relocating to Cleveland, OH to launch the ANet office, she served as an Assistant Principal for Literacy in Washington, DC Public Schools. Kennietha began her career as a fifth-grade teacher in a Boston, MA charter school after earning a B.A. in English from Spelman College and an Ed.M. from Harvard University Graduate School of Education. The bedrock of her career was formed as a middle school English teacher, teacher leader, and principal in Boston Public Schools. In 2008, Kennietha left the principalship to lead Teach for America’s (TFA) Baltimore program team as managing director of program and later joined New Leaders for New Schools, DC, to develop aspiring principals. In 2011, she started an education consulting firm focused on supporting principals and their leadership teams to invest in standards-aligned, data-driven instructional practices. Kennietha is passionate about learning and her eight-year-old niece, whom she teaches new lessons every day.
Tavares Stephens serves as Associate Pastor at Saint James United Methodist Church in Alpharetta, Georgia. He is a recipient of the Candler School of Theology’s John Owen Smith Award for Preaching and was featured in By Faith magazine as a Harry Hoosier Spirit Award honoree for his diverse ways in proclaiming the gospel. Tavares is a former Teacher of the Year, was a recipient of Turner Broadcasting’s Teacher Appreciation Award, and is a former member of Poetry Atlanta’s National Slam Poetry team. He is the creator of the spoken word cd, “Lend Me Your Ear,” the author of Soulfood Café, a book of poetry, and Reading Revolution, a book of biographies covering important contributions made to civilization by people of African descent. He is also the writer and producer of the Ascension Project, a gospel music project that fuses praise and worship and spoken word poetry. Tavares also co-founded VerbalEyze, a non-profit specializing in the professional development of youth and young adult writers; and he serves as an animator with the groundbreaking non-profit Fearless Dialogues – a group dedicated to the ways ideals such as “radical hospitality” and “seeing those who are unseen” serve to promote the pursuit of the greater good in human relationships. He graduated with a Master of Divinity from Candler School of Theology at Emory University.
Daphne M. Walker, J.D.
Retired Judge Daphne Walker currently serves as the Principal Partner of DM Walker Consulting Group where she provides leadership development, for-profit and non-profit governance and professional development services for for-profit and non-profit organizations. She has more than twenty-two (22) years of litigation and management experience and identifies as an educator at Fearless Dialogues. Daphne is a cutting-edge and results-driven attorney, former administrator, and former non-profit executive with demonstrated success in turnaround/change and crisis management. She has a unique ability to encourage and develop innovative and transformational leaders that are laser-focused on sound strategic and programmatic planning, budget management, project execution, organizational and professional development, team building, work-life balance and diversity, equity and inclusion within the workplace and beyond.
Daphne graduated magna cum laud from Spelman College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a minor in Economics. She also earned a full, academic scholarship to the Emory University School of Law where she earned her Juris Doctorate degree. She previously served as an adjunct instructor at Clayton State University in the Legal Studies and Paralegal Studies programs for nearly ten (10) years and has also served as a lead trainer for the Council of Magistrate Court Judges, the Institute for Continuing Judicial Education through the University of Georgia and the National Council of Family and Juvenile Court Judges in the areas of domestic violence, workplace violence and human trafficking. She has more than fifteen (15) years of experience facilitating leadership development workshops and programs.
Daphne is a proud graduate of Leadership Atlanta, Leadership Georgia, Leadership Clayton, Leadership Gwinnett and the Regional Leadership Institute and is a member of the East Point/College Park Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She has been an active member of Elizabeth Baptist Church for more than fifteen (15) years and resides in Atlanta with her daughter, Lauryn.
Jonathan Wilkins is an emerging voice and cultural champion for team accountability and leadership development in both professional sports and corporate settings. Jonathan posesses a unique gift to inspire world-class athletes and motivate corporate executives toward personal responsibility and transformation.
Jonathan just completed his fifth season as Team Chaplain with the Chicago Bears. Leveraging the Socratic Method, players and coaches are engaged in weekly sessions to re-imagine adversity while redifining success on and off the field. Pratical leadership development principles are taught to enhance the team’s personal growth while fostering a culture of excellence and accountability throughout the organization. 90% of the team roster and coaches attend these voluntary sessions and constantly site them as the “Best Ever”.
Jonathan also serves as Manager within the Leadership Development at CBRE. Prior to CBRE Jonathan served as Facilitator within the Leadership and Development Department at American Airlines. Jonathan was Lead Facilitator to the company-wide course entitled “Take-Off” which supports 130,000 epmployees. He developed Courageous Conversations which is a required course for all Level 5 managers.
Jonathan graduated from Morehouse College and went on to earn a Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School and Master of Divinity from the Harvard Divinity School becoming the only student to do so in the class of 2009. He was inducted a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Alpha Rho Chapter in the Spring of 1999 . Jonathan is married to the lovely Paris H. Wilkins (Master Personal Trainer and Indoor Spin Cyclist). Together they have three beautiful children Yuri Crenshaw (14), Jonathan Wilkins, Jr. (10) and Princeton Wilkins (6 months).
Floyd Wood II
Wood is a native of Atlanta and a product of the Atlanta Public School system. An alumnus of Morehouse College and a student at the Interdenominational Theological Center, he currently serves as a communication and program manger at Georgia Tech. He is a devoted husband and proud father of four.
Board of Directors
- Kenya K. Hansford Davis, Esq.
- Antoinette Ellison, Esq
- Gregory C. Ellison II, Ph.D.
- Milton H. Jones, Jr.
- Nekia Hackworth Jones, Esq.
- John Majors
- Luther E. Smith, Jr., Ph.D.
MEET OUR TEAM OF ADVISORS
- Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, II, Congressional Black Caucus, Past President
- Darren Ellison, 2 Piece Graphics & Design, Preferred Designer
- Delvecchio Finley, MPP, Alameda Health System, CEO
- Elaine Justice, Emory University Media Relations, Associate Director
- Stephen Lewis, Forum for Theological Exploration, President
- Rev. Aisha Brooks-Lytle, Greater Atlanta Presbytery of the PCUSA, Executive Presbyter
- Barbara Brown Taylor, Butman Professor Emeritus of Religion, Piedmont College
- Dr. Bernard Lafayette, Educator, Freedom Rider and Civil Rights Activist
- Carlton Mackey, Emory University's Ethics & the Arts Program, Director
- Parker J. Palmer, Internationally-Acclaimed Writer and Educator
- DeWayne Rogers, Rolling Out Magazine, Creative Director and Fashion Photographer
- Rev. Toby Sanders, M.Div., Trenton Board of Education, Past President
- Matthew Wesley Williams, Forum for Theological Exploration, VP of Strategic Initiatives
- Torry Winn, Esq., M.Div., Race to Equity, Strategic Partnerships and Engagement