2017 PHILADELPHIA
OPENING FORUM

Faith Jones-Jackson is a theatre and sociology student who works to combat the effects of racism on all people, with the hopes of altering the way we have those conversations to ultimately make them more productive. By the end of this year, she hopes to have turned current business plans surrounding these efforts into a functioning model in this city and two others.

MK Asante is a best-selling author, award-winning filmmaker, recording artist, and professor who CNN calls "a master storyteller and major creative force." Asante is the author of four books, including Buck: A Memoir, which made the Washington Post best-seller list in 2014 and 2015 and is a NAACP Image Award finalist.

Questlove is a Drummer, DJ, producer, culinary entrepreneur, designer, New York Times best-selling author, and member of The Roots

Jamiel L. Alexander is the senior fellow for the Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions (AFCS). In this role, he coordinates AFCS youth engagement strategy. Prior to joining the Aspen Institute, Alexander was manager of Youth and Family Programs at Crispus Attucks Association for 12 years, where he was responsible for a variety of tasks including managing after school & summer programs, professional & leadership development, youth & family workshops and various community service projects.

DeRay Mckesson is a civil rights activist focused primarily on issues of innovation, equity and justice. Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, he graduated from Bowdoin College and holds an honorary doctorate from The New School. DeRay has advocated for issues related to children, youth, and families since he was a teen.

Jeffrey Rosen is president and CEO of the National Constitution Center, a George Washington University law professor, contributing editor of The Atlantic, and senior fellow at Brookings Institution. Since 2000, he has been a moderator at the Aspen Institute, conducting seminars and panels on technology and the Constitution, privacy, and free speech and democracy.