UNC Greensboro

Preston Blakely

Preston Blakely

Mayor of Fletcher, NC – Born in Asheville, Preston grew up in Fletcher with deep family roots in Western North Carolina. He earned his B.A. at UNC Greensboro, double majoring in African American & African Diaspora Studies and Political Science. He went on to earn his Master of Public Affairs degree from Western Carolina University, where he was named the Outstanding Public Affairs Student in Public Management. Wanting to serve the community, he ran and was elected as Mayor of Fletcher, NC, and was subsequently appointed by North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper to the Statewide Taskforce for Racial Equality in Criminal Justice.


Stephanie Orosco

Stephanie Orosco

History Teacher & Department Chair, Goldsboro High School – Stephanie graduated cum laude from UNC Greensboro earning a bachelor’s degree in African American & African Diaspora Studies. She began teaching history at Goldsboro High School where she was awarded Teacher of the Year three different times. She also serves as the head coach for women’s cross country and the assistant coach of women’s basketball and soccer. Stephanie now serves as Goldsboro High’s History Department Chair. She was selected to be a member of Wayne County Public School’s Social Studies Super Core and is also a part of the inaugural Rural Teacher Leader Network where a diverse group of educators collaborate to strengthen professional practices and cultivate leadership that focuses on equity, trauma-informed practice, and global education. In 2021 she was selected to be a Southern Cohort Principal Fellow at North Carolina State University, where she is pursing her master’s degree in education.


Tiffany Atkins, Esq.

Tiffany Atkins

Assistant Professor of Law at Elon University School of Law, where she teaches Legal Method and Communication, Race and the Law, and Public Interest Drafting. Prior to joining Elon Law, she successfully passed the North Carolina Bar Exam on her first attempt and became the youngest attorney to join the Greensboro Office of Legal Aid of North Carolina, where she practiced family law and public housing law, among other areas of civil litigation. She received her law degree from Elon University School of Law and her B.A. in African American & African Diaspora Studies and Political Science from UNC Greensboro. Professor Atkins was also the 2011 recipient of the David Gergen Award for Leadership and Professionalism. 


Charles Chavis, Jr

Charles Chavis

Director & Assistant Professor, George Mason University – Founding Director of the John Mitchell, Jr. Program for History, Justice, and Race at George Mason University’s Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution, where he is also an Assistant Professor of Conflict Analysis and Resolution and History. He received his B.A. in African American & African Diaspora Studies at UNC Greensboro, where he was in Lloyd International Honors College. The author of The Silent Shore: The Lynching of Matthew Williams and the Politics of Racism in the Free State, he also edited For the Sake of Peace: Africana Perspectives on Racism, Justice, and Peace in America. Dr. Chavis received his M.T.S. in Black Church Studies from Vanderbilt University and Ph.D. in History from Morgan State University.


Tiera C. Moore

tiera moore

Tiera is a spoken word artist, writer, co-producer and a community organizer with interdisciplinary interests in the histories, cultures, literatures, and philosophies of African peoples. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of The University of North Carolina Greensboro, where she received her B.A. in African American and African Diaspora Studies and her M.A. with a focus on Global Studies, Tiera has served in multiple roles at UNC Greensboro including Coordinator of Programing in Lloyd International Honors College at UNC Greensboro,  Lecturer of the AADS Program’s introductory course, and co-director of Community Play!/All Stars in the Warnersville neighborhood of Greensboro. She has conducted graduate-level research in her family’s homeland Onitsha, Nigeria and The University of Cape Town, South Africa, which led to her 2019 TEDxUNCGreensboro Talk “Higgler is the New Hustle: Lessons from Igbo Women Entrepreneurs.” Currently Tiera works in consulting and strategy development for companies entering new African markets and lives in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico where she enjoys frequently traveling and visiting historical sites of the world.


Nique Williams, Esq.

Nique Williams

Nique double-majored in African American & African Diaspora Studies and Political Science at UNC Greensboro and was one of the first AADS Whitty Ransome scholarship recipients. She interned with the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, North Carolina State Senator Gladys Robinson’s office, and Legal Affairs of North Carolina while pursuing her law degree. She received her J.D. from North Carolina Central Law School and worked in Washington, D.C. with the VA Board of Veteran’s Appeals and later returned to graduate school and received an M.A. from Shaw University. Her area of law is in veteran’s affairs, representing veterans and their families for disability compensation before the VA.


Tanae Downing

Tanae Downing

Born in Charlotte, North Carolina, Tanae double-majored in African American & African Diaspora Studies and Media Studies at UNC Greensboro, specializing in electronic news documentary. She was one of the stars of the film The War Room, in which she performed the role of Veronica Drake. She also appeared in Running in Place and Box Brown, among other productions. In addition to her acting career, she is a certified health coach and yoga instructor.