Keynote Speakers

Dr. Theodora Pinnock

Dr. Theodora Pinnock

Dr. Pinnock brought her background and experience in the medical, academic and entrepreneurial areas to head up the Maternal and Child Health Section of the Tennessee Department of Health. Under her leadership there were expanded home visiting services.  In addition, transitional services were added to the program for children with special health care needs.  She provided statewide training on the importance of developmental screening and practical application of standardized developmental tools.  While at the state, she completed a post doctoral certificate in Public Health Leadership from East Tennessee State University.


Dr. Pinnock practiced privately as a developmental and behavioral pediatrician at Metro Center Health Care Group in Nashville, then she joined the faculty as Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Meharry Medical College.  As Meharry faculty, she teaches medical students and residents, conducts research and practices developmental and behavioral pediatrics. In addition she teaches and consults with the Tennessee Supreme Court’s Administrative Office training judicial staff, Department of Children Services' staff, guardian ad litems and foster care review boards across the state on issues such as normal development, child development impacted by foster care, adolescent development, behavioral problems and developmental disabilities.  Also, she teaches and consults with Head Start teachers and parents on developmental disabilities, promoting positive social emotional development and behavioral problems. The Conference on African American Children and Families welcomes Dr. Pinnock back because of her great understanding of the needs of children and families!

Corey Roberto Lanair Holmes

Corey Roberto Lanair Holmes

Corey Roberto Lanair  Holmes is a Waterloo native but currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia. He was licensed and ordained by the Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church Waterloo, Iowa when he was called into the ministry. He has served in leadership roles as a pastor in Decatur, Georgia.. He attended the Malcolm Price Laboratory School and   He graduated from Northern University High School, Cedar Falls, Iowa. He matriculated to Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta Georgia, with recognition for being on the Dean’s list, thus graduating with Cum Laude academic honors.

  While at Clark University, he became a member of Omega Psi Phi fraternity, Beta Psi chapter where he served as Chaplain and Dean of Pledgees.

He is currently continuing his educational experiences in counseling at Clark Atlanta University. He is a great motivational speaker and is very experienced in many arenas. He has a wealth of knowledge on the issues related to the needs of Black children and families having served  in Law Enforcement for the past seven years in Atlanta, Georgia.

He has also been recognized for his leadership in service to the people from

a pastoral and community perspective in State of Georgia.

“NOW THEREFORE, I Patricia Garrett, Mayor of the City of Decatur, the “City of Homes, Schools and Places of Worship, do hereby declare Sunday, July 28, 2019 as Reverend Corey Holmes Day and commend its observance to all of the citizens of the City of Decatur in appropriate fashion.”

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the many contributions you have made in our community.” (The Honorable) John Lewis, Member of Congress, State of Georgia

“ You are a model of the dedication and sacrifice which strengthens our state and brings better lives to our families and I wish you all the best.” Brad Raffensperger, Secretary of State

“You have influenced the lives of many through your witness, demonstrating both character and compassion. I am confident that the same enthusiasm and dedication that have characterized your ministry thus far will continue to mark your future service.”

Governor Brian P. Kemp

“…on behalf of the more than 700,000 citizens who call DeKalb County home, I am delighted to celebrate your faithful leadership…”

Michael L. Thurmond, Chief Executive Officer

 The Conference on African American Children and Families welcomes Corey Holmes back home at the University of Northern Iowa and the State of Iowa!

Dr. Louis Hilton

Dr. Louis R. Hilton III, former Professor of History of African-American Education served as the Director of Education for Liberation a Community Initiative Program designed to promote cultural awareness, diversity and inclusion. Currently Dr. Hilton is an Educational Consultant. His mission is to provide academic services that promote high-quality learning and academic achievement for students from kindergarten to college, in order to transform education into a personal, vitalizing and empowering force. He has mentored and provided academic support for students of diverse backgrounds. Dr. Hilton's research interest focuses on using autobiography to study the cultural foundations of African-American education.

Dr. Hilton earned his Bachelor of Science in Psychology, his Masters of Education in Educational Policy Studies, and his Doctorate of Education in Educational Policy Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He and his wife (Tayra) have two children (Louis IV and Gabriela). Dr. Hilton believes that education has the power to transform the lives of individuals and through this process transform society. His motto is "As Always: Educate-Liberate-Empower!"

Chassidi Martin

Abraham Funchess Jr.

Rev. Abraham L. Funchess, Jr., is the oldest son of Abraham and Bernice Funchess of St. Matthews, South Carolina.  Recipient of many awards and recognitions, Funchess is most proud of receiving the W.E.B DuBois Award for Scholarship and Activism from Hampton University in Virginia and the Bishop James S. Thomas Leadership Award from former Bishop Julius C. Trimble of the Iowa Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.  Funchess is currently pastor of Jubilee UMC and executive director at Waterloo Commission on Human Rights.

Educational Disparities, Achievement and Your Ideas Town Hall Meeting with Dr. Kingsley Bothway, Waterloo Community School District

Dr. Kingsley BothwayDr. Kingsley Botchway

Kingsley Botchway II is the Chief Officer of Human Resources and Equity for the Waterloo Community School District. He was hired into his current position in July 2018. Previously, he was the Director of Equity and Staffing for the Iowa City Community School District. His current role encompasses leading, directing and managing personnel, state and federal law compliance, reviewing disaggregated data, and pursuing initiatives to reduce disproportionality within the District. Botchway has given a number of keynote addresses at conferences throughout the state of Iowa. Botchway holds a bachelor’s degree in criminology from the University of South Carolina, and a professional doctorate in law from the University of Iowa. Botchway has received additional training and certifications from Harvard, Iowa State, Iowa, and Indiana Universities. Through his work in the community he has served on many boards and commissions while in Iowa, including five years on the Iowa City Council and two years as Mayor Pro Tem. On Iowa City Council, he was a staunch advocate in addressing affordable housing, creating economic development for communities of color, and introducing race conscious approaches to Iowa City policies, procedures, and protocols.

Black Girls- A Specialized Panel- Led by Dr. Tiffany Flowers

Dr. Tiffany Flowers

Dr. Tiffany FlowersDr. Tiffany Flowers is a children’s author, literacy advocate, and an assistant professor of education in the department of cultural and behavioral science at Georgia State University Perimeter College. She was awarded the Early Career Educator of Color Leadership Award from the National Council of the Teachers of English and currently serves as a reviewer for the American Library Association Booklist. Dr. Flowers joins us this year as a Task Force member for the 9th Annual Conference on African American Children and Families and the African American Read-in.

Her academic work can be found in many professional journals. She is a children’s author and titles include: 

For Those Who Stare at the Moon, Patterns are Everywhere: An Upside Down Pattern Book, The Rooftop Club Book Series, 

The Guardians of History Book Series and Nandi: Time Traveler.

She has led many projects such as The Buddy Reading, Kindergarten Readiness, Kindergarten Multi-ethnic Literature and Tolerance  Projects.

You can follow her work on the following social networking sites:

Faculty Blog: 


Author Blog:


Jamie Butler ChidozieJamie Butler Chidozie

Director; Diversity, Inclusion & Social Justice UNI




Sashay CarrollSashay Carroll

University of Northern Iowa

Department of Residence | Resident Assistant

 Job Foundation | Communication Intern 

Campus Compact | Newman Civic Fellow

Joy BriscoeJoy Briscoe

Diversity Program Recruiter

Cedar Rapids Community School District



Sherrie JonesSherrie Jones

First Lady, Saviour Missionary Baptist Church

Executive, John Deere



Dr. Valerie NybergDr. Valerie Nyberg 

Cedar Rapids Washington High School

School Administrators of Iowa, 2019 Assistant Secondary Principal of the Year!



Mental Health Panelists

Keyah LevyKeyah Levy- Moderator

Associate Director for Multicultural Education Services

Division of Student Affairs

University of Northern Iowa



Juana HollingsworthJuana Hollingsworth, M.S.W

Assistant Director of Diversity Recruitment 

Office of Admissions | University of Northern Iowa



Chatara MabryChatara Mabry

 Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) in the state of Iowa,

Instructor Hawkeye Community College, Waterloo




Shantila CastonShantila Caston- LMSW

Mental Health Therapist/ Diversity Outreach Specialist

Counseling Center | University of Northern Iowa





Conference Community Advocate

Robert Bob TysonRobert Tyson

Retired School Principal



The College Experience Panel

Charles CalhounCharles Calhoun

UNI Graphic Design, Humanities, Arts & Science Major