=>>>>Meeting will be held at the Oklahoma Hall of Fame Gaylord Pickens Museum – 1400 Classen Dr.
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Quraysh Ali Lansana is author of twenty books in poetry, nonfiction and children’s literature. Lansana is currently a Tulsa Artist Fellow and serves as Acting Director of the Center for Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation at Oklahoma State University-Tulsa, where he is also Writer in Residence for the Center for Poets & Writers and Adjunct Professor in Africana Studies and English. Lansana is Creator and Executive Producer of KOSU/NPR’s Focus: Black Oklahoma monthly radio program. A former faculty member of both the Writing Program of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Drama Division of The Juilliard School, Lansana served as Director of the Gwendolyn Brooks Center or Black Literature and Creative Writing at Chicago State University from 2002-2012, and was Associate Professor of English/Creative Writing there until 2014. His work Our Difficult Sunlight: A Guide to Poetry, Literacy & Social Justice in Classroom & Community was published in March 2011 by the Teachers & Writers Collaborative and was a 2012 NAACP Image Award nominee. His most recent books include the skin of dreams: new and collected poems, 1995-2018, The Whiskey of Our Discontent: Gwendolyn Brooks as Conscience & Change Agent (Haymarket Books, 2017) and The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip Hop (Haymarket Books, 2015). Lansana’s work appears in Best American Poetry 2019, and and his forthcoming titles include Those Who Stayed: Life in 1921 Tulsa After the Massacre and Opal’s Greenwood Oasis. He is a founding member of Tri-City Collective.
Through her educational, community, and organizational experience, Dr. Mautra Staley Jones is known as one of Oklahoma’s youngest thought leaders. She advances and elevates each institution she touches.
Dr. Jones currently serves as Vice President for Institutional Advancement and External Affairs at historic Langston University. She leads the University’s Oklahoma City campus as site administrator and is also executive director of the Langston University Foundation.
Married to United States District Judge Bernard M. Jones II, with three children—Bernard III (“BJ”), Kennedy, and Brendan—Mautra holds a BA in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma, an MBA from the University of Phoenix at San Diego, and a Doctor of Education from Vanderbilt University.
She has been appointed by Governors Kevin Stitt and Mary Fallin as a board director for the Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs, a commissioner for the Oklahoma Merit Protection Commission, and as a member of the Oklahoma Standards Steering Committee. Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt appointed her to the Civic Center Foundation board of directors. She also serves as a board director for the Oklahoma Hall of Fame and StitchCrew.
Dr. Jones has held numerous offices with philanthropic and civic groups, earning multiple accolades within a broad assortment of agencies. American Mothers, Inc. recently named her 2021 National Mother of the Year and 2021 Oklahoma Mother of the Year. The Journal Record honored her as the 2020 Woman of the Year, named her as one of Fifty Women Making a Difference in the state of Oklahoma and inducted her into its distinguished Circle of Excellence. She is also the recipient of the 2020 Oklahoma Universal Human Rights Award, the 2020 HBCU Philanthropy Advancement Leader Award and was named 2018 Woman of the Year at the Women of Color Expo presented by Perry Publishing and Broadcasting.
Dr. Jones has been recognized as an Achiever Under 40 by The Journal Record, OKC Biz and Oklahoma Magazine. She has served as a board director for Rotary Club 29, the Oklahoma County Bar Auxiliary, Rebuilding Together, Black Liberated Arts Center, Inc., STORM Inc., and Metro Technology Centers Foundation. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., board of advisors for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce; a Salt and Light Leadership Fellow and a graduate of Leadership Oklahoma City, Class XXIX. Dr. Jones is a member of MSI Aspiring Leaders, a program developed by the Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions, which prepares the next generation of MSI presidents.