We salute the men listed in our annual list of INFLUENITAL BROTHA’S not only for the exceptional in work in their related fields but also for their commitment to uplifting of our people and community.
Justin Pearson – State Representative, Tennessee
Justin Jamal Pearson is an American activist and politician. He is a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives representing the 86th district, covering parts of the city of Memphis. He was elected in a January 2023 special election to succeed Barbara Cooper, who was posthumously re-elected in the November 2022 Tennessee House of Representatives election after dying in October 2022. When he was sworn into office at the age of 28, Pearson became the second youngest lawmaker serving in the Tennessee House of Representatives.
He and fellow state representative Justin Jones were expelled on April 6, 2023, for participating in a gun control protest inside the House chamber which violated decorum rules. He was reappointed by a unanimous vote of the members present at the Shelby County Board of Commissioners on April 12, 2023.
Michael Mallery, Ph.D. – Educator, District Admin for SEL – Connecticut
PK-12 Systems Leader | Social Emotional Learning and Diversity and Inclusion Champion | Expert in SEL and Culturally and Sustaining Pedagogies
Dr. Michael Mallery is a transformative leader and educational influencer with over 14 years of experience working across the country with educational systems at the secondary and post-secondary levels. Before being recruited to PK-12, Dr. Mallery co-led the diversity efforts within the UConn School of Business, while teaching undergraduate courses in the Neag School of Education. Dr. Mallery provides leadership, planning, and direction in diversity recruitment, training, and student retention initiatives to key organizational stakeholders, leadership teams, and senior-level executives. He possesses strong technical skills in a variety of formats; Microsoft Office, online Learning Management Systems (LMS), Blackboard, Canvas, and digital social media platforms.
Curtis Durham – Principal, Brownsville Ascend Middle School
Curtis Durham serves as Principal of Brownsville Ascend Middle School and Brooklyn Ascend High School. Most recently, Durham was the Principal of The SEED School of Washington, D.C. He has over 13 years of experience as a school leader at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, which includes turnaround work. Durham is a strategic and collaborative leader who accelerates academic results in historically challenged schools. He has worked diligently to establish short-cycle assessments for core content subjects and school-wide Positive Behavior Intervention Systems and Supports. Durham has received honors such as Beta Kappa Chi Science Honor Society, UMBC Meyerhoff Graduate Fellowship, U.S E.P.A Fellowship, UMBC STEM Teacher Fellowship, and New Leaders for New School Principal Training Internship.
Durham holds a bachelor’s in Chemistry from Lincoln University, PA, and master’s in Teaching from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Currently, he is pursuing his Doctorate in Education in Science Education at Morgan State University.
Glyne A. Griffith II – VP of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, & Social Impact @ Dallas Symphony Orchestra
With a Doctor of Business Administration degree with a specialization in Organizational Leadership and an impressive track record in diversity, equity, and inclusion, Glyne A. Griffith II is Vice President of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Impact at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO). He is leading the charge in transforming the organization into a more inclusive and socially responsible institution.
Griffith is a Certified Diversity Professional (CDP) with extensive experience in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Social Impact Partnerships. He’s also a cultural influencer with a deep passion for promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, corporate citizenship, and social impact.
What sets Griffith apart is his diverse background in business, the arts, and technology. With experience spanning multiple industries, including arts and entertainment, philanthropy, music business, advertising, product planning, marketing, engineering, and connected technologies, he brings a unique perspective to the table.
Griffith’s mission at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra is to create a more inclusive environment where everyone feels welcome and valued. He’s already made significant strides in achieving this goal, launching new initiatives at the DSO that promote equity, diversity, inclusion, and social impact, including employee resource groups, a comprehensive approach to celebrating diversity holidays, and a speaker series just to name a few.
Justin Jones – State Representative, Tennessee
Justin Jones is an active member of the Tennessee House of Representatives, representing District 52. He assumed office on April 12, 2023.
Jones ran for to the Tennessee House of Representatives to represent District 52. He won the general election on November 8, 2022.
On April 6, 2023, the Tennessee House of Representatives voted 72- 25 on House Resolution 65 to expel Jones. On April 10, 2023, the Metropolitan Nashville Council voted 36 to 0 to reinstate Jones. Born in Oakland, California, Jones earned a B.A. in political science from Fisk University. His career experience includes working as an activist and a fellow for the John Lewis Center for Social Justice. Jones served on the board of directors of the Tennessee Healthcare Campaign.