Highlights from the 9th Annual Lift Every Voice Lecture Series 2019


Fourteenth Annual Lift Every Voice Lecture Series 2024

The Lift Every Voice Lecture Series is designed to raise critical issues that affect society and to offer solutions. During the series we will also highlight the contributions of African Americans, showcase talent and engage in constructive dialogue that will serve as a catalyst for positive action. Here is a look at last year’s series:




TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2024, 6:30 PM

domingoDomingo Guytonis an Adjunct Professor at Springfield College-Boston Campus and Worcester State University, Guyton is well rounded in African American History and how relates to the current hip hop generation. Earlier years of Guyton’s life were documented in two books, Jackie Waldman’s Teens With The Courage To Give, which aired on Oprah in May 2000 and Barbara Metzler’s Passionaries. The producer of over 200 songs, his music has appeared in several TV shows and movies, including MTV & Paramount Pictures’ Spring Break Lawyer, CBS’s 90210, NBC’s Just Deal and ABC’s Lincoln Heights. For six years he was the drummer for Grammy® award winning group Tavares. The producer and director of three award winning films: Lest We Forget: The Black Holocaust, My Slave Sister Myself and YTF, which won five awards since 2013.




THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2024, 6:30 PM

Linda Sarsour was born in 1980 in Brooklyn, New York, the eldest of seven children of Palestinian immigrants. Her father owned a small market in the Crown Heights neighborhood—he called it Linda’s. She entered an arranged marriage at age 17 and had three children by the time she was in her mid-20s. But motherhood did not prevent her foray into activism. Following the attacks of September 11, 2001, she spoke out fiercely for the civil rights of American Muslims.


This devotion continues. Sarsour is the co-founder and executive director of MPOWER Change, the first Muslim online organizing platform. And she served for nearly 16 years as executive director of the Arab American Association of New York. Through these organizations, she has been at the forefront of major civil rights campaigns, including the call for an end to unwarranted surveillance of New York’s Muslim communities. In the wake of the 2014 police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown, she co-founded Muslims for Ferguson to build solidarity among American Muslims and to work against police brutality.


Sarsour co-chaired the 2015 March2Justice—a 250-mile journey on foot, from New York City to Washington, D.C., to deliver a “justice package” to end racial profiling, demilitarize police, and demand the government invest in young people and communities. And in 2017, Sarsour co-chaired the Women’s March on Washington, the largest single-day protest in U.S. history. The march brought together millions of Americans to rally for change and equality for all. According to The New York Times, Sarsour “has tackled issues like immigration policy, mass incarceration, stop-and-frisk and the New York City Police Department’s spying operations on Muslims—all of which have largely inured her to hate-tinged criticism.”


Sarsour is the author of “We Are Not Here to Be Bystanders: A Memoir of Love and Resistance,” published in March 2020. She was recognized as one of Fortune’s 50 Greatest Leaders and featured among Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world in 2017.


Linda is outspoken, ambitious, and independent. She continues to shatter long-held stereotypes of Muslim women while cherishing her religious and ethnic heritage and while building coalitions across communities.



THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2024, 6:30 PM


Rev. Shavon Arline Bradley who is also an ordained minister, brings 21 years of experience in healthcare, equity diversity & inclusion (EDI), government affairs, and executive leadership. She is the founding principal and CEO of R.E.A.C.H. Beyond Solutions, a public health, advocacy, and executive leadership firm promoting EDI, political and organizational strategy, risk management, government affairs, and technical assistance. Under her leadership, the firm’s gross profit grew exponentially in 5 years by broadening its client base to include federal government, foundation, corporate, non-profit, and political candidate entities in the United States and the Netherlands.


Prior to starting her firm, she served as senior advisor and director of external engagement during the Obama Administration in the Department of Health &Human Services for the 19th U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Vice Admiral Vivek H. Murthy, where she worked with congressional and global leaders to advance the administration’s public health agenda of building bi-partisan policies and solidifying public-private partnership opportunities to advance domestic and global health.

Before her tenure in the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General, at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) headquarters, Rev. Arline-Bradley served as the executive vice president of strategic planning & partnerships, as well as former chief of staff, where she managed over $30million portfolio, and senior director of health programs for 2,200 chapters and over 500,000 members.

Because of her passion for advancing EDI and improving the health and social outcomes of the most vulnerable, Rev. Arline-Bradley co-founded The Health Equity Cypher Group, a collective of health leaders advancing EDI and executive leadership in all sectors.

She is a community advocate serving as president & chairman of Delta for Women in Action, a 501(c)4 organization, the vice-chair of the NAACP Board of Directors Health Committee, and the immediate past co-chair of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., National Social Action Commission. Rev. Arline-Bradley also serves as an advisory member of the Oprah Winfrey Network initiative “OWN Your Health.” In addition, she is an active member of the American Public Health Association, the Links, Inc., and Jack & Jill of America, Inc.

A southern New Jersey native, she earned her bachelor’s and master’s in public health from Tulane University. She also graduated from the Samuel Dewitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University with a Master of Divinity, where she too became an ordained minister. Rev. Arline-Bradley completed an Executive Certificate of Business Management from Howard University and an Executive Certificate in Diversity & Inclusion from Cornell University.

NCNW is an “organization of organizations,” comprised of 330 campus and community-based sections and 32 national women’s organizations that enlightens, inspires, and connects more than 2,000,000 women and men. Its mission is to lead, advocate for, and empower women of African descent, their families and communities. It was founded in 1935 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, an influential educator and activist, and for more than fifty years, the iconic Dr. Dorothy Height was president of NCNW.

Today, the NCNW programs are grounded on a foundation of critical concerns known as “Four for the Future.” It promotes education with a special focus on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEAM); encourages entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and economic stability; educates women about good health and HIV/AIDS and promotes civic engagement and advocates for sound public policy, and social justice.




THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 29, 2024, 6:30 PM

Rev. Michael McBride is a native of San Francisco and has been active in ministry for over 20 years. A graduate of Duke University’s Divinity School, with a Master of Divinity with an emphasis in Ethics and Public Policy, Pastor McBride founded The Way Christian Center in Berkeley, where he serves as the Pastor. In March 2012, he became the Director for the LIVE FREE USA, a campaign led by faith congregations throughout the United States committed to addressing gun violence and mass incarceration of young people of color. His work has contributed in 50% reductions of gun related homicides in Oakland and many other cities across the country. Regarded as a national faith leader, active in the Ferguson uprisings and many subsequent uprisings, he helps bridge, train and support millennials and religious institutions working on racial justice and black liberation. Pastor McBride has served on a number of local and national task forces with the White House and Department of Justice regarding gun violence prevention, boys and men of color and police-community relationships. In 2016 he was appointed as an Advisor on President Obama’s Faith Based Advisory Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

Series Host

tswanBishop Talbert W. Swan, II is the pastor of the Spring of Hope Church Of God In Christ, Assistant General Secretary for the International Church Of God In Christ, National Chaplain of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc., Executive Director of COGIC Family Services, an author, radio talk show host, newspaper columnist, and long-time community activist. He is the president of the Greater Springfield NAACP, Chairman of the Board of Dunbar Family & Community Center and sits on various other boards and committees. Bishop Swan has been at the forefront of civil rights issues throughout the region and the nation for over two decades. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Western New England College, an Associate of Science and Bachelor of Science in Religious Studies from Charter Oak State College, a Master of Arts in Theology from Hartford Seminary, a Master of Divinity from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary and Graduate Certificates from Hartford Seminary and Harvard Divinity School. Bishop Swan’s life’s work has been committed to the mission of ensuring the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and eliminating race-based discrimination.