Board Members

Edward L. Powe, Ph.D.

JavaScript tools Born in Paterson, New Jersey in 1941, Dr. Edward Powe speaks Spanish, Portuguese, French, Arabic, Hausa, Kiswahili and Indonesian. He has also studied Malagasy, Zulu, Yoruba, Quechua, Kiche, Latin, German, Tagalog, and Tamil for research purposes. Dr. Powe has a PhD in African Languages & Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, an M.A. in Linguistics (with a minor in Arabic) from Indiana University – Bloomington, and a B.A. (with distinction) in Spanish (with a minor in Portuguese) from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. He was a former Fulbright Scholar in Brazil (1967-68), Ford Foundation Fellow in Colombia, and a Center for Arabic Studies Abroad (C.A.S.A.) fellow in Egypt (1970-71). Before retiring, he held various administrative and teaching appointments in the US and overseas. He has traveled extensively in Africa, Asia, Oceania, and Latin America and has been engaged in full time research and writing since 1992. He has self-published over 109 titles to date including 28 graphic novels. See his website at for further details.

Reginald L. Powe

JavaScript tools CEO and Founder of CCI (Curriculum Concepts International), Reggie Powe oversees the implementation of the company’s contracts with the nation’s largest and most influential educational publishers. Powe also founded Metropolitan Teacher and Learning, a publishing company dedicated to improving the performances of urban students of all ages.

With famed author, Alex Haley, Mr. Powe created a series of 26 nonfiction chapter books titled Stories of America. This series features both the well known and seldom-told stories of our nation’s history, and celebrates the high points without shying away from the low points.

In partnership with Columbia University, Mr. Powe researched the history of Americans in New York, both the city and the state, and produced multi-media program titled Mapping the African American Experience in New York. This program includes unique texts, photographs, and maps the chronicle the unique history from 1626 to the present day.

Mr. Powe has travelled extensively in Africa, the Middle East, South America, Europe, and the Caribbean, and has created more than twenty cultural videos for the education market.

Reggie Powe is a graduate of Villanova University and a Marine Corps officer. He lives in New York City.

James William Frost, Ph.D.

JavaScript tools Born in Harlem and raised in New York City. Dr. Frost received a BS in physics and mathematics from the City College of New York, City University of New York (CUNY), and a MS and Ph.D. in experimental physics from New York University. He spent four years living and teaching physics at Bayero University in Kano Nigeria. He now teaches physics and astronomy at LaGuardia Community College, CUNY. Since 1994, he has worked at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies at Columbia University, pursuing radiative light studies of the planetary atmospheres of Jupiter and the earth. Dr. Frost also has interests in studying the cultures of Nigeria, Senegal, Cuba, and Black African Americans.

C. Daniel Dawson

JavaScript tools A multi-talented artist, Prof. Dawson has worked as a photographer, filmmaker, curator, arts administrator, consultant and scholar. He has served as Curator of Photography, Film and Video at the Studio Museum in Harlem (NYC), Director of Special Projects at the Caribbean Cultural Center (NYC), Program Manager at the American Museum of Natural History and Curatorial Consultant and Director of Education at the Museum for African Art (NYC). As a photographer, he has shown in over 40 exhibitions. In addition he has curated more than 70 exhibitions including Harlem Heyday: The Photographs of James Van Der Zee and The Sound I Saw: The Jazz Photographs of Roy DeCarava and is currently a curator with the Jazz at Lincoln Center’s curatorial team. Prof. Dawson has also been associated with many prize- winning films including Head and Heart by James Mannas and Capoeiras of Brazil by Warrington Hudlin. He has worked as a consultant for the Cooper Hewitt Museum, International Center for Photography, Lincoln Center, Ralph Appelbaum Associates and three different divisions of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. As a scholar, he has lectured at the House of World Cultures-Berlin, the Kit Tropenmuseum-Amsterdam, the University of California-Berkeley, University of Texas-Austin, University of Wisconsin-Madison, New School for Social Research, Stanford University, Columbia University, Princeton University and the Federal University of Bahia and Rio de Janeiro-Brazil. Prof. Dawson has also taught seminars on African Spirituality in the Americas at Columbia University, University of Iowa, New York University and Yale University. He is a currently a curatorial consultant for La Casita, a division of Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors specializing in presenting international oral traditions, and an exhibition curatorial consultant for Jazz at Lincoln Center. Prof. Dawson is presently teaching in the Institute for Research in African American Studies at Columbia University and in the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University. Click to view full Biography.

Andrea Newton

Andrea L. Newton is a homeowner and lifelong resident of Paterson, NJ.  A social service professional and mentor to at-risk youth and young adults, Andrea is committed to affecting positive changes and empowering those in her community through music, arts, and culture.  She graduated from Lacordaire Academy and went on to earn her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology/Criminology from Montclair State University.  After graduation, her passion for music remained which led her to open a recording studio and start an Indie label, Gillateam Entertainment, where she worked with developing unsigned artists, along with her own projects.  Andrea is currently a Program Monitor at the Passaic County One-Stop Career Center/Workforce Development and is completing a Master’s Degree in Family and Child Studies at Montclair State University.

Taking a back seat to the music industry to focus on business, neighborhood revival and real estate projects, Andrea is a founding member of Endless Ventures Enterprise, an LLC focused on funding and supporting minority small businesses and entrepreneurs through partnerships, community engagement events, and activities.  She serves as co-chair of the Sustainability & Outreach committee of the Paterson Coalition against Substance Abuse (P-CASA) and serves on the Board of Directors of the BLAC Foundation (Black Languages Arts & Culture), a 501 (c) 3 dedicated to creating a greater awareness of and appreciation for the history and culture of Black people around the world.  Andrea is also the Vice President of Alliance for Sustainable Communities (ASC), a 501 (c) 4 committed to creating strong sustainable communities revitalized through local business development and political engagement.

In response to the needs of her community, Andrea founded Building Lives and Communities in 2015, a 501 (c) 3 centered in Afrocentric frameworks and programming that create and foster love, care, and concern for children and families of color. She is a member of the NAACP Paterson Chapter and was inducted into Omicron Beta Theta of Kappa Omicron Nu, National Honor Society in 2014.  Andrea is also recognized as a Lifetime Member of the Worldwide Who’s Who Registry of Executives, Professionals, and Entrepreneurs in the 2014-2015 Edition.

Joshua Powe

JavaScript tools Serves as CEO and Co-Founder of LinkIt!. In addition to more than 10 years of experience in educational publishing and technology, Powe has spearheaded a number of successful entrepreneurial endeavors including STAR POWER, a New-York based brand consultancy that was recognized as a company to watch in 2001 by Fortune Small Business Magazine, and The DEN, one of Harlem’s trendiest dining and nightlife destinations. Prior to joining LinkIt!, Powe served as VP of Sales & Marketing for Metropolitan Teaching and Learning, where he managed the development of major custom publishing initiatives for Florida, Chicago Public Schools, and the New York-based tutorial company, Platform Learning. Mr. Powe graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1998 with a degree in the History of Science and is pleased to serve on the BLAC Foundation’s Board of Directors.

Derek L. Newton

BA Cheyney University (in Business/Hotel Management).

Henry John Drewal

JavaScript tools Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Henry John Drewal received his BA from Hamilton College. After graduation he taught French and English and organized arts camps in Nigeria. During two years in Nigeria he apprenticed himself to a Yoruba sculptor – a transformative experience. He went on to interdisciplinary studies at Columbia University in African art history and culture, receiving two Masters’ degrees and a PhD. He has has taught at Cleveland State University, UC-Santa Barbara, and SUNYPurchase, and served as Curator of African Art at The Cleveland Museum of Art and the Neuberger Museum. Since 1991 he has been the Evjue-Bascom Professor of Art History and Afro-American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Adjunct Curator of African Art at the Chazen Museum of Art, UW-Madison. He has published several books and edited volumes and many articles on African/African Diaspora arts and curated several major exhibitions, among them: Introspectives: Contemporary Art by Americans and Brazilians of African Descent; Yoruba: Nine Centuries of African Art and thought; Beads, Body, and Soul: Art and Light in the Yoruba Universe; Mami Wata: Arts for Water Spirits in Africa and Its Diasporas, Dynasty and Divinity: Ife Art in Ancient Nigeria. Among his numerous awards are several NEH grants, two Fulbright Research Awards (Brazil and Benin), a Metropolitan Museum of Art Fellowship, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

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