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Dee Robinson

Entrepreneur Dee Robinson was on born on January 21, 1961. She received her B.A. in economics from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and her M.B.A. degree in marketing and policy management from Northwestern University’s J. L. Kellogg School of Management in Evanston, Illinois in 1988. She also later completed the Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business Executive Education program in Hanover, New Hampshire.

Robinson worked in banking at Ameritrust and Northern Trust as a commercial loan officer, and served as associate product director for Johnson and Johnson Consumer Products Company, facilitating successful new product national launch campaigns. In 1989, she served as assistant account executive at the Leo Burnett Company managing accounts and strategies for new product introductions.

In 1993, Robinson founded Unity Square merchandisingd ethnic-inspired products through a strategic retail partnership with Sears. As chief executive officer, she also established RobinsonHill, Inc., a concessions management firm specializing in U.S. airports and other non-traditional locations. In 1998, she secured a Unity Square license and catalog deal with Sears, and purchased a Ben and Jerry’s Super Premium Ice Cream and Yogurt franchise. In 2001, Robinson opened Unity Square at Sears on State Street, the Ben & Jerry’s shop at Midway Airport, and the first tourist location Ben & Jerry’s at Chicago’s Navy Pier, in 2003. Robinson entered into a joint venture in 2006 with Hudson News at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, and OTG Management in 2007 with Cibo Wine & Bistro, Cibo Markets and Jet Rock Sports Bar at Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C. along with Cibo Markets at Chicago O’Hare International in 2008. Robinson’s RobinsonHill began Hudson News store operations, and opened Cheeburger Cheeburger at Cleveland Hopkins Airport in 2009. She later launched UFood Grill, a second restaurant at Cleveland Hopkins Airport in 2010. Dee Robinson led the Areas USA-RobinsonHill team and secured exclusive rights to develop O’Hare Airport’s Food & Beverage Terminal 5 concessions program in 2011. In 2012, the RobinsonHill Group acquired the first Pinkberry frozen dessert restaurant franchise; won the bid to operate Garrett’s Popcorn Shop at Midway Airport, and launched Potbelly Sandwich Shop at Boston Logan International Airport. In 2013, Robinson’s RobinsonHill Group celebrated twenty years in the retail and restaurant business.

Robinson has served as board director for Wintrust Bank, the Illinois Gaming Board; Meridian Healthcare Advisory Board, and Committee for Amazon HQ2.

Robinson has received numerous awards and recognitions including, Kellogg Graduate School of Business BMA Entrepreneur of the Year Alumni Award, Women’s Leadership Exchange Compass Award, Chicago Defender Woman of Excellence Award, Top 100 under 50 Executive Leaders Award, Black MBA Magazine’s Entrepreneur of the Year, Ben & Jerry ’s Award of Excellence, and Airport Revenue News Best of Award Nominations for Small Retailer and Food & Beverage Operator with Highest Regard for Customer Service, Best Small News & Gift Operator, Best Food & Beverage Brand Operator for UFood Grill, and Best Overall Small Food & Beverage Operator.

Dee Robinson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 3, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.090

Sex

Female

Interview Date

5/3/2018

Last Name

Robinson

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Dee

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

ROB36

Favorite Season

Late Spring, Summer

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Beach

Favorite Quote

Leave A Place Or People Better Than You Found Them.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

1/21/1961

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Favorite Food

Black Eyed Peas

Short Description

Entrepreneur Dee Robinson was (1961- ) founded Unity Square, and initiated a strategic retail partnership; and later. founded RobinsonHill, Inc., a concessions management firm specializing in airports and other non-traditional locations across the U.S.

Favorite Color

Orange

Nora Brooks Blakely

Artistic director and playwright Nora Brooks Blakely was born on September 8, 1951 in Chicago, Illinois to Henry Lowington Blakely, Jr. and Gwendolyn Brooks, the first African American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize in poetry. Blakely graduated from Chicago’s Hirsch High School in 1969, and received her B.A. degree in education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1972. She then earned her M.A. degree in interdisciplinary arts from Loyola University.

Blakely taught at Copernicus Elementary School in the Chicago Public Schools system from 1972 to 1980. She also performed as a dancer with the Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago in 1977. In 1979, Blakely founded Anchor, an arts organization for children and the precursor to the Chocolate Chips Theatre Company, which Blakely founded in 1982 on the south side of Chicago. In 1987, the Chocolate Chips Theatre Company began a residence at Kennedy-King College. As the company’s producing artistic director, Blakely worked closely with students of Chicago Public Schools and wrote original plays such as Brother Man, A Few of My Sisters, The Tiger Who Wore White Gloves, and A Day in Bronzeville: Black Life through the Eyes of Gwendolyn Brooks. Blakely later founded the Aurora Performance Group, a troupe dedicated to honoring Gwendolyn Brooks’ memory through the performance arts. After the death of her mother in 2000, Blakely founded Brooks Permission, a licensing firm for Gwendolyn Brooks’ literary works. Brooks Permissions later expanded to offer merchandise and programming related to the life and works of Gwendolyn Brooks. In 2014, Blakely donated Gwendolyn Brooks’ archives to the Rare Books and Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois. In 2017, Blakely served as an editor for a book about her mother called Seasons: A Gwendolyn Brooks Experience. She also served as an organizer for Gwendolyn Brooks’ International Birthday Party celebration in 2017, and participated in numerous celebrations of her mother’s 100th birthday.

Blakely served on the board of directors for the African American Arts Alliance of Chicago. She also served on the selection committee for the 2017 Gwendolyn Brooks Youth Poetry Awards given by Illinois Humanities organization.

Nora Brooks Blakely was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 1, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.089

Sex

Female

Interview Date

5/1/2018

Last Name

Blakely

Maker Category
Middle Name

Brooks

Organizations
First Name

Nora

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

BLA18

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Places She Has Never Been Before

Favorite Quote

Brick Walls Are There To Keep The People Out Who Don't Try Hard.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

9/8/1951

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Favorite Food

Chocolate

Short Description

Artistic director and playwright Nora Brooks Blakely (1951 - )

Favorite Color

Blue

Darrell Jackson

Business executive Darrell Jackson was born on April 6, 1958 in Chicago, Illinois to Carolyn and Erwin Jackson. Jackson graduated from Mendel Catholic High School in 1976, and went on to earn his B.A. degree in mass communication and media studies from Saint Xavier University in 1981. During college, Jackson worked in the mail room of South Shore Bank, which sparked his interest in banking. He later earned his M.B.A. degree from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management in 2000.

Jackson began his career at BMO Harris Bank in Chicago in 1981, where he completed their commercial banking training program. Jackson went on to become vice president of Harris Bank. In 1995, Jackson became the vice president of personal financial services for Illinois for Northern Trust Corporation. He was promoted to chief executive officer of the Northern Trust Company's Illinois West Suburban Region, and later served as senior vice president and head of the private banking division. In 2010, he was promoted to executive vice president and president of Northern Trust’s Wealth Management business in Illinois. Jackson worked at Northern Trust until 2014, when he was named president and chief executive officer of Seaway Bank and Trust Company, the third largest African American owned commercial bank in the country. During his fifteen month tenure there, Jackson restructured the bank’s balance sheets, increased its liquidity position, and improved its tier one leverage ratio to an acceptable regulatory level. In 2015, Jackson became the first African American chair of the Illinois Bankers Association.

He was on the board of directors of Seaway Bank and Trust Company in addition to being president and CEO, The Delaware Place Bank, The Morton Arboretum, the Illinois Bankers Association, the 100 Club of Chicago and the Kellogg Alumni Council of Northwestern University. Jackson became the first African American chairman of the board for the Illinois Bankers Association, The Morton Arboretum and the 100 Club of Chicago. He also served on the CEO advisory board of Visage International, and served on the boards of The Chicago Child Care Society, and the Children’s Inner City Educational Fund. Jackson was a member of the Illinois BancService Corp Board and Strategic Planning Committee. Jackson was voted one of the forty leaders of color by Chicago United in 2003; and was given the 2004 Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Award by the Boys and Girls Club of Chicago. In 2014, he received the Father John Phelps Humanitarian of the Year Award from Life Directions. Jackson is also a member of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity.

Jackson and his wife, Valencia Ray, have two children, Lindsay and Tyler.

Darrell Jackson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 6, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.066

Sex

Male

Interview Date

04/06/2018

Last Name

Jackson

Maker Category
Middle Name

B.

Schools

Holy Name of Mary School

Mendel Catholic Preparatory High School

Northwestern University

First Name

Darrell

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

JAC42

Favorite Season

Football season - Fall

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Barcelona - Madrid, Spain

Favorite Quote

As A Man Thinketh, So Is He.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

4/6/1958

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Bay Area/San Francisco

Favorite Food

Fish - Catfish

Short Description

Bank executive Darrell Jackson (1958 - ) was the president and chief executive officer of Seaway Bank and Trust Company, and the first African American chairperson of the Illinois Banker Association.

Employment

South Shore Bank

Harris Bank

Northern Trust Company

Seaway National Bank

Favorite Color

Purple

Terrence M. Franklin

Lawyer Terrence M. Franklin was born on September 29, 1963 in Chicago, Illinois. He graduated from Whitney M. Young Magnet High School in Chicago, and received his B.S. degree in 1984 from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. In 1989, Franklin graduated with a J.D. degree from Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Upon his graduation from law school, Franklin went to work in general litigation with the Los Angeles law firm of Morrison & Foerster. He then joined Ross, Sacks & Glazier, LLP, rising to partner, handling trust and estates and probate litigation, disputes and appeals. In 2001, he was a founding partner in Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise, LLP. Franklin was credited for successfully published appeals including the landmark Moeller case, Moeller v. Superior Court (Sanwa Bank) in 1997.

An active member of the trusts and estates legal community, he is chair of the Diversity and Inclusivity Committee of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), where he has worked to improve the membership of diverse and minority lawyers. He was instrumental in developing a diversity and inclusivity mission statement for ACTEC, and established a fellowship to support potential future fellows in the college. In addition, Franklin serves on the Board of Regents of ACTEC, the California Membership Committee, and the Fiduciary Litigation Committee. Franklin served as a member of the Diversity Committee of the American Bar Association (ABA) Real Property, Trust and Estate Section; Council Member and Supervisory Council Member for the Litigation, Ethics and Malpractice Group; Vice Chair of the Practice Group Management; and Chair of the Ethics and Malpractice Committee.

Franklin has been frequently called upon as a speaker to national, state and local estate planning, trust, and probate groups, such as ACTEC, ABA Real Property Trust and Estate Law Section, and the University of Southern California Gould School of Law Probate and Trust Conference, where he was also a long-standing Planning Committee member, and rose to conference chair.

Franklin was ranked by Chambers and Partners High Net Worth guide in the Private Wealth Law category for 2017. He has been named to the list of Southern California Super Lawyers every year since 2005, and included on the list of the Best Lawyers in America every year since 2011. Franklin was also named Best Lawyers "Lawyer of the Year" in 2016 for Trusts & Estates Litigation-Los Angeles. In 2014, Franklin discovered the will that freed his ancestors from slavery and his mission is to share that story.

Terrence M. Franklin was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 26, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.036

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/26/2018

Last Name

Franklin

Maker Category
Middle Name

M.

Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Terrence

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

FRA16

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Paris

Favorite Quote

What Things Can You Do On A Day To Day Basis To Bend The Arc Of History Towards Justice.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

9/29/1963

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Favorite Food

Pizza and Ethiopian

Short Description

Lawyer Terrence M. Franklin (1963- ) served as partner at Sacks Glazier Franklin & Lodise. He previously worked in trust and estate litigation for Morrison & Foerster before joining Ross, Sacks & Glazier, LLP as a partner handling trust and estates and probate litigation.

Favorite Color

Blue

Jessica "FM Supreme" Disu

Poet and community activist Jessica “FM Supreme” Disu was born on October 12, 1988 in Chicago, Illinois to Ida Breckenridge Alashe, a music producer, and Segun Disu. As a child, Disu took part in Kuumba Lynx Hip Hop Arts Program and Chicago Young Authors. She was a two time winner of CYA’s youth poetry slam competition, Louder Than A Bomb, and released her first album, The Diary of a Mad Black Woman Mixtape, in 2005 under the stage name FM Supreme. After graduating from the Chicago Academy of the Arts in 2006, Disu spent a semester at Marymount Manhattan College in New York City, but ultimately received her B.A. degree in international arts management from Columbia College Chicago in 2014.

Upon returning to Chicago in 2007, Disu founded Rez Publica Inc./CommonWealth Music Group, an independent record label. CommonWealth Music Group released several of FM Supreme’s records including The Beautiful Grind Mixtape in 2008, The Go State of Mind in 2010, and Beautiful Grind III in 2014. In 2012, Disu founded the Chicago International Youth Peace Movement, a program under the Holy Family Ministries that facilitated international peace exchange efforts in Chicago, England, and Asia. As the co-founder of The Peace Exchange: Chicago - Asia 2013, Disu led trips to Thailand, Myanmar, Nicaragua, South Africa, and India. Disu was also a founding member of the Black Youth Project 100, served on Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Commission for a Safer Chicago, and worked with the Open Society Foundation’s Campaign for Black Male Achievement. She also led workshops at Cook County Juvenile Detention Center, and was a creative writing teacher and HerStory Director at Josephinum Academy of the Sacred Heart in Chicago, which later moved to Bowen High School. In 2016, Disu gained public attention for her impassioned speech on Fox News’ Kelly File calling for the demilitarization of police in the United States. In 2018, Disu released a new music video called “Untitled, in the Beginning Black.” Disu has shared stages and performed at conferences with Chance the Rapper, Russell Simmons, Common, Nick Cannon, and Spike Lee. As the founder of the FM Supreme Company, Disu has also performed her rap and spoken word poetry internationally, and worked as a consultant to Fortune 500 Companies.

Jessica “FM Supreme” Disu was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 21, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.020

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/21/2018

Last Name

Disu

Maker Category
Organizations
First Name

Jessica

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

DIS01

Favorite Season

Fall

Sponsor

Julia Stasch

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Barcelona and South Africa

Favorite Quote

If It Is To Be, It Is Up To Me.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

10/12/1988

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Favorite Food

Falafel Sandwich

Short Description

Poet and community activist Jessica “FM Supreme” Disu (1988 - ) was a two time winner of Chicago Young Author’s Louder than a Bomb poetry slam competition. She also founded Rez Publica Inc./CommonWealth Music Group, and the Chicago International Youth Peace Movement.

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Blue

Edith C. McLoud Armstrong

Storyteller and speech and language pathologist Edith C. McLoud Armstrong was born on June 2, 1951 in Chicago, Illinois to Christine Smith McLoud and Maxel McLoud, Sr. In 1969, she graduated from Aquinas Dominican High School in Chicago. She received her B.S. degree in 1973 in speech-language pathology from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, and her M.H.S. degree in communication disorders from Governors State University in University Park, Illinois in 1989.
Armstrong began working with the Chicago Public School (CPS) system in the late 1970s as a speech therapy assistant and started graduate school part-time in 1985. During this time, Armstrong provided therapy services for students with multiple disabilities and taught deaf students to speak. This population inspired her to create lesson plans that incorporated science, technology, engineering, the art of storytelling and math (a process now popularly referred to as STEAM). Armstrong left CPS in 1989 to complete her master’s degree.

Her first invitation to provide paid storytelling services was right after resigning from CPS, after years of having created productions within the schools. This activity grew by word of mouth into a part-time profession. From 1989 to 2014, Armstrong served various organizations as an independent consultant as a speech and language pathologist.

In 2014, Armstrong left speech therapy and became a full-time Spanish/English bilingual spoken word artist, contributing author, motivational speaker, percussionist, educational consultant, and voice-over artist under the culturally given name of Mama Edie. She provides storytelling performances and workshops for parents, educators, children, social workers, attorneys and other professionals for diversity training, to increase cultural appreciation, interpersonal communication skills, personal empowerment and to promote social justice. Performing also for cultural arts museums, festivals, social service agencies, faith-based organizations and the corporate sector, in 1998, Armstrong co-founded ASE: the Chicago Association of Black Storytellers.
A master artist of storytelling in the African-American Oral Tradition, Armstrong uses a blend of Spanish and English or Sign Language. She includes interactive songs from various African and Native American cultures that reflect her own heritage. She has performed in Ghana, Togo, Benin, Mexico, India, Trinidad, South Africa, and has been a guest on various PBS and other television and radio programs. She also authored numerous articles on self-empowerment through cultural knowledge and pride; countering violence through effective communication, storytelling, music and movement; and language and literary development through the arts.

Armstrong’s memberships have included the National Association of Black Storytellers, Inc.; National Storytelling Network; ASE: The Chicago Association of Black Storytellers; American Speech, Language & Hearing Association; National Black Child Development Institute; Afro-Latin Institute; and the American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers (ASCAP). A highlight of her career was the invitation to participate as the storyteller in an international peace conference in Iraq in 2017. The article describing this experience has now been published by Storytelling Magazine, an international publication of the National Storytelling Network.

Armstrong has one daughter, Ayana Diane.

Edith C. McLoud Armstrong was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 21, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.019

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/21/2018

Last Name

Armstrong

Maker Category
Middle Name

A.

Organizations
First Name

Mama Edie

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

ARM03

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Tropical Learning Environments

Favorite Quote

Each Generation Must, Out Of Relative Obscurity, Discover Its Mission, Fulfill It Or Betray It. - Frantz Fanon

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

6/2/1951

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Favorite Food

There Are Many, I'm Fond of Vegetables.

Short Description

Storyteller and speech and language pathologist Edith C. McLoud Armstrong (1951 - ) also worked as an English/Spanish bilingual storyteller, published writer, percussionist, and voice-over artist under the name Mama Edie.

Favorite Color

Blue

Erika George

Professor Erika George was born on July 8, 1970 in Chicago, Illinois to Betty Ann Zeno George and Alton Lloyd George. George graduated with her B.A. degree in politics, economics, rhetoric, and law with honors from the University of Chicago in 1992, and earned her M.A. degree in international relations in 1993. In 1996, George received her J.D. degree from Harvard Law School, where she served as articles editor for the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review.

Upon earning her law degree, George worked as a litigation associate at Jenner & Block in Chicago, clerked for Judge William T. Hart on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and worked as a litigation associate at Coudert Brothers in New York City. In 1999, George accepted a fellow position at Human Rights Watch in New York City. She conducted research in South Africa on human rights, violence against women, and the HIV/AIDS epidemic, composing a book length report called “Scared at School: Sexual Violence Against Girls in South African Schools.” In 2003, George became an assistant professor of law at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, teaching courses on constitutional law, human rights law, civil procedure, and international environmental law. She became a full professor in 2008, and was promoted to Samuel D. Thurman Professor of Law in 2017. George also served as co-director of the Center for Global Justice at the University of Utah. In addition to serving as a visiting professor at the University of Cape Town in Cape Town, South Africa, George was also a visiting professor at Loyola University Chicago School of Law in 2010, and a visiting scholar at the American Bar Foundation in 2011. In 2015, George was appointed to the American Bar Association’s Center for Human Rights Board.

George received local and international recognition for her legal and civic contributions, including the 2008 Early Career Award from the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, and the Sexual Assault Awareness Month Award from the Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault in 2014. George also received recognition from Salt Lake City’s Human Rights Commission and the mayor’s Office of Diversity and Human Rights. She was honored for her work on the Migrant Women Project by Zion Bank at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival “Women’s Celebration Lunch” in Park City, Utah, and her research was featured by the Institute of Human Rights and Business. She was also elected to serve on the Pacific Council of International Policy. She has spoken at numerous United Nations human rights discussions, and authored over forty articles on topics ranging from human rights, women’s rights, environmental policy, business law, and corporate responsibility, appearing in the Michigan Journal of International Law, the California Law Review, and the New York University Journal of International Law and Policy.

Erika George was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 15, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.014

Sex

Female

Interview Date

1/15/2018

Last Name

George

Maker Category
Middle Name

R.

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Harvard Law School

University of Chicago

First Name

Erika

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

GEO03

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Love traveling everywhere

Favorite Quote

Be The Change You Wish To See In The World

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Utah

Birth Date

7/8/1970

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Salt Lake City

Favorite Food

Curry - Thai or Indian

Short Description

Professor Erika George (1970 - ), a graduate of Harvard Law School, joined the faculty of the University of Utah in 2003, and was named the Samuel D. Thurman Professor of Law in 2017. She authored over forty articles published in numerous law journals such as the New York University Journal of International Law and Policy.

Employment

University of Utah

Favorite Color

Green

Patricia Cruz

Arts administrator Patricia Cruz was born on January 1, 1947 in Chicago, Illinois to Nelson Marshall and Myrtle Smith. She graduated from Hirsch High School in Chicago, Illinois and attended Columbia College in Chicago and Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois where she studied theater. Cruz went on to graduate from the Goodman School of Theater.

Cruz was a student, actress and activist in Chicago before moving to New York City where she met her husband, artist Emilio Cruz. Following a year in St. Louis with the Black Artist Group, she returned to Chicago while her husband taught at the Art Institute of Chicago. She and her husband, Emilio, also worked together making and producing plays that he wrote. In 1982, they returned to New York City where she accepted a position as deputy director for programs at the Studio Museum in Harlem. In 1998, Cruz accepted a position as executive director at Aaron Davis Hall Inc., an arts non-profit in Harlem that commissioned, staged, and supported artists of color. Her responsibilities included overseeing programing, administrative management, and fundraising. Cruz helped to raise over $26 million to renovate the Gatehouse which became the new home for Aaron Davis Hall Inc., and was rebranded as Harlem Stage in 2006. Cruz worked to expand programming and introduced a major commissioning program, known as, WaterWorks, to commemorate the original function of the Gatehouse as the historic conduit for clean water from the Croton Aqueduct. In addition, Cruz also expanded programming at Harlem Stage, introducing Uptown Nights, and Harlem Slide and commissioned numerous artists including Jason Moran, Vijay Iyer and Stew, while serving thousands of students annually and collaborating with a number of nonprofits including Harlem School for the Arts, Repertorio Espanol, Manhattan School of Music and Carnegie Hall.

Cruz served as a board member of the Urban Assembly; she formerly served on the boards of the Andy Warhol Foundation, Art Table and was the president of The New York Foundation for the Arts. Cruz also serves as a member of the Cal Arts Board of Overseers and is a member of the Tony Nominating Committee and the Brendan Gill jury of the Municipal Arts Society. In 2014, Harlem Stage was awarded the Charles Dawson Award for programmatic excellence and sustained achievement in programming from the Association of Performing Arts Presenters.

Patricia Cruz was interviewed by TheHistoryMakers on December 8, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.214

Sex

Female

Interview Date

12/8/2017

Last Name

Cruz

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Martha M. Ruggles Elementary School

Southern Illinois University

Columbia College Chicago

First Name

Patricia

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

CRU04

Favorite Season

All Times

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Nevis & Egypt

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

1/11/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Favorite Food

Meat

Short Description

Arts administrator Patricia Cruz (1947-) was the executive director of Aaron Davis Hall, Inc. and Harlem Stage.

Employment

Harlem Stage

Studio Museum in Harlem

Chicago Council of Fine Arts

Urban Gateways

Favorite Color

Earth Tones

Michael Sorrell

Academic administrator Michael Sorrell was born on November 11, 1966 in Chicago, Illinois to Wade J. Sorrell and Vera Williams. He graduated from St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago, Illinois and enrolled at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio, where he earned his B.A. degree in government in 1987. Sorrell was the recipient of the Sloan Foundation Graduate Fellowship to attend Harvard University. He later received his M.S. degree in public policy from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. Sorrell continued his education at Duke University, where he was one of the founding members of the Journal of Gender Law & Policy, and served as the vice president of the Duke Bar Association, and earned his J.D. degree. In 2015, Sorrel earned his Ed.D. degree from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

After completing law school, Sorrell worked for several law firms in Dallas, Texas. He then served as a special assistant in the executive office of President Bill Clinton. After serving in the Clinton administration, Sorrell founded a public affairs consultancy. In 2001, Sorrell was elected to the Board of Trustees for Paul Quinn College in Dallas. He became the 34th president of the institution in 2007.

Sorrell has been the recipient of many awards and acknowledgments. In 2016, he was named the “HBCU Male President of the Year” by HBCU Digest and was awarded the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Justice Award by the Dallas Bar Association. Sorrell was also named as one of “America’s 10 Most Innovative College Presidents” by Washington Monthly and was the recipient of the Father of the Yeat Award from the City of Dallas.

Sorrell has been active in many organizations including the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University, the College Board, the Center for Minority Serving Institutions at the University of Pennsylvania, Amegy Bank, Teach for America, the Dallas Regional Chamber, Earth Day Texas, the Southern Methodist University Tate Distinguished Lecture Series, and Paul Quinn College.

Sorrell and his wife, Natalie, have two children, Michael Augustus and Sage Louise-Sinclair.

Michael Sorrel was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 16, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.168

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/16/2017

Last Name

Sorrell

Maker Category
Organizations
First Name

Michael

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

SOR01

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

Closed mouths don't get fed, leave places better than you found them, the piper will always get paid.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

11/11/1966

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Dallas

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Peach cobbler, red beans and rice, Now it's salmon salad with kale

Short Description

Academic administrator Michael Sorrell (1966 – ) was the 34th president of Paul Quinn College and served as special assistant in the executive office of President Bill Clinton

Favorite Color

Cobalt blue

Chaz Ebert

Lawyer and entertainment manager Chaz Ebert was born on October 15, 1952 in Chicago, Illinois to Johnnie Hobbs Hammel and Wiley Hammel, Sr. She attended John M. Smyth Elementary School and Crane Technical High School in Chicago, Illinois and graduated in 1969. Ebert earned her B.A. degree in political science at the University of Dubuque in Dubuque, Iowa in 1972. She then received her M.A. degree in social science at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville in Platteville, Wisconsin. Ebert went on to receive her J.D. degree from DePaul University College of Law in Chicago.

Ebert began her career in 1977 as a litigator for the Region Five office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. After three years, she left the agency to join the litigation department at the Chicago law firm of Bell Boyd and Lloyd LLP, where she focused on mergers and acquisitions and intellectual property. Ebert then began working at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Her work there focused primarily on race and age-based workplace discrimination. In 1989, she became the vice president of Ebert Company Ltd., where she oversaw daily operations and provided legal counsel for the company. In 1992, she married film critic Roger Ebert and continued to play an important role in the company over the following two decades, and often traveled with her husband and his business partner, film critic Gene Siskel. When Siskel passed away in 1999, Ebert encouraged the partnership between her husband and Chicago Sun Times columnist Richard Roeper. In 2002, Ebert launched rogerebert.com, an online magazine of film reviews by Roger Ebert and other critics. After her husband’s death in 2013, Ebert revamped the website under the company Ebert Digital. She also worked on the documentary of her late husband’s life called Life Itself.

Ebert hosted the twelfth annual Roger Ebert’s Film Festival in 2010. She led a team of critics to cover the Cannes Film Festival for rogerebert.com in 2013. Ebert also continued her husband’s legacy through her published contributions on rogerebert.com.

Ebert has two children, Josibiah Smith and Sonia Evans.

Chaz Ebert was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 7, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.121

Sex

Female

Interview Date

08/07/2017

Last Name

Ebert

Marital Status

Widow

Schools

Smyth Magnet School

Richard T. Crane Medical Preparatory High School

University of Dubuque

University of Wisconsin-Platteville

DePaul University College of Law

First Name

Chaz

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

EBE01

Favorite Season

Spring, Summer

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

In a villa with family.

Favorite Quote

Fall Down Seven, Get Up Eight.$

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

10/15/1952

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Ice cream

Short Description

Lawyer Chaz Ebert (1952 - ) worked as a litigation attorney and served as vice president of the Ebert Company Ltd.

Employment

Environmental Protection Agency

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Bell Boyd and Lloyd, LLP

Ebert Company

Favorite Color

Rainbow

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Chaz Ebert's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Chaz Ebert lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Chaz Ebert describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Chaz Ebert describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Chaz Ebert remembers visiting Thomaston, Georgia as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Chaz Ebert lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Chaz Ebert describes her relationship with her older sisters

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Chaz Ebert talks about her early neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Chaz Ebert describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Chaz Ebert talks about her early neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Chaz Ebert describes her family's first home in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Chaz Ebert remembers her father's proficiency in food preparation

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Chaz Ebert recalls her close relationship with her siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Chaz Ebert remembers her family's social activities

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Chaz Ebert describes her early religious experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Chaz Ebert recalls her childhood responsibilities

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Chaz Ebert remembers her mother's community involvement

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Chaz Ebert talks about her fortieth high school reunion

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Chaz Ebert remembers influential elementary school teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Chaz Ebert recalls her initial interest in the legal profession

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Chaz Ebert describes her club memberships in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Chaz Ebert remembers marching with her father

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Chaz Ebert recalls her experiences with discriminatory teachers and professors

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Chaz Ebert remembers her decision to attend the University of Dubuque in Dubuque, Iowa

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Chaz Ebert remembers the racial demographics of the University of Dubuque

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Chaz Ebert recalls starting her family while attending college

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Chaz Ebert talks about her decision to pursue a master's degree

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Chaz Ebert recalls attending the DePaul University College of Law in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Chaz Ebert remembers the start to her legal career

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Chaz Ebert describes her pro bono work as a law student

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Chaz Ebert talks about balancing her personal life and law school

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Chaz Ebert recalls discriminatory practices at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Chaz Ebert remembers the executives at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Chaz Ebert remembers working with John McGuire

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Chaz Ebert talks about her positions after leaving the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Chaz Ebert recalls leaving the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Chaz Ebert remembers her work at Bell Boyd and Lloyd LLP

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Chaz Ebert talks about her work on discrimination cases

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Chaz Ebert describes her employment history

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Chaz Ebert remembers meeting Roger Ebert, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Chaz Ebert remembers meeting Roger Ebert, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Chaz Ebert describes Roger Ebert's personality

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Chaz Ebert remembers her initial bond with Roger Ebert

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Chaz Ebert remembers joining the Ebert Company Ltd.

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Chaz Ebert shares her thoughts on remarrying

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Chaz Ebert talks about the importance of philanthropy

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Chaz Ebert remembers her relationship with Roger Ebert's family

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Chaz Ebert remembers her husband's working relationship with Gene Siskel

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Chaz Ebert talks about Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel's careers as film critics

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Chaz Ebert remembers learning about film from Roger Ebert

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Chaz Ebert describes the creation of rogerebert.com

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Chaz Ebert talks about Roger Ebert's television work, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Chaz Ebert talks about Roger Ebert's television work, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Chaz Ebert recalls Roger Ebert's cancer diagnosis

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Chaz Ebert recalls her connection with Roger Ebert after the loss of his voice