about the panelists
Josh Wilder is a playwright from Philadelphia. His work has been developed; commissioned; and produced at various regional theaters and festivals across the country including The Fire This Time Festival, Classical Theatre of Harlem, New York Theatre Workshop, True Colors Theatre Company, The Kennedy Center, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, 2015 O'Neill National Playwrights Conference, PlayPenn, Company One, InterAct Theatre Company, and Yale Rep. Past awards include the Holland New Voices Award, The Lorraine Hansberry Award, The Rosa Parks Award, and The ASCAP Cole Porter Prize. Josh is a former Jerome Fellow and the first national recipient of the Jerome Many Voices Fellowship at The Playwrights’ Center. He has been in residence at The Royal Court Theatre; Sundance at UCross; and served as Co-Artistic Director at The Yale Cabaret for its 50th season. Currently, he’s stationed in Los Angeles. MFA: Yale School of Drama. BFA: Carnegie Mellon.
Kolton Harris is a director, actor, writer, musician, performer, artivist and is currently serving as the Executive Director of Writer’s Block InK in New London, CT. He is a proponent of the centrality of art to humanity, which fuels his passion for education reform and social justice. He graduated from Connecticut College with a BA in English Literature.
Started in 2003,
Writer's Block InK is an interdisciplinary arts non profit organization that focuses on empowering youth through interactive programming designed to ignite social change in the community. Young people devise works of art (theater, dance, visual art etc.) that speak to inequities, social issues and systemic oppression that hinders human flourishing and suppresses youth voices.
Joel Wilson is the son of entrepreneurial parents with a mother who ran the family accounting firm and father a major health care organization. Joel has become a lifelong entrepreneur. His first business was a lawn cutting service with his first childhood friend. Later, in high school, performed flyer and custom label services on the original IBM DOS based computers. During college he started a lucrative t-shirt business, but then pivoted into computer consulting. Mr. Wilson has been serving as President & CEO of JCW COMPUTER CONSULTING, LLC (
www.JCWCC.com) a technology firm originally established as a sole proprietorship in 1992 but re-launched as an LLC in 2002. JCWCC offers a full spectrum of high quality services and top branded computer products customized to meet the specific IT needs of K-12 Schools, Small-to-Medium Business (SMB) markets, Nonprofits, Corporate & Government Diversity Supplier needs, as well as everyday home users.
The mission of the
100 Black Men of America, Inc. is to improve the quality of life within our communities and enhance educational and economic opportunities for all African Americans.
100 Black Men of Philadelphia, Inc. brands a LOCAL MISSION: To Educate and Empower Our Youth, Their Families, And Our Community. 100 Black Men of America, Inc. is committed to the intellectual development of youth and the economic empowerment of the African American community based on the following precepts: respect for family, spirituality, justice, and integrity. 100 Black Men of America, Inc. seeks to serve as a beacon of leadership by utilizing our diverse talents to create environments where our children are motivated to achieve, and to empower our people to become self-sufficient shareholders in the economic and social fabric of the communities we serve.
Geoff Pope is currently a Senior Vice President at a global risk management firm. He has nearly 10 years of experience in managing large property and casualty risk, including industry- leading expertise in the financial, life sciences, and healthcare industries. Before beginning his career in risk management, Geoff played 4 seasons in the National Football League, which was highlighted by winning a Super Bowl Championship as a rookie with the New York Giants in 2007. Geoff has a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from Eastern Michigan University and a Master of Business Administration from Columbia University. Upon graduating from Columbia in 2017, Geoff launched The LCR (Left Center Right), which is a digital platform that shares unique perspectives on a number of issues. The LCR features voices and perspectives that are often unheard from people of all different socioeconomic backgrounds and professions. Geoff currently resides in Philadelphia, PA with his family and is the father of two boys, Gaige and Garrison Pope, who are 9 and 7 years old, respectively.
The Left, Center, and Right (The LCR) is a digital publication that shares unique perspectives on social and political issues. Our contributors are an interesting and very diverse group of people from the US and abroad. Unlike mega news sites and traditional social media platforms, which are predicated on ratings and headlines, our platform enables everyday people to control their narratives by sharing genuine, short and concise, perspectives in a respectful manner. Simply, we seek to strengthen and improve communities, create valuable and highly functioning organization, and encourage dialogue regarding tough issues that impact everyone, regardless of race, gender, political, socioeconomic, or professional lines.