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Panel: Black Excellence, Black Invention

Closing discussion focusing on Black invention and Education
Sunday, 5/15/2022
2:30 - 5:00

The history of Black Invention goes back to the founding of our country, yet the work and accomplishments of many are still unknown. In this panel of distinguished educators and community members, we discuss the importance of infusing all levels of education with scholarship on Black invention and the ways in which our various institutions could help support and encourage Black excellence. The program includes a musical performance from “Jonno” the saxophonist.  

This panel accompanies the Black Excellence, Black Invention exhibit on view in the African American Center through June 26 and the Black Excellence bookmarks, created by Dr. Carolyn Ransom-Scott, which highlight Black inventors and are available in all San Francisco Public Library locations. 


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Dr. Marcia E. Canton received her MS degree in Nursing from the University of California, San Francisco. She served as the Director of Nursing at Drew Health Care Center where she served a predominantly African American community for two years. She was accepted into Stanford University to complete her MA degree and Ph.D. degree in Education. She taught at San Jose State University upon graduation from Stanford where she was promoted to full Professor. Dr. Canton is a Professor Emeritus at San Francisco State University where she taught courses in Program Planning, Epidemiology and Community Health. Dr. Canton is the Vice President of the San Francisco Business and Professional Women Organization. She recently (2021) co-authored a book chapter titled "Where and When We Enter: A Review on Mentoring and Leadership for African American Women in Academia” in the Handbook of Research on Contemporary Issues in Multicultural and Global Education


Dr. Joe Canton is a veteran of the United States Air Force and spent his youth in Eutaw and Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He worked and earned his way through college as a custodian with the County of Los Angeles. Dr. Canton graduated from Trade Tech College in Los Angeles and transferred to California State University. He completed his BA in Sociology with a minor in Social Welfare. At Occidental College, Los Angeles he received his master’s degree in Urban Studies with an emphasis in Urban Economics. Dr. Canton earned his PhD in from the University of California, Irvine (UCI), graduating and distinguishing himself with honor. Professionally, Dr. Canton became a Human Resources Analyst with the City of Santa Ana, California. He continued his professional career by becoming the Director of Human Resources and Chief Negotiator for the City of San Bernardino. After serving in that capacity, he moved to Northern California and became the Director of Human Resources and the Campus President's Designee for San Francisco State University. Dr. Canton is an entrepreneur and co-owner of Canton Associates, a business consultancy specializing in facilitating workshops in managing diversity, sexual harassment, violence in the workplace and customized training programs designed for specific business objectives.  


Mattie Green Johnson is a native of Louisiana who was born and raised in the very small town of Cullen, Louisiana. Because it was the segregated South all her early education was in Black only schools. She was blessed! She had teachers who cared and lived where they worked and was a part of community events and activities. It was here that she worked with Voter Registration as a teenager. It was here that academic competition was friendly and supportive. She is a graduate of Southern University at Baton Rouge, LA, the University of California, Berkley, with a teaching credential, and holds a master’s in counseling from San Francisco State University. Johnson was a teacher and counselor for 31 years in the Oakland Unified School District until retirement in 2005. She is a member of the Allen Temple Baptist Church for 40+ years, the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. for 50 years, has participated in Prison Ministry throughout California, as well as Streets Disciples Ministry for 10 years. Her musical interests include the Allen Temple Baptist Church choirs and Langston Hughes’ “The Black Nativity” for 27 years via Allen Temple Baptist Church.  


Michael Johnson is a native of San Francisco, California. He was raised in the African American community of the Fillmore district. He is a graduate of George Washington High School and attended City College of San Francisco. He served in the United States Navy during the Vietnam campaigns from 1969-1971 and retired from the United States Naval Reserves after serving twenty years in 2005. He also worked for and retired from United Parcel Service (UPS) in 2006 with 32 years of service. He is a member of the Allen Temple Baptist Church in Oakland, California. He was ordained as a deacon by Dr. J. Alfred Smith Sr in 1985 and served faithfully under his leadership until Dr. Smith’s retirement. Mr. Johnson has served in various capacities in church and in the community. He is an actor, writer, teacher, orator, facilitator in behavioral mental health, lover of the arts, avid reader and lover of history and enjoys traveling.  


Patsy Lax Lockhart, is a retired K-12 Life Credentialed, National Board-Certified Educator in adolescent language arts. As a teacher consultant for the Bay Area/California/ National Writing Projects and the Urban Writing Network since 1984 and Accelerated Learning in Writer's Workshop from 2009-2013, she has conducted workshops on local and national levels. Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and Afro-American Studies and a master's degree in Education. Lockhart has been a member of Allen Temple Baptist Church since 1984. She is a member of the Unity Choir and was a cast member of Langston Hughes’ "Black Nativity." She currently works with the Allen Temple Historical Archives Committee. As a former member of the Black Panther Party, she focused her career on their Ten Point Platform. Lockhart achieved recognition for her work from Stanford University in Urban Education (under the leadership of Linda Darling Hammond), The Asa Hilliard Award and Martin Luther King Awards from James Logan High School Forensics Team, multiple Who's Who Awards and two school site Teacher of the Year Awards, the Alameda County's WHO Award, The Phi Delta Kappa International, The Equity and Human Rights Award and California State Recognition from the State Department of Education. 


Neffertice Williams is a mother of four, a student, world traveler and entrepreneur. Poised to graduate UC Berkeley with a bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, focused on African American Studies, Sociology and Education in the Spring of 2022. She is a native of San Francisco who is passionate about community, arts and culture. As the granddaughter of the late Ruth Williams (champion and activist in Bayview Hunters Point), and the niece of Eric Williams, inventor of the short sleeve stent and disposal dental valve, Williams is no stranger to what the power of a strong legacy, determination and tenacity, and a positive open mind can accomplish. 


Henry E. Lowood is the Harold C. Hohbach Curator at Stanford University, responsible for history of science & technology collections and film & media collections in the Stanford Libraries. He has combined interests in history, technological innovation and the history of digital games and simulations to head several long-term projects at Stanford and is the author of numerous articles and books on the history of Silicon Valley and the development of digital game technology and culture. He is part of the oral history team for the “Histories of African Americans in Silicon Valley” project at Stanford Libraries.   


Rev. Dr. Carolyn Ransom-Scott is a native of San Francisco who has been proudly invested in her city and community since the early age of ten years old during the civil rights movement. Dr. Scott has partnered with a Smart Housing Team to help with affordable housing and served as a member of the Mayor’s Citizen’s advisory Committee (BHPS CAC), Old Skool Café Advisory Board and SF Foundation Faith Council. Dr. Scott mentors InterVarsity students of the University of San Francsico, San Francisco State University, Mills College, Stanford University and the San Francsico Community, and assists with reading programs in the Elementary Schools. She ushered in a historical first clinical community nursing program for the UCSF Staff for Frandelja Enrichment Center. She currently serves as SF Commissioner for OCII. One of her mottos is: “Building better lives and communities with help for today and hope for a brighter tomorrow.” Dr. Scott received her Bachelor's of Arts in Bible and Ministry from the Fellowship Bible Institute College of Theology and Urban Studies. She received her Doctor of Theology degree from the Pneuma Theological Seminary. 


Kelly Wright is an award-winning American journalist based in Washington, D.C. He currently co-anchors The World Tonight on BNC (Black News Channel). He is also the host and executive producer of The Kelly Wright Show. Prior to that, Wright hosted the program Taking Care of Business on TBN. Wright spent 15 years as an Anchor/Reporter at Fox News Channel, anchoring America’s News Headquarters and co- hosting Fox and Friends Weekend. Wright began his journalism career while serving in the United States Army. He has received numerous awards for his reporting, including two Emmy Awards for developing, reporting and co-producing a documentary and news series on the transatlantic slave trade. Wright is a graduate of Oral Roberts University (ORU). He received an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Northwest University. Wright is also an independent recording artist and an author, featured in Chicken Soup For The Soul: Tough Times Won’t Last But Tough People Will


For over 40 years Jonathan “Jonno” Strickling has ministered through his gifting of music. As a saxophonist, Jonno has performed on countless stages, either opening for, performing live or recorded with some of Gospel and Christian Music’s greats. He is currently serving as Small Groups Pastor at Common Ground Covenant Church in Sacramento, CA. A lifelong learner, Jonno earned his Bachelors of Science in Christian Leadership, 2012, William Jessup University; and a Master of Arts in Leadership (summa cum laude), 2020, also from William Jessup University. He has been a licensed and ordained minister of the Gospel since 2010 under San Francisco Christian Center. Pastor Jonno is currently in the formation of GRACE STEPS; an organization dedicated to helping others achieve their purpose, realize their identity and embrace their destiny through his writings, teachings, the leading of a movement and playing. He is currently working on completing his first book.

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