This panel focuses on the ways race effects how Latter-day Saints fellowship, proselytize, and teach each other in the ward. Dalyn Montgomery will present, “Obstacles Specific to African Americans Joining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Remaining Active,” followed by panel reaction and response.
MODERATOR: DALYN MONTGOMERY
JERMAINE NICHOLAS SULLIVAN was born September 1st 1979 in Tuscaloosa Alabama. He is the youngest of seven children
born to Mary and James Sullivan. Jermaine joined the church in the Tuscaloosa ward on June 27 1999 after
seeing a Lamb of God video advertisement. He immediately called the number on the
screen and two days later the missionaries delivered the video and began to teach
him the gospel. Jermaine moved to Atlanta, Georgia a month later where he met his
wife (Kembe Sullivan) at the singles ward. A few months after dating, she asked him
if he would be interested in serving a full time mission for the church. He prayed
about it and received very clear instruction from the Lord that he should serve. Jermaine
served in the Brazil Fortaleza mission from November 2000 to November 2002. Jermaine
earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Georgia State University and a Master of Education
in Higher Education Administration from Georgia Southern University. He currently
works in online higher education administration at Clayton State University where
he develops and implements advising services for online students.
JANAN GRAHAM-RUSSELL Janan Graham-Russell is a writer, graduate student in Religious Studies at the Howard
University School of Divinity, community organizer and active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Her
research and writing focus on Africana women in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints, womanist theology and hermeneutics as well as the spiritual narratives of
African American women in the 19th century. As an activist, her work draws attention
to the misrecognition of Black women within and outside the LDS faith tradition and
culture. She currently writes for Rational Faiths, an online publication that features
pieces about the LDS church, theology and culture. Her writing is also featured in
two forthcoming anthologies: A Book of Mormons: Latter-day Saints on a Modern-Day
Zion (I SPEAK FOR MYSELF) (October 2015) and Mormon Feminism: Essential Writings (November
DR. PETER M. JOHNSON, CPA, is the Ernst and Young Fellow and an Assistant Professor of Accounting in the Culverhouse School of Accountancy at the University of Alabama. He received his Ph.D. in Accounting from Arizona State University and has a Masters Degree of Accountancy from Southern Utah University (SUU). Dr. Johnson teaches intermediate and advance financial accounting and serves as a member of the curriculum assessment committee for the School of Accountancy. Since 2013 he has served as a Stake President over the Bessemer, Alabama Stake where he became the first black stake president in Alabama. He joined the LDS Church in 1986 at the age of 19, after converting from the Nation of Islam.
MS. INGRID R. SHEPARD is the Executive Director of The One Less Foundation, a nonprofit organization headquartered in Philadelphia, PA with a mission to alleviate poverty by providing financial literacy, one-on-mentoring to adults and youth and supplemental education programs to schools. Prior to founding, The One Less Foundation, Ms. Shepard worked as a consultant through her firm, Shepard Consulting LLC, providing advisory services to the Federal government and financial institutions on matters related to U.S. Anti-Money Laundering laws and regulatory and compliance issues. Ms. Shepard’s professional experience includes employment at Merrill Lynch and the Bank of New York specializing in legal, compliance and international taxation. Ms. Shepard has also worked as a Tax Associate at Ernst and Young, LLP and Global Tax Network specializing in expatriate taxes. Ms. Shepard was born and raised in Denver, CO and moved to Philadelphia, PA, in 2002 where she currently resides. Ms. Shepard attended Texas A & M University. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Germantown Special Services District (GSSD) a municipal authority. Ms. Shepard is a lifelong member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, where she has held callings/assignments including Relief Society President, Stake Relief Society Counselor, Ward Employment Specialist and Primary Teacher.
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