Virtual Black Alumni Week

Kellie Jones '81

Dr. Kellie Jones '81

Dr. Kellie Jones is the Hans Hofmann Professor of Modern Art in the departments of Art History and Archaeology and African American and African Diaspora Studies at Columbia University. Her research interests include African American and African Diaspora artists, Latinx and Latin American Artists and issues in contemporary art and museum theory.

Dr. Jones, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, has also received awards for her work from the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, Harvard University and Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation. In 2016 she was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow.

Dr. Jones’ writings have appeared in a multitude of exhibition catalogues and journals. She is the author of two books published by Duke University Press, EyeMinded: Living and Writing Contemporary Art (2011), and South of Pico: African American Artists in Los Angeles in the 1960s and 1970s (2017), which received the Walter & Lillian Lowenfels Criticism Award from the American Book Award in 2018 and was named a Best Book of the Decade in 2019 by ArtNews, Best Art Book of 2017 in The New York Times and a Best Book of 2017 in Artforum.

Dr. Jones has also worked as a curator for over three decades and has numerous major national and international exhibitions to her credit. Her exhibition “Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles, 1960-1980,” at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, was named one of the best exhibitions of 2011 and 2012 by Artforum, and best thematic show nationally by the International Association of Art Critics (AICA). She was co-curator of “Witness: Art and Civil Rights in the 1960s” (Brooklyn Museum), named one the best exhibitions of 2014 by Artforum.


Thomas Mitchell '87

Thomas W. Mitchell '87

Professor Mitchell is a professor at Texas A&M University School of Law. At Texas A&M, he co-directs the Program in Real Estate and Community Development Law. Prior to joining Texas A&M, he served on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin Law School as a full professor with a chair in law. He is a national expert on property issues facing disadvantaged families and communities and has published leading scholarly works addressing these matters.

Professor Mitchell has done extensive law reform and policy work, most prominently serving as the principal drafter of a widely adopted model state statute designed to substantially enhance the ability of disadvantaged families to maintain ownership of their property. Professor Mitchell also has helped develop federal policy proposals, working with some in Congress and others in the executive branch, to help disadvantaged farmers and property owners. Recently, he was named as one of 21 recipients of the MacArthur Fellowship for 2020 in recognition of the substantial impact his overall professional work has had in assisting disadvantaged farmers and property owners, farmers and owners who are disproportionately African American and other people of color. In 2021, he was awarded the Howard University Award for Distinguished Postgraduate Achievement, an award that Thurgood Marshall, Vice President Kamala Harris, Zora Neale Hurston and the civil rights icon James Farmer Jr., among many other Howard luminaries, also have received.

Professor Mitchell is a graduate of Amherst College, the Howard University School of Law, and the University of Wisconsin Law School where he received an LL.M. (masters of law) and served as a William H. Hastie Fellow.


Angela Davis

Dr. Angela Y. Davis

Through her activism and scholarship over many decades, Angela Davis has been deeply involved in movements for social justice around the world. Her work as an educator—both at the university level and in the larger public sphere—has always emphasized the importance of building communities of struggle for economic, racial and gender justice. 

Professor Davis’ teaching career has taken her to San Francisco State University, Mills College and UC Berkeley. She also has taught at UCLA, Vassar, Syracuse University, the Claremont Colleges and Stanford University. Most recently she spent fifteen years at the University of California Santa Cruz where she is now Distinguished Professor Emerita of History of Consciousness—an interdisciplinary PhD program—and of Feminist Studies. 

Angela Davis is the author of ten books and has lectured throughout the United States as well as in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and South America. In recent years a persistent theme of her work has been the range of social problems associated with incarceration and the generalized criminalization of those communities that are most affected by poverty and racial discrimination. She draws upon her own experiences in the early seventies as a person who spent eighteen months in jail and on trial after being placed on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted List.”  She also has conducted extensive research on numerous issues related to race, gender and imprisonment. Her recent books include Abolition Democracy and Are Prisons Obsolete? about the abolition of the prison industrial complex, a new edition of Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, and a collection of essays entitled The Meaning of Freedom. Her most recent book of essays, called Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement, was published in February 2016. 

Angela Davis is a founding member of Critical Resistance, a national organization dedicated to the dismantling of the prison industrial complex. Internationally, she is affiliated with Sisters Inside, an abolitionist organization based in Queensland, Australia, that works in solidarity with women in prison. 

Like many educators, Professor Davis is especially concerned with the general tendency to devote more resources and attention to the prison system than to educational institutions. Having helped to popularize the notion of a “prison industrial complex,” she now urges her audiences to think seriously about the future possibility of a world without prisons and to help forge a 21st century abolitionist movement.


Kimberly Bain Kimberly Bain '14

Kimberly Bain earned a Ph.D. in English and Interdisciplinary Humanistic Study from Princeton University. Bain's most pressing intellectual interests have consolidated around questions of the history, theory, and philosophy of: diaspora, race, gender, postcolonialism, enslavement, flesh, environmental racism, resistance, embodiment, and subjection and subjecthood. She is currently at work on two book projects.

Her first book project, entitled "On Black Breath", takes seriously the charge of "I can't breathe" and considers breath as more than the mere metaphor—rather, as also a somatic and sociopolitical phenomenon that has resonances in the wake of enslavement to the contemporary moment.

Her second book project, entitled "Dirt: Soil and Other Dark Matters," builds on her first project's methodological commitments to multi-temporal and nonchronological avenues of inquiry that trace the development and deployment of the mundane. Revising the impulse to read the Middle Passage as the singular heuristic for understanding Black movement, migration, and mobility throughout history, she turns to dirt for understanding contemporary Black diasporic relations.

Bain has been the recipient of numerous awards and has forthcoming essays on pettiness as a praxis, labored Black breathing, and more. More information about her current work can be found at kimbain.com.


Adrianna M. Turner '14 Adrianna M. Turner '14

Adrianna M. Turner is a senior team manager consultant for Blueprint Talent Group LLC. Following graduation, she served as an Amherst College post-graduate fellow for diversity and inclusion as well as served as interim director for the Multicultural Resource Center (MRC). In 2016, she served on the College’s Presidential Task for Force for Diversity and Inclusion. Adrianna majored in neuroscience with a specialization in culture health and science and currently resides in Chicago, Illinois.


George Beecham '18

George Beecham '18

George Beecham is a Chicago native who graduated Amherst College in the class of 2018. After graduating, he returned home and served as a College Access Coach with College Possible during a one year term with Americorps. Subsequently, George joined the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a Public Health Advisor and has been in his current role for 1 year and 5 months. He enjoys playing basketball, gaming, collecting sneakers, building classic cars, and spending time with family and friends in his spare time.


Rebecca Cross '11

Dr. Rebecca Cross '11

Rebecca Cross grew up in Chicago and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Amherst College in 2011. She completed medical school at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine and was selected for induction into the Gold Humanism Honor Society. She completed her Adult Psychiatry residency at the OliveView-UCLA in Los Angeles and is currently a second-year Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Fellow at the University of Maryland in Baltimore. This fall, she will be starting a position at Compass Health Center in Chicago as an Attending Psychiatrist in their Child & Adolescent Partial Hospitalization and Intensive Outpatient Programs. Dr. Cross and her husband welcomed a baby girl last fall. She is passionate about mentoring students and has been a mentor with a number of organizations including: RefugeeOne, Chicago Scholars and the University of Maryland Medical School.


Jay Drain Jr. '18 Jay Drain Jr. '18

Jay Drain is an associate at Maven Ventures where he invests in and supports founders building consumer software startups. Jay previously worked as an analyst in Goldman Sachs’ Global Markets Division for two years, and as a Summer Associate at pre-seed venture firm Amplify.LA. Jay graduated from Amherst College, where he earned a BA in Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought, and was a member of the Men’s Track & Field team. Outside of the office, Jay is an active member of BLCK VC, the Director of Programs for Project Love Chicago, and a Mentor Coach with America Needs You.


Lola Fadulu '17 Lola Fadulu '17

Lola Fadulu covers health for the local desk of The Washington Post. She is also pursuing a master’s degree in investigative journalism at American University. Fadulu previously covered federal safety-net programs for The New York Times.


Nicholaus Mollel '10 Nicholaus Mollel '10

Nicholaus Mollel is a software engineer at Venmo. Nic spent a few years in the insurance industry and then moved into financial technology. Nic mentors African students from different schools in Boston that he has connected with through different personal networks. He also taught Swahili and provided English to Swahili translations for students and researchers with work and interest in Kenya and Tanzania.


Jillian Stockmo Chapman '13 Jillian Stockmo Chapman '13

Jillian Stockmo Chapman began her career in the classroom, teaching 1st and 2nd grade – since then she has had experience in the non-profit sector in teacher preparation and school and community partnerships. After graduating from Minneapolis Public Schools, Jillian went on to pursue a B.A in Religion and Anthropology from Amherst College, a M.A in Teaching (K-6) from Hamline University and is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Education as a part of Hamline’s Ed. D program.

Jillian currently serves as The Director of Learning and Impact at the Graves Foundation. The Graves Foundation is a youth development focused family foundation. The foundation funds and supports historically underrepresented communities' leaders and organizations. The foundation also incubates people and ideas, grows and nurtures networks, and acts collectively through campaigns and initiatives. The Director of Learning and Impact takes on work that allows the foundation to learn from the impact it is having in the community so that it can adapt and evolve how its resources are utilized and understand where the Foundation's strategic framework has been successful.

Jillian lives in Minnesota with her husband (fellow Amherst Alumni Tyler Chapman ‘11); together they love hiking, playing tennis, working on projects, and visiting National Parks.


 Everett W. Jenkins '75

Everett W. Jenkins Jr., Senior Assistant City Attorney for the City of Richmond, California, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Lawyers for dedication, achievements, and leadership in legal services.

With nearly 40 years of professional experience, Mr. Jenkins has served as the senior assistant city attorney for the City of Richmond, CA, since 2005, having been interim city attorney since 2004, assistant city attorney from 1984 to 2004, board attorney from 1981 to 1990, and deputy city attorney from 1981 to 1984. Mr. Jenkins also was a board attorney for the Richmond Housing Authority from 1992 to 1999 and the advisory attorney for the West Contra Costa Transportation Advisory Committee from 1988 to 2005. From 1987 to 1988, he was on the board of directors and public member of the Contra Costa County Hazardous Materials Commission, having been a legal representative for the technology advisory committee from 1986 to 1987 and authority attorney with the West Contra Costa Solid Waste Management Authority from 1985 to 1987. Earlier in his career, Mr. Jenkins was a deputy county counsel with Contra Costa County from 1980 to 1981.

Mr. Jenkins began his career as a student at Amherst College, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, in 1975. He continued his studies at the University of California, Berkeley, earning a Doctor of Jurisprudence in 1978. In addition to his legal work, Mr. Jenkins is a celebrated author and respected voice in Islamic and African history. He is the author of the first three volumes of “Pan-African Chronology,” the first two volumes of “The Muslim Diaspora,” “The Creation,” and “The Muslim Compendium.”

For his contributions to his community, Mr. Jenkins was named Rita Davis Volunteer of the Year, Fred Breen Humanitarian of the Year by the West Contra Costa YMCA, and he received the President Volunteer Service Award from the YMCA of the East Bay. In addition, he was selected for inclusion in several editions of Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, Who’s Who in the West, and Who’s Who in the World.


Oluwatomi (Tomi) Williams Oluwatomi (Tomi) Williams '16

Tomi Williams '16 is a second year corporate associate at Wachtell Lipton. Tomi received his B.A. in Political Science from Amherst College, where he was two-term Student Body President, Chairman of the Judiciary Council, and Editor-in-Chief of the Amherst College Law Review. He received his J.D. from Columbia Law School, where he was a James Kent Scholar and Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. He also served as the first black male Editor-in-Chief of the Columbia Law Review and Community Service Chair of the Columbia Black Law Students Association.


Ayodele Lewis '21 Ayodele Lewis '21

Ayodele G. Lewis is a senior neuroscience major. A New York City native, she hopes to pursue reproductive healthcare with a focus on combating racial inequities in obstetrics and gynecology. She is currently a researcher for both Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and the World Health Organization, and her work has been published in several journals including the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. On campus, she is an active member of the Amherst College Hillel executive board, and has held many positions on the Amherst College Black Student Union (BSU) executive board during her time at Amherst. She is currently the senior chair of the BSU.