Samantha Erskine is the Director of Development at the Council of Urban Professionals. Prior to joining CUP, she was the Manager of Development at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, worked at the Applied Research Center, and at Legal Momentum. In addition, she has had a lifelong commitment to, and passion for, the performing arts. She has trained in ballet, jazz, Latin, and Afro-Diasporic dances, and has taught and performed in Russia, England, Spain, France, Australia, Canada, Puerto Rico, Guadeloupe, all over the U.S., and on a salsa cruise to the Bahamas with a Bronx-based dance company, opening for El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico.
Erskine is on the Board of Girls Educational & Mentoring Services (GEMS), a New York State-based organization designed to serve girls and young women who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking. She also has a Master of Science in Nonprofit Management from The New School’s Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy.
Jessie Wilkerson earned her PHd in 2014 from the University of North Caroline Chapel Hill. She is an Assistant Professor of History and Southern Studies at the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi. In 2015, she won the Lerner-Scott Prize from the Organization of American Historians for her UNC dissertation, “Where Movements Meet: Women’s Activism in the Appalachian South, 1965–1980.”
Intrigued by interdisciplinary study and a desire to deepen her connection to public history, Valerie Park decided to pursue a second master's degree—leading her to Historical Archaeology.
Lea Osborne discovered that she could use her own experience as a multiracial woman to examine Puerto Rican women's roles in the suffrage movement.
Shelly Henderson utilized the knowledge and insight gained through her studies at Sarah Lawrence, and applied these tools toward a career as a psychologist.
LaShonda Barnett found through interdisciplinary coursework —history and anthropology— she could combine her scholarly and creative interests.