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An Open Conversation on Race

June 15, 2020 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm PDT

Our nation is experiencing turmoil and pain, and nonprofit leaders are urgently needed to provide leadership and hope for our communities. How do we examine these issues as people and leaders?

Connie Alexander (Courage to Lead) and James Joyce III invite you to examine, reflect, listen and build our connection as nonprofit leaders. 

See below for facilitator bios.

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Please stay tuned for any following events, conversations, and/or resources on this matter.


About the Facilitators:

Connie Alexander

Connie Alexander is one of the Founders and Co-Executive Director of Gateway Educational Services, and Gateway began in 2009.

She has 25 years of experience in higher education, including teaching and student services. She holds degrees in Political Science and History. Her role with Gateway includes daily operations, curriculum development, training, the College Readiness Program, and Summer Camps.

Gateway Educational Services is the only nonprofit learning in Santa Barbara County. We serve students in grades K-12. Our vision is to change the academic trajectory of students left behind. All programs are assessment-based, and curricula for improvement are created for each student.

Connie has held several leadership roles in the African American community in Santa Barbara, including the Black History Celebration Committee and the NAACP. 

Connie is a participant in the Courage to Lead 8th Cohort.

James Joyce III

James Joyce III currently serves as District Director for State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (who represents nearly 1 million constituents within the 19th Senate District of California) and has served on various advisory boards in the area including Impact Hub Santa Barbara, the Ventura County Leadership Academy, and the Santa Barbara Young Black Professionals. Joyce is also on the board for the Lois & Walter Capps Project, as well as the national board for Student African American Brotherhood (SAAB), where he helped found the collegiate chapter while a student-athlete at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.

Prior to working in the public service sector, Joyce, a Maryland-native, served as a newspaper journalist in several diverse communities across the country covering a variety of subjects; from education to crime, local politics, features, and more. An award-winning journalist, Joyce is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and currently serves with the Xi Iota Lambda Chapter, seated in Camarillo, CA.

In the summer of 2016, James launched Coffee with a Black Guy, where he hosts interactive community conversations about a variety of issues from the perspective of a black man. Simply put: Coffee. Connection. Conversation. You can learn more about the movement at Coffee With A Black Guy (CWABG). For these efforts and more, the Ventura County branch of the NAACP awarded Joyce with their 2018 Distinguished Citizen Award, which is bestowed upon an individual whose groundbreaking work increases our understanding and awareness of racial and social issues.

Additional Resources and Further Reading

History and Social Justice

  1. Why We Can’t Wait by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
  2. How to be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi
  3. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  4. Stony the Road: White Supremacy and the Rise of Jim Crow by Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr.
  5. Killing Rage by Bell Hooks
  6. Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall 
  7. White Trash: The History of 400 of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg
  8. The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander


  1. The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  2. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  3. In Search of Our Mothers Gardens by Alice Walker
  4. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas


  1. The 1619 Project 
  2. Pod Save the People



June 15, 2020
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm PDT
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