Meet Our Speakers 


Joyce E. King 

Joyce E. King (Ph.D., Sociology of Education, BA Sociology, Stanford University) holds the Benjamin E. Mays Endowed Chair for Urban Teaching, Learning and Leadership at Georgia State University (GSU) in the Department of Educational Policy Studies. She has served as Provost (Spelman College), Associate Provost (Medgar Evers College, CUNY), Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Diversity Programs (University of New Orleans), Director of Teacher Education (Santa Clara University) and Head of the Ethnic Studies Department (Mills College). Dr. King has received several prestigious awards including the W.K. Kellogg Foundation National Fellowship and the American Council of Education, which she completed in the Office of the President at Stanford University. At Georgia State she is affiliated faculty in the Department of African American Studies, the Women’s and Gender Studies Institute, the Partnership for Urban Health Research and the Urban Studies Institute. Her publications in the Harvard Educational Review, the Journal of Negro Education, International Journal ofQualitative Studies in Education, the Journal of African American History focus on a transformative role for culture in curriculum, urban teacher effectiveness, morally engaged, community-mediated inquiry and Black education research and policy. She is an editorial board member for the Urban Education journal, co-edited the Review of Education Research and authored or edited seven books, including her most recent: Heritage Knowledge in the Curriculum: Retrieving an African Episteme (with E. Swartz). Dr. King is past president of the American Educational Research Association, President of the Board of Directors of the Institute for Food and Development Policy (, a member of the National African American Reparations Commission and a recipient of the Stanford University School of Education Alumni Excellence Award (2018).


Joyce E. King


Laura Turner Seydel

Laura Turner Seydel is an international environmental advocate and eco-living expert dedicated to creating a healthy and sustainable future for our children. Laura is chairperson of the Captain Planet Foundation, which has worked worldwide for 27 years to activate generations of environmentally literate children empowered to protect and sustain the natural systems upon which all life depends. She is a director of and works with the Environmental Working Group to limit the toxic chemicals in food, air, water and consumer products. In 2004, she co-founded and is board chair of Mothers and Others for Clean Air. In 1994, she and her husband co-founded Chattahoochee Riverkeeper

 Laura serves on the boards of her family’s foundations and business: the Turner Foundation, Jane Smith Turner Foundation, the Turner Endangered Species Fund and Ted’s Montana Grill. She serves on the national boards of the League of Conservation Voters, Waterkeeper Alliance, Recycle Across America, Project Drawdown, the Carter Center Board of Councilors and on the advisory board for the Ray C. Anderson Foundation.

 Laura lives with her husband in Atlanta. Two of their children also live in Atlanta and continue their family’s work in sustainability; their youngest attends college in Los Angeles. The Seydels’ home, EcoManor, was the first LEED-certified Gold residence in the southeastern United States.


Laura Turner Seydel


Natasha Turman 

Dr. Natasha T. Turman is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the department of Educational Leadership at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.  Natasha teaches courses in the Student Affairs in Higher Education (SAHE) program. Prior to her faculty appointment, Natasha served as the Project Manager for the Multi-Institutional Study of Leadership (MSL) an international quantitative research study measuring socially responsible leadership.  As a critical scholar, Natasha’s research interests cut across two distinct, yet complementary areas: gender and diversity in higher education and critical leadership education. These targeted foci allow her to examine who is excluded from the dominant narratives of leadership and post-secondary education, what systemic processes maintain this exclusion, and how institutions of higher education can be a catalyst for change and a viable environment for transformative leadership development. Natasha is an active scholar-practitioner with several publications and over fifteen national and international conference presentations. She engages in service to the field through membership on journal editorial boards and professional association leadership opportunities. Natasha has worked in the field of higher education student affairs for ten years in a variety of functional areas including leadership studies, student activities, residential life, and multicultural affairs. Natasha earned a Ph.D. in Higher Education from Loyola University Chicago, a M.S. Ed in Educational Leadership and Policy from Old Dominion University, and a B.S. in Chemistry from Spelman College.


Natasha Turman


Gregory C. Ellison II 

The Rev. Dr. Gregory C. Ellison, II joined the Candler faculty in 2009. His teaching draws primarily from his work with the organization he founded called Fearless Dialogues, a non-profit organization that creates unique spaces for unlikely partners to have hard, heartfelt conversations on taboo subjects like racism, classism, and community violence. 

Ellison’s research focuses on caring with marginalized populations, pastoral care as social activism, and 20th and 21st century mysticism. He is the author of Cut Dead But Still Alive: Caring for African American Young Men, and Fearless Dialogues: The Civil Rights Movement of the 21st Century and has one book in progress with Westminster John Knox Press—Anchored in the Current: The Eternal Wisdom of Howard Thurman in a Changing World.


Gregory C. Ellison



Geshe Lobsang 

Geshe Lobsang Tenzin Negi, Ph.D, (legal name Satya Dev Negi) is the co-founder and Director of the Emory-Tibet Partnership, a multi-dimensional initiative founded in 1998 to bring together the foremost contributions of the Western scholastic tradition and the Tibetan Buddhist sciencees of mind and healing, and a Professor of Practice in Emory University's Department of Religion. He is also the founder and spiritual director of Drepung Loseling Monastery, Inc., in Atlanta, GA. In this capacity, he serves as Co-Director of both the Emory-Tibet Science Initiative and the Emory Collaborative for Contemplative Studies. He also developed Cognitively-Based Compassion Training (CBCT), a compassion meditation program that is currently utilized in a number of research studies, including an NIH-funded study examining the efficacy of compassion meditation on the experience of depression.

Geshe Lobsang, a former monk, was born in Kinnaur, a small Himalayan kingdom adjoining Tibet. He began his monastic training at the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics and continued his education at Drepung Loseling Monastery in south India, where he received his Geshe Lharampa degree, the highest academic degree granted in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, in 1994. Dr. Negi completed his Ph.D. at Emory in 1999; his interdisciplinary dissertation centered on traditional Buddhist and contemporary Western approaches to emotions and their impact on wellness.

Negi Lobsang