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1905 Quaker  School in Chapel Hill, North Carolina | Photo source:


Our mission is to cultivate our capacities & brighten our communities through educational opportunities for the descendants of the enslaved in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.


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Danita Mason-Hogans is an award-winning civil rights historian, educator, speaker, writer  and activist. Danita is a native of Chapel Hill, NC from seven generations on both sides of her family. The daughter of Dave Mason of the Chapel Hill Nine, who began the first sit-in of Chapel Hill’s civil rights’ movement, igniting decade of protests against segregation. Danita's acclaimed TEDx Talk "Why the Way We Tell Stories is A Social Justice Issue" was featured on TED where she describes the Critical Oral History methodology, which she uses for her podcast RE/Collecting Chapel Hill.


Working with school systems, universities, activists and historians she collaborates and consults to document local and national history from the “inside out” and from the “bottom up.” ​Danita was a featured guest on PBS with award-winning filmmaker Thomas Allen Harris to discuss their work to capture Black narrative voices in stories about African Americans, and featured in the documentary I'm Smart Too, and UNC School of Medicine's 'Do No Harm' film.  Danita works with veteran Civil Rights activists from the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) to document their experiences and transform them into K-12 Civil Rights components. 

Danita's advocacy initiatives include leading as an organizer for the One Person One Vote Campaign.  Danita  her work for reparations, no cost education program and cost-free college tuition for the descendants of the enslaved laborers at UNC garnered publicity on both ABC and NBC , which led her to found the nonprofit Bridging the Gap to continue and advance education initiatives in the Chapel Hill community. She formerly served as a Program Manager at Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies for the Critical Oral Histories Component where she worked with civil rights veterans and today's activists to document movement history.


Appointed by Chapel Hill, North Carolina Mayor Pam Hemminger, Danita provided leadership to the Chapel Hill Historic Rights Commemorations Task Force. Danita serves on the University of North Carolina's Commission on History, Race, and a Way Forward to explore, engage and teach the University’s history with race and provide recommendations to the Chancellor regarding archives, history, curation, curriculum development, teaching, engagement, ethics and reckoning. Danita is the recipient of the Chapel Hill's 2020 Home Town Hero Award and she is currently working on a book collaboration project on voting rights written with Tim Tyson, author of The Blood of Emmett Till, five documentaries on women and the local civil rights movement.

missy julian fox

Board Member

Missy Julian-Fox is an educator, author, business owner and experiential designer who, most recently, served as Director of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Visitors' Center and First Look Executive Director, 2008 - 2018, introducing more than 27,000 middle school students across North Carolina to the possibility, pathway, accessibility, experience and benefits of going to college.  A Tar Heel born and bred, she is a Chapel Hill native, literally growing up in her parents’ clothing store, Julian’s, on Franklin Street.  Earning a B.A. degree in English from Carolina and a M.Ed. from Boston University, Missy served as a Title I reading teacher both in Massachusetts and upon her return to Chapel Hill, at Seawell Elementary School, forging a commitment to children, education and access that continues to be her lifelong passion.  

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Board Member

Bonita Joyce started organizing around community education when she came to the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill as a freshman. She became involved with a group of students interested in creating a community-based program about Black history and culture. In 1992 the group formed the Communiversity Youth Program, a Saturday school aimed to educate, empower and expose youth to different aspects of African American culture and history. Through her involvement with the program, Ms. Joyce learned more about the lack of quality education for Black kids in Chapel Hill. She continued her push to empower local youth after graduating, and accepted a position at Hargraves Community Center running the after school program. Ms. Joyce partnered with Danita Mason-Hogans to run an academic-based after school program aimed at supporting the youth through study help, field trips, and other enrichment. Through the years, she has continued pushing to improve and expand the educational experience for Black kids in Chapel Hill.


Mike Ogle

Board Member

Mike Ogle has been using skills he honed as a journalist, writer, and editor to advance causes for equity and racial justice since 2016. His work on the widely forgotten 1970 murder of James Cates Jr. on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has helped lead to a re-emergence of Mr. Cates's story, a public re-examination of the circumstances surrounding his death, campaigns to permanently honor Mr. Cates on UNC's campus, and the formation of the James Cates Remembrance Coalition. Mike has served on the Executive Committee of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP and been a member of the Orange County Community Remembrance Coalition, which coordinates with the Equal Justice Initiative. He also founded the online newsletter Stone Walls, which examines undertold local history and connects those narratives to modern inequities. As a journalist, Mike has written for The New York Times, ESPN The Magazine, Sports Illustrated, New York, Washington Post, and News & Observer. Mike's work on Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1960 visit to Chapel Hill and the 1947 Journey of Reconciliation uncovered unseen local racial tensions and previously unknown history, as did his work on the 1898 lynching of Manly McCauley. Mike graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a degree in journalism and mass communication and an outside concentration in history.

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Dianne Jackson

Board Member

Diane Jackson is an educational justice advocate. As a member of the NAACP Education Committee, she helped start the Learning Bridge program, offering virtual tutoring as well as on-site tutoring for students in Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools. Dianne worked as an Elementary School Librarian for thirty years in the Chapel Hill Carrboro City Schools. She has a small family, a dog, and loves travel and community service. She volunteers at UNC Hospital as a Pediatric Cuddler and is mentoring her second match through the Blue Ribbon Mentor Advocate Program.  Dianne is President of the American Federation of Teachers of North Carolina and received the Jan Allen Award from the Chapel Hill chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) in 2021 for her work helping women and young girls in Chapel Hill. 

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Alethea Alston

Board Member

Alethea Alston is the Executive Director at Holmes Child Care Center offering care and educational experiences in Chapel Hill, NC.  Alethea founded a major recycling program in 1989, in the Ridgefield Community (now South Estes Drive) where she was the community base teacher. educating residents on environmentalism and restoring beauty to their community.  Alethea also led in education and revitalizing of communities in Chapel Hill though founding a Parent Playground Committee to repair playgrounds utilized by Head Start programs. In 1995-1996 Alethea was awarded the National Head Start Teacher of the Year.  Serving as the Parent Ambassador for Grey Culbreth Middle School has been one of her most enjoyable ventures. Alethea serves on the University of North Carolina's Race, History and Way Forward Committee, Greenbridge Holiday Gift Giving. For over two years, Alethea is active in the NAACP'S National Town Hall Meetings with Derrick Johnson addressing a variety of topics including COVID-19, Voting in America, and racism.


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Christopher Faison earned his Bachelor of Arts in History and Afro-American Studies and Master of Arts in Teaching at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Chris is currently finishing a Ph.D. in Educational Research and Policy Analysis at North Carolina State University. He has served as an assistant director for federal loans in the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid at UNC-CH. Chris completed a national fellowship with the American Express Leadership Academy at Campaign for Black Male Achievement. Chris has served as the Chairman and Executive Director Observer of the North Carolina State Board of Education

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