JACKSONVILLE, FL – A specially scheduled Stay Woke: The Edward Waters College (EWC) President’s Distinguished Speaker Series will be streamed live via Zoom and broadcasted via Facebook on Thursday, June 11, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. This iteration of the speaker series will feature a panel of Jacksonville area African-American leaders and influencers that will share their reactions and perspectives related to the recent local, national, and international unrest that has resulted from the killing of unarmed and largely African-American males in our country. Even more, the panel participants will look to share their insight and explore solutions and potential strategic actions that individuals and community organizations can take towards seeking to create and advance public policy that will promote equitable quality of life outcomes for all Jacksonville’s citizens and especially its communities of color.

The conversation will be hosted by Dr. A. Zachary Faison, Jr., President and CEO of Edward Waters College, and moderated by Jacksonville native Ms. Dawn Lopez, co-anchor of Action News This Morning and Action News Jax at Noon CBS/47 Fox/30.

“Edward Waters College has a long and storied history as one of Jacksonville’s most prominent proverbial public squares where the academy and the community coalesce to engage to socio-political issue of our day in support of the conceptualization development and implementation of meaningful active solutions for the citizens and communities in which we serve and live,” said Dr. A. Zachary Faison, Jr., President of Edward Waters College. “EWC is taking initiative, creating a platform, and giving an opportunity for genuine change to take place here in our Jacksonville Community.”

The speaker series is a student and campus-wide academic experiential engagement initiative intended to present a robust and varied collection of distinguished and scholarly speakers to the EWC campus community. This initiative, started in 2018, seeks to engage the views, ideas, and espoused ideals expressed by international, national, and local thought leaders, authors, entertainers, activists, advocates, athletes, educators, business leaders, and opinion shapers who will be featured as a part of this series.

The panelist for the conversation will include: : Senior Bishop of the 11th District of the A.M.E. Church, Presiding Prelate Bishop Adam J. Richardson, Jr.; Dr. Nathaniel Glover ‘66, EWC President Emeritus, retired Jacksonville Sherriff; Mr. Sam Newby ‘94, Vice President-Designee, Jacksonville City Council, Dr. Charles E. Moreland ‘03, Director of Community & International Affairs Office of Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry; Dr. Richardson Danford, President, Jacksonville Urban League; Mr. Mandrake T. Miller, EWC Vice President for Student Success &Engagement; Dr. Kenneth Davis, EWC Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice; Mr. Johnnie Henry, EWC Student Government Association President; and Mr. Robert Thomas, III, 2020-2021 Mister Edward Waters College.

“At EWC, we encourage intellectual dialogue around issues facing the whole of our society and particularly those that impact the African-American community given our historic mission and founding as the State of Florida’s first independent institution of higher education and Florida’s first college or university established for the purpose of educating African-Americans” said President Faison. “The speaker series supports our institutional vision which emphatically denotes our ‘Emerging Eminence’ as we continue our work towards preparing students to be pioneering leaders, insatiable learners, critical thinkers, and agents for positive change in every sector of our increasingly expanding society and world.”

This series will be broadcast on facebook.com/ewctigers and will begin Thursday, June 11, 2020 at 6:00 p.m.


About Edward Waters College

Edward Waters College (EWC), accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and member of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), is a private, historically black, urban college which offers a liberal arts education with a strong emphasis on the Christian principles of high moral and spiritual values. EWC was established in 1866 and is an African Methodist Episcopal Church-related institution of learning. It is the first private institution of higher education in the State of Florida.

** Post revised on 9/4/20. Corrections has been made to this post to reflect the original submission .

Every Monday, the HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) will spotlight a Chancellor or President who currently serves a Historically Black College or University. This initiative recognizes and introduces those individuals who serve our nation HBCUs on a daily basis, changing and educating lives while producing the forthcoming visionary leaders of tomorrow.

This week’s Chancellor or President:  Dr. A. Zachary Faison, Jr., Edward Waters College

Dr. A. Zachary Faison, Jr., 30th President and CEO of Edward Waters College.

Dr. A. Zachary Faison, Jr., is the 30th President and CEO of Edward Waters College. Dr. Faison is a visionary and prolific higher education leader having set an audacious vision for EWC as a destination institution of Emerging Eminence.

A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Faison’s career exploits include distinguished professional experiences as a higher education executive administrator, educator, and attorney. He was most recently the General Counsel and Vice President of External Affairs at Tuskegee University where he served as the university’s chief legal officer and provided principal oversight for his legislative and governmental relations functions. Prior to that, he served as Vice President for Enrollment Management & Student Affairs at Virginia Union University (VUU) in Richmond, VA where he helped lead the university in achieving increases in overall student enrollment and retention having founded the VUU College for African-American Men (VCAAM). He also previously served as Special Assistant to the President Legal & Legislative Affairs, Community Affairs, and Economic Development at Mississippi Valley State University in Itta Bena, MS where he later become University Chief of Staff before being name Vice President of Institutional Advancement (interim) & Executive Director of the MVSU Foundation. Faison’s philanthropic work at MVSU yielded nearly $25 million dollars in funding to the university towards new capital projects, infrastructural improvements, and campus renovations. He previously held directorships at EWC as Director of External Relations and Leadership Gifts and at Albany State University (ASU) in Albany, Georgia as the Director of Alumni Affairs. As a scholar-educator, Faison has held professional appointments at both the undergraduate and graduate level(s) in various academic disciplines including Political Science, Criminal Justice, and Business Administration. Faison is also a former state prosecutor having served as an Assistant District Attorney prosecuting criminal felony drug cases in Georgia.

Faison graduated Magna Cum Laude from Albany State University (ASU) with a bachelor of arts (B.A.) in English. He attended the University of Georgia School of Law (UGA) where he earned his Juris Doctorate (J.D.). He has completed post-doctoral study as a graduate of the Harvard University Graduate School of Education’s Institute of Educational Management (IEM) and was Millennium Leadership Initiative (MLI) Institute Fellow of the American Association of State Colleges & University (AASCU) & Association of Public Land-Grant Universities (APLU). Additionally, he is a graduate of AASCU’s New President’s Academy and is a Gamma Cohort Fellow of the Higher Education Leadership Foundation (HELF). Faison also hold a Certification in Fundraising Management (CFRM) designation from The Fundraising School of Philanthropy at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI).

Faison is active in several professional, civic, and social organizations and has delivered over 35 presentations and lectures at conferences and professional meeting nationwide. He has received recognition for his outstanding community and civic work by the Greenwood Commonwealth; (“Top 40 under 40” Young Professional); Mississippi Business Journal (“Top 40 under 40” nominee); and Albany State University in its inaugural publication of its “Top 50 ASU Alumni under 50.” Most recently, he was selected as one of the nation’s Top “40 Attorneys under 40” by the National Bar Association.

Faison is married to Tyciee L. White, who is a seasoned higher education administrator, educator, and ordained minister.


About Edward Waters College

Edward Waters College is a small, Christian, Historically Black, urban liberal arts college that offers quality baccalaureate programs. The College strives to prepare student holistically to advance in a global society through the provision of intellectually stimulating programs, and an environment that emphasizes high moral and spiritual values in keeping with the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Edward Waters College seeks to develop excellence in scholarship, research and service for the betterment of humanity. For more information, visit www.ewc.edu.

About the HBCU Campaign Fund

HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) is a non-profit advocacy organization which is mission to supporting the significance and campaign in raising funds for scholarships and services at historically black colleges and universities and predominately black institutions. HCF advocates for students, alumni, HBCU and PB institutions. For more information, visit www.hbcucampaignfund.org.