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The Power of Naming

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This program aired Sunday, October 4, 2020.

The Power of Naming: Why language is critical in dismantling racism will explore the use of coded language to further the division in our country. From bias headlines about victims and perpetrators of racial violence to the coded language of politicians; the words and messages that we digest everyday have the power to sway our positions on the social and political issues we are facing.  Using the 1906 Atlanta Massacre as an anchor, we will explore how our words impact narratives critical in dismantling racism.

Join the National Center for Civil and Human Rights and Equitable Dinners Atlanta for this discussion with author, Hilary Beard; Kira Simon, Director of Curriculum and Training at Anti-Defamation League; and Dr. Jonathan Gayles, Professor and Chair of African-American Studies at Georgia State University.


Adria Kitchens
Program Manager
Equitable Dinners Atlanta

Adria Kitchens has supported women in transforming their lives for over a decade. She specializes in working with self actualizing women; executives, experienced coaches, therapists, local and global leaders. Adria is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University, a Certified Cultural Competency Facilitator, and a Certified Feminine Power Coach and Facilitator specializing in women’s Transformational Leadership.

Adria is currently the Equitable Dinners Atlanta Program Manager, leading a network of impassioned leaders to connect our communities, bring awareness to inequities, and activate anti-racist action.Adria has many years’ experience supporting the growth and development of new and emerging organizations. Ms. Kitchens began her career in Neuroscience at Yerkes Primate Center at Emory University. She holds a Senior Certified Coach appointment within the Feminine Power Program, a global women’s leadership community. She holds master’s degrees in accounting & financial management and business administration and a BA in Natural Sciences. Her passion is supporting women in catalyzing their leadership.


Kira Simon
Director of Curriculum and Training
Anti-Defamation League

Kira serves ADL EDU as the Director of Curriculum and Training. As a content writer, Kira designs training materials and learning experiences to promote an anti-bias mindset among educators and a diverse, equitable, and inclusive climate in schools and communities. Based upon the presumption that bias is universal and constructed, ADL EDU’s training materials and programs support participants’ pursuit of inclusion and equity in their classrooms and professional relationships. Previously, Kira held the position of Assistant Education Director for the New York/New Jersey region, delivering A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute programs at K-12 schools and on college campuses across New York and New Jersey, and designing professional development experiences on best practices for promoting inclusive learning environments for marginalized student groups of New York and New Jersey. Prior to working at ADL, Kira taught elementary school for six years in both Colorado and New York. Kira also designed curriculum across academic disciplines that empowers teachers and students to keep social justice at the forefront of a meaningful educational experience. Kira earned her undergraduate degree in Art History from Union College and earned her graduate degree in Childhood Education from City College of New York.

Dr. Jonathan Gayles
Professor and Chair of African-American Studies
Georgia State University

Jonathan Gayles, Ph.D. is Professor and Chair of African-American Studies at Georgia State University. He is a graduate of Morehouse College (B.A., Psychology), Winthrop University (M.S., School Psychology) and the University of South Florida (Ph.D., applied anthropology). His primary areas of interest include the anthropology of education, Black masculinity, and critical media studies. In 2012, he produced the award-winning documentary on African-American comic book superheroes entitled “White Scripts and Black Supermen: Black Masculinities in Comic Books ”(California Newsreel). In 2013, the American Culture Association/Popular Culture Association awarded the documentary the Peter Rollins Best Documentary Film Award. He also produced “The E-Word: A Documentary on the Ebonics Debate.” The film examines the context of the national furor in response to the Oakland Unified School District’s Resolution on Ebonics. The film pursues a more informed understanding of “The E-Word” through the use of archival footage and interviews with former students, teachers, administrators, policy-makers and scholars that were directly involved with the Resolution and the national debate that ensued. During his tenure at Georgia State University he served as the inaugural Associate Dean for Undergraduate Learning in the College of Arts and Sciences as well as the Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness. As Associate Provost, he led Georgia State University’s (GSU) consolidation with the former Georgia Perimeter College (GPC). This is the largest consolidation in the history of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. He currently serves as Chair of the University Task Force for Racial Equality.

Hilary Beard
Author, Public Speaker, Trainer, Coach, Faithwalker

Hilary Beard is an award-winning writer and editor and the coauthor of eight books, including three New York Times best sellers. Most recently she coauthored Promises Kept: Raising Black Boys to Succeed in School and in Life, the companion to the Sundance award-winning documentary American Promise, with filmmakers Joe Brewster, M.D., and Michèle Stephenson. She is also a career coach. Earlier in her career, she worked in corporate America. Hilary is an honors graduate of Princeton University and lives in Philadelphia.


  • Equitable Dinners

    The mission of Equitable Dinners Atlanta is to build community, increase understanding and empathy for the experience of people of color, heighten equity awareness, and activate anti-racist action.


  • Become an ambassador for the Campaign for Equal Dignity and invite 10 friends to join the Campaign today.Some sample text to share includes:

    • We all deserve #EqualDignity: access to health security, quality education, voting rights, economic stability, & justice for all. These are our civil & human rights. Check out & sign the pledge at www.equaldignity.org.

    • One person, organization, or family cannot define what #EqualDignity is for us all. We believe it is access to health security, quality education, voting rights, economic stability, & justice for all. Join & sign the pledge for Equal Dignity at www.equaldignity.org.

    • Join our effort to reaffirm our belief of #EqualDignity & add your own beliefs too. A nation built by the people should have rights #ForThePeople. Learn more & sign the pledge at www.equaldignity.org


October 4, 2020
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm