Charles Best
Founder and CEO,

Charles Best leads, a nonprofit website which enables anyone to help a classroom in need. Charles launched the organization in 2000 at a Bronx public high school where he taught history for five years. To date, teachers at more than 80% of all the public schools in America have created classroom project requests on, and more than 3 million people have given to those projects. is one of Oprah Winfrey's "ultimate favorite things" and made the cover of Fast Company as one of the "50 Most Innovative Companies in the World," the first time a charity has received such recognition.

Kandice A. Sumner

Dr. Kandice A. Sumner is the Instructional Coach & Restorative Justice Specialist at Fenway High School, an urban Boston Public pilot school. Dr. Sumner has been a successful Boston Public School teacher and leader for over ten years.

While born and raised in urban Boston, she graduated from a suburban school system via the METCO program (Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity); the longest running voluntary desegregation program in America. Dr. Sumner graduated from Spelman College Phi Beta Kappa with departmental honors.

As the feature of the documentary film “Far From Home”, she is invited frequently to public speaking and consulting engagements facilitating difficult conversations about race, education, gender and equity. Dr. Sumner is the sole facilitator for the RACE (Race Achievement Culture and Equity) professional development series and has been a mentor in youth programs such as Today’s Students Tomorrow’s Teachers and S.A.G.E. (Sumner Advisory for Girl Empowerment) Girl’s Group.

Dr. Sumner’s doctoral research was a Critical Black Feminist Autobiography that examined the lived experiences of a participant in METCO and calls for further work to be done in the socioemotional, mental and racial identity development of Black individuals matriculating predominantly white institutions. Going from being one of a few Blacks in her school to learning at a historically Black college to teaching in underserved and predominantly Black and Latino neighborhoods of Boston, Kandice has spent a lifetime traversing the lines of race, class and gender.

Laura W. Murphy 
Civil Liberties and Civil Rights Policy Strategist

Laura W. Murphy is an influential national civil liberties and civil rights leader and a consummate policy strategist. She brings more than 35 years of experience in government and advocacy, including 17 years as Director of the ACLU Legislative Office where she advanced legislation on free speech, criminal justice reform, national security, reproductive rights, LGBT and civil rights, and Internet privacy before Congress and the White House. She has testified more than a dozen times before Congress and has been celebrated for building effective bipartisan coalitions.

Murphy serves as senior advisor to Airbnb, helping the home-sharing company update its policies and leading its efforts against discrimination on its platform. In 2016, Harvard University selected her as one of its Advanced Leadership Initiative fellows, a year-long program for highly accomplished and experienced leaders who are interested in tackling new challenges in the social justice sector. In 2015, Murphy received the Hubert H. Humphrey Civil Rights Award "for selfless and devoted service in the cause of equality" from the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.


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