ZORA!® Festival National Planners

Known affectionately as “The Brain Trust,” the ZORA! Festival National Planners first met in 1991 in preparation for the 5th Annual ZORA! Festival, “An International Celebration,” scheduled to take place in January 1994.

Its members came from the ranks of America’s most distinguished scholars, cultural and civic leaders; and,ultimately, it was they who were responsible for establishing the stature of the ZORA! Festival as an award-winning , internationally recognized event. The current members continue the tradition established by their predecessors.

N.Y. Nathiri, MS (Library Science)

Association to Preserve the Eatonville Community, Inc. (P.E.C.)

Julian C. Chambliss, Ph.D.

Michigan State University


José B. Fernández, Ph.D.

Dean Emeritus
University of Central Florida

Honorable Johnny Ford

Historic Black Towns and
Settlements Alliance, Inc. (HBTSA)

Vivian D. Geary, CMP

Universal Orlando Resort

Lonnie Graham, MFA

Pennsylvania State University

University Park

Maryemma Graham, Ph.D.

University of Kansas


Michelle Bachelor Robinson, Ph.D.

Spelman College


Trent Tomengo, MFA

Seminole State College of Florida


Eleanor Traylor, Ph.D.

Professor Emerita
Howard University

Washington, D.C.