ZORA!™ Festival National Planners

Known affectionately as “The Brain Trust,” this distinguished group of cultural artists and scholars is responsible for the award-winning stature of ZORA!™ Festival.

Each March the ZORA!™ Festival National Planners convene for an intensive day and a half meeting to discuss the 5-year cycle of festivals. The agenda includes, not only finalizing upcoming festivals, but also identifying strategic relationships which will enhance and advance the mission of this special event. This meeting is hosted by the Dean of the University of Central Florida College of Arts & Humanities.

ZORA!™ National Planning Committee

N. Y. Nathiri, Chair, Executive Director

Association to Preserve the Eatonville Community

Lois Hurston Gaston, Ph.D.

Co-Trustee, Zora Neale Hurston Trust, Valrico (FL)

Julian Chambliss, Ph.D.

Michigan State University

Eleanor Traylor, Ph.D.

Professor Emerita
Howard University

Anne V. Adams, Ph.D.

Professor Emerita, Cornell University

Deidre H. Crumbley, Ph.D.

Professor Emerita
North Carolina State University

Jose Fernandez, Ph.D.

Retired Dean, College of Arts and Humanities
University of Central Florida

Honorable Johnny Ford

President, Historic Black Towns and Settlements Alliance (HBTSA)

Michelle Bachelor Robinson, Ph.D.

Spelman College

Professor Lonnie Graham

Pennsylvania State University

Stephen Caldwell Wright, Ph.D.

Seminole State College

Maryemma Graham, Ph.D.

University Distinguished Professor, University of Kansas
Department of English

Founder & Director,
KU Project on the History of Black Writing

ZORA!™ Festival Academics Committee

Anna Lillios, Ph.D.

Department of English
University of Central Florida

Julian Chambliss, Ph.D.

Department of English
Michigan State University

Scot French, Ph.D.

Department of History
University of Central Florida

Trent Tomengo, MFA

Professor of Humanities
Seminole State College

Clarissa West-White, Ph.D.

Bethune-Cookman University