We are excited to hear from two community advocates during the closing reception for Black Studies @ 50. The research, policy work, scholarship, and cultural production happening at Black Studies is magnified when it can lift up – and be lifted up by – citizens who are on the front lines, making life better for underrepresented populations across the city.

Kellee Coleman was born and raised in Austin, TX. She has been active in community social justice work since she was 12 years old. She returned to college as a mother and  graduated with a B.A. in Sociology. She is the former coordinator of Vibrant Woman/Mama Sana prenatal clinic, a project of Mamas of Color Rising, the organization she co-founded in 2008. The project works to provide holistic and culturally centered prenatal care, birth companions, midwifery, prenatal fitness and nutrition services to lower income Black and Latina women in the Austin area.  She is the mother of 3, a former member of the national leadership collective of Incite! Women and Transpeople of Color against Violence and a consultant/trainer on social justice issues. She is currently a member of Communities of Color United for Racial Justice.

Priscilla A. Hale, MSW is the Executive Director of allgo and has been with the organization since 1998. She previously directed allgo’s HIV/AIDS case management, outreach and education programs. She has extensive experience in the areas of community organizing, production of cultural work, nonprofit administration, program development, and implementation. She serves on the Dell Medical School Community Strategy Team, the Women’s Rising Project advisory board and Treasure City Thrift Community Advisory Board. She is an East Austin, Texas native and her family has been in the Austin Area for seven generations. She earned her Master’s of Social Work Degree from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, TX, and her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from St. Edward’s University in Austin, TX.