About the Co-Authors

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J. Douglas Allen-Taylor is a native of Oakland, California, where he currently lives. A veteran of more than 20 years full-time work in the Black Freedom Movement, both in California and the Deep South, he is a journalist, political columnist, and author who has appeared in many local and national publications. His first novel, “SugareeRising,” is due to be released in the fall of 2012 by Freedom Voices Publishers of San Francisco.


Dr. Kimberly Mayfield Lynch is the first African-American tenured faculty member and chair of the education department at Holy Names University in Oakland California. Prior to becoming department chair, Dr. Mayfield served in a number of other capacities at the college, including a term as President of the Academic Senate.  She is a former Special Education teacher and has taught and supervised teachers in urban and suburban districts for eleven years. In 2001, she completed her doctorate in Learning and Instruction at the University of San Francisco and began her career in higher education.

Dr. Mayfield Lynch served as the convener of the Effective Teachers for Oakland Taskforce from 2006-2011 under Mayor Ronald V. Dellums. The primary goal of this taskforce was to develop strategies to create a local permanent teaching force for the Oakland Unified School District.    The task force effort helped to create Teach Tomorrow in Oakland, a program which has already placed fifty diverse local residents in Oakland schools, each having made a commitment to teach for at least five years.   Presently, she is the board chair of the Oakland Alliance of Community Partnerships (OACP). The mission of OACP is to develop relationships with organizations that will enhance the quality of life for Oakland residents.

In 2008, Dr. Mayfield published a chapter in “Racial and Cultural Competence in the Urban Classroom entitled, “Standing on the Rock: An African American Educator’s Professional Development.”    She has also published numerous articles in newspapers and periodicals. Her research interests and activism include creating a permanent diverse teaching force, and the disproportionate over-representation of African American males in special education.  Dr. Mayfield has presented at conferences of the National Association for Multicultural Education and the National Association for Alternative Certification.

Dr. Mayfield speaks with authority as both a professional and an engaged resident because of her family’s lifelong educational involvement and her own activism at City Hall and in the Oakland community.  Her mother was a very effective teacher in both Louisiana and Oakland. Her father is an entomologist with a degree in Biology.   Her husband is an Oakland teacher, and her son is an Oakland public school student.

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