2021 SRRT Afternoon of Social Justice - Speaker Bios

Racial Justice/Social Responsibilities

Nicole A. Cooke
, Ph.D., M.Ed, MLS, Augusta Baker Endowed Chair and Associate Professor, University of South Carolina School of Information Science. Cooke was named a Mover & Shaker by Library Journal in 2007, she was awarded the 2016 ALA Equality Award, and she was presented with the 2017 ALA Achievement in Library Diversity Research Award, presented by the Office for Diversity and Literacy Outreach Services. She has also been honored as the Illinois Library Association’s 2019 Intellectual Freedom Award winner in recognition of her work in combating online hate and bullying in LIS, and she was selected as the Association for Library and Information Science Education's 2019 Excellence in Teaching award winner.

Marna M. Clowney-Robinson
, MSW, LLMSW, MLIS, IPI PMC, Access & Information Services Librarian, University of Michigan and Member-at-Large, SRRT Action Council. Clowney-Robinson earned a MSW from Wayne State University School of Library and Information Science. She was awarded a Fellowship at Simmons University in the SLS Inter-Professional Informationist Certificate program and recently completed certification in Integrated Health through the University of Michigan School of Social Work.



Focusing on Youth Homelessness: Lived Experiences and Insights

Julia Terry
(they/them), Choosing Our Roots: Co-Director of Programming; Statewide. Julia (queer femme; they/them) grew up on Yupik and Lower Tanana Dene land and is constantly craving salmonberries and cabin life. Julia holds a G.E.D. and a Masters of Social Work. They are a queer, poor, white, anti-racist, polyamorous relationship anarchist, mother who is family to transgender, queer, and lesbian people. Julia thinks it is essential to wellbeing that we make spaces where people can safely explore who they are.

Naomi Danford
(she/her) is a trans mixed-race woman, abuse survivor, and sexual assault survivor. she grew up in the Matanuska-Susitna valley (a large region in Alaska) her whole life. she’s a creative bubbly caring person whose goal is to advocate for other youth facing houselessness and abuse.

Earl Edwards
is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of California Los Angeles Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. His current research interests focus on how American public schools can better support youth experiencing homelessness. Earl has over ten years of professional experience in youth development and curriculum design and has designed and facilitated district-wide professional development modules covering data analysis, formative assessments, and effective teaching strategies for students with learning disabilities. In addition to his expertise in curriculum development, Earl has founded and contributed to several youth development programs that support Black and Latino males across the country.


Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Multi-Cultural Idea Exchange

Carla J. Davis
, Marketing and Communications Director, Akron-Summit County Public Library - Carla is a communications professional with over 20 years of experience in public relations, journalism, and communications. She currently serves as the Marketing Communications Director of the Akron-Summit County Public Library, where she is responsible for planning and directing system-wide communications, implementing strategies for marketing new and existing services and programs, and developing marketing campaigns, social media and directing the creative/production staff. Prior to joining the Library, Carla worked in the newsroom at the Akron Beacon Journal. Prior to that assignment, she developed ABJ promotional campaigns, including one for the Pulitzer Prize-winning year-long series, A Question of Color. The newspaper received the John S. Knight Gold Medal in 1994 for Meritorious Public Service. Carla is the owner of Carla Davis Communications, a strategic communications business, and Carla Davis Music. She has a passion for women’s and human rights issues, clinical counseling, and music. She has donated her singing abilities and voiceover talent for many worthwhile causes. Carla is a graduate of the University of Akron with a B.A. in Communications and Ashland University (Ashland Theological Seminary) with an M.A. in Pastoral Clinical Counseling. She also works at a private psychological office in Summit County. She resides in NEO with her family, and enjoys traveling, reading, music and spending time with friends and family. The beach is her happy place, this side of Heaven.

Ranti Junus
, Systems Librarian for Electronic Resources, Michigan State University Libraries - Ranti's work includes supporting the design, access organization, and support in technical and access issues related to electronic resources including purchased databases, the catalog, and other digital resources. Her interests include usability & accessibility (especially for persons with disabilities), open source and knowledge management. Ranti is also the subject librarian for Library & Information Science collection and the library liaison for MSU Museum Studies program. She enjoys listening to prog-rock, blues, jazz, and classic.

Erik Ponder
, African and African American Studies Librarian, Michigan State University Libraries - His area of interests are southern African contemporary politics, history, and popular culture. He has traveled extensively throughout the African continent. In 1994, he was an international election observer for the historic democratic elections in South Africa. He has collected ephemera from Africa in response to the Obama presidency. More recently, he has collected Black Lives Matter protest posters in Washington DC. Erik has also worked extensively in the Digital Humanities combining his interests in Africa and digital scholarship.

Brett Rohlwing
, Branch Manager, Milwaukee Public Library, Martin Luther King Branch - Brett has worked for the Milwaukee Public Library system for 10 years in a variety of roles and subject areas. He earned both his Bachelor’s Degree (1994) and MLIS (2009) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Planning for and working during the annual MLK Birthday Celebrations have been the most rewarding parts of his entire professional life.

Joy Zander
, Children's Librarian, Milwaukee Public Library, Martin Luther King Branch - Joy has dedicated her career to serving young people for over 18 years in the Milwaukee Public Library system. Currently, she is stationed at the Martin Luther King Library branch. Born and raised in Milwaukee, she earned her BA from Marquette University and MLIS from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Without a doubt, she is passionate about reading, creating meaningful programs, engaging communities and most importantly, helping patrons meet their goals. Joy and her husband, Shondell, have 5 children and enjoy making their community a better place.