Learning from Diversity: A Forum of Business Leaders and Scholars
About the Event: Dr. Ming Wang's Cosmopolitan Initiative Lecture, presented in partnership with the MTSU African American History Month Committee, features a panel discussion between five business leaders and scholars speaking on ways to actively fight against racial prejudice and discrimination. While sharing their personal experiences with racism, each panelist explores actionable ways to reach a common ground. Learn more about the speakers below.
About the Speakers:
LEE MOLETTE II is a native of Detroit, Michigan, and graduate of North Carolina Central University. As a serial entrepreneur, he started his career as Nashville’s first Edward Jones Investments office. Then he began various business partnerships, including Frank Stanton Developer’s LLC in 2015. He created The Table Action LLC in 2020, which strives to bring people together to help increase the level of prosperity for People of Color in Middle Tennessee. He also founded the Molette Family Impact Advised Fund to strengthen and improve the quality of life for individuals. He is chairperson of Rotary Club of Nashville, board chair for the Ravenwood High School Football Booster Club (Red Zone), and a lifetime member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
SANDRA LEE is a veteran in radio, television, and digital media. She currently works as a Senior Media Strategist and Director of Artist Label Relations with Salem Media Group - local provider of Contemporary Christian Music Station 94FM The FISH and CCM Magazine. She serves as Executive Director of the Hispanic Organization of Leaders & Achievers (HOLA) and works closely with other nonprofit organizations including Men of Valor, Prison Fellowship, The Nashville Rescue Mission, Mercy Community Healthcare, Mom’s for TN., and others.
DONOVAN ROBERTSON, a native of Kingston, Jamaica, has an MBA from the University of Illinois – Chicago, and BA in economics at Columbia University. He started his career with All-State Insurance and later become a professor at Fisk University. He founded the Read2Me Organization a collaborative partnership between community stakeholders designed to improve literacy rates of students reading below grade level.
DR. MING WANG is a world-renowned laser eye surgeon, philanthropist, founder of the Wang Vision Institute, and a co-founder of the non-profit Common Ground Network. As a teenager, Ming fought valiantly to escape China’s Cultural Revolution – during which millions of innocent youth were deported to remote areas to face a life sentence of hard labor and poverty. He came to America with only $50 and earned two doctorate degrees, a Ph.D. in laser physics and a M.D. in medicine, and graduated with the highest honors from Harvard Medical School and MIT. Wang Foundation for Sight Restoration has helped patients from over 40 states in the U.S. and 55 countries, with all sight restoration surgeries performed free-of-charge. The film “Sight” is based on Dr. Wang’s autobiography “From Darkness to Sight” and co-stars Greg Kinnear.
HOWARD HENDERSON, Ph.D., is the Founding Director of the Center for Justice Research and professor of justice administration at Texas Southern University. He also serves as the chair of the MacArthur Foundation-funded Houston Racial/Ethnic Disparities Committee Data Workgroup who have been charged with identifying, addressing, and improving racial and ethnic disparities across the criminal justice system, and to enhance communication and engage the community. Dr. Henderson received his B.S. in criminal justice administration from Middle Tennessee State University, masters of criminal justice from Tennessee State University, and PhD in Criminal Justice from Sam Houston State University in 2006.
Panel Moderator KIP DODSON, MBA, is an industrial engineer, entrepreneur, principal of Dodson Management Consulting, co-founder and board member of Empower Local, board member of Tennessee Immigrant Minority Business Group, and owner of A Moment's Peace Salon & Spa.
About Dr. Ming Wang's Cosmopolitan Lecture Series: The purpose of this series is to promote civil dialogue on the economic, philosophical, and political benefits of an interconnected, tolerant, and cosmopolitan world. The series features academic scholars exploring the role of global trade, immigration, and de-escalation in establishing a more peaceful and prosperous future for all of humanity. Previous PERI lectures presented with support from Dr. Ming Wang's lecture series include, "Exploring Open Borders: The Science and Ethics of Immigration," with Professor Bryan Caplan; "The State of the Liberal Project: The Struggle for a Better World," with Professor Peter Boettke; "Seeking Common Ground in U.S. and China Trade," with Dr. Ming Wang; and "Debating Democracy: Do We Need More or Less?" with Professor Jason Brennan.