Meet the Directors

Peter Cole is a professor of history at Western Illinois University and a research associate in the Society, Work and Development Institute at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. Cole is the author of the award-winning Dockworker Power: Race and Activism in Durban and the San Francisco Bay Area and Wobblies on the Waterfront: Interracial Unionism in Progressive-Era Philadelphia. He has also edited Ben Fletcher: The Life and Times of a Black Wobbly and co-edited Wobblies of the World: A Global History of the IWW.

Franklin N. Cosey-Gay is the Director of the Violence Recovery Program, Urban Health Initiative, University of Chicago Medicine. His work emphasizes emerging Public Health practice that goes beyond just looking at risk behaviors but researching upstream examining root causes of violence such as the physical, social, economic, and service environments to address social inequities tied to class and race.

Syda Segovia Taylor, is the founder and executive director of Organic Oneness, a grassroots social justice organization that ​co-creates with communities to mobilize systemic change, healing and wellness, foregrounding Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. Ms. Taylor is a member of the Bahá’í Faith, fellow for Culture of Health Leadership Institute for Racial Healing, a part of the Interfaith America Emerging Leaders Fellowship, and a national partner for the Be the Healing Movement with Dr. Joy DeGruy.

Myles X Francis is the Project Director of the Chicago Center for Youth Violence Prevention (CCYVP), housed within the Crown Family School of Social Work at the University of Chicago. Through CCYVP, Myles works with service providers and neighborhood organizations to provide the residents of historically underserved communities with resources, workforce opportunities and trauma informed care via evidence-based, community led initiatives.