Dr. Hall-Russell is the President and Chief Cultural Consultant of BW3, a Pittsburgh-based diversity, equity, and inclusion research firm. She works with companies in the region and nationally to create cultures ready to hire, retain, include and support employees across a diversity of race, gender and competencies. She also facilitates critical conversations, including moderating local and regional conversations on race, politics, community action, and DEI. She has over 20 years of nonprofit executive leadership in Pittsburgh and in her hometown for Indianapolis. She holds an MA in Philanthropic Studies, MPA in Nonprofit Management, and an EdD in Leadership and Administration.
Farooq Al-Said, professionally known as "Said," is an artivist (artist/activist) from Toronto, Canada, residing in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Said has gone from a once incarcerated individual to a K-8 classroom teacher and now serves as Director Of Operations for the national Arts & Activism collective, 1Hood Media.
Formally known as Ayatollah Jaxx, the Black and Lebanese MC was signed to a major label in the mid-2000s. Said released his critically acclaimed debut album "Hello, Hip Hop" and spent time ghostwriting for many artists before becoming disenchanted with the music industry and focusing his arts, activism, and education efforts. Helping create an award-winning Arts & Education platform, Hip Hop On L.O.C.K, Said merged his musical endeavors into social activism by teaching in juvenile detention centers, schools, and even the University of Sydney in Australia.
Said recently released his first album in over ten years, "The Kid With The Golden Arms." A semi-autobiographical journey that chronicles his evolution from being heavily involved in the streets to childhood trauma and the political climate made him switch career paths to activism. Riddled with political commentary, punchlines about social issues, and criminology, The Kid With The Golden Arms, delivers one of the freshest offerings Hip-Hop witnessed in years.