2018 Public Health Ethics Forum Speakers

Dave Baldridge (Cherokee), BA
Dave Baldridge

A nationally-recognized Native advocate for elder issues, Dave has served as the Executive Director of the International Association for Indigenous Aging since 2003. Prior to that he was the Executive Director of the National Indian Council on Aging (NICOA) from 1992-2002. During that time he published nearly two dozen monographs and papers dealing with long-term care and elder abuse. Under his leadership at NICOA, NICOA became the nation’s foremost non-profit advocate for AI/AN elders. The organization tripled in size while significantly influencing legislation and federal policies affecting or Indian and Alaska Native elders.

Dave has been actively involved in public policy and research efforts on federal, state, and local levels. He has vast experience in the legislative, budget and advocacy process, representing the interests of older American Indians to Congress, states, and tribes. He has testified before Congress on several occasions. He has twice served on the board of the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and has been a technical assistance contractor to the Department of Justice Office of Violence against Women, assisting Native program grantees. His accomplishments include leading national advocacy for the Older Americans Act services for American Indian elders. He has authored numerous papers on Indian advocacy, health, demographics and culture. His work has involved extensive relationships with tribal councils and organizations, and sovereignty issues. His publications on a wide variety of Indian aging issues have been widely distributed and cited. He has interpreted Indian aging issues for Congressional subcommittees, federal task forces, state aging organizations, long-term care providers, Indian organizations, tribal- and inter-tribal councils.

Mamie Henry Wadkins Clemons, BS
Mamie Clemons

Mamie Henry Wadkins Clemons celebrated her 101st birthday on January 1, 2018 by hosting over 70 people at her home.  She was born in China, AL, to Nelson E. Henry, Sr. (grandson of Ulysses S. Grant) and Mattie Viola McDaniel Henry who immersed her in unselfish love, nurture and most of all, they taught her to pray.

Both of her parents were educators, community activists and advocates for interdependence yet self- sufficiency.  Dr. George Washington Carver was a close friend and frequent visitor as her father gathered the area farmers to learn techniques of crop rotation and multiple uses for crops harvested. Her father also coordinated the construction of the first Julius Rosenwald School in the region.  As the bronze bust for Dr. Carver was unveiled on the campus of Tuskegee Institute (Tuskegee University), the umbrella shielding him from the intense sunshine was held by none other than the industrious “Mamie”.

She attended Alabama State University, Tuskegee University and the University of Pittsburgh.  She earned a B.S. Degree with a double major in Mathematics and Science as well as a double minor in English and Social Studies.  Known as “Mrs. Wadkins” during her twenty-four years as a teacher, director of curriculum and principal in the Pittsburgh Public Schools, through math, science, English, social studies classes and physical education she imparted invaluable life lessons and memorable measures of effective discipline.

Her greatest passion is being an intercessory prayer warrior. It is Prayer Time (the title of her book) all of the time.  Her daily schedule includes counseling sessions and prayer for more than 1,000 friends who have provided photos for posting on her prayer boards.

Nadinne Cruz
Nadinne Cruz

As a pioneer of service-learning, Nadinne Cruz is a veteran practitioner, leader, advocate, and author on the need for community-based learning for social justice in the curricula of U.S. higher education. She is currently an independent consultant, but as she enters into her 70s, Nadinne has began to identify herself more simply as an Elder and is deeply intentional in exploring what it means to be an Elder in both professional and family circles.

Nadinne’s early volunteer experiences with peasants in the Philippines and her Filipina-American immigrant consciousness of domestic and international issues inspire her work in education. As former Director of the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford, Nadinne was founding director of the Public Service Scholars Program, taught service-learning courses for Stanford’s Program in Urban Studies, and, for seven years, lived with 100 college students as Resident Fellow of the Okada Asian American Undergraduate Residence. Prior to Stanford, Nadinne served as executive director of the Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs (HECUA), where she led 18 colleges and universities in the Upper Midwest to develop community-based learning programs in Minneapolis- St. Paul, Latin America, Scandinavia, and other parts of the world. As Eugene M. Lang Visiting Professor of Social Change at Swarthmore College, Nadinne piloted service-learning for the political science department’s Democratic Practice Project. Nadinne is co-author with Timothy Stanton and Dwight Giles of a book, Service-Learning: A Movement’s Pioneers Reflect on Its Origins, Practice, and Future, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1999.

Nadinne’s work has been recognized with the following: Honorary Degrees from Carleton College (MN) and Marlboro College (VT), the California Campus Compact Richard Cone Award for Excellence and Leadership in Cultivating Community Partnerships in Higher Education, the National Society for Experiential Education Service-Learning Pioneer of the Year, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst Distinguished Citizen Scholar, and the National Youth Leadership Council’s Alec Dickson Servant Leader Award for exemplary leaders who have inspired the service-learning field.

Nadinne Cruz talk for TEDxexternal icon

Honorary degree conferred by Carleton College
Honorary degree conferred by Marlboro College
Riggins Earl, PhD
Riggins Earl

Riggins Earl is a professor of Ethics and Theology at the Interdenominational Theological Center of the Atlanta University Center where he has served for thirty plus years. He holds the Ph. D. degree from Vanderbilt University in Social Ethics. He has done post-doctoral studies at Harvard and Boston University respectively. Earl has done research at the London Institute for African Studies; taught in the Religious Studies Department of the University of Tennessee at Knoxville; and taught religion in the university and seminary context for forty years. During that tenure, he has sought to be at the forefront of intellectual conversations about religion and the ethical and moral life particularly as it relates to black Americans.

Besides his numerous articles in print, Earl has published two major volumes on the subject of black religion and ethics: Dark Symbols, Obscure Signs: God, Self, and Community in the Slave Mind (1993); Dark Salutations: Greetings, Ritual, and God in Black America (2001). Earl’s work has earned him several national research awards, the most recent of which was The Lilly Professor Research Fellowship for the academic year 2001-2002 (sponsored through the Association of Theological Schools). In November 2007 and in 2009-2010, Earl was appointed by Tuskegee University as a Visiting Senior Scholar at The National Bioethics Center. He published the following articles from this research and study: “The USPHS Syphilis Study at Tuskegee: Rethinking the Horizons of Beneficence” in The Search for the Legacy of the USPHS Syphilis Study at Tuskegee, edited by Ralph V. Katz and Ruben Warren. Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books 2011; “Sankofan Socio-ethical Reflections: The Tuskegee University National Bioethics Center’s Decade of Operation, 1999-2009” in Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved volume 21, number 3 supplement Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press August 2010; “The American Constitution: Its Troubling Religious and Ethical Paradox for Blacks” in Ethics That Matters: African, Caribbean, and African American Sources, edited by Marcia Y. Riggs and James Samuel Logan. Minneapolis: Fortress Press 2012; “Black Theology and Human Purpose” in The Cambridge Companion To Black Theology (Cambridge Companion to Religion) edited by Dwight Hopkins and Edward Antonio Cambridge University Press 2012. Earl is presently writing an article on “Breaking Interfaith Sound Barriers: Louis Armstrong’s Creative Jazz Response to Judaism, Catholicism, and Protestantism” and “A Commoner’s Uncommon Life of Ministry: Pastor Johnny Flakes Jr. 1934-2013.”

Earl is presently writing the following book manuscripts: “No Balm in Gilead? The Ethics of Complicity in the Tuskegee Syphilis Study” and “The Jesus Crisis In Black Consciousness: The Theological and Ethical Dilemma”

Professor Earl, an ordained Christian clergy (Baptist), advocates teaching and preaching the gospel to meet the needs of the whole person. He does this by building communication bridges between the black church and the academy.

From July 2011 – August 2012 Earl served as interim pastor of the Beulah Baptist Church in Vine City Atlanta, Georgia. During that period, he launched a weekly Wednesday noonday Bible study service where better than two hundred homeless people were taught and fed at some week day sessions. Earl has formerly pastored for more than twenty plus years at churches in Shelbyville, Tennessee specifically, and the Knoxville, Tennessee suburban areas of Alcoa and Louisville respectively. Professor Earl is seriously committed to the teaching and preaching of the Christian gospel locally, nationally, and internationally. For a ten-year tenure, Earl taught during the summers in Vision Quest: An Ethical Leadership Academy for Youth in cities such as Atlanta, Detroit, and Rochester. He has done volunteer work at the Lindsey Street Baptist Church in Atlanta, conducting Bible classes for ex-felons.

Professor Earl is married to Natasha N. Coby Earl. Riggins was married to the late Lovelene Thornton Earl with whom he fathered two sons and one daughter. Earl is the grandfather of two grandsons, Nathan and Caden Earl.

Catherine Alicia Georges, EdD, RN, FAAN
Catherine Alicia Georges

Catherine Alicia Georges, EdD, RN, FAAN, was elected by the AARP Board of Directors to serve as AARP’s National Volunteer President from June 2018 to June 2020. The President’s role is filled by an AARP volunteer who is also a member of the all-volunteer AARP Board of Directors. The primary duty of the President is to act as the principal volunteer spokesperson, and liaison between the Board and those AARP serves, the 50-plus and AARP’s members and volunteers, engaging with these groups to promote the mission and strategic goals of AARP and to hear their perspectives. In addition to her duties representing AARP, Alicia is professor and chair of the Department of Nursing at Lehman College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She is president of the National Black Nurses Foundation. Previously, she was a staff nurse, team leader, supervisor and district manager for the Visiting Nurse Service of New York.  She serves on the Board of the Black Women’s Health Study and R.A.I.N., Inc. She earned her undergraduate degree from the Seton Hall University College of Nursing, her M.A. in Nursing from New York University and a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Vermont. She resides in Bronx, N.Y.

Kathy Kinlaw, MDiv
Kathy Kinlaw

Kathy Kinlaw is Associate Director of the Emory University Center for Ethics and Director of the Center’s Program in Health, Science, and Ethics. She is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Emory School of Medicine; and Director of the Health Care Ethics Consortium of Georgia.

Since 1994 Kathy has co-directed integration of Clinical Ethics into the School of Medicine’s curriculum and enjoys teaching in multiple departments and modules, including residency programs.  She led the development of the Master of Arts in Bioethics degree program of the Center for Ethics and the Laney Graduate School, and teaches core courses for the program.  She currently serves as:  a member of the Georgia Composite Medical Board; the Committee on Ethics and Professionalism of the Federation of State Medical Boards; and the Advisory Committee for EBICS (Emergent Behaviors of Integrated Cellular Systems).   Kathy co-chairs the Ethics/Legal Workgroup for the HRSA-funded, Georgia Department of Public Health HIV Health Information Exchange Challenge Grant.  She has served as a member of the CDC Ethics Subcommittee of the Advisory Committee to the Director, and is actively involved in emergency preparedness scholarship and practice, including work on ethical issues in pandemic planning.   Her publications and scholarly interests are primarily in the areas of:  palliative and end of life care, ethics and medical education, perinatal and neonatal ethics, the work of ethics committees, and public health ethics.

Becky A. Kurtz, JD
Becky Kurtz

Director, Area Agency on Aging

Manager, Aging & Independence Services

Atlanta Regional Commission

Becky Kurtz is passionate about promoting the well-being of older adults.

Currently she leads the area agency on aging for the 10-county metro Atlanta region, within the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC).  As metro Atlanta’s Aging and Disability Resource Connection, ARC connects older adults, persons with disabilities, their families and caregivers to resources with a goal of maximizing independence. Together with partners, ARC provides services and plans for the future of the region with the most rapidly growing aging population in the nation.

Ms. Kurtz was recently named by the US Department of Health and Human Services to its Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research, Care and Services.  In this capacity, she works to advance our nation’s work to support individuals living with dementia, their families and caregivers.

For more than 20 years, Ms. Kurtz’s work focused on protecting the rights and well-being of long-term care facility residents. She served as the national Director of the Office of Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs within the U.S. Administration for Community Living and as Georgia’s State Long-Term Care Ombudsman.  Prior to that, Ms. Kurtz led the Senior Citizens Advocacy Project of the Atlanta Legal Aid Society.  She also worked for the City of New York Law Department, representing city agencies.

A native of western North Carolina, Becky is a graduate of Emory & Henry College (Emory, Virginia) and Columbia University School of Law.

Page last reviewed: September 12, 2018