Speaker Bios

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Charles Black

A native of Miami, Florida, Charles is an alumnus of Morehouse College, where he was a member of the varsity debate team, editor of the college newspaper, president of the senior class, and chairman of The Atlanta Student Movement (1960’s Civil Rights organization). Charles was one of only eight students taught by Dr. Martin Luther King,Jr. at Morehouse.

Charles is a veteran actor in various media, Chairman of the Board of Illien Adoptions International, Inc., a member of the board of Freedom University, a member and Past Chairman of the board of Hammonds House Museum, past Editor of The Atlanta Inquirer Newspaper, Inc. and past CEO of a national consulting firm Frontiers Unlimited, Inc. He has also been an advisor and manager of numerous civic and political campaigns.

He has starred in a series of faith-based films, accompanied by training guides, being used in more than 1,200 churches across the nation. He regularly mentors younger generations of community and political activists. And, is in demand as a speaker or panelist on matters of Civil and Human Rights. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Honor for a Lifetime of Community Service by President Barack Obama in 2016.

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Matt Westmoreland

Matt Westmoreland is the Post 2 At-Large member of the Atlanta City Council. Prior to his election, Matt was the Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education’s District 3 representative, serving as chair of its Budget Commission and legislative liaison to the Georgia General Assembly. 

During his tenure, the board recruited and partnered with a new superintendent to rewrite the school system’s mission and vision, revise its strategic plan, define equity, adopt a new operating model that pushed decision-making down to schools, develop a turnaround strategy for chronically struggling schools, and build a $545 million capital-projects plan. 

As chair of the Budget Commission, Matt led efforts to cut waste from the central office, increase teacher pay, allocate funding based on student need, and direct more dollars to classrooms. During his tenure, Atlanta Public Schools’ graduation rate increased 19 points from 58 percent to 77 percent, and the district saw improved SAT, ACT, and Advanced Placement test scores system-wide.

An Atlanta native, Matt attended Morningside Elementary School, Inman Middle School, and Henry W. Grady High School. He received his bachelor’s degree in history from Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey, where he served as editor-in-chief of The Daily Princetonian. After graduation, Matt returned to Atlanta as a Teach for America Corps Member and taught history at Carver Early College High School in southeast Atlanta.

Matt previously served as programs director for Horizons Atlanta, an educational non-profit serving low-income students across Metro Atlanta through summer enrichment programs. He also worked for the Atlanta Regional Commission, the Washington, D.C. Public Schools System, in the D.C. office of Congressman John Lewis, and was an Urban Leaders Fellow with Colorado Senator Mike Johnston.

A lifelong and active member of Peachtree Road United Methodist Church, Matt lives in Midtown.

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Tyler Griffin

Tyler Griffin is graduate of Wabash College and Johns Hopkins University where he studied English and Biology. He joined teach for America upon graduating and taught at his placement school in Atlanta Public Schools for 3 years. After winning teacher of the year and district runner up he has spent the last two years as an instructional coach and school improvement specialist for Fulton County Schools. Tyler is a national facilitator of diversity, equity and Inclusiveness and most recently has been named he founding assistant principal of curriculum and instruction for an All Girls school in Brooklyn New York.

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Raymond Partolan

Mr. Raymond Partolan is an Immigration Paralegal at Kuck Immigration Partners LLC working primarily on familybased immigration cases. Before joining Kuck Immigration Partners, LLC, Mr. Partolan spent several years as the Program Associate at Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta, a nonprofit law and advocacy center for Asian Americans across the Southeast. There, he was a BIA Accredited Representative and prepared family immigration petitions for the most underserved populations. For over seven years, Mr. Partolan has been a fearless advocate for immigrant and refugee communities as a DACA recipient himself. In 2013, he was a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the University System of Georgia challenging its decision to bar DACA recipients from receiving in-state tuition at Georgia schools. He has lobbied for immigration reform at the local, state, and federal levels of government, traveling the country to share his immigrant story. He received a certificate from the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. for his coursework in a “Comprehensive Overview of Immigration Law,” and graduated summa cum laude from Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. Mr. Partolan is originally from the Philippines and is trilingual in English, Spanish, and Tagalog.

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Jason Esteves

Jason Esteves currently serves as an at-large representative on the Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education. He was elected on December 4, 2013 and has focused his efforts at promoting equity and improving the financial outlook of the school system. As an attorney and former educator, Jason is working to ensure every child in Atlanta Public Schools obtains an education that prepares them for college and career.

After graduating from the University of Miami, Jason devoted himself to teaching at an underperforming school in a low-income neighborhood. He worked countless hours with students, teachers, and parents to ensure his kids had the resources they needed to succeed. This experience gave Jason insights into the challenges our children face and the importance of public schools that help children overcome those challenges.

Today, Jason serves as Assistant General Counsel at Equifax Inc., where he manages litigation matters for the company. He was as an associate at the law firm of McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP (now Dentons US LLP) after graduating from Emory University School of Law. Jason also serves on various boards of local non-profits, and believes that partnerships with non-profits are vital to ensuring our children have the wraparound services they need to be able to focus on their education and development.

A native Georgia, Jason was raised in Columbus, Georgia by his parents, Linda and Fernando, a retired Army veteran. At an early age, his parents instilled in him the importance of public service and a good education. Those values are the foundation upon which Jason serves today.

Jason is married to Ariel, a graduate of Kennesaw State University and Emory University’s School of Nursing graduate program. Jason met Ariel while he attended Emory Law School. Ariel is a Director at CareSource, serving low-income families across Georgia. Jason and Ariel are proud parents of their son, Jaeden and reside in northwest Atlanta.