ABOUT DANIEL E. WALKER, PhD
At age 19, Walker and Dr. Shawn A. Ginwright, then both college sophomores at San Diego State University, founded Leadership Excellence, a non-profit organization that utilized college students to teach leadership and academic skills to urban youth. The organization annually placed over 97% of its high school participants in accredited colleges and universities and is the subject of the book Black Youth Rising: Activism and Radical Healing in Urban America (Teachers College Press, 2009). He was also elected student government president at San Diego State University.
As an educational reformer, Dr. Walker was a member of the development team of Hardy Brown College Prep, one of California’s highest performing urban schools, project lead for the establishment of the Los Angeles School of Arts and Entertainment, and Board Chair of the BLU Educational Foundation, one of the nation's leading organizations working to increase the college graduation rates of traditionally underrepresented students. For the past two decades, he has also served as lead historian for the Footsteps to Freedom Underground Railroad Study Tour. The seven-day tour across five states and Canada uses lessons from the Underground Railroad to teach diversity, team building, and leadership skills to hundreds of K-12 educators each year.
Dr. Walker is the founder and director of the Long Beach Indie International Film Festival, one of the world's prime events for showcasing and cultivating diverse content and content creators. He is also the writer/producer of the films When Roosters Crow, Sol Brothers, The Ten, and Let’s Have Church, a producer on the Emmy Award-winning television program Artbound (KCETLink), and the creator and executive producer of the forthcoming
RELIGION & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
Dr. Walker is the founding director of the Gospel Music History Archive at the USC Digital Library and was one of the lead scholars in the development of the Pentecostal and Charismatic Research Archive, also at the USC Digital Library. The author of the seminal study “Black Church Next: Challenges and Opportunities Facing African American Congregations in 21st Century Los Angeles,” he is an expert in faith-based organizing and community economic development. Walker was formerly the director of education and college access at Chapel of Peace Community Church in South Los Angeles, leader of Faith First (a ministry to homeless men and urban youth at the Central City Lutheran Mission), member of the Youth Ministry Advisory Board of the Diocese of San Bernardino, project lead for New City Schools (an effort to reinvigorate Lutheran-inspired education in urban America), project manager with the New York City Economic Development Corporation, Executive Director of the Tijuana/San Diego affiliate of Habitat for Humanity, and a youth minister at Imani Temple Church.