Home Wisconsin Wisconsin’s 52 Most Influential Black Leaders, Part 2

Wisconsin’s 52 Most Influential Black Leaders, Part 2


This is the second of a five-part series. Part One is here.

Dr. Brian Burt is director of Wisconsin Equity and Inclusion Laboratory. The lab’s mission is to design, conduct, and disseminate research that informs policymakers, practitioners, and concerned citizens on how to best promote equitable and inclusive environments in education. His current research falls into two strands: understanding team-based research experiences, and exploring the experiences of underrepresented graduate students of color in engineering. Through his work, Dr. Burt seeks to provide new ways to understand science participation and the experiences that might attract students to or turn them away from science pathways. Dr. Burt received the National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship and National Science Foundation’s Early CAREER Award. He earned his PhD in 2014 at the University of Michigan.


Kyree Brooks is associate Principal of Central Heights Middle School in Sun Prairie. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Health and Performance from UW-Whitewater, a master’s degree in Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education from UW-Madison, and will begin his doctoral studies at UW-Madison in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis this fall. Previously, he served as a Dean of Students at Cardinal Heights Upper Middle School. Before his work in Sun Prairie, Brooks served as Coordinator of Student Engagement and Positive Behavior in the Madison Metropolitan School District and worked as a special education teacher in previous years. He is also a DJ, performing as DJ Ree Maniac.

Dr. Laurie Carter is president of Lawrence University, the first Black president in the university’s 175-year history. Dr.Carter came to Lawrence after serving as president of Shippensburg University in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, since 2017. Prior to assuming the presidency of Shippensburg, Carter served as executive vice president and university counsel for Eastern Kentucky University, where she provided leadership to 33 departments and oversaw a budget in excess of $71 million. She also has extensive leadership experience in the performing arts, holding various inaugural leadership positions during her 25 years of service at The Juilliard School, considered the nation’s premiere performing arts college. She was Juilliard’s first African American administrator and taught on the liberal arts and graduate faculty. She developed the institution’s student affairs program, initiated diversity initiatives, created the Office of the General Counsel, and co-created the Jazz Studies program. Carter attended Clarion University of Pennsylvania where she received a bachelor of science degree in communications. She received her master of arts degree in communications from William Paterson College and earned her JD degree from Rutgers University. She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Snow College and is a member of the Clarion University Athletics Hall of Fame, in recognition of her outstanding undergraduate career in track and field.


Regina Hendrix is director of Help Yourself Programs at Beloit College, which is dedicated to preparing local youth to be successful in school and preparing students to attend a four-year institution of higher education. She joined the program in 2012 and has worked her way to the top over the past 10 years. In 2014, she became the first Black woman on the Beloit City Council, where she served until 2017. 

Kimyatta Ratliff is president and CEO of ColorBold Business Association, an organization that supports aspiring and established entrepreneurs or nonprofit leaders of color in Northeast Wisconsin. She is also a licensed cosmetologist and owner of Universal Designs Salon, and passes on her knowledge through Universal Designs Education. She is an ordained minister and leads the Next Level Champions youth ministry. She previously served as president of the Northeast Wisconsin African American Association and a member of the board of the Multicultural Center of Greater Green Bay. She earned her degree in business administration from Paine college in Augusta, Georgia.

Shaundel Spivey is cofounder and executive director of Black Leaders Acquiring Collective Knowledge – BLACK – in La Crosse, an organization he and some college friends launched in 2013 to empower and elevate Black people in the area. He is also a member of the La Crosse School District Board of Education. He has worked in a variety of educational settings, including as cultural liaison for the La Crosse School District, College Connections Manager at Western Technical College and director of the Upward Bound program at UW-L. He earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from UW-La Crosse, most recently graduating with a master’s degree in education in 2015. He expects to finish his doctorate next year. 

Marcus Sedberry is deputy athletic director at the University of Wisconsin, where he oversees internal operations for the athletic department. He works to create an environment that provides opportunities for student-athletes to continually grow and elevate their lives. This includes oversight of all the areas that are part of Forward 360 as well as facilities, event and guest services and sport administration for a number of our programs. Marcus came to Wisconsin after spending almost five years at Baylor University as a senior associate athletics director. He joined Baylor’s staff in May of 2017 and played a critical role in reshaping the strategic direction of the athletics department. His experience at Baylor also included assisting in university fundraising efforts, diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, sport-specific capital projects, and human resource processes. Prior to his time at Baylor, Sedberry spent time at UCF, Arkansas and the Philadelphia Eagles. He was a track and field student-athlete at the University of Nebraska.

Derek Mosley is director of Marquette University Law School’s Lubar Center for Public Policy Research and Civic Education. He will formally begin that role next month after 20 years on the bench; he was appointed Municipal Court Judge in 2002 following a seven-year career as an assistant district attorney for Milwaukee County. At the time of his appointment, he was the youngest African American to be appointed judge in the State of Wisconsin. As an assistant district attorney, Mosley represented the State of Wisconsin in more than 1,000 criminal prosecutions and helped found the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Community Prosecution Unit. This unit places assistant district attorneys in neighborhoods throughout the City of Milwaukee to work with residents to reduce urban blight and to improve the quality of life. As the head of this unit, he helped to establish after-school programs, develop a Second Chance Felony Employment Initiative for offenders, close 100 drug houses and nuisance properties, and start a police and citizen crime fighting initiative, which targeted street drug dealing. This initiative, called “Operation Streetsweeper,” was awarded the Law Enforcement Honor Award by the United States Department of Justice. Mosley sits on the Board of Directors of several organizations, including Froedtert Hospital, the Urban Ecology Center, the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee, Safe and Sound, Divine Savior Holy Angels High School, the United Way Diversity Leadership Committee, and TransCenter for Youth, a longtime operator of small high schools in Milwaukee. He has been a lecturer at both Marquette Law School and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and he sits on the Supreme Court of Wisconsin’s Judicial Education Committee. He earned his law degree from Marquette in 1995.


Krystal Hardy is manager of multicultural marketing for the Milwaukee Brewers, where she works to ensure a diverse fan base feels comfortable and welcome at American Family Field. She manages the club’s community nights, which include Pride Night, Negro Leagues Tribute Night and Cerveceros Night, which celebrates the Latino community. She also manages Kids Crew memberships. A Milwaukee native, she has also worked as an independent brand strategist and journalist and was marketing director for the Milwaukee Short Film Festival for nearly five years. She is co-vice president of the Milwaukee chapter of The National Society of Black Sports Professionals.

Gigi Stahl is the equity, diversity and inclusion program specialist at the Stevens Point Area Public School District, where she provides training and resources to teachers on how to have conversations about social issues related to race, sexual identity or other identities. She also provides intervention and support to students in a more traditional school counselor role. She earned her bachelor’s degree from UW-Stevens Point and a master’s in social work from Western Michigan before taking on the newly-created EDI role in 2021.

Kirbie Mack is a longtime leader in Madison’s Black community, and no single job title can capture all that she’s contributed over the decades. Professionally, she served for 36 years in both state and local governments. She was appointed by Governor Jim Doyle and served for two terms as the Administrator of the Division of Enterprise Services, where she managed the department’s finance, budget, human resources and facilities management. Prior to this position she was appointed and served as the City of Madison’s Affirmative Action Director, overseeing contract compliance, affirmative action and disability rights, under three mayors. She also held various other state and city positions before retiring in 2011. Ms. Mack was the Co-Host and Producer of “Focus on Equality” CityCable 12 – Access to City Government for six years. Mack earned her Masters degree in Policy Affairs and Public Administration at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She received her BA in Psychology from Northeastern University in Chicago. In addition, she is certified in Employment Law, Labor Arbitration, Labor/Management Relations and Affirmative Action. Mack was appointed by the State Legislature to the Legislative Council’s Special Commission on Employment of Vietnam and Other Veterans. She was appointed by Governor Earl to the Affirmative Action Commission and by Mayor Soglin to the Rev. Dr. MLK, Jr. Humanitarian Awards Committee, the City’s Strategic Management Team and the City’s Guidance Team on Organization Strength Effectiveness and Financial Position. She has served on the boards of many other community organizations.

Part 3 coming tomorrow!