Master of Ceremonies

Michael Krasny, Ph.D., is a scholar and Professor of English and American Literature, the host of KQED’s “Forum with Michael Krasny,” an award winning broadcast journalist, and author of two acclaimed books, Off Mike: A Memoir of Talk Radio and Literary Life and Spiritual Envy: An Agnostic’s Search, as well as recently published Let There Be Laughter: A Treasury of Great Jewish Humor and What It All Means. Since 1993 he has been the host of “Forum with Michael Krasny,” a news and public affairs interview program produced at KQED Radio, the National Public Radio affiliate in San Francisco, California. He is the recipient of many awards and honors including the S.Y. Agnon Medal for Intellectual Achievement; The Eugene Block Award for Human Rights Journalism; the James Madison Freedom of Information Award; the Excellence in Journalism Award from the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association; Career Achievement Award from the Society of Professional Journalists and an award from the Radio and Television News Directors Association. He holds a B.A. (cum laude) and M.A. from Ohio University and a PhD from the University of Wisconsin.



Pam David is a seasoned cross sector leader with expertise in the fields of community development, the nonprofit sector, and philanthropy. Currently, she is the Executive Director of the Walter & Elise Haas Fund, a family foundation with deep roots in the Bay Area; the foundation is increasingly using its financial and human resources to address the region’s growing levels of inequity. Ms. David is the former Director of the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Community Development, and former chief of staff of the city’s Human Services Agency. A long-time community activist and organizer across a range of issues and constituencies, Ms. David is passionate about social justice, and is committed to improving the effectiveness of public-private partnerships for social change. Throughout her career, Ms. David has played an instrumental role in building resources for community-based development in low income neighborhoods, and addressing capacity and sustainability issues in the nonprofit sector. From her experiences organizing a national march for LGBT rights, serving as an advisor on Reverend Jackson’s 1988 presidential campaign, working for three San Francisco mayors and, now, leading a well-respected family foundation, Ms. David has a nuanced understanding of the complex interplay between community, the nonprofit sector, government, and philanthropy.


Kenny Neal is a Grammy-nominated multi-instrumentalist and is widely renowned as a modern swamp-blues master. His new release, Hooked On Your Love, follows the success of his multi-award winning 2008 album, Let Life Flow. The album won three prestigious Album Of The Year awards, two Song of The Year awards for the title track, and Kenny himself garnered two Artist of the Year honors. Kenny is best known for his laid-back, Baton Rouge blues, with a modern spin on the Louisiana sound he grew up with. Throughout his career, Kenny has distinguished himself as one of the brightest prospects of the contemporary blues scene, receiving great critical acclaim in the process. The Chicago Tribune pegged Kenny as “one of a mere handful of truly inventive young contemporary guitarists, Neal has something fresh to say and the chops with which to say it.”

Terri J. Vaughn first stole America’s heart with her lovable portrayal of Lovita Alizay Jenkins on “The Steve Harvey Show.” After that, she made her way to Will Smith's executive produced, “All of Us,” as school teacher Jonell, and then as Renee, a sexy, sassy and hilarious nurse, on Tyler Perry’s "Meet The Browns." Terri can now be seen as Melisse, on Oprah Winfrey’s new drama series, “Greenleaf,” alongside legendary Lynn Whitfield and Keith David, on the new season of "Mann & Wife on BounceTV," and featured again as Cedric The Enteretainer’s wife on BET’s "The Comedy Get Down." From her first professional job in a 20-city tour of “Tellin’ it Like it Tiz,” this San Francisco native has proven herself as a talent to be reckoned with. Terri has been honored with three NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actress for her work on “The Steve Harvey Show." 

Thomas Bennett has owned and operated Miyako Old Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor since 1993, providing a long-term staple in the Western Addition/Fillmore community that has thrived even in periods of dramatic change in the neighborhood. Today, he operates the business with his daughter, Teresa. The father and daughter duo continue the tradition of providing famously friendly service and treating everyone who walks through their doors with kindness and respect. While many businesses in the neighborhood have come and gone, the Bennetts attribute the longevity of their business to a grateful perspective on life coupled with a rigorous entrepreneurial spirit. As a young man, Thomas worked under his father's guidance before branching out on his own to run numerous food trucks and food establishments. He eventually decided to move to San Francisco to escape the cold winters in Philadelphia. The Miyako experience goes well beyond generous portions of delicious ice cream.  It’s a gathering place that binds the community together and will continue to do so for many years to come.