The Speakers

Schenectady NAACP Branch President

Rev. Nicolle D. Harris

Nikita Hardy, MPA


Omar McGill


Dr. Karra Maníer

Dr. Karra K. Maniér is an emergency resident physician from Los Angeles, California. She is a two time Historically Black College and University (HBCU) graduate from Spelman College and Howard University College of Medicine. Prior to Dr. Maniér’s medical career, she worked as an elementary school teacher for three years and received a Master of Arts in Teaching. Dr. Maniér has made many contributions to medicine including research on cancer in ethnic skin, increasing access to healthcare through the establishment of a free primary clinic, and advocating for marginalized communities in and out of the hospital. She was recently recognized in Forbes and Bloomberg News for her leadership and experience with the COVID-19 pandemic. Her other interests include teaching, mentorship, and diversity recruitment.

Dr. Brenda Robinson, DNP, MSN, RN

Hon. Dr. Robinson was born and raised in Albany NY. Hon. Dr. Robinson is a proud graduate of Albany High School, Hudson Valley Community College, SUNYPOLY, and Walden University. She has worked for the Veteran Health Administration for over 27 years and counting. She is CEO/Founder of the Black Nurse Coalition, Inc. which has a mission to eliminate health disparities. She is the City of Albany Human Rights Commissioner since 2013. She is also serving 2nd term Albany Public Library Board Trustee and President of the Arbor Hill Neighborhood Association. She is a strong health and social justice advocate.

Hon. Dr. Robinson has held numerous health workshops and public speaking events. She has held many healthcare positions, at all levels of nursing. Dr. Robinson has organized the 1st Annual Breast Cancer Awareness Walk “Headlights On” in Albany NY on October 10, 2020. It was epic; the first walk of its kind in Albany which took place in Arbor Hill. Dr. Robinson has a Community Virtual Tele-health wellness clinic and continues to serve the underserved, minority community, even during this COVID Pandemic. Dr. Robinson has helped organize vaccination sites and helped get hundreds of people vaccinated; as well as provides information and a resource for the Covid-19 Vaccine and addressing skepticism.

Hon. Dr. Robinson has a passion for freedom, justice, equality and optimal healthcare for all! She was inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society. She had the honor of being the ANA Delegate at the House of Delegates in Washington, DC. She has served as the American Nurses Association Secretary of Individual Membership Division, Federal Executive Association of Northeastern NY, Vice- President, and the National Special Emphasis Advisory Council for 5 years. She is a strong mentor as well.

Dr. Robinson has received many awards and accolades. She featured on CNN on March 20201 and in the Albany Times Union. She was featured on Channel 10 for the entire month of March 2020 beyond , after being selected as one of the Capital Regions Most Remarkable Women. She received the 1st Leadership award at City Hall during the Black and Puerto-Rican Legislative Caucus from the New York State Nurses Association in 2018. Dr. Robinson has received a leadership award from the Albany County Legislature for her work “above and beyond” during Covid-19. She has rolled out a new health equity initiative,” NY Level-up Now”. Dr. Robinson has published scholarly research on Non-VA Care at the Veteran Health Administration. Her Census 2020 Article was published this past March 2020 in the Minority Nurse Magazine. Dr. Robinson has worked on many collaborative and the most present the Albany Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative mandated by Gov. Cuomo; strong recommendations were submitted for police reform.

Dr. Robinson works very hard in her community, as well as other states. She partners and supports others was well.

Ms. Betty Harper

Betty Landa Harper moved to Albany in 1960 with her family. She’s a devoted parishioner at Schenectady’s Mt. Olivet Missionary Baptist Church where she holds the officer position of “Political Liaison”. Betty served as a Hamilton Hill Art Center board member & continued on as co-chair of the arts centers Annual Juneteenth Celebration, which celebrates their ancestors at Schenectady’s Vale cemetery & an all day celebration at Schenectady’s Central Park. In 2017, Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara & the NYS assembly recognized Ms. Harper as one of the Women of Distinction who make a difference throughout our region & recognized for their contributions. The city of Schenectady presented her with a certificate of appreciation & The Schenectady NAACP presented Betty with The Margaret B. Cunningham Community Initiative award. Ms. Harper is now retired & does whatever she can under our present pandemic situation.

El Evelyn (they/them)

El Evelyn (they/them) is a Community Engagement Specialist for In Our Own Voices; they work to ensure the growth and survival of LGBTQ+ communities of color by facilitating support groups, providing services such as HIV testing and assisting with community outreach. They have lived in the capital region for 6+ years and have been very active in the community; from representing the Capital Region nationally for poetry slam competitions to advocating for social justice concerns across the region and beyond. They enjoy educating, sparking wonder, asking questions and fostering community cohesion.