Samuel X. Gray (CEO, President & Founder)
Samuel X. Gray serves as the CEO, President and Co-Founder of Black United Summit International (BUSI). Born in Aurora, IL, he spent much of his childhood between the west suburbs and west side of Chicago, IL. After graduating high school, he decided to establish his educational foundation in the HBCU experience and began his matriculation at The Tennessee State University. He studied Business Administration and received his B.B.A with a double concentration in Real Estate & Urban Development and Management from Tennessee State University in 2007. Upon completing his studies in business at Tennessee State, he then pursued his Master’s in Business Administration and received his M.B.A. in 2009. Samuel took a leap of faith near the end of 2009 when he quit his salaried job as a retail manager and began working independently in sales and marketing with a Premier Black-Owned insurance marketing and management company, Blue Nebula Consulting Inc. (BNC). He currently serves as Director of Business Development for BNC which is headquartered in Chicago, IL. Samuel is a proud husband, father, brother, minister, activist and mentor to youth in his community.
Leonard Omarr Muhammad (Founder/Vice.President)
Leonard Omarr Muhammad, born in Maywood, Il moved to Columbus, MS during his freshman year of High School where after falling in love with the marching band and playing snare drum, Leonard became interested in attending Jackson State University. However, after encountering racist teachers who would temporarily kill his spirit of higher learning, he opted to joining the U.S. Army where he spent nearly 4 years at Ft. Wainwright,in Fairbanks, Alaska. At the completion of his term in the U.S. Military, he decided to drive from Fairbanks, AK to Columbus, MS where he would think deeply on the various cassette tapes that he and other soldiers shared of lectures of Minister Farrakhan during those 4 years in Alaska. This would began the journey of seeking Freedom, Justice, & Equality and his becoming a Student of The Teachings of The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad under the direction of The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and the “do for self” mentality that they produced. Along with Hip Hop and Conscious Rap playing a major role in his life, the music business became his first entrepreneurial route to success, managing noteworthy R&B/Hip Hop Music Producer and current Executive V. Pres of Def Jam Records NO. I.D as well as Twilite Tone, Producer and current D.J of Rapper/Actor Common. Leonard Omarr currently serves as an assistant to the Nation of Islam's Student National Prison Reform Minister, Abdullah Muhammad and serves as Regional Consultant of Blue Nebula Consulting, Inc, which is a black owned sales and marketing company, headquartered in Chicago, Il.
Zakiya Summers (Public Relations)
Zakiya Summers is the owner and operator of Lady Godiva Productions LLC, a public relations consulting and event planning company. She is highly skilled in executing and evaluating a variety of corporate related events, including conferences, summits, roundtable discussions, banquets and receptions as well as public relations functions such as grand openings, news conferences, and community outreach events. Her experience working for a number of non-profit organizations as well as media organizations has enabled her to strengthen relationships between agencies and the general public by raising awareness across multiple platforms. She earned her B.A. in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. A native of Jackson, MS, Zakiya is passionate about promoting youth development programs and enjoys working at her church, Greater Mt. Bethel COCHUSA.
Jovon Jones (Tennessee State University/SENIOR AMBASSADOR)
Our Senior Ambassador Director is Mrs. Jovon Jones. A native of Kansas City, Mrs. Jones has over 13 years of experience in higher education working specifically in areas such as Recruiting, 1st Year Students, Collegiate and Greek Lettered Organizations, Career Advising, and Admissions. She has served in professional roles to include Associate Director of Recruitment, Dual Enrollment Specialist, and Regional Admissions Coordinator. Educationally, Mrs. Jones comes to BUSI with a Bachelors of Business Administration Degree specializing in Marketing and Spanish from Tennessee State University - the only public Historically Black College or University in the state of Tennessee, a Masters of Business Administration from Webster University, and a Masters of Education specializing in Higher Education and Student Affairs from Western Kentucky University. Passionate about helping students succeed, Mrs. Jones is no stranger to her community. With 13 years of a lifetime commitment to scholarship and service as a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. she works actively with the Collegiate Transition Program and Delta GEMS among others. In addition, Mrs. Jones serves as a board member of Fortitude Foundation Inc., member of the TSU National Alumni Chapter, and Off Campus Advisor of LYLAS, Inc. Currently, Mrs. Jones lives in the Peach State of Atlanta, Georgia with her 8-year-old daughter and husband.
Rachel X. Gray (Wilberforce University/SENIOR PROGRAM & OUTREACH DIRECTOR)
Our Senior Program & Outreach Director is Mrs. Rachel M. Gray. Born and raised in Cleveland, OH. Mrs. Gray has over 10 years of experience in community programming and outreach services professionally and voluntarily. She has served in the professional capacity as a Social Service Coordinator, Student Success Coordinator, Student Success Advisor and an Enrollment Coordinator.
Academically, Rachel M. Gray joins the BUSI team with a Bachelor of Arts Degree specializing in Mass Media/Communications from Wilberforce University which hails as the first private Historically Black College and University in the nation that was owned, operated and purchased by African Americans and a Master of Professional Studies specializing in Strategic Leadership from Tennessee State University.
Outside of professional duties, Mrs. Gray has been involved in planning, implementing and executing countless community service and outreach programs in the Cleveland and Nashville area.
On a personal note, Mrs. Rachel M. Gray is a mother to four loving children, a member of the first black Greek sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and adores spending quality time with her husband.
Cheryl Brown (Chicago State University/SENIOR DIRECTOR EDUCATIONAL ENRICHMENT)
Cheryl Brown serves as the Senior Director of Educational Enrichment for BUSI. She was born on the Southside of the “Windy City”, Chicago, Illinois. After being intrigued on how the mind works and graduating High School, she traveled to Mississippi to attend College studying Psychology. An interest in helping people navigate life’s challenges developed from her courses of study. After acquiring an Associate’s Degree, Cheryl would return to Chicago and earn her B.S. in Psychology from Chicago State University. Soon after she married her husband and became a proud mother. During this same timeframe, Cheryl began tenure at Chicago Public Schools as a School Clerk, Mentor, Homeless Liaison and Substitute Teacher for 20+ years. She was also honored to work as a Union Delegate and Organizer with Chicago Teachers Union. Cheryl worked diligently as a Campaign Manager in the Chicago 2018 Elections and served as a Community Organizer working closely with the Alderman’s office, all while serving as Block Club President. Based on her many years of experience of working with the Chicago School System, Chicago Teachers Union, as well as political organizing, her opinions are highly valued, and people trust and respect her. She has gained a good reputation along with many nicknames such as “Socialite”, “Ms. Make It Happen” and, “Connector” just to name a few. Cheryl’s passion for health & nutrition, led to her becoming a Certified Personal Trainer & Certified Nutritionist, and now the proud Owner/Operator of 365 LLC, “Fitness Unlimited Nutrition”.
Dr.Wanda J.Evans-Brewer (SENIOR DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS)
Dr. Wanda J. Evans-Brewer is our Senior Director of International Affairs. She is a Globetrotting professor, Scholar Activist, Education Specialist, Proud Pan Africanist, Published Author and mentor. She has been an educator for 30 years as such she had taught every level including Spanish for 8 years. As a Transnational, she has traveled to Africa (8) times in (4) years on her own effort...And provided humanitarian aid, academic assistance, installed solar panels, water tanks, and built mini libraries in villages in South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania and Ghana. In America, she has been active in the fight for improved wages for contingent faculty as such, she was the focus of (2) documentaries; Professors in "Poverty and "Adjunct Professors; the rise of a two tier system... additional she has been widely quoted in the newspaper on this topic...Besides being a (4) time published author, she hosts a successful internet radio program called "Beyond The Surface Radio," which is intelligent internet radio laced with street reality and good ole' fashion wisdom.
Dr. Wanda travels with her now (10) year old daughter Gia, who she describes as the "Best Travel-Buddy Ever" Together, they designed a project to lift the self-esteem of little Black girls in Africa by giving away Black Baby Dolls as a random act of kindness...Currently she is celebrating the anniversary the Health Fair she hosted 2019 in a village in Ghana called the G3 Tour...her main mission is to sew a seed of hope and to help inspire practical solutions to everyday problems caused by man-made poverty.