James Earl Carter Jr. was born on October 1, 1924 in Plains, Georgia. He graduated from the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland in 1946, and spent seven years as an officer in the Navy. When his term was over, Carter returned to Plains and began his career in politics at the state level in 1962. In 1970, he was elected Governor of Georgia and six years later announced his candidacy for the Presidency. Carter campaigned against Gerald Ford and eventually won with 297 electoral votes, becoming the 39th President of the United States. As President, Carter established a National Energy Policy, expanded the National Park System and created the Department of Education. He was also instrumental in the Camp David Agreement of 1978, which helped to bring peace between Egypt and Israel. Carter established full diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China and completed negotiations of the SALT II Nuclear Limitations Treaty with the Soviet Union. Upon completion of his term as President, he founded the Carter Center in Atlanta, a non-profit organization that works to prevent and resolve conflict and to enhance freedom and democracy around the world. Carter also actively supports Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit organization that helps to build homes for those in need. In 2002, Carter received the Nobel Peace Prize.
D'Ann R. Penneris an oral historian focusing on how people respond to cataclysmic disruptions. Between September 2005 and August 2008, she conducted over 275 interviews of survivors displaced by Hurricane Katrina. During this time Penner was affiliated with the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change at the University of Memphis, the Amistad Research Center at Tulane University, and finally with the Center for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University. Currently, she is the Social Justice Fellow for the Office of the Appellate Defender in New York City. She holds a PhD in history from the University of California at Berkeley.Keith C. Ferdinand, a descendant of several generations of southern Louisianans, was the founder of Heartbeats Life Center, a cardiovascular clinic in the Ninth Ward, focused on the intersection of medicine and human rights for over twenty years until it was destroyed by Katrina. He is currently Chief Science Officer for the Association of Black Cardiologists, director of cardiovascular health at St. Thomas Community Health Center in New Orleans, andnbsp; clinical professor of medicine, division of cardiology at Emory University. Ferdinand received his MD from Howard Medical School.